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But his face was not displeasing, and his eyes were animated and vivid'.
By natural deformity or accidental distortion his vital func- 256 tions were so much disordered that his life w , a long disease ?' His most frequent assailant was the headach, which he used to relieve by inhaling the steam of coffee, which he very frequently required
Most of what can be told concerning his petty peculiarities 257 was communicated by a female domestick of the Earl of Oxford“, who knew him perhaps after the middle of life. He was then so weak as to stand in perpetual need of female attendance; extremely sensible of cold, so that he wore a kind of fur doublet under a shirt of very coarse warm linen with fine sleeves. When he rose he was invested in boddices made of stiff canvass, being scarce able to hold himself erect till they were laced, and he then put on a flannel waistcoat 6. One side was contracted. His legs were so slender that he enlarged their bulk with three pair of stockings, which were drawn on and off by the maid; for he was not able to dress or undress himself, and neither went to bed nor rose without help. His weakness made it very difficult for him to be clean ?.
* He is thus described by Thomson in The Castle of Indolence, ii. 33:-. 'He came, the bard, a little Druidwight,
[keen, Of withér'd aspect; but his eye was With sweetness mix'd. In russet
'His sister' 'was the nightingale. See ante, POPE, 3.
'His eye,' writes Warburton, 'was fine, sharp and piercing.' Warburton, iv. 17.
Reynolds, who saw him about 1740, described him as about four feet six high; very humpbacked and de
he wore a black coat, and had on a little sword. He had a large and very fine eye, and a long handsome nose; his mouth had those peculiar marks which always are found in the mouths of crooked persons, and the muscles which run across the cheek were so strongly marked as to appear like small cords.
Roubiliac, who made a bust of him
% Pope wrote to Aaron Hill on
friend, not wife,
Prol. Sat. I. 131.
It is published in ib. Sept. 1775, p.435. Johnson had, however, further sources of information.
s [A variant of bodies, the original
Ante, POPE, 3 n.
258 His hair had fallen almost all away, and he used to dine some
times with Lord Oxford, privately, in a velvet cap. His dress
of ceremony was black, with a tye-wig and a little sword. 259 The indulgence and accommodation which his sickness re
quired had taught him all the unpleasing and unsocial qualities of a valetudinary man? He expected that every thing should give way to his ease or humour, as a child whose parents will not hear her cry has an unresisted dominion in the nursery.
C'est que l'enfant toujours est homme,
C'est que l'homme est toujours enfant 3.' When he wanted to sleep he 'nodded in company*'; and once slumbered at his own table while the Prince of Wales was talking
of poetry 260 The reputation which his friendship gave procured him many
invitations; but he was a very troublesome inmate 5. He brought no servant, and had so many wants that a numerous attendance
Lord (Hervey), says:-—'It is true, Johnson, iii. 152. See also ib. p. 1,
letter to Mrs. Thrale written while
Lord Marchmont said that if the Broome thus describes him :- conversation did not take something * Next in stepp'd a wight, a monkey of a lively or epigrammatic turn he
fell asleep, or perhaps pretended to
The old Duchess of Marlborough
ment when he falls asleep.' March-
Oxford for the great indulgence you
at your house, in my irregular
was scarcely able to supply them. Wherever he was he left no room for another, because he exacted the attention and employed the activity of the whole family. His errands were so frequent and frivolous that the footmen in time avoided and neglected him, and the Earl of Oxford discharged some of the servants for their resolute refusal of his messages. The maids, when they had neglected their business, alleged that they had been employed by Mr. Pope. One of his constant demands was of coffee in the night, and to the woman that waited on him in his chamber he was very burthensome'; but he was careful to recompense her want of sleep, and Lord Oxford's servant declared that in a house where her business was to answer his call she would not ask for wages.
He had another fault, easily incident to those who suffering 261 much pain think themselves entitled to whatever pleasures they can snatch. He was too indulgent to his appetite: he loved meat highly seasoned and of strong taste, and, at the intervals of the table, amused himself with biscuits and dry conserves. If he sat down to a variety of dishes he would oppress his stomach with repletion, and though he seemed angry when a dram was offered him, did not forbear to drink it?. His friends, who knew
" Mrs. Fermor, niece to Belinda of brandy to be set before him. Pope The Rape of the Lock, told Mrs. sipped it all up.' King's Anec. p. 12. Piozzi that she believed there was Arbuthnot wrote of him in 1733: but little comfort to be found in a “He really leads sometimes a very house that harboured poets; ... Mr. irregular life, that is, lives with people Pope's numberless caprices would of superior health and strength.' have employed ten servants to wait Swift's Works, xviii. 66. Swift wrote on him; and he gave one no amends to him :—'I can bear a pint better by his talk neither; for he only sate than you can a spoonful.' Pope's dozing all day, when the sweet wine Works (Elwin and Courthope), vii. was out, and made his verses chiefly
143. in the night; during which season (See also two letters written in he kept himself awake by drinking 1738 by W. Kent (most likely the coffee, which it was one of the maids' artist). June 27; Pope ... last business to make for him, and they night came to me about 8 o'clock in took it by turns.' Piozzi's Journey, liquor and would have more wine. &c., i. 20; ante, POPE, 54.
Nov. 28; My service to Mr. Bethell Dr. King describes a dinner at and tell him his friend Pope is the Lord Burlington's where ' Pope grew greatest glutton I know. He now sick and left the room.' On his re- talks of the many good things he can turn . my Lord asked him if he would make; he told me of a soup that have some wine, which Pope refused. must be seven hours a making; he I told my Lord that he wanted a dined with Mr. Murray and Lady dram. Upon which the little man Betty, and was very drunk last expressed some resentment against Sunday night.' Hist. MSS. Com. ii.
However I persisted. My Lord App. p. 19.] ordered a large glass of cherry
the avenues to his heart, pampered him with presents of luxury, which he did not suffer to stand neglected. The death of great men is not always proportioned to the lustre of their lives. Hannibal, says Juvenal, did not perish by a javelin or a sword; the slaughters of Cannæ were revenged by a ring'. The death of Pope was imputed by some of his friends to a silver saucepan,
in which it was his delight to heat potted lampreys?. 262 That he loved too well to eat is certain ; but that his sensuality
shortened his life will not be hastily concluded when it is remembered that a conformation so irregular lasted six and fifty years ?, notwithstanding such pertinacious diligence of study and
meditation. 263 In all his intercourse with mankind he had great delight in
artifice, and endeavoured to attain all his purposes by indirect and unsuspected methods. He hardly drank tea without a stratagem 4.' If at the house of his friends he wanted any accommodation he was not willing to ask for it in plain terms, but would mention it remotely as something convenient; though, when it was procured, he soon made it appear for whose sake it had been recommended. Thus he teized Lord Orrery till he obtained a screen. He practised his arts on such small occasions that Lady Bolingbroke used to say, in a French phrase, that'he plaid the politician about cabbages and turnips 5. His unjustifiable impression of The Patriot King, as it can be imputed
Satires, x. 163.
scription of Pope; that “ he was un ? Lord Bathurst in 1734 wrote to politique aux choux et aux raves." Mrs. Howard of Pope :- He makes He would say, "I dine to-day in himself sick every meal at your most Grosvenor-square"; this might be moderate and plain table in England.' with a Duke: or, perhaps, “I dine [Letters of Henrietta Countess of to-day at the other end of the town”: Suffolk, 1712-1767, ed. 1824, vol. ii. or, “A gentleman of great eminence
called on me yesterday." He loved 'He certainly hastened his death thus to keep things floating in conby feeding much on high-seasoned jecture.' Boswell's Johnson, iii. 324. dishes and drinking spirits.' DR. Addison, writing of the project KING, Anec. p. 13.
now on foot in the Court of France 3 He came of a long-lived stock. for establishing a political academy,' His father died at seventy-five and says:—* There is no question but his mother in her ninety-first year. these young Machiavels will in a Spence's Anec. p. 289 n.; ante, POPE, little time turn their college upside 161 n.
down with plots and stratagems to • 'Nor take her tea without a strata- circumvent one another in a frog or gem.'
a salad, as they may hereafter put YOUNG, Satires, vi. 188. in practice to overreach a neigh5 Johnson himself often resem- bouring prince or state. The Specbled Lady Bolingbroke's lively de- tator, No. 305.
to no particular motive, must have proceeded from his general habit of secrecy and cunning: he caught an opportunity of a sly trick, and pleased himself with the thought of outwitting Bolingbroke".
In familiar or convivial conversation it does not appear that he 264 excelled? He may be said to have resembled Dryden, as being not one that was distinguished by vivacity in company. remarkable that, so near his time, so much should be known of what he has written, and so little of what he has said: traditional memory retains no sallies of raillery nor sentences of observation; nothing either pointed or solid, either wise or merry. One apophthegm only stands upon record * When an objection raised against his inscription for Shakespeare was defended by the authority of Patrick, he replied,—'horresco referens 5'—that 'he would allow the publisher of a Dictionary to know the meaning of a single word, but not of two words put together?'
Ante, POPE, 252 ; post, 287. ing much.' WARTON, Essay, ii. 234. · Swift wrote to Gay in 1732:
See also Prior's Malone, p. 348. *Your inattention I cannot pardon. Ante, DRYDEN, 166.
Yet Mr. Pope has the same For a second see post, PoPE, defect, and it is of all others the most mortal to conversation. Neither Ś Aeneid, ii. 204. is my Lord Bolingbroke untinged Johnson, in his Dictionary, gives with it; all for want of my rule, no instance of publisher in this Vive la bagatelle. But the doctor (Arbuthnots is the king of inattention.' ?'Dr. Mead objected to the Pope's Works (Elwin and Court- Latinity of amor publicus, on the hope), vii. 276. See ante, SWIFT, authority of Patrick, the dictionary90 n., for the lines beginning :
maker; to which Pope well replied, Pope has the talent well to speak.' “that he would allow a dictionary
* Pope in conversation was below maker to understand a single word, himself; he was seldom easy ind but not two words put together.” natural, and seemed afraid that the Ruffhead's Pope, p. 205. man should degrade the poet, which Mead, who was a judge of pure made him always attempt wit and Latinity, ended the controversy by humour, often unsuccessfully, and too giving up his opinion, and saying to often unseasonably.' CHESTERFIELD, Pope: Misc. Works, iv. App. 15.
“Omnia vincit amor, et nos cedamus 'Lord Somerville told me, that he amori.” had dined in company with Pope,
[VIRGIL, Ecl. x. 69.] and that after dinner the little man, In a public inscription at Rheims as he called him, drank his bottle Racine used amor publicus in the of Burgundy, and was exceedingly very same sense. I believe both gay and entertaining.' Boswell's poets were wrong.' WARTON, Essay, Johnson, iv. 50.
ii. 389. 'Lord Bathurst, Lord Lyttelton, Pope's inscription ran:- -Gulieland Mr. Spence have assured me mo Shakespear. Anno Post Mortem that among intimates Pope had an CXXIV. Amor Publicus Posuit.' Gent. admirable talent for telling a story. Mag; 1741, p. 105. In great companies he avoided speak Johnson writes in the Plan of an