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Dear madam, had you but the spirit to tease, To shorten my tale (for I hate a long story), You might have a barrack whenever you please : The captain at dinner appears in his glory; And, madam, I always believed you so stout, The dean and the doctor' have humbled their pride, That for twenty denials you would not give out. For the captain's intreated to sit by your side; If I had a husband like hizo, I purtest,
And, because he's their betters, you carve for him 'Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest;
first, But, madam, I beg you contrive and invent,
The parsons for envy are ready to burst; And worry him out, 'till he gives his consent.
The servants amazed are scarce ever able Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think, To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table; An I were to be hanged I can't sleep a wink : And Molly and I have thrust in our nose For if a new crotchet comes into my brain,
To peep at the captain in all his fine clothes; I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain.
Dear madam, be sure he's a fine spoken man, I fancy already a barrack contrived,
Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran; At Hamilton's Bawn, and the troop is arrived; * And madam,' says he, if such dinners you give, Of this, to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning,
You'll never want parsons as long as you live ; And waits on the captain betimes the next morning. I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose,
Now see when they meet how their honours behave, But the devil's as welcome wherever he goes ; Noble captain, your servant-Sir Arthur, your slave; G-d-me, they bid us reform and repent, You honour me much-the honour is mine
But, 2-s, by their looks they never keep lent; 'Twas a sad rainy night—but the morning is fine. Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid Pray how does my lady my wife's at your service. You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid ; I think I have seen her picture by Jervis.
I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand Good morrow, good captain--I'll wait on you down, In mending your cassock, and smoothing your band; You shan't stir a foot-you'll think me a clown (For the dean was so shabby, and looked like a ninny For all the world, captain, not half an inch farther That the captain supposed he was curate to Jenny). You must be obeyed ---your servant, Sir Arthur; Whenever you see a cassock and gown, My humble respects to my lady unknown
A hundred to one but it covers a clown; I hope you will use my house as your own.
Observe how a parson comes into a room, Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate, G-d-me, he hobbles as bad as my groom; Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate.' A scholar, when just from his college broke loose, Pray madam, be quiet : what was it I said ?
Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose ; You had like to have put it quite out of my head. Your Noveds, and Bluturks, and Omurs, and stuff,
Next day, to be sure, the captain will come By G-, they don't signify this pinch of snuff. At the head of his troop, with trumpet and drum ; To give a young gentleman right education, Now, madam, observe how he marches in state; The army's the only good school of the nation; The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate ; My schoolmaster called me a dunce and a fool, Dub, dub, adub, dub. The trumpeters follow, But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school; Tantara, tantara, while all the boys hollow.
I never could take to my book for the blood o'me, Set now comes the captain all daubed with gold And the puppy confessed he expected no good o'mc. lace;
He caught me one morning coquetting his wife, 0, la ! the sweet gentleman, look in his face; But he mauled me; I ne'er was so mauled in my life; And see how he rides like a lord of the land,
So I took to the road, and what's very odd, With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand; The first man I robbed was a parson by GAnd his horse, the dear creter, it prances and rears, Now, madam, you'll think it a strange thing to say, With ribbons in knots at its tail and its ears; But the sight of a book makes me sick to this day. At last comes the troop, by the word of command, Never since I was born did I hear so much wit, Drawn up in our court, when the captain cries, Stand. And, madam, I laughed till I thought I should split. Your ladyship lifts up the sash to be seen
So then you looked scornful, and snift at the dean, (For sure I had dizened you out like a queen), As who should say, Now, am I skinny and lean 13 The captain, to show he is proud of the favour, But he durst not so much as once open his lips, Looks up to your window, and cocks up his beaver. And the doctor was plaguily down in the hips. (His beaver is cocked; pray, madam, mark that, Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk, For a captain of horse never takes off his hat; Till she heard the dean call, Will your ladyship walk ! Because he has never a hand that is idle,
Her ladyship answers, I'm just coming down. For the right holds the sword, and the left holds the Then turning to Hannah and forcing å frown, bridle);
Although it was plain in her heart she was glad, Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air,
Cried, ' Hussy, why sure the wench is gone mad; As a compliment due to a lady so fair;
How could these chimeras get into your brains ? (How I tremble to think of the blood it hath spilt !) Come hither, and take this old gown for your pains. Then he lowers down the point, and kisses the hilt. But the dean, if this secret should come to his ears, Your ladyship smiles, and thus you begin :
Will never have done with his jibes and his jeers.
United with Swift in friendship and in fame, but And take a short dinner here with us to-day; possessing far higher powers as a poet, and more You're heartily welcome; but as for good cheer, refined taste as a satirist, was ALEXANDER POPE, You come in the very worst time of the year. born in London May 22, 1688. His father, a linen If I had expected so worthy a guest
draper, having acquired an independent fortune, Lord, madam! your ladyship sure is in jest ; retired to Binfield, in Windsor Forest. He was a You banter me, madam, the kingdom must grant Roman Catholic, and the young poet was partly You officers, captain, are so complaisant.
'Hist, hussy, I think I hear somebody coming' 1 Dr Jenny, a clergyman in the neighbourhood. No, madam, 'tis only Sir Arthur a-humming.
* Ovids, Plutarchs, Homers. 8 Nicknames for my lady.
educated by the family priest. He was afterwards machinery of the poem, founded upon the Rosicrucian sent to a Catholic seminary at Twyford, near Win. theory, that the elements are inhabited by spirits,
which they called sylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings : chester, where he lampooned his teacher, was Short is his joy, he feels the fiery wound, severely punished, and afterwards taken home by Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground. his parents. He educated himself, and attended no Ah! what avail his glossy varying dyes, school after his twelfth year! The whole of his His purple crest and scarlet-circled eyes ; early life was that of a severe student. He was a The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, poet in his infancy.
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold As yet a child, and all unknown to fame, Another fine painting of external nature, as pic
I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came. turesque as any to be found in the purely descripThe writings of Dryden became the more particular Fame'
tive poets, is the winter piece, in the Temple of object of his admiration, and he prevailed upon a friend to introduce him to Will's coffeehouse, which So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost) Dryden then frequented, that he might have the gra- Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast ; tification of seeing an author whom he so enthusias- Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away, tically admired. Pope was then not more than twelve And on the impassive ice the lightnings play; years of age. He wrote, but afterwards destroyed, External snows the growing mass supply, various dramatic pieces, and at the age of sixteen Till the bright mountains prop the incumbent sky: composed his Pastorals, and his imitations of Chaucer. As Atlas fixed, each hoary pile appears, He soon became acquainted with most of the eminent The gathered winter of a thousand years. persons of the day both in politics and literature. In 1711 appeared his Essay on Criticism, unquestion
Pope now commenced his translation of the Iliad. ably the finest piece of argumentative and reasoning At first the gigantic task oppressed him with its poetry in the English language. The work is said difficulty, but he grew more familiar with Homer's to have been composed two years before publication, images and expressions, and in a short time was when Pope was only twenty-one. The ripeness of able to despatch fifty verses a-day. Great part of judgment which it displays is truly marvellous. the manuscript was written upon the backs and Addison commended the “Essay' warmly in the covers of letters, evincing that it was not withSpectator, and it instantly rose into great popu- out reason he was called paper-sparing Pope. The larity. The style of Pope was now formed and com- poet obtained a clear sum of £5320, 4s. by this plete. His versification was that of his master, translation : his exclamationDryden, but he gave the heroic couplet a peculiar terseness, correctness, and melody. The essay was
And thanks to Homer, since I live and thrive,
Indebted to no prince or peer aliveshortly afterwards followed by the Rape of the Lock. The stealing of a lock of hair from a beauty of the was, however, scarcely just, if we consider that this day, Miss Arabella Fermor, by her lover, Lord large sum was in fact a benevolence' from the upper Petre, was taken seriously, and caused an estrange classes of society, good-naturedly designed to reward mert between the families, and Pope wrote his his literary merit. The fame of Pope was not advanced poem to make a jest of the affair, and laugh them in an equal degree with his fortune by his labours together again.' In this he did not succeed, but he as a translator. The 'fatal facility' of his rhyme, added greatly to his reputation by the effort. The ! the additional false ornaments which he imparted
to the ancient Greek, and his departure from the commenced, and probably finished, the most highly nice discrimination of character and speech which poetical and passionate of his works, the Epistle prevails in Homer, are faults now universally ad- from Eloisa to Abelard. The delicacy of the poet in mitted. Cowper (though he failed himself in Homer) veiling over the circumstances of the story, and at justly remarks, that the Iliad and Odyssey in Pope's the same time preserving the ardour of Eloisa's hands have no more the air of antiquity than if he passion, the beauty of his imagery and descriptions, had himself invented them. The success of the the exquisite melody of his versification, rising and Ilind led to the translation of the Odyssey ; but Pope falling like the tones of an Eolian harp, as he succalled in his friends Broome and Fenton as assistants. cessively portrays the tumults of guilty love, the These two coadjutors translated twelve books, and deepest penitence, and the highest devotional rapthe notes were compiled by Broome. Fenton re- ture, have never been surpassed. If less genial oeived £300, and Broome £500, while Pope had tastes and a love of satire withdrew Pope from those £2885, 58. The Homeric labours occupied a period fountain-springs of the Muse, it was obviously from of twelve years—from 1713 to 1725. The improve- no want of power in the poet to display the richest ment of his pecuniary resources enabled the poet to hues of imagination, or the finest impulses of the remove from the shades of Windsor Forest to a human mind. The next literary undertaking of situation nearer the metropolis. He purchased a our author was an edition of Shakspeare, in which lease of a house and grounds at Twickenham, to he attempted, with but indifferent success, to esta
blish the text of the mighty poet, and explain his
His faithful dog shall bear him company. Pope's Villa, Twickenham. which he removed with his father and mother, and Good, Pleasure, Ease, Content, whate'er thy name;
Oh Happiness ! our being's end and aim, where he continued to reside during the remainder That something still which prompts the eternal sigh, of his life. This classic spot, which Pope delighted For which we bear to live, or dare to die, to improve, and where he was visited by ministers which, still so near us, yet beyond us lies, of state, wits, poets, and beauties, is now greatly O'erlooked, seen double, by the fool, and wise ! defaced. Whilst on a visit to Oxford in 1716, Pope Plant of celestial seed ! if dropped below,
Say, in what mortal soil thou deign'st to grow! * Pope's house was not large, but sufficiently commodious Fair opening to some court's propitious shine, himself rather than his dwelling, and who were superior to the Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine?' necessity of stately ceremonials. On one side it fronted to Twined with the wreaths Parnassian laurels yield, the road, which it closely adjoined ; on the other, to a narrow Or reaped in iron harvests of the field ? lawn sloping to the Thames. A piece of pleasure-ground, including a garden, was cut off by the public road; an awkward side ones are of the character of grottos, paved with square and unpoetical arrangement, which the proprietor did his best bricks, and stuck over with shells. It is curious to find over to improve. After the poet's death, the villa was purchased by the central stone of the entrance into the left of these grottos, Sir William Stanhope, and subsequently by Lord Mendip, who a large ammonite, and over the other, the piece of hardened carefully preserved everything connected with it; but, being in clay in which its cast was left. Pope must have regarded these 1807 sold to the Baroness Howe, it was by that lady taken merely as curiosities, or lusus naturæ, little dreaming of the down, that a larger house might be built near its site. Now wonderful tale of the early condition of our globe which they (1843), the place is the property of — Young, Esq. ; the second assist in telling. A short narrow piazza in front of the grottos house has been enlarged into two, and further alterations are is probably the evening colonnade' of the lines on the absence contemplated. The grounds have suffered a complete change of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. The taste with which Pope since Pope's time, and a monument which he erected to his laid out his grounds at Twickenham (five acres in all), had a mother on a hillock at their further extremity has been re-marked effect on English landscape gardening. The Prince of moved. The only certain remnants of the poet's mansion are Wales took the design of his garden from the poet's; and Kent, the vaults upon which it was built, three in number, the the improver and embellisher of pleasure grounds, received his central one being connected with a tunnel, which, passing best lessons from Pope. He aided materially in banishing the under the road, gives admission to the rear grounds, while the stiff formal Dutch style.
Where grows where grows it not ? If vain our toil, The anticipated approach of the Pretender led the We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
government to issue a proclamation prohibiting every Fixed to no spot is Happiness sincere;
Roman Catholic from appearing within ten miles of "Tis nowhere to be found, or everywhere;
London. The poet complied with the proclamation; 'Tis never to be bought, but always free,
and he was soon afterwards too ill to be in town. And fled from monarchs, ST JOHN! dwells with thee. This additional proclamation from the Highest of Ask of the learned the way! The learned are blind; all Powers,' as he terms his sickness, he submitted This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; to without murmuring. A constant state of exciteSome place the bliss in action, some in case ;
ment, added to a life of ceaseless study and contemThose call it pleasure, and contentment these; plation, operating on a frame naturally delicate and Some sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain; deformed from birth, had completely exhausted the Some swelled to gods, confess even virtue vain; powers of Pope. He complained of his inability to Or indolent, to each extreme they fall,
think ; yet, a short time before his death, he said, “I To trust in everything, or doubt of all,
am so certain of the soul's being immortal, that' Pope's future labours were chiefly confined to seem to feel it within me as it were by intuition.' satire. In 1727 he published, in conjunction with Another of his dying remarks was, “There is nothing his friend Swift, three volumes of Miscellanies, in that is meritorious but virtue and friendship; and, prose and verse, which drew down upon the authors indeed, friendship itself is only a part of virtue.' He a torrent of invective, lampoons, and libels, and died at Twickenham on the 30th of May, 1744. ultimately led to the Dunciad, by Pope. This ela
The character and genius of Pope have given rise borate and splendid satire displays the fertile inven- to abundance of comment and speculation. The tion of the poet, the variety of his illustration, and occasional fierceness and petulance of his satire canthe unrivalled force and facility of his diction; not be justified, even by the coarse attacks of his but it is now read with a feeling more allied to pity opponents, and must be ascribed to his extreme than admiration-pity that one so highly gifted sensibility, to over-indulged vanity, and to a basty should have allowed himself to descend to things 80 and irritable temper. His sickly constitution debarmean, and devote the end of a great literary life to ring him from active pursuits, he placed too high a the infliction of retributary pain on every humble value on mere literary fame, and was deficient in aspirant in the world of letters. I have often the manly virtues of sincerity and candour. At the wondered,' says Cowper, that the same poet who same time he was a public benefactor, by stigmatiswrote the Dunciad" should have written these ing the vices of the great, and lashing the absurd lines
pretenders to taste and literature. He was a fond
and steady friend; and in all our literary biography, That mercy I to others show,
there is nothing finer than his constant undeviating That mercy show to me.
affection and reverence for his venerable parents. Alas for Pope, if the mercy he showed to others was Me let the tender office long engage, the measure of the mercy he received.' Sir Walter To rock the cradle of reposing age; Scott has justly remarked, that Pope must have With lenient arts extend a mother's breath, suffered the most from these wretched contentions. Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death ; It is known that his temper was ultimately much Explore the thought, explain the asking eye, changed for the worse. Misfortunes were also now gathering round him. Swift was fast verging on
And keep at least one parent from the sky. insanity, and was lost to the world ; Atterbury and
Prologue to the Satires. Gay died in 1732; and next year his venerable As a poet, it would be absurd to rank Pope with the mother, whose declining years he had watched with greatest masters of the lyre; with the universality of affectionate solicitude, also expired. Between the Shakspeare, or the sublimity of Milton. He was years 1733 and 1740, Pope published his inimitable undoubtedly more the poet of artificial life and manEpistles, Satires, and Moral Essays, addressed to his ners than the poet of nature. He was a nice observer friends Boling broke, Bathurst, Arbuthnot, &c., and and an accurate describer of the phenomena of the containing the most noble and generous sentiments, mind, and of the varying shades and gradations of mixed up with withering invective and the fiercest vice and virtue, wisdom and folly. He was too fond denunciations. In 1742 he added a fourth book to of point and antithesis, but the polish of the weapon the Dunciad,' displaying the final advent of the god was equalled by its keenness. Let us look,' says dess to destroy order and science, and to substitute Campbell
, to the spirit that points his antithesis, the kingdom of the dull upon earth. The point of and to the rapid precision of his thoughts, and we his individual satire, and the richness and boldness shall forgive him for being too antithetic and senof his general design, attest the undiminished powers tentious. His wit, fancy, and good sense, are as and intense feeling of the poet. Next year Pope remarkable as his satire. His elegance has never prepared a new edition of the four books of the been surpassed, or perhaps equalled: it is a combiDunciad,' and elevated Colley Cibber to the situa- nation of intellect, imagination, and taste, under the tion of hero of the poem. This unenviable honour direction of an independent spirit and refined moral had previously been enjoyed by Theobald, a tasteless feeling. If he had studied more in the school of critic and commentator on Shakspeare; but in thus nature and of Shakspeare, and less in the school of yielding to his personal dislike of Cibber, Pope in Horace and Boileau ; if he had cherished the frame jured the force of his satire. The laureate, as War- and spirit in which he composed the • Elegy' and ton justly remarks, 'with a great stock of levity, the Eloisa,' and forgot his too exclusive devotion vanity, and affectation, had sense, and wit, and to that which inspired the • Dunciad, the world humour; and the author of the “ Careless Husband" | would have hallowed his memory with a still more was by no means a proper king of the dunces.' Cib. affectionate and permanent interest than even that ber was all vivacity and conceit—the very reverse which waits on him as one of our most brilliant of personified dulness,
and accomplished English poets. Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound.
Mr Campbell in his 'Specimens' has given an elo
quent estimate of the general powers of Pope, with Political events came in the rear of this accumulated reference to his position as a poet:- That Pope was and vehement satire to agitate the last days of Pope. neither so insensible to the beauties of nature, nor
so indistinct in describing them, as to forget the Rapt into future times, the bard begun : character of a genuine poet, is what I mean to urge, A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! without exaggerating his picturesqueness. But be- From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, fore speaking of that quality in his writings, I would Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies : beg leave to observe, in the first place, that the fa- The ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, culty by which a poet luminously describes objects of And on its top descends the mystic Dove. art, is essentially the same faculty which enables him Ye heavens ! from high the dewy nectar pour, to be a faithful describer of simple nature; in the se. And in soft silence shed the kindly shower. cond place, that nature and art are to a greater degree The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, relative terms in poetical description than is generally From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. recollected; and thirdly, that artificial objects and All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds snall fail; manners are of so much importance in fiction, as to Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ; make the exquisite description of them no less cha- Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, racteristic of genius than the description of simple And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend. physical appearances. The poet is “creation's heir." Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn! Fie deepens our social interest in existence. It is Oh, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born! surely by the liveliness of the interest which he ex- See, nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, cites in existence, and not by the class of subjects with all the incense of the breathing spring! which he chooses, that we most fairly appreciate the See lofty Lebanon his head advance ! genius or the life of life which is in him. It is no See nodding forests on the mountains dance! irreverence to the external charms of nature to say, See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise, that they are not more important to a poet's study And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies ! than the manners and affections of his species. Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers; Nature is the poet's goddess; but by nature, no one Prepare the way! a God, a God appears ! rightly understands her mere inanimate face, how- A God, a God! the vocal hills reply; ever charming may be, or the simple landscape. The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. painting of trees, clouds, precipices, and flowers. Lo! earth receives him from the bending skies ; Why, tlien, try Pope, or any other poet, exclusively Mink down, ye mountains ; and ye valleys rise; by his powers of describing inanimate phenomena? With heads declined, ye cedars homage pay; Nature, in the wide and proper sense of the word, Be smooth, ye rocks: ye rapid floods, give way! means life in all its circumstances-nature, moral The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold: as well as external. As the subject of inspired fic- Hear him, ye denf: and all ye blind, behold! tion, nature includes artificial forms and manners.
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, Richardson is no less a painter of nature than Homer. And on the sightless eyeball pour the day : Homer himself is a minute describer of works of | 'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear, art; and Milton is full of imagery derived from it. And bid new music charm the unfolding ear : Satan's spear is compared to the pine, that makes The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, " the mast of some great ammiral;” and his shield is No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear ;
And leap exulting like the bounding roe. like the moon, but like the moon artificially seen through the glass of the Tuscan artist. The spirit. In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
From every face he wipes off every tear. stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, the royal banner, And hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound. and all the quality, pride, pomp, and circumstance of As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care, glorious war," are all artificial images. When Shak. Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air; speare groups into one view the most sublime objects Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, of the universe, he fixes on the cloud-capt towers, By day o'ersees them, and night protects ; the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples.” Those The tender lambs he raises in his arms, who have ever witnessed the spectacle of the launch- Feeds from his hand and in his bosom warms ; ing of a ship of the line, will perhaps forgive me for Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, adding this to the examples of the sublime objects The promised father of the future age. of artificial life. Of that spectacle I can never forget No more shall nation against nation rise, the impression, and of having witnessed it reflected Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes ; from the faces of ten thousand spectators. They Nor fields with gleaming steel be covered o'er, seem yet before me. I sympathise with their deep The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more : and silent expectation, and with their final burst of But useless lances into scythes shall bend, enthusiasm. It was not a vulgar joy, but an affect- And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end. ing national solemnity. When the vast bulwark Then palaces shall rise ; the joyful son sprang from her cradle, the calm water on which shall finish what his short-lived sire begun; she swung majestically round, gave the imagination Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, a contrast of the stormy element in which she was And the same hand that sowed, shall reap the field soon to ride. All the days of battle and nights of The swain in barren descrts with surprise danger which she had to encounter, all the ends of Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ; the earth which she had to visit, and all that she And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear had to do and to suffer for her country, rose in awful New falls of water murmuring in his ear. presentiment before the mind; and when the heart On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, gave her a benediction, it was like one pronounced The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. on a living being.'
Waste sandy valleys, once perplexed with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn :
To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. Ye nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song:
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant moed, To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead :
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
The smiling infant in his hand shall take