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in connection with his literary career. I have therefore arranged the different chapters of this biography according to the leading episodes of his poetical life, a division by which the development of his motives and character can be exhibited without any serious departure from the natural sequence of events.
The Life of Pope also involves critical questions of the deepest interest, and in this part of the subject I have discussed, with some minuteness, the nature and extent of his poetical aims as defined in his own phrase of correctness.' I have pleased myself with thinking that, in following this course, I should have had the sympathy and approval of a friend to whose judgment, taste, and learning I owe a debt of gratitude that I can never sufficiently acknowledge. In the Essay on Pope to which I have already alluded, Conington examined in considerable detail the meaning of the word 'correctness." I am happy to find myself in substantial agreement with his conclusions, but whereas he limited his criticism to illustrating the operation of the principle in Pope's own works, I have attempted to show its bearing on the course of English poetry both before and after the age of Pope. I am far from flattering myself that, though treating the question as a whole, I have been able entirely to suppress those personal inclinations by which every
Miscellaneous Writings, Vol. I., pp. 3-16.
man who engages in a great controversy of taste is unconsciously biassed. But whether the opinion of the poet's merits offered in the concluding chapter be well-founded or not, I may be allowed to hope that, by this historical treatment of the subject, it will be possible to conduct any future discussion as to his place in English Literature on grounds more definite and positive than the arbitrary principles which governed the controversy in the early part of this century.
In acknowledging the assistance received in the course of my work, my thanks are in the first place due to the Marquis of Bath for the courtesy with which he has allowed me to transcribe from MSS. preserved at Longleat the letters actually written by Wycherley to Pope, and thus to complete the evidence as to the methods adopted by Pope in preparing his correspondence for publication. I should naturally desire to express my obligations to all the works of living authors which I have consulted for the purposes of the present volume. But they are too many to enumerate, and I must confine myself to mentioning, among those which I have consulted with most advantage, Mr. Leslie Stephen's Life of Pope in the Men of Letters' series, Mr. Gosse's Life of Gray in the same series, Mr. J. A. Symonds' 'Renaissance in Italy,' Mr. A. J. Butler's Dante, and Mr. Churton Collins''Bolingbroke.' I have also read with great
interest a very valuable and suggestive Essay on Pope in the number of the 'Revue des Deux Mondes' for March, 1888, by M. Emile Montégut, which shows the effect that the poet's work still produces on the best minds in foreign countries. Finally I must return my sincere thanks to Mr. Fortescue, Superintendent of the Reading Room of the British Museum, for the unfailing kindness he has shown in providing me with every convenience for research on the too few occasions on which I have been able to avail myself of the resources of the Museum Library.
W. J. C
Pages 62 and 356. For "Conceptualists" read "Conceptistas."
Page 104. For "quatre temps on vigile," read "quatre temps ou vigile."
153. For "letting his imagination monopolise the action he was about to describe in English verse," read "letting the action, &c., monopolise his imagination."
170. Stanza ii. v. 1. After "Did I not see
186. Note 2. For "Vol. X." read "Vol. IX."
216. In sentence beginning: "It does not indeed follow that, because he failed," omit “that.”
262. For "to whom he was married later in the same year," read "to whom he had been married earlier in the same year."
291. For "clandestine correspondence" read "clandestine publication."
349. For "when she wrote to him her first dated letter," read “when he wrote to her, &c."
359. For "for forms of faith" read "for modes of faith."
371. For "by the common language of the peasantry,” read “in the common language, &c."