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considerable prospects at one time, since it appears that he had been a gentleman-commoner at Christ's Church, Oxford There is an error in the punctuation of the letter we have just quoted, which affects the sense in a way very important to the question before us. Bromley is described as 'one of King James's converts in Oxford, some years after that prince's abdication;' but, if this were really so, he must have been a conscientious convert. The latter clause should be connected with what follows: Some years after that prince's abdication he kept a little seminary;' that is, when his mercenary views in quitting his religion were effectually defeated, when the Boyne had sealed his despair, he humbled himself into a petty schoolmaster. These facts are interesting, because they suggest at once the motive for the merciless punishment inflicted upon Pope. His own father was a Papist like Bromley, but a sincere and honest Papist, who had borne double taxes, legal stigmas, and public hatred for conscience' sake. His contempt was habitually pointed at those who tampered with religion for interested purposes. His son inherited these upright feelings. And we may easily guess what would be the bitter sting of any satire he would write on Bromley. Such a topic was too true to be forgiven, and too keenly barbed by Bromley's conscience. By the way, this writer, like ourselves, reads in this juvenile adventure a prefiguration of Pope's satirical destiny.

NOTE 5. Page 112.

That is, Sheffield, and, legally speaking, of Buckinghamshire. For he would not take the title of Buckingham, under a fear that there was lurking somewhere or other a claim to that title amongst the connections of the Villiers family. He was a pompous grandee, who lived in uneasy splendor, and, as a writer, most extravagantly overrated; accordingly, he is now forgotten. Such was his vanity and his ridiculous mania for allying himself with royalty, that he first of all had the presumption to court the Princess (afterwards Queen) Anne. Being rejected, he then offered himself to the illegitimate daughter of James II., by the daughter of Sir Charles Sedley. She was as ostentatious as himself, and accepted him.

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NOTE 6. Page 117.

Meantime, the felicities of this translation are at times perfectly astonishing; and it would be scarcely possible to express more nervously or amply the words,

'jurisque secundi Ambitus impatiens, er summo dulcius unum Stare loco,'

than this child of fourteen has done in the following couplet, which, most judiciously, by reversing the two clauses, gains the power of fusing them into connection :

'And impotent desire to reign alone,

That scorns the dull reversion of a throne.'

But the passage for which beyond all others we must make room, is a series of eight lines, corresponding to six in the original; and this for two reasons: First, Because Dr. Joseph Warton has deliberately asserted, that in our whole literature, we have scarcely eight more beautiful lines than these;' and though few readers will subscribe to so sweeping a judgment, yet certainly these must be wonderful lines for a boy, which could challenge such commendation from an experienced polyhistor of infinite reading. Secondly, Because the lines contain a night-scene. Now it must be well known to many readers, that the famous night-scene in the Iliad, so familiar to every schoolboy, has been made the subject, for the last thirty years, of severe, and in many respects. of just criticisms. This description will therefore have a double interest by comparison; whilst, whatever may be thought of either taken separately for itself, considered as a translation, this which we now quote is as true to Statius as the other is undoubtedly faithless to Homer:

'Jamque per emeriti surgens confinia Phœbi

Titanis, late mundo subvecta silenti

Rorifera gelidum tenuaverat aera biga.

Jam pecudes volucresque tacent: jam somnus avaris
Inserpit curis, pronusque per aera nutat,
Grata laboratæ referens oblivın vitæ.'

Theb. i. 336-341.

'Twas now the time when Phoebus yields to night,
And rising Cynthia sheds her silver light;
Wide o'er the world in solemn pomp she drew

Her airy chariot hung with pearly dew.

All birds and beasts lie hush'd. Sleep steals away

The wild desires of men and toils of day;

And brings, descending through the silent air,
A sweet forgetfulness of human care

NOTE 7. Page 118.

One writer of that age says, in Cheapside; but probably this difference arose from contemplating Lombard Street as a prolongation of Cheapside.

NOTE 8. Page 123.

Dr. Johnson said, that all he could discover about Mr. Crom.. well, was the fact of his going a hunting in a tie-wig; but Gay has added another fact to Dr. Johnson's by calling him, 'honest hatless Cromwell with red breeches ' This epithet has puzzled the commentators; but its import is obvious enough. Cromwell, as we learn from more than one person, was anxious to be considered a fine gentleman, and devoted to women. Now it was long the custom in that age for such persons, when walking with ladies, to carry their hats in their hand. Louis XV. used to ride by the side of Madame de Pompadour hat in hand.

NOTE 9. Page 127.

It is strange enough to find, not only that Pope had so frequently kept rough copies of his own letters, and that he thought so well of them as to repeat the same letter to different persons, as in the case of the two lovers killed by lightning, or even to two sisters, Martha and Therese Blount, (who were sure to communicate their letters,) and that even Swift had retained copies of his.

NOTE 10. Page 138.

The word undertake had not yet lost the meaning of Shak speare's age, in which it was understood to describe those cases where, the labor being of a miscellaneous kind, some person in

chief offered to overlook and conduct the whole, whether with or without personal labor. The modern undertaker, limited to the care of funerals, was then but one of numerous cases to which the term was applied.

NOTE 11. Page 151.


We may illustrate this feature in the behavior of Pope to Savage. When all else forsook him, when all beside pleaded the insults of Savage for withdrawing their subscriptions, Pope sent his in advance. And when Savage had insulted him also, arrogantly commanding him never to presume to interfere or meddle in his affairs,' dignity and self-respect made Pope obedient to these orders, except when there was an occasion of serving Savage. On his second visit to Bristol, (when he returned from Glamorganshire,) Savage had been thrown into the jail of the city. One person only interested himself for this hopeless profligate, and was causing an inquiry to be made about his debts at the time Savage died. So much Dr. Johnson admits; but he forgets to mention the name of this long-suffering friend. It was Pope. Meantime, let us not be supposed to believe the lying legend of Savage; he was doubtless no son of Lady Macclesfield's, but an impostor, who would not be sent to the tread-mill.


Ir sounds paradoxical, but is not so in a lad sense, to say that in every literature of large compass some authors will be found to rest much of the interest which surrounds them on their essential non-popularity. They are good for the very reason that they are not in conformity to the current taste. They interest because to the world they are not interesting. They attract by means of their repulsion. Not as though it could separately furnish a reason for loving a book, that the majority of men had found it repulsive. Primá facie, it must suggest some presumption against a book, that it has failed to gain public attention. To have roused hostility indeed, to have kindled a feud against its own principles or its temper, may happen. to be a good sign. That argues power. That argues power. Hatred may be promising. The deepest revolutions of mind sometimes begin in hatred. But simply to have left a reader unimpressed, is in itself a neutral result, from which the inference is doubtful. Yet even that, even simple failure to impress, may happen at times to be a result from positive powers in a writer, from special originalities, such as rarely reflect themselves in the mirror of the ordinary understanding. It seems little to be perceived, how much the great scriptural 1 idea

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