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contrast which gives life to Pope's satire. In both, in the cherished memories as in the numerous resentments, he was equally sincere. This gives a reality to his words which satire has often wanted when directed against social follies in general, or abstract vices. In Juvenal's lines on Hannibal or Alexander we are always conscious of the absence of true passion. The indignation is theatrical. It is not so in Pope.. There may be occasional passages of mere vague tirade for the sake of sustaining the character of moral censor. But in his satirical touches he is in earnest, and in his most severe couplets most so. Even what seem random generalities are often expressions of his real feeling. This reality cannot be felt by readers who are only slightly acquainted with the poet's history, and who are not aware how thoroughly Pope was penetrated by party passion. He truly believes that the Whigs are ruining the country, that the Court is a nest of sycophants, that the majority in the House of Peers is corrupt, and the City is made up of 'thieves, supercargos, sharpers, and directors.' The same closely-drawn ties which obscured his judgment and confined his sympathies to a clique, save him from one of the defects to which satire is liable, viz. an universal indignation and undirected invective.

One requisite of satire, that it should be an expression of genuine feeling, and not an assumed indignation, is then found in Pope's satire. Into what a different region this raises his satire, may be seen by a comparison with the satires of his contemporary Young, or of his predecessors Hall and Donne. But it is not enough that the anger should be real, it is further requisite that it should be directed upon proper objects. Pope's expressions of hate and dislike were sincere, but were they just? The answer has been implied in what has been already said. Pope's judgments, whether he is speaking of historical characters or of his contemporaries, are most perverse. His allusions to historical personages in the Satires and Epistles are few, but enough to shew that he was ignorant of the existence of a tribunal of history, or of that universal jurisprudence which governs its awards. When he comes to speak of his contemporaries he has

no test of merit but the pass-word of his coterie. He professes to lay down as his rule, 'A lash like mine no honest man shall dread.' But then the term 'honest man' is convertible with his own circle of friends. At every one else, from 'vice too high' down to 'Budgel in the Mint,' he aims a shot.

It is essential to forming right judgments of others that we should first know ourselves. He who lives in a state of illusion as to his own character and powers will be sure to underrate those of others. His error in judging himself having its root in vanity, his estimate of others will be governed by the interest his vanity may have in exalting or in humbling them. Pope was the victim of a vanity which was not so much personal as the common stock of his set.

But though Pope's satire is vitiated by personal grudge and party spirit, there is a kind of truth which cannot be denied to it. It is unjust, but not altogether untrue. Though all who do not belong to the party are his foes, yet he is 'too discreet to run a-muck and tilt at all he meets.' His fire is not that of artillery which plays on the battalion, but that of the rifle, which picks off its men. It is the condition of human nature that every character, however worthy, has its failings. Pope, with a feeble comprehension of human life as a whole, had a keen eye for these weak places. Here he could be true. This is what makes him so formidable as a satirist. He can pick out all the flaws, all the stains, combine them effectively, and present them as a picture of the man. To his portraits none can deny a certain likeness. They appeal to that weakness in human nature to which La Rochefoucauld's maxim points, that the misfortunes even of our friends are not wholly without something that gratifies us. 'Satire will be heard,' says Gray (Letters to Walpole), for all the audience are by nature her friends.' Personal malice or party prejudice may have in the first place prompted Pope's onslaught. But where he has selected his victim, he always hits in the weak place. His hate is not blind hate; it only makes him more clear-sighted. He does not accumulate vituperative epithets at random, in the hope, accord


ing to the proverb, that 'some will stick,' but finds with ingenious cruelty just the appropriate defect. By this artifice, the greatest and noblest may be made to look mean. Of the great Duke of Marlborough the only trait which Pope records—and he recurs to it is his love of money. How grand, by contrast, shews Pope's friend, Bolingbroke, who, expressing his admiration of the Duke, when some one present objected his avarice, added, 'He was so great a man, I had almost forgot he had that fault.'

As in many other kinds of art, truth of detail is falsity in general effect. From the nature of satire this is inevitably so. The satirist is bound by his profession to dwell upon the faults. He cannot point out the merits of his characters without disturbing the tone of sentiment to which he appeals. But in drawing character, only the whole truth is the real truth. This even applies to fictitious character as well as to copies of actual life. Porson says (Rogers' Recollections, p. 122), 'In drawing a villain we should always furnish him with something that may seem to justify himself to himself.' In one instance only Pope has remembered this rule. In the character of Addison (Sat. and Ep. Prol. 193) he has mingled some traits of respect, which set off the imputations, and greatly heighten their effect. The character of Addison is Pope's masterpiece in this kind, because its injustice is artfully veiled under the guise of offended friendship.

Pope has been severely censured for having bestowed so much attention and elaborate verse upon inferior writers, the mere rabble and rout of literature. He called them his 'enemies,' and it is true that they had defamed him. They could not forgive him his success-a success which they had failed in achieving themselves. A distinguished literary success is, like any other success, attended by the envy of the disappointed. But if we condemn the unsuccessful author for the indulgence of a jealousy which it is hard for human nature to stifle, what shall we say of the successful man who retaliates upon his yet struggling fellows, insults their misery, and tramples on them, because he has been

fortunate enough to emerge? The literary value of the productions of Grub Street may have been little enough, but their authors, as men, were as good and honest men as Pope himself. It is the business of criticism to condemn a bad book, Pope's taste might have been usefully employed, like Boileau's, in signalising pretentious poetry, and exposing ambitious incapacity. But Pope was not content with censuring the books, he attacked their authors. Nor was this mistake enough. He fell furiously upon the trade of authorship, treated poverty as a vice, and descends even to contrast his own 'poet's dignity and ease' with the raggedness and dinnerlessness of the sons of rhyme. Johnson, who had drunk that bitter cup, justly resents this want of feeling. (Life of Pope.)

Pope may have caught this tone towards professional authors from his friend the Dean. But he had not Swift's justification; for Swift never derived any pecuniary profit from his writings. In Pope it was the more unpardonable, because it was in great part to literary manufacture-to his English Homer-that he owed his own comfortable home. To use his own sarcasm against Addison (Sat. and Ep. Prol. 200), he hated for arts that caus'd himself to rise.' .

The Dunciad is the piece which is most obnoxious to this charge. It is wholly inspired by this animosity against needy authors. But the Satires and Epistles are not free from the taint. In these we meet with Curll, Cibber, Gildon, Tate, Welsted, Budgell, Eusden, Settle. All these were, as writers, if not below criticism, at least below any criticism that aspired to live. Even if it were not demeaning Pope to notice their productions, it was lessening the chance of his satire being read by posterity. He knew the error he was committing in attaching his verse to such inferior names. He writes to Swift in 1723, 'What Virgil had to do with Mævius that he should wear him on his sleeve to all eternity, I do not know.' That poetry which is to be permanent must deal with permanent themes. Satirical, is not any more than any other, poetry absolved from this obligation. Satire, even when individual, must never lose

sight of just and noble ends. Of all petty things nothing is so petty as a petty quarrel. Pope too often allows the personal grudge to be seen through the surface of public police which he puts on his work. He tries to make us think he is descending from a superior sphere to lash scribblers, who had not only sinned against taste by their foolish verses, but had outraged his moral sense by the scandalousness of their lives. He says (again to Swift, 1728), 'As the obtaining the love of valuable men is the happiest end I know of in this life, so the next felicity is to get rid of fools and scoundrels, which was one part of my design in falling upon these authors, whose incapacity is not greater than their insincerity, and of whom I have always found, if I may quote myself, "That each bad author is as bad a friend." But the thin disguise of offended virtue is too often a cloak for revenge. His most pungent verses can always be referred back to some personal cause of affront—a line in The Bee, or a copy of verses upon him which was handed about in manuscript. He knowingly threw away fame to indulge his piques. Compare with this Johnson, of whom it has been said (Macaulay's Life), 'A hundred bad writers misrepresented him and reviled him; but not one of the hundred could boast of having been thought by him worthy of a refutation, or even of a retort.'

It is indeed doubtful, and has been doubted with special reference to Pope (by Bowles in his edition), if the attitude of satirist is one which any individual can assume towards his fellow-men. It is felt to imply an assumption of superiority, moral or intellectual, which can never be possessed by any one Even were such infallibility attainable, it would be odious that the possessor of it should himself announce it to the rest of mankind. To this it may be replied, that just as the prophet comes forward to rebuke sin, not in his own name, but in that of the Supreme Judge of the world, so the satirist delivers not his own judgments, but those of society. He enforces the


principles of social conduct, or the rules of literary taste, which law does not attempt to cover. He is the organ of public opinion for this duty. (Quarterly Review, October 1825.) The

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