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and Dennis, though published by himself, under the irritation of the moment, are unworthy of preservation; and how far it is allowable, for the sake of swelling out a volume to a portly size, to insert as new matter the Postscript to the Odyssey, which is printed at the end of Pope's and Brome's translation, to subjoin additions formerly printed, and to copy from Dallaway's edition of Lady M. W. Montagu's letters, we need not pronounce. It is sufficient to observe that, by such contrivances, a large book in the shape of supplementary matter may be produced; when, in fact, the greatest part is old. Let us, however, allow the editor, in his own words, to inform the reader of his end and aim in the publication before us.
'The Volume now offered to the Public. in order to complete the Editions of Warburton, Ruffhead, and Warton, contains a considerable number of Pieces in prose and verse which have been recently discovered *, and what it is presumed will appear of yet higher value, a collection of Letters between Pope and his Friends, which are now published for the first time. It is unnecessary to point out how much these additional Pieces serve to illustrate the character of our celebrated Poet.
The Letters have been arranged, as far as was possible, in a chronological order, or with a reference to their connection in one or other series. It may be proper to add that the Notes which are not subscribed by any Name, are from the pen of the Rev. W. L. Bowles, Editor of the New Edition of Pope's Works in to vols. 8vo. just published, and those with the initial C. were added by Mr. Alexander Chalmers, to whose care the arrangement of the original Letters was Committed.'
A number of pieces, in verse and prose, under the general head of Miscellanies, occupy the first part of the volume. Among the poetic scraps of the Twickenham bard which are here, rescued from oblivion, we meet with very little that really deserved preservation, and perhaps nothing which Pope himself would wish to see bound up with his printed works. The following jeu d'esprit, though unfinished, is not inferior to any piece in this collection:
A Farewell to London, in the year 1715.
To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
Till the third watchman's toll;
By whom and where discovered, we are not told. This is a very unsatisfactory mode of communicating documents. Rev.
Let Jervase gratis paint, and Frowde
• Farewell Arbuthnot's raillery
And Garth, the best good Christian he,
'Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;
Heaven give thee for thy loss of Rowe,
The love of arts lies cold and dead
And not one Muse of all he fed,
Has yet the grace to mourn.
My friends, by turns, my friends confound,.
Betray, and are betray'd:
Poor Yrs sold for fifty pounds,
And B1 is a jade.
Why make I friendships with the greats
When I no favour seek?
Still idle, with a busy air,
Tho' fond of dear repose ;
Careless or drowsy | with my friends,
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell ¶,
* Elsewhere called "Macer."
Probably the friend of Wilkes; he wrote sixteen dramatic pieces of indifferent merit. See Cibber's Life. Whigs, and Tories; or rather the Jacobites: for this was written in the year of the rebellion.
I think he means Teresa Blount, his first flame, who never would submit to his jealousies and humours.
He is said once to have fallen asleep at his own table, when the Prince of Wales was in company.
It is curious that Nicholas Breton, an obscure writer of verses in 1577, makes nearly the same complaint in his Poem called " Farewell to Town." See Ellis's Specimens, vol. ii. page 270.
And Burlington's delicious meal,
Adieu to all but Gay alone *,
The Verses left by Pope on his lying in the same bed which Wilmot, the celebrated Earl of Rochester, slept in, at Adderbury, then belonging to the great Duke of Argyle, July 9th 1739,' are well known. The compliment to Argyle has been admired, but the last stanza is obscure :
With no poetic ardour fir'd
press the bed where Wilmot lay;
Yet stoop to bless a child or wife;
When freedom is more dear than life.'
A MS. copy of these verses, which was given to us many years ago, was without the last stanza.
We meet with a paper in the prose pieces, intitled Thoughts on various subjects, many of which, according to the editor's report, are to be found totidem verbis in the letters: but
"And now farewell each dainty dish,
To please this dainty mouth of mine!
I now, alas! must leave all these,
And make good cheer with bread and cheese!"
Gay was the favourite of Pope, and was received into his utmost confidence; a friendship was formed between them, which lasted to their separation by death. JOHNSON. He mentions Gay again in his Prologue to the Satires, verse 256, with all the pathetic sensibility of the tenderest friendship, in strains of supreme excellence :
They left me GAY;
Left me to see neglected Genius bloom,
My verse, and QUEENSB'RY weeping o'er thy urn!"
whether Pope extracted them from the letters, or whether, having previously written down the reflections as circumstances occasioned them, he availed himself of opportunities for introducing them in his correspondence, is a
uncertainty; though the editor thinks that the latter is most probable, from Pope's known habits, and the great attention with which his letters are composed. Some of these Thoughts, notwithstanding this intimation, we shall transcribe, since they would make no bad figure in a book of maxims and reflections. The world in all ages has afforded ample scope to the satirical moralist.
• Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few,
• To endeavour to work upon the vulgar with fine sense is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor.
Fine sense and exalted sense are not half so useful as common sense. There are forty men of wit for one man of sense and he that will carry nothing about him but gold, will be every day at a loss for want of readier change.
Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong; which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.
To be angry, is to revenge the fault of others upon ourselves. To relieve the oppressed is the most glorious act a man is capable of; it is in some measure doing the business of God and Providence. What Tully says of war may be applied to disputing, it should be always so managed, as to remember that the only end of it is peace; but generally true disputants are like true sportsmen, their whole delight is in the pursuit and a disputant no more cares for the truth than the sportsman for the hare.
When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only make a sacrifice to God of the Devil's leavings.
Some old men, by continually praising the time of their youth, would almost persuade us that there were no fools in those days; but unluckily they are left themselves for examples.
When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old; and when we are old. we perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.
The world is a thing we must of necessity either laugh at, or be angry at; if we laugh at it, they say we are proud; if we are angry at it, they say we are ill-natured.
The greatest advantage I know of being thought a wit by the world is, that it gives one the greater freedom of playing the fool.
Flowers of rhetoric in sermons and serious discourses are like the blue and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit from it.
The difference between what is commonly called ordinary com pany and good company, is only hearing the same things said in a
little room; or in a large saloon, at small tables or at great tables, before two candles or twenty sconces.
• Many men have been capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.
To buy books as some do who make no use of them, only be cause they were published by an eminent printer, is much as if a man should buy cloaths that did not fit him, only because they were made by some famous tailor.
Wit in conversation is only a readiness of thought and a facility of expression, or (in the midwives' phrase) a quick conception, and an easy delivery.
There is nothing wanting to make all rational and disinterested people in the world of one religion, but that they should talk together every day.
That character in conversation which commonly passes for agree. able, is made up of civility and falsehood.
"Whoever has flattered his friend successfully, must at once think himself a knave, and his friend a fool.
The character of covetousness is what a man generally acquires more through some niggardliness, or ill grace, in little and inconsiderable things, than in expences of any consequence: a very few pounds a year would ease that man of the scandal of avarice,'
We proceed to the Letters, which occupy the greatest portion of the volume, and are arranged in a double series. The first twenty of the first series, we conclude, form a part of the treasure of unpublished letters mentioned by the editor in the Advertisment, since at the end of the 20th letter the following note is subjoined:
Most of the following Letters and Notes, as far as the Letters to AARON HILL, in this Volume, were published in two small volumes, intitled "Additions to Pope's Works," published by the late George Steevens, Esq. As the greater part of the original Letters are to be seen in the British Museum, there can be no doubt of their authenticity. They are sufficiently trifling, yet as they serve to illustrate circumstances relating to Literature, they are here retained.'
The 17th letter is that which has been said to be written. from Mr. Gay to Mr. F—, (his friend Fortescue,) dated Stanton Harcourt, Aug. 9, 1718, giving an account of the tragical fate of the two lovers, John Hewet and Sarah Drew, who were struck dead by lightning under a corn-cock, to which they fled for shelter; and which is made the subject of a pathetic episode in Thomson's Seasons, We find now, however, that the public have hitherto been deceived, and the editor's note reveals the
It frequently appears,' says he, by a comparison of Mr. Pope's printed with his original Letters (many of which are now before me), that in preparing them for the press, he employed a degree of management, by corrections and alterations, which,