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completion of the "Iliad," he began a similar translation of the "Odyssey." But here his artistic success was not as great; for he hired the help of one or two professional rhymers, whose work was noticeably inferior to his own.

ALEXANDER POPE was born in London, May 21, 1688. He was deformed from birth, and of small stature; and these circumstances, together with a natural irritability, had an unhappy effect which is observable in many of his writings. His parents were Roman Catholics, and his early education was conducted by priests. His father had acquired a fortune in trade, and retired to Binfield, in Windsor Forest, where the poet spent his youth and early manhood. He had an intense fondness for books; and though perhaps not a very accurate scholar, he read widely and took especial delight in Ogilby's translation of Homer and Sandy's translation of Ovid's "Met-wits of the day. amorphoses." He also acquired a knowledge of French and Italian.

Pope was a poet from his boyhood. His little poem commencing:

"Happy the man whose wish and care A few paternal acres bound," written at the age of thirteen, is quite as good as many respectable poets produce at any age. And his early reading of poetry in foreign languages was always accompanied with attempts at translation and imitation. His pastorals and some translations were first printed in Tonson's Miscellanies in 1709, where they commanded admiration for their melodious versification. They are said to have been written several years before they were published.

In 1711 he wrote his " Essay on Criticism," which won him considerable reputation; as indeed it deserved to, being a remarkable performance in its day and the starting-point of his new school of poetry. The next year he published "The Rape of the Lock," which is generally accounted his best poem in respect of invention, It was avowedly written for the purpose of laughing together again two of his friends who bad fallen out in consequence of the petty theft which the poem so elaborately describes. The machinery of the sylphs was an after-thought, added in a later edition.

"Windsor Forest" was published in 1713, and the same year he issued proposals for a translation of the "Iliad," to be published by subscription. In 1715 he published "The Temple of Fame," and set to work upon the "Iliad." The translation was issued in volumes containing four books each, and the enterprise was a grand success. Every scholar knows that Homer's "Iliad" is one thing and Pope's "Iliad" is quite another thing; but that does not prevent the latter from being a fine poem. On the

From the profits of these translations, about £8,000, Pope purchased a house and five acres of ground at Twickenham, on the Thames, whither be retired with his parents, and divided his time between literature and landscape-gardening. He constructed there a grotto, a temple, and a miniature wilderness, and his house became famous among the poets, artists, and

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In a collection of his works published in 1717 first appeared his "Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady" and "Eloisa to Abelard," which are at once the most characteristic and the most genuinely poetical of his poems. The question has been raised," Was Pope a poet? And one who considers only his satires and his moral essays may well pause at least before answering it. But the epistle of Eloisa, the Elegy, and a few kindred productions make us regret that one who was so truly a poet did not write less philosophy and more poetry.

His next work was to edit Shakespeare, in which he seems to have failed completely. At least, the edition has not survived, and his biographers do not put it down to his credit.

Like all illustrious men, Pope had his detractors; and as he was peculiarly sensitive to whatever touched his dignity or his reputation, and his age is noted for the bitterness of its literary jealousies and strifes, it may readily be imagined that he could not possess such satirical powers without sooner or later turning them upon his contemporaries. This was accomplished in "The Dunciad," the first three books of which were published in 1728. It is a mock heroic, in which he holds up to ridicule numberless poetasters and critics, and in fact every one who had ever offended him in any way. If they are not literally "damned to everlasting fame," it is because fame ceases to be fame when it has to be explained in elaborate foot-notes. The satire was a great success in its day, but it is no longer worth printing, as most of the victims were so obscure that, to understand the allusions, one must read more notes than text. Furthermore, no satire can live by sheer force of malignity; it must have the spirit of humor as well as the body of abuse, or it will speedily share the tomb of its victims.

Between 1731 and 1739 Pope published a se

ries of satires, imitations of Horace, and moral and philosophical essays. The most celebrated of these is the "Essay on Man," which has many fine passages and descriptions, though its philosophy (which has been attributed to Bolingbroke) has ceased to be a theme of discussion. In 1737 he put forth a volume of his literary correspondence, full of gossip and bits of description and criticism. But it was discovered that the pretended letters were spurious-that is, they had not been written and sent at the time of their dates, but were simply manufactured in a lump for publication.

A fourth book of "The Dunciad" was issued, and then the author made a careful revision of all his works, which closed his literary labors.

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He died on May 30, 1744, and was buried in the church at Twickenham, where a monument was erected to him by Bishop Warburton, the legatee and commentator of his writings.

It is difficult to estimate Pope's character; because his life was subject to so many disturbing influences which were calculated to bring into notice traits that may not have been his strongest or most natural. It has been remarked that his life was "one long disease," and Ches. terfield declares that he was "the most irritable of all the genus irritabile vatum, offended with trifles, and never forgetting or forgiving them." Yet he seems to have been as sincere and gener ous in his friendships as he was tenacious of his enmities.

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WHAT dire offence from amorous causes springs,
What mighty contests rise from trivial things,
I sing this verse to Caryl, Muse! is due:
This e'en Belinda may vouchsafe to view:
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise,
If she inspire, and he approve my lays.

Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel
A well-bred lord t'assault a gentle belle?
O say what stranger cause, yet unexplor'd,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord?
In tasks so bold, can little men engage?
And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage?

Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray,
And ope'd those eyes that must eclipse the day:
Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,
And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake:
Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground,
And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound.
Belinda still her downy pillow prest,
Her guardian Sylph prolong'd the balmy rest.
"Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed
The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head.
A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau
(That ev'n in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow)
Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say:
"Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
Of thousand bright inhabitants of air!
If e'er one vision touch thy infant thought,
Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught;
Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen,
The silver token, and the circled green,

Or virgins visited by angel-powers,

With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers
Hear, and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths, from learned pride conceal'd,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd;
What, though no credit doubting wits may give.
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky:
These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould;
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to these of air.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled
That all her vanities at once are dead:
Succeeding vanities she still regards,
And though she plays no more, o'erlooks the card
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And love of ombre, after death survive.
For when the fair in all their pride expire,
To their first elements their souls retire:
The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
Mount up, and take a Salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver prude sinks downward to a Gnome,
In search of mischief still on Earth to roam.
The light coquettes in Sylphs aloft repair,
And sport and flutter in the fields of air.

"Know farther yet; whoever fair and chaste
Rejects mankind, is by some Sylph embrac'd:
For, spirits, freed from mortal laws, with ease
Assume what sexes and what shapes they please
What guards the purity of melting maids,
In courtly balls, and midnight masquerades,
Safe from the treacherous friend, the daring spark
The glance by day, the whisper in the dark,
When kind occasion prompts their warm desires.
When music softens, and when dancing fires?

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