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No hireling sne, no prostitute to praise);
Even now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day,
Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.'
EPISTLE TO JAMES CRAGGS ESQ.,
A SOUL as full of worth, as void of pride,
Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide,
Which nor to guilt nor fear, its caution owes,
And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows.
A face untaught to feign; a judging eye,
That darts severe upon a rising lie,
And strikes a blush through frontless flattery.
All this thou wert, and being this before,
Know, kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed,- --a minister, but still a man.
Be not, exalted to whate'er degree,
Ashamed of any friend, not even of me:
The patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be ashamed of you.3
1 Every word of this eulogy was deserved.
2 James Craggs was made Secretary of War in 1717, when the Earl of Sunderland and Mr. Addison were appointed Secretaries of State. He was deeply implicated in the South Sea Scheme.-Bowles.
3 The following dialogue is printed by Bowles at the end of this Epistle.
Pope.-Since my old friend is grown so great
As to be Minister of State,
EPISTLE TO MR. JARVIS.1
WITH MR. DRYDEN'S TRANSLATION OF FRESNOY'S ART
THIS verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
This, from no venal or ungrateful muse.
Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Where life awakes, and dawns at ev'ry line;
Or blend in beauteous tints the coloured mass,
And from the canvas call the mimic face:
Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire
Fresnoy's close art, and Dryden's native fire;
And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mixed our studies, and so joined our name:
Like them to shine through long-succeeding age,
So just thy skill, so regular my rage.
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came.*
And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;
Like friendly colours found them both unite,
And each from each contract new strength and light.
How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,
While summer suns roll unperceived away;
How oft our slowly-growing works impart,
While images reflect from art to art;
How oft review; each finding like a friend Something to blame, and something to commend.
What flatt'ring scenes our wand'ring fancy wrought, Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought! Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly, Fired with ideas of fair Italy.
With thee, on Raphael's monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring dreams at Maro's urn:
With thee repose, where Tully once was laid,
I'm told, but 'tis not true, I hope,
That Craggs will be ashamed of Pope.
Craggs.-Alas! if I am such a creature
To grow the worse for growing geater;
Why, faith, in spite of all my brags,
'Tis Pope must be ashamed of Craggs.
1 This epistle, and the two following, were written some years before
the rest and originally printed in 1717.-Pope.
Jervas owed much of his reputation to this Epistle.-Warton.
2 Pope was a good painter; a portrait by his hand is in the posses
sion of the Duke of Norfolk at Arundel Castle.-See Life.
3 Raphael Urbino, born 1483, died 1520, a great Italian painter.
Or seek some ruin's formidable shade:
While fancy brings the vanished piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew;
Here thy well-studied marbles fix our eye;'
A fading Fresco here demands a sigh:
Each heav'nly piece unwearied we compare,
Match Raphael's grace with thy loved Guido's2 air,
Caracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,
Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finished with illustrious toil appears
This small, well-polished gem, the work of years! *
Yet still how faint by precept is exprest
The living image in the painter's breast!
Thence endless dreams of fair ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow:
Thence beauty, waking all her forms, supplies
An angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes.
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed,
Those tears eternal, that embalm the dead:
Call round her tomb each object of desire,
Each purer frame informed with purer fire:
Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife :
Bid her be all that bids mankind adore ;
Then view this marble and be vain no more!
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage;
Her modest cheek shall warm a future age."
Beauty, frail flower that every season fears,
Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years.
Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise,"
1 Jervas was sent to Rome at the expense of Dr. Clarke, M.P. for the university of Oxford.
2 Guido, Caracci, Correggio, Paulo, Titian. Reni Guido, born 1575, died 1642, a great Italian painter; his best work is "the Penitence of St. Peter after denying Christ." His female heads are very lovely. The Caracci, or as more commonly spelt Carracci, were famous painters. Luigi, probably here alluded to, was the founder of a famous school of painting at Bologna. He was noted for strength and simplicity of style. Born 1555, died 1619. Augustin and Annibal were also celebrated painters. Correggio was born 1494, died 1534. A very great Italian painter, never excelled in the delicacy of his flesh colouring, Paulo Veronese, born at Verona 1530, died 1588. Titian, born 1477. died 1576. The great master of colour.
9 Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem.Pope.
4 The beautiful Lady Bridgewater, Jervas was in love with her. 6 Lady Bridgewater had been painted by Jervas.
6"Churchill's race" were the four beautiful daughters of John, the great Duke of Marlborough; Henrietta, Countess of Godolphin, afterwards Duchess of Marlborough; Anne, Countess of Sunderland;
And other beauties envy Worsley's eyes;'
Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow.
And soft Belinda's' blush for ever glow.
Oh lasting as those colours may they shine,
Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line;
New graces yearly like thy works display,
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay;
Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains;
And finished more through happiness than pains.
The kindred arts shall in their praise conspire;
One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre.
Yet shonld the graces all thy figures place,
And breath an air divine on ev'ry face;
Yet should the muses bid my numbers roll
Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul;
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie,
And these be sung till Granville's Mira die;
Alas! how little from the grave we claim!
Thou but preservest a face, and I a name.
EPISTLE TO MISS BLOUNT,
WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE."
In these gay thoughts the loves and graces shine,
And all the writer lives in ev'ry line;
His easy art may happy nature seem,
Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Elizabeth, Countess of Bridgewater; and Mary, Duchess of Montagu. Lady Bridgewater, whom Jervas affected to be in love with, and who amused herself at his expense, was the most beautiful of the four sisters. She died (aged 27) in March 1713 or 1714. In 1720 her husband was created Duke of Bridgewater.-Bowles.
1 Frances Lady Worsley, wife of Sir Robert Worsley, Bart., mother of Lady Carteret, wife of John Lord Carteret, afterward Earl Granville.-Warton.
2 Teresa and Martha Blount, the dear friends of the poet.
4 Teresa and Martha Blount were the sisters of Pope's great friend Edward Blount, an excellent young man, of the same religion as the poet, and faithful to the cause of the Stuarts. They lived at Maple-Durham, near Reading, Berks. The sisters described as
"Fair-haired Martha and Teresa brown,"
were both great favourites of Pope's. He is said to have been in love at first with Teresa; but as she rejected him he transferred his affections to the sister who appeared really to love him, to Martha Blount
2 Voiture was an elegant French writer, born 1598, died 1648. He wrote witty poems and letters.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,
Who without flatt'ry pleased the fair and great;
Still with esteem no less conversed than read;
With wit well-natured, and with books well-bred;
His heart, his mistress, and his friend did share,
His time, the muse, the witty, and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he played the trifle, Life, away;
Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling infants sport themselves to rest.
E'en rival wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourn'd who never mourned before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heaved with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest eyes:
The smiles and loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
A long, exact, and serious comedy;
In every scene some moral let it teach,
And, if it can, at once both please and preach.
Let mine, an innocent gay farce appear,
And more diverting still than regular,
Have humour, wit, a native ease and grace,
Though not too strictly bound to time and place:
Critics in wit, or life, are hard to please,
Few write to those, and none can live to these.
Too much your sex is by their forms confined,
Severe to all, but most to womankind;
Custom, grown blind with age, must be your guide;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;
By nature yielding, stubborn but for fame;
Made slaves by honour, and made fools by shame,
Marriage may all those petty tyrants chase,
But sets up one, a greater, in their place.
Well might you wish for change by those accurst;
But the last tyrant ever proves the worst.
Still in constraint your suffering sex remains,
Or bound in formal, or in real chains:
Whole years neglected, for some months adored,
The fawning servant turns a haughty lord.
Ah quit not the free innocence of life,
For the dull glory of a virtuous wife;
Nor let false shows, or empty titles please:
Aim not at joy, but rest content with ease.