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Who thinks he reads when he but scans and spells; A word catcher that lives on syllables.
Yet e'en this creature may some notice claim,
Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms!
Are others angry? I excuse them too:
for Pope's resentment: that Atterbury, being in company with Bentley and Pope, insisted on knowing the Doctor's opinion of the English Homer; and that, being earnestly pressed to declare his sentiments freely, he said, "The verses are good verses; but the work is not Homer, it is Spondanus." It may however be observed, in favour of Pope, that Dr. Clarke, whose critical exactness is well known, has not been able to point out above three or four mistakes in the sense throughout the whole Iliad.
* This couplet was afterward thus altered:
"Ev'n such small critics some regard may claim,
Preserv'd in Milton's or in Shakspeare's name." N.
+ Philips, certainly not a very animated or first-rate writer, yet appears not to deserve quite so much contempt; if we look at his first and fifth pastoral, &c. &c. and above all, his pleasing tragedy of The Distressed Mother." The secret grounds of Philips's malignity to Pope, are said to have been the ridicule and laughter he met with from the Hanover club, of which he was secretary, for mistaking the incomparable ironical paper in the Guardian, No. 40, which was written by Pope, for a serious criticism on pastoral poetry. The learned Heyne also mistook this irony. Dr. WARTON.
Ambrose Philips translated a book, called, “Persian Tales,” a book full of fancy and imagination. POPE.
Just writes to make his barrenness appear,
Should modest Satire bid all these translate,
How would they swear not CONGREVE's self was safe!
Peace to all such! but were there one whose fires Apollo kindled, and fair Fame inspires:
Blest with each talent and each art to please,
* Author of the Victim, and Cobler of Preston. H. Verse of Dr. Ev. H.
Thus it originally stood in the "Miscellanies," though the name was afterward altered to "Addison;" a circumstance not noticed by the learned commentators upon Pope. N.
Like Cato, gives his little senate laws,
FIRST PRINTED IN 1727.
HEN simple Macer†, now of high renown, First sought a poet's fortune in the town; 'Twas all th' ambition his great soul could feel, To wear red stockings †, and to dine with Steele. Some ends of verse his betters might afford, And gave the harmless fellow a good word. Set up with these, he ventur'd on the town, And in a borrow'd play outdid poor Crown.
*Thus also originally stood this concluding line, in which it is well known the name was altered to Atticus; a circumstance which has occasioned a considerable controversy, too long to be here introduced; but for which the curious reader is referred to the second volume of the Biographia Britannica; to bishop Hurd's Life of bishop Warburton; and to the Notes of Dr. Warton, in his edition of Pope, 1797, vol. iv. p. 34. N.
Said to be the character of James Moore Smyth, author of "The Rival Modes, a comedy, in 1726." He pilfered verses from Pope; and joined in a political paper with the duke of Wharton, called, "The Inquisitor," written with such violence against government, that he was soon obliged to drop it. Dr, WARTON.
I remember old Demoivre told me, about fifty years ago, that all he remembered of Corneille was, that he had seen him in red stockings at the theatre. Dr, WARTON.
There he stopt short, nor since has writ a tittle,
Now he begs verse *, and what he gets commends, Not of the wits his foes, but fools his friends.
So some coarse country wench, almost decay'd, Trudges to town, and first turns chambermaid: Awkward and supple each devoir to pay, She flatters her good lady twice a day; Thought wondrous honest, tho' of mean degree, And strangely lik'd for her simplicity: In a translated suit then tries the town, With borrow'd pins, and patches not her own; But just endur'd the winter she began,
And in four months a batter'd harridan.
Now nothing's left; but wither'd, pale, and shrunk, To bawd for others, and go shares with punk.
SYLVIA +, A FRAGMENT.
my heart in wondrous wise alarm'd, Aw'd without sense, and without beauty charm'd: But some odd graces and some flights she had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad: Her tongue still ran on credit from her eyes, More pert than witty, more a wit than wise: Goodnature, she declar'd it, was her scorn, Tho' 'twas by that alone she could be born:
*He requested, by public advertisements, the aid of the ingenious, to make up a Miscellany, in 1713. H.
This fragment was, with some variation, introduced by Mr. Pope into the second of his moral essays, "Of the Characters of Women.' N.
Affronting all, yet fond of a good name;.
Now deep in Taylor, and the Book of Martyrs,
Frail, fev'rish sex! their fit now chills, now burns:
TO LADY WINCHELSEA.
OCCASIONED BY FOUR SATIRICAL VERSES ON WOMEN
In vain you boast poetic names of yore,
I have been informed, on good authority, that this character was designed for the then duchess of Hamilton.