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with singular indelicacy) applied to Lord Peterborough on the subject. His Lordship writes to her as follows :—

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Madam,-I was very unwilling to have my name made use of in an affair in which I have no concern, and, therefore, would not engage myself to speak to Mr. Pope; but he, coming to my house the moment you went away, I gave him as exact an account as I could of our conversation. He said to me, what I had taken the liberty to say to you, that he wondered how the town would apply these lines to any but some noted common woman; that he should be yet more surprised if you should take them to yourself. He named to me four remarkable poetesses and scribblers, Mrs. Centlivre, Mrs. Haywood, Mrs. Manly, and Mrs. Behn, ladies famous indeed in their generation, and some of them esteemed to have given very unfortunate favours to their friends, assuring me that such only were the objects of his satire. I hope this assurance will prevent your further mistake, and any consequences upon so odd a subject. I have nothing more to add.

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The authoresses here named were, with one exception, all dead, and pretty well forgotten. Mrs. Behn had died forty-four years before; Mrs. Centlivre ten years; and Mrs. Manly nine. Mrs. Haywood still lived; but her latter works were unexceptionable in point of morality, and the poor woman was as far as possible from being a furious and libelling Sappho. That the miserable dead poetasters could inspire either fear or anger, is an idea too ridiculous to be entertained for a moment. The Sappho of Pope must have some resemblance in power to the Delia of the same passage-the courtly, sensual, false, and even murderous Countess Deloraine.

Lady Mary and the town felt this; the cry had gone out against her, and instead of adopting the sensible advice of the gallant Peterborough, the indignant lady prepared for a furious poetical war. She gained the willing assistance of her friend, Lord Hervey, who had already smarted under the lash of Pope; and, between them, was composed that crude, coarse, undignified, but not imbecile satire, entitled, Verses Addressed to the Imitator of the First Satire of the Second Book of Horace. The opening lines refer to Pope's system of printing the text of Horace in one page, and his own imitation on the opposite page:

"In two large columns on thy motley page,
Where Roman wit is striped with English rage;
Where ribaldry to satire makes pretence,
And modern scandal rolls with ancient sense:
Whilst on one side we see how Horace thought;
And on the other how he never wrote:

Who can believe, who view the bad, the good,
That the dull copyist better understood

That spirit, he pretends to imitate,

Than heretofore that Greek he did translate?

"Thine is just such an image of his pen,
As thou thyself art of the sons of men:
Where our own species in burlesque we trace,
A sign-post likeness of the human race;
That is at once resemblance and disgrace.

66 'Horace can laugh, is delicate, is clear,
You only coarsely rail, or darkly sneer:
His style is elegant, his diction pure,

Whilst none thy crabbed numbers can endure;

Hard as thy heart, and as thy birth obscure."

The proper objects of satire are then defined, and Pope's enormities of

course pointed out:

"Is this the thing to keep mankind in awe,

To make those tremble who escape the law?

Is this the ridicule to live so long,

The deathless satire and immortal song?

No: like the self-blown praise, thy scandal flies;
And, as we 're told of wasps, it stings and dies.

Then whilst with coward hand you stab a name,
And try, at least, to assassinate our fame,
Like the first bold assassin's be thy lot,

Ne'er be thy guilt forgiven or forgot;

But, as thou hat'st, be hated by mankind,

And, with the emblem of thy crooked mind

Mark'd on thy back, like Cain, by God's own hand,

Wander, like him, accursed through the land."

Lady Mary knew well where the dreaded enemy was most vulnerable. The allusions to obscure birth and personal deformity-though utterly disgraceful to the noble writers of the verses-pierced most deeply, and were sure to provoke a reply. Pope, however, paused to collect his strength. He had higher game to fly at than the Dennises, Welsteds, and James Moore Smythes, and there was personal danger in attacking too fiercely even a Vice Chamberlain of the Court, and a lady who numbered so many lords as friends and relatives in her train. In this portentous calm, Lord Hervey tried a second blow. It does not appear that Lady Mary lent her aid to this new effort, and consequently it is vastly inferior to the first. It is in the form of a Letter from a Nobleman at Hampton Court to a Doctor of Divinity (Dr. Sherwin). A few lines will suffice :

"Guiltless of thought, each blockhead may compose

This nothing-meaning verse, as well as prose;

And Pope with justice of such lines may say,

His Lordship 'spins a thousand such a day.'

Such Pope himself might write, who ne'er could think,

He who at crambo plays with pen and ink,

And is called Poet, 'cause in rhyme he wrote

What Dacier construed, and what Homer thought.”

The former was a Letter

Pope was now ready both in prose and verse. to a Noble Lord, on occasion of some Libels written and propagated at Court in the Year 1732-3. The letter was shown to some friends, but not published. The poetical reply was contained in the Epistle to Arbuthnot, and included that most tremendous of all his invectives, the character of Sporus, in which Lord Hervey's appearance, character, tastes, and habits are so unmercifully, yet, in many points, so truly, satirized and delineated.

The year preceding his death, Lord Hervey published a poetical Essayan attempt at ethics-on "The Difference between Verbal and Practical Virtue, exemplified in some Instances, both Ancient and Modern." Pope is the modern instance, and he is charged with all manner of crimes-as lost to decency and honour, libelling the living, and aspersing the dead. The conclusion of this sketch is forcible and poetical:

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Such is th' injustice of his daily theme,

And such the lust that breaks his nightly dream,

That vestal fire of undecaying hate,

Which Time's cold tide itself can ne'er abate."

But, was Hervey's resentment less durable or less vindictive?

Lady Mary wisely withdrew from the contest: there were poisoned arrows on both sides, but Pope's were unerring and irresistible. She went abroad in 1739. Spence and Walpole met her next year in Rome. The goodnatured Spence reported pretty favourably. "She is one of the most shining characters in the world, but shines like a comet; she is all irregularity, and always wandering; the most wise, most imprudent; loveliest, most disagreeable; best-natured, cruellest woman in the world; 'all things by turns and nothing long!'" Walpole had as strong an aversion to Lady Mary as Pope himself, being from certain family connexions biassed from his birth against her. He mentions the wandering lady's eccentricities. "Her dress, her avarice, and her impudence, must amaze any one that never heard her name. She wears a foul mob, that does not cover her greasy black locks, that hang loose, never combed or curled, an old mazarine blue wrapper, that gapes open and discovers a canvas petticoat. Her face swelled violently on one side, partly covered with a plaster, and partly with white paint, which for cheapness she has bought coarse," &c. A libellous caricature! Lady Mary did not return till she was past seventy-a worn-out wanderer, and a victim to cancer. The scene was soon closed; but she has two imperishable claims on the world's gratitude-her courageous perseverance in introducing the art of inoculation, which she had learned in Turkey, and her Letters from Abroad, so full of fine description and novel facts, of intelligence and animation.





[Hugh Bethel, Esq., to whom this Epistle is addressed, is the same gentleman alluded to by Pope in graceful and complimentary terms in his Essay on Man. He possessed landed property in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and appears to have been an amiable and excellent country gentleman. In a letter to Allen, Pope says "I have known and esteemed him (Mr. Bethel) for every moral virtue these twenty years and more. He has all the charity, without any of the weakness of —; and, I firmly believe, never said a thing he did not think, nor did a thing he could not tell." One of the last acts of the poet's life seems to have been dictating a letter to Mr. Bethel. Little is known of the poet's friend, "blameless Bethel." They were early acquainted, for a copy of the first edition of his poems, 1717, was presented by Pope to Mr. Bethel, with a highly complimentary Latin inscription. The Gentleman's Magazine thus announces the death of Mr. Bethel :"Died at Ealing, Middlesex, on January 16th, 1748, Hugh Bethel, Esq. His estate of £2000 per annum goes to his brother, Slingsby Bethel, Esq., M.P. for London.]

WHAT, and how great, the virtue and the art

To live on little with a cheerful heart;

(A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine)
Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine.
Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride
Turns you from sound philosophy aside;
Not when from plate to plate your eyeballs roll,
And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.

Hear Bethel's sermon, one not versed in schools,
But strong in sense, and wise without the rules.
Go, work, hunt, exercise! (he thus began)
Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can.
Your wine lock'd up, your butler stroll'd abroad,
Or fish denied (the river yet unthaw'd),



If then plain bread and milk will do the feat,
The pleasure lies in you and not the meat.


Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men
Will choose a pheasant still before a hen;
Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold,
Except you eat the feathers green and gold.
Of carps and mullets why prefer the great,
(Though cut in pieces ere my lord can eat,)
Yet for small turbots such esteem profess?
Because God made these large, the other less.
Oldfield with more than harpy throat endued,1
Cries, "Send me, gods! a whole hog barbecued!" 2
Oh, blast it, south-winds! till a stench exhale
Rank as the ripeness of a rabbit's tail.
By what criterion do you eat, d'ye think,
If this is prized for sweetness, that for stink?
When the tired glutton labours through a treat,
He finds no relish in the sweetest meat;
He calls for something bitter, something sour,
And the rich feast concludes extremely poor:
Cheap eggs, and herbs, and olives still we see ;
Thus much is left of old simplicity!
The robin red-breast till of late had rest,
And children sacred held a martin's nest,

Till beccaficos sold so devilish dear

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To one that was, or would have been, a peer.
Let me extol a cat, on oysters fed,


I'll have a party at the Bedford-head ;3

Or e'en to crack live crawfish recommend ;
I'd never doubt at court to make a friend.

'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother


About one vice, and fall into the other:
Between excess and famine lies a mean;

Plain, but not sordid; though not splendid, clean.
Avidien, or his wife (no matter which,

For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch,)*


1 [Warburton says a glutton of the name of Oldfield ran through a fortune of £1500 a year in the simple luxury of good eating.]

2 A West-Indian term of gluttony; a hog roasted whole, stuffed with spice, and basted with Madeira wine.

3 A famous eating-house.

4 [Avidien was Edward Wortley Montagu; his wife, the never-forgotten and never-forgiven Lady Mary. See Additional Notes.]

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