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Think not, by rigorous judgment seized,
A pair so faithful could expire;
Victims so pure Heaven saw well pleased,
And snatched them in celestial fire.

Live well, and fear no sudden fate:
When God calls virtue to the grave,
Alike 'tis justice, soon or late,

Mercy alike to kill or save.
Virtue unmoved can hear the call,
And face the flash that melts the ball.

Upon the whole, I cannot think these people unhappy. The greatest happiness, next to living as they would have done, was to die as they did. The greatest honour people of this low degree could have, was to be remembered on a little monument; unless you will give them another-that of being honoured with a tear from the finest eyes in the world. I know you have tenderness; you must have it; it is the very emanation of good sense and virtue: the finest minds, like the finest metals, dissolve the easiest.

[Description of an Ancient English Country Seat.]


Dear Madam-It is not possible to express the least part of the joy your return gives me; time only and experience will convince you how very sincere it is. I excessively long to meet you, to say so much, so very much to you, that I believe I shall say nothing. I have given orders to be sent for, the first minute of your arrival (which I beg you will let them know at Mr Jervas's). I am fourscore miles from London, a short journey compared to that I so often thought at least of undertaking, rather than die without seeing you again. Though the place I am in is such as I would not quit for the town, if I did not value you more than any, nay, everybody else there; and you will be convinced how little the town has engaged my affections in your absence from it, when you know what a place this is which I prefer to it; I shall therefore describe it to you at large, as the true picture of a genuine ancient country-seat.

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You must expect nothing regular in my description | of a house that seems to be built before rules were in fashion the whole is so disjointed, and the parts so detached from each other, and yet so joining again, one cannot tell how, that (in a poetical fit) you would imagine it had been a village in Amphion's time, where twenty cottages had taken a dance together, were all out, and stood still in amazement ever since. A stranger would be grievously disappointed who should ever think to get into this house the right way. One would expect, after entering through the porch, to be let into the hall; alas! nothing less, you find yourself in a brewhouse. From the parlour you think to step into the drawing-room; but, upon opening the iron-nailed door, you are convinced by a flight of birds about your ears, and a cloud of dust in your eyes, that it is the pigeon-house. On each side our porch are two chimneys, that wear their greens on the outside, which would do as well within, for whenever we make a fire, we let the smoke out of the windows. Over the parlour-window hangs a sloping

balcony, which time has turned to a very convenient penthouse. The top is crowned with a very venerable tower, so like that of the church just by, that the jackdaws build in it as if it were the true steeple.

The great hall is high and spacious, flanked with long tables, images of ancient hospitality; ornamented with monstrous horns, about twenty broken pikes, and a matchlock musket or two, which they say were used in the civil wars. Here is one vast arched window, beautifully darkened with divers scutcheons of painted glass. There seems to be great propriety in this old manner of blazoning upon glass, ancient families being like ancient windows, in the course of generations seldom free from cracks. One shining pane bears date 1286. The youthful face of Dame Elinor owes more to this single piece than to all the glasses she ever consulted in her life. Who can say after this that glass is frail, when it is not half so perishable as human beauty or glory? For in another pane you see the memory of a knight preserved, whose marble nose is mouldered from his monument in the

church adjoining. And yet, must not one sigh to reflect that the most authentic record of so ancient a family should lie at the mercy of every boy that throws a stone? In this hall, in former days, have dined gartered knights and courtly dames, with ushers, sewers, and seneschals; and yet it was but the other night that an owl flew in hither, and mistook it for a barn.

This hall lets you up (and down) over a very high threshold, into the parlour. It is furnished with historical tapestry, whose marginal fringes do confess the moisture of the air. The other contents of this room are a broken-bellied virginal, a couple of crippled velvet chairs, with two or three mildewed pictures of mouldy ancestors, who look as dismally as if they came fresh from hell with all their brimstone about them. These are carefully set at the further corner; for the windows being everywhere broken, make it so convenient a place to dry poppies and mustard-seed in, that the room is appropriated to that use.

Next this parlour lies (as I said before) the pigeonhouse, by the side of which runs an entry that leads, on one hand and the other, into a bed-chamber, a buttery, and a small hole called the chaplain's study. Then follow a brewhouse, a little green and gilt parlour, and the great stairs, under which is the dairy. A little further on the right, the servants' hall; and by the side of it, up six steps, the old lady's closet, which has a lattice into the said hall, that, while she said her prayers, she might cast an eye on the men and maids. There are upon this ground-floor in all twenty-four apartments, hard to be distinguished by particular names; among which I must not forget a chamber that has in it a large antiquity of timber, which seems to have been either a bedstead or a cider-press.

the occasion of it. It seems the course of this noble blood was a little interrupted about two centuries ago by a freak of the Lady Frances, who was here taken with a neighbouring prior; ever since which, the room has been made up. The ghost of Lady Frances is supposed to walk here; some prying maids of the family formerly reported that they saw a lady in a fardingale through the key-hole; but this matter was hushed up, and the servants forbid to talk of it.

I must needs have tired you with this long letter; but what engaged me in the description was, a generous principle to preserve the memory of a thing that must itself soon fall to ruin; nay, perhaps, some part of it before this reaches your hands. Indeed, I owe this old house the same gratitude that we do to an old friend that harbours us in his declining condition, nay, even in his last extremities. I have found this an excellent place for retirement and study, where no one who passes by can dream there is an inhabitant, and even anybody that would visit me dares not venture under my roof. You will not wonder I have translated a great deal of Homer in this retreat; any one that sees it will own I could not have chosen a fitter or more likely place to converse with the dead. As soon as I return to the living, it shall be to converse with the best of them. I hope, therefore, very speedily to tell you in person how sincerely and unalterably I am, madam, your, &c.

I beg Mr Wortley to believe me his most humble servant.

[Pope to Gay-On his Recovery.]


I faithfully assure you, in the midst of that melancholy with which I have been so long encompassed, in an hourly expectation almost of my mother's death, there was no circumstance that rendered it Our best room above is very long and low, of the more unsupportable to me than that I could not leave exact proportion of a band-box: it has hangings of her to see you. Your own present escape from so the finest work in the world; those, I mean, which imminent danger I pray God may prove less precaArachne spins out of her own bowels: indeed the roof rious than my poor mother's can be, whose life at is so decayed, that after a favourable shower of rain, best can be but a short reprieve, or a longer dying. we may (with God's blessing) expect & crop of mush-But I fear even that is more than God will please to rooms between the chinks of the floors.

All this upper storey has for many years had no other inhabitants than certain rats, whose very age renders them worthy of this venerable mansion, for the very rats of this ancient seat are gray. Since these had not quitted it, we hope at least this house may stand during the small remainder of days these poor animals have to live, who are now too infirm to remove to another: they have still a small subsistence left them in the few remaining books of the library.

I had never seen half what I have described, but for an old starched gray-headed steward, who is as much an antiquity as any in the place, and looks like an old family picture walked out of its frame. He failed not, as we passed from room to room, to relate several memoirs of the family; but his observations were particularly curious in the cellar: he showed where stood the triple rows of butts of sack, and where were ranged the bottles of tent for toasts in the morning: he pointed to the stands that supported the iron-hooped hogsheads of strong beer; then stepping to a corner, he lugged out the tattered fragment of an unframed picture: "This,' says he, with tears in his eyes, was poor Sir Thomas, once master of the drink I told you of: he had two sons (poor young masters!) that never arrived to the age of this beer; they both fell ill in this very cellar, and never went out upon their own legs.' He could not pass by a broken bottle without taking it up to show us the arms of the family on it. He then led me up the tower, by dark winding stone steps, which landed us into several little rooms, one above another; one of these was nailed up, and my guide whispered to me

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grant me; for these two days past, her most dangerous symptoms are returned upon her; and unless there be a sudden change, I must in a few days, if not in a few hours, be deprived of her. In the afflicting prospect before me, I know nothing that can so much alleviate it as the view now given me (Heaven grant it may increase!) of your recovery. In the sincerity of my heart, I am excessively concerned not to be able to pay you, dear Gay, any part of the debt, I very gratefully remember, I owe you on a like sad occasion, when you was here comforting me in her last great illness. May your health augment as fast as, I fear, hers must decline! I believe that would be very fast. May the life that is added to you be passed in good fortune and tranquillity, rather of your own giving to yourself, than from any expectations or trust in others! May you and I live together, without wishing more felicity or acquisitions than friendship can give and receive without obligations to greatness! God keep you, and three or four more of those I have known as long, that I may have something worth the surviving my mother! Adieu, dear Gay, and believe me (while you live and while I live), your, &c.

[Sketch of Autumn Scenery.]

TO MR DIGBY.-October 10, 1723.

Do not talk of the decay of the year; the season is good when the people are so. It is the best time in the year for a painter; there is more variety of colours in the leaves; the prospects begin to open, through the thinner woods over the valleys, and through the

high canopies of trees to the higher arch of heaven; the dews of the morning impearl every thorn, and scatter diamonds on the verdant mantle of the earth; the forests are fresh and wholesome. What would you have? The moon shines too, though not for lovers, these cold nights, but for astronomers.

[Pope to Bishop Atterbury, in the Tower.]

May 17, 1723.

Pope was one of the authors of the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, where he has lavished much wit on subjects which are now mostly of little interest. He has ridiculed Burnet's History of his Own Times' with infinite humour in Memoirs of P. P., Clerk of this Parish; and he contributed several papers to the 'Guardian.' His prose works contain also a collection of Thoughts on Various Subjects, a few of which are here subjoined :

[Party Zeal.]

There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent; for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead. However, such instruments are necessary to politicians; and perhaps it may be with states as with clocks, which must have some dead weight hanging at them, to help and regulate the motion of the finer and more useful parts.

[Acknowledgment of Error.]

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.


What Tully says of war may be applied to disputing; it should be always so managed, as to remember that the only true 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.

Once more I write to you, as I promised, and this once, I fear, will be the last! The curtain will soon be drawn between my friend and me, and nothing left but to wish you a long good-night. May you enjoy a state of repose in this life not unlike that sleep of the soul which some have believed is to succeed it, where we lie utterly forgetful of that world from which we are gone, and ripening for that to which we are to go. If you retain any memory of the past, let it only image to you what has pleased you best; sometimes present a dream of an absent friend, or bring you back an agreeable conversation. But, upon the whole, I hope you will think less of the time past than of the future, as the former has been less kind to you than the latter infallibly will be. Do not envy the world your studies; they will tend to the benefit of men against whom you can have no complaint; I mean of all posterity: and, perhaps, at your time of life, nothing else is worth your care. What is every year of a wise man's life but a censure or critic on the past? Those whose date is the shortest, live long enough to laugh at one half of it; the boy despises the infant, the man the boy, the philosopher both, and the Christian all. You may now begin to think your manhood was too much a puerility, and you will never suffer your age to be but a second infancy. The toys and baubles of your childnood are hardly now more below you, than those toys of our riper and our declining years, the drums and rattles of ambition, and the dirt and bubbles of avarice. At this time, when you are cut off from a little society, and made a citizen of the world at large, you should bend your talents, not to serve a party or a few, but all mankind. Your genius should mount When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only above that mist in which its participation and neigh-make a sacrifice to God of the devil's leavings. bourhood with earth long involved it; to shine abroad, and to heaven, ought to be the business and the glory of your present situation. Remember it was at such a time that the greatest lights of antiquity dazzled and blazed the most, in their retreat, in their exile, or in their death. But why do I talk of dazzling or blazing-it was then that they did good, that they gave light, and that they became guides to mankind.

Those aims alone are worthy of spirits truly great, and such I therefore hope will be yours. Resentment, indeed, may remain, perhaps cannot be quite extinguished in the noblest minds; but revenge never will harbour there. Higher principles than those of the first, and better principles than those of the latter, will infallibly influence men whose thoughts and whose hearts are enlarged, and cause them to prefer the whole to any part of mankind, especially to so small a part as one's single self.

Believe me, my lord, I look upon you as a spirit entered into another life, as one just upon the edge of immortality, where the passions and affections must be much more exalted, and where you ought to despise all little views and all mean retrospects. Nothing is worth your looking back; and, therefore, look forward, and make (as you can) the world look after you. But take care that it be not with pity, but with

esteem and admiration.

I am, with the greatest sincerity and passion for your fame as well as happiness, your, &c.

1 The bishop went into exile the following month.

[Censorious People.]

those who are always abroad at other men's houses, Such as are still observing upon others, are like reforming everything there, while their own runs to


[Growing Virtuous in Old Age.]


he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task more to maintain one.

[Hostile Critics.]

Get your enemies to read your works, in order to mend them; for your friend is so much your secondself, that he will judge, too, like you.

[Sectarian Differences.]

disinterested people in the world of one religion, but There is nothing wanting to make all rational and that they should talk together every day.

[How to be Reputed a Wise Man.]

A short and certain way to obtain the character of a reasonable and wise man is, whenever any one tells you his opinion, to comply with him.


rally acquires more through some niggardliness or ill The character of covetousness is what a man genegrace in little and inconsiderable things, than in expenses of any consequence. A very few pounds a-year would ease that man of the scandal of avarice.

[Minister Acquiring and Losing Office.]

A man coming to the water-side, is surrounded by all the crew; every one is officious, every one making applications, every one offering his services; the whole bustle of the place seems to be only for him. The same man going from the water-side, no noise made about him, no creature takes notice of him, all let him pass with utter neglect ! The picture of a minister when he comes into power, and when he goes out.

[Receipt to make an Epic Poem.]

[From The Guardian."]

It is no small pleasure to me, who am zealous in the interests of learning, to think I may have the honour of leading the town into a very new and uncommon road of criticism. As that kind of literature is at present carried on, it consists only in a knowledge of mechanic rules, which contribute to the structure of different sorts of poetry; as the receipts of good housewives do to the making puddings of flour, oranges, plums, or any other ingredients. It would, methinks, make these my instructions more easily intelligible to ordinary readers, if I discoursed of these matters in the style in which ladies, learned in economics, dictate to their pupils for the improvement of the kitchen and larder.

I shall begin with Epic Poetry, because the critics agree it is the greatest work human nature is capable of. I know the French have already laid down many mechanical rules for compositions of this sort, but at the same time they cut off almost all undertakers from the possibility of ever performing them; for the first qualification they unanimously require in a poet is a genius. I shall here endeavour (for the benefit of my countrymen) to make it manifest that Epic Poems may be made without a genius;' nay, without learning or much reading. This must necessarily be of great use to all those poets who confess they never read, and of whom the world is convinced they never learn. What Moliere observes of making a dinner, that any man can do it with money; and, if a professed cook cannot without, he has his art for nothing: the same may be said of making a poem; it is easily brought about by him that has a genius; but the skill lies in doing it without one. In pursuance of this end, I shall present the reader with a plain and certain recipe, by which even sonneteers and ladies may be qualified for this grand performance.

I know it will be objected, that one of the chief qualifications of an Epic Poet, is to be knowing in all arts and sciences. But this ought not to discourage those that have no learning, as long as indexes and dictionaries may be had, which are the compendium of all knowledge. Besides, since it is an established rule, that none of the terms of those arts and sciences are to be made use of, one may venture to affirm, our poet cannot impertinently offend on this point. The learning which will be more particularly necessary to him, is the ancient geography of towns, mountains, and rivers. For this let him take Cluverius, value four-pence.

are familiarly acquainted with them at first sight; and as it is sufficient for a good general to have surveyed the ground he is to conquer, so it is enough for a good poet to have seen the author he is to be master of. But to proceed to the purpose of this paper.

For the Fable. Take out of any old poem, history-book, romance, or legend (for instance, Geoffrey of Monmouth, or Don Belianis of Greece), those parts of story which afford most scope for long descriptions: put these pieces together, and throw all the adventures you fancy into one tale. Then take a hero whom you may choose for the sound of his name, and put him into the midst of these adventures: there let him work for twelve hours; at the end of which, you may take him out ready prepared to conquer or to marry; it being necessary that the conclusion of an Epic Poem be fortunate.'

To make an Episode. Take any remaining adventure of our former collection, in which you could no way involve your hero; or any unfortunate accident that was too good to be thrown away; and it will be of use, applied to any other person who may be lost and evaporate in the course of the work, without the least damage to the composition.'

For the Moral and Allegory. 'These you may extract out of the Fable afterwards at your leisure. Be sure you strain them sufficiently.'

For the Manners. For those of the hero, take all the best qualities you can find in all the celebrated heroes of antiquity; if they will not be reduced to a consistency, lay them all on a heap upon him. But be sure they are qualities which your patron would be thought to have; and to prevent any mistake which the world may be subject to, select from the alphabet those capital letters that compose his name, and set them at the head of a dedication before your poem. However, do not absolutely observe the exact quantity of these virtues, it not being determined whether or no it be necessary for the hero of a poem to be an honest man.- For the under characters, gather them from Homer and Virgil, and change the name

as occasion serves.'

For the Machines. Take of deities, male and female, as many as you can use; separate them into two equal parts, and keep Jupiter in the middle. Let Juno put him in a ferment, and Venus mollify him. Remember on all occasions to make use of volatile Mercury. If you have need of devils, draw them out of Milton's Paradise, and extract your spirits from Tasso. The use of these machines is evident; for since no Epic Poem can possibly subsist without them, the wisest way is to reserve them for your greatest necessities. When you cannot extricate your hero by any human means, or yourself by your own wits, seek relief from Heaven, and the gods will do your business very readily. This is according to the direct prescription of Horace in his Art of Poetry.

Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus

Never presume to make a god appear,

But for a business worthy of a god.-RosсOMMON. That is to say, a poet should never call upon the gods for their assistance, but when he is in great per

Another quality required, is a complete skill in languages. To this I answer, that it is notorious per-plexity.' sons of no genius have been oftentimes great linguists. To instance in the Greek, of which there are two sorts; the original Greek, and that from which our modern authors translate. I should be unwilling to promise impossibilities; but, modestly speaking, this may be learned in about an hour's time with ease. I have known one who became a sudden professor of Greek immediately upon application of the left-hand page of the Cambridge Homer to his eye. It is, in these days, with authors as with other men, the well-bred

For the Descriptions.-For a Tempest. Take Eurus, Zephyr, Auster, and Boreas, and cast them together into one verse: add to these, of rain, lightning, and of thunder (the loudest you can), quantum sufficit. Mix your clouds and billows well together until they foam, and thicken your description here and there with a quicksand. Brew your tempest well in your head before you set it a-blowing.'

For a Battle. 'Pick a large quantity of images and descriptions from Homer's Iliads, with a spice or


two of Virgil; and if there remain any overplus, you may lay them by for a skirmish. Season it well with similes, and it will make an excellent battle.'

For Burning a Town. 'If such a description be necessary, because it is certain there is one in Virgil, Old Troy is ready burnt to your hands. But if you fear that would be thought borrowed, a chapter or two of the Theory of the Conflagration, well circumstanced, and done into verse, will be a good succedaneum.'

As for Similes and Metaphors, they may be found all over the creation; the most ignorant may gather them; but the danger is in applying them. For this advise with your bookseller.

For the Language.-(I mean the diction.) 'Here it will do well to be an imitator of Milton, for you will find it easier to imitate him in this than anything else. Hebraisms and Grecisms are to be found in him, without the trouble of learning the languages. I knew a painter, who (like our poet) had no genius, make his daubings to be thought originals by setting them in the smoke. You may, in the same manner, give the venerable air of antiquity to your piece, by darkening it up and down with Old English. With this you may be easily furnished upon any occasion by the dictionary commonly printed at the end of


I must not conclude without cautioning all writers without genius in one material point; which is, never to be afraid of having too much fire in their works. I should advise rather to take their warmest thoughts, and spread them abroad upon paper, for they are observed to cool before they are read.


with an African feather, Holland shirts and Flanders lace, English cloth lined with Indian silk; his gloves were Italian, and his shoes were Spanish. He was made to observe this, and daily catechised thereupon, which his father was wont to call "travelling at home." He never gave him a fig or an orange, but he obliged him to give an account from what country it came.'

A more complete and durable monument of the wit and humour of Arbuthnot is his History of John Bull, published in 1712, and designed to ridicule the Duke of Marlborough, and render the nation discontented with the war. The allegory in this piece is well sustained, and the satirical allusions poignant and happy. Of the same description is Arbuthnot's Treatise concerning the Altercation or Scolding of the Ancients, and his Art of Political Lying. His wit is always pointed, and rich in classical allusion, without being acrimonious or personally offensive. Of the serious performances of Arbuthnot, the most valuable is a series of dissertations on ancient coins, weights, and measures. He published also some medical works. After the death of Queen Anne, when, both as a physician and a politician, Arbuthnot suffered a heavy loss, he applied himself closely to his profession, and continued his unaffected cheerfulness and good nature. In his latter years he suffered much from ill health: he died in 1735. The most severe and dignified of the occasional productions of Dr Arbuthnot is his epitaph on Colonel Chartres, a notorious gambler and money-lender of the day, tried and condemned for attempting to commit a rape:

'Here continueth to rot the body of Francis Chartres, who, with an inflexible constancy, and inimitable uniformity of life, persisted, in spite of age and infirmities, in the practice of every human vice, excepting prodigality and hypocrisy; his insatiable avarice exempted him from the first, his matchless impudence from the second. Nor was he more singular in the undeviating pravity of his manners than successful in accumulating wealth; for, without trade or profession, without trust of public money, and without bribe-worthy service, he acquired, or more properly created, a ministerial estate. He was the only person of his time who could cheat with the mask of honesty, retain his primeval meanness when possessed of ten thousand a-year, and having daily deserved the gibbet for what he did, was at last condemned to it for what he could not do. Oh, indignant reader! think not his life useless to mankind. Providence connived at his execrable designs, to give to after ages a conspicuous proof and example of how small estimation is exorbitant wealth in the sight of God, by his bestowing it on the most unworthy of all mortals.'

DR JOHN ARBUTHNOT, the friend of Pope, Swift, Gay, and Prior, was associated with his brother wits in some of the humorous productions of the day, called forth chiefly by political events. They were all Jacobites, and keenly interested in the success of their party. Arbuthnot was born at a place of the same name in Kincardineshire, and having studied medicine, repaired to London, where he became known as an author and a wit. He wrote an Examination of Dr Woodward's Account of the Deluge, and an Essay on the Usefulness of Mathematical Learning. In 1709 Arbuthnot was appointed physician in ordinary to the queen. The satirical Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, published in Pope's works, was chiefly, if not wholly, written by Arbuthnot. The design of this work, as stated by Pope, is to ridicule all the false tastes in learning, under the character of a man of capacity, that had dipped into every art and science, but injudiciously in each. Cervantes was the model of the witty authors; but though they may have copied his grave irony with success, the fine humanity and imagination of the Spanish novelist are wholly wanting in Scriblerus. It is highly probable, however, that the character of CHAP. I.-The Occasion of the Law-Suit.-I need Cornelius Scriblerus suggested to Sterne the idea not tell you of the great quarrels that happened in of Walter Shandy. His oddities and absurdities our neighbourhood since the death of the late Lord about the education of his son (in describing which Strutt; how the parson2 and a cunning attorney3 got Arbuthnot evinces his extensive and curious learn-him to settle his estate upon his cousin Philip Baboon,4 ing), are fully equal to Sterne. Useful hints are thrown out amidst the ridicule and pedantry of Scriblerus; and what are now termed object lessons in some schools, may have been derived from such ludicrous passages as the following:- The old gentleman so contrived it, to make everything contribute to the improvement of his knowledge, even to his very dress. He invented for him a geographical suit of clothes, which might give him some hints of that science, and likewise some knowledge of the commerce of different nations. He had a French hat

The History of John Bull.

to the great disappointment of his cousin Esquire
South. Some stick not to say, that the parson and
the attorney forged a will, for which they were well
paid by the family of the Baboons. Let that be as
1 Charles II. of Spain died without issue, and
Portocarero, and the

2 Cardinal

8 Marshal of Harcourt, employed, as is supposed, by the house of Bourbon, prevailed upon him to make a will, by which he settled the succession of the Spanish monarchy upon 4 Philip Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, though his right had by the most solemn renunciations been barred in favour of 5 the Archduke, Charles of Austria.

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