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But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,

His faithful dog shall bear him company.' Superior excellence of form explains why no English poet Shakespeare excepted — has supplied to our current literature and conversation a larger number of apt and happy quotations. His maxims, as the following from the Essay, have become proverbs:

• An honest man's the noblest work of God.'
'Reason`s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,

Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence.'
*Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest,
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.'
•For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administered, is best.
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.
In faith and hope mankind may disagree,

But all the world's concern is charity.' Style.- Refined, ornate, antithetical, pointed, terse, regular, graceful, musical.

Rank.—In every literary work there are two constituents,the substance and the form. These two, while they exist in and by each other, may be given different degrees of prominence. If the attention is bent chiefly to thought and feeling, the result is preëminently substantial or creative merit; if to expression, the result is preëminently formal or critical merit. Corresponding to these two attitudes of the mind, there are two classes of poets,—the creative, and the critical; the sublime, and the beautiful; the powerful and free, and the painstaking and constrained; — the natural and the artificial. The first charm more by their massive grandeur of thought, the second by their careful finish of detail; the first please rather the earnest, the second the elegant; the first view nature and man through telescopes, the second through. microscopes; the first give us, for our field of vision, a natural landscape, with its diversities of mountain and valley, of forest and meadow,—the second 'a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and levelled by the roller.' In the

age of Pope, the critical spirit was uppermost, and he was its best embodiment. His rank, therefore, is not in the first order of poets, but in the second; and here he is the equal of Dryden. He proposed at the start to make correctness the basis of his fame. A friend had told him that only one way of excelling was left. “We had several great poets,' said Walsh, “but we never had one great poet that was correct; and he advised me to make that

my study and aim.' Correct poetry, then, was a business from which he was never diverted. His first study was to make verses — his last, to mend and adorn them. With what nice regard he fabricates his verse! "The fourth and fifth syllables,' he says, and

“ the last but two, are chiefly to be minded; and one must tune each line over in one's head, to try whether they go right or not.' Far and wide he searched, not for passions, but for style; not for great ideas, but for colors. To this career of cold, outside scrutiny he was born. Of the fine frenzy in which we lose thought of words, he was by nature incapable. In him were no sovereign sympathies, no impetuous images, no tormenting convictions, no internal tempests, no sombre madness, which urge forward a Shakespeare, a Milton, a Bunyan, a Byron, and move them to write from an overcharged soul; but the calm reasonings, the self-command, which box up a subject in a regular plan, divide it by rule and compass, and dispose the ideas in files mathematically exact. In religion, he was lukewarm; in politics, indifferent; in everything, studious of his own tranquillity:

'In my politics, I think no further than how to prefer the peace of my life, in any government under which I live; nor in my religion, than to preserve the peace of my conscience in any church with which I communicate. I hope all churches and governments are so far of God, as they are rightly understood and rightly administered: And where they err, or may be wrong, I leave it to God alone to mend or reform them.'

His emotion is always slight, his fancy usually sportive; he shuns the heroic and the tragic; they could take no abiding root in a hothouse regulated by a thermometer. To a heroine floating in her boat on a shoreless sea, he prefers one,

*Launched on the bosom of the silver Thames.' A ravished lock of hair is a more fitting subject for his poetry. than the real loss that makes the heart with sleepless sorrow ache. He sees in the moon, not the pageant of the universe, but the chandelier of the drawing-room. A gewgaw in a lady's headdress inspires his muse more than the one white flower among the rocks. Occasional gleams there are, as we have seen, from the deeps of feeling and the heights of thought, but they are meteoric. We read, and are instructed — if we read slowly, and are not dazed by the shower of sparkles or entranced by the wonderworking sounds that roll so nimbly and brilliantly along; but he touches no chord of the heart, lifts us into no region of high aspiration, wraps us in no dream of the infinite. He moved and felt within a retired and narrow circle. The men and women of fashion, their opinions and customs, their oddities and vanities, his own loves and hatreds, were his favorite themes, which he treats without the enthusiasm or depth of greatness. It is said that he never tried to be pathetic but twice. He has somewhere given a receipt for making an epic. It would be a phenomenal cook whose pudding should give us a deep insight into the workings of the heart, or inspire us with cravings after the ideal! He was a sceptic in poetry, as Hume in religion. The age required it. He wrote for a finical society, which preferred raillery, compliments, and epigrams, to the beautiful, the grand, and the impassioned. In all things he displayed the same critical taste and exactness,- in his letters, in his dress, in his surroundings. As a landscape gardener, he was famous. From him the Prince of Wales took the design of his garden. From him, Kent, the improver and embellisher of pleasure grounds, received his best lessons.

Without the universality of Shakespeare or the sublimity of Milton, he is, among the poets of artificial life and manners, the most brilliant and accomplished.

Character.—A collection of contradictions. Professing contempt of the world, he lived upon its pleasure. Pretending to neglect fame, he courted it. Affecting to ignore the critics, he writhed under their attacks. Scorning the great, he loved to enumerate the men of high rank with whom he was acquainted. Tells his friends that he has a heart for all, a house for all, and, whatever they may think, a fortune for all,' yet entertained scantily; as when he would set a single pint upon the table, and, having himself drunk two small glasses, would retire, and say, “Gentlemen, I leave you to your wine.' Avowing benevolence, he was guilty of meanness which it is impossible to defend. Secretly or openly, he pursued, with an implacable vengeance, all who questioned or slighted his poetical supremacy; and still he could write:

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Teach me to feel another's woe,
To hide the faults I see;
That mercy I to others show,

That mercy show to me.'i Dennis, who had been wantonly assailed, speaks of him as a little affected hypocrite, who had nothing in his mouth at the same time but truth, candour, friendship, good-nature, humanity, and magnanimity.' In social intercourse he delighted in artifice, and was always an actor. If he wanted a favor, he contrived to obtain it indirectly, by unsuspected hints at its general convenience. It is said that he hardly drank tea without a stratagem, and used to play the politician about cabbages and turnips. He resembles a coquette, who,

• In hopes of contradiction oft will say,

“Methinks I look most horrible to-day." He has left us an account of a rehearsal before Lord Halifax, which, if it be not duplicity, lies on the border-land, and is characteristic:

“The famous Lord Halifax was rather a pretender to taste than really possessed of it. When I had finished the two or three first books of my translation of the “Iliad," that Lord desired to have the pleasure of hearing them read at his house. Addison, Congreve, and Garth, were there at the reading. In four or five places, Lord Halifax stopped me very civilly, and with a speech each time of much the same kind, “I beg your pardon, Mr. Pope; but there is something in that passage that does not quite please me. Be so good as to mark the place, and consider it a little at your leisure. I am sure you can give it a little turn." I returned from Lord Halifax' with Dr. Garth, in his chariot; and as we were going along, was saying to the Doctor, that my lord had laid me under a great deal of difficulty by such loose and general observations; that I had been thinking over the passages almost ever since, and could not guess at what it was that offended his lordship in either of them. Garth laughed heartily at my embarrassment: said, I had not been long enough acquainted with Lord Halifax to know his way yet; that I need not puzzle myself about looking those places over and over when I got home. “All you need do (says he) is to leave them just as they are; call on Lord Halifax two or three months hence, thank him for his kind observations on those passages, and then read them to him as altered. I have known him much longer than you have, and will be answerable for the event."'. I followed his advice; waited on Lord Halifax some time after; said I hoped he would find his objections to those passages removed; read them to him exactly as they were at first; and his lordship was extremely pleased with them, and cried out, “Ay, now they are perfectly right; nothing can do better.”'

In religion, as we have seen, he was a man of easy, somewhat elastic, piety. A worldly poet must be such. Like Swift, but with less excuse, he found pleasure in filthy images. His verse is often the receptacle of dirt. Some of his passages Swift alone

. might have seemed capable of writing.

With all his literary vanity, he is said never to have flattered, in print, those whom he did not love, nor to have praised those whom he did not esteem. Certainly, his independence secured him from the servile drudgery of offering praise and congratulations for sale. He was a fond and faithful friend to the chosen few. 'I never in my life,' said Boling broke, ‘knew a man that had so tender a heart for his particular friends, or a more general friendship for mankind.' It may be remembered, against many faults, that, while resentful and irritable to others, he was uniformly gentle and reverential to his venerable parents:

1 Universal Prayer.

•Me let the tender office long engage,
To rock the cradle of reposing age;
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile and soothe the bed of death;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,

And keep at least one parent from the sky.' His generous sentiments would seem to have been the colors of his better and present moments. He had the feeling and the admiration of moral excellence, and has described it admirably; but the wingless brute was stronger than the winged seraph, and was constantly dragging him down.

Influence. - To Pope the English language will always be indebted. He, more than any other before or since, discovered its power of melody, enriched it with poetical elegances, with happy combinations of words, and developed its capacities for terse and brilliant expression. In the form of his verse,— the rhymed decasyllabic line, which he made for a time supreme,his influence is no longer felt; but in the taste he created for correct diction and polished versification, his influence will never

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By his satires, he was a public benefactor. The poet may influence the mind by virtue directly, by warnings and exhortations; or indirectly, by scourging vice and exposing folly. The latter is the method of the satirist, who is the Judge Lynch of civilized society. The case-hardened, with whom serious admonition is vain, he exposes to the public gaze for the public sport, not to effect any improvement in them, but, by showing their example to be intrinsically contemptible, to prevent the communication of their disease to others. Thus Pope was serviceable to his generation by satirizing its false taste, false virtue, false happiness, false life; and, in the character of satirist, may claim a moral purpose:

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