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Dear madam, had you but the spirit to tease, You. might hare a barrack whenever you please: And, madam, I always believed you so stout, That for twenty denials you would, not give out. If I had a husband like niin, I partett. Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest; * * But, madam, I beg you contrive and invent, And worry him out, 'till he gives his consent.
Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think, An I were to be hanged I can't sleep a wink: For if a new crotchet comes into my brain, I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain. I fancy already a barrack contrived, At Hamilton's Dawn, and the troop is arrived; Of this, to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning. And waits on the captain betimes the next morning.
Now see when they meet how their honours behave, Noble captain, your servant—Sir Arthur, your slave; You honour me much—the honour is mine— 'Twos a sad rainy Dight—but the morning is fine. Pray how does niy lady 1—my wife's at your service. I think I have seen her picture by Jervis. Good morrow, good captain—I'll wait on you down— You shan't stir a foot—you'll think me a clown— For all the world, captain, not half an inch farther— You must bo obeyed—your servant, Sir Arthur; My humble respects to my lady unknown— I hope you will use my house as your own.
'Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate, Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate.' Pray madam, be quiet: what was it I said I You had like to have put it quite out of my head.
Next day, to be sure, the captain will come
0, la! the sweet gentleman, look in his face;
Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air,
Kit, run to your master, and bid him come to us.
If I had expected so worthy a guest
Lord, madam! your ladyship sure is in jest;
You banter me, madam, the kingdom must grant
You officers, captain, are so complaisant.
'Hist, hussy, I think I hear somebody coming'
No, madam, 'tis only Sir Arthur a-huxuming.
To shorten my tale (for 1 hate a long story), The captain at dinner appears in his glory; The dean and the doctor1 have humbled their pride, For the captain's intreatcd to sit by your side; And, because he's their betters, you carve for him first,
The parsons for envy are ready to burst;
The servants amazed arc scarce ever able
To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table;
And Molly and I have thrust in our nose
To peep at the captain in all his fine clothes;
Dear madam, be sure he's a fine spoken man,
Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran;
1 And madam,' says ho, 4 if such dinners you give,
You'll never want parsons as long as you live;
I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose,
But the devil's as welcome wherever he goes;
G— d—me, they bid us reform and repent,
But, z—s, by their looks they never keep lent;
Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid
You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid;
I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand
In mending your cassock, and smoothing your bund;
(For the dian was so shabby, and looked like a ninny
That the captain supposed he was curate to Jenny).
Whenever you see a cassock and gown,
A hundred to one but it covers a clown;
Observe how a parson comes into a room,
G— d—me, he hobbles as bad as my groom;
A scholar, when just from his college broke loose,
Can hardly tell how to cry to to a goose;
Your Noved*, and JBluiurh, and Omars,2 and stuff,
Dy G—, they don't signify this pinch of snuff.
To give a young gentleman right education,
The army's the only good school of the nation;
My schoolmaster called me a dunce and a fool.
But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school;
I never could take to my book for the blood o' me,
And the puppy confessed he expected no good o' mo.
He caught me one morning coquetting his wife,
But he mauled me; I ne'er was so mauled in my life;
So I took to the road, and what's very odd,
The first man I robbed was a parson by O—.
Now, madam, you'll think it a strange thing to say,
But the sight of a book makes me sicWo this day.
Never since I was born did I hear so much wit. And, madam, I laughed till I thought I should split. So then you looked scornful, and snift at the dean, As who should say, Now, am I tkinny and lean 73 But he durst not so much as once open his lips, And the doctor was ploguily down in the hips.
Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk, Till she heard the dean call, Will your ladyship walk! Her ladyship answers, I'm just coming down. Then turning to Hannah and forcing a frown, Although it was plain in her heart she was glad, Cried,' Hussy, why sure the wench is gone mad; How could these chimeras get into your brains! Come hither, and take this old gown for your paint. But the dean, if this secret should come to his ears, Will never have done with his jibes and his jeers. For your life not a word of the matter, I charge ye; Give me but a barrack, a fig for the clergy.'
United with Swift in friendship and in fame, but possessing fur higher powers as a poet, and more refined taste as a satirist, was Alexander Pope, born in London May 22, 1688. His father, a linen draper, having acquired an independent fortune, retired to Binfleld, in Windsor Forest He was a Roman Catholic, and the young poet was partly
1 Dr Jenny, a clergyman In the neighbourhood.
'Ovids, Plutarchs, Ilomers. • Nicknames for my lady.
chester, where he lampooned his teacher, was severely punished, and afterwards taken home by his parents. He educated himself, and attended no school after his twelfth year! The whole of his early life was that of a severe student. He was a poet in his infancy.
As yet a child, and all unknown to fame,
The writing of Dryden became the more particular ! object of his admiration, and he prevailed upon a friend to introduce him to Will's coffeehouse, which j Dryden then frequented, that he might have the gratification of seeing an author whom he so enthusiastically admired. Pope was then not more than twelve years of age. He wrote, but afterwards destroyed, various dramatic pieces, and at the age of sixteen coni|>oscd his Pastorals, and his imitations of Chaucer. He soon became acquainted with most of the eminent persons of the day both in politics and literature. In 1711 appeared his Essay on Criticism, unquestionably the finest piece of argumentative and reasoning poetry in the English language. The work is said to have been composed two years before publication, when Pope was only twenty-one. The ripeness of judgment which it displays is truly marvellous. Addison commended the 'Essay' warmly in the Spectator, and it instantly rose into great popularity. The style of Pope was now formed and complete. His versification was that of his master, Dryden, but he gave the heroic couplet a peculiar terseness, correctness, and melody. The essay was shortly afterwards followed by the Rape of the Lock. The stealing of a lock of hair from a beauty of the day, Miss Arabella Fermor, by her lover, Lord Petre, was taken seriously, and caused an estrangement between the families, and Pope wrote his poem to make a jest of the affair, ' and laugh them ! together again.' In this he did not succeed, but he I added greatly to his reputation by the effort The
machinery of the poem, founded upon the Roaicrucian theory, that the elements are inhabited by spirits, which they called sylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and salamanders, was added at the suggestion of Dr Garth and some of his friends. Sylphs had been previously mentioned as invisible attendants on the fair, and the idea is shadowed out in Shakspeare's 'Ariel,' and the amusements of the fairies in the' Midsummer Night's Dream.' But Pope has blended the most delicate satire with the most lively fancy, and produced the finest and most brilliant mock-heroic poem in the world. 'It is,' says Johnson, 'the most airy, the most ingenious, and the most delightful of all Pope's compositions.' The Temple of Fame and the Elegy on an Unfortunate Lady, were next published; and in 1713 appeared his Windsor Forest, which was chiefly written so early as 1704. The latter was evidently founded on Denham's ' Cooper's Hill,' which it far excels. Pope was, properly speaking, no mere descriptive poet He made the picturesque subservient to views of historical events, or to sketches of life and morals. But most of the 'Windsor Forest' being composed in his earlier years, amidst the shades of those noble woods which he selected for the theme of his verse, there is in this poem a greater display of sympathy with external nature and rural objects than in any of his other works. Tbe lawns and glades of the forest, the russet plains, and blue hills, and even the 'purple dyes' of the 'wild heath,' had struck his young imagination. His account of the dying pheasant is a finished picture—
See I from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy, he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
Ah I what avail his glossy varying dyes,
His purple crest and scarlet-circled eyes;
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold.
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold!
Another fine painting of external nature, as picturesque as any to be found in the purely descriptive poets, is the winter piece, in the 'Temple of Fame'—
So Zambia*! rocks (the beauteous work of frost)
Pope now commenced his translation of the Iliad. At first the gigantic task oppressed him with its difficulty, but he grew more familiar with Homer's images and expressions, and in a short time was able to despatch fifty verses a-day. Great part of the manuscript was written upon the backs and covers of letters, evincing that it was not without reason he was called paper-sparing Pope. The poet obtained a clear sum of £5320, 4s. by this translation: his exclamation—
And thanks to Homer, since I live and thrive,
was, however, scarcely just, if we consider that this large sum was in fact a' benevolence' from the upper classes of society, good-naturedly designed to reward his literary merit The fame of Pope was not advanced in an equal degree with his fortuue by his labours as a translator. The ' fatal facility' of his rhyme, the additional false ornaments which he imparted to the ancient Greek, and his departure from the nice discrimination of character and speech which prevails in Homer, are faults now universally admitted. Cowper (though he failed himself in Homer) justly remarks, that the Iliad and Odyssey in Pope's hands ' have no more the air of antiquity than if he had himself invented them.' The success of the Iliad led to the translation of the Odyssey; but Pope called in his friends Broome and Fcnton as assistants. These two coadjutors translated twelve books, and the notes were compiled by Broome. Fenton received £300, and Broome £500, while Pope had JE2885, 5s. The Homeric labours occupied a period of twelve years—from 1713 to 1725. The improvement of his pecuniary resources enabled the poet to remove from the shades of Windsor Forest to a situation nearer the metropolis. He purchased a lease of a house and grounds at Twickenham, to
1 which he removed with his father and mother, and where he continued to reside during the remainder of his life. This classic spot, which Pope delighted to improve, and where he was visited by ministers of state, wits, poets, and beauties, is now greatly defaced.* Whilst on a visit to Oxford in 1716, Tope
* Pope's house was not large, but sufficiently commodious for the wonts of an English gentleman whose friends vlfilted himself rather than his dwelling, and who were superior to the necessity of stately ceremonials. On one side it fronted to the road, which it closely adjoined; on the other, to a narrow lawn sloping to the Thames. A piece of pleasure-ground, ineluding a garden, was cut oft" by the public road; an awkward and unpoetical arrangement, which the proprietor did his best to improve. After the poet's death, the villa was purchased by Sir William Stanhope, and subsequently by Lord Mendip, who carefully preserved everything connected with it; but, being in 181)7 sold to the Baroness Howe, it was by that lady taken down, that a larger house might be built near its site. Now
(1641), the place is the property of Young, Esq. ; the second
house has bet.ii enlarged into two, and further alterations are contemplated. The grounds have sufTered a complete change since Popo's time, and a monument which he erected to his mother on a hillock at their further extremity has been removed. The only certain remnants of the poet's mansion are the vaults upon which it was built, three in number, the central one being connected with a tunnel, which, passing under the rood, gives admission to the rear grounds, while the
commenced, and probably finished, the most highly poetical and passionate of his works, the Episue from Eloisa to Abelard. The delicacy of the poet in veiling over the circumstances of the story, and at the same time preserving the ardour of Eloisa's passion, the beauty of his imagery and descriptions, the exquisite melody of his versification, rising and falling like the tones of an Eolian harp, as he successively portrays the tumults of guilty love, the deepest penitence, and the highest devotional rapture, have never been surpassed. If less genial tastes and a love of satire withdrew Pope from those fountain-springs of the Muse, it was obviously from no want of power in the poet to display the richest hues of imagination, or the finest impulses of the human mind. The next literary undertaking of our author was an edition of Shakspeare, in which he attempted, with but indifferent success, to establish the text of the mighty poet, and explain his obscurities. In 1733, he published his Essay on Man, being part of a course of moral philosophy in verse which he projected. The 'Essay' is now read, not for its philosophy, but for its poetry. Its metaphysical distinctions are neglected for those splendid passages and striking incidents which irradiate the poem. In lines like the following, he speaks with a mingled sweetness and dignity superior to his great master Dryden:—
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Lo ! the poor Indian, whose untutored mind
Oh Happiness! our being's end and aim,
side ones are of the character of grottos, paved with square bricks, and stuck over with shells. It is curious to find over the central stone of the entrance into the left of these grottos, a large ammonite, and over the other, the piece of hardened clay in which Its cast was left Pope must have regarded these merely as curiosities, or fwur natura, little dreaming of the wonderful talc of the early condition of our globe which they assist In telling. A short narrow piazza in front of the grottos is probably ' the evening colonnade' of the lines on the absence of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. The taste with which Pope laid out his grounds at Twickenham Ifivc acres in all), had a marked effect on English landscape gardening. The Prince of Wales took the design of hiB garden from the poet's ; and Kent, the improver and embellisher of pleasure grounds, received his best lessons from Pope. He aided materially In banishing the stiff formal Dutch style.
Where grows)—where grows it not 1 If Tain our toil,
Pope's future labours were chiefly confined to satire. In 1727 he published, in conjunction with his friend Swift, three volumes of Miscellanies, in prose and verse, which drew down upon the authors a torrent of invective, lampoons, and libels, and ultimately led to the Dunciad, by Pope. This elaborate and splendid satire displays the fertile invention of the poet, the variety of his illustration, and the unrivalled force and facility of his diction; but it is now read with a feeling more allied to pity than admiration—pity that one so highly gifted should have allowed himself to descend to things so mean, and devote the end of a great literary life to the infliction of retributary pain on every humble aspirant in the world of letters. 'I have often wondered,' says Cowper, 'that the same poet who wrote the "Dunciad" should have written these lines—
That mercy I to others show,
Alas for Pope, if the mercy he showed to others was the measure of the mercy he received.' Sir Walter Scott has justly remarked, that Pope must have Buffered the most from these wretched contentions. It is known that his temper was ultimately much changed for the worse. Misfortunes were also now gathering round him. Swift was fast verging on Insanity, and was lost to the world j Atterbury and Gay died in 1732; and next year his venerable mother, whose declining years he had watched with affectionate solicitude, also expired. Between the years 1733 and 1740, Pope published hiB inimitable Epistles, Satires, and Moral Essays, addressed to his friends Bolingbroke, Huthurst, Arbuthnot, &c, and containing the most noble and generous sentiments, mixed up with withering invective and the fiercest denunciations. In 1742 he added a fourth book to the 'Dunciad,' displaying the final advent of the goddess to destroy order and science, and to substitute the kingdom of the dull upon earth. The point of his individual satire, and the richness and boldness of his general design, attest the undiminished powers and intense feeling of the poet Next year Pope prepared a new edition of the four books of the 'Dunciad,' and elevated Colley Cibber to the situation of hero of the poem. This unenviable honour had previously been enjoyed by Theobald, a tasteless critic and commentator on Shakspeare; but in thus yielding to his personal dislike of Cibber, Pope injured the force of his satire. The laureate, as Warton justly remarks, 'with a great stock of levity, vanity, and affectation, had sense, and wit, and humour; and the author of the " Careless Husband" was by no means a proper king of the dunces.' Cibber was all vivacity and conceit—the very reverse of personified dulness,
Sinking from'thought to thought, a vast profound. Political events came in the rear of this accumulated and vehement satire to agitate the last days of Pope.
The anticipated approach of the Pretender led the government to issue a proclamation prohibiting every Roman Catholic from appearing within ten miles of London. The poet complied with the proclamation; and he was soon afterwards too ill to be in town. This 'additional proclamation from the Highest of all Powers,' as he terms his sickness, he submitted to without murmuring. A constant state of excitement, added to a life of ceaseless study and contemplation, operating on a frame naturally delicate and deformed from birth, had completely exhausted the powers of Pope. He complained of his inability to think; yet, a short time before his death, he said, ' I am so certain of the soul's being immortal, that T seem to feel it within me as it were by intuition.' Another of his dying remarks was, ' There is nothing that is meritorious but virtue and friendship; and, indeed, friendship itself is only a part of virtue.' He died at Twickenham on the 30th of May, 1744.
The character and genius of Pope have given rise to abundance of comment and speculation. The occasional fierceness and petulance of his satire cannot be justified, even by the coarse attacks of his opponents, and must be ascribed to his extreme sensibility, to over-indulged vanity, and to a hasty and irritable temper. His sickly constitution debarring him from active pursuits, he placed too high a value on mere literary fame, and was deficient in the manly virtues of sincerity and candour. At the same time he was a public benefactor, by stigmatising the vices of the great, and lashing the absurd pretenders to taste and literature. He was a fond and steady friend; and in all our literary biography, there is nothing finer than his constant undeviating affection and reverence for his venerable parents.
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 smooth the bed of death;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep at least one parent from the sky.
fVofcpue to tiu Satires.
As a poet, it would be absurd to rank Pope with the greatest masters of the lyre; with the universality ot Shakspeare, or the sublimity of Milton. He was undoubtedly more the poet of artificial life and manners than the poet of nature. He was a nice observer and an accurate describer of the phenomena of the mind, and of the varying shades and gradations of vice and virtue, wisdom and folly. He was too fond of point and antithesis, but the polish of the weapon was equalled by its keenness. 'Let us look,' says Campbell,'to the spirit that points his antithesis, and to the rapid precision of his thoughts, and we shall forgive him for being too antithetic and sententious.' His wit, fancy, and good sense, are as remarkable as his satire. His elegance has never been surpassed, or perhaps equalled: it is a combination of intellect, imagination, and taste, under the direction of an independent spirit and refined moral feeling. If he had studied more in the school of nature and of Shakspeare, and less in the school of Horace and Boileau; if he had cherished the frame and spirit in which he composed the ' Elegy' and the 'Eloisa,' and forgot his too exclusive devotion to that which inspired the 'Dunciad,' the world would have hallowed his memory with a still more affectionate and permanent interest than even that which waits on him as one of our most brilliant and accomplished English poets.
Mr Campbell in his 'Specimens'has given an eloquent estimate of the general powers of Pope, with reference to his position as a poet:—' That Pope was neither so insensible to the beauties of nature, nor so indistinct in describing them, as to forget the character of a genuine poet, is what I mean to urge, without exaggerating his picturesqueness. But before speaking of that quality in his writings, I would beg leave to observe, in the first place, that the faculty by which a poet luminously describes objects of art, is essentially the same faculty which enables him to be a faithful describer of simple nature; in the second place, that nature and art are to a greater degree relative terms in poetical description than is generally recollected; and thirdly, that artificial objects and manners are of so much importance in fiction, as to make the exquisite description of them no less characteristic of genius than the description of simple physical appearances. The poet is "creation's heir." He deepens our social interest in existence. It is surely by the liveliness of the interest which he excites in existence, and not by the class of subjects which he chooses, that we most fairly appreciate the genius or the life of life which is in him. It is no irreverence to the external charms of nature to say, that they are not more important to a poet's study than the manners and affections of his species. Nature is the poet's goddess; but by nature, no one rightly understands her mere inanimate face, however charming it may be, or the simple landscapepainting of trees, clouds, precipices, and flowers. Why, then, try Pope, or any other poet, exclusively by his powers of describing inanimate phenomena? Nature, in the wide and proper sense of the word, means life in all its circumstances—nature, moral as well as external. As the subject of inspired fiction, nature includes artificial forms and manners. Richardson is no less a painter of nature than Homer. Homer himself is a minute describer of works of art; and Milton is full of imagery derived from it. Satan's spear is compared to the pine, that makes "the mastof some great ammiralj" and his shield is like the moon, but like the moon artificially seen through the glass of the Tuscan artist. The " spiritstirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, the royal banner, and all the quality, pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war," are all artificial images. When Shakspearc groups into one view the most sublime objects of the universe, he fixes on " the cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples." Those who have ever witnessed the spectacle of the launching of a ship of the line, will perhaps forgive me for adding this to the examples of the sublime objects of artificial life. Of that spectacle I can never forget the impression, and of having witnessed it reflected from the faces of ten thousand spectators. They seem yet before me. I sympathise with their deep and silent expectation, and with their final burst of enthusiasm. It was not a vulgar joy, but an affecting national solemnity. When the vast bulwark sprang from her cradle, the calm water on which she swung majestically round, gave the imagination a contrast of the stormy element in which she was soon to ride. All the days of battle and nights of danger which she had to encounter, all the ends of the earth which she had to visit, and all that she had to do and to suffer for her country, rose in awful presentiment before the mind; and when the heart gave her a benediction, it was like one pronounced on a living being.'
Ye nymphs of Solyma 1 begin the song:
Rapt into future times, the bard begun: A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: The ethereal spirit o'er its leaTes shall move, And on its top descends the mystic Dove. Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower. The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds snail fail; Returning Justice lift aloft her scale; Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend. Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn 1 Oh, spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born 1 See, nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring! See lofty Lebanon his head advance! See nodding forests on the mountains dance 1 See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise, And Cannel's flowery top perfume the skies I Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers; Prepare the way! a God, a God appears! A God, a God! the vocal hills reply; The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. Lo! earth receives him from the bending skies; Sink down, ye mountains; and ye valleys rise; With heads declined, ye cedars homage pay; Be smooth, ye rocks: ye rapid floods, give way! The Saviour comes 1 by ancient bards foretold: Hear him, ye deaf: and all ye blind, behold! He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, And on the sightless eyeball pour the day: Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear, And bid new music charm the unfolding ear: The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, And leap exulting like the bounding roe. No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear; From every face he wipes off every tear. In adamantine chains shall death be bound, And hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care, Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air; Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, By day o'ersees them, and by night protects; The tender lambs he raises in his arms, Feeds from his hand and in his bosom warms; Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, The promised father of the future age. No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes; Nor fields with gleaming steel be covered o'er, The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more: But useless lances into scythes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end. Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun; Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, And the same hand that sowed, shall reap the field The swain in barren deserts with surprise Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise; And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear New falls of water murmuring in his ear. On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. Waste sandy valleys, once perplexed with thorn, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn: To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed, And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead: The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And hannless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake;