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notice, however, was soon in many mouths; and, if I do not forget or inisapprehend Savage's account, Pope, prétending to decline what was not yet offered, left his house for a time, not, I suppose, for any other reason than left he should be thought to stay at home in expectation of an honour which would not be conferred. He was therefore angry at Swift, who represents him as refusing the visits of a Queen, because he knew that what had never been offered, had never been refused.
Beside the general system of morality supposed to be contained in the Essay on Man, it was his intention to write diftin&t poems upon the different duties or conditions of life; one of which is the
Epistle to Lord Bathurst (1733) on the
Into this poem fome incidents are historically thrown, and some known characters are introduced, with others of which it is difficult to say how far they are real or fictitious; but the praise of Kyrl, the Man of Ross, deserves particular examination, who, after a long and ponpous enumeration of his publick works and private charities, is said to have diffused all those blessings from five hundred a year. Wonders are wil. lingly told, and willingly heard. The truth is, that Kyrl was a man of known
integrity, and active benevolence, by whose solicitation the wealthy were perfuaded to pay contributions to his charitable schemes ; this influence he ob:. tained by an example of liberality exerted to the utmost extent of his
power, and was thus enabled to give more than he had. This account Mr. Victor received from the minister of the place, and I have preserved it, that the praise of a good man being made more credible, may be more folid. Narrations of romantick and impracticable virtue will be read with wonder, but that which is unattainable is reconimended in vain ; that good may be endeavoured, it must be shewn to be porfible.
This is the only piece in which the author has given a hint of his religion, by 'ridiculing the ceremony of burning the pope, and by mentioning with some indignation the infcription on the Monument.
When this poem was first published, the dialogue, having no letters of direction, was perplexed and obscure. Pope feems to have written with no very distinct idea; for he calls that an Epiftle to Bathurst, in which Bathurst is introduced as speaking
He afterwards (1734) inscribed to Lord Cobham his Characters of Men, written with close attention to the operations of the mind and modifications of life. In this poem he has endea
voured to establish and exemplify his favourite theory of the Ruling Passion, by which he means an original direction of desire to some particular object, an innate affection which gives all action a determinate and invariable tendency, and operates upon the whole system of life, either openly, or more secretly by the intervention of some accidental or subordinate propension.
Of any passion, thus innate and irrefiftible, the existence may reasonably be doubted. Human characters are by no means constant; men change by change of place, of fortunc, of acquaintance; he who is at one time a lover of pleasure, is at another a lover of money. Those indeed who attain any excel