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The indulgence and accommodation which his fickness required, had taught him all the unpleasing and unsocial qualities of a valetudinary man. He expected that every thing should give way to his ease or humour, as a child, whose parents will not hear her cry, has an unresisted dominion in the nursery.
C'est que l'enfant toujours est homme,
C'est que l'homme est toujours enfant. When he wanted to sleep, he nodded in company; and once slumbered at his own table, while the Prince of Wales was talking of poetry.
The reputation which his friendship gave, procured him many invitations ; but he was a very troublesome inmatc. He brought no servant, and had so many P
wants, that a numerous attendance was scarcely able to supply them. Whereever he was, he left no room for another, because he exacted the attention and employed the activity of the whole family. His errands were so frequent and frivolous, that the footmen in time. avoided and neglected him; and the Earl of Oxford discharged fome of the fervants for their refolute refusal of his messages. The maids, when they had neglected their business, alleged that they had been employed by Mr. Pope. One of his constant demands was of coffee in the night, and to the woman that waited on him in his chamber he was very burthensome; but he was careful to recompense her want of sleep;
and Lord Oxford's servant declared, that in a house where her business was to answer his call, she would not ask for wages.
He had another fault, easily incident to those who, suffering much pain, think themselves entitled to whatever pleasures they can snatch. He was too indulgent to his appetite; he loved meat highly seasoned and of strong taste; and, at the intervals of the table, amused himself with biscuits and dry conserves. If he sat down to a variety of dishes, he would oppress his stomach with repletion, and though he seemed angry when a dram was offered him, did not forbear to drink it. His friends, who knew the avenues to his heart, pampered him with presents of luxury, which he did not suffer to stand neglected. The death of great men is not always proportioned to the lustre of their lives. Hannibal, says Juvenal, did not perish by a javelin or a sword; the slaughters of Cannæ - were revenged by a ring. The death of Pope was imputed by some of his friends to a silver saucepan, in which it was his delight to heat potted lampreys.
That he loved too well to eat, is certain; but that his sensuality shortened his life will not be hastily concluded, when it is remembered that a conformation so irregular lasted fix and fifty years, notwithstanding such pertinacious diligence of study and meditation.
In all his intercourse with mankind, he had great delight in artifice, and endeavoured to attain all his purposes by indirect and unsuspected methods. He hardly drank tea zvithout a stratagem. If, at the house of his friends, he wanted any accommodation, he was not willing to ask for it in plain terms, but would mention it remotely as something convenient; though, when it was procured, he foon made it appear for whose fake it had been recommended. Thus he teized Lord Orrery till he obtained a screen. He practised his arts on such small oc. casions, that Lady Bolingbroke used to say, in a French phrase, that he plaid the politician about cabbages and turnips. His unjustifiable impression of the Patriot