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therefore please, if not by favouring them, by forbearing to oppose them.
To charge those favourable representations, which every man gives of himself, with the guilt of hypocritical falshood, would shew more severity than knowledge. The writer commonly believes himself. Almost every man's thoughts, while they are general, are fight;
and most hearts are pure, while temptation is away. "It is easy to awaken generous sentiments in privacy; to despise death when there is no danger; to glow with benevolence when there is nothing to be given. While such ideas are formed they are felt, and self-love does not suspect the gleam of virtue to be the meteor of fancy,
If the Letters of Pope are considered merely as compositions, they seem to be premeditated and artificial. It is one thing to write because there is something which the mind wishes to difcharge, and another, to solicit the imagination because ceremony or vanity Tequires something to be written. Pope confesses his early Letters to be vitiated with affectation and ambition: to know whether he disentangled himself from these perverters of epiftolary integrity, his book and his life must be set in comparison
One of his favourite topicks is contenipt of his own poetry. For this, if it had been real, he would deserve no commendation, and in this he was
certainly not.fincere ; for his high value of himself was sufficiently observed, and of what could he be proud but of his poetry? He writes, he says, when he .bas just - nothing else to do.; yet Swift .complains that he was never at leisure for conversation, because he had always fome poetical scheme in his head. It was punctually required that his writing-box Thould be set upon his bed before he rose; and Lord Oxford's domestick reJated, that, in the dreadful winter of Forty, she was called from her bed by him four times in one night, to supply him with paper, lest he should lose a thought.
He pretends insensibility to censure and criticism, though it was observed by all who knew him that every pamphlet disturbed his quiet, and that his extreme irritability laid him open to perpetual vexation; but he wished to despise his criticks, and therefore hoped that he did despise them.
As he happened to live in two reigns when the Court paid little attention to poetry, he nursed in his mind a foolish disesteem of Kings, and proclaims that he never sees Courts. Yet a little regard fhewn him by the Prince of Wales melted his obduracy; and he had not
much to say when he was asked by his ; Royal Highness, how he could love a Prince while he difliked Kings?
He very frequently professes conteinpt of the world, and represents himself as looking on mankind, sometimes with gay indifference, as on emmets of a hillock, below his serious attention.; and fometimes with gloomy indignation, as on monsters more worthy of hatred than of pity. These were dispositions apparently counterfeited. How could he despise those whom he lived by pleasing, and on whose approbation his esteem of himself was superstructed? Why should he hate those to whose favour he owed his honour and his ease? Of things that terminate in human life, the world is the proper judge; to despise its fentence, if it were poffible, is not just; and if it were just, is not possible. Pope was far enough from this unreasonable temper; he was sufficiently a fool to