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He could now claim in right a position among the prominent writers of the day, and whatsoever escaped from his pen was sure to demand attention ; and he began to plan bolder attempts, and shortly afterward he commenced a translation of the “Iliad," proposing to publish it by subscription, in six quarto volumes, at six guineas a volumea price almost unprecedented. At this time his age was not more than twenty-five, and in five years he completed the translation, together with the notes. For this performance his net receipts were five thousand three hundred and twenty pounds four shillings-certainly a respectable living, when considered with the emoluments continually flowing in from other sources. With this, by the purchase of annuities, he secured himself from want for the remainder of his life. The original manuscript of the “Iliad” is now in the British Museum. Its publication and success created for him many jealous and envious enemies, but he cared little for their spleen, and was less affected by their malice. After this he undertook, in company with Broome and Fenton, a translation of the “Odessey”-twelve books of which were Pope's, and the notes by Broome. In 1728 he published his great satirical poem of the Dunciad, “one of his greatest and most elaborate performances, in which he endeavored to sink into contempt all the writers by whom he had been attacked, and some others whom he thought unable to defend themselves.” It may be considered one of the most completely finished satires in the language.
In 1733 he published his “Essay on Man,” at this day the most popular of his works, but in his own time received with a deal of mistrust; but it found an able defender in Warburton, a writer of vigorous faculties and eminent learning. It has now, however, a world-wide reputation, and perhaps no poem is oftener quoted from, or more admired for its elegance of diction and easy flow of numbers.
His health, naturally delicate, now began to decline, and with the ills of the body came petulancy of mind. He quarrelled with many of his warmest friends, and seemed to grow distrustful of all who approached him ; and, from his irrascibility of temper, believed himself entitled to more consideration and attention than he actually received. Latterly he needed the assistance of an attendant to dress and undress; and he became so weak as to be extremely sensible to cold, wearing a fur doublet next his skin, and a boddice of stiff canvas around his waist to enable him to hold himself erect. He kept writing materials always at the head of his bed, lest, as ho expressed it, “he should lose a thought.”
We have not sp in this small volume to say a tenth part of what would be interesting in the life of this eminent poet, else we might go on ad infinitum, to the end. We shall profess to give but a rude outline of the lives of such authors as we have thought proper to select from, presuming that the reader, if he chooses, will seek for details in more ample biographies.
Pope died on the evening of the 30th of May, 1744, “so placidly that the attendants did not discern the exact time of his expiration." He was buried at Twickenham and a monument erected to him by the Bishop of Gloucester.
AN ESSAY ON MAN.
TO H. ST. JOIN, LORD BOLINGBROKE.
ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST EPISTLE. Of the Nature and State of Man with respect to the Uni
verse.-Of Man in the abstract.-That we can judge only with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things. That Man is not to be deemed imperfect, but a Being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable to the general order of things, and conformable to Ends and Relations to him unknown. That it is partly upon his ignorance of future events, and partly upon a liope of a future state, that all his happiness in the present depends. The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to 31 ore perfection, the cause of Man's crror and misery: The ini picty of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection. justice or injustice, of his dispensations.--'i he aleurdity of conceiting himself the final use of the crcation, or expecting that perfeetion in the moral world which is not in the natural. -The unreasonable. ness of iris complaints against Providence, while on the one hand le demands the perfections of the Angels, and on the other the Lodily qualifications of the Brutus; though to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a bi her degree would render him miserable.--That throughout the whole visable world an univerzal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observod, which eauses a subordination of creature to creaturc, and of all creatures to Man. The gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reflection, reason: that Rea. so2 alone countervails all other faculties. How much further this order and subordination of living creatures enay extend, above and below us; were any part of which bruken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation, must be destroyed.-The extravagance, madness, and pride of such a desire.-The consequence of all the absolute gubmission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state.