صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The fourth volume contains the Satires, with their Prologue, the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot; and F.pilogue, the two poems entitled mdccxxxvii. The Prologue and Epilogue are here given with the like advantages as the Ethic Epistles in the foregoing volume, that is to say, with the variations, or additional verses, from the author's manuscripts. The Epilogue to the Satires is likewise enriched with many and large notes, now first printed from the author's own manuscript.

The fifth volume contains a correcter and completer edition of the Dunciad than hath been hitherto published ; of which, at present, I have only this further to add, that it was at my request he laid the plan of a fourth book. I often told him, it was a pity 60 fine a poem should remain disgraced by the meanness of its subject, the most insignificant of all dunces, bad rhymers, and malevolent cavillers; that he ought to raise and ennoble it, by pointing his satire against the most pernicious of all, minute-philosophers and free-thinkers. I imagined too, it was for the interest of religion, to have it known, that so great a genius had a due abhorrence of these pests of virtue and society. He came readily into my opinion ; but, at the same time, told me it would create him many enemies: he was not mistaken; for, though the terrour of his pen kept them for some time in respect, yet on his death they rose with unrestrained fury, in numerous coffee-house tables, and Grub-street libels: The. plan of this admirable satire was artfully contrived to show, that the follies and defects of a fashionable education naturally led to, and necessarily ended in, free-thinking; with design to point out the only remedy adequate to so fatal an evil. It was to advance the same ends of virtue and religion; that the editor prevailed on him to alter every thing in his moral writings that might be suspected of having the least glance towards fate, or naturalism; and to add what was proper to convince the world, that he was warmly on the side of moral government and a revealed will: and it would be injustice to his memory not to declare, that he embraced these occasions with the most unfeigned pleasure.

The sixth volume consists of Mr. Pope's Miscellaneous Pieces, in verse and prose'. Amongst the verse several fine poems make now their appearance in his works: and of the prose, all that is good, and nothing but what is exquisitely so, will be found in this edition,

The seventh, eighth, and ninth volumes, consist entirely of his Letters; the more valuable, as they are the only true models which we, or perhaps any of our neighbours have, of familiar epistles. This collection is now made more complete by the addition of several new pieces. Yet, excepting a short explanatory letter to Col. M. and the letters to Mr. A. and Mr. W. (the latter of which are given to show the editor's inducements, and the engagements he was under, to intend the care of this edition) excepting these, I say, the rest are all published from the author's own printed, though not published, copies, delivered to the editor.

On the whole, the advantages of this edition, above the preceding, are these : That it is the first complete collection which has ever been made of his original writings ; that all his principal poems, of early or later date, are here given to the public with his last corrections and improvements; that a, great number of his verses are here first printed from the manuscript copies of his principal poems of later date; that many new notes of the author's are here added to bis poems; and lastly, that several pieces, both in prose and verse, make now their first appearance before the public.

The author's life deserves a just volume ; and the editor intends to give it. For to have been one of the first poets in the world is but his second praise. He was in a higher class : he was one of the noblest works of God: he was an honest man?; a man who alone possessed more real virtue than, in very corrupt times, needing a satirist like him, will sometimes fall to the share of multitudes. In this history of his life, will be contained a large account of his writings; critique on the nature, force, and extent of his genius, exemplified from these writings; and a vindication of his moral character, exemplified by his more distinguished virtues; his filial piety, his disinterested friendship, his reverence for the constitution of his country, his love and dmiration of virtue, and (what was the necessary effect) his hatred and contempt of vice, his extensive charity to the indigent, his warm benevolence to mankind, his supreme veneration of the deity, and, above all, his sincere belief of revelation. Nor shall his faults be concealed ; it is not for the interest of his virtues that they

• The prose is not within the plan of tliis edition.
a A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod;
Ao honest man 's the noblest work of Goch

should: nor indeed could they be concealed, if we were so minded; for they shine through his virtues, no man being more a dupe to the specious appearances of virtue in others. In a word, I mean not to be his pmegyrist, but his historian. And may I, when envy and calumny take the same advantage of my absence, (for, while I live, I will freely trust it to my life to confute them) may I find a friend as careful of my honest faine às I have been of his ! Together with his works, he hath bequeathed me his Dunces ; so that, as the property is' transferred, I could wish they would now let his memory alone. The veil which death draws over the good is so sacred, that to throw dirt upon the shrine scandalizes even barbarians. And though Rome permitted her slaves to calumniate her best citizens on the day of triumph, yet the same petulancy at their funeral would have been rewarded with execration and a gibbet. The public may be malicious, but is rarely vindictive or ungenerous. It would abhor these insults on a writer dead, though it had borne with the ribaldry, or even set the ribalds on work, when he was alive. And in this there was no great harm; for he inust have a strange impotency of mind whom such miserable scribblers can rume. Of all that gross Baotian phalanx who have written scurrilously against me, I know not so much as one whoin a writer of reputation would not wish to have his enemy, or whom a man of honour would not be ashamed to own for his friend. I am indeed but slightly conversant in their works, and know little of the particulars of their defamation. To my authorship they are heartily welcome: but if any of them have been so abandoned by truth as to attack my moral character in any instance whatsoever, to all and every one of these, and their abettors, I give the lye in forin, and in the words of honest Father Velerian, Mentiris impudentissime.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]






[ocr errors]

Ix those more dull, as more censorious days,

Hail! sacred bard! a Muse unknown before When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,

Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic shore. A Muse sincere, that never flattery knew,

To our dark world thy shining page is shown, Pays what to friendship and desert is due.

And Windsor's gay retreat becomes our own. Young, yet judicious ; in your verse are found,

The eastern pomp had just bespoke our care, Art strengther ag Nature, sense improv'd by sound.

And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here: Unlike those wits, whose numbers glide along

A various spoil adorn'd our naked land, So smooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song;

The pride of Persia glitter'd on our strard,

And China's earth was cast on common sand: Laboriously enervate they appear, And write not to the head, but to the ear:

Toss'd up and down the glossy fragments lay, (bay, Our minds unmov'd and unconcern'd they lull,

And dress'd the rocky shelves, and pav'd the painted And are at best most musically dull :

Thy treasures next arriv'd: and now we boast So purling streams with even murmurs creep,

A nobler cargo on our barren coast : And hush the heavy hearers into sleep.

From thy luxuriant forest we receive As smoothest speech is most deceitful found,

More lasting glories than the East can give. 'The smoothest numbers oft are empty sound.

Where'er we dip in thy delightful page, But wit and judgment join at once in you,

What pompous scenes our busy thoughts engage! Sprightly as youth, as age consummate too:

The pompous scenes in all their pride appear, Your strains are regularly bold, and please

Fresh in the page, as in the grove they were : With unforc'd care, and unaffected ease,

Nor half so true the fair Lodona shows With proper thoughts, and lively images;

The sylvan state that on her border grows, Such as by Nature to the ancients shown,

While she the wondering shepherd entertains

With a new Windsor in her watery plains;
Fancy improves, and judgment makes your own :
Forgreat men's fashions to be follow'd are,

The juster lays the lucid wave surpass,
Although disgraceful 'tis their cloaths to wear.

The living scene is in the Muse's glass. Some, in a polish'd stylo write pastoral ;

Nor sweeter notes the echoing forests cheer,

When Philomela sits and warbles there,
Arcadia speaks the language of the Mall.
Like some fair shepherdess, the sylvan Muse

Than when yon sing the greens and opening glades, Should wear those flowers her native fields produce; A Titian's hand might draw the grove; but you.

And give us harmony as well as shades :
And the true measure of the shepherd's wit
Should, like his garb, be for the country fit:

Can paint the grove, and add the music too.
Yet must his pure and unarleeted thought

With vast variety thy pages shine ;
More nicely than the common svain's be wrought ; | How suulden trees rise to the reader's sight,

A new creation starts in every line.
So, with becoming art, the players dress
In silks the shepherd, and the shepherdess;

And make a doubtful scene of shade and light, Yet still unchang'd the form and mode remain,

And give at once the day, at once the night! Shap'd like the homely russet of the swain.

And here again what sweet confusion reigns, Your rural Muse appears to justify

In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains ! The long lost graces of simplicity :

And see! the deserts cast a pleasing gloom, So rural beauties captivate onr sense

And shrubby heaths rejoice in purple blooin ; With virgin charms, and native excellence :

Whilst fruitful crops rise by their barren side, Yet long her modesty those charms conceal'd,

And bearded groves display their annual pride. Till by men's envy to the world revealed;

Happy the man who strings his tuneful lyre For wits industrious to their trouble seem,

Where woods, and brooks, and breathing fields inAnd needs will envy what they must esteem.

Thrice happy you! and worthy best to dwell (spire! Live, and enjoy their spite! 'nor mourn that fate, Arnidst the rural joys you sing so well. Which would, if Virgil liv'd, on Virgil wait;

I in a cold, and in a barren clime, Whose Muse did once, like thine, in plains relight; Cold as my thought, and barren as my rhyme, Thine shall, like his soon take a higher fight :

Here on the Western beach attempt to chine. So larks, which first fron lo xly fiel'is arise,

O jovless food ! O rough tempestuous main !

Border'd with weeds, and solitudes obscene! Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.

Snatch me, ye gods! from these Atlantic shores, W. WYCHERLEY.

And shelter me in Windsor's fragrant bowers;


Or to my much-lov'd Isis' walk convey,

Then let us find in your foregoing page, And on her flowery hanks for ever lay.

The celebrating poems of the age; Thence let me view the venerable scene,

Nor by injurious scruples think it fit, The awful dome, the groves eternal grec, To hide their judgments who applaud your wit : Where sacred Hough long found his fam'd retreat, But let their pens, to yours, the heralds prove, And brought the Muses to the sylvan seat; Who strive for you, as Greece foș Homer strove ; Reform'd the wits, unlock'd the classic store, Whilst he who best your poetry asserts, And made that music which was noise before. Asserts his own, by sympathy of parts. There with illustrious bards I spent my days, Me panegyric verse does not inspire, Not free from censure, nor unknown to praise; Who never well can praise what I admire, Enjoy'd the blessings that his reign bestow'd, Nor in those lofty trials dare appear, Nor envy'd Windsor in the soft abode.

But gently drop this counsel in your ear : The golden minutes smoothly danc'd away, Go on, to gain applauses by desert; And tuneful bards beguild the terlious day: Inform the head, whilst you dissolve the heart : They sung, nos sung in vain, with numbers fir'd Inflame the soldier with harmonious rage, That Maro taught, or Addison inspir’d.

Elate the young, and gravely warm the sage ; Ev'n I essay'd to touch the trembling string : Allure, with tender verse, the female race; Who could hear them, and not attempt to sing? And give their darling passion, courtly grace ;

Rous d from these dreams by thy commanding Describe the forest still in rural strains, I rise and wander through the field or plain; (strain, With vesnal sweets fresh-breathing from the plains Led by thy Muse, from sport to sport I run, Your tales be easy, natural, and gay, Mark the stretch'd line, or hear the thundering gun. Nor all the poet in that part display; Ah! how I melt with pity, when I spy

Nor let the critic there his skill unfold, On the cold earth the Auttering pheasant lie! For Boccace thus and Chaucer tales have told : His gaudy robės in dazzling lines appear,

Sooth, as you only can, each different taste, And every feather shines and varies there.

And for the future charm us in the past.
Nor can I pass the generous courser by; Then, should the verse of every artful hand
But while the prancing steed allures my eye, Before your numbers eminently stand,
He starts, he's gone ! and now I see him fly In you no ranity could thence be shown,
O'er hills and dales; and now I lose the course,

Unless, since short in beauty of your own,
Nor can the rapid sight pursue the flying horse. Some envious scribbler might in spite declare,
Oh, could thy Virgil from his Orb look down, That for comparison you plac'd them there.
He'd view a courser that might match his own ! But Envy could not against you succeed :
Fir'd with the sport, and eager for the chaşe, 'Tis not from friends that write, or foes that read;
Lodona's murmurs stop me in the race.

Censure or praise must from ourselves proceed.
Who can refuse Lodona's melting tale?
The soft complaint shall over Timne prevail ;
The tale be told when shades forsake her shore,
The nymph be sung when she can flow no more.

Nor shall the song, oid Thames! forbear to shine,
At once the subject and the song divine,

Peace, sung by thee, shall please ev'n Britons more
Than all their shouts for victory before.

O Pope! by what commanding wondrous art Oh! could Britannia imitate thy stream,

Dost thou each passion to each breast impart? The world should tremble at her awful name


Our beating hearts with sprightly measures move, From various springs divided waters glide,

Or melt us with 'a tale of hapless love ! In different colours roll a different tide,

Th'elated mind's impetuous starts controul, Murmur along their crooked banks a while, Or gently sooth to peace the troubled soul At once they murmur and enrich the isle; Graces till now that singly met our view, A while distinct through many channels run, And singly charın'd, unite at once in you ; But meet at last, and sweetly now in one ; A style polite, from affectation free, There joy to lose their long-distinguish'd names, Virgil's correctness, Homer's majesty! And make one glorious and immortal Thames. Soft Waller's ease, with Milton's vigour wrought,


And Spencer's bold luxuriancy of thought.
In each bright page, strength, beauty, genius shing,
While nervous judgment guides each flowing line.

No borrow'd tinsel glitters o'er these lays,

And to the mind a false delight conveys :

Throughout the whole with blended power is found, BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

The weight of sense, and elegance of sound: ANNE COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEĄ.

A lavish fancy, wit, and force, and fire,

Graces each motion of th' immortal lyre. Tue Muse, of every heavenly gift allow'd The matchless strains our ravish'd senses charın : To be the chief, is public, though not proud. How great the thought! the images how warm ! Widely extensive iş the poet's aim,

How bcautifully just the turns appear ! And in each verse he draws a bill on Pame.

The language how majestically clear ! For none have wit (whatever they pretend) With energy divine each period swells, Singly to raise a patron or a friend;

And all the bard th' inspiring god reveals. But whatsoe'er the theme or object be,

Lost in delights, my dazzled eyes I turn, Some commendations to themselves foresee. Where Thames leans boery o'er his ample um i


« السابقةمتابعة »