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was pleased to give me. I give and devise my library of printed books to Ralph Allen, of Widcombe, Esq., and to the Reverend Mr. William Warburton, or to the survivor of them (when those belonging to Lord Bolingbroke are taken out, and when Mrs. Martha Blount has chosen threescore out of the number). I also give and bequeath to the said Mr. Warburton the property of all such of my works already printed, as he hath written, or shall write commentaries or notes upon, and which I have not otherwise disposed of, or alienated; and all the profits which shall arise after my death from such editions as he shall publish without future alterations.
Item, In case Ralph Allen, Esq. abovesaid, shall survive me, I order my executors to pay
him the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds, being, to the best of my calculation, the account of what I have received from him; partly for my own, and partly for charitable uses. If he refuses to take this himself, I desire him to employ it in a way, I am persuaded he will not dislike, to the benefit of the Bath hospital.
I give and devise to my sister-in-law, Mrs. Magdalen Racket, the sum of three hundred pounds; and to her sons, Henry and Robert Racket, one hundred pounds each. I also release and give to her all my right and interest in and upon a bond of five hundred pounds due to me from her son Michael. I also give her the family pictures of my father, mother, and aunts, and the
diamond ring my mother wore, and her golden watch. I give to Erasmus Lewis, Gilbert West, Sir Clement Cotterell, William Rolinson, Nathaniel Hooke, Esqrs., and to Mrs. Anne Arbuthnot, to each the sum of five pounds, to be laid out in a ring, or any memorial of me; and to my servant John Searle, who has faithfully and ably served me many years, I give and devise the sum of one hundred pounds over and above a year's wages to himself and his wife; and to the poor of the parish of Twickenham, twenty pounds, to be divided among them by the said John Searle; and it is my will, if the said John Searle die before me, that the said sum of one hundred pounds go to his wife or children.
Item, I give and devise to Mrs. Martha Blount, younger daughter of Mrs. Martha Blount, late of Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, the sum of one thousand pounds immediately on my decease: and all the furniture of my grotto, urns in my garden, household goods, chattels, plate, or whatever is not otherwise disposed of in this my will, I give and devise to the said Mrs. Martha Blount, out of a sincere regard and long friendship for her. And it is my will, that my abovesaid executors, the survivors or survivor of them, shall take an account of all my estate, money, or bonds, etc. and, after paying my debts and legacies, shall place out all the residue upon government or other securities, according to their best judgment: and pay the produce thereof, half-yearly, to the said
Mrs. Martha Blount during her natural life: and, after her decease, I give the sum of one thousand pounds to Mrs. Magdalen Racket, and her sons Robert, Henry, and John, to be divided equally among them, or to the survivors or survivor of them; and after the decease of the said Mrs. Martha Blount, I give the sum of two hundred pounds to the abovesaid Gilbert West: two hundred to Mr. George Arbuthnot; two hundred to his sister, Mrs. Anne Arbuthnot; and one hundred to my servant, John Searle, to which soever of these shall be then living: And all the residue and remainder to be considered as undisposed of, and go to my next of kin.
This is my last will and testament, written with my own hand, and sealed with my seal, this twelfth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty-three.
ALEX. POPE. Signed, sealed, and declared,
by the testator, as his last
University of Oxford.
I AM inclined to think that both the writers of books, and the readers of them, are generally not a little unreasonable in their expectations. The first seem to fancy that the world must approve whatever they produce, and the latter to imagine that authors are obliged to please them at any rate. Methinks, as on the one hand no single man is born with a right of controlling the opinions of all the rest; so, on the other, the world has no title to demand that the whole care and time of any particular person should be sacrificed to its entertainment: therefore I cannot but believe that writers and readers are under equal obligations, for as much fame or pleasure as each affords the other.
Every one acknowledges, it would be a wild notion to expect perfection in any work of man: and yet one would think the contrary was taken for granted, by the judgment commonly passed upon poems. A critic supposes he has done his part if he proves a writer to have failed in an expression, or erred in any particular point; and can it then be wondered at if the poets in general seem resolved not to own themselves in any error?
1 To the miscellaneous Works of Pope, 1717.