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public print." Let us join to this what is written by the author of the Rival Modes, the said Mr. James Moore Smith, in a letter to our author himself, who had informed him, a month before that play was acted, Jan. 27, 1726-7, "That these verses, which he had before given him leave to insert in it, would be known for his, some copies being got abroad.” He desires, nevertheless, that "since the lines had been read in his comedy to several, Mr. P. would not deprive it of them," &c. Surely if we add the testimonies of the Lord Bolingbroke, of the lady to whom the said verses were originally addressed, of Hugh Bethel, esq. and others, who knew them as our author's long before the said gentleman composed his play, it is hoped the ingenuous, that affect not error, will rectify their opinion by the suffrage of such honourable personages.
And yet followeth another charge, insinuating no less than his enmity both to Church and State, which could come from no other informer than the said
MR. JAMES MOORE SMITH.
"The Memoirs of a Parish Clerk was a very dull and unjust abuse of a person who wrote in defence of our religion and constitution, and who has been dead many years." This seemeth also most untrue, it being known to divers that these Memoirs were written at the seat of the Lord Harcourt, in Oxfordshire, before that excellent person's (Bishop Burnet) death, and many years before the appearance of that history of which they are pretended to be an abuse. Most true it is that Mr. Moore had such a design, and was himself the man who pressed Dr. Arbuthnot and Mr. Pope to assist him therein; and that he borrowed those Memoirs of our author, when that history came forth, with intent to turn them to such abuse: but being able to obtain from our author but one single hint, and either changing his mind, or
Daily Journal, April 3, 1728.
having more mind than ability, he contented himself to keep the said Memoirs, and read them as his own to all his acquaintance. A noble person there is into whose company Mr. Pope once chanced to introduce him, who well remembereth the conversation of Mr. Moore to have turned upon the "contempt he had for the work of that reverend prelate, and how full he was of a design he declared himself to have of exposing it." This noble person is the Earl of Peterborough.
Here, in truth, should we crave pardon of all the aforesaid right honourable and worthy personages, for having mentioned them in the same page with such weekly riff-raff railers and rhymers, but that we had their ever-honoured commands for the same; and that they are introduced not as witnesses in the controversy, but as witnesses that cannot be controverted; not to dispute, but to decide.
Certain it is, that dividing our writers into two classes, of such who were acquaintance, and of such who were strangers, to our author; the former are those who speak well, and the other those who speak evil of him. Of the first class, the most noble
JOHN DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
sums up his character in these lines:
"And yet so wondrous, so sublime a thing,
So also is he deciphered by the Honourable
"Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose,
* Verses to Mr. P. on his Translation of Homer.
Recorded in like manner, for his virtuous disposition, and gentle bearing, by the ingenious
MR. WALTER HART,
in this apostrophe:
"O! ever worthy, ever crown'd with praise!
The witty and moral satirist,
DR. EDWARD YOUNG,
wishing some check to the corruption and evil manners of the times, calleth out upon our poet to undertake a task so worthy of his virtue:
"Why slumbers Pope, who leads the Muses' train,
in his Epistle on Verbal Criticism:
"Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends his lays;
that delicate and correct imitator of Tibullus, in his Love Elegies, Elegy xiv,
"Now fir'd by Pope and Virtue, leave the age,
And trace the author through his moral page,
in his elegant and philosophical poem of the Seasons;
"Although not sweeter his own Homer sings,
To the same tune also singeth that learned clerk of
MR. WILLIAM BROOME,
"Thus nobly rising in fair Virtue's cause,
From thy own life transcribe th' unerring laws."
In his Poems, printed for B. Lintot.
Universal Passion, Sat. 1.
In his Poems, and at the end of the Odyssey.
And to close all, hear the Reverend Dean of St. Patrick's:
"A soul with every virtue fraught,
1 By patriots, priests, and poets taught:
Whatever Grecian story tells.
A genius for each business fit,
Whose meanest talent is his wit," &c.
Let us now recreate thee by turning to the other side, and shewing his character drawn by those with whom he never conversed, and whose countenances he could not know, though turned against him: first again commencing with the high-voiced and neverenough-quoted
MR. JOHN DENNIS,
who, in his Reflections on the Essay on Criticism, thus describeth him: "A little affected hypocrite, who has nothing in his mouth but candour, truth, friendship, good-nature, humanity, and magnanimity. He is so great a lover of falsehood, that whenever he has a mind to calumniate his contemporaries, he brands them with some defect which is just contrary to some good quality for which all their friends and their acquaintance commend them. He seems to have a particular pique to people of quality, and authors of that rank. He must derive his religion from St. Omer's."-But, in the Character of Mr. P. and his Writings, (printed by S. Popping, 1716) he saith, "Though he is a professor of the worst religion, yet he laughs at it; but that, nevertheless, he is a virulent Papist; and yet a pillar for the Church of England." Of both which opinions
MR. LEWIS THEOBALD
seems also to be; declaring, in MIST's JOURNAL of June 22, 1718, “ That, if he is not shrewdly abused, he made it his business to cackle to both parties in their own sentiments." But as to his pique against people of quality, the same Journalist doth not agree, but saith, (May 3, 1728) "He had, by some means
or other, the acquaintance and friendship of the whole body of our nobility."
However contradictory this may appear, Mr. Dennis and Gildon, in the Character last cited, make it all plain, by assuring us, “That he is a creature that reconciles all contradictions; he is a beast, and a man; a Whig, and a Tory; a writer (at one and the same time) of Guardians and Examiners*: an asserter of liberty, and of the dispensing power of kings; a Jesuitical professor of truth; a base and a foul pretender to candour." So that upon the whole account, we must conclude him either to have been a great hypocrite, or a very honest man; a terrible imposer upon both parties, or very moderate to either.
Be it as to the judicious reader shall seem good, Sure it is he is little favoured of certain authors whose wrath is perilous: for one declares he ought to have a price set on his head, and to be hunted down as a wild beast another protests that he does not know what may happen; advises him to insure his person; says he has bitter enemies, and expressly declares it will be well if he escapes with his life. One desires he would cut his own throat, or hang himself. But Pasquin seemed rather inclined it should be done by the government, representing him engaged in grievous designs with a Lord of Parliament then under prosecution §. Mr. Dennis himself hath written to a minister, that he is one of the most dangerous persons. in this kingdom; and assureth the public that he is an open and mortal enemy to his country; a monster that will, one day, shew as daring a soul as a mad Indian, who runs a muck to kill the first Christian he meets **. Another gives information of treason
The names of two weekly papers.
Theobald, Letter in Mist's Journal, June 22d, 1728,
Gulliveriana, p. 532.
Preface to Remarks on the Rape of the Lock, p 12, and in the
last page of that treatise.