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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 was just contrary to some “ good quality, for which all their friends and acquaint“ ance commend them. He seems to have a particular
pique to People of quality, and authors of that rank, “-He mult derive his religion from St. Omer's."But in the Character of Mr. P. and his writings, (printed by S. Popping, 1716) he faith, “Though 6 he is a professor of the worst religion, yet he laughs “ at it ;" but that, “ nevertheless, he is a virulent Pa“ pist; and yet a Pillar for the Church of England.” Of both which opinions
Mr. LEWIS THEOBALD seems also to be; declaring, in Mil's Journal of June 22, 1718, “ That, if he is not shrewdly abused, he " made it his practice 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 faith (May 8, 1728) “ He had, by some means or “ other, the acquaintance and iriendship of the whole 66 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 res conciles all contradictions : he is a beast, and a man ;
" a Whig,
“ a Whig, and a Tory; a writer (at one and the same “ time) of & Guardians and Examiners ; an Affertor « of liberty, and of the difpensing power of Kings; a “ Jesuitical profeffor of truth; a base and a foul
pre“ tender 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 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 k. Another protests that he does not know what may happen; advises him to ensure his person; says he has bitter enemies, and expressly declares it will be well if he escapes with his life i. One defires he would cut his own throat, or hang himself k. 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 m; 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 foul as a mad Indian, who runs a muck to kill
& The Names of two weekly Papers. h Theobald, Letter in Mift's Journal, June 22, 1728.
k Guli Smedley, Pref. to Gulliveriana, p. 14. 16. liveriana, p. 332
1 Anno 1723
m Anno 1729
the first Christian he meets n. Another gives information of Treason discovered in his poem , Mr. Curll boldly supplies an imperfect verse with Kings and Princeffes p. And one Matthew Concanen, yet more impudent, publishes at length the Two moft SACRED Names in this Nation, as members of the Dunciadą!
This is prodigious! yet it is almost as strange, that in the midst of these invectives his greatest Enemies have (I know not how) borne testimony to some merit in him.
Mr. THEOBALD, in censuring his Shakespeare, declares, "He has so great “ an esteem for Mr. Pope, and so high an opinion of “his genius and excellencies; that, notwithstanding he “ professes a veneration almost rising to Idolatry for the “ writings of this inimitable poet, he would be very “ loth even to do him justice, at the expence of that “ other gentleman's character."
Mr. CHARLES GILDON, after having violently attacked him in many pieces, at laft came to wish from his heart, “ That Mr. Pope
n Preface to Rem. on the Rape of the Lock, p. 12. and in the last page of that treatise.
o Page 6, 7. of the Preface, by Concanen, to a book intitled, A Collection of all the Letters, Essays, Verses, and Advertisements, occasioned by Pope and Swift's Miscellanies. Printed for A. Moore, octavo, 1712.
p Key to the Dunciad, 3d edit. p. 18.
9 A Lift of Perfons, &c. at the end of the forementioned Collection of all the Letters, Essays, &c.
r Introduction to his Shakespeare Restored, in quarto, P• 3
" would be prevailed upon to give us Ovid's Epistles “ by his hand, for it is certain we see the original of
Sappho to Phaon with much more life and likeness “ in his version, than in that of Sir Car Scrope. And “ this (he adds) is the more to be wished, because in “ the English tongue we have scarcely any thing truly “ and naturally written upon Love s.” He also, in taxing Sir Richard Blackmore for his heterodox opinions of Homer, challengeth him to answer what Mr. Pope hath said in his preface to that Poet.
Mr. OLDMIXON calls him a great master of our tongue; declares “ the " purity and perfection of the English language to be “ found in his Homer; and, saying there are more "good verses in Dryden's Virgil than in any other “ work, except this of our author only."
The Author of a Letter to Mr. CIBBER, says, Pope was so good a versifier Conce] that, his
predecessor Mr. Dryden, and his contemporary Mr. « Prior excepted, the harmony of his numbers is equal “ to any body's. And, that he had all the merit, that a man can have that way." And
Mr. THOMAS Cooke, after much blemishing our author's Homer, crieth out,
" But in his other works what beauties shine, " While sweetest Music dwells in every line !
s Commentary on the Duke of Buckingham's Essay, octavo, 1721, p. 97, 98.
? In his profe Essay on Criticism.
- These he admir'd, on these he stamp'd his praise,
“ And bade them live to brighten future days W. So also one who takes the name of
“ 'Tis true, if finest notes alone could show
Mist's JOURNAL, June 8, 1728.
The Essay on the Dunciad also owns, p. 25. it is very full of beautiful images. But the panegyric, which crowns all that can be said on this Poem, is bestowed by our Laureate,
Mr. COLLEY CIBBER,
w Battle of the Poets, folio, p. 15.
x Printed under the title of the Progress of Dulness, duodecimo, 1728.