Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

pect; but, I assure you, if you freely mark or dash out, I shall look upon your blots to be its greatest beauties : I mean, if Mr. Addison and yourself should like it in the whole; otherwise the trouble of correction is what I would not take, for I was really so diffident of it as to let it lie by me these *two years, just as you now see it. I am afraid of nothing so much as to impose any thing on the world which is unworthy of its acceptance.

As to the last period of your letter, I shall be very ready and glad to contribute to any design that tends to the advantage of mankind, which, I ain sure, all yours do up. I wish I had but as

much

[ocr errors]

papers, be

[ocr errors]

* Hence it appears this poem was written before the author was twenty-two years old.

+ In a subsequent letter to Mr. Addison, Pope says, “ As I “ hope, and would Aatter myself, that you know me and my

thoughts so entirely as never to be mistaken in either, so it is a

pleasure to me that you have guessed so right in regard to the “ author of that GUARDIAN you mentioned.. But I am sorry to “ find it has taken air that I have some hand in those “ cause I writ so very few, as neither to deserve the credit of such

a report with some people, nor the disrepute of it with others. “ An honest Jacobite spoke to me the sense or nonsense of the “ weak part of his party very fairly, that the good people took it “ill of me that I writ with STEELE, though upon never so indife « ferent subjects. This, I know, you will laugh at as well as I “ do; yet I doubt not but many little calumniators, and persons * of sour disposicions, will take occasion hence to be patter me. I confess, I scorn narrow souls of all parties, and, if I renounce

my reason in religious matters, I will hardly do it in any other. "s I cannot imagine whence it comes to pass that the few Guar“dians I have written are so generally known for mine : that in

particular which you mention I never discovered to any man

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

much capacity as leisure, for I am perfectly idle (a sign I have not much capacity).

If you will entertain the best opinion of me, be pleased to think me your friend. Affure Mr. Addison of my most faithful service; of every one's eíteem he must be assured already, I am your, &c.

A. POPE.

[ocr errors]

66

LETTER CCCCX.
From Mr. POPE.

Nov. 29, 1772.
AM sorry you published that notion about

Adrian's verses * as mine: had I imagined “ but the publisher, till very lately: yet almost every body told me “ of it. As to his taking a more politic turn, I cannot any way enter « into that secret, nor have I been let into it any more than into " the rest of his politics. Though it is said, he will take into papers

also several subjects of the politer kind, as before : but, I assure you, as to myself, I have quite done with them " for the future. The little I have done, and the great respect I “ bear Mr. Steele as a man of wit, has rendered me a suspected

Whig to some of the violent; but (as old Deryden said before me) it is not the violent I design to please."

* In the Spectator above referred to, p. 337, Steele says, “ “ claim to myself the merit of having extorted excellent pro66 ductions from a person of the greatest abilities, who would not

have let them appeared by any other means; to have animated

a fey young gentlemen into worthy pursuits, who will be a “ glory to our age; and at all times, and by all possible means “ in my power, undermined the interests of ignorance, vice, and “ folly, and attempted to substitute in their stead learning, pie

ety, and good sense. It is from this honest heart, that I find “ myself honoured as a gentleman-usher the Arts and Sci

Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope have, it seems, this idea

The former has written me an excellent paper of “ verses in praise, forsooth, of myself; and the other inclosed 6 for my perusal an admirable poem, which, I hope, will shortly a fec the light."

you

Gences. 66 of me.

you would use my name, I should have exprefsed my sentiments with more modesty and diffidence. I only sent it to have your opinion, and not to publish my own, which I distrusted. But I think the supposition you draw from the notion of Adrian's being addicted to magic, is a little uncharitable (“ that he might fear no sort “ of deity, good or bad”), since, in the third verse, he plainly testifies his apprehension of a future ftate, by being solicitous whither his soul was going. As to what you mention of his using gay and ludicrous expressions, I have owned my opinion to be, that the expressions are not so, but that diminutives are as often, in the Latin tongue, used as marks of tenderness and concern.

Anima is no more than “niy foul,” animula has the force of “my dear soul.” To say virgo bella is not half so endearing as virguncula bellula ; and had Augustus' only called Horace lepidum hominem, it had amounted to no more than that he thought him a “pleasant fellow :" it was the homunciolum that expressed the love and tenderness that great Emperor had for him. And perhaps I should myself be much better pleased, if I were told you called me “ your little “ friend,” than if you complimented me with the title of “ a great genius,” or “ an eminent “ hand,” as Jacob * does all his authors. I am

A. Pope. * Jacob Tonson,

LETTER

3

your, &c.

2 3

LETTER CCCCXI.

To Mr. POPE.

Dec. 4, 1712

THI

HIS is to defire of you that you would

please to make an ode as of a chearful dying spirit; that is to say, the Emperor Adrian's animula vagula,put into +wo or three stanzas for music. If you comply with this, and send me word so, you will very particularly oblige

RICHARD STEELE.

your, &c.

L E T T E R CCCCXII.

From Mr. POPE.

Dec. ... 1712.

I

DO, not send you word I will do, but have

already done the thing you desire of me. You have it (as Cowley calls it) juft warm from the brain. It came to me the firft moment I waked this morning: yet, you will see, it was not so absolutely inspiration *, but that I had in my head not only the verses of Adrian, but the fine fragment of Sappho, &c. The DYING CHRISTIAN to his Soul. ODE.

Vital spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, oh quit this mortal frame :
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
Oh the pain, the bliss of dying !

Ceafe, fond Nature, cease thy strife, And let me languish into life. * It has been suggested, that some part of what is here ascribed to inspiration, and said to have come warm from Pope's heart, dropt originally from the pen of Flatman.

Hark!

Hark! they whisper; Angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my fight,

Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be Death?
The world recedes; it disappears !
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears

With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount ! I fly !
O Grave! where is thy victory?

O Death! where is thy fting?

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

A entertain its readers in general, without

giving offence to any particular person, it would be difficult to find out so proper a patron for it

* Prefixed to the third volume of “ The Spectator."

+ Youngest son of Charles Lord Clifford. He was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer to King William in March 1701; was much esteemed by that prince ; and continued in that post till Feb. 12, 1707-8, when he was made one of the principal Secretaries of State, in which station he remained till Sept. 20, 1710. On the acceffion of George I. Mr. Boyle was created Lord Carleton, and soon after made President of the Council. He died unmarried, March 14, 1724-5. To the kindness of Mr. Boyle, and the friendship of Lord Halifax, Mr. Addison was indebted for his first introduction to Lord Godolphin. See Budgell, p. 153. 24

as

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »