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eth, Mr. Wycherley had before 'introduced him into a familiar acquaintance with the greatest peers and brightest wits then living.'
No sooner (saith the same journalist) was his body lifeless, but this author, reviving his resentment, libel. led the memory of his departed friend; and what was still more heinous, made the scandal public.' Griev. ous the accusation! unknown the accuser! the person accused no witness in his own cause; the person, in whose regard accused, dead! But if there be liv. ing any one nobleman whose friendship, yea any one gentleman whose subscription Mr. Addison procured to our author, let him stand forth, that truth may appear! Amicus Plato, amicus Socrates, sed magis amica veritas. In verity, the whole story of the libel is a lie; witness those persons of integrity, who several years before Mr. Addison's decease, did see and approve of the said verses, in no wise a libel, but a friendly rebuke sent privately in our author's own hand to Mr. Addison himself, and never made public, till after their own Journals, and Curll had printed the same.
One name alone, which I am here au. thorized to declare, will sufficiently evince this truth, that of the right honourable the earl of Burlington.
Next is he taxed with a crime (in the opinion of some authors, I doubt, more heinous than any in morality,) to wit, plagiarism, from the inventive and quaint-conceited
James Moore Smith, Gent. • Upon reading the third volume of Pope's Miscellanies, I found five lines which I thought excellent; and happening to praise them, a gentleman produced a modern comedy (the Rival Modes) published last year, where were the same verses to a titile.
*These gentlemen are undoubtedly the first plagia. ries, that pretend to make a reputation by stealing froin a man's works in his own life-time, and out of a
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 reotify their opinion by the suffrage of so ho. nourable 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 (bishop Burnet’s) 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 bor. rowed those memoirs of our author, when that history came forth, with intent to turn them to such abuse
1 Daily Journal, March 18, 1728.
But being able to obtain from our author but one sin gle hint, and either changing his mind, or 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 ex. posing it.' This noble person is the earl of Peter. borough.
Here in truth should we crave pardon of all the foresaid 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 controvertcd; 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,
Can all desert in sciences exceed."
1 Verses to Mr. P. on his translation of BedA.
The Hon. Simon Harcourt. "Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose, What laurell’d arch, for thy triumphant muse? Though each great ancient court thee to his shrine, Though every laurel through the dome be thine, Go to the good and just, an awful train! Thy soul's delight
Recorded in like manner for his virtuous disposi. tion, and gentle bearing, by the ingenious
Mr. Walter Hart, in this apostrophe:
"Oh! ever worthy, ever crown'd with praise :
Views with just scorn the malice of mankind.'?
Dr. Edward Young, wishing some check to the corruption and evil man: ners of the times, calleth out upon our poet to under. take a task so worthy of his virtue:
Why slumbers Pope, who leads the Muses' train, Nor hears that virtue, which he loves, complain ?'3
Mr. Mallet, in his epistle on Verbal Criticism :
•Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends his lays : For wit supreme, is but his second praise.'
Mr. Hammond, hat delicate and correct imitator of Tibullus, in his Love Elegies, Elegy xiv.
1 Poem prefixed to his works.
Now fired by Pope and virtue, leave the age
In low pursuit of self-undoing wrong,
Mr. Thomson, in his elegant and phil ical poem the Seasons :
* Although not sweeter his own Homer sings,
Yet is his life the more endearing song.' To the same tune also singeth that learned clerk, of Suffolk,
Mr. William Broome: "Thus, nobly rising in fair virtue's cause, From thy own life transcribe the unerring laws.”
And, to close all, hear the reverend dean of St. Patrick's :
• A soul with every virtue fraught,
Whose meanest talent is his wit,' &c. Let us now recreate thee by turning to the other side, and showing 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 was just con
1 In his poems at the end of the Odyssey.