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procure him a pension, which, at least during his ministry, might be enjoyed with secrecy. This was not accepted by Pope, who told him, however, that if he should be pressed with want of money, he would fend to him for occasional supplies. Craggs was not long in power, and was never folicited for money by Pope, who dildained to beg what he did not want.
With the product of this subscription, which he had too much discretion to squander, he secured his future life from want, by considerable annuities. The estate of the Duke of Buckingham was found to have been charged with five hundred pounds a year, paya, ble to Pope, which doubtless his translation enabled him to purchase.
The original copy of the “ fliad” was obtained by Lord Boling broke as a curiosity, from whom it descended to Mr. Mallet, and is now, by the solicitation of the late Dr. Maty, depolited in the British Museum. Between this manuscript, which is written upon accidental fragments of paper, and the printed edition, there must have been an intermediate copy, which was probably destroyed as it returned from the press.
The reputation of Mr. Pope gaining every day upon the world, he was caressed, flattered, and railed at, according as he was feared or loved by different persons. Mr. Wycherley was among the first authors of established reputation who contributed to advance his fame, and with whom he for some time lived in the most unreserved intimacy. This poet, in his old age, conceived a design of publishing his poems; and as he was but a very imperfect master of numbers, he intrusted his manuscripts to Mr. Pope, and submitted them to his correction. The freedom which our young bard was under a necessity to use, in order to polis and refine what was in the original rough, unharmonious, and indelicate, proved disgustful to the old gentleman, then near seventy, who, perhaps, was a little
ashamed that one fo young should so feverely correct his works. Letters of dissatisfaction were written by Mr. Wycherley, and at last he informed him, in a few words, that he was going out of town, without mentioning to what place, and did not expect to hear from him till he came back. This cold indifference extorted from Mr. Pope a protestation, that nothing Mhould induce him ever to write to him again. Notwithstanding this peevish behaviour of Mr. Wycherley, occalioned by jealousy and infirmities, Mr. Pope preserved a constant reipect and reverence for him while he lived, and after his death lamented him. In a letter to Edward Blount, Esq. written immediately on the death of this poet, he has there related some anecdotes of Wycherley, which we shall here insert.
" Dear Sir, “ I know of nothing that will be so interesting to
you at present as some circumstances of the latt act " of that eminent comic poet, and our friend, Wy“ cherley. He had often told me, as I doubt not he “ did all his acquaintance, that he would marry as “ foon as his life was despaired of: accordingly, a few 6 days before his death, he underwent the ceremony, “ and joined together those two facraments, which “ wise men say should be the last we receive; for, if
you observe, matrimony is placed after extreme 66 unction in our catechiim, as a kind of hint of the “ order of time in which they are to be taken. The “ old man then lay down, fatisfied in the conscience “ of having, by this one act, paid his just debts, and “ obliged a woman who, he was told, had merit, and « shown an heroic resentment of the ill usage of his “ next heir. Some hundred prounds which he had s with the lady discharged those debts; a jointure of 66 four hundred a year made her a recompence; and 66 the nephew he left to comfort himself, as well as he could, with the miserable remains of a mortgaged
k eltate." I saw our friend twice after this was done, « less peevish in his sickness than he used to be in his « health, neither much afraid of dying, nor (which “ in him had been more likely) much ashamed of “ marrying. The evening before he expired he called “ his young wife to the bed-lide, and earnestly en“ treated her not to deny him one request, the last he “ Thould ever make: upon her assurance of contenting “ to it, he told her, “My dear, it is only this, that
will never inarry an old man again.' I cannot “ help remarking, that sickness, which often deitroys “ both wit and wisdoin, yet feldom has power to l'e
move that talent we call humour: Mr. Wyche, ley “ Chewed this even in this last compliment; though I “ think his request a little hard; for why should he « bar her from doubling her jointure on the same caly «6 terms?”
One of the most affecting and tender compositions of Mr Pope is his “Elegy to the Memory of an Unfor. tunate Lady,” built on a true story. We are informed in the Life of Pope, for which Curl obtained a patent, that this young lady was a particular favourite of the Poet, though it is not afcertained whether he himself was the person from whom she was removed. This young lady was of very high birth, possessed an opulent fortune, and under the tuterage of an urcle, who gave her an education suitable to her titles and pretensions. She was esteemed a match for the greatest peer in the realm, but in her early years the suffered her heart to be engaged by a young gentleman, and, in consequence of this attachment, rejected offers made to her by perfons of quality, feconded by the folicitations of her uncle. Her guardian, being furprised at this behaviour, set spies upon her, to find out the real cause of her indifference. Her correspondence with her lover was foun discovered, and when urged upon that topic, The had too much truth and honour to deny it. The uncle, finding that she would make no efforts to dif
engage her affection, after a little time forced her abroad, where the was received with a ceremony due to her quality, but restricted from the conversation of every one but the spies of this severe guardian, so that it was impossible for her lover even to have a letter delivered into her hands. She languished in this place a considerable time, bore an infinite deal of sickness, and was overwhelmed with the profoundest forrow, Nature being wearied out with continual distrels, and being driven at last to despair, the unfortunate lady, as Mr. Pope justly calls her, put an end to her own life, having bribed a maid servant to procure her a fword. She was found upon the ground weltering in her blood. The severity of the laws of the place, where this fair unfortunate perished, denied her Chriftian burial, and he was interred without folemnity, or even any attendants to perform the last offices of the dead, except fome young people of the neighbourhcod, who saw her put into common ground, and strewed the grave
with flowers. The Poet, in the Elegy, takes occasion to mingle, with the tears of forrow, just reproaches upon her cruel uncle, who drove her to this violation,
But thou, falfe guardian of a charge too good,
The conclusion of this elegy is irresistibly affecting,
So peaceful refts, without a stone, a name,
poem of our Author's more deservedly obtained him reputation than his Essay on Criticisin. Mr. Ada difon, in his Spectator, No. 253, has celebrated it with such profuse terms of admiration, that it is really
aftonishing to find the same man endeavouring afterwards to diminish that fame he had contributed to raise so high.
“ The Art of Criticism,” says he, “ which was “ published some months ago, is a mafterpiece in its “ kind. The observations follow one another, like " those in Horace's Art of Poetry, without that me“thodical regularity which would have been requisite “ in a prose writer. They are some of them uncom« mon, but such as the reader must assent to when he “ sees them explained with that elegance and perfpi“ cuity with which they are delivered. As for those “ which are the most known, and the most received, “ they are placed in so beautiful a light, and illustra“ ted with such apt allufions, that they have in them « all the graces of novelty, and make the reader, who “ was before acquainted with them, still more convin. « ced of their truth and folidity. And here give me “ leave to mention what Monsieur Boileau has lo well “ enlarged upon in the Preface to his Works, that wit “ and fine writing do not consist so much in advancing “ things that are new, as in giving things that are “ known an agreeable turn. It is imposible for us, who “ live in the latter ages of the world, to make obser“ vations in criticism, morality, or any art and ici“ence which have not been touched upon by others. 6. We have little elle left us but to reprefent the com“ mon sense of mankind in more strong, more beauti“ ful, or more uncommon lights. It a reader exa“ mines Horace's Art of Poetry, he will find hut few
precepts in it which he may not meet with in Arif« totle, and which were not commonly known by all " the poets of the Augustan age. His way of expres“ fing and applying them, not his invention of them, “ is what we are chiefly to admire,
“ Longinus, in his Reflections, has given us the « fame kind of sublime which he observes in the seve, “ ral pallages which occasioned them. I cannot but