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charities, is said to have diffused all those blessings from five hundred 4. year, Wonders are willingly told, and willingly heard. The truth is, that Kyrl was a man of known integrity, and active benevolence, by whose solicitation the wealthy were persuaded to pay contributions to his charitable schemes ; this influence he obtained by an example of liberality exerted to the utmost extent of his power, and was thus enabled to give more than he had. This account Mr. Victor received from the minister of the place, and I have preserved it, that the praise of a good man, being made inore credible, may be more solid. Narrations of romantick and impracticable virtụe will be read with wonder, but that which is unattainable is recommended in vain; that good may be endeavoured, it must be thewn to be possible,
This is the only piece in which the author has given a hint of his religion, by ridiculing the ceremony of burning the pope, and by mentioning with some indignation the inscription on the Monument.
When this poem was first published, the dialogue, having no letters of direction, was perplexed and obscure. Pope seems to have written with no very distinct idea ; for he calls that an Epistle to Bathurst, in which Bathurst is introduced as speaking.
He afterwards (1734) inscribed to Lord Cobham his | Cbaracters of Men, written with close attention to the
operations of the mind and modifications of life. In this poein
he has endeavoured to establish and exemplify his favourite theory of the Ruling Passion, by which he means an original direction of desire to some particular object, an innate affection which gives all action a determinate and invariable tendency, and operatęs upon the whole system of life, either openly, or more
secretly by the intervention of some accidental or fubordinate propension.
Of any passion, thus innate and irresistible, the existence may reasonably be doubted. Human characters are by no means constant; men change by change of place, of fortune, of acquaintance; he who is at one time a lover of pleasure, is at another a lover of money. Those indeed who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one pursuit ; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms. But to the particular species of excellence men are directed, not by an ascendant planet or predominating humour, but by the first book which they read, fome early conversation which they heard, or some accident which excited ardour and emulation.
It must be at least allowed that this ruling Pafton, antecedent to reason and observation, must have an object independent on human contrivance; for there can be no natural defire of artificial good. No man therefore can be born, in the strict acceptation, a lover of money, for he may be born where money does not exist : por can he be born, in a moral sense, a lover of his country; for society, politically regulated, is a state contradistinguished from a state of nature; and any attention to that coalition of interests which makes the happiness of a country is possible only to those whom enquiry and reflection have enabled to comprehend it.
This doctrine is in itself pernicious as well as false : its tendency is to produce the belief of a kind of moral predestination, or over-ruling principle which cannot be refifted; he that admits it is prepared to comply with every desire that caprice or opportunity shall excite, and to flatter himself that he submits only to the lawful dominion of Nature, in obeying the resistless authority of his ruling Pasion.
Pope has formed his theory with so little skill, that, in the examples by which he illustrates and confirms it, he has confounded paffions, appetites, and habits.
To the Charažters of Men he added soon after, in an Epistle supposed to have been addressed to Martha Blount, but which the last edition has taken from her, the Charaťters of Women. : This poem, which was laboured with great diligence, and in the author's opinion with great success, was neglected at its first publication, as the commentator supposes, because the publick was informed, by an advertisment, that it contained no Charafter drawn from the Life; an affertion which Pope probably did not expect or wish to have been believed, and which he soon gave his readers sufficient reason to diftruft, by telling them, in a note, that the work was imperfect, because part of his subject was Vice too high to be yet exposed.
The time however soon came, in which it was safe to display the Dutchess of Marlborough under the name of Atossa; and her character was inserted with no great honour to the writer's gratitude.
He published from time to time (between 1730 and 1740) Imitations of different poems of Horace, generally with his name, and once as was suspected without it. What he was upon moral principles ashamed to own, he ought to have suppressed. Of these pieces it is useless to settle the dates, as they had feldom much relation to the times, and perhaps had been long in his hands.
This mode of imitation, in which the ancients are familiarised, by adapting their sentiments to modern topicks, by making Horace fay of Shakespeare what he
originally said of Ennius, and accommodating his satires on Pantolabus and Nomentanus to the flatterers, and prodigals of our own time, was first practised in the reign of Charles the Second by Oldham and Rochester, at least I remember no instances more ancient. It is a kind of middle composition between translation and original design, which pleases when the thoughts are unexpectedly applicable, and the parallels lucky. It seems to have been Pope's favourite amusement; for he has carried it further than any
He published likewise a revival, in smoother numbers, of Dr. Donne's Satires, which was recommended to him by the Duke of Shrewsbury and the Earl of Oxford. They made no great impression on the publick. Pope seems to have known their imbecillity and therefore suppressed them while he was yet contending to rise in reputation, but ventured them when he thought their deficiences more likely to be imputed to Donne than to himself.
The Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, which seems to be derived in its first design from Boileau's Address a for Esprit, was published in January 1735, about a month before the death of him to whom it is inscribed. It is to be regretted, that either honour or pleasure should have been missed by Arbuthnot; a man estimable for his learning, amiable for his life, and venerable for his piety.
Arbuthnot was a man of great comprehension, silful in his profeion, versed in the sciences, acquainted with ancient literature, and able to animate his mass of knowledge by a bright and active imaginations a scholar with great brilliance of wit; a wit, who, in
the crowd of life, retained and discovered a noble 25door of religious zeal.
: In this poem Pope seems to reckon with the pubw Jick. He vindicates himself from cenfures; and with dignity, rather then arrogance, enforces his own claims to kindness and respect. · Into this poem are interwoven feveral paragraphs which had been before printed as a fragment, and among them the fatirical lines upon Addison, of which the last couplet has been twice corrected. It was at frit,
Who would not smile if such a man there be ?
Who would not laugh if Addison were he? Then,
Who would not grieve if such a man there be?
Who would not laugh if Addison were he?
Who but mult laugh if such a man there be?
He was at this time at open war with Lord Hervey, who had diftinguished himself as a steady adherent to the Ministry; and, being offended with a contemptuous answer to one of his pamphlets, had fummoned Pulteney to a duel. Whether he or Pope made the first attack, perhaps cannot now be easily known: he had written an invective against Pope, whom he calls Hard as thy heart, and as aby birth cbfcure; and hints that his father was a batter. To this Pope wrote a reply in verse and profe: the verses are in this poem; and the prose, though it was never sent, is printed