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was' accufed of loving money, but his love was eagera ness to gain, not solicitude to keep it.
In the duties of friendship he was zealous and con(tant: his early maturity of mind commonly united him with men older than himself; and therefore, without attaining any considerable length of life, he saw many companions of his youth sink into the grave; but it does not appear that he lost a single friend by cold. ness or by injury; those who loved him once, cantinued their kindness. His ungrateful mention of Allen, in his will, was the effect of his adherence to one whom he had known much longer, and whom he naturally loved with greater fondness. His violation of the trust repofed in hịm by Bolingbroke could have no motive inconfiftent with the warmest affection; he either thought the action so near to indifferent that he forgot it, or so laudable that he expected his friend to ap
It was reported, with fuch confidence as almost to enforce belief, that in the papers intrusted to his 'executors was found a defamatory Life of Swift, which he had prepared as an instrument of vengeance, to be used if any provocation should be ever given. About this I enquired of the Earl of Marchmont, who assured me that no such piece was among his remains.
The religion in which he lived and died was that of the Church of Rome, to which in his correspondence with Racine he professes himself a sincere adherent. That he was not scrupulously pious in some part of his life, is kngwn by many idle and indecent applications of sentences taken from the Scriptures ; à mode of merriinent which a good man dreads for its profaneness, and a witty man disdains for its easiness and
vulgarity. But to whatever levities he has been be. ; frayed, it does not appear that his principles were ever corrupted, or that he ever lost his belief of Revelation. The positions which he transinitted from Bolingbroke. he seems not to have understood, and was pleased with an interpretation that made them orthodox,
A man of such exalted superiority, and so little moderation, would naturally have all his delinquences ob. served and aggravated : those who could not deny that he was excellent, would rejoice to find that he was not perfect.
Perhaps it may be imputed to the unwillingness with which the same man is allowed to possess many advantages, that his learning has been depreciated. He certainly was in his early life a man of great literary curiosity; and when he wrote his Elay on Criticisin had, for his age, a very wide acquaintance with books. When he entered into the living world, it seems to have happened to him as to many others, that he was less attentive to dead masters; he studied in the academy of Paracelsus, and made the universe his favourite volume. He gathered his notions fresh from reality, not from the copies of authors, but the originals of Natyre, Yet there is no reason to believe that literature ever lost his esteem; he always professed to love reading; and Dobson, who spent some time at his house translating his Elay on Man, wlien I asked him what ļearning he found him to poffefs, answered, More than I expected. His frequent references to history, his allu, fions to various kinds of knowledge, and his images felected from art and nature, with his observations on the operations of the mind and the modes of life, Thew, an intelligence perpetually on the wing, excur,
sive, vigorous, and diligent, eager to pursue know, ledge, and attentive to retain it.
From this curiosity arose the desire of travelling, tá which he alludes in his verses to Jervas, and which, though he never found an opportunity to gratify it, did not leave him till his life declined,
· Of his intellectual character, the constituent and fundamental principle was Good Sense, a prompt and intuitive perception of confonance and propriety. He faw immediately, of his own conceptions, what was to be chosen, and what to be rejected; and, in the works of others, what was to be shunned, and what was to be copied.
But good sense alone is a fedate and quiescent qua, lity, which manages its poffeffions well, but does not increase them; it collects few materials for its own operations, and preserves safety, but never gains supremacy. Pope had likewise genius; a mind active, ambitious, and adventurous, always investigating, always aspiring; in its wideft searches still longing to go forward, in irs highest flights ftill wishing to be higher; always iinagining something greater than it knows, always endeavouring more than it can do. · To affist these powers, he is said to have had great strength and exactness of memory. That which he had heard or read was not easily lost; and he had before him not only what his own meditations fuggested, but what he had found in other writers, that might be accommodated to his present purpose.
These benefits of nature be improved by inceffant and unwearied diligence; he had recourse to every source of intelligence, and loft no opportunity of information; he consulted the living as well as the dead; he read his
compositions to his friends, and was never content with mediocrity when excellence could be attained. He considered poetry as the business of his life ; and, however he might seem to lament his occupation, he followed it with conftancy; to make verses was his first labour, and to mend them was his last.
From his attention to poetry he was never diverted. If conversation offered any thing that could be improved, he committed it to paper; if a thought, or perhaps an expression more happy than was common, rose to his mind, he was careful to write it; an independent distich was preserved for an opportunity of insertion; and some little fragments have been found containing lines, or parts of lines, to be wrought upon at some other time.
He was one of those few whose labour is their pleafure: he was never elevated to negligence, nor wearied fo impatience; he never passed'a fault unamended by indifference, nor quitted it by despair. He laboured his works first to gain reputation, and afterwards to
Of composition there are different methods. Some employ at once memory and invention, and, with little intermediate use of the pen, form and polith large masses by continued meditation, and write their productions only when, in their own opinion, they have completed them. It is related of Virgil, that his cufcom was to pour out a great number of verses in the morning, and pass the day in retrenching exuberances and correcting inaccuracies. The method of Pope, as may be collected from his translation, was to write his first thoughts in his first words, and gradually to amplify, decorate, rectify, and refine them.
With such faculties, and such dispositions, he exe? celled every other writer in poetical prudence; he wrote in such a manner as might expose him to few hazards.. He used almost always the same fabric of verse; and, indeed, by those few essays which he made of any other, he did not enlarge his reputation. Of this uniformity the certain consequence was readiness and dexterity. By perpetual practice, language had in his mind a systematical arrangement ; having always the fame use for words, he had words so selected and combined as to be ready at his call. This increase of facility he confessed himself to have perceived in the progress of his translation.
But what was yet of more importance, his effufions were always voluntary, and his subjects chosen by him, self. His independence secured him from drudging at a gask, and labouring upon a barren topick : he never exchanged praise for money, nor opened a shop of condolence or congratulation. His poems, therefore, were scarce ever temporary. He suffered coronations and royal marriages to pass without a song, and derived no opportunities from recent events, nor any popularity from the accidental disposition of his readers. He was neyes reduced to the necessity of soliciting the sun to shine upon a birth-day, of calling the Graces and Virtues to a wedding, or of saying what. multitudes have said before him. When he could produce nothing new, he was at liberty to be filent.
His publications were for the same reason never hasty. He is said to have sent nothing to the press žill it had lain two years under his inspection : it is at leaf certain, that he ventured nothing without nice examination. He suffered the tumult of imagination