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pected of writing them at last, in 1734, he full "fraught, together with a fancy fertile of avowed the fourth, and claimed the honour of a original combinations, and at once exerted the
powers of the scholar, the reasoner, and the wit. In the conclusion it is sufficiently acknow. But his knowledge was too multifarious to be ledged, that the doctrine of the “Essay on always exact, and his pursuits too eager to be Man" was received from Bolingbroke, who is always cautious. His abilities gave him a said to have ridiculed Pope, among those who haughty confidence, which he disdained to conenjoyed his confidence, as having adopted and ceal or mollify, and his impatience of opposiadvanced principles of which he did not perceive tion disposed him to treat his adversaries with the consequence, and as blindly propagating such contemptuous superiority as made his opinions contrary to his own. That those com- readers commonly his enemies, and excited munications had been consolidated into a scheme against the advocate the wishes of some who regularly drawn, and delivered to Pope, from favoured the cause. He seems to have adopted whom it returned only transformed from prose the Roman emperor's determination, oderint to verse, has been reported, but can hardly be dum metuant ; he used no allurements of gentle true. The Essay plainly appears the fabric of a language, but wished to compel rather than perpoet;. what Bolingbroke supplied could be only suade. the first principles; the order, illustration, and His style is copious without selection, and embellishments, must all be Pope's.
forcible without neatness; he took the words These principles it is not my business to clear that presented themselves; his diction is coarse from obscurity, dogmatism, or falsehood; but and impure; and his sentences are unmeasured. they were not immediately examined; philoso He had, in the early part of his life, pleased phy and poetry have not often the same readers; himself with the notice of inferior wits, and and the Essay abounded in splendid amplifica- corresponded with the enemies of Pope. A tions and sparkling sentences, which were read letter* was produced, when he had perhaps and admired with no great attention to their ulti- himself forgotten it, in which he tells Concanen, mate purpose; its flowers caught the eye, which "Dryden, I observe, borrows for want of leisure, did not see what the gay foliage concealed, and and Pope for want of genius; Milton out of for a time flourished in the sunshine of universal pride, and Addison out of modesty.” And when approbation. So little was any evil tendency Theobald published "Shakspeare,” in opposidiscovered, that, as innocence is unsuspicious, tion to Pope, the best notes were supplied by many read it for a manual of piety.
Warburton. - Its reputation soon invited a translator. It But the time was now come when Warburton was first turned into French prose, and after- was to change his opinion; and Pope was to wards by Resnel into verse. Both translations find a defender in him who had contributed so fell into the hands of Crousaz, who first, when much to the exaltation of his rival. he had the version in prose, wrote a general The arrogance of Warburton excited against censure, and afterwards reprinted Resnel's ver- him every artifice of offence, and therefore it sion, with particular remarks upon every para- may be supposed that his union with Pope was graph.
censured as hypocritical inconstancy; but surely Crousaz was a professor of Switzerland, emi- to think differently at different times, of poetical nent for his treatise of Logic and his “Examen merit, may be easily allowed. Such opinions de Pyrrhonisme;" and, however little known are often admitted, and dismissed, without nice or regarded here, was no mean antagonist. examination. Who is there that has not found His mind was one of those in which philosophy reason for changing his mind about questions of and piety are happily united. He was accus- greater importance ? tomed to argument and disquisition, and perhaps Warburton, whatever was his motive, underwas grown too desirous of detecting faults; but took, without solicitation, to rescue Pope from his intentions were always right, his opinions the talons of Crousaz, by freeing him from the were solid, and his religion pure.
imputation of favouring fatality, or rejecting reveHis incessant vigilance for the promotion of lation, and from month to month continued a piety disposed him too look with distrust upon vindication of the “Essay on Man,” in the liteall metaphysical systems of theology, and all rary journal of that time, called “The Republic schemes of virtue and happiness purely rational; of Letters.” and therefore it was not long before he was Pope, who probably began to doubt the tenpersuaded that the positions of Pope, as they dency of his own work, was glad that the positerminated for the most part in natural religion, tions, of which he perceived himself not to know were intended to draw mankind away from re- the full meaning, could by any mode of intervelation, and to represent the whole course of pretation be made to mean well. How much things as a necessary, concatenation of indis- he was pleased with his gratuitous defender, the soluble fatality; and it is undeniable, that in following letter evidently shows: many passages a religious eye may easily discover expressions not very favourable to morals
“ April 11, 1732. or to liberty.
“I have just received from Mr. R. two more About this time Warburton began to make of your letters. It is in the greatest hurry imahis appearance in the first ranks of learning: ginable that I write this; but I cannot help He was a man of vigorous faculties, a mind thanking you in particular for your third letter, fervid and vehement, supplied by incessant and which is so extremely clear, short, and full, that unlimited inquiry, with wonderful extent and I think Mr. Crousaz ought never to have another variety of knowledge, which yet had not oppressed his imagination nor clouded his perspi
lalone's Supplement to cacity. To every work he brought a memory) Shakspeite, vol. i. p. 223.-C.
* This letter is in Mr.
answer, and deserved not so good a one. I can' as obliged to reward, by this exertion of his in only say, you do him too much honour, and me terest, for the benefit which he had received too much right, so odd as the expression seems; from his attendance in a long illness. for you have made my system as clear as I ought It was said, that, when the court was at Richto have done, and could not. It is indeed the mond, Queen Caroline had declared her intensame system as mine, but illustrated with a ray tion to visit him. This may have been only a of your own, as they say our natural body is the careless effusion, thought on no more: the resame still when it is glorified. I am sure I like port of such notice, however, was soon in many it better than I did before, and so will every man mouths; and, if I do not forget or misapprehend else. I know I meant just what you explain; Savage's account, Pope, pretending to decline but I did not explain my own meaning so well what was not yet offered, left his house for a as you. You understand me as well as I do time, not, I suppose, for any other reason than myself ; but you express me better than I could lest he should be thought to stay at home in express myself. Pray accept the sincerest ac-expectation of an honour which would not be knowledgments. I cannot but wish these letters conferred. He was therefore angry at Swift, were put together in one book, and intend (with who represents him as “refusing the visits of a your leave) to procure a translation of part at queen,” because he knew that what had never least, or of all of them, into French: but I shall been offered had never been refused. not proceed a step without your consent and Besides the general system of morality, supopinion,” &c.
posed to be contained in the “Essay on Man,” By this fond and eager acceptance of an ex- it was his intention to write distinct poems upon culpatory comment, Pope testified that, what the different duties or conditions of life; one of ever might be the seeming or real import of the which is the Epistle to Lord Bathurst (1733) principles which he had received from Boling. “On the Use of Riches," a piece on which he broke, he had not intentionally attacked religion ; declared great labour to have been bestowed.* and Bolingbroke, if he meant to make him, Into this poem some hints are historically without his own consent, an instrument of mis- thrown, and some known characters are intro chief, found him now engaged, with his eyes duced, with others of which it is difficult to open, on the side of truth.
say how far they are real or fictitious; but the It is known that Bolingbroke concealed from praise of Kyrl, the Man of Ross, deserves parPope his real opinions. He once discovered ticular examination, who, after a long and pomp them to Mr. Hooke, who related them again to ous enumeration of his public works and private Pope, and was told by him that he must have charities, is said to have diffused all those bless. mistaken the meaning of what he heard ; and ings from five hundred a-year. Wonders are wil. Bolingbroke, when Pope's uneasiness incited lingly told and willingly heard. The truth is, him to desire an explanation, declared that that Kyrl was a man of known integrity and Hooke had misunderstood him.
active benevolence, by, whose solicitation the Bolingbroke bated Warburton, who had wealthy were persuaded to pay contributions to drawn his pupil from him ; and a little before his charitable schemes ; this influence be obPope's death, they had a dispute, from which tained by an example of liberality exerted to the they parted with mutual aversion.
utmost extent of his power, and was thus enabled From this time Pope lived in the closest inti- to give more than he had. This account Mr. macy with his commentator, and amply re- Victor received from the minister of the place; warded his kindness and his zeal; for he intro- and I have preserved it, that the praise of a good duced him to Mr. Murray, by whose interest he man, being made more credible, may be more became preacher at Lincoln's-Inn ; and to Mr. solid. Narrations of romantic and impracticable Allen, who gave him his niece and his estate, virtue will be read with wonder, but that which and by consequence a bishopric. When he is unattainable is recommended in vain ; that died, he left him the property of his works; a good may be endeavoured, it must be shown to legacy which may be reasonably estimated' at be possible. four thousand pounds.
This is the only piece in which the author has Pope's fondness for the “Essay on Man” ap- given a hint of his religion, by ridiculing the cepeared by his desire of its propagation. Dob- remony of burning the pope ; and by mentionson, who had gained reputation by his version of ing with some indignation the inscription on the Prior's '“Solomon,” was employed by him to Monument. translate it into Latin verse, and was for that When this poem was first published, the dia purpose some time at Twickenham ; but he left logue, having no letters of direction, was per his work, whatever was the reason, unfinished, plexed and obscure. Pope seems to have writand, by Benson's invitation, undertook the longer ten with no very distinct idea ; for he calls that task of “Paradise Lost.” Pope then desired his an “ Epistle to Bathurst,” in which Bathurst is friend to find a scholar who should turn his introduced as speaking. Essay into Latin prose; but no such perform He afterwards (1734) inscribed to Lord Cob ance has ever appeared.
ham his " Characters of Men," written with Pope lived at this time arnong the great, with close attention to the operations of the mind that reception and respect to which his works and modifications of life. In this poem he has entitled him, and which he had not impaired by endeavoured to establish and exemplify his fa any private misconduct or factious partiality.--vourite theory of the ruling passion, by which Though Bolingbroke was his friend, Walpole he means an original direction of desire to come was not his enemy; but treated him with so particular object; an innate affection, which much consideration, as, at his request, to solicit gives all action a determinate and invariable tenand obtain from the French minister an abbey for Mr. Southcot, whoin he considered himself
dency, and operates upon the whole system of suppressed. Of these pieces it is useless to setlife, either openly, or more secretly by the in- tle the dates, as they had seldom much relation tervention of some accidental or subordinate pro- to the times, and perhaps had been long in his pension.
hands. Of any passion, thus innate and irresistible, This mode of imitation, in which the ancients the existence may reasonably be doubted. Hu- are familiarized, by adapting their sentiments to man characters are by no means constant; men modern topics, by making Horace say of Shakchange by change of place, of fortune, of ac- peare what he originally said of Ennius, and acquaintance ; he who is at one time a lover of commodating his satires on Pantolabus and Now pleasure, is at another a lover of money. Those mentanus to the flatterers and prodigals of our indeed who attain any excellence commonly time, was first practised in the reign of Charles spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not the Second by Oldham and Rochester ; at least I often gained upon easier terms. But to the remember no instances more ancient. It is a kind particular species of excellence men are directed, of middle composition between translation and not by an ascendant planet or predominating original design, which pleases when the thoughts humour, but by the first book which they read, are unexpectedly applicable, and the parallels some early conversation which they heard, or lucky. It seems to have been Pope's favourite some accident which excited ardour and emula- amusement; for he has carried it farther than tion.
any former poet. It must at least be allowed that this ruling pas He published likewise a revival, in smoother sion, antecedent to reason and observation, must numbers, of Dr. Donne's “Satires," which was have an object independent on human contriv. recommended to him by the Duke of Shrewsance; for there can be no natural desire of artifi- bury and the Earl of Oxford. They made no cial good. No man therefore can be born, in the great impression on the public. Pope seems to strict acceptation, a lover of money ; for he may have known their imbecility, and therefore supbe born where money does not exist; nor can pressed them while he was yet contending to he be born, in a moral sense, a lover of his coun- rise in reputation, hut ventured them when he try; for society, politically regulated, is a state thought their deficiencies more likely to be imcontradistinguished from a state of nature; and puted to Donne than to himself. any attention to that coalition of interests which The epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, which seems to makes the happiness of a country is possible only be derived in its first design from “ Boileau's to those whom inquiry and reflection have en Address à son Esprit,” was published in Januabled to comprehend it .
ary, 1735, about a month before the death of him This doctrine is in itself pernicious as well as
to whom it is inscribed. It is to be regretted, false ; its tendency is to produce the belief of a that either honour or pleasure should have been kind of moral predestination, or overruling prin missed by Arbuthnot; a man estimable for his ciple which cannot be resisted; he that admits learning, amiable for his life, and venerable for it is prepared to comply with every desire that his piety. caprice or opportunity shall excite, and to flatter Arbuthnot was a man of great comprehension, himself that he submits only to the lawful domi- skilful in his profession, versed in the sciences, nion of Nature, in obeying the resistless autho-acquainted with ancient literature, and able to rity of his ruling passion.
animate his mass of knowledge by a bright and Pope has formed his theory with so little skill, active imagination; a scholar with great brilthat, in the examples by which he illustrates and liance of wit; a wit who, in the crowd of life, confirms it, he has confounded passions, appe- retained and discovered a noble ardour of relitites, and habits.
gious zeal. To the “Characters of Men,” he added soon In this poem Pope seems to reckon with the after, in an epistle supposed to have been ad-public. He vindicates himself from censures ; dressed to Martha Blount, but which the last and, with dignity, rather than arrogance, enedition has taken from her, the “Characters of forces his own claims to kindness and respect. Women.” This poem, which was laboured with Into this poem are interwoven several paragreat diligence, and in the author's opinion with graphs which had been before printed as a fraggreat success, was neglected at its first publica- ment, and among them the satirical lines upon tion, as the commentator supposes, because the Addison, of which the last couplet has been public was informed by an advertisement, that it twice corrected. It was at first, contained no character drawn from the life; an
Who would not smile if such a man there be ? assertion which Pope probably did not expect, Who would not laugh if Addison were he? nor wish to have been believed, and which he Then, soon gave his readers sufficient reason to distrust, by telling them in a note that the work
Who would not grieve.if such a man there be ?
Who would not laugh if Addison were he ? was imperfect, because part of his subject was vice too high to be yet exposed.
At last it is, The time however soon came in which it was Who but must laugh if such a man there be ? safe to display the Dutchess of Marlborough Who would not weep ir Auicus were he ? under the name of Alossa ; and her character He was at this time at open war with Lord was inserted with no great honour to the writer's Hervey, who had distinguished himself as a gratitude.
steady adherent to the ministry ; and, being of He published from time to time (between 1730 fended with a contemptuous answer to one of and 1740) imitations of different poems of Ho- his pamphlets,* had summoned Pulteney to a race, generally with his name, and once, as was suspected, without it. What he was upon moral • Intituled, “Sedition and Defamation displayed.” principles ashamed to own, he ought to have | 8vo. 1733.-R.
duel. Whether he or Pope made the first at- | a work projected in concert by Pope, Swift, and tack, perhaps cannot now be easily known : he Arbuthnot, who used to meet in the time of had written an invective against Pope, whom he Queen Anne, and denominated themselves the calls “ Hard as thy heart, and as thy birth ob- “Scriblerus Club.” Their purpose was to censcure ;” and hints that his father was a hatter.* sure the abuses of learning by a fictitious life of To this Pope wrote a reply in verse and prose ; an infatuated scholar. They were dispersed, the the verses are in this poem; and the prose, design was never completed; and Warburton Though it was never seni, is printed among bis laments his miscarriage, as an event very disletters, but to a cool render of the present time astrous to polite letters. exhibits nothing but tedious malignity.
If the whole may be estimated by this speciHis last satires of the general kind were two men, which seems to be the production of Ardialogues, named, from the year in which they buthnot, with a few touches perhaps by Pope, were published, “Seventeen Hundred and the want of more will not be much lamented; Thirty-eight.” In these poems many are praised for the follies which the writer ridicules are so and many reproached. Pope was then en- little practised, that they are not known; nor tangled in the opposition; a follower of the can the satire be understood but by the learned Prince of Wales, who dined at his house, and he raises phantoms of absurdity, and then drives the friend of many who obstructed and cen- them away. He cures diseases that were never sured the conduct of the ministers. His politi- felt. cal partiality was too plainly shown; he forgot For this reason this joint production of three the prudence with which he passed, in his earlier great writers has never obtained any notice from years, uninjured and unoffending, through much mankind: it has been little read, or when read, more violent conflicts of faction.
has been forgotten, as no man could be wiser, In the first dialogue, having an opportunity of better, or merrier, by remembering it. praising Allen of Bath, he asked his leave to The design cannot boast of much originality; mention him as a man not illustrious by any for, besides its general resemblance to “Don merit of his ancestors, and called him in his Quixote,” there will be found in it particular imiverses,“ low-born Allen.” Men are seldom tations of the “History of Mr. Onfile." satisfied with praise introduced or followed by Swift carried so much of it into Ireland as supany mention of defect. Allen seems not to have plied him with hints for his “Travels ;” and taken any pleasure in his epithet, which was with those the world might have been contented, afterwards softenedf into “humble Allen." though the rest had been suppressed.
In the second dialogue he took some liberty Pope had sought for images and sentiments with one of the Foxes, among others; which in a region not known to have been explored by Fox, in a reply to Lyttleton, took an opportunity many other of the English writers; he had conof repaying, by reproaching bim with the friend sulted the modern writers of Latin poetry, a ship of a lampooner, who scattered his ink with class of authors whom Boileau endeavoured to out fear or decency, and against whom he hoped bring into contempt, and who are too generally the resentment of the legislature would quickly neglected. Pope, however, was not ashamed of be discharged.
their acquaintance, nor ungrateful for the adAbout this time Paul Whitehead, a small vantages which he might have derived from it. poet, was summoned before the Lords for a poem A small selection from the Italians who wrote called “Manners,” together with Dodsley his in Latin had been published at London, about publisher. Whitehead, who hung loose upon the latter end of the last century, by a mant who society, skulked and escaped; but Dodsley's concealed bis name, but whom his preface shows shop and family made his appearance necessary. to have been well qualified for his undertaking. He was, however, soon dismissed ; and the This collection Pope amplified by more than whole process was probably intended rather to half, and (1740) published it in two volumes, but, intimidate Pope than to punish Whitehead. injuriously omitted his predecessor's preface. To
Pope never afterwards attempted to join the these books, which had nothing but the mere patriot with the poet, nor drew his pen upon text, no regard was paid ; the authors were still statesmen. That he desisted from his attempts neglected, and the editor was neither praised nor of reformation, is imputed, by his commentator, censured. to his despair of prevailing over the corruption He did not sink into idleness; he had planned of the time. He was not likely to have been a work, which he considered as subsequent to ever of opinion, that the dread of his
satire would his “ Essay on Man,” of which he has given countervail the love of power or of money; he this account to Dr. Swift: pleased himself with being important and for
“March 25, 1736. midable, and gratified sometimes his pride, and "If ever I write any more epistles in verse, sometimes his resentment; till at last he began one of them shall be addressed to you. I have to think he should be more safe, if he were less long concerted it, and begun it; but I would busy. The “Memoirs of Scriblerus,” published last work ought to be, that is to say, more fi
make what bears your name as finished as my about this time, extend only to the first book of nished than any of the rest. The subject is large,
and will divide into four epistles, which naturally * Among many MSS. letters, &c. relating to Pope, follow the 'Essay on Man;' viz. 1. Of the Exwhich I have lately seen, is a lampoon in the Bible-style, tent and Limits of Human Reason and Science. of much humour, but irreverent, in which Popa is ridi. 2. A View of the Useful and therefore Attainculed as the son of a hatler-C.
On a hint from Warburton. There is however ren. son to think, from the appearance of the house in which | Since discovered to have been Atterbury, afterwards Allen was born at St. Blaise, that he was not of a low, Bishop of Rochester.--See the Collection of that Prebut of a decayed family.-C.
lale's Epistolary Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 6.--N.
able, and of the Unuseful and therefore Unat-said by so particulat a man, than to declare, that tainable, Arts. 3. Of the Nature, Ends, Appli- as often as he played that part, he would repeat cation, and Use, of different Capacities. 4. of the same provocation." the Use of Learning, of the Science of the World, He shows his opinion to be, that Pope was one and of Wit. It will conclude with a satire against of the authors of the play which he so zealously: the misapplication of all these, exemplified by defended ; and adds an idle story of Pope's bepictures, cheracters, and examples."
haviour at a tavern. This work, in its full extent, (being now af The pamphlet was written with little power flicted with an asthma, and finding the powers of thought or language, and, if suffered to reof life gradually declining,) he had no longer cou. main without notice, would have been very soon rage to undertake; but from the materials which forgotten. Pope had now been enough ache had provided, he added, at Warburton's re- quainted with human life to know, if his passion quest, another book to the “Dunciad,” of which had not been too powerful for his understanding, the design is to ridicule such studies as are either that, from a contention like his with Cibber, the hopeless or useless, as either pursue what is un-world seeks nothing but diversion, which is given attainable, or what, if it be attained, is of no use. at the expense of the higher character. When
When this book was printed, (1742,) the lau-Cibber lampooned Pope, curiosity was excited; rel had been for some time upon the head of what Pope could say of Cibber nobody inquired, Cibber; a man whom it cannot be supposed but in hope that Pope's asperity might betray his that Pope could regard with much kindness or pain and lessen his dignity. esteem, though in one of the imitations of Ho He should therefore have suffered the pamrace he has liberally enough praised the “Care- phlet to flutter and die, without confessing that less Husband.” În the "Dunciad,” among it stung him. The dishonour of being shown as other worthless scribblers, he had mentioned Cibber's antagonist could never be compensated Cibber; who, in his “ Apology,” complains of by the victory. Cibber had nothing to lose ; the great Poet's unkindness as more injurious, when Pope had exhausted all his malignity upon "because," says he, “I never have offended him, he would rise in the esteem both of his him.”
friends and his enemies. Silence only could have It might have been expected that Pope should made him despicable ; the blow which did not have been, in some degree, mollified by this sub-appear to be felt would have been struck in vain. missive gentleness, but no such consequence ap; But Pope'a irascibility prevailed, and he repeared. Though he condescended to commend solved to tell the whole English world that he Cibber once, he mentioned him afterwards con was at war with Cibber; and, to show that he temptuously in one of his satires, and again in thought him no common adversary, he prepared his epistle to Arbuthnot; and in the fourth book no common vengeance; he published a new edi." of the “Dunciad” attacked him with acrimony, tion of the “Dunciad,"* in which he degraded to which the provocation is not easily discover- Theobald from his painful pre-eminence, and able. Perhaps he imagined that, in ridiculing enthroned Cibber in his stead. Unhappily, the the Laureat, he satirised those by, whom the two heroes were of opposite characters, and laurel had been given, and gratified that ambi- Pope was unwilling to lose what he had altious petulance with which he affected to insult ready written; he has therefore depraved his
poem, by giving to Cibher the old books, the old, The severity of this satire left Cibber no pedantry, and the sluggish pertinacity of Theolonger any patience. He had confidence enough bald. in his own powers to believe that he could dis Pope was ignorant enough of his own interest turb the quiet of his adversary, and doubtless to make another change, and introduced Osborne did not want instigators, who, without any care contending for the prize among the book sellers. about the victory, desired to amuse themselves Osborne was a man entirely destitute of shame, by looking on the contest. He therefore gave without sense of any disgrace but that of poverty. the town a pamphlet, in which he declares his He told me, when he was doing that which raisresolution from that time never to bear another ed Pope's resentment, that he should be put into blow without returning it, and to tire out his ad- the “Dunciad;" but he had the fate of “Casversary by perseverance, if he cannot conquer sandra." I gave no credit to his prediction, till him by strength.
in time I saw it accomplished. The shafts of The incessant and unappeasable malignity of satire were directed equally in vain against CibPope he imputes to a very distant cause. After ber and Osborne; being repelled by the impethe “ Three Hours after Marriage” had been netrable impudence of one, and deadened by the driven off the stage, by the offence which the impassive dulness of the other. Pope confessed mummy and crocodile gave the audience, while his own pain by his anger; but he gave no pain the exploded scene was yet fresh in memory, it to those who had provoked him. He was able to happened that Cibber played Bayes in the "Re- hurt none but himself; by transferring the same hearsal ;” and, as it had been usual to enliven ridicule from one to another, he reduced himself the part by the mention of any recent theatrical to the insignificance of his own magpie, who transactions, he said, that he once thought to from his cage calls cuckold at a venture. have introduced his lovers disguised in a mum Cibber, according to his engagement, repaid my and a crocodile. “This,” says he, “was “ The Dunciad” with another pamphlet, t which received with loud claps, which indicated con- Pope said, “would be as good as a dose of hartstempt of the play.” Pope, who was behind the horn to him;" but his tongue and his heart were scenes, meeting him as he left the stage, “at- at variance. I have heard Mr. Richardson re tacked him," as he
“ with all the virulence late, that he attended his father, the painter, on of a wit out of his senses ;” to which he replied, " that he would take no other notice of what was
† In 1744.