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Of mimic statesmen, and their merry king.
No wit to flatter, left of all his store!
No fool to laugh at, which he valued more.
There, victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
And fame, this lord of useless thousands ends.

The Dying Christian to his Soul.

Vital spark of heavenly flame,
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying-
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life!

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
'Sister spirit, come away!'
What is this absorbs me quite ?

Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes: it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring:

Lend. lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?

O Death! where is thy sting?*

We may quote, as a specimen of the melodious versification of Pope's Homer, the well-known moonlight scene in the 'Iliad' (Book viii.), which has been both extravagantly praised and censured. Wordsworth and Southey unite in considering the lines and imagery as contradictory and false. It will be found in this case, as in many passages of Dryden that, though natural objects be incorrectly described, the beauty of the language and versification elevates the whole into poetry of a high imaginative order:

The troops exulting sat in order round,

And beaming fires illumined all the ground,
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night!
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light;
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole;
O'er the dark trees a yellow verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain's head;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies:
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,

And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays;
The long reflections of the distant fires

Gleam on the walls and tremble on the spires.

A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,

And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field.

Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,

Whose umbered arms, by fits, thick flashes send:

Pope was indebted to an obscure rhymester, THOMAS FLATMAN (1632-1672), for some of the ideas in this ode.

For example:

When on my sick-bed I languish

Full of sorrow, full of anguish ;

Fainting, gasping, trembling, crying,
Panting, groaning, speechless, dying;

Methinks I hear some gentle spirit say,
'Be not fearful, come away!'

Flatman was an artist. He was author of some Pindaric odes and other poems, of which a volume was published in 1674.

Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn,
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.

Pope followed the old version of Chapman;

And spent all night in open fields; fires round about them shined,
As when about the silver moon, when air is free from wind,

And stars shine clear, to whose sweet beams, high prospects, and the brows

Of all steep hills and pinnacles, thrust up themselves for shows;

And even the lowly valleys joy to glitter in their sight,

When the unmeasured firmament bursts to disclose her light,

And all the signs in heaven are seen, that glad the shepherd's heart:

So many fires disclosed their beams, made by the Trojan part,

Before the face of Ilion, and her bright turrets shewed.

A thousand courts of guard kept fires, and every guard allowed
Fifty stout men, by whom their horse eat oats, and hard-white corn,
And all did wistfully expect the silver-throned morn.

Cowper's translation is brief, but vivid and distinct:


And when around the clear bright moon, the stars
Shine in full splendour, and the winds are hushed,
The groves, the mountain-tops, the headland heights
Stand all apparent, not a vapour streaks

The boundless blue, but ether opened wide
All glitters, and the shepherd's heart is cheered.

So numerous seemed those fires, between the stream
Of Xanthus blazing, and the fleet of Greece,

In prospect all of Troy, a thousand fires,
Each watched by fifty warriors seated near;
The steeds beside the chariot stood, their corn
Chewing, and waiting till the golden-throned
Aurora should restore the light of day.

Associated with Pope in his Homeric labours were, as already stated, Fenton and Broome. ELIJAH FENTON (1683-1730) was an amiable scholar and man of letters; a native of Shelton, near Stoke in Staffordshire; took his degree of B. A. in Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1704, but being a Nonjuror in principle, he was, as Johnson says, 'driven out a commoner of nature,' and subsisted chiefly by teaching. In 1717, he published a volume of poems; in 1723, a tragedy, entitled Mariamne,' by which, Dr. Young says, he made £1500; and in 1729 he annotated the works of Waller. One of Fenton's poetical productions, a Pindaric Ode, addressed to Lord Gower, was greatly admired by Pope and Akenside.-WILLIAM BROOME (1689–1745) was a native of Haslington, county of Chester, took his degree of M. A. in St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1716. He entered the church, married a wealthy widow, and died rector of Pulham, in Norfolk. He collected and published his poems in 1739. He was happier as a translator than as an original poet, and his annotations on the 'Iliad' and 'Odyssey' evince his learning.


The satire of Pope has invested with literary interest many names that would otherwise have long since passed to oblivion. The bad poets outwitted him, as Swift predicted, and provoked him to transmit their names to posterity. The first hero of the 'Dunciad,' LEWIS


THEOBALD (who died in 1744), procured the enmity of Pope by criticising his edition of Shakspeare, and editing a more valuable edition himself. Being well versed in the Elizabethan writers, and in dramatic literature generally, Theobald excelled Pope as a commentator. He also wrote some poetical and dramatic pieces, but they are feeble performances.-JOHN DENNIS (1657-1734) was known as the critic,' and some of his critical disquisitions evince an acute but narrow and coarse mind. He had received a learned education, and was well read in ancient and modern literature; but his intolerable vanity, irritable temper-heightened by intemperance-and the want of literary success, seem to have led him into absurdities, and rendered his whole life a scene of warfare. His critiques on Addison's Cato' and Pope's Homer are well known. He wrote several plays, for one of which—a tragedy called 'Appius and Virginia' (1708) -he invented a new species of thunder, which was approved of in the theatres. His play was not successful; and some time afterwards being present at the representation of 'Macbeth,' he heard his own thunder made use of, on which he exclaimed: 'See how these rascals use me; they will not let my play run, and yet they steal my thunder! Many other ludicrous stories are told of Dennis, whose selfimportance amounted to a disease. Southey has praised Dennis's critical powers; and no doubt vigorous, discriminative passages may be selected from his works. They are, in general, however, heavy, and destitute of any fine perception or well-regulated judgment.—-CHARLES GILDON (1665–1724) wrote a number of works, critical and dramatic. His plays were unsuccessful, but his 'Complete Art of Poetry (1718) is a work of considerable research and care. One volume consists of criticism on the ancient and modern poets, and a second contains selected specimens.

As Gildon preferred Tickell as a translator, and Ambrose Philips as a pastoral poet, to Pope, he was keenly satirised in the Dunciad' and Moral Essays.' LEONARD WELSTED (1689-1747) was the author of two volumes of miscellaneous poetry, collected and republished by Nichols in 1788. Welsted was clerk in ordinary to the Ordnance. He was an accomplished scholar and an elegant poet, but his works, not being characterised by any novelty of design or originality of style, are now almost unknown.-THOMAS COOKE (1702-1756) was the author of several dramatic pieces, poems, and translations. His translation of Hesiod was able and popular.AARON HILL (1685-1750) wrote several poems and plays, and was conspicuous among the literary men of the first half of the eighteenth century; but his best title to distinction is his correspondence with Pope, and the allusion to him in the 'Dunciad.' The spirit with which Hill met the attack of Pope, and the victory he obtained over him in the correspondence that ensued, are creditable to him both as a man and an author. Only one of Hill's dramas, the tragedy of 'Zara,' after Voltaire, can be said to have been popular. He was an

ingenious speculative man, but seldom successful in any of his schemes-Of the numerous other small victims of Pope-James Moore Smythe, Concanen, Breval, Ralph, Arnall, &c. it seems unnecessary to give any notice here. They have been preserved, like straws in amber, in the poet's satire, but had no influence on the literature of the age. In almost every instance, Pope was the aggressor. He loved satire; some fancied slight, rivalry, or political difference inspired his resentment, and he wasted on inferior objects powers fitted for the higher and nobler purposes of the moral Muse.


One of Pope's assistants, though in a very undignified capacity, was RICHARD SAVAGE, who supplied the 'private intelligence and secret incidents' which add poignancy to the satire of the Dunciad.' Savage is better known for his misfortunes, as related by Johnson, than for any peculiar novelty or merit in his poetry. The latter rarely rises or continues long above the level of mediocrity; the former seem a romance in real life. It is almost certain, however, that Johnson's memoir, derived directly or indirectly from Savage himself, is little else than a romance, and its hero an impostor. Savage was born in London, January 16, 1696-7, the reputed issue of an adulterous connection between the wife of Charles Lord Brandon, afterwards Earl of Macclesfield, and Richard Savage, Earl Rivers. Lady Brandon had been separated from her husband about ten years when she formed a liaison with Lord Rivers, by whom she had two children, a female child (that lived only a short time, and was christened after the father and mother, 'Ann Savage'), and a male child, baptised as 'Richard Smith.' Richard Smith, like the preceding child, was removed and placed at nurse, being taken away by a baker's wife, named Portlock, who said the child was her own, and from this time all trace of the infant is lost. If we are to believe Savage's story, the countess, from the hour of his birth, discovered a resolution of disowning him, and would never see her child again; suffered a large legacy left to him by his godmother to be embezzled for want of some one to prosecute his claim; told Earl Rivers, his father, on his death-bed (1712) that his child was dead, with the express object of depriving him of another legacy of £6000; endeavoured to have him kidnapped and transported; and finally interfered to the utmost of her power, and by means of an "atrocious calumny," to prevent his being saved from the hangman.'* Most of these assertions have been disproved. Indeed, the story of the legacy is palpably untrue, for, as Mr. Croker has remarked, if Savage had a title to the legacy, he could not have found any difficulty in recovering it. If the executors had resisted his claims, the whole costs, as well as

* See Notes and Queries for 1858, where the case is fully investigated by Mr. Moy Thomas.

the legacy, must have been paid by them, if he had been the child to whom it was given.


Savage or (Smith) is first heard of in 1717, when was published The Convocation, or a Battle of Pamphlets, a Poem, written by Mr. Richard Savage.' Next year (1718) he produced a comedy, Love in a Veil,' which was published by Curll, and stated on the title-page to be written by Richard Savage, Gent, son of the late Earl Rivers.' In Jacob's Lives of the Poets' (1717), the same story is repeated with additions; and Aaron Hill in his periodical, The Plain Dealer,' inserted letters and statements to the same effect, which were furnished by Savage. His remarkable history thus became known, but, unfortunately, the vices and frailties of his character began also to be displayed. Savage was not destitute of a love of virtue and principles of piety, but his habits were low and sensual. His temper was irritable and capricious; and whatever money he received, was instantly spent in obscure haunts of dissipation. In a tavern brawl, in 1727, be had the misfortune to kill a Mr. James Sinclair, for which he was tried and condemned to death, but was pardoned by Queen Caroline, and set at liberty. He published various poetical pieces as a means of support; and having addressed a birthday ode to the queen, calling himself the Volunteer Laureate '-to the annoyance, it is said, of Colley Cibber, the legitimate inheritor of the laurel-her majesty sent him £50, and continued the same sum to him every year. His threats and menaces induced Lord Tyrconnel, a friend of his mother, to take him into his family, where he lived on equal terms, and was allowed a sum of £200 per annum. This, as Johnson remarks, was the 'golden period' of Savage's life. As might have been foreseen, however, the habits of the poet differed very widely from those of the peer; they soon quarrelled, and the former was again set adrift on the world. The death of the queen also stopped his pension; but his friends made up an annuity for him of equal amount, to which Pope generously contributed £20. Savage agreed to withdraw to the country to avoid the temptations of London. He selected Swansea, but stopping at Bristol, was treated with great kindness by the opulent merchants and other inhabitants, whom he afterwards libelled in a sarcastic poem. In Swansea he resided about a year; but on revisiting Bristol, he was arrested for a small debt, and being unable to find bail, was thrown into prison. His folly, extravagance, and pride, though it was 'pride that licks the dust,' had left him almost without a friend. He made no vigorous effort to extricate or maintain himself. Pope continued his allowance; but being provoked by some part of his conduct, he wrote to him, stating that he was determined to keep out of his suspicion by not being officious any longer, or obtruding into any of his concerns' Savage felt the force of this rebuke from the steadiest and most illustrious of his friends. He was soon afterwards taken ill, and his condition not enabling him to procure medical assistance, he was found dead in his bed on the morning of

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