Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

. 214

281 • 292

.

.

• ib.

Page
To the same, on her leaving the Town after

the Coronation
To Mr. John Moore, Author of the cele-
brated Worm-powder

216 To Mrs. M. B. on her Birth-day

217 To Mr. Thomas Southern on his Birth-day 218 To Mr. Addison ; occasioned by his Dia. logues on Medals

ib. To Dr. Arbuthnot

. 221 Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace imitated 233 The Satires of Dr. Donde versified Epilogue to the Satires Imitations of English Poets

303 Chaucer

ib. Spenser. The Alley

. 304 Waller. On a Lady singing to her Lute 306 · On a Fan.

. ib. Cowley: The Garden

307 Weeping

• 308 Earl of Rochester. On Silence Earl of Dorset. Artemisia

310 Phryne The Dunciad. To Dr. Swift

• 312 Miscellanies.

383 The Basset-Table. Au Eclogue

• ib. Vertumnus and Poniona.

386 Two Choruses to the Tragedy of Brutus 389 The Fable of Dryope

392 Verbatim from Boileau

394 Answer to a Question of Mrs. Howe

395 Prologue to Mr. Addison's Cato .. ib. Epilogue to Mr. Rowe's Jane Shore .

396 Occasioned by some Verses of his Grace the • Duke of Buckingham

398 A Prologue to a Play for Mr. Dennis's Benefit ib. Macer. A Character

399 Song by a Person of Quality

400 On a certain Lady at Court

• 01 On his Grotto at Twickenham

ib. On receiving from the Right Hon. the Lady

Frances Shirley a Standishi and two Pens 402 Epitaphs

• 403

.

. ib.

.

ALEXANDER POPE.

THIS illustrious

poet was born at London, in 1688, and was descended from a good family of that name in Oxfordshire, the head of which was the Earl of Downe, whose sole heiress married the Earl of Lindsey. His father, a man of primitive simplicity and integrity of manners, was a mer. chant of London, who, upon the Revolution, quitted trade, and converted his effects into money, amounting to near 10,000 1. with which he retired into the country; and died in 1717, at the age of seventy-five.

Our poet's mother, who lived to a very advanced age, being ninety-three years old when she died, in 1733, was the daughter of William Turner, Esq. of York. She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the service of King Charles; and the eldest, following his fortunes, and becoming a general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained after sequestration and forfeitures of her family. To these circumstances our poet alludes in his Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, in which he mentions his parents : Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause, While yet in Britain honour had applause) Each parent sprang-What fortune pray-their own ; And better got than Bestia's from the throce. Born to no pride, inheriting 11o strise, Nor marrying discord in a noble wife ; Stranger to civil and religious rage, The good man waik'd innoxious through his age : No courts he saw, no suits would ever try; Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie : Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art, No language but the language of the heart; By nature honest, by experience wise, Healthy by temp'rance and by exercise. His life, though long, to sickness pass'd unknown; His death was instant, and without a groan.

The education of our great author was attended with circumstances very singular, and some of them extremely unfavourable; but the amazing force of his genius fully compensated the want of any ad. vantage in his earliest instruction. He owed the knowledge of his letters to an aunt; and having learned very early to read, took great delight in it, and taught himself to write by copying after printed books, the characters of which he would imitate to great perfection. He began to compose verses farther back than he could well remember; and at eight years of age, when he was put under one Taverner a priest, who taught him the rudiments of the Latin and Greek tongues at the same time, he met with Ogilby's Homer, which gave him great delight; and this was increased by Sandy's Ovid. The raptures which these authors, even in the disguise of such translations, then yielded him were so strong, that he spoke of them with pleasure ever after. From Mr. Taverner's tuition he was sent to a private school at Twiford, near Win. chester, where he continued about a year, and was then removed to another near Hyde-Park Corner; but was so unfortunate as to lose under his two last masters what he had acquired under the first.

While he remained at this school, being permitted to go to the playhouse with some of his school. fellows of a more advanced age, he was so charmed with dramatic representations, that he formed the translation of the Iliad into a play, from several of the speeches in Ogilby's translation connected with verses of his own; and the several parts were performed by the upper boys of the school, except that of Ajax by the master's gardener. At the age of twelve our young poet went to his father, to reside at his house at Binfield, in Windsor Forest, where he was, for a few months, under the tuition of another priest, with as little success as before ; so that he resolved now to become his own master, by reading those classic writers which gave

« EelmineJätka »