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L E T TERS
TO AND FROM
EDWARD BLOUNT, Esq.
From 1714 to 1725.
L E T T E R I.
Mr. Pope to EDWARD Blount, Efq;
August 27, 1714. Hatever studies on the one hand, or amusements on the other, it shall be my
fortune to fall into, I shall be equally incapable of forgetting you in any of them. The task I undertook a, though of weight enough in itself, has had a voluntary increase by the inlarging my design of the Notesb; and the necessity of consulting a num
* The Translation of Ho- Odyssey were Dr. Broome's. mer's Iliad.
PO -But they speak their re. • The notes on the Iliad spective Authors. were his own : Those on the
ber of books has carry'd me to Oxford: But I fear, thro'
Lord Harcourt's and Dr. Clarke's means, I shall be more conversant with the pleasures and company of the place, than with the books and manuscripts of it.
I find still more reason to complain of the negligence of the Geographers in their Maps of old Greece, since I look'd upon two or three more noted names in the public libraries here. But with all the care I am capable of, I have some cause to fear the engraver will prejudice me in a few situations. I have been forced to write to him in sa high a style, that, were my epistles intercepted, it would raise no small admiration in an ordinary man. There is scarce an order in it of less importance, than to remove such and such mountains, alter the course of such and such rivers, place a large city on such a coast, and raze another in another
I have set bounds to the sea, and said to the land, Thus far íhalt thou advance, and no furtherc. In the mean time, I, who talk and command at this rate, am in danger of losing my horse, and stand in some fear of a country Justiced. Tó difarm me indeed may be but prudential, con
c This relates to the Map d Some of the Laws were, of ancient Greece, 'laid down at this time, put in force a by our Author in his obser- / gainst the Papists. Vations on the second Iliad. P. Tintings
fidering what armies I have at present on foot; and in my service; a hundred thousand Grecians are no contemptible body; for all that I can tell, they may be as formidable as four thousand Priests; and they seem proper forces to send against those in Barcelona. That siege deserves as fine a poem as the Iliad, and the machining
of poetry would be the juster in it, as, they say, the inhabitants expect Angels from heaven to their assistance. May I venture to say who ám a Papist, and say to you who are a Papist, that nothing is more astonishing to me; thân that people so greatly warm’d with a sense of Liberty; should be capable of harbouring such weak superstition, and that so much bravery and so much folly can inhabit the same breasts ?
I could not but take a trip to London on the death of the Queen, mov'd by the common curiosity of mankind, who leave their own bus siness to be looking upon other mens. I thank God, that, as for myself; I am below all the accidents of ståte-changes by my
circumstances, and above them by my philosophy. Common charity of man to man, and universal good-will to all, are the points I have most at heart; and, I am sure, those are not to be broken for the sake of any governors, or government. I am willing to hope the best, and what I more with than my own or any particular man's advancement;
is, that this turn may put an end entirely to the
sentiments of the state of our nation since this change ; I find myself just in the same situation of mind
you describe as your own, heartily withing the good, that is, the quiet of my Country, and hoping a total end of all the unhappy divisions of mankind by party-spirit, which at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.
I am, &c.
LET L E T T E R II.
From Mr. BLOUNT
T is with a great deal of pleasure I see your
letter, dear Sir, written in a style that shews you full of health, and in the midst of diverfions: I think those two things necessary to a man who has such undertakings in hand as Yours. All lovers of Homer are indebted to you for taking so much pains about the situation of his Heroes' kingdoms; it will not only be of great use with regard to his works, but to all that read any of the Greek historians; who generally are ill understood thro' the difference of the
maps as to the places they treat of, which makes one think one author contradicts another. You are going to set us right; and 'tis an advantage every body will gladly see you engross the glory of.
You can draw rules to be free and easy, from formal pedants; and teach men to be short and pertinent, from tedious commentators. However, I congratulate your happy deliverance from such authors, as you (with all your humanity) cannot wish alive again to converse with. Critics will quarrel with you, if you dare to please without their leave; and Zealots will