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peccatis fuis *."-" Eloisa herself, says † Vigneul Marville, follicited for this abfolution, and Peter de Clugny willingly granted it; on what it could be founded, I leave to our learned theologifts to determine. In certain ages, opinions have prevailed, for which no folid reafon can be given." When Eloifa died in 1163, fhe was interred by the fide of her beloved husband: I must not forget to mention, for the fake of those who are fond of miracles, that when she was put into the grave, Abelard ftretched out his arms to receive her, and closely embraced her.

ELOISA, at the conclufion of the EPISTLE to which we are now arrived, is judiciously represented as gradually fettling into a tranquillity of mind, and feemingly reconciled to her fate. She can bear to speak of their being buried together, without violent emotions. Two lovers are introduced as vifiting their

* Epift. Abel. & Heloiff. pag. 238.

† Melanges, T. ii. p. 55:


celebrated tombs, and the behaviour of these strangers is finely imagined;

* From the full quire when loud Hofannas rife,
And fwell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice,
Amid that scene, if fome relenting eye,

Glance on the ftone where our cold relics lie,
Devotion's felf shall steal a thought from heav'n,
One human tear fhall drop-and be forgiv'n!

WITH this last line, at firft it appears, that the poem should have ended; for the eight additional verfest, concerning fome poet, that haply might arise to fing their misfortune, are languid and flat, and diminish the pathos of the foregoing fentiments. They might stand it fhould feem for the conclufion of almost any story, were we not informed, that they

* V. 353.

† And fure if fate fome future bard shall join
In fad fimilitude of grief to mine,
Condemn'd whole years in abfence to deplore,
And image charms he must behold no more;
Such if there be, who loves fo long, so well;
Let him our fad, our tender story tell!
The well-fung woes will footh my penfive ghost;
He best can paint 'em, who can feel 'em most.


were added by the Poet in allufion to his own cafe, and the ftate of his own mind. For what determined him in the choice of the fubject of this epiftle, was the retreat of that lady into a nunnery, whofe death he had lately fo pathetically lamented, in a foregoing Elegy, and for whom he had conceived a violent paffion. She was first beloved by a nobleman, an intimate friend of POPE, and, on his deferting her, retired into France; when, before she had made her laft vows in the convent, to which she had retreated, she put an end to her unfortunate life. The recollection of this circumstance will add a beauty and a pathos to many paffages in the poem, and will confirm the doctrine delivered above *, concerning the choice of subject.

THIS EPISTLE, is, on the whole, one of the most highly finished, and certainly the most interesting, of the pieces of our author; and, together with the ELEGY to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, is the only inftance.

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of the Pathetic POPE has given us. one may venture to remark, that the reputa tion of POPE, as a poet, among pofterity, will be principally owing to his WINDSOR FOREST, his RAPE OF THE Lock, and his ELOISA TO ABELARD; whilft the facts and characters alluded to and exposed, in his later writings, will be forgotten and unknown, and their poignancy and propriety little relished, For WIT and SATIRE are tranfitory and perishable, but NATURE and PASSION are eternal.


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