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illustration of these remarks. Can anything be more elegant and graceful than the description of Belinda, in the beginning of the second canto?

'Not with more glories, in the ethereal plain,
The sun first rises o'er the purpled main,
Than, issuing forth, the rival of his beams,
Launched on the bosom of the silver Thames.
Fair nymphs and well-drest youths around her shone,
But ev'ry eye was fixed on her alone.

On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore,
Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
Her lively looks a sprightly mind disclose,
Quick as her eyes, and as unfixed as those.
Favours to none, to all she smiles extends;
Oft she rejects, but never once offends.
Bright as the sun, her eyes the gazers strike;
And, like the sun, they shine on all alike.
Yet graceful ease, and sweetness void of pride,
Might hide her faults, if belles had faults to hide.
If to her share some female errors fall,

Look on her face, and you'll forget 'em all.

'This nymph, to the destruction of mankind,
Nourished two locks, which graceful hung behind
In equal curls, and well conspired to deck
With shining ringlets the smooth iv'ry neck.'

The following is the introduction to the account of Belinda's assault upon the baron bold who had dissevered one of these locks from her fair head forever and forever,' —

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'Now meet thy fate, incensed Belinda cried,
And drew a deadly bodkin from her side.
(The same his ancient personage to deck,
Her great-great-grandsire wore about his neck,
In three seal rings; which after, melted down,
Formed a vast buckle for his widow's gown;
Her infant grandame's whistle next it grew,
The bells she jingled, and the whistle blew ;
Then in a bodkin graced her mother's hairs,
Which long she wore, and now Belinda wears.) '

I do not know how far Pope was indebted for the original idea or the delightful execution of this poem to the 'Lutrin' of Boileau.

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The Rape of the Lock' is a double-refined essence of wit and fancy, as the Essay on Criticism' is of wit and sense. The quantity of thought and observation in this work, for so young a man as Pope was when he wrote it, is wonderful; unless we adopt the supposition that most men of genius spend the rest of their lives in teaching others what they themselves have learned under twenty. The conciseness and felicity of the expression are equally remarkable. Thus, in reasoning on the variety of men's opinion, he says,

"T is with our judgments, as our watches,
Go just alike, yet each believes ́his own.'


Nothing can be more original and happy than the general remarks and illustrations in the

Essay; the critical rules laid down are too much those of a school, and of a confined one. There is one passage in the Essay on Criticism' in which the author speaks with that eloquent enthusiasm of the fame of ancient writers, which those will always feel who have themselves any hope or chance of immortality. I have quoted the passage elsewhere, but I will repeat it here :

'Still green with bays each ancient altar stands,
Above the reach of sacrilegious hands;

Secure from flames, from envy's fiercer rage,
Destructive war, and all-involving age.

Hail! bards triumphant, born in happier days,
Immortal heirs of universal praise,

Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow.'

These lines come with double force and beauty on the reader, as they were dictated by the writer's despair of ever attaining that lasting glory which he celebrates with such disinterested enthusiasm in others, from the lateness of the age in which he lived, and from his writing in a tongue not understood by other nations, and that grows obsolete and unintelligible to ourselves at the end of every second century. But he needed not have thus antedated his own poetical doom, the loss and entire oblivion of

that which can never die. If he had known, he might have boasted that 'his little bark,' wafted down the stream of time,

'With theirs should sail,

Pursue the triumph and partake the gale,'

if those who know how to set a due value on the blessing were not the last to decide confidently on their own pretensions to it.

There is a cant in the present day about genius as everything in poetry; there was a cant in the time of Pope about sense as performing all sorts of wonders. It was a kind of watchword, the shibboleth of a critical party of the day. As a proof of the exclusive attention which it occupied in their minds, it is remarkable that in the Essay on Criticism' (not a very long poem) there are no less than half a score of successive couplets rhyming to the word 'sense.' This appears almost incredible without giving the instances, and no less so when they are given:

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'But of the two, less dangerous is the offence,
To tire our patience than mislead our sense.'
'In search of wit these lose their common-sense,
And then turn critics in their own defence.' 2

1 Lines 3, 4.

2 Lines 28, 29.

'Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.'1
'Some by old words to fame have made pretence,
Ancients in phrase, mere moderns in their sense.' 2
"T is not enough no harshness gives offence;
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.'8
'At every trifle scorn to take offence;


That always shows great pride, or little sense.' 'Be silent always when you doubt your sense, And speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence.' 5 'Be niggards of advice on no pretence,

For the worst avarice is that of sense.'"

'Strain out the last dull dropping of their sense,
And rhyme with all the rage of impotence.' 7
'Horace still charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into sense.' 8

I have mentioned this the more for the sake
of those critics who are bigoted idolizers of our
author, chiefly on the score of his correctness.
These persons seem to be of opinion that
there is but one perfect writer, even Pope.'
This is, however, a mistake; his excellence is
by no means faultlessness.
If he had no great
faults, he is full of little errors. His grammati-
cal construction is often lame and imperfect. In
the Abelard and Eloise, he


'There died the best of passions, Love and Fame.'

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