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This is not a legitimate ellipsis. Fame is not a passion, though love is; but his ear was evidently confused by the meeting of the sounds • love and fame,' as if they of themselves immediately implied love, and love of fame.' Pope's rhymes are constantly defective, being rhymes to the eye instead of the ear; and this to a greater degree, not only than in later, but than in preceding writers. The praise of his versification must be confined to its uniform smoothness and harmony. In the translation of the Iliad, which has been considered as his masterpiece in style and execution, he continually changes the tenses in the same sentence for the purposes of the rhyme, which shows either a want of technical resources or great inattention to punctilious exactness.

But to have done with this.

The Epistle of Eloise to Abelard is the only exception I can think of to the general spirit of the foregoing remarks; and I should be disingenuous not to acknowledge that it is an exception. The foundation is in the letters themselves of Abelard to Eloise, which are quite as impressive, but still in a different way. It is fine as a poem, it is finer as a piece of high-wrought eloquence. No woman could be supposed to write a better love-letter in verse. Besides the richness of the historical materials, the high gusto of the original sentiments which Pope had to work upon, there were perhaps circumstances in his own situation which made him enter into the subject with even more than a poet's feeling. The tears shed are drops gushing from the heart; the words are burning sighs breathed from the soul of love. Perhaps the poem to which it bears the greatest similarity in our language is Dryden's Tancred

" and Sigismunda,' taken from Boccaccio. Pope's Eloise will bear this comparison; and after such a test, with Boccaccio for the original author, and Dryden for the translator, it need shrink from no other. There is something exceedingly tender and beautiful in the sound of the concluding lines,

*If ever chance two wandering lovers brings
To Paraclete's white walls and silver springs,' etc.

The ' Essay on Man'is not Pope's best work. It is a theory which Bolingbroke is supposed to have given him, and which he expanded into versé. But ‘he spins the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.' All that he says, 'the very words, and to the selfsame tune,' would prove just as well that whatever is, is wrong, as that whatever is, is right.

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The Dunciad' has splendid passages, but in general it is dull, heavy, and mechanical. The sarcasm already quoted on Settle, the Lord Mayor's poet (for at that time there was a city as well as a court poet),


Now, night descending, the proud scene is o'er,
But lives in Settle's numbers one day more,' –

is the finest inversion of immortality conceivable. It is even better than his serious apostrophe to the great heirs of glory, the triumphant bards of antiquity.

The finest burst of severe moral invective in all Pope is the prophetical conclusion of the epilogue to the Satires,

'Virtue may choose the high or low degree,
'T is just alike to virtue and to me;
Dwell in a monk, or light upon a king,
She's still the same beloved, contented thing.
Vice is undone if she forgets her birth,
And stoops from angels to the dregs of earth.
But 'tis the Fall degrades her to a whore ;
Let Greatness own her, and she's mean no more.
Her birth, her beauty, crowds and courts confess,
Chaste matrons praise her, and grave bishops bless;
In golden chains the willing world she draws,
And hers the gospel is, and hers the laws;
Mounts the tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
And sees pale Virtue carted in her stead.

Lo! at the wheels of her triumphal car,
Old England's Genius, rough with many a scar,
Dragged in the dust! his arms hang idly round,
His flag, inverted, trains along the ground !
Our youth, all liveried o'er with foreign gold,
Before her dance; behind her crawl the old !
See thronging millions to the Pagod run,
And offer country, parent, wife, or son!
Hear her black trumpet through the land proclaim
That not to be corrupted is the shame.
In soldier, churchman, patriot, man in power,
'Tis avarice all, ambition is no more !
See all our nobles begging to be slaves !
See all our fools aspiring to be knaves !
The wit of cheats, the courage of a whore,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore ;
All, all look up with reverential awe
At crimes that 'scape or triumph o'er the law ;
While truth, worth, wisdom, daily they decry,
Nothing is sacred now but villany.
Yet may this verse (if such a verse remain)
Show there was one who held it in disdain.'

His Satires are not, in general, so good as his Epistles. His enmity is effeminate and petulant from a sense of weakness, as his friendship was tender from a sense of gratitude. I do not like, for instance, his character of Chartres, or his characters of women. His delicacy often borders upon sickliness; his fastidiousness makes others fastidious. But his compliments are divine; they are equal in value to a house or an estate. Take the following. In addressing Lord Mansfield, he speaks of the grave as a scene,

Where Murray, long enough his country's pride,
Shall be no more than Tully, or than Hyde.'

To Bolingbroke he says, —


"Why rail they then if but one wreath of mine,
O all-accomplished St. John, deck thy shrine?'

Again, he has bequeathed this praise to Lord Cornbury, —

• Despise low thoughts, low gains;
Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains ;
Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains.'

One would think (though there is no knowing) that a descendant of this nobleman, if there be such a person living, could hardly be guilty of a mean or paltry action.

The finest piece of personal satire in Pope (perhaps in the world) is his character of Addison; and this, it may be observed, is of a mixed kind, made up of his respect for the man, and a cutting sense of his failings. The other finest one is that of Buckingham, and the best part of that is the pleasurable,

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