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Compare Jeremy Taylor's · Faith is the golden chain to link the penitent sinner unto God.' music [of] the spheres, dates back to Pythagoras (about 600 B.C.). We have a beautiful expression of this thought in The Merchant of Venice, v. 1.
Look, how the floor of Heaven
Such harmony is in immortal souls; Lines 21-4 are supposed to refer to Bishop Ken, the Non-Juror, the author of Morning and Evening Hymns. See comment on lines 98-140. 25-41. exhales • draws forth,' 'causes to flow,' as in
thy presence that exhales this blood From cold and empty veins.
Rich. iii. I. 2, 58-9. The imagery in lines 34-7 is evidently from the old Æsop's Fable, The Sun, The Wind and The Traveler.
For 38-41 see I. Kings, xix. 9-13. harbinger. This beautiful Old English word is seldom met with today in prose, but has been preserved for us by the poets. It originally designated a king's officer who, when the Court travelled, went one day ahead to provide lodging and entertainment.
42-49. tithes, literally “tenths;' the tenth part of the produce of the land, paid to the clergy. bell and book. See Brewer, article • Cursing by Bell, Book, and Candle.' In Barham's Jackdaw of Rheims we have a curse of this kind given in picturesque detail :
The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,
Never was heard such a terrible curse ! 50-59. For the sentiment of these beautiful lines compare Hugo's Les Miserables, ii. 3, “The Bishop, who was sitting near him (the convict], gently touched his hand. “... This is not my house; it is the house of Jesus Christ. This door does not demand of him who enters whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer, you are hungry and thirsty; you are welcome. And do not thank me; do not say that I receive you in my house. No one is at home here except the man that needs a refuge. I say to you who are passing by, that you are much more at home here than I myself. Everything here is yours.
60-74. Paul's, means St. Paul's Cathedral and Churchyard in London. In Chaucer we are told that the Parson did not run to St. Paul's to seek him a chantry for souls. In Dryden the application of the term Paul's is wider, and contains an allusion to the traffic carried on in the churchyard of the Cathedral. Streets and shops have gradually encroached upon this yard, and bookstores here do largely congregate. This is the explanation of the ‘Published by
St. Paul's Churchyard,' which you see on the title pages of some English books.
75-97. For line 90, see John xix. 36; for line 94, John xix. 2; for line 95, Matthew xxvii. 28. sons ... Zebedee. See Matthew xx. 20–28; iv. 20-21.
There is nothing in Chaucer to correspond with lines 98-140. Dryden inserted this passage to express his admiration for the Non-Jurors ---some three hundred or four hundred Church of England clergymen who had refused to take the oaths of supremacy and allegiance to William and Mary, and who were therefore deprived of their benefices (1690). The most illustrious of these was Ken. An elaborate account of this movement will be found in Macaulay's History, Chapter xiv. The reference in Dryden is thinly disguised by throwing back the scene to the last year but one of Chaucer's life — the year 1399, when Richard II. was deposed by Henry IV.
98-105. Reflecting, Moses-like. See Exodus xxxiv, 29–35. For line 105 see Genesis ii. 3. 106-122. The tempter; Job i. 9-12; ii. 4-6. Near though he
William of Orange was the nephew of the deposed James II. ; Henry of Bolingbroke was the cousin of Richard II. The next of blood to James II. was his infant son James Edward, afterwards known as the Old Pretender; the next of blood to Richard II. was Edmund, Earl of March. For the political events referred to in lines 115-122, consult a History of England under the years 1688–9.
123-140. The rest in orders. When a man becomes a clergyman in the Church of England he is said to take orders.'
The rest in orders, then, are the clergy who consented to take the oaths of supremacy and allegiance. Notice the clever inuendo [innuendo] in these lines. For the metaphor in the Alexandrine that ends the song, see note on ‘foil’ in Lycidas, 79.
ALEXANDER POPE, 'the most brilliant of all wits who have at any period applied themselves to the poetic treatment of human manners,'1 was born in 1688— the year of the Revolution. Being a Roman Catholic, he was excluded by his religion from the benefits of a University training. Though an omnivorous reader, his education in the classics was desultory and superficial. The result of this is painfully apparent in his Paraphrase (sometimes called a Translation) of Homer, whereof Bentley said with equal truth and wit, ' Very pretty poetry, Mr. Pope, but pray don't call it Homer.' The first volume of this appeared in 1715, when Pope was only twenty-seven; chiefly through the disinterested exertions of Swift, the list of subscribers grew to such dimensions that Pope was assured of a modest competency for life. The Rape of the Lock (completed in 1714) stands to-day as the best mock-heroic poem in English, while the Eloisa to Abelard (1717) shows that Pope is not deficient in the third requirement of the Miltonic canon — Passion. Immortal lines are to be found scattered through Pope's attempts at literary criticism (Essay on Criticism) and at philosophy (Essay on Man), nor can we deny to the former the merit of having done much to develope sound critical principles in England. The work of his maturer years is to be found in the Epistles and Satires; when you have studied the specimens given in this book, you will have at least some data upon which you can form an independent judgment that may or may not agree with that of De Quincey, quoted at the beginning of this article. To the deformity of Pope's body may be attributed some of the irascibility of his temper. He was engaged in perpetual quarrels; sometimes with men of character and ability who would have been his best friends; oftener with denizens of Grub Street quite beneath his notice. His nature seemed to crave the excitement of a continual literary hawking-party; among the larger game at whom he flew his birds were George II. (see the Epistle to Augustus), the Duchess of Marlborough, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Cibber, Defoe, Tickell, Addison and Bentley. He was not perfectly sincere with even his most intimate friends, Bolingbroke and Swift: to the latter, this melancholy revelation was spared; to the former it was disclosed only after Pope's death
LIFE AND TIMES. For the advanced student and the teacher, all former editions of Pope have been superseded by that of Elwin and Courthope in ten volumes (London, 1871-89). (To this edition the editor of this book is under constant obligation.) It seems as if the diligence of these editors had left little for future generations to glean. The work is extremely uneven in quality. For Vols, i. ii. vi. vii. viii. Elwin is responsible; in addition to much useful information, they contain a tirade of abuse against Pope, which shows the editor to have been lacking in the first essential of a good biographer -- sympathy with his subject. For Vols. iii. iv. v. ix. x. Courthope is responsible : while quite as scholarly as the others, they are marked by sympathetic treatment and delightful literary finish. Vol. v. contains the Life of Pope; in this, the sixteenth chapter, on The Place of Pope in Literature, is especially valuable and contains the refutation of Matthew Arnold's judgment on Dryden and Pope referred to on p. 26 of these notes.
1 De Quincey.
Teachers who cannot get access to Courthope's Life should consult Leslie Stephen's admirable little book on Pope in the English Men of Letters Series. For the social life of the times see Thackeray's masterpiece, Henry Esmond; also his George 1. and George 11. in The Four Georges. For the History, see Green, Chapter IX. Sec. 9-10.
TEXT: Elwin and Courthope, as above; or Ward (MacMillan).
CRITICISM. Addison, Spectator, No. 253. Thoroughly commonplace and interesting only as a contemporary view.
Macaulay; Essay on Addison. Contains a rather one-sided account of the quarrel between Addison and Pope, in which Addison (as a good Whig) is all white and Pope (as a bad Tory) is all black. For the other side, see
Thackeray's Prior, Gay and Pope in his English Humorists.
Johnson's Pope, in his Lives of the Poets, contains the famous parallel between Dryden and Pope.
De Quincey; Three Essays. (1) Alexander Pope. Sympathetic and penetrating. Contains, however, one ‘prodigious oversight' in the false psychological analysis of Pope's Atticus. (2) On The Poetry of Pope. Contains an elaborate examination of Pope's 'correctness.' (3) Lord Carlisle on Pope. Deals with Pope's philosophy and his theory of French Influences in English Literature.
Lowell; Essay on Pope. A very brief treatment that adds little to our previous knowledge.
Montaigut; Revue des deux Mondes, iii. 86, 274. Interesting as showing the high opinion of Pope entertained by a cultured Frenchman.
Gosse : from Shakespeare to Pope. Has a good account of the rise of classical' poetry in England.
EPISTLE TO MR. JERVAS. This epistle was published in 1717. Jervas had given Pope lessons in painting, and after the death of Kneller in 1723, became the most distinguished portrait-painter of the day. His abundant self-esteem caused him to do and say many ridiculous things; the best remembered of these is the anecdote of his copying a Titian, and then exclaiming, as he compared his own work with the original, ‘Poor little Tit, how he would stare ! Fresnoy or Dufresnoy (d. 1665), a French painter, whose Latin poem De Arte Graphica is here referred to.
Muse; compare Lycidas 19. strike
blend; notice the use of the subjunctive in the dependent clauses. close Art. See lines 39-40 and notes there. regular. Pope appears never to have known exactly what he meant by ' regular ’; he seems to use it as a loose synonym for polished,' ' finished,' 'in good taste.' rage = poetic inspiration, enthusiasm. This * rage'is in imitation of the divina rabies' (divine madness) of the Latin poets. Among the ancients, insanity was often looked upon as a sign of inspiration. Compare the well-known story of Cassandra; also Vergil's description of the Sybil in Æneid vi. 46-51.
Her colour changed, her face was not the same,
(Dryden.) 13-22. unite
contract. What parts of the verb? both, is of course tautological. You have here an example of a defect inherent in the heroic couplet; in order to make the thought fill up twenty syllables, it is sometimes necessary to expand and weaken it by the introduction of unnecessary words. slowly-growing works. Is this subject or object?
23-38. Raphael's Monument. Raphael is buried in a vault behind the high altar of the Pantheon at Rome. See note on Raphael in the comment on line 39 of Dryden's Epistle to Congreve. Maro = Publius Vergilius Maro, shortened and Anglicized to · Vergil.' He was buried by his own request near Naples ; tradition still points out the spot. Tully = Marcus Tullius Cicero, the famous Roman orator, killed at Formiae by order of Antony in 43 B.C. builds imaginary Rome anew; meaning, ‘in imagination builds Rome anew.' Guido Guido Reni who died in 1642; best known by his beautiful Aurora and by the Beatrice Cenci commonly attributed to him. Caracci; there were several Italian painters of this name, the most distinguished of whom was Annibale Caracci, d. 1609. Correggio (Antonio Allegri) so called from his birthplace (now Reggio), a little town near Modena. His pictures are famous for their delicate treatment of light and shade, - or, to use the artist's word, their chiaroscuro. He died in 1534.
Paulo; (Paul Cagliari), best known in English as Paul Veronese, or Paul of Verona (d. 1588). His paintings are crowded with anachronisms which we must forget in order to enjoy