Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

the brilliancy and harmony of his coloring. In his most famous picture, The Marriage of Cana, the characters wear gorgeous sixteenth century costumes; The Virgin, The Twelve Apostles, Venetian Senators, Mediæval Friars and Poets are all here; among the musicians at the feast we have portraits of Tintoretto, of Titian and of Paulo himself. Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), the greatest of portrait painters and of colorists, was a native of Venice. He lived to the extraordinary age of 99, with his intellectual powers unimpaired. It is interesting to notice that the three great painters of the world — Michael Angelo, Titian and Raphael — were all Italians; that they were born within nine years of each other and that they were all producing immortal work during the first twenty years of the sixteenth century.

39-54. illustrious toil. Fresnoy is said to have spent twenty years on his poem. strike, in the sense of 'impress,' as in the colloquial · How does this strike you?' Bridgewater; Elizabeth, Countess of Bridgewater, third daughter of the Duke of Marlborough. She was a famous beauty and Jervas imagined himself in love with her. She died in 1714 when only twenty-seven. 55-62. engage = attract and fix.

Churchill's race; Lady Bridgewater, mentioned above, and her three sisters, Lady Godolphin, Lady Sunderland and Lady Montagu. Their portraits are still to be seen at Blenheim. Worsley: in the original edition this read · Wortley' and referred to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, whom Pope at this time greatly admired. After his famous quarrel with her, he deprived her of the compliment by changing t to s. Lady Worsley's eyes seem to have made a deep impression on Swift as well as on Pope. (See Swift's letter to her of April 19, 1730.) Blount; Martha Blount was the younger of two comely sisters who played an important part in Pope's life. With Teresa Blount he quarrelled; for Martha his admiration - perhaps his love mained constant. Dying, he bequeathed her the greater part of his personal property.

Belinda; Miss Arabella Fermor, the heroine of Pope's Rape of the Lock.

63-78. Graces; see note on L'Allegro 15. Muses; see Ci. Myths, § 43 (4). Zeuxis, the most famous of Greek painters, is supposed to have flourished about 400 B.C. His masterpiece was the picture of Helen here referred to, painted for the city of Croton. Mira, was the Countess of Newburgh, a beauty whom George Granville (Lord Lansdowne) celebrated in some very feeble verses.

In this little Epistle you will notice a vein of pathos not common in Pope. What is there in the subject to induce this feeling? How are the pathetic touches introduced ? Is the concluding couplet in harmony with the rest of the poem ? Give reasons for your answer to this last question.

- re

EPISTLE TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF

BURLINGTON.

The Earl of Burlington was a munificent patron of the Arts, and himself a landscape gardener and architect of some pretensions. This epistle, first published in 1731, and afterwards much amended, was originally entitled False Taste. It is intended to enforce a favorite maxim of Pope's, - that all Art is founded on common sense :

Still follow Sense, of ev'ry Art the Soul. You will have little difficulty in following the thought if you study carefully the following

“ ARGUMENT OF THE USE OF RICHIES. The Vanity of Expence in People of Wealth and Quality. The abuse of the word Taste, v. 13. That the first principle and foundation, in this as in everything else, is Good Sense, v. 40. The chief proof of it is to follow Nature even in works of mere Luxury and Elegance. Instanced in Architecture and Gardening, where all must be adapted to the Genius and Use of the Place, and the Beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it, v. 50. How men are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings, for want of this true Foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all ; and the best Examples and Rules will but be perverted into soinething burdensome or ridiculous, v. 65, etc., to 92. A description of the false Taste of Magnificence; the first grand Error of which is to imagine that Greatness consists in the Size and Dimension, instead of the Proportion and Harmony of the whole, v. 97, and the second, either in joining together Parts incoherent, or too ininutely resembling, or in the Repetition of the same too frequently, v. 105, etc. A word or two of false Taste in Books, in Music, in Painting, even in Preaching and Prayer, and lastly in Entertainments, v. 133, etc. Yet Providence is justified in giving Wealth to be squandered in this manner, since it is dispersed to the Poor and Laborious part of mankind, v. 169 [recurring to what is laid down in the first book, Ep. II. and in the Epistle preceding this, v. 159, etc.). What are the proper Objects of Magnificence, and a proper field for the Expence of Great Men, v. 177, etc., and finally, the Great and Public Works which become a Prince, v. 191, to the end."

1-10. Topham. • A gentleman famous for a judicious collection of drawings.' - Pope. Pembroke; probably the Earl of Pembroke, whose county seat of Wilton was celebrated for its works of art. Hearne; a well-known antiquary. Mead; Sloane ; two prominent physicians: the one famous for his library, the other for his collection of natural curiosities, now in the British Museum.

13-22. Sir Visto; Sir Robert Walpole, for twenty years Whig Prime Minister of England. He made a large fortune in politics, and lavished much of it on his magnificent house and gardens at lloughton. Pope detested him, and never lost a chance to satirize him. Ripley was an architect, a henchman of Walpole's, and built the house at Houghton. Bubo, in Latin, means Owl.' Here it stands for Bubb Doddington (Lord Melcombe), a close friend of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and a favorite object for Pope's satire.

23-38. You show us Rome was glorious. • The Earl of Burlington was then publishing the Designs of Inigo Jones and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio.' – Pope. Palladian. Andrea Palladio was an Italian architect who died in 158o. He introduced a tawdry style of architecture, in which the Roman orders are used not for constructive, but for decorative, purposes. Do any of the public buildings you are familiar with answer to Pope's description in these lines? How about those in your own town?

39-46. the seven. The Schoolmen's list of the Seven Sciences is Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Music, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy. Jones; Inigo Jones (d. 1653), the most famous English architect of his day. Le Nôtre (d. 1700), the favorite landscape gardener of Louis XIV. He laid out the grounds at Versailles; also St. James' and Greenwich Parks.

47-64. •All the three rules of gardening are reducible to three heads: the contrasts, the management of surprises, and the concealment of the bounds.' — Pope.

65-70. Stowe; Lord Cobham's country seat in Buckinghamshire. • Though some of the buildings

are far from beautiful, yet the rich landscapes occasioned by the multiplicity of temples and obelisks and the various pictures that present themselves as we shift our situation occasion surprise and pleasure, sometimes recalling Albano's landscapes to our mind, and oftener to our fancy the idolatrous and luxuriant vales of Daphne and Tempe.'Horace Walpole.

71-78. Versailles; see note on “Le Nôtre,' line 46. Nero's terraces; see Brewer, article Golden House.' Cobham; see note on · Stowe,' line 70. cut wide views. This was done in Hertfordshire by a wealthy citizen at the expense of above £5,000, by which means (merely to overlook a dead plain) he let in the north wind upon his house and pasture, which were before adorned and defended by beautiful woods.'— Pope. Samuel Clarke, D.D., was a favorite of Queen Caroline's, who made him one of her chaplains, and after his death (1729) had his bust placed in the Hermitage. This was a famous grotto which the Queen had constructed in Richmond Gardens in the summer of 1735. She called it “Merlin's Cave,” and filled it with figures of the wizard and his votaries, copied from members of her court. Pope here implies that there was a grotesque incongruity between a grotto and the likeness of an assiduous courtier like Dr. Clarke.

79-88. quincunx; espaliers; parterres. All these words nave interesting etymologies. supports; • here used in the technical sense, signifying the art by which objects are made in a picture to assume their proper relative proportions.' — E. and C.'s Pope, iii. 178.

89-98. Dryads; Cl. Myths, § 47 (2) and § 121. In line 95 the construction is elliptical : ‘Having destroyed his father's work, he views,' etc. The boundless Green is condemned as monotonous : the flourished Carpet as cramped and stiff in design. In the parks of some of our large cities you can see these · flourished carpets.'

99-112. Timon. Pope's enemies declared that he had once received a present of £500 from the Duke of Chandos, and that in Timon he held up his benefactor to ridicule. Both these charges Pope hotly and — as the evidence shows truthfully denied. Pope's note on lines 99–168 explains that “This description is intended to comprise the principles of a false taste of [for] magnificence, and to exemplify what was said before, that nothing but good sense can attain it.' Brobdignag; the land of giants : familiar to readers of Gulliver's Travels, which was published five years before the first edition of this Epistle.

113-126. Amphitrite; Cl. Myths, $ 52. Notice how the ludicrous effects in this famous passage are produced by the juxtaposition of things incongruous.

127-140. Aldus; Aldo Manuzio (whence Aldine), a famous Venetian printer of the 16th Century. De Sueil; a Parisian binder. Locke. His famous Essay on the Human Understanding had been published some forty years when this Epistle came out.

141-150. Verrio (Antonio) painted many ceilings, etc., at Windsor, Hampton Court, etc., and Laguerre at Blenheim Castle and other places.' — Pope.

151-168. Tritons. See note on · Herald of the Sea,' Lycidas 89. Sancho's dread doctor. See Don Quixote, Part ii. Book iii. Chap

God Bless the King. The English National Air, often played at the close of musical and theatrical entertainments.

ter 47

169-180. . Ceres. Cl. Myths, § 45. Bathurst. Allen Apsley. Lord Bathurst, “a man of learning, courtesy and feeling' (Sterne). to whom Pope addressed his Third Epistle.

181-204. Jones; see line 46 and note. Palladio; see note on · Palladian,' line 37. Vitruvius; see note on Dryden's Epistle to Congreve, line 15.

It would be difficult to imagine a more artistic conclusion to an Epistle of this nature, or one that holds up a more admirable ideal. It is not unworthy to be compared with those noble lines in which Vergil interprets the destiny of Rome :

Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento;
Hae tibi erunt artes; pacisque imponere morem,
Parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos.

Æneid vi. 851-853. Dryden's rendering of this has evidently suggested Pope's concluding line.

But Rome, 'tis thine alone with awful sway,
To rule mankind and make the world obey,
Disposing peace and war thy own majestic way.
To tame the proud, the settered slave to free -
These are imperial arts and worthy thee!

EPISTLE TO AUGUSTUS. This Epistle (first published in 1737) is imitated from Horace's Epistles ii. 1. This you should read, if not in the original at least in Conington's translation. The King's name was George Augustus. Physical bravery seems to have been his only redeeming virtue; in all other respects he was a thoroughly contemptible creature, as you may read in Thackeray's Four Georges. The portions of the Epistle addressed directly to him are couched in a vein of subtle irony. Warton says that the irony was so artfully concealed that some of the highest rank in the Court 'mistook it for serious praise (!); but this seems hardly credible.

1-6. open all the Main, seems to be used in a double sense : (1) You open all the sea to English trade; (2) you leave the sea open to the Spaniards. In the year this epistle was published, there was great excitement in England over the right of search' which Spain claimed to exercise and did exercise over English vessels. When Spain declined and when England became the leading naval power of the world, she claimed for herself this same right of search' against which she had formerly so vigorously protested. The connection between this claim and the war of 1812 is too well known to need elaboration here. chief in Arms, abroad defend; referring to the King's desire to command the army in person and to his repeated absences in his beloved Hanover. Morals, Arts and

« AnteriorContinuar »