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works, argues for this view, though he thinks it possible that Pope incorpo. rated material from an earlier character sketch of the Duchess of Marlborough. Pope had been on friendly terms with the Duchess of Buckinghamshire, but they had quarrelled; after her death Pope was further angered by her will in which she left her private papers (including letters from Pope) to his enemy Lord Hervey. 1.157. Chloe: eighteenth-century gossip took this for a portrait of the Countess of Suffolk (1681-1767), mistress of George II. Mr. Bateson doubts this, since she was a close friend of Martha Blount, and is affectionately referred to by Pope himself in his letters. 1.182. A Queen: Queen Caroline (1683–1737), consort of George II. She was disliked by Pope and his Tory circle for her support of Sir Robert Walpole 1.193. Queensberry: Catherine Hyde, Duchess of Queensberry (1700–1777), Gay's patroness, and one of the most beautiful women of her time. 1.198. Mah’met: or Mahomet, a Turkish servant of the King. 1.198. Parson Hale: Dr. Stephen Hale (1677–1767), perpetual curate of Teddington and a friend of Pope. 1.266. Tickets: lottery tickets. 1.266. Codille: see the notes to The Rape of the Lock. 11.289–290. The gen’rous God, who wit and gold refines, And ripens Spirits as he ripens Mines: Phoebus, the god of poetical wit, is also the sungod. These lines refer to the ancient belief that the gold within the earth was produced by the action of the sun's rays.
74. Extract from EPISTLE TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF BURLINGTON
The first edition of this poem, published in 1731, bears the title ‘An Epistle to the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Burlington. Occasioned by his Publishing Palladio's Designs of the Baths, Arches, Theatres, etc. of Ancient Rome.' But the half-title reads ‘Of Taste, an Epistle to the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Burlington'. In Pope's Collected Works of 1735 it becomes the fourth of Ethick Epistles (Book II), and is subtitled 'Of the Use of Riches'. Its intention then is to consider Man from the point of view of both aesthetics and economics. The famous description of Timon's Villa forms the concluding passage of the poem. Timon's Villa is at once a glaring example of false taste and of the misuse of riches. According to Pope's economic theory developed in this and the preceding Epistle 'To Lord Cobham', and contingent on the theory of universal harmony expounded in the Essay on Man, misuse of riches, exemplified alike by miserliness and extravagance, leads to their eventual dissipation, by the wastrel himself or by the miser's heirs, and they once more revert according to the law of Nature to their
productive use. The third Earl of Burlington (1695-1753) had studied architecture in Italy and championed classical Palladian taste in England against the rococo and baroque. He reconstructed Burlington House in Piccadilly and built for himself a villa at Chiswick according to these principles. 1.99. Timon's Villa: Pope was widely supposed in his own day and subsequently to have intended an attack on the Duke of Chandos, and his country seat, Canons, near Edgware, in this passage. Pope himself denied this, claiming, probably with justification, that it was a composite picture. The story that Chandos had befriended Pope who thus ungratefully repaid him is without foundation. 1.136. Aldus: Aldus Manutius (Teobaldo or Aldo Manuzio, 1450–1515) founded the Aldine Press at Venice. It was celebrated for its typography and issued many notable editions of the classics. Du Sueil: the Abbé de Sueil was a celebrated Paris bookbinder, who flourished at this time. 1.146. Verrio: Antonio Verrio (1639–1707). Italian painter. He came to England at the invitation of Charles II and worked there till his death. Little of his work survives, but he was often criticized by contemporaries for his gaudy colouring and bad composition and draughtmanship. Laguerre: Louis Laguerre (1663–1721), a French painter who came to England in 1683 and worked with Verrio and others. 1.160. Sancho's dread doctor: in Don Quixote, Chapter XLVII, Sancho Panza, who has been tricked into believing himself Governor of the island of Barataria, is served a splendid banquet. But a physician with a magic wand spirits each dish away before he can taste it, arguing that it would be bad for his health. 1.173. Bathurst: the Earl of Bathurst (1685-1775) was, among other things, an enthusiastic landscape gardener. Pope addressed to him the third of his Ethick Epistles (Book II), 'On the Use of Riches'.
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT
First published in 1735. In Warburton's text of 1751 this poem is subtitled “The Prologue to the Satires', and is given, as here, in dialogue form. It is doubtful, however, if this had Pope's authority. The Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot is one of Pope's greatest achievements. It might be termed his apologia. Assuming the detached, Horatian persona, he retorts upon his enemies, and defends his own position as satirist and humanist moralist.
John Arbuthnot (1667–1735), a Scot, was physician-in-ordinary to Queen Anne as well as Pope's own medical attendant. With Swift, Pope and others, he was one of the founders of the Scriblerus Club. He was the author of The History of John Bull (1712) as well as of medical works. 1.1. Good John: John Serle, Pope's servant. 1.3. The Dog-star rages: the Dog-days, in late summer, when the Dog-star, Sirius, appears above the horizon, at which time dogs were supposed to be liable to madness. S.P.A.P.-IO
1.8. My Grot: Pope's celebrated grotto in the garden of his villa at Twickenham. 1.23. Arthur: Arthur Moore, the father of James Moore Smythe. 1.40. Keep your piece nine years: Horace, in his Ars Poetica, advised an aspiring poet to keep his work by him for nine years before venturing to publish it. 1.41. Drury Lane: at this time this street was the haunt of prostitutes and riff-raff generally. 1.43. Term ends: the publishing seasons coincided with the legal terms. 1.53. Curl: Edmund Curll (or Curle) (1675–1747), one of Pope's chief enemies. An unscrupulous and often scandalous publisher. He had printed indecent poems under Pope's name, and the latter also accused him of bringing out a pirated edition of his letters. 1.62. Lintot: Barnaby Bernard Lintot (1675–1736), a notable Augustan publisher. He printed many of Pope's own works. 1.85. Codrus: the name of a poet ridiculed by Virgil and Juvenal. 1.97. Colly: Colly Cibber. (See the Commentary on the extracts from The Dunciad.) 1.98. Henley: John Henley (1692-1750). A minister who, having left the Church, set up as an independent preacher, delivering his Butcher's Lecture in Newport Market. 1.98. Moore: James Moore-Smythe (1702–1734). He had attacked Pope in an Epistle to Mr. Pope and was in fact a Freemason. 1.99. Bavius: a bad poet satirized by Horace. 1.100. Philips: Ambrose Philips (1675–1749). This poet had long before earned the enmity of Pope through a quarrel as to the merits of their respective Pastorals. He accompanied Hugh Bolter, Bishop of Armagh, to Ireland as his secretary. 1.101. Sappho: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. See the notes to An Epistle to a Lady. 1.111. Grubstreet: now Milton Street, Cripplegate. It was formerly the haunt of hack-writers of all kinds. 1.117. Ammon's great son: Alexander the Great. See the notes to the Extracts from An Essay on Criticism. 1.135. Granville: George Granville, Lord Landsdowne (1667–1735), poet and statesman. Pope dedicated Windsor Forest to him. 1.136. Walsh: William Walsh (1663–1708), poet and critic, and an early friend of Pope. 1.137. Garth: Sir Samuel Garth (1661–1719), poet and physician. Author of The Dispensary, one of the models for The Rape of the Lock. 1.139. Talbot: Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury (1660-1710). Pope's versification of Donne's Satires was undertaken at his request. 1.139. Somers: John, Baron Somers (1651-1716), Lord Chancellor. He had encouraged Pope in the writing of his Pastorals.
1.139. Sheffield: John Sheffield, Earl of Mulgrave, and first Duke of Buckingham and Normanby (1648–1721). Poet and statesman. Pope published an edition of his Poetical Works in 1723. 1.140. Rochester: Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester (1662–1732). A member of the Scriblerus Club. Pope was a witness at his trial for treason in 1723, after which Atterbury was found guilty of corresponding with the Old Pretender and banished. 1.141. St. John: Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751), the guide, philosopher and friend to whom Pope addressed the Essay on Man. 1.146. Burnet: Thomas Burnet (1694-1753). A friend of Addison, he had attacked Pope in the course of his quarrel with Addison over his translation of Homer. 1.146. Oldmixon: John Oldmixon (1673-1742). An author of scandalous histories who had offended Pope by some personal reflections on Swift and himself. 1.146. Cooke: Thomas Cooke (1703–1756), poet and translator. He had slighted Pope in his Battle of the Poets and other writings. 1.149. Fanny's: Fanny was one of Pope's names for Lord Hervey. 1.151. Gildon: Charles Gildon (1665–1724). He had attacked Pope in his New Rehearsal and his Memoirs of Wycherley. 1.153. Dennis: John Dennis (1657–1734). A line reflecting on his tragedy Appius and Virginia in Pope's Essay on Criticism had drawn a furious attack on the young poet from this irascible but not negligible critic. This produced an enmity on Pope's part which lasted for the rest of Dennis's life. 1.164. Slashing Bentley piddling Tibalds: for Bentley and Theobald see the commentary and notes on the Extracts from The Dunciad. 1.190. Tate: Nahum Tate (1652–1715). Succeeded Shadwell as Poet Laureate. He is best remembered for the Psalm paraphrase he undertook in collaboration with Nicholas Brady. He is at best a mediocre poet. 1.193. Peace to all such .... this phrase leads us in to the famous 'Character of Atticus', Pope's deadly summing up of a perennial type of literary dictator and coterie leader—but in historical fact Joseph Addison. The history of Pope's relations with Addison is a complex one. At the time of the former's first entry on the London literary scene they seem to have been on fairly friendly terms. But Pope was increasingly offended by Addison's praise of Ambrose Philips' Pastorals at the expense of his own, and by his encouragement of Thomas Tickell's rival translation of the Illiad. He also believed a false report that Addison had further encouraged Gildon scurrillously to attack him. In 1716 Pope sent Addison the first version of the 'Character of Atticus', and according to Pope himself
, 'Addison used him very civilly ever after'. The lines were incorporated in the Epistle to Arbuthnot many years after Addison's death in 1719. 1.209. Like Cato, give his little Senate laws: In this couplet Pope cruelly adapts
one from his own complimentary Prologue to Addison's tragedy of Cato. This had contained the lines:
'While Cato gives his little Senate laws,
What bosom beats not in his country's cause?' 1.215. What tho' my Name stood rubric on the walls? 1.216. Or placed at posts, with Claps in capitals.
Eighteenth-century bookseller-publishers displayed the title pages of their new books on posts in front of their shop doors. Lintot was particularly fond of red letter title pages—hence ‘rubric'. Claps means posters, or bills to be pasted on walls. 1.222. A birth-day song: the annual odes provided by the Laureate on the King's birthday. 1.230. Bufo: Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax (1661–1715). A notable statesman, and a poet and patron of poets. Pope had refused his offer of a pension. 1.260. My Verse: Pope's epitaph on Gay in Westminster Abbey reads as follows:
‘Of manners gentle, of Affections mild;
Striking their pensive bosoms—Here lies GAY.' 1.260. Queensb’ry: The Duchess of Queensbury (for whom see also the notes to the Epistle to a Lady) was the friend and patroness of Gay. 1.276. Balbus: Viscount Dupplin, noted for ‘his incessant small talk'. 1.280. Sir Will: Sir William Yonge (d. 1755), Whig politician. According to Lord Hervey 'his name was proverbially used to express everything pitiful, corrupt, and contemptible'. 1.280. Bubo: George Budd Doddington, Baron Melcombe (1691-1762), politician and literary patron. It is said that he put about the unfounded report that Timon (see extract from the Epistle to Lord Burlington) was intended for the Duke of Chandos. Hence the references to the Dean and silver bell and Canons, below. Sporus: this famous piece of invective is directed against John, Lord Hervey (1696–1754), Vice-Chamberlain and confidential adviser of Queen Caroline. His Memoirs of the Reign of George II show him to have