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this LIBEL; had I vauntingly proclaimed "HIS HEART WAS HARD," because this libel called it so.

My dab of verses, &c.-I think at least my dab of verses as good as your dabs of criticism; if I may judge by the disgusting specimen of ribaldry that defiles the London Magazine!

The "dab," in the beginning of the second part of my Vindication, perhaps you may like better than the "gentyller" sort. You object to my prose, as well as verse. My prose certainly is not like yours, tagged and laced with a fantastic frippery of old plays, variis pannis assuitur; your "prose" has a theatrical or rather punchlike pertness, sui generis; and I may add that your blows, which you think so effective, are given with as much apparent heartiness, but are full as wooden, as those which that irritable and obstreperous gentleman so sonorously bestows on the Queen of Sheba!' As for my "unambitious prose," it will answer the purpose of overthrowing the arguments of such writers as the Quarterly Reviewer, returning you, not in anger, but from justice, some of your hardest knocks; and this is all I care for.

You think Lady Mary was not intended by the couplet you have quoted. I think she was. I think it can and has been proved; Flavia, in the Essay on Woman, being changed afterwards to Sappho, proves just nothing at all. It was Pope's practice often to alter names, and at last fix on those he thought would best designate the characters he intended to satirise. Some of the lines applied to Atticus were first applied to Congreve; but does any one doubt whom he afterwards intended by Atticus?

The name of Sappho, having been once introduced, was continued with one and the same application. In the prologue to the Satires he introduces Sappho again. Sappho, by whom he was "bit" only once, is called in the first text, "my Lady!" Sappho is again introduced in the well-known couplet.

Whether the Lady immediately took the name to herself from consciousness of deserving it, as you, with your usual way of applying all white to one, and all black to another, suggest, I neither know nor care. Her character must shift for itself. I do not believe she was the fabricator of the whipping story, notwithstanding what Mr. D'Israeli says, who has spoken of many parts of Pope's character far more severely than I have done.


I do not believe it for this reason, because your persecuted saint, in that Imitation of Horace, for writing which, though without his name, he "deserved to be" whipped, ("old as he was,") having spoken of the poet in a BROTHEL, with particularities

1 Lady M. W. Montagu.

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as disgusting as loathsome, and which I instantly expunged from the edition, in "his erotic fever" says,



I transported view,
And call her angel, goddess, M-——gu.” '


Will you venture to say this epistle was not written by Pope? Will you venture to defend the foul and loathsome ribaldry, and deliberate pruriency;" not of a young man, but of a man at the mature age of forty-two? Will you dare to say, that such an insult to a married woman, let her be as much a flirt as she might, did not deserve almost to be marked with infamy as long as the dark blot remains on his character?

I am not writing as editor now, but I speak as I think and feel, and as I think every one who has the least shadow of manly generosity feels. But whether the well-known couplet was applied to Lady Mary, or Mrs. Centlivre, or Mrs. Behn, &c. it spake the

"Assassin's vengeance, and the coward's LIE!"

As to his purity, even if he did not write this infamous epistle, of which no one, I believe, doubts, it is quite ridiculous for you or any man to pretend that Pope was not licentious in ideas at least, with respect to women; for certainly the most seducingly licentious poem, in this or any language, is his beautiful epistle of Eloisa; the more seducing on account of its beauty. A poem indecent in words, is not half so dangerous as this, wherein the triumph, not of love, but of a grosser passion, over every restraint of religion and morality, is depicted in

"Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn:"

and even, for actual and gross indecency, perhaps no tolerated poem ever went so far. And how doubly disgusting to read, from such a writer,

"Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,2
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Gives virtue, scandal," &c.

As to the "Imitation," let it be written with or without a name, no idleness of youth could extenuate the crime; it was published in mature age. To say that he who wrote it was not as unprincipled as libertine, would be a perversion of language.

Lest there should be a doubt of the name, it is so printed-gu."


2 See Notes on the "Pursuits of Literature." The author, though the greatest admirer of Pope, clearly admits him to be the author of this rank obscenity.

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All we can do is to hope and believe, that he was sorry for it; and that it was, as it must have been, rejected from his Works by Warburton, according to his anxious wishes.

Pope's connexion with M. Blount, &c.-When I defy you to produce any passage or passages to justify the nauseous and obscene imagery of your criticism, you slink into generalities, and we are told of the pruriency discoverable in what is said generally of Pope's connexion with the Miss Blounts!

That will not do. Print your critique, and any passage or passages you can find, opposite, and let the reader determine to whom pruriency and disgusting images belong.

But not a word of these things should be mentioned! Say nothing of the satire! Take care to suppress any mention of Pope's early attachments, though connected with his literary life! Above all, let not his bodily infirmities be so much as hinted at!

What kind of biography could that be, that kept out of sight (in my opinion, most affectedly) every thing that might tend to exhibit the exalted hero subject to any of the infirmities of humanity? What has Sir Walter Scott deserved, who has traced so minutely, and, in my opinion, so justly, the connexion between Swift and the broken-hearted Vanessa? Yet Sir Walter, as an editor of Swift, has not spared parts of his character worse than infirmities; and, if I have spoken of youthful gallantries, he has laid open a scene of the most cold-hearted cruelty to an injured and doating female!

Has he laid "his nose to the ground to smell the taint of" this connexion? Has his "minuteness" of " anatomical" scrutiny been unworthy a gentleman? I have spoken of Pope's connexion with the Blounts; but, when it is said I have done it in such a manner as to show my own indelicacy, the prurient hypocrite, who can "swallow camels and strain at gnats," slinks into generalities, because he knows he can produce no passage to justify the obscene caricatures of his own foul imagination.

Money-getting sordid passion.-In the Life, I have spoken of Pope's prudence with regard to money. The critic says, "the truth is, he was apt to be extremely negligent!" The truth is, he was not apt to be extremely negligent! His letters prove it. I deny not his benevolence; I wish I had spoken more directly of his charity; I wish it sincerely, and would, if I could, make every amends for my culpable inattention to this part of his character. I would join heart and hand with my opponent, in finding out and acknowledging every instance of kindness.

In the Life, nothing occurs, I am sure, to justify the exaggerated charge of "sordid money-getting," even if every inadvertent expression in the body of the work is to be put into the crucible.


"that he made Here is an expression adduced from the notes, gain the end of his poetry." I think this may be said, when we consider the subscription, almost national, for the translation of Homer, and his reluctance to the task. But I beg you to observe, that Pope used the words, "principal end;" I have only said in this note, Pope made gain the end (not the " principal end") of his a SORDID PASSION." The art; but even this does not prove "sordid" man is he who hoards all he gets; who pines amidst his store. How is this consistent with Pope's "general benevolence," which I have called undoubted? Johnson professed to make "honorable gain" the end of his intellectual labors; but was he sordid? Even the note you have brought against me, from a corner, fails to prove the charge of my "accusing" Pope of " sordidness," as I have shown the failure of your other instances. "TRY AGAIN!"

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Negligence of money.-Let the reader compare the language in a letter to Theresa :

"I find from those whose judgment I myself could depend on, that it is thought the South-Sea will rather fall than rise, towards the sitting of the Parliament; and, upon this belief, I have myself kept a thousand and five hundred lying by me, to buy at such a juncture!"

Again :

"I have given orders to buy 500 for myself, as soon as South-Sea falls to 103, which you shall have if you have a mind to it."

I could extract many passages of the same description, but think these enough to answer the assertion respecting his professed carelessness about money.

I shall now only extract the first sentence of the first letter to Fortescue, to show that this feeling of prudence is uppermost; and such extracts from Pope himself are of greater authority than Mrs. Rackett's assertion :

"Dear Sir,-From an information given me by Mr. Gay, that estates were yet to be had in Devonshire, at twenty or twentyfive years' purchase; I beg it of you, as a particular kindness, to interest yourself so much in my affairs, as to get, if possible, about the yearly value of two hundred pounds, entirely, or in parcels, as it falls out, and as to your judgment may seem meet," &c.


Now, I do not, nor ever did, say, that with all this attention to the most prudent management of affairs, he might not have been I have expressly said, he was "generally benevolent;" generous. but I have not charged him with "sordidness," or money-getting passions, either in word or sentiment.

What is brought to show I accused him of the worst of tempers, does not do so.

Let Mr. D'Israeli's character of Pope be tried by the same


Quam temerè in nosmet legem sancimus iniquam !

After all, there is something chivalrous in your love and admiration, per fas et nefas, of the character of your favorite bard. If you had not used such unjustifiable, coarse, and reproachful language, I should have been glad to have met you fairly and liberally on the subject. We shall never agree about Addison or Lady Mary, but what does it matter? When you talk of my coarseness, do you never think for a moment how the cap fits yourself? I believe there is scarce an expression I have used, but such as you used before. Do you think I could be insulted and trod upon, albeit of the "gentyl" tribe, and not turn again? I have only returned you some of the stones which you have thrown so plentifully at me. Lord North used to say, "I wish to be at peace with all men, but if they assail me with stones, I will take up the largest I can find, and attack them again." I have not done this, for I believe all uncourteous expressions will be found in your vocabulary. I rather think some of the stones I have returned you may have hit you hard. You deserved it. Think of some of your expressions. I spoke with regard of one, now no more, an ornament to literature, of kind heart and polished manners. My dabs of verses are (in the peculiar facetiousness of your phraseology) for this "dead schoolmaster; and what I said, was uttered between "a hiccup and a sigh !"

It is impossible to be ignorant of the import of these words. You have before given a representation of "a priest in drink,' which you have, with as much truth as charity, applied to me. Now, Sir, supposing such a representation should be the most remote from truth; suppose, that for twenty years, he, whom you have designated as "the wealthy rector," liable to be mistaken

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'He is "Vicar" of Bremhill, and not "Rector;" and lest, as your answers imply, he might be supposed to spend all his time in drinking and ballad-singing, I insert, by way of some relief to this prose, 66 a dab" of an epitaph, written in his vicarial character:


"Our vicar plac'd this humble stone: beneath
Lies one more victim of untimely death!
The only daughter of an aged pair,
Never beheld without a parent's pray'r.

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