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THE GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE,
For APRIL, 1821.
ON THE CONTROVERSY RESPECTING Pore AND HIS WRITINGS.
REFORE we proceed to examine Il was he who (in his English Bards) D the very pleasant Letter which first began to act upon the offensive. has been traosinilted from Italy by Mr. Campbell was the next io succesLord Byron on Mr. Bowles's Edition sion; but although he differed maleof Pope's writings, it may not be rially with Mr. Bowles on the subject amiss to say a few words respecting of Pope's merits, he never descended the controversy which has given rise to personal inveclive in his criticism. to it.
He stated his objections like a gen. We canoot in the space to wbicb lleian: it would have been well if we must necessarily confine ourselves, the rest of the controversialists had enter into any detailed criticism upon followed his example. Against the the qualifications of Mr. Bowles as an Quarterly Review and a Writer in Editor of the Works of our English the London Magazine, however, Mr. Horace; but we will venture to assert, Bowles would appear to have more that oot withstanding all the elaborate serious causes of complaint. By this iu vective, which has been poured latter gentleman, he has been attacked forth against him, he has still by far . in such scurrilous terms as we hardly the best of the argument. That he ever remember to have met with in is an amiable as well as an able man, the annals of criticism; and we caneven bis enemies seem disposed to not but believe that he has made a adunit ; and with such impressious, it considerable sacrifice of his dignity, is most extraordinary that they should in vouchsafiog a reply to this writer. give themselves so much trouble lo 'As for the article on Spence's Anecinjure him in the estimation of the dotes in the Quarterly Review, not to public, by a series of charges as gross mention its referring several serious as they are unfounded and ridiculous, charges against the character of Pope What motives could Mr. Bowles (or to Mr. Bowles, which he distinctly any other reasonable man) have for proves never to bave originated with depreciating the literary reputation, him; it seems to have been gotten and vilifyiog the moral character of up, with infinite labour, for the exa poet who had been dead nearly press purpose of prejudicing his edithree-fourths of a century, before betion of Pope's works, in order to prebegan to write about him? The an- parc the way for a new one (proswer must be obvious to all who pos. bably by the author of the critique), sess any share either of candour or wbich, we are advised, is now prediscrimipation. The truth is, that paring for publication. That Lord Mr. Bowles's opponents bave made Byron would not lend himself to such him responsible for a variety of opin a measure, is quite evident. But al. biods which he never advanced ; and though he may be sincere, it does not much criticism of which he appears by any means follow that he should to have been equally guiltless : thus be infallible in the many singular opi. clamouring with prodigious vehe. nions which he maintains in the Letmence against misrepresentations ter now under consideration. In this which bave originated exclusively slight composition he reiterates for with themselves. Lord Byron is the the most part the cbarges preferred fugleman of this literary warfare. against Mr. Bowles on former occa.
292 Controversy respecting Pope and his Writings. (April, sjons in a very smart and jocose style This is equally uptrue. Mr. B. re. of satire; which requires nothing but lates the anecdole mentioned by Hoplain truth to make it as correct as race Walpole, of Pope's receiving a it is playful and agreeable.'
thousand goineas from the Duchess It is not a little remarkable tbat of Marlborough to suppress the chathese indigoant defenders of Pope, racter of Atossa, which was afterfrom the inputed slanders of his mo- wards printed ; but expressly refuses dern editor, never thought it worth to place any reliance on the tale, and their while to impugn ihe credit of explicitly suggests that candour reDr. Johnson upon the same account, quires we should reject a circum. who has often gone much farther, stance so derogatory to the character and shown more decided asperity in of Pope. Io short, he concludes with his censure of this poet, than Mr. this positive declaration, viz. 'that the Bowles. But let us examine and ipse dixit of an adversary is entitled weigh the charges brought agaiost to NO REGARD!' Could any thing this gentleman, at least such of them but the most determined malice toras are entitled to regard.
ture into aught of invidiousness or 1. It is asserted of Mr. Bowles by slavder, so plain and fair a statement? the Quarterly Reviewer, that he has Yet this, and more than tbis, has beco
aspersed Pope for a sordid inoney atlempted. getting passion.'
III. Upon the same authority (the This is decidedly untrue. He has Quarterly Review) Mr. Bowles is dedeclared in his biography of the poet, scribed as baving attributed to Pope that done was more prudent. But the most rankling envy.' even if he had thought it necessary to This also is false. He speaks of accuse him of love of money, there is bis jealousy, which must be evident evidence enough upon record to jug. to all to have taken tbe trouble mi. tify him in such an opinion. Dr. nulely to investigate his character. Joboson, in allusion to Pope's fru. It is remarked by Dr.Joboson, that is gality, observes, that it “ sometimes the letters of Pope there appears appeared in petty artifices of parsi. miuch narrowness of mind, as makes mony, such as the practice of writing him insensible of any excellence but his compositions on the backs of lets his own, &c. The opponents of Mr. ters, as may be seen in the remaining Bowles are willing to admit, upon the copy of the Iliad, by which, perhaps, representation of their idol, that Adfive shillings were saved; or in a dison was envious, &c.; and in com. niggardly reception of his friends, and menting upon bis cbaracter, descend scantiness of entertainment, as when from all consistency into the most he had two guests in bis house, he extra-critical arguments we ever rewould set at supper a single pint upon collect to have seen advanced. As the table, and having himself taken they will listen to do statement of two small glasses, would relire, and Pope that does not come immediately say, 'Geotlemen, I leave you to your from his friends ; so they will take wine.' Yet he tells his friends, that nothing for granled of Addison, but be has a heart for all, a house for all, the slanders that were propagated by and, whatever they may think, a for- bis enemies. In Spence's Anecdotes, tune for all *.".
there is a good deal of ill-natured re. And again, It would be bard to mark respecting Addison, for some of find a man so well entitled to notice which Pope is given as the authority: by his wit, tbat eyer delighted so much Indeed, the much-talked of story of in talking of his moncy t..
Addison's ungenerous treatment of Yet after all this, from the pen of Steele seems to have originated with Dr. Joboson, Mr. Bowles is assailed the same envious detractor. as a calumniator of Pope, because he D r. Joboson believed that Pope has informed us that none was more was envious of the fame of bis conprudent.' This is, we must confess, temporaries; and has acknowledged altogether a povel system of criticism, as much on more occasions than oue.
II. This charge assumes that Mr. So did Warten ; so, in fact, have all Bowles has accused Pope of taking who have written at large upon his bribes to suppress satires!'
life and writings. But Lord Byron
informs us that it was no such thing; * Johnson's Life of Pope. t Ibid. and endeavours, somewhat ingeni
1921.] Controversy respecting Pope and his writings. 293 ously, to define the precise nature of Bowles declares to have implied licenenry. His Lordship contends that tiousness of character as it regards Pope could not envy Phillips his Pas. womeu. Who that bas glanced over torals, because tbey were so much in. Pope's abominably obscene letters to ferior to his owo; and immediately Marlba Blount; his correspondence afterwards destroys the consistency with Cromwell; his translation of the of this argumeot by mentioning that epistle of Horace (given io Wartoo's Goldsmith envied even puppets for edition), and many other productions their dancing, and broke his shins in universally admitted to be his, can an attempt at rivalry.' Goldsmith wonder that an editor, in duly weighdid pot, it may be presumed, desire ing the moral character of ihe poet to exchange his identity for that of a whose merits he is discussing, should puppet, but simply to be able to at. find occasion to advert to the weak as tract as much attention. This was well as to the nobler qualities of his reasonable enougb, as coming from a nature. But Lord Byron would seem man who was jealous of the civili. to contend, that obscenity, and other lies which pretty women received in similar sins against the holy ghost' his presence. He wished to be as much are of trifling importance, and ought an object of admiration as the hand not to be taken into consideration in somest lady in the room. But his estimating the character of a poet. envy went no further. Pope was He informs us, and we are disposed to jealous of Phillips whom, (as Dr. believe him, that he has seen the cor. Johnson has informed us,) he bad first respondence of a deceased • eminent, made ridiculous, and then bated for naj pre-eminent poet,' and that it being angry even to • maligaity.' abounds in grossiertés far more culpIt was the success, and not the posi. able than any that are to be met with tive genius, of this writer of pastorals in the writings of Pope. But this is that he envied.
no defence of the fact, which becomes IV. Mr. Bowles is censured, for far more censurable in a moral, or as having pronounced Pope to be the his Lordship will bave it, an ethic worst of tempers.'
poet. We do not tbiok that any editor The same system of exaggeration is of common honesty of feeling, would pursued throughout. Mr. B. speaks venture to pronounce a man a purist, of the irritable temper' of the poet, if he knew him upon undeniable evi. and so does Dr. Johnson; nay more, dence to be entirely the reverse. he says, he was 'resentful,' and under Dr. Johnson observes of Pope and certain circumstances o maligoant!' Swift, that they had an unnatural de• V. Mr. Bowles has mentioned Pope's light in ideas, physically impure, such duplicity. Dr. Johnson bears testi. as every other tongue utters with unmony as to the truth of this charge, willingness, and of which every ear on more occasions than one. The shrinks from the mention.' Lord Byartful publication of his letters; his ron may defend obscenity because he affected scorn of the great,' when he is the author of Don Juan, and trust was doiog all io his power to secure that an equal portion of charity will their attention and good offices ;bis be extended towards himself by some pretended insensibility to criticism, future commentator; but we are not, when the sligbtest censure had power therefore, compelled to take our to make him writbe in bis chair with standard of moral virtue from bis anguish ;'--bis repeatedly expressed oracles, however inclined we may be contempt for bis owo poetry, in which, to appreciate his perfection as a poet. as Johnson has remarked, he was It is beyond doubt that Pope was, as certaioly not sincere,' are all proofs Dr. Johnson has it, physically im. potential that the modern editor has pure ;' and Mr. Bowles would have not exceeded the bounds either of jus. been censurable in the highest degree, tice or propriety in bazarding the if he had glossed over the evidences assertion that bis practice was often at of this fact without a comment. But variance with his professions.
in this, as in most other instances, he VI. The charge, however, wbich bas said nothing more than had been seems to have given the admirers of already insisted upon by others. Pope the greatest offence, would of the vanity and self-importappear to be that of a libertine ance of Pope, we have repeated sort of love and conduct, which Mr. mention in Dr. Johnson's Life, and
abundant 29+ Controversy respecting Pope and his Writings. [April, abundant evidence elsewhere. Mr. tion, &c. Whatever irritation he might Bowles refers this to the faults of his sometimes have experienced, he no sooner early education, his having lived in
turned his eyes on those he loved, but his the sunshine of flattery,' &c.; and
and passions seemed to subside, and his spirit out of this attempt to remove what.
became gentle. Hence in his severest de
nunciations of satirical indigoalion, he so ever blame might attach to the poet
often and so delightfully interests us by to the injudicious indulgence of his
unexpected touches of domestic teoderfriends, Mr. Bowles's opponents create ness." Life of Pope, p. 92. a charge of injustice and want of an
“No poet, perhaps, ever left the world candour.
with greater general testimonies to his Arter numerousolner misrepresenta- VIRTUES and his genius.” Ibid p. 118. tions, more or less important, the Quar.
" Whaterer might hare beeu bis defects, terly Reviewer and his Echocharge Mr. he could not have had many bad qualities Bowles with exolting over the poet,' who never lost a friend, and whom Arbuthbecause he had not received the ad. not, Gay, Bathurst, Lyttleton, Fortescue, vantages of an acaderoical education; and Murray esteemed and loved through and with indulging in a sort of sple. life." P. 131. netic pleasure' over his foibles, &c.
" That he was a most dutiful and affecBut let the following extract from
tionale son, a kind master, a sincere friend, Mr. Bowles's life of Pope refute this
and, generally speaking, a benevolent man,
is undoubted." . P. 120. scandalous misrepresentation. ." If these and other parts of his charac.
Does this, we would ask, look like ter appear less ainiable, let the reader an attempt to 'surmise away every constantly keep in mind the physical and amiable characteristic,' and accuse moral causes which operated on a miod him of contrary dispositions ' Is like his. Let him remember his . one long this the language of hate? Yet such diverse,' his contined education, entrusted it must be, if we are to put any faith chiefly to those who were marrow-minded; in the asseverations of Mr. Bowles's his being used to listen, from his cradle, antagonists.. to the voice of tenderness almost mater. The true state of the case, however, nal, in all who contemplated his weakness is that Mr Rom
is, that Mr. Bowles has actually rather and incipient talents. When he has weighed these things, and allended to every alleviat.
softened than exaggerated the dis. ing circumstance that his knowledge of the
agreeable trails of Pope's character, world or his CHARITY may suggest, then
as we have already shown by a comlet him not hastily condemn what truth com
parison of what he has said with the
parison pels me to state ; but let him rather, with. report of Dr. Johnson. What the out presuming on his own virtues, lament lexicographer has termed parsimony' the imperfections of our common nature, and • meanness,' the modern editor and leave the judgment to Him who has softened joto prudence;' and knoweth' whereof we are made'.” . what the Doctor calls · sneaking and
This is surely any thing but the shuffling,' Mr. Bowles retines into Janguage of EXULTATION, and this 'evasion ;' and so on, indeed, with all charge of the Quarterly Reviewer the priocipal features of the poet's against Mr. Bowles, proves as falla character on which he takes occasion cious when fairly investigaled as all to comment. the rest. The winding up of the cri. We tberefore see but little wit, and tique already alluded to, is devoted to still less candour, in reiterating charges the declaration that Mr. Bowles has so fallacious and uncalled for as those • aggravated' Pope's 'infirmities' into adduced agaiost Mr. Bowles, by Lord • viciousness;' and, incredible as it Byron and the Quarterly Review. The may appear, 'surmised away EVERY criticism of the former, however, is AMIABLE CHARACTERISTIC.
in a far more generous and gentle. Let the Reader, when he has pe. manly tone of argument than ibat of rused the following extracts from Mr. the latter ; bis Lordsbip's analysis of Bowles's “ Life of Pope," decide what the difference between poetry of art degree of credit is due to such asser- and that of nature, is curious and intions.
teresting; but we have oply room in " This year he (Pope), lost his aged mo
this number to advert to the characther, who had gradually sunk before his
ter of Pope as a man. We shall bere.
ter of Pope as a m eyes into the extremest imbecility of age, after offer a few observations on the and whose cradle of parting repose he had rank which we conceive he is entitled so long rocked with solicitude and affec. to hold in Literature, as a Poet.
1821.) Family of Anthony Foster.-- Poor Rates. 295
am Warminster, Wilts, attention to the pedigrees of WiltMr. URBAN,
shire families, I ani inclined to think W HILE io common with many that he was the fifth son of Sir George
W of your Readers, I acknow Fostor or Foster of Harpden; and if ledge my obligations to you for your this be the case, his pedigree, on the occasional illustrations of Antiquity mother's side at least, is clearly traced and Topography, and particularly for from the Cooquest, through the heirthe excellent article on the subjects esses of Waleran, Neville, St. Martin, of “ Kenilworth” and “ Cumper and Popham; and his dependance upPlace,” in your last Number, permit on Leicester may be accounted for, me to inquire whether or not " Tony from the circumstance of his being a Foster” was not in reality a more re. younger son of a large family. spectable character than he appears I send you the following extract to be under the magic wand of our from my collection, and leave it to great bistoric Novelist.
you and your heraldic Correspondof the family of Foster I know 00- ents to determine whether my coothiog; but having lately devoted much jecture is correct :
Homphry Fostor of Harpden. Alice, dau, and co-heir of Sir Stephen Popham.
Sir George Fostor of
Elizabeth, dau. and beir of Sir Thomas de la Mare, of Alder
Humphry Elizabeth,dau. Thos. Edward. ANTHONY. Arthur. Charles. Elzabeib. of Wm. Lord Giles.
Dorothy. PROVISION FOR THE POOR-No. II. To suppose that legislation is a
(Continued from p. 197.) specific reinedy for moral and politia IT remaios, I think, to be proved calgrievances, seems a prevalent error 1 that the burden of the Poor is of the age. I believe this country has proportionably greater in Eogland had too much of it; and that Parliaihan in other countries; and if the ment, with respect and concern be it fact be so, that it is eotirely owing to said, have made themselves too cheap, the system of our Poor Laws, which by a multiplicity of debates and pro. produced Bo such disastrous conse- ceedings, and reports of Compitiees, quences as are now ascribed to them, which, though originating in the very for one hundred and fifty years after best intentions, and attended with their enactment. The present dis great labour and personal inconvetress, as it has been lately well-slated nience to the members, bave not carin the House of Lords, is mainly to ried with them so much interest or be allributed to this that the nation profit as might have been expected bas for many years lived on its capi. from the solemn deliberations of two tal, and bas now reduced its expendi- assemblies, which comprize a greater ture to its revenue. Another causa portion of talents, integrity, and pubof distress, which appears not to have lic spirit combined, than any other in been much attended to is, that for the world. Even Acts of Parliament, many years past numbers bare en- from their number and commoddess, gaged in extensive speculations on are considered a sort of drug, of which fictitious capital; these adventures there is enough and to spare in the have been for the most part unpro- market. fitable, and the unhappy schemer bas Mr. Urban, you, who deal rather in sunk and involved others in his own facts than in that florid stile of disserruin, particularly those labourers who tation which has rendered some of fiod, no longer, wages or employment. your contemporaries renowned, must There are symptoms of the nation's yourself be aware that the Editor of righling itself; and I for one aın san- a periodical publication, being obliged, guine enough to think, if people will as the months roll round, to produce only let us alone and be quiet, we sometbing to be read, has not always shall do well enough and go on, with a choice between good or bad, but maoy grievous complaints of into sometimes between bad and worse. lerable evils, much in the same way The necessity of his situation does not our fathers did before us, and as our allow him to leave bis sheels a blank, children will go on after us, and their but gives hion an impulse of action, children after them.
separate from public utility. To