Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)
POPE, ALEXANDER (1688–1744), poet, son of Alexander Pope, by his wife Edith, daughter of William Turner of York, was born in Lombard Street, London, on 21 May 1688. Pope's paternal grandfather is supposed to have been Alexander Pope, rector of Thruxton, Hampshire (instituted 1 May 1630–1; information from the Winchester bishop's register, communicated by Mr. J. C. Smith, of Somerset House), who died in 1645. The poet's father, according to his epitaph, was seventy-five at his death, 23 Oct. 1717, and therefore born in 1641 or 1642 (see also P. T.'s letter to Curll in Pope's Works, by Elwin and Courthope, vi. 423, where he is said to have been a posthumous son). According to Warton, he was a merchant at Lisbon, where he was converted to catholicism. He was afterwards a linendraper in Broad Street, London. A first wife, Magdalen, was buried 12 Aug. 1679 (register of St. Benet Fink); he had by her a daughter Magdalen, afterwards Mrs. Rackett; and in the Pangbourne register, Ambrose Staveley, the rector, records the burial of 'Alexander Pope, son of my brother-in law, Alexander Pope, merchant of London,' on 1 Sept. 1682 ( information from Mr. J. C. Smith). Pope's statement in a note in the Epistle to Arbuthnot, that his father belonged to the family of the earls of Downe, appears to have been a fiction (Warton, Essay, ii. 255). The poet's maternal grandfather descended from a family of small landowners in Yorkshire. He had seventeen children, one of whom, Edith, the poet's mother, was baptised on 18 June 1642, though, according to her epitaph, she was ninety-three at her death on 7 June 1733. Christiana, another daughter, married the portrait-painter, Samuel Cooper (1609–1672) [q. v.], and at her death in 1693, left some china, pictures, and medals to her nephew. Three of her sons, according to Pope's statement (Epistle to Arbuthnot), were in the service of Charles I. Alexander Pope, the linendraper, after his second marriage, moved his business to Lombard Street. He made some money by his trade, and in or before 1700 moved to Binfield in Windsor Forest. It appears from his will (Carruthers, Pope, 1857, p. 463) that he had some landed property, and he also invested money in French rentes (Works, vi. 189, 201). The story, first told by Ruffhead, that he put all his money in a strong-box and lived upon the principal, is therefore erroneous. As a catholic, he was exposed to various disqualifications; but he appears to have lived comfortably among the country gentry. He had many friends among the Roman catholics, several of whom lived near the forest. He was fond of gardening, and had twenty acres of land round his house at Binfield. One room of the house is said to remain, and a row of Scottish firs near it was apparently there in Pope's time.
Pope was precocious, and in his infancy healthy. He was called the ‘little nightingale’ from the beauty of his voice, a name still applied to him in later years by the dramatist Southern (Ruffhead, p. 476; Orrery, Swift, p. 207). A portrait, painted when he was ten years old, showed him ‘plump and pretty, and of a fresh complexion.’ This is said to have been like him at the time; but a severe illness two years later, brought on by ‘perpetual application,’ ruined his health and distorted his figure (Spence, Anecdotes, 1820, p. 26). Spence's statements, chiefly derived from Pope himself and his sister, Mrs. Rackett, give all that is known of his childhood. He was once nearly killed by a cow. He learnt to read ‘from an old aunt,’ and to write by imitating printed letters. He acquired a clear and good hand. When eight years old he began Latin and Greek under a priest named Banister (or Taverner). Next year he was sent to a Roman catholic school at Twyford, near Winchester, and afterwards to a school kept by Thomas Deane [q. v.], first at Marylebone, and then at Hyde Park Corner. He was removed from Twyford because he had been whipped for satirising the master; and at the two schools he unlearnt what he had learnt from Banister. He was then brought back to his father's house, and placed for a few months under a fourth priest. After this he was left to his own devices, and plunged into miscellaneous reading, studying, he says, French, Italian, Latin, and Greek, as well as English poets, ‘like a boy gathering flowers’ (ib. p. 193). His scholarship naturally was very imperfect; but he read poetry voraciously. He did nothing else but write and read, says Mrs. Rackett (ib. p. 267). He began very early to imitate his favourite authors. He read Ogilby's translation of Homer when he was about twelve, and formed from it a ‘kind of play,’ which was acted by his schoolfellows. At the same age he saw Dryden (who died 1 May 1700), and ‘observed him very particularly’ (ib. p. 332). Between the ages of thirteen and fifteen he wrote an epic poem called ‘Alexander’ (ib. p. 279), which he burnt about 1717, with the approval, perhaps at the suggestion, of Atterbury (Works, ix. 8). He made a translation from Statius about 1702 or 1703, according to his own account, though it was not published till 1712, and then no doubt with many corrections. Other translations from the classics and adaptations of Chaucer show his early practice in versification. He went to London in his fifteenth year to learn French and Italian (Spence, p. 25), and his energetic studies produced another illness. He thought himself dying, and sent farewells to his friends. One of these, the Abbé Southcote, hereupon applied to Radcliffe for advice. Radcliffe sensibly prescribed less study and daily rides in the forest. Pope regained health, and twenty years later showed his gratitude by obtaining for Southcote, through Sir Robert Walpole, an appointment to a French abbey near Avignon (ib. pp. 7, 8). Pope's precocious ambition led him to court the acquaintance of all the wits whom he could meet, and the homage of so promising a lad was returned by warm encouragement. One of his earliest friends was Sir William Trumbull, who had been secretary of state, and was living in retirement at Easthampstead Park. Pope rode out with him three or four days a week, and was encouraged by him in the composition of his ‘Pastorals.’ The first is addressed to Trumbull, and Pope, whose statements on such points are always doubtful, says that they were composed when he was sixteen. A letter from George Granville (afterwards Lord Lansdowne) shows that they were in any case written before he was eighteen (Lansdowne, Works, ii. 113). The same letter mentions Walsh and Wycherley as patrons of the rising prodigy. William Walsh, then a critic and man of fashion, appears to have made his acquaintance in 1705, and gave Pope the well-known advice to aim at 'correctness'—a quality hitherto attained by none of our great poets. Tonson, who had seen a 'pastoral poem' in the hands of Walsh and Congreve, wrote to Pope, proposing to publish it, in a letter dated 20 April 1706. The manuscript, still preserved, was shown about to other eminent men, including Garth, Somers, and Halifax; and was published in Tonson's 'Miscellanies' in 1709. Pope had meanwhile become intimate with Wycherley, who first introduced him to town life. Pope, as he told Spence, followed Wycherley about 'like a dog,' and kept up a correspondence with him. Wycherley was the senior by forty-eight years. He had long ceased to write plays, and had probably been introduced to some of Pope's circle by his conversion to Catholicism. He was one of Dryden's successors at Will's coffee-house. He treated Pope with condescension, and wrote in the elaborate style of an elderly wit; but some quarrel arose about 1710 which caused a breach of the friendship. Pope afterwards manipulated the letters so as to give the impression that Wycherley, after inviting criticism, took offence at the frankness of his young friend; but the genuine documents (first published from manuscripts at Longleat in the Elwin and Courthope edition of Pope's 'Works') show this to be an inversion of the truth. Another friend of Pope at this time was Henry Cromwell, a man about town, about thirty-six years Pope's senior. Their correspondence lasted from July 1707 to December 1711. Pope affects the tone popular at Will's coffee-house, then frequented by his correspondent, and does his best to show that he has the taste and morals of a wit. He afterwards became rather ashamed of the terms of equality upon which he corresponded with a man above whose head he had risen.
The publication of the 'Pastorals' first made Pope generally known; they were received with applause, although they were examples of a form of composition already effete, and can now be regarded only as experiments in versification. They show that Pope had already a remarkable command of fluent and melodious language. He had not only practised industriously, but, as his early letters show, had reflected carefully upon the principles of his art. The result appeared in the 'Essay on Criticism,' published anonymously on 15 May 1711. The poem is an interesting exposition of the canons of taste accepted by Pope and by the leading writers of the time, and contains many of those polished epigrams which, if not very profound, have at least become proverbial. Incidents connected with this publication opened the long literary warfare in which much of his later career was passed. A contemptuous allusion to the sour critic John Dennis [q. v.] produced an angry pamphlet, 'Reflections … on a late Rhapsody,' from his victim. Pope had the sense to correct some of the passages attacked, and, for the moment, did not retort. Addison soon afterwards praised the 'Essay' very warmly in the 'Spectator' (20 Dec. 1711), while regretting 'some strokes' of personality. Pope wrote a letter to Steele (first printed in Miss Aikin's 'Addison,' where it is erroneously addressed to Addison) acknowledging the praise, and proposing to suppress the objectionable 'strokes.' Steele, who was already known to him, and had suggested to him the 'Ode to St. Cecilia,' promised, in return, an introduction to Addison. Pope thus became known to the Addison circle. His 'Messiah,' a fine piece of declamation, appeared in the 'Spectator' of 14 May 1712. He afterwards contributed some papers to its successor, the 'Guardian.' The 'Rape of the Lock' appeared in its first form in the 'Miscellanies' published by Lintot in 1712, which included others of Pope's minor poems. Lord Petre, a youth of twenty, had cut off a lock of hair of Miss Arabella Fermor, a beauty of the day, who was offended by this practical joke [see under Petre, William, fourth Baron Petre]. They were both members of the catholic society known to Pope, and the poem was written at the suggestion of a common friend, Caryll, in order to appease the quarrel by a little pleasantry. The poem was warmly admired by Addison, who called it merum sal, and advised Pope not to risk spoiling it by introducing the new 'machinery' of the sylphs (Warburton, Pope, iv. 26). This, according to Warburton's story, opened Pope's eyes to the jealousy which he supposed to have dictated a very natural piece of advice. Pope altered and greatly enlarged his poem, which appeared separately in 1714. It shows extraordinary skill in the lighter kind of verse, and reflects with singlar felicity, in some respects a little too faithfully, the tone of the best society of the day. It took at once the place which it has ever since occupied as a masterpiece. The chief precedent was Boileau's 'Lutrin' (first published in 1674, and completed in 1683). The baron in the poem represents Lord Petre; 'Sir Plume' is Sir George Brown, and Thalestris his sister. Sir George Brown, as Pope says, 'blustered,' and Miss Fermor was offended (Works, vi. 162). Sir Plume is clearly not a flattering portrait. The poem, however, went far to establish Pope's reputation as one of the first writers of the day.
Pope's 'Windsor Forest' appeared in March 1712-13. The first part, modelled upon Denham's 'Cooper's Hill,' had been written in his earlier period. The conclusion, with its prophecy of free trade, refers to the peace of Utrecht, which, though not finally ratified till 28 April, had been for some time a certainty. Pope's poem was thus on the side of the tories, and brought him the friendship of Swift, who speaks of it as a 'fine poem' in the 'Journal to Stella' on 9 March 1712-1713.
Pope still preserved friendly relations with Addison, whose 'Cato' was shown to him in manuscript. He praises it enthusiastically in a letter to Caryll (February 1712-1713), though he afterwards told Spence that he had recommended Addison not to produce it on the stage. He wrote the prologue, which was much applauded, and the play, produced on 13 April 1713, had an immense success, due partly to the political interpretation fixed upon it by both parties. Pope's friendship with Addison's 'little senate' was now to be broken up. According to Dennis (Remarks on the Dunciad), whose story is accepted by Pope's best biographer, Mr. Courthope, Pope devised a singular stratagem. He got Lintot to persuade Dennis to print some shrewd though rather brutal remarks upon 'Cato.' Pope then took revenge for Dennis's previous pamphlet upon the 'Essay on Criticism' by publishing a savage onslaught on the later pamphlet, called a 'Narrative … of the strange and deplorable Frenzy of Mr. J[ohn] D[ennis].' Had the humour been more successful, the personality would still have been discreditable. Dennis was abused nominally on behalf of Addison, but his criticisms were not answered. Addison was bound as a gentleman, though he has been strangely blamed for his conduct, to disavow a vulgar retort which would be naturally imputed to himself. At his desire, Steele let Dennis know, through Lintot,that he disapproved of such modes of warfare, and had declined to see the papers. Pope, if he heard of this at the time, would of course be wounded. He had meanwhile another ground of quarrel. His prologue to 'Cato' had appeared in the 'Guardian' of 18 April 1713. Some previous papers upon pastoral poetry had appeared shortly before, in which high praise was given to Ambrose Philips, one of the whig clique whose 'Pastorals' were in the same 'Miscellany' with Pope's (1709). Pope now published a paper (27 April 1713) ostensibly in praise of Philips as contrasted with himself. Steele is said to have been deceived by this very transparent irony; but the paper, when published, provoked Philips's wrath. He is said to have hung up a rod at Button's, vowing that he would apply it to Pope's shoulders (see Broome to Fenton , Works, viii. 147. The story is also told by Ayre and Cibber). Pope appears to deny some such story in a letter to Caryll of 8 June 1714 (Works, vi. 208). He says that Philips had never 'offered him any indecorum,' and that Addison had expressed a desire to remain upon friendly terms.
Pope, in any case, was naturally thrown more upon the opposite party. Swift became a warm friend, and introduced him to Arbuthnot and other distinguished men. The 'Scriblerus Club,' in which Pope, Gay, and Parnell joined Swift, Arbuthnot, Congreve, Atterbury, Oxford, and others, was apparently a kind of informal association which projected a joint-stock satire upon pedantry. It was possibly an offshoot from the 'Brothers' Club' formed in 1711, of which Swift was also a member, and which was now declining. Pope at the end of 1713 was taking lessons in painting from Charles Jervas [q. v.], but he was soon to be absorbed in the most laborious task of his life. Among his early translations was a fragment from the 'Iliad,' and his friend Trumbull upon reading it had suggested (9 April 1708) that he should continue the work. Idolatry of classical models was an essential part of the religion of men of letters of the day. Many of them, however, could not read Greek, and the old translations of Chapman, Ogilby, and Hobbes were old-fashioned or feeble in style. Many translations from the classics had been executed by Dryden and his school. Dryden had himself translated 'Virgil' and the first book of the 'Iliad.' But a Homer in modern English was still wanting. Pope's rising fame and his familiarity with the literary and social leaders made him the man for the opportunity. Addison's advice, according to Pope (Preface to the Iliad), first determined him to the undertaking, although a letter, in which Addison says 'I know of none of this age that is equal to the task except yourself' (Works, vi. 401), is of doubtful authenticity. Pope also thanks Swift, Congreve, Garth, Rowe, and Parnell for encouragement. He issued proposals for the translation of the 'Iliad' in October 1713. Lord Oxford and other friends regretted that he should devote his powers to anything but original work; but the plan was accepted with general enthusiasm. Swift was energetically touting for him in November 1713. Supported by both the whig and the tory leaders of literature, and by all their political and noble friends, the subscription soon reached unprecedented proportions. Dryden had made about 1,200l. by his 'Virgil' (1697), when the plan of publishing by subscription was still a novelty. Lintot agreed to pay Pope 200l. a volume, and supply him gratuitously with all the copies for subscribers and presents. The book was published in six volumes, and subscribers paid a guinea apiece. There were 675 subscribers for 660 copies (list in first edition), and the names include 160 persons of title and all the great men on both sides. The total, after deducting some payment for literary help, was over 5,000l., and Lintot is said to have sold 7,500 copies of a cheaper edition. Pope, who had scarcely made 150l. by his earlier poems (see list of Lintot's payments in D'Israeli's Quarrels of Authors, reprinted in Courthope's Life, p, 151), thus made himself independent for life. The translation must be considered not as a publisher's speculation, but as a kind of national commission given by the elegant society of the time to their representative poet.
The first volume, including the first four books of the 'Iliad,' was issued in June 1716. Almost at the same time appeared a translation of the first book by Thomas Tickell, one of Addison's clients. Although Tickell, in his preface, expressly disavowed rivalry, and said that he was only 'bespeaking public favour for a projected translation of the "Odyssey,"' Pope's jealousy was aroused. His previous quarrels with the Addison circle predisposed him to suspicion, and he persuaded himself that Addison was the real author of the translation published under Tickell's name. In a later quarrel after Addison's death in 1719, Steele called Tickell 'the reputed translator' of the 'Iliad' (dedication of the 'Drummer' in Addison's Works, 1811, vi. 319), a phrase which implies the currency of some rumours of this kind. Pope also asserted (Spence, p. 149) that Addison had paid Gildon ten guineas for a pamphlet about Wycherley, in which Pope and his relatives were abused. No such pamphlet is known, and the whole imputation upon Addison is completely disproved [see under Addison, Joseph]. The so-called 'quarrel,' which gave rise to much discussion superseded by recent revelations, was only a quarrel on Pope's side. The famous lines upon Addison, which were its main fruit, first appeared in print in a collection called 'Cythereïa,' published by Curll in 1723 (in Nichols's Anecdotes, iv. 273, it is asserted that some verses by Jeremiah Markland, appended to Pope's lines given at p. 314, were in print as early as 1717. No authority is given for the statement, which must be erroneous). They are mentioned in a letter from Atterbury of 26 Feb. 1721-2, and apparently as a new composition much 'sought after.' Pope was accused of writing them after Addison's death, 1719. Both Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Lord Oxford say that they had been previously written, though neither testimony is unequivocal (Courthope in Works, iii. 233); and a letter from Pope to Craggs, dated 15 July 1715, uses some of the phrases of the satire. The letter, however, is probably spurious, and it forms part of the correspondence concocted by Pope in order to give his own account of his relations to Addison. He told Spence (p. 149) that he had sent a 'first sketch' of his satire to Addison himself, who had afterwards 'used him very civilly.' The same story is told by Warburton. It is, however, quite incredible in itself, and is part of a whole system of 'mystification,' if such a word be not too gentle. It is possible, and perhaps probable, that Pope wrote the lines in his first anger at Tickell's publication, and afterwards kept them secret until the period fixed by Atterbury's letter.
The last volume of the 'Iliad,' delayed by ill-health, family troubles, and the preparation of various indexes, appeared in May 1720. A dedication was appended to Congreve, who was doubtless selected for the honour, as Macaulay observes, as a man of letters respected by both parties. Pope had not only made a competence, but had become the acknowledged head of English men of letters. The 'Homer' was long regarded as a masterpiece, and for a century was the source from which clever schoolboys like Byron learnt that Homer was not a mere instrument of torture invented by their masters. No translation of profane literature has ever occupied such a position, and the rise of new poetical ideals was marked by Cowper's attempt to supersede it by a version of his own. Cowper and the men of genius who marked the new era have made the obvious criticisms familiar. Pope was no scholar; he had to get help from Broome and Jortin to translate the notes of Eustathius, and obtained an introductory essay from Parnell. Many errors in translation have been pointed out by Gilbert Wakefield and others, and the conventional style of Pope's day often gives an air of artificiality to his writing, while he was of course entirely without the historical sense of more recent writers. Bentley remarked that it was a ‘pretty poem, but not Homer,’ nor has any critic disputed the statement. It must be regarded rather as an equivalent to Homer, as reflected in the so-called classicism of the time, and the genuine rhetorical vigour of many passages shows that there was some advantage in the freedom of his treatment, and may justify the high place held by the work until the rise of the revolutionary school.
Pope had made not only a literary but a social success. At that period the more famous authors were more easily admitted than at any other to the highest social and political circles. Besides meeting Oxford, Bolingbroke, Atterbury, Swift, and Congreve in society, he was frequently making tours about the country, and staying in the country houses of Lord Harcourt—at whose place, Stanton Harcourt, he finished the fifth volume of the ‘Iliad’ in 1718—of Lord Bathurst, Lord Digby, and others. Gay's pleasant poem, ‘Mr. Pope's Welcome from Greece,’ gives a long list of the distinguished friends who applauded the successful achievement of the task. In April 1716 the Pope family left Binfield, and settled at Mawson's Buildings, Chiswick, ‘under the wing of my Lord Burlington.’ He was now within reach of many of the noble families who lived near the Thames, and saw much aristocratic society. Here his father died on 23 Oct. 1717, an event mentioned by the son with great tenderness. In 1718 Pope had felt himself rich enough to think of building a house in London, and the plans were prepared for him by James Gibbs (1682–1754) [q. v.] Bathurst apparently deterred him by hints as to the probable cost, and in 1719 he bought the lease of a house at Twickenham, with five acres of land. Here he lived for the rest of his life, and took great delight in laying out the grounds, which became famous, and are constantly mentioned in his poetry. Pope also invested money in the South Sea scheme. It appears that at one time he might have become a rich man by realising the amount invested. He held on, however, until the panic had set in; but he seems finally to have left off rather richer than he began (see Courthope's account in Works, v. 184–7). He corresponded upon the South Sea scheme with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and with Teresa and Martha Blount, who were more or less concerned in the speculations of the period [see Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley; Blount, Martha].
Both women had about this time a great influence upon Pope's personal history. The only earlier mention of anything like a love affair in Pope's life occurs in his correspondence with Cromwell (18 March 1708), where he speaks of a certain ‘Sappho.’ She is identified with a Mrs. Nelson, who wrote a complimentary poem prefixed to his ‘Pastorals’ in the ‘Miscellany,’ but afterwards suppressed in consequence of a quarrel. Pope, however, speaks of her with levity, and in a later letter (21 Dec. 1711) compares her very unfavourably with (apparently) the Blounts. In 1717 an edition of his poems was published, including the ‘lines to an unfortunate lady.’ Ayre, followed by Ruffhead, constructed out of the lines themselves a legend of a lady beloved by Pope who stabbed herself for love of somebody else. Sir John Hawkins and Warton found out that she hanged herself for love of Pope. Bowles heard from a gentleman of ‘high birth and character,’ who heard from Voltaire, who heard from Condorcet, that the lady was in love with a French prince. The fact appears to be that a Roman catholic, Mrs. Weston, had quarrelled with her husband, and, upon his threatening to deprive her of her infant, proposed to retire into a convent. Pope took up her cause, quarrelled with Mr. and Mrs. Rackett, who took the other side, and appealed to Caryll to interfere. The purely imaginary lady was merely the embodiment of his feelings about Mrs. Weston, though he afterwards indulged in a mystification of his readers by a vague prefatory note in later editions. Caryll had in vain asked for explanations. Mrs. Weston died on 18 Oct. 1724, long after the imaginary suicide. The poems of 1717 contained also the ‘Eloisa to Abelard,’ which bore a similar relation to a genuine sentiment. When he forwarded the volume to Lady Mary, Pope called her attention to the closing lines (Works, ix. 382), and during the composition he had mentioned the same passage (apparently) in a letter to Martha Blount (ib. ix. 264), in each case making the application to the lady to whom he was writing. Pope's relations to Lady Mary have been considered in her life [see Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley]. He knew her before she went to Constantinople in 1716, and after her return in 1718 she lived near him for a time at Twickenham. The quarrel took place about 1722, and the extreme bitterness with which Pope ever afterwards assailed her can be explained most plausibly, and least to his discredit, upon the assumption that his extravagant expressions of gallantry covered some real passion. If so, however, it was probably converted into antipathy by the contempt with which she received his declaration. The relation to Martha Blount [q. v.] was more enduring, though the obscure allusions in Pope's correspondence are insufficient to explain the circumstances. Teresa, born 1688, and Martha, born 15 June 1690, were daughters of Lister Blount of Mapledurham, who died in 1715. They had been educated abroad, and the date of Pope's acquaintance is uncertain. He had at any rate begun to correspond with them in 1712, when he sent the 'Rape of the Lock' to Martha, and his tone to both sisters is that of a familiar family friend, with some playful gallantry, and occasionally passages of strange indecency. On the marriage of their brother, Michael Blount, in 1715, they left Mapledurham, and afterwards lived in London, and occupied also a small house at Petersham in Pope's neighbourhood. In 1717 some difficulty arose between Pope and Teresa Blount. He wrote letters soon after his father's death (ix. 279-83), of which it is the most obvious interpretation that he had hinted at a marriage with Martha ; that Teresa elicited some confession of his intentions, and then convinced Martha that Pope's offer was 'only an amusement, occasioned by [his] loss of another lady.' A month later (March 1718) he executed a deed settling upon Teresa an annuity of 40l. for six years, on condition of her not marrying within that time, but no explanation is given of the circumstances. He afterwards for a time kept at a greater distance. In later years Pope complained to Caryll that Teresa (apparently) had spread reports affecting the innocence of his relations to Martha (26 Dec. 1725). He indignantly denies them, and says that for the last two years he has seen less of her than ever. He subsequently to Caryll (20 July 1729) accuses Teresa of an intrigue with a married man, and of scandalous ill-treatment of her mother. The mother, however, according to his account, was so bewitched as not to resent the treatment. His suspicions appear to have been based upon mere scandalous gossip. He can hardly have been a welcome visitor at the house where the mother (until her death on 31 March 1743) still lived with her two daughters. Teresa survived till 7 Oct. 1769. Pope continued, however, to preserve affectionate relations with Martha, which became closer in later life. Pope's deformity and infirmities would have been obstacles to any project of marriage, but his relation to Martha was the nearest approach in his life to a genuine love affair.
Aflter the final publication of the 'Iliad,' Pope was engaged for a time on task-work. In 1722 he edited the poems of Parnell (who died in 1717), and began an edition of Shakespeare for Tonson. For this he received 217l. 12s. It appeared in 1725, and had little success. Though he recognised the importance of collating the early editions, he had neither the knowledge nor the patience necessary for a laborious editor. He made some happy conjectures, and his preface, which was generally admired, is interesting as indicating the prevalent opinion about Shakespeare. The edition, according to Johnson's report, was a commercial failure : many copies had to be sold for 16s. instead of six guineas. A pamphlet by L. Theobald, 'Shakespeare Restored,' 1726, pointed out 'many of Mr. Pope's errors,' and left a bitter grudge in the poet's mind. Another undertaking was at least more profitable. Pope resolved to translate the 'Odyssey;' and, to save himself labour, took for associates William Broome [q. v.], who had already helped him in the notes to the 'Iliad,' and Elijah Fenton [q. v.] (The story told by Ruffhead and Spence, that Broome and Fenton had started the project, seems to be erroneous ; see the correspondence between them and Pope, first published in the Elwin and Courthope edition, viii. 30-185.) Fenton translated the 1st, 4th, 19th, and 20th books; Broome the 2nd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 12th, 16th, 18th, and 23rd books, and wrote the notes. A Mr. Lang is also reported to have translated part of two other books, for which Pope gave him a 'twenty-two guineas medal' (Spence, p. 330). They had caught Pope's style so well that the difference of authorship has never been detected from the internal evidence. Broome, in a note at the conclusion, said that Pope's revision of his assistant's work had brought the whole up to his own level. Mr. Elwin (Works, viii. 123 n.) states, after examining Fenton's manuscripts in the British Museum, that this is an 'outrageous exaggeration.' Lintot paid 600l. for the copyright, half what he had paid for the 'Iliad;' but the result was apparently less profitable. The amount received from subscribers made up the total received by the translators to 4,500l., out of which Pope paid Broome 500l., while Fenton probably received 200l. Since Pope originated the plan, and the large sale was entirely due to his reputation, his assistants had no right to complain of being paid at the rate of literary journeymen. Many jealousies and difficulties, however, arose from the alliance. Pope in his proposals, issued 10 Jan. 1724-5, stated that he was to be helped by Broome and by a friend whose name was to be concealed. He exhorted Broome to be reticent in regard to his share in the work, as the public would be attracted by their belief in Pope's authorship. Broome, however, was vain and talkative, and various rumours arose from his indiscretion. Upon the publication of the first three volumes, in April 1725, Lintot threatened Pope with a lawsuit, apparently on the question whether free copies were to be delivered to Broome's subscribers as well as to Pope's. Attacks upon the 'bad paper, ill types, and journey-work poetry' appeared in the papers. To meet them, Pope induced Broome to write the postscript above mentioned, in which he asserts that he had himself translated three books and Fenton two (the real numbers being eight and four). Though Broome was weak enough to consent to this virtual falsehood, both he and Fenton resented Pope's treatment of them. Pope retaliated by insulting Broome in the 'Bathos,' published in the 'Miscellany' of 1728. The correspondence dropped for a time ; but in 1730, when the accusations were revived in a satire called 'One Epistle,' Pope again applied to Broome for a statement in justification. Though Broome declined to make more than a dry statement, he resumed a friendly correspondence, and Pope tried to make some atonement. He disavowed responsibility for the 'Bathos,' altered a couplet in the 'Dunciad,' and in an appendix to the same poem claimed only twelve books of the 'Odyssey.' The 'Odyssey' brought an addition of fortune, though not much of fame. It also introduced him to the friendship of Joseph Spence [q. v.], who published a discriminative 'Essay' upon it in 1726 ; second part 1727. Pope had the good sense to be pleased with the criticism and make friends with the author.
Pope's domestic circle had meanwhile gone through various changes. His mother's life was in great danger at the end of 1725 ; his nurse, Mary Beach, died on 25 Nov. in the same year, and is commemorated by an epitaph in Twickenham church. Pope was much confined by his attendance upon his mother, his alfection for whom is his least disputable virtue. His friend Atterbury was exiled in 1723. Pope had to give evidence upon his trial, and was nervous and blundering. He was alarmed, it seems, by the prospect of being cross-examined as to his religious belief, and consulted Lord Harcourt as to the proper answer (Works, x. 199). His anxiety was increased by complaints made against him for editing the Duke of Buckingham's works (1723), which had been seized on account of Jacobite passages. The exile of Atterbury coincided with the return of Bolingbroke, to whom Pope had been slightly known in the 'Scriblerus Club.' Bolingbroke now renewed the acquaintance, and in 1725 settled at Dawley, within easy drive of Twickenham. Pope was a frequent visitor, and in September 1726 was upset in crossing a stream upon his return in Bolingbroke's coach. His fingers were badly cut by the glass of the window, and he nearly lost the use of them. Pope had at intervals corresponded with Swift after Swift's retirement to Ireland in 1714, and he now joined Bolingbroke in writing to their common friend. In 1725 Pope wrote to Swift, mentioning a satire which he had written, and suggesting a visit to England. Bolingbroke, Arbuthnot, Lord Oxford, and Pope would welcome him. Swift visited England in the summer of 1726, bringing 'Gulliver's Travels,' for the publication of which arrangements were made by Pope [see also Lewis, Erasmus]. The little circle also agreed to publish a miscellany. Swift contributed verses, which he sent to Pope with full powers to use as he pleased. Two volumes were published in June 1727. Swift had again visited England, in April 1727, and stayed for some time with Pope; but his infirmities and anxiety about Stella made him unfit for company, and he left Pope some time before his return to Ireland in September. The 'Dunciad' was by this time finished, and Swift, who had at first advised Pope not to make the bad poets immortal, was anxious for its appearance. Pope had probably withheld it with a view to one of his manoeuvres. The third volume of the 'Miscellanies,' published in March 1727-8, contained the 'Bathos,' a very lively satire, of which Pope, though he afterwards disavowed it, says that he had 'entirely methodised and in a manner written it all' (Works, vii. 110). It gave sarcastic descriptions of different classes of bad authors, sufficiently indicated by initials. If his purpose was, as Mr. Courthope suggests, to irritate his victims into retorts, in order to give an excuse for the 'Dunciad,' he succeeded. The 'Dunciad' appeared on 28 May 1728, and made an unprecedented stir among authors. Pope had made elaborate preparations to avoid the danger of prosecution for libel. The poem appeared anonymously ; a notice from the publisher implied that it was written by a friend of Pope, in answer to the attacks of the 'last two months' (i.e. since the 'Bathos') ; the names of the persons attacked were represented by initials: and the whole professed to be a reprint of a Dublin edition. On its success he published an enlarged edition, in March 1729, with names in full and a letter to the publisher in defence, written by himself, but signed by his friend William Cleland (1674-1741) [q. v.] He assigned the property to Lord Bathurst, Lord Oxford, and Lord Burlington, from whom alone copies could be procured. When the risk of publication appeared to be over, they assigned a new edition to Pope's publisher, Gilliver (November 1729). Various indexes, 'testimonies of authors,' and so forth, were added. The poem was not acknowledged till it appeared in Pope's 'Works' in 1735. A 'Collection of Pieces' relating to the poem was published in 1732, with a preface in the name of Savage describing the first appearance.
The 'Dunciad,' though written with Pope's full power, suffers from the meanness of the warfare in which it served. It is rather a long lampoon than a satire; for a satire is supposed to strip successful vice or imposture of its mask, not merely to vituperate men already despised and defenceless. Pope's literary force was thrown away in insults to the whole series of enemies who had in various ways come into collision with him. He was stung by their retorts, however coarse, and started the 'Grub Street Journal' to carry on the war. The avowed authors were John Martyn [q. v.] and Dr. Richard Russell. Pope contributed and inspired many articles. It lasted from January 1730 till the end of 1737, and two volumes of articles, called 'Memoirs of the Society of Grub Street,' were republished (see Carruthers, pp. 270-82, for a good account of this).
Theobald was made the hero of the 'Dunciad,' to punish him for exposing the defects of Pope's 'Shakespeare.' Pope attacked Lintot, with whom he had quarrelled about the 'Odyssey,' and Jonathan Smedley [q. v.], dean of Clogher, who had written against the 'Miscellanies.' He attacked Aaron Hill, who forced Lim to equivocate and apologise [see under Hill, Aaron]. One of his strongest grudges was against James Moore Smythe [q. v.], who had obtained leave to use some verses by Pope in a comedy of his own, and probably did not acknowledge them. Pope attacked him again in the 'Grub Street Journal' with singular bitterness. A squib called 'A Pop upon Pope,' telling a story of a supposed whipping by two of the 'Dunciad' victims, was attributed by Pope to Lady M. W. Montague. Young, of the 'Night Thoughts,' defended Pope in 'Two Epistles,' to which Welsted and J. Moore Smythe replied in 'One Epistle.' Pope seems to have felt this keenly, and replied vehemently in the 'Journal.' We can hardly regret that in this miserable warfare against unfortunate hacks Pope should have had his turn of suffering. Happily, Bolingbroke's influence directed his genius into more appropriate channels. Bolingbroke had amused himself in his exile by some study of philosophy, of which, however, his writings prove that he had not acquired more than a superficial knowledge. Pope was at the still lower level from which Bolingbroke appeared to be a great authority. Bolingbroke's singular brilliancy in talking and writing and his really fine literary taste were sufficient to account for his influence over his friend. Pope expressed his feeling to Spence (p. 316) by saying that when a comet appeared he fancied that it might be a coach to take Bolingbroke home. One result of their conversation is said to have been a plan for writing a series of poems which would amount to a systematic survey of human nature (see Spence, pp. 16, 48, 137, 315). They were to include a book upon the nature of man; one upon 'knowledge and its limits;' a third upon government, ecclesiastical and civil; and a fourth upon morality. The second included remarks upon 'education,' part of which was afterwards embodied in the fourth book of the 'Dunciad;' and the third was to have been wrought into an epic poem called 'Brutus,' of which an elaborate plan is given in Ruffhead (pp. 410-22). It was begun in blank verse, but happily dropped. To the first and the fourth part correspond the 'Essay on Man' and the four 'Moral Essays.' The plan thus expounded was probably not Pope's original scheme so much as an afterthought, suggested in later years by Warburton (see Mr. Courthope in Works, iii. 45-61). 'Moral Essays' was the name suggested by Waburton for what Pope had called 'Ethic Epistles.' The first of these, written under Bolingbroke's eye, was the 'Essay on Taste,' addressed to Lord Burlington, published in 1731. It includes the description of Timon's villa, in which many touches were taken from Canons, the house of James Brydges, duke of Chandos [q. v.] Pope was accused of having accepted 500l. from the duke, which was no doubt false; but chose also to deny what was clearly true, that Canons had been in his mind. Pope was much vexed by the attacks thus provoked, and, besides writing to the duke, got 'his man,' Cleland, to write an exculpatory letter, published in the papers. He also delayed the publication of his next 'Moral Essay' 'On Riches' for a year (i.e. till January 1733), from fear of the abuse. This, however, which dealt with fraudulent speculators, met the public taste. That upon the 'Characters of Men' appeared on 5 Feb. 1733, when the last, upon the 'Characters of Women,' was already written (Works, vii. 298), though it was not published till 1735. The 'Essay on Man,' the first book of which appeared in February 1733 — the remainder following in the course of a year — seems also to have excited the author's apprehensions. It was anonymous, and he wrote to his friends about it without avowing himself. The main cause was no doubt his fear of charges against his orthodoxy. In fact, the poem is simply a brilliant versification of the doctrine which, when openly expressed, was called deism, and, when more or less disguised, was taught as orthodox by the latitudinarian divines of the day. Pope was probably intending only to represent the most cultivated thought of the time, and accepted Bolingbroke as its representative. Bathurst, indeed, said (Boswell, Johnson, ed. Hill, iii. 402–3) that Pope did no more than put Bolingbroke's prose into verse. Johnson's criticism upon this, namely, that Pope may have had the 'philosophic stamina of the essay from Bolingbroke' but added the poetical imagery, probably hits the mark. Comparison between Bolingbroke's fragment and Pope's essays shows coincidences so close as to leave no doubt of the relationship. Bolingbroke probably did not reveal his sceptical conclusions to Pope; and Pope was too little familiar with the subject to perceive the real tendency of the theories which he was adopting. It would be idle to apply any logical test to a series of superficial and generally commonplace remarks. The skill with which Pope gives point and colouring to his unsatisfactory framework of argument is the more remarkable. The many translations indicate that it was the best known of Pope's writings upon the continent. Voltaire and Wieland imitated it; Lessing ridiculed its philosophy in 'Pope ein Metaphysiker' (1755, Lessing, Werke, 1854, vol. v.); but it was greatly admired by Dugald Stewart (Works, vii. 133), and was long a stock source for ornaments to philosophical lectures. Though its rather tiresome didacticism has made it less popular than Pope's satires, many isolated passages are still familiar from the vivacity of the style. The 'Universal Prayer' was first added in 1738.
Bolingbroke, happening one day to visit Pope, took up a Horace, and suggeeted to his friend the suitability to his case of the first satire of the second book. Pope thereupon translated it 'in a morning or two,' and sent it to the press (Spence, p. 297). It appeared in February 1733, and was the first of a series of his most felicitous writings. A couplet containing a gross insult to Lady M. W. Montagu, and another alluding to Lord Hervey, led to a bitter warfare. They retorted in 'Verses addressed to the Imitator of Horace' (ascribed to Lady Mary, Lord Hervey, and Mr. Windham, tutor to the Duke of Cambridge) and in 'A Letter from a Nobleman at Hampton Court to a Doctor of Divinity' (by Lord Hervey). Pope replied by some squibs in the 'Grub Street Journal' and by 'A Letter to a Noble Lord,' dated 30 Nov. 1733. The latter, though printed, and, according to Warburton, submitted to the queen, was suppressed during Pope's life. Johnson says that it exhibits 'nothing but tedious malignity,' and it is certainly laborious and lengthy. A far more remarkable result of this collision, however, was the 'Epistle to Arbuthnot,' published in January 1734–5. It is written for the most part in answer to Hervey and Lady Mary, though various fragments, such as the lines upon Addison, are worked in. This poem is Pope's masterpiece, and shows his command of language and metre in their highest development. It is also of the first importance as an autobiographical document, and shows curiously what was Pope's view of his own character and career.
Pope's autobiography was continued by the publication of his correspondence soon afterwards as the result of a series of elaborate manoeuvres scarcely to be paralleled in literary history. A full account of them, and of the means by which they were detected, is given by Mr. Elwin in the first volume of Pope's 'Works' (pp. xvii–cxlvii), and the story is summarised by Mr. Courthope in the 'Life' (Works, v. 279-300). The main facts are as follows: In 1726 Curll published Pope's correspondence with Cromwell, having obtained them from Cromwell's mistress. The correspondence excited some interest, and Pope soon afterwards began to apply to his friends to return his letters. Caryll, one of his most regular correspondents, returned the letters in 1729, but had them previously copied without Pope's knowledge. In the same year Pope obtained Lord Oxford's leave to deposit the originals of his correspondence in Oxford's library, on the ground that the publication by Theobald in 1726 of the posthumous works of Wycherley might be injurious both to Wycherley's reputation and his own. His intention seems to have been to induce Oxford to become responsible for the publication (see Elwin in Works, vol. i. p, xxvii).
He then published some of Wycherley's remains, including their correspondence, as a supplement to Theobald's volume. The book, however, failed. No copy is known to exist, and the sheets were used by Pope in his next performance. The Hervey and Lady Mary quarrel apparently stimulated his desire to set forth his own virtues, and it now occurred to him to make a tool of his old enemy Curll. He had in 1716 administered an emetic to Curll on behalf of Lady Mary [see Curll, Edmund], and, besides publishing the Cromwell letters. Curll had advertised a life of Pope. Pope's object was to secure the publication of his letters and, at the same time, to make it appear that they were published in spite of his opposition. In order to accomplish this, he employed an agent, supposed (see Warton's Essay, ii. 339, and Johnson) to have been a painter and low actor, named James Worsdale. Worsdale, calling himself R. Smythe, told Curll that a certain P. T., a secret enemy of Pope, had a quantity of Pope's correspondence, and was willing to dispose of the printed sheets to Curll. Curll, after some negotiations, agreed to publish them. Pope arranged that the book, as soon as published, should be seized by a warrant from the House of Lords, on the ground that it was described in an advertisement (dictated by Worsdale) as containing letters from peers. Pope had, however, contrived that no such letters should be in the sheets delivered to Curll. The books were therefore restored to Curll, and Pope had the appearance of objecting to the publication while, at the same time, he had secretly provided for the failure of his objection. Curll became unmanageable, told his story plainly, and advertised the publication of the 'initial correspondence' — i.e. the correspondence with 'R. Smythe' and 'P.T.,' which accordingly came out in July. Pope, however, anticipated this by publishing in June, through a bookseller named Cooper, a 'Narrative of the Method by which Mr. Pope's Private Letters were procured by Edmund Curll.' This did not correspond to its title. No light was thrown upon the really critical question how Curll could have obtained letters which could only be in Lord Oxford's library or in the possession of Pope himself. The publication, however, seems to have thrown the public off the scent; and, though Curll's pamphlet gave sufficient indications of the truth and suspicions of Pope's complicity were current, his manoeuvres were not generally penetrated, and their nature not established till long afterwards.
Curll, however, issued a new edition of the 'P. T.' letters, and advertised a second volume. This appeared in July 1735, but contained only three letters from Atterbury to Pope, two of which had been already printed. Pope took advantage of this to advertise that he was under a necessity of printing a genuine edition. He proposed in 1730 to publish this by subscription, at a guinea for the volume. The scheme would have fallen through but for Ralph Allen [q. v.], who was so much impressed by the benevolence exhibited in the published letters that he offered to bear the expense of printing. The book finally appeared 18 May 1737, and the copyright was bought by Dodsley. Pope's preface pointed out now he had unconsciously drawn his own portrait in letters written 'without the least thought that ever the world should be a witness to them.' Pope had, in fact, not only carefully revised them, but materially altered them. His friend Caryll died 6 April 1736, and Pope treated the letters really addressed to him as raw materials for an imaginary correspondence with Addison, Steele, and Congreve, which, for a long period, perverted the whole history of their relations. The discovery by Charles Wentworth Dilke [q. v.] of Caryll's letter-book, in the middle ot this century, led to the final unravelling of these tortuous manœuvres.
Pope afterwards carried on a similar intrigue of still more discreditable character. He seems to have considered Curll as outside of all morality. But he next made a victim of his old friend Swift. He had obtained his own letters from Swift in 1737, who sent them through Orrery, after long resisting the proposal. Pope had the letters printed and sent the volume to Swift, with an anonymous letter, suggesting their publication, and saying that if they fell into the hands of Pope or Bolingbroke they would be suppressed. Swift, whose mind was failing, gave the volume to his bookseller, Faulkner. Pope ventured to protest, and Faulkner thereupon offered to suppress the letters. Orrery, to whom Pope applied, also provokingly recommended their suppression as 'unworthy to be published.' Pope now had to affect to be certain that the letters would come out in any case, and they finally appeared in London in 1741, with a statement that they were a reprint from a Dublin edition. The great difficulty was to explain how the letters from Swift to Pope, which had never been out of Pope's hands, could be obtained. Pope endeavoured to pervert ambiguous statements due to Swift's failing powers into an admission that the letters on both sides were in Swift's hands. He tried to throw the blame upon Swift's kind friend, Mrs. Whiteway, and in his letters moralised over the melancholy fact that Swift's vanity had survived his intellect. The full proofs of this transaction were only given in the last edition of Pope's ‘Works,’ even Mr. Carruthers still supposing (in 1857) that Pope was really pained by Swift's treachery, and not knowing that he had contrived the whole affair himself. The only apology for a disgusting transaction is that Pope did not know at starting how many and what disgraceful lies he would have to tell.
Pope's reputation as moralist and poet was meanwhile growing. He had lost some of his best friends. Gay died 4 Dec. 1732; his mother on 7 July 1733; and Arbuthnot on 27 Feb. 1734–5. Bolingbroke retired to France in the following winter. As a friend of Bolingbroke, Pope had naturally been drawn into intimacy with the opposition which was now gathering against Walpole. He received a visit from Frederick, prince of Wales, in October 1735 (Letter to Bathurst, 8 Oct. 1735); Wyndham, Marchmont, and other leaders met and talked politics at his grotto; and Pope was on intimate terms with Lyttelton and other of the young patriots whom he compliments in his poems. His sentiments appear in the ‘Epistle to Augustus,’ the most brilliant of his imitations of Horace (first epistle of second book), which was published in March 1737. Others of the series which appeared in the same year are of more general application. The two dialogues, called ‘1738,’ and afterwards known as ‘Epilogue to the Satires,’ were mainly prompted by the attack upon the government as the source of corruption, and again show Pope at his best. They are incomparably felicitous, and incisive and dexterous in their management of language.
Pope, always under the influence of some friend of stronger fibre than his own, was now to be conquered by William Warburton. Warburton, turbulent and ambitious, had forced himself into notice by writings showing wide reading and a singular turn for paradoxes. He had ridiculed Pope in earlier years, but he now undertook to defend the ‘Essay on Man’ against the criticisms of Jean Pierre de Crousaz, who had published his ‘Examen de l'Essay de M. Pope sur l'homme’ in 1737. Warburton's reply, which appeared as a series of letters in a periodical called ‘The Works of the Learned,’ excited Pope's eager gratitude. He wrote to Warburton in the warmest terms. ‘You,’ he said, ‘understand my work better than I do myself.’ He met his commentator in the garden of Lord Radnor at Twickenham in April 1740. He astonished his publisher Dodsley, who was present, by the compliments which he paid to his new acquaintance. Warburton succeeded to Bolingbroke's authority. Pope confided to him his literary projects. They visited Oxford together in 1741; and the honorary degree of D.C.L. was offered by the vice-chancellor to Pope. An offer of a D.D. degree was made at the same time to Warburton; but, as this was afterwards opposed by some of the clergy, Pope refused to be ‘doctored’ without his friend. Pope undertook, at Warburton's instigation, to complete the ‘Dunciad’ by a fourth book. It was published in March 1742. A reference in it to Colley Cibber produced Pope's last literary quarrel. Pope and Arbuthnot were supposed to have had a share in the farce called ‘Three Hours after Marriage,’ of which Gay was the chief author. It was damned on its appearance in 1717, and Cibber soon afterwards introduced an allusion to it in the ‘Rehearsal.’ Pope came behind the scenes and abused Cibber for his impertinence, to which Cibber replied that he should repeat the words as long as the play was acted. Pope had made several contemptuous references to him; and upon the appearance of the new ‘Dunciad’ Cibber took his revenge in ‘A Letter from Cibber to Pope.’ Cibber was a very lively writer, and treated Pope to some home truths without losing his temper. He added an unsavoury anecdote about a youthful scrape into which Pope had fallen. ‘These things,’ said Pope of one of Cibber's pamphlets, ‘are my diversion;’ and the younger Richardson, who heard him and told Johnson, observed that his features were ‘writhing with anguish.’ Pope in his irritation resolved to make Cibber the hero of the ‘Dunciad’ in place of Theobald. Warburton, who had now undertaken to annotate Pope's whole works, was to be responsible for the notes written by Pope on the ‘Dunciad,’ and added ‘Ricardus Aristarchus on the Hero of the Poem.’ The fourth book contains some of Pope's finest verses. The book in the final form appeared in October 1742. The metaphysical parts were probably inspired by Warburton. The attack upon Bentley expressed probably antipathies of both the assailants. Bentley was sinking at the time of the first publication, and died on 14 July 1742. As the old opponent of Atterbury and all Pope's friends, as well as for his criticism of Milton and his remarks upon Pope's ‘Homer,’ he was naturally regarded by Pope as the ideal pedant. He had spoken of Warburton as a man of monstrous appetite and bad digestion; and neither of them could appreciate his scholarship, though WarWarburton seems to have fully repented (see Monk, Life of Bentley, ii. 375, 378, 404-11).
Pope was staying with Allen at Prior Park in November 1741, and invited Warburton to join him there. Warburton accepted, and to his marriage to Allen's niece in 1746 owed much of his fortune. Pope's health was declining, although he was still able to travel to his friends' country houses. Martha Blount was still intimate with him ; she seems to have spent some time with him daily, although living with her mother and sister, whom he had endeavoured to persuade her to leave. She frequently accompanied him to the houses of his friends, and is mentioned in his letters as almost an inmate of his household. In the following summer Pope visited Bath, and afterwards went to Prior Park, where Miss Blount met him. For some unexplained reason a quarrel took place with the Allens. Miss Blount (as appears from her correspondence with Pope) resented some behaviour of the Allens to Pope, and begged him to leave the house. She was compelled to stay behind, and, as she says, was treated with great incivility both by the Allens and Warburton. Pope expresses great indignation at the time. He must, however, as his letters imply, have been soon reconciled to Warburton. Allen called upon him for the last time in March 1744, when Pope still showed some coldness. By this time Pope was sinking. He still occupied himself with a final revision of his works, and saw his friends. He was visited by Bolingbroke, who had returned to England in October 1743, and by Marchmont, and attended by Spence, who has recorded some of the last incidents. Pope's behaviour was affecting and simple. Warburton, a hostile witness, accuses Miss Blount of neglecting Pope in his last illness ; and Johnson gives (without stating his authority) a confirmatory story. Spence, however, remarked that whenever she entered, his spirits rose. At the suggestion of Hooke he sent for a priest on the day before his death, and received absolution. He died quietly on 30 May 1744. He waa buried on 6 June in Twickenham Church, by the side of his parents, and directed that the words 'et sibi' should be added to the inscription which he placed upon their monument on the east wall. In 1761 Warburton erected a monument to Pope upon the north wall, with an inscription 'to one who would not be buried in Westminster Abbey,' and a petulant verse.
By his will (dated 12 Dec. 1743) Pope left to Martha Blount 1,000l., with his household effects. She was also to have the income arising from his property for life, after which it was to go to the Racketts. He left 150l. to Allen, in repayment of sums advanced 'partly for my own and partly for charitable uses.' Books and other memorials were left to Bolingbroke, Marchmont, Bathurst, Lyttelton, and other friends. An absolute power over his unpublished manuscripts was left to Bolingbroke, and the copyright of his published books to Warburton. Pope had contemplated two odes, upon the 'Mischiefs of Arbitrary Power' and the 'Folly of Ambition,' which were never executed, and had made a plan for a history of English poetry, afterwards contemplated by Gray (Ruffhead, pp. 423-5).
Mrs. Rackett threatened to attack the will, but withdrew her opposition. Allen gave his legacy to the Bath Hospital, and observed that Pope was always a bad accountant, and had probably forgotten to add a cipher. He took Pope's old servant, John Searle, into his service. Disputes soon arose, which led to one of the worst imputations upon Pope's character. In 1732-3 Pope appears to have written the lines upon the Duchess of Marlborough which, with later modifications, became the character of Atossa in the second 'Moral Essay.' The duchess was then specially detested by the opposition generally ; but Pope's prudence induced him temporarily to suppress this and some other lines. In later years, however, the duchess became vehemently opposed to Walpole. She was very anxious to obtain favourable accounts of her own and her husband's career. She gave Hooke 5,000l. to compile the pamphlet upon her 'Conduct.' Pope took some part in negotiating with Hooke, and the duchess, he says in his last letter to Swift (28 April 1739), was' making great court to him.' A very polite correspondence took place (published in Pope's 'Works,' v. 406-422, from 'Historical Manuscripts Commission,' 8th Rep.) From this it appears that after some protests he accepted a favour from her, and from later evidence this was in all probability a sum of 1,000l. Pope appears (Works, iii. 87) to have suppressed some lines which he had intended to add to a character of the Duke of Marlborough. Suppression, however, of polished verses was sore pain to him, and he resolved to use the 'Atossa' lines in a different way. He introduced changes which made them applicable to the Duchess of Buckinghamshire (daughter of James II, and widow of John Sheffield, first duke). She had edited her husband's works, and bought an annuity from the guardians of the young duke. The duchess showed him a character of herself, and, upon his finding some faults in it, picked a quarrel with him five or six years before her death (Works x. 217). According to several independent reports, varying in details (collected in Works, iii. 77, &c.), Pope read the Atossa to the Duchess of Marlborough, saying that it was meant for the Duchess of Buckinghamshire, and she is said to have seen through the pretence. Meanwhile the character was inserted by Pope in the edition of the 'Moral Essays' which was just printing off at the time of his death, and which he must therefore have expected to be seen by the Duchess of Marlborough. Upon his death she inquired of Bolingbroke whether Pope's manuscripts contained anything affecting her or her husband. He found the 'Atossa' lines in the 'Moral Essays,' and communicated with Marchmont, observing that there was 'no excuse for them after the favour you and I know.' A note in the 'Marchmont Papers' (ii. 334) by Marchmont's executor states this to have been the 1,000l. The whole edition was suppressed, and Warburton, as proprietor of the published works, must have consented. The only copy preserved is now in the British Museum. Bolingbroke soon afterwards found that fifteen hundred copies of some of his own essays had been secretly printed by Pope, Though Pope's motive was no doubt admiration of his friend's work, Bolingbroke, who had been greatly affected at Pope's death, was furious either at the want of confidence or some alterations which had been made. He burnt the edition, but retained a copy, and had another edition published by Mallet, with a preface complaining of the conduct of 'the man' who had been guilty of the 'breach of trust.' He also printed a sheet in 1740 containing the 'Atossa' lines, with a note stating that the duchess had paid 1,000l. for their suppression. Warburton, having consented to the suppression of the edition, was disqualified for directly denying the application of the lines, although he tried elsewhere to insinuate that they were meant for the other duchess (Works, v. 443, 446). The story was afterwards told by Warton (Mr. Courthope's discussion in Works, iii. 75–92, and v. 346–51 is exhaustive). The supposed bargain is disproved. What remains is a characteristic example of Pope's equivocations. Had the epistles appeared in his life, he would no doubt have declared that they applied to the Duchess of Buckinghamshire.
Pope, as described by Reynolds, who once saw him (Prior, Malone, p. 42i)), was four feet six inches in height, and much deformed. He had a very fine eye and a well-formed nose. His face was drawn, and the muscles strongly marked; it showed traces of the headaches from which he constantly suffered, Johnson reports some details given by a servant of Lord Oxford. He was so weak in middle life that he had to wear 'a bodice of stiff canvas;' he could not dress without help, and he wore three pairs of stockings to cover his thin legs. He was a troublesome inmate, often wanting coffee in the night, but liberal to the servants whose rest he disturbed. Johnson mentions that Pope called the servant up four times in one night in 'the dreadful winter of 1740' that he might write down thoughts which had struck him. His old servant, John Searle, lived with him many years, and received a legacy of 100l. under his will. He was abstemious in drink, and would set a single pint before two guests, and, having taken two small glasses, would retire, saying, 'Gentlemen, I leave you to your wine.' He is said to have injured himself by a love of 'highly seasoned dishes' and 'potted lampreys;' but, in spite of a fragile constitution, he lived to the age of fifty-six.
Pope's character is too marked in its main features to be misunderstood, though angry controversies have arisen upon the subject. Literary admirers have resolved to find in him a moral pattern, while dissentients have had no difficulty in discovering topics of reproach. There is, in fact, no more difficult subject for biography, especially in a compressed form. His better qualities, as displayed in the domestic circle, give no materials for narrative, while it is necessary to give the details of the wretched series of complex quarrels, manoeuvres, and falsifications in which he was plunged from his youth. Pope's physical infirmities, his intense sensibility, and the circumstances of his life, produced a morbid development of all the weaknesses characteristic of the literary temperament. Excluded by his creed from all public careers, educated among a class which was forced to meet persecution by intrigue, feeling the slightest touch like the stroke of a bludgeon, forced into an arena of personality where rough practical joking and coarse abuse were recognised modes of warfare, he had recourse to weapons of attack and defence which were altogether inexcusable. The truest statement seems to be that he was at bottom, as he represents himself in the epistle to Arbuthnot, a man of really fine nature, affectionate, generous, and independent; unfortunately, the better nature was perverted by the morbid vanity and excessive irritability which led him into his multitudinous subterfuges. His passion for literary fame, and the keenness of his suffering under attacks, led to all his quarrels. The preceding narrative has shown sufficiently how he thus was led into his worst offences. Beginning with a simple desire to give literary polish to his essays, he was gradually led to calumniate Addison. He thought himself justified in making use of the common enemy, Curll, to obtain the publication of his letters, and was gradually led on to the gross treachery to Swift. When accused of unfair satire, he was afraid to defend himself by the plain truth, and fell into unmanly equivocations. He was a politician, as Johnson reports Lady Bolingbroke to have said, 'about cabbages and turnips,' and could 'hardly drink tea without a stratagem.' But even his malignity to Lady Mary and Lord Hervey probably appeared to him as a case of the 'strong antipathy of good to bad.'
His really fine qualities, however, remained, and animated his best poetry. All judicious critics have noticed the singular beauty of his personal compliments. They were the natural expression of 'really affectionate nature.' His tenderness to his parents, his real affection for such friends as Arbuthnot, Gay, and Swift, his almost extravagant admiration of Bolingbroke and Warburton, are characteristic. He always leaned uponsome stronger nature, and craved for sympathy. His success gave him a high social position, and he appears to have maintained his independence in his intercourse with great men. He declined a pension of 300l. out of the secret-service money offered by his friend Craggs (Spence, pp. 307–8), and lived upon the proceeds of 'Homer.' He seems to have been careful in money matters, but was liberal in disposing of his income. He could be actively benevolent when he thought that an injustice was being done. He subscribed generously to the support of a Mrs. Cope who had been deserted by her husband, and several other instances are given to the same effect. He helped to start Dodsley as a publisher, and contributed 20l. a year to Savage, until Savage's conduct made help impossible. It must be admitted, however, that Savage's services to Pope in the war with the dunces were discreditable to both. This substratum of real kindness, and even a certain magnanimity, requires to be distinctly recognised, as showing that Pope's weaknesses imply, not malignity, but the action of unfortunate conditions upon a sensitive nature. Probably the nearest parallel to the combination is to be found in his contemporary, Voltaire. His abnormal sensibility fitted Pope to give the most perfect expression of the spirit of his age. His anxiety to be on the side of enlightenment is shown by his religious and intellectual position. Though brought up in a strictly Roman catholic circle, he adopted without hesitation the rationalism of Bolingbroke, and supposed himself to be a disciple of Locke. Atterbury and Dr. Clarke, fellow of All Souls' (not Samuel Clarke, as has been erroneously said), tried to convert him. His letter to Atterbury (Works, ix. 10–12) gives most clearly the opinions which he always expressed. A change of religion might be profitable, as it would qualify him for pensions; but it would vex his mother, and do no good to anybody else. Meanwhile, he held that men of all sects might be saved (see also letter to Swift, 28 Nov. 1729, Works, vii. 176). The 'Universal Prayer' shows the same sentiment. Pope, taking the advice attributed to Addison, professed to stand aside from political party. His connections naturally inclined him to the tory side, but he was not a Jacobite, and his sympathies were with the opposition to Walpole. He took for granted the sincerity of their zeal in denouncing the corruption of the period, and gave the keenest utterance to their commonplaces. His devotion to literature was unremitting, and his fortunate attainment of a competence enabled him to associate independently with the social leaders. If, as Johnson says, he boasts a little too much of their familiarity, and, as Johnson also remarked with more feeling, regarded poverty as a crime, he cannot be fairly accused of servility. He held his own with great men, though he shared their prejudices. The wits and nobles who formed a little circle and caressed each other were, in their way, genuine believers in enlightenment. They had finally escaped from the prison of scholasticism; they preferred wit and common sense to the 'pedantry of courts and schools;' they suspected sentimentalism when not strictly within the conventional bounds; they looked down with aristocratic contempt upon the Grub Street authors, for whom they had as little sympathy as cockfighters for their victims; and took the tone towards women natural in clubs of bachelors. Satire and didactic poetry corresponded to the taste of such an epoch. Pope's writings accurately reflect these tendencies; and his scholarly sense of niceties of language led him to polish all his work with unwearied care. Almost every fragment of his verse has gone through a series of elaborate and generally successful remodellings. Whether Pope is to be called a poet — a problem raised in following generations — is partly a question of words; but no one can doubt that he had qualities which would have enabled him to give an adequate embodiment in verse of the spirit of any generation into which he had been born. He might have rivalled Chaucer in one centuny, and Wordsworth in another. As it was, his poetrv is the essence of the first half of the eipfhtoenth century. The later history of Pope's fame is the history of the process by which the canons of taste ceased to correspond to the strongest intellectual and social impulses of a new period. What was spontaneous in him became conventional and artiticial in his successors. Warton first proposed to place Pope in the second, instead of the first, class of poets. Cowper's 'Homer' was another indication of the change ; and, in the next century, the discussions in which Bowles, Koscoe, Campbell, and Byron took part, and the declarations of poetic faith by Wordsworth and Coleridge, corresponded to a revolution of taste, and showed, at any rate, how completely Pope's poetry represent the the typical characteristics of the earlier school.
Pope enlarged his villa, and he spent much time and money on improving his garden, with the help not only of the professional gardeners, Kent and Bridgeman, but of his friends. Lords Peterborough and Bathurst. A plan, with a short description, published by his gardener, Searle, in 1745, is reproduced in Carruthers's 'Life' ( pp. 445-9). The best description is in Walpole's 'Letters' (to Sir Horace Mann, 20 June 1760). His grotto was a tunnel, which still remains, under the Teddington road. He describes it in a letter to Edward Blount (2 June 1725). He ornamented it by spars and marbles, many of them sent by William Borlase [q. v.] from Cornwall. The garden included an obelisk to his mother, and the second weeping willow planted in England. The willow died in 1801, and was made into relics. After his death the house was sold to Sir William Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield's brother. In 1807 it came into the possession of the Baroness Howe, daughter of the admiral. She destroyed the house and stubbed up the trees. Thomas Young, a latter proprietor, built a new house, with a 'Chinese-Gothic tower,' which still stands near the site of the old villa (Thorne, Environs of London, pp. 634-7; Corbett, Memorials of Twickenham (1873), pp. 263-91). In 1888 the bicentenary of Pope's birth was celebrated by an exhibition at Twickenham of many interesting portraits and relics.
Pope was painted by Kneller in 1712, 1716, and 1721 ; by Jervas (an engraving from a portrait at Caen Wood, prefixed to vol. vi. of 'Works,' and a portrait exhibited by Mr. A. Morrison at Twickenham); by W. Hoare (exhibited by Messrs. Colnaghi at Twickenham by Jonathan Richardson (engraving at Hagley, prefixed to vol. i. of 'Works'), who also made various drawings (three made for Horace Walpole were exhibited by the queen at Twickenham, and fifteen drawing of Pope were included in a volume containing thirty-eight of Richardson's drawings) ; by Van Loo in 1742 ; and by Arthur Pond. Most of these have been engraved. The National Portrait Gallery has a portrait by Jervas with a lady (perhaps Martha Blount ), one by W. Hoare (crayons) of 1734, and one by Richardson, 1738. Mrs. Darell Blount also exhibited at Twickenham a portrait by an unknown painter, and portraits of Pope and Teresa and Martha Blount by Jervas, A 'Sketch from Life,' by G. Vertue, was exhibited at Twickenham by Sir Charles Dilke. A bust by Roubiliac, 'the original clay converted into terra-cotta,' was exhibited at Twickenham by John Murray (1808- 1892) [q. v.] the publisher, and an engraving is prefixed to vol. v. of the 'Works.' A marble bust by Rysbrach was presented to the Athenæum Club in 1861 by Edward Lowth Badeley [q. v.] An engraving from a drawing of Pope s mother bv Richardson is prefixed to vol. viii. of the 'Works.' Pope's works are : 1. 'January and May,' the 'Episode of Sarpedon' from the 'Iliad,' and the 'Pastorals' in Tonson's 'Poetical Miscellanies,' pt. vi., 1709. 2. 'Essay on Criticism,' 1711 [anon.] ; 2nd edit. 'by Mr. Pope,' 1713. 3. 'The First Book of Statius's Thebais,' 'Vertumnus and Pomona from the Fourth Book of Ovid's "Metamorphoses," ' 'To a Young Lady with the Works of Voiture,' 'To the Author of a Poem entitled "Successio," ' and the 'Rape of the Lock'- (first draft, without author's name), in Lintot's 'Miscellany,' 1712. 3. 'Sappho to Phaon' and 'Fable of Dryope' in Tonson's 'Ovid,' 1712. 4. 'The Messiah' in 'Spectator,' 30 Nov. 1712. 5. 'Windsor Forest,' 1713. 6. 'Prologue to Cato,' with play, and, in 'Guardian,' No. 33. Nos. 4, 11, 40, 61, 78, 91, 92, 173 of the 'Guardian' are also by Pope, 1713. 7. 'Narrative of Dr. Robert Norris concernig=ng the depolable frenzy of J[ohn] Denn...,' 1713. 8. 'Rape of the Lock.' with additions, 2 March 1714. The first complete edition. 9. 'Wife of Bath,' from Chaucer, the 'Arrival of Ulysses at Itliaca,' and the 'Gardens of Alcinous,' from the thirteenth and seventh books of the Lock : or a Treatise proving beyond all Contradiction the Dangerous Tendency of a late Poem intituled the "Rape of the Lock," to Government Religion. By Esdras Bamivelt, Apoth.,' 1715. 12. 'Iliad of Homer;
translated by Mr. Pope,' first four books, 1716. The next three volumes appeared in 1716, 1717, and 1718, and the last two together in 1720, each containing four books. 13. 'A full and true Account of a horrid and barbarous Revenge by Poison on the Body of Mr. Edmund Curll, Bookseller, with a faithful copy of his last Will and Testament. Published by an eye-witness,' 1716. 14. 'The Worms: a Satyr by Mr. Pope,' 1716. 15. 'A Roman Catholic Version of the First Psalm, for the use of a young Lady. By Mr. Pope,' 1716. (This and the preceding, attributed to Pope by Curll and others, were not acknowledged nor disavowed by him; see Carruthers, pp. 1634, and Works vi. 438). 16. 'Epistle to Jervas,' prefixed to an edition of Fresnoy's 'Art of Painting,' 1716. 17. Pope's works in 1717 included for the first time the 'Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady,' and the 'Eloisa to Abelard,' which were published separately in 1720, with poems by other authors, as 'Eloisa to Abelard, second edition.' The works also included the 'Ode on St. Cecilia's Day,' republished, with changes, as 'Ode for the Public Commencement at Cambridge on July 6, 1730,' with music by Maurice Green, 1730. 18. 'To Mr. Addison: occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals,' in Tickell's edition of 'Addison's Works,' 1721. 19. 'Poems on Several Occasions ... by Dr. Thomas Parnell . . . published by Mr. Pope,' with 'Epistle to the Earl of Oxford,' 1722. 20. 'The Dramatic Works of Shakspear . . . collated and corrected by the former editions,' 6 vols. 4to, ed. Pope, 1726. 21. 'The Odyssey of Homer,' vols, i., ii., and iii. 1726, iv. and 1726. 22. 'Miscellanea,' including 'Familiar Letters written to Henry Cromwell, Esq., by Mr. Pope,' was published by Curll in 1720, dated 1727. 23. 'Miscellanies,' with preface signed by Swift and Pope; vols. i. and ii. in 1727; vol. iii., called 'the last volume,' in March 1727–8; a fourth volume was added in 1732. 24. 'The Dunciad: an heroic poem, in three books, Dublin printed; London reprinted for A. Dodd,' 1728, 12mo. Three more editions, with an owl on the frontispiece, were printed in London in 1728, and one with no frontispiece and with Pope's name at Dublin. 'The Dunciad Variorum, with the prolegomena of Scriblerus, London, printed for A. Dod, 1729,' 4to, was the first complete edition. It has a vignette of an ass and an owl. Four other octavo editions are dated London, 1729, with varying frontispieces of the owl and the ass. There is another edition without date (which cannot have appeared till 1733), and another dated 1736, with the ass frontispiece. In 1736 appeared also a different edition as vol. iv. of Pope's 'Works.' The ass and owl have now disappeared. 'The New Dunciad: as it was found in the year MDCXLI, with the Illustrations of Scriblerus and Notes Variorum,' 4to (i.e. the fourth book of 'The Dunciad'), appeared in 1742; another edition, with the same title, in the same year. 'The Works of Alexander Pope,' vol. iii. pt. i., contains the first three books, and vol. iii. pt. ii. the fourth book. The 'Dunciad in Four Books, printed according to the complete copy found in the year 1742 ... to which are added several Notes now first published, the Hypercritics of Aristarchus, and his Dissertation on the Hero of the Poem,' 1743, is the poem in its final form with an 'advertisement' signed W. W[arburton]. An edition, 'with several additions now first printed,' appeared in 1749. A full account of these editions was given by Mr. Thoms in 'Notes and Queries,' Nos. 268–70, and is reprinted by Mr. Courthope in 'Works,' iv. 299-309. Mr. Courthope adds an account of four other editions printed at Dublin (1728, two in 1729, and one without a date). 26. Wycherley's 'Works,' vol. ii., with Pope's 'Letters,' 1729, has disappeared (see above). 27. 'Of Taste: an Epistle to the Rt. Honble. Richard, Earl of Burlington, occasioned by his publishing "Palladio's Designs," etc.,' 1731; afterwards called 'Of False Taste,' and finally 'Of the Use of Riches' (fourth moral essay). 27. 'Of the Use of Riches: an Epistle to the Rt. Honble. Allen, Lord Bathurst,' 1732 (third moral essay). 28. 'An Essay on Man addressed to a Friend,' 1733, fol., no date. Quarto and octavo editions were also printed. The second and third epistles appeared in 1733, and the fourth in January 1734, in the same forms. They were all anonymous. The 'Universal Prayer' was added, and also published separately, in 1738. An edition, with an excellent commentary by Mark Pattison, was published at the Clarendon Press in 1866. The 'Satires and Epistles' were edited by Pattison in the same year. 29. '0f the Knowledge and Characters of Men: an Epistle addressed to the Rt. Honble. Lord Viscount Cobham,' 1733 (first moral essay). 30. 'The First Satire of the Second Book of Horace, imitated in a Dialogue between Alexander Pope . . . and his learned counsel,' 1733. 31. 'The Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace,' 1734. 32. 'Epistle from Mr. Pope to Dr. Arbuthnot,' 1736. 33. 'Sober Advice from Horace to the Young Gentlemen about Town: as delivered in his second sermon; imitated in the manner of A. Pope' (n.d.), 1734; (included also in 1738 edition of ‘Works,’ but afterwards withdrawn). 34. ‘On the Characters of Women: an Epistle to a Lady,’ 1735 (second moral essay). 35. Second volume of Pope's ‘Works,’ adding those published since 1717, and including for the first time the ‘Satires of Dr. Donne versified by the same hand,’ 1735. 36. ‘Letters of Mr. Pope and several Eminent Persons,’ 2 vols. 8vo (always put up together). This is the original ‘P. T.’ edition (see above), and occurs in several forms, due to Pope's manipulations of the printing, and his use of the Wycherley volume (see No. 25). It was also printed in 12mo, with the ‘Narrative of the Method by which Mr. Pope's Letters were procured.’ Curll reprinted this as ‘Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence for Thirty Years,’ 1735; there are two octavo editions and a 12mo edition. Curll published four more volumes called ‘Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence,’ which really contained no letters of Pope's, but gave opportunities for annoying him. See ‘Works,’ vol. vi. pp. xlix–lviii for a full account. Two other editions are mentioned by Pope in his ‘Catalogue of Surreptitious Editions’ in 1737. Cooper published another in June 1735, with Pope's connivance, which is not mentioned in the ‘Catalogue.’ The first avowed edition appeared on 18 May 1737 in folio and quarto, and afterwards octavo; and the fifth and sixth volumes of the octavo edition of Pope's ‘Works,’ containing the ‘Correspondence,’ was printed at the same time. 37. ‘The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace, imitated by Mr. Pope,’ the sixth epistle of the first book, the first epistle of the second book, the second epistle of the second book, and the ode to Venus, appeared separately in 1737. 38. ‘The Sixth Satire of the Second Book of Horace, the first part … by Dr. Swift. The latter part … now added [by Pope],’ 1738, fol. 39. ‘One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-Eight; a dialogue something like Horace,’ and ‘One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty-Eight, Dialogue II,’ 1738; afterwards called ‘Epilogue to the Satires.’ 40. ‘Selecta Poemata Italorum qui Latine scripserunt, cura cujusdam anonymi anno 1684 congesta, iterum in lucem data, una cum aliorum Italorum operibus, accurante A. Pope,’ 2 vols. 1740. 41. ‘Works in Prose,’ vol. ii., containing the Swift correspondence (with the ‘Memoirs of Scriblerus’), 1741.
A ‘Supplement’ to Pope's ‘Works’ was published in 1757, and ‘Additions’ in 1776. These include the ‘Three Hours after Marriage,’ attributed to Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot, and the poems suppressed on account of indecency. A ‘Supplemental Volume,’ published in 1825, is chiefly composed of trifling letters from the Homer MSS. in the British Museum. The first collective edition of Pope's ‘Works,’ ‘with his last corrections, additions, and improvements, as they were delivered to the editor a little before his death; together with the commentaries and notes of Mr. Warburton,’ appeared in nine vols. 8vo, in 1751. It was several times reprinted, and in 1769 published in five vols. 4to, with a life by Owen Ruffhead. In 1794 appeared the first volume (all published) of an edition by Gilbert Wakefield. The edition (9 vols. 8vo) by Joseph Warton appeared in 1797 (republished in 1822); that by William Lisle Bowles (10 vols. 8vo) in 1806; that by William Roscoe, said to be ‘the worst’ by Croker and Mr. Elwin (Works, I. xxiv) (10 vols. 8vo), in 1824. The standard edition is the edition, in 10 vols. 8vo, published by Mr. Murray (1871–89); the first four volumes contain the poetry, except the translation of the ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey,’ the fifth the life, and the last five the correspondence and prose works. The first two volumes of poetry and the first three of correspondence were edited by the Rev. Whitwell Elwin, the remainder by Mr. W. J. Courthope, who also wrote the life.
A ‘Concordance’ to the works of Pope by Edwin Abbott [q. v.], with an introduction by the Rev. E. A. Abbott, D.D., appeared in 1875.
[Some catchpenny anonymous lives of Pope appeared directly upon his death. That by William Ayre (2 vols. 8vo, 1745) is also worthless. The life by Owen Ruffhead, published in 1769, with help from Warburton, is of very little value, except as incorporating a few scraps of Warburton's information. Johnson's Life (1781) is admirable, but requires to be modified by the later investigations. Johnson saw Spence's Anecdotes in manuscript. The Anecdotes, first published by Singer in 1820, give Pope's own account of various transactions, and are of great importance. Joseph Warton's Essay on Pope, of which the first volume was published in 1756, and the second in 1782, gives various anecdotes, also contained in the notes to his edition of the Works. Some points were discussed in the controversy raised by Bowles's Life prefixed to his edition. An attack by Campbell in his Specimens of British Poets (1819) led to a controversy in which Hazlitt, Byron, and Bowles himself took part. A very good life is that by Robert Carruthers [q. v.], prefixed to an edition of the Works in 1853 (again in 1858), and published separately in 1857. It contains an interesting account of the Mapledurham MSS. and a statement of the earlier results of Dilke's inquiries. Pope's life, however, has been in great part reconstructed by more recent researches. Mr. Croker had made large collections, which were after his death placed in the hands of Mr. Elwin. The researches of Mr. Charles Wentworth dilke [q.v.] were first started by the discovery of the Caryll Papers in 1853. These papers have since been presented to teh British Museum by the present Sir Charles W. Dilke, Mr. Dilke's grandson. Mr. Dilke published his results in the athenæum and Notes and Queries; and they are reprinted in the first volume of his Papers of a Critic (1875). Mr. Dilke also gave great help to Mr. Elwin (see 'Works,' vol. i, p. cxli) in collecting letters and explaining difficulties. the results of the labours of Croker, Dilke, Mr. Elwin, and Mr. Courthope are given in the notes, introductions, and essays in the edition above notices. The papers formerly in Lord Oxford's library are now at Longleat, and were placed at Mr. Elwin's disposal by the Marquis of Bath. the correspondence of Lord Orrery with Pope, communicated to Mr. Elwin by the Earl of Cork, and first published in the eighth volume of the Works also throws much light upon Pope's transactions. The British Museum has a collection of the original manuscripts of Pope's translations of Homer, presented by David Mallet [q.v.] Much of it is written upon the backs of letters, most of which have been printed in the 'supplemental Volume' of 1726, and in later editions of the correspondence.]