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ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD, AND EARL MORTIMER 1.

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UCH were the notes thy once-lov'd Poet sung,
'Till Death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh just beheld, and lost! admir'd and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentlest Arts adorn'd!
Blest in each science, blest in ev'ry strain !
Dear to the Muse! to HARLEY dear-in vain!
For him, thou oft hast bid the World attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For SWIFT and him despis'd the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dextrous the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from Flattery to Wit.

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear);

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Chancellorship of the Exchequer by employing 'female intrigue and raising the cry of the Church in danger.' (Macknight.) He subsequently was created Earl of Oxford and made Lord Treasurer; and it was at this time that he principally availed himself of the services of Swift and his friends. The rivalry between himself and Bolingbroke ended in his downfall immediately after the death of Queen Anne; in 1716, he was impeached for treasonable intrigues with the Jacobites during his tenure of power; and confined in the Tower. In 1717 the trial was abandoned; and he died in retirement in 1724.]

2 [Verg. En. vi. 870.]

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Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days;
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays,

Who, careless now of Int'rest, Fame, or Fate,
Perhaps forgets that OXFORD e'er was great;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy Fall.

And sure, if aught below the seats divine
Can touch Immortals, 'tis a Soul like thine:
A Soul supreme in each hard instance try'd,
Above all Pain, all Passion, and all Pride,
The rage of Pow'r, the blast of public breath,
The lust of Lucre, and the dread of Death.
In vain to Deserts thy retreat is made;
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade:
'Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
When Int'rest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all th' oblig'd desert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last ling'ring friend has bid farewell.
Ev'n now, she shades thy Ev'ning-walk with bays
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise);
Ev'n now, observant of the parting Ray,
Eyes the calm Sun-set of thy various Day,

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Thro' Fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell, that MORTIMER is he.

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EPISTLE TO JAMES CRAGGS1, Esq.
SECRETARY OF STATE",

SOUL as full of Worth, as void of Pride,

A Which nothing seeks to shew, or needs to hide,

Which nor to Guilt nor Fear, its Caution owes,
And boasts a Warmth that from no Passion flows.

A Face untaught to feign; a judging Eye,

That darts severe upon a rising Lie,

And strikes a blush thro' frontless Flattery.

All this thou wert, and being this before,

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Know, Kings and Fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a Friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a Foe these Virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed,-a Minister, but still a Man.

1 James Craggs was made Secretary at War in 1717, when the Earl of Sunderland and Mr Addison were appointed Secretaries of State. Bowles. [He succeeded Addison in the latter office in 1720, and to him Addison dedicated his works in the last letter which he ever composed. Craggs was afterwards involved in the South Sea speculations (concerning which he advised Pope);

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but his death in 1721 saved him from the exposure with which he was threatened. He was a frequent correspondent of Pope's during the years from 1711 to 1719; and is celebrated by Gay as 'bold generous Craggs whose heart was ne'er disguised.' Compare Epitaph_v. infra.]

2 Secretary of State.] In the Year 1720. P.

Be not, exalted to whate'er degree,
Asham'd of any Friend, not ev'n of Me:
The Patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of You.

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EPISTLE TO MR JERVAS1, WITH MR DRYDEN'S TRANSLATION OF FRESNOY'S ART OF PAINTING.

THIS verse tinel or ungrateful Muse.

HIS Verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse

Whether thy hand strike out some free design,
Where Life awakes, and dawns at ev'ry line;
Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass,
And from the canvas call the mimic face:
Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire
Fresnoy's close Art, and Dryden's native Fire2:
And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame,
So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name;
Like them to shine thro' long succeeding age,
So just thy skill, so regular my rage.

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Smit with the love of Sister-Arts we came,
And met congenial, mingling flame with flame;
Like friendly colours found them both unite,

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And each from each contract new strength and light.

How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day,

While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away;

How oft our slowly-growing works impart,

While Images reflect from art to art;

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How oft review; each finding like a friend
Something to blame, and something to commend!

What flatt'ring scenes our wand'ring fancy wrought,
Rome's pompous glories rising to our thought!
Together o'er the Alps methinks we fly,
Fir'd with Ideas of fair Italy.

With thee, on Raphael's Monument I mourn,
Or wait inspiring Dreams at Maro's Urn:
With thee repose, where Tully once was laid,
Or seek some Ruin's formidable shade:
While fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
And builds imaginary Rome anew;
Here thy well-study'd marbles fix our eye;
A fading Fresco here demands a sigh:

1 Epist. to Mr Jervas.] This Epistle, and the two following, were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717. P. [Charles Jervas was an early and intimate friend of Pope's, and instructed him in painting about the year 1713. Three years later we find Pope Occupying the painter's house during the absence of the latter from London. As a painter, Jervas

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is spoken slightingly of by Horace Walpole. He is also, says Roscoe, well known by his excellent translation of Don Quixote.]

2 [Du Fresnoy's Art of Painting, hastily turned into English by Dryden as a piece of hack work, was afterwards more elaborately translated by Mason, who was himself a proficient in the art.]

Each heav'nly piece unwearied we compare,
Match Raphael's grace with thy lov'd Guido's1 air,
Caracci's strength, Correggio's softer line,

Paulo's free stroke, and Titian's warmth divine.
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears

This small, well-polish'd Gem, the work of years!
Yet still how faint by precept is exprest
The living image in the painter's breast!
Thence endless streams of fair Ideas flow,
Strike in the sketch, or in the picture glow;
Thence Beauty, waking all her forms, supplies
An Angel's sweetness, or Bridgewater's eyes 5.

Muse! at that Name thy sacred sorrows shed,
Those tears eternal, that embalm the dead:
Call round her Tomb each object of desire,
Each purer frame inform'd with purer fire:
Bid her be all that cheers or softens life,
The tender sister, daughter, friend, and wife:
Bid her be all that makes mankind adore;
Then view this Marble, and be vain no more!

Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage;
Her modest cheek shall warm a future age.
Beauty, frail flow'r that ev'ry season fears,
Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years.

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Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise",
And other Beauties envy Worsley's eyes7;

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Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow 3,
And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow 9.

Oh lasting as those Colours may they shine,
Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line;
New graces yearly like thy works display,
Soft without weakness, without glaring gay;

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Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains;
And finish'd more thro' happiness than pains.
The kindred Arts shall in their praise conspire;
One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre.

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1 [Guido Reni.]

2 By Caracci's strength, Pope probably meant to refer to Annibale Caracci only; the most distinguished of the three brothers (A., Agostino and Ludovico) for his knowledge of the human figure. Roscoe.

four sisters. She died March 1714, aged 27 Bowles. [Pope in a letter to Gay, August 23rd 1713, quoted in Carruthers' Life, speaking of his own attempts, says that he has thrown away among other portraits, 'two Lady Bridgewaters and a Duchess of Montagu.' In a fragment of Pope's published in Roscoe's Supplement (1825) the fair 4 Fresnoy employed above twenty Years in Bridgewater and Jervas are compared to Camfinishing his Poem. P. 5 [See next note.]

3 [Paolo Veronese.]

6 Churchill's race were the four beautiful daughters of John the great Duke of Marlborough: Henrietta, Countess of Godolphin, afterwards duchess of Marlborough; Anne Countess of Sunderland; Elizabeth Countess of Bridgewater; and Mary, Duchess of Montagu. Their portraits are at Blenheim. Lady Bridgewater, whom Jervas affected to be in love with, and who accused herself at his expense, was the most beautiful of the

paspe and Apelles.]

7 Frances Lady Worsley, wife of Sir Robert Worsley, Bart., mother of Lady Carteret, wife of John Lord Carteret, afterwards Earl Granville. Warton. This name originally stood Wortley: but the compliment was transferred from her after her quarrel with Pope by the alteration of a single letter. Carruthers.

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Yet should the Graces all thy figures place,
And breathe an air divine on ev'ry face;

Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll

Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul;
With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie,

And these be sung 'till Granville's Mira die1;
Alas! how little from the grave we claim !
Thou but preserv'st a Face, and I a Name.

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EPISTLE TO MISS BLOUNT 2, WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE3.

IN

N these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine,
And all the Writer lives in ev'ry line;

His easy Art may happy Nature seem,

Trifles themselves are elegant in him.
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,

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Who without flatt'ry pleas'd the fair and great;
Still with esteem no less convers'd than read;

With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred :
His heart, his mistress, and his friend did share,
His time, the Muse, the witty, and the fair.
Thus wisely careless, innocently gay,
Cheerful he play'd the trifle, Life, away;
Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest,
As smiling Infants sport themselves to rest.
Ev'n rival Wits did Voiture's death deplore,

And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before;
The truest hearts for Voiture heav'd with sighs,
Voiture was wept by all the brightest Eyes:

The Smiles and Loves had died in Voiture's death,
But that for ever in his lines they breathe.
Let the strict life of graver mortals be

A long, exact, and serious Comedy;

In ev'ry scene some Moral let it teach,

And, if it can, at once both please and preach.
Let mine, an innocent gay farce appear 4,
And more diverting still than regular,
Have Humour, Wit, a native Ease and Grace,
Tho' not too strictly bound to Time and Place:
Critics in Wit, or Life, are hard to please,
Few write to those, and none can live to these.
Too much your Sex is by their forms confin'd,
Severe to all, but most to Womankind;

[See Windsor Forest, v. 298.]

2 [Miss Teresa Blount. See Introductory Memoir, p. xxx. This Epistle was first published in Lintot's Miscellany in 1712; so that Pope's note (ante, p. 443) is not accurate.]

3 [Vincent Voiture (1598-1648), one of the chief ornaments of the Hotel Rambouillet (the centre of the society of the so-called précieux and précieuses at Paris under the regency of Mary de' Medici). 'His great merit,' says a

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modern French critic (M. Masson), 'consists in the inexhaustible variety of forms which he applies to a monotonous sterility of ideas.']

4 [Antonio. I hold the world but as the world,
Gratiano;

A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

Gratiano. Let me play the fool, &c.
Merchant of Venice, Act 1. Sc. 1.]

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