Alexander Pope.

The works of Alexander Pope Esq. : In nine volumes, complete. With his last corrections, additions, and improvements; as they were delivered to the editor, a little before his death. Together with the commentary and notes of Mr. Warburton (Volume 6) online

. (page 15 of 20)
Online LibraryAlexander PopeThe works of Alexander Pope Esq. : In nine volumes, complete. With his last corrections, additions, and improvements; as they were delivered to the editor, a little before his death. Together with the commentary and notes of Mr. Warburton (Volume 6) → online text (page 15 of 20)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

* c of a drachm or two of my Oil ; though I have
" caufe to fear my prefcriptions will not have the
" effect upon you I could wifh : Therefore I do
" not endeavour to bribe you in my Favour by the
" Prefent of my Oil, but wholly depend upon
" your publick Spirit and Gcnefofity ; which, I
" hope, will recommend to the World the ufeful
** endeavours of,
S 1 R,
Your nwft Obedient^ moft Faithful^ moft Devote J y

moft Humble Servant and Admirer*
G N A T H O.

?i* Beware of Counterfeits, for fuch are abroad.

" N. B.


" N. B. I teach the Arcana of my Art at rea-
** fonable rates to Gentlemen of the Univcrfities,
** who di- fire to be qualified for writing DeJica-
" tions ; and to young Lovers and Fortune-hun-
" ters to be paid at the day of Marriage. I in-
** ftruft perfons of bright Capacities to flatter
" others, and thofe of the meaneft to flatter thcm-
" felves.

" I was the firft Inventor of Pocket Looking-
" Glafles.

jvjj 40. Monday, April 27, 1713.

Being a Continuation of fame former papers on the
Subjeft of PASTORALS.

Compulerantque greges Corydon et Thyrfis in unum :
Ex i!lo Cofydon, Corydon eft tempore nobis.

i . T Defigned to have troubled the reader with
A no further difcourfes of Paftoral ; but being
informed that I am taxed of partiality in not men-
tioning an Author whofe Eclogues are published in
the fame volume with Mr. Philips's, I fhall employ
this paper in obfervations upon him, written ia the
free Spirit of Criticifm, and without any appre-
hcnfion of offending that Gentleman, whofc cha-
r it is, that he takes the greateft care of his
works before they are published, and has tlic leaft
concern for them afterwards.

2. I have laid it down as the firft lule ofPaf-
toral, that its idea fhoulJ be taken from the man-
ners of the Golden Age, and the Moral formed
upon the reprefentation of Innocence ; 'tis there-
fore plain that any deviations from that deftgn de-
grade a Poem from being truly paftoral. In this
view it will appear, that Virgil can only have two


of his Eclogues allowed to be fuch : his firft and
ninth muft be rejected, becaufe they defcribe the
ravages of armies, and oppreflions of the innocent ;
Corydon's criminal paffion for Alexis throws out
the fecond ; the calumny and railing in the third
are not proper to that irate of concord ; the eighth
reprefents unlawful ways of procuring love by in-
chantments, and introduces a (hepherd whom an
inviting precipice tempts to fclf-murder : As to the
fourth, lixth, and tenth, they are given up by *
Heinfius, Salmafius, Rapin, and the criticks in
general. They likewife obferve that but eleven of
all the Idyllia of Theocritus are to be admitted as
paftorals : and even out of that number the greater
part will be excluded for one or other of the rea-
fons above mentioned. So that when I remarked
in a former paper, that Virgil's eclogues, taken alto-
gether, are rather Select poems than Paftorals ; I
might have faid the fame thing with no lefs truth
of Theocritus. The reafon of this I take to be
yet unobferved by the criticks, viz. They never
meant them all for paftorals.

Now it is plain Philips hath done this, and in
that particular excelled both Theocritus and Virgil.

3. As Simplicity is the diftinguifhing charadte-
riftick of Paftoral, Virgil hath been thought guilty
of too courtly a ftyle ; his language is perfectly
pure, and he often forgets he is among peafants. I
have frequently wondered, that fince he is fo con-
verfant in the writings of Ennius, he had not imi-
tated the rufticity of the Doric as well by the help
of the old obfolete Roman Language, as Philips
hath by the antiquated Englifli : )for example,
might he not have faid quoi inftead of cm j quoi-
jum for cujum j volt for iiult, etc. as well as our
modern hath wtlladay for ala; y whileome for of old,

9 See Rapin de Carm. par. iii.



make meek for derldt, and wit left y&unglings for fim-
pU lambs, etc. by which means he had attained as
much of the air of Theocritus, as Philips hath of
Spencer ?

4. Mr. Pope hath fallen into the fame error with
Virgil. His clowns do not converfe in all the fim-
plicity proper to the country : His names are bor-
rowed from Theocritus and Virgil, which are im-
proper to the fcetie of his paftorals. He introdu-
ces Daphnis, Alexis, and Thyrfis on Bi itifh plains,
as Virgil had done before him on the Mantuan :
Whereas Philips, who hath the ftricteft regard to
propriety, makes choice of names peculiar to the
country, and more agreeable to a reader of deli-
cacy ; fuch as Hobbinol, Lobbin, Cuddy and Co-
lin Clout.

5. So eafy as paftoral writing may feem (in the
fimplicity we have defcribed it) yet it requires great
reading, both of the ancients and moderns, to be
a matter of it. Philips hath given us manifeft
proofs of his knowledge of books. It muft be
confefli-d his competitor hath imitated fome fingl*
thoughts of the ancients well enough (if 1 we con-
fider he had not the happinefs of an Univerfity
education) but he hath difperfed them here and
there, without that order and method which Mr.
Philips obferves, whofe whole third paftoral is an
inftance how well he hath ftudied the fifth of Vir-
gil, and how judicioufly reduced Virgil's thoughts
to the ftandard of Paftoral ; as his contention of
Colin Clout and the Nightingale (bows with what
exa&nefs he hath imitated every line in Strada.

6. When I remarked it as a principal fault, to
introduce fruits and flowers of a foreign growth,
in dcfcriptiom where the fcene lies in our own
country, I did not defign that obfcrvation fhould
extend alfo to animals, or the fenfttive life ; for
Mr. Philips hath with great judgment defcribed



Wolves in England in his firft paftoral. Nor would
I have a poet flavimly confine himfclf (as Mr. Pope
hath done) to one particular Seafbn of the year,
one certain Time of the day, and one unbroken
Scene in each eclogue. 'Tis plain Spencer ncg-
ledted this pedantry, who in his paftoral of No-
vember mentions the mournful long of the Night-

Sad Philomel her fong in tears dothjleep.

And Mr. Philips, by a poetical creation, hath rai fed
up finer beds of flowers than the moft induftrious
gardiner ; his rofes, endives, lilies, kingcups, and
daffidils, blow all in the fame feafon.

7. But the better to difcover the merits of our
two contemporary Paftoral writers, I fhall endea-
vour to draw a parallel of them, by fctting feveral
of their particular thoughts in the fame light, where-
by it will be obvious how much Philips hath the
advantage. With what Simplicity he introduces
two fhepherds finging alternately ?

Hobb. Ccmc, Rofalind, O come, for without thec
JVhat pleafure can the country have for me ?
Come., Rofalind, O come ; my brindcd //<.,
My fnowy Jhccpy my farm and all y is thine.

Lanq. Come^ Rofatind, O come ; here Jhady bowers ,
Here are cool fountains^ and here /printing


Comc^ Rofalind ; here ever let usjlay^
And jweetly luajle our live-long time away.

Our other paftoral writer, in expreffing the fame
thought, deviates into downright Poetry :

Streph. In Spring tie fields, in Autumn hills 7/uir,
At morn the plains , at noon the Jhady grave ,
But Delia always ; fore d from Delia's fight,
A r ur plains at morn, nor grove s at noon d flight.



Daph. Sylvia's like Autumn ripe, yet mild as May,

More bright than noon, yctfrejh as early day \
Ev'n Spring difplfafes, whcnjhe fl.ines not here*
But blcji with her, 'tis Spring throughout the

In the firft of thefe authors, two fliepherds thus
innocently defcribc the behaviour of their mif-
trefles :

Ilobb. As Marian Ic.itid, ly chance I pajjcdby,
She blujh'd, and at me cajl a fide-long eye :
Thtnfwift beneath the cryjial ivavejbe tryd
Her beauteous form, but all in vain, to hide'.

Lanq. As I to cool me bathed cne fultry day,
Fond Lydia lurking in the f edges lay.
The want en laugli'd, andfeeind in hajle to fly \
Yet often Jlopp 'd, and often turnd her eye.

The other modern (who it muft be confeflVd
hath a knack of vcrfifying) hath it as follows :

Streph. Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain,

Then, hid in /hades, eludes her eager fwain ;
But feigns a Laugh, to fee me fear ch around^
And by that Laugh the willing fair is found.

Daph. Thefprightly Sylvia trips along the green,
She runs, but hope's Jhe does not run unfeen ;
Wl)ile a kind glance at her purfuerJUes^
JhiL much (it variance are her feet and eyes !

There is nothing the writers of this kind of
P'.rtry are fonder of than dcfcriptions of paftoral
J'uiuits. Philips fays thus of a Sheep-hook,

/i,thn\l dm ; whtreftuds of brajs appear,
fofpeak the giver's name, the month and year j
The hook of polijh'dftcel, the handle turnd,
AndriJ Iji /", tl egr\ncS>Jkilliucrn'd.
VOL. VI. T The


The other of a bowl emboflcd with figures :

where wanton ivy twines,
Andfwelling clufters bend the curling vines ;
Four figures rifmg from the work appear y
The various feafons of the rolling year ;
And, what is that which binds the radiant Jky,
IVhere twelve bright figns in beauteous order lie ?

The fimplicity of the f\vain in this place, who for-
gets the name of the ZodiacJc, is no ill imitation
of Virgil : but how much more plainly and unaf-
fectedly would Philips have dreffed this thought in
his Doric ?

And what that hight, which girds the welkin Jheen,
JWere twelve gny figns in meet array are feen ?

If the reader would indulge his curiofity any fur-
ther in the comparifon of particulars, he may read
the firft paftoral of Philips with the fecond of his.
contemporary* and the fourth and fixth of the for-
mer with the fourth and firfr. of the latter ; where
It-vet al parallel places will occur to every one.

Having now down fome parts, in which thcfc
twc writers may be compared, it is a juftice I owe
to Mr. Philips to difcover thofc in which no man
can compare with him. Firft, That beautiful ruf-
ticity, of which I (hall only produce two inftanccs
out of a hundred not yet quoted :

O woeful day ! O day of woe / 'quoth he,
And woeful /, who live the day to fee /

The fimplicity of di&ion, the melancholy flowing
ef the numbers, the folemnity of the found, and
the eafy turn of the words in this Dirge (to make
ufe of our author's exprefiion) aie extremely ele-



In another of his paftorals, a fliepherd utters a
Dirge not much inferior to the former, in the fol-
lowing lines :

Ah me the while / ah me ! the lucklefs day,
Ah Incklcfs lad / the rather might I fay ;
Ah filly If more ftliy than myjheep,

ch on the flow 'ry plains I once did keep.

How he ftill charms the ear with thefc artful repe-
titions of the epithets ; and how fignificant is the
laft verfe ! I defy the moft common reader to re*
peat them, without feeling fome motions of com-

In the next pkice I fhal! rank his Proverbs, in
which I formerly obferved heexcells : For example :

A rolling Jlone is ever bare of mofs ;

And^ to their coft, greeny cars old proverbs crofs.

He that late lies down, as late /// rift,

And Jluggard- like, till new-day fnoaring lies.

Againjl Ill-luck all cunning foreftght fails ;

Whether wejleep or -wake, it naught avails.

~~Norfear, from upright ftntcnce, wrong.

Laflly, his elegant Dialeft, which alone might
prove him the eldeft horn of Spencer, andouronljr
true Arcadian. I fhould think it proper for the
fcveral writers of Paftoral, to confine themfelves to
their feveral Counties. Spencer feems to have beert
of this opinion : for he hath laid the fcene of one
of his Paftorals in Wales ; where with all the fim-
plicitv natural to that part of our-ifland, one fhe-
pherd hi<ls the other good morrow, in an unufual
and elegant maruicr :

Dlggon Davy, Ibid. hur God-day :
Or Diggon hur is, or Irnif-ff.y.

T ^ DIggwi


Diggon anfwcrs :

Hur u.'as httr^ while it was day-light ;
But now hur is a moft wretched wight , etc.

But the moft beautiful example of this kind that
[ ever me t with, is in a very valuable piece which
I chanced to find among fome old manufcripts,
entituled, A Paftoral Ballad : which I think, for
its nature and fimplicity, may (notwithftanding
the modefly of the title) be allowed a perfect Paf-
toral. It is compofed in the Somerfetfhire dialecl,
and the names fuch as are proper to the country
people. It may be obferved as a further beauty of
this Paftoral, the words Nymph, Dryad, Naiad,
Fawn, Cupid, or Satyr, are not once mentioned
throughout the whole. I fhall make no apology
for inferting fome few lines of this excellent piece.
Cicily breaks thus into the fubjecl, as (he is going
a milking :

Cicily. Roger y go vetch tha * Kee^ or elfe tha Zun
Will quite bego y bevore chave half a don.

Roger. Thcujkouldft not ax ma tweece^ but Fve a bet
To dreve our bull to bull tha Parfon"s Kef.

It is to be obferved, that this whole dialogue J*
formed upon the paflion of Jealoufy ; and his men-
tioning the Parfon's Kine naturally revives the jea-
Joufy of the fhepherdefs Cicily, which (he expreiles
as follows :

Cicily. Ah Roger ^ Roger , ches was zore truraid y

J / f / hen in yon Vieldyiu kifs'dtha Parfon's maid :
Is this the love that once to me you zed^
jyhenfrom the Wake thou brought'Jt me ginger-
bread ?

* That is, the Kine or Cows.



Roger. C/V/'/y, thou char g* ft me va/fe, /'// zwear to

Tba Parfon's maid isftill a maid for me.

In which anfwer of his, are exprefTed at once that
Spirit of" Religion, and that Innocence of the
r c, fo neceflary to be obferved by all wri-
ters cf Pallor al.

At the conclufion of this piete, the author re-
conciles the Lovers, and ends the Eclogue the moft
fimply in the world :

So Rag ft- parted 'vor to vetch tha Kef y
And vor her bucket in went Cicily.

I am loth to fliow my fondnefs for antiquity fo far
as to prefer this ancient Britifli author to our pre-
fent EngliuS Writers of Paftoral ; but I cannot
avoid making this obvious remark, that Philips
hath hit into the fame road with this olJ Weft
Country Bard of ours.

After all that hath been faid, I hope none can
think it any injuftice to Mr. Pope that I forbore to
mention him as a Paftoral writer ; fince, upon the
whole, he is of the fame clafs wtih Mofchus and.
Bion, whom we have excluded that rank ; and of
whofe Eclogues, as well as fome of Virgil's, it
may be faid, that (according to the defcription we
have given of this fort of poetry) they are by no.
means Paftorals, but fomething better.


N. 61, May 21, 1713.

Primoque a caede ferarum
Incalui/Teputemmaculatumfanguine ferrum, OVID.

I CANNOT think it extravagant to imagine,
that mankind are no lefs, in proportion, ac-
countable for the ill ufe of their dominion over
creatures of the lower rank of beings, than for
the exercife of tyranny over their own Species.
The more entirely the inferior creation is fubmit-
ted to our power, the more anfwerable we fhould
feem for our mifmanagement of it j and the ra-
ther, as the very condition of nature renders thcfe
creatures incapable of receiving any recompence in
another life for their ill treatment in this.

'Tis obfervable of thofe noxious animals, which
have qualities-mofr powerful to injure us, that they
naturally avoid mankind, and never hurt us unle/s
provoked, or neceffitated by hunger. Man, on
the other hand, feeks out and purfues even the
moft inoffenfive animals, on purpofe to perfecute
and deftroy them.

Montaigne thinks it fome reflection upon hu-
man nature itfelf, that few people take delight in
feeing beafts carefs or play together, but almoft
every one is pleafed to fee them lacerate and wor-
ry one another. I am forry this temper is become
almoft a diftinguifhing character of our own na-
tion, from the obfervation which is made by fo-
reigners of our beloved paftimcs, Bear baiting,
Cock-fighting, and the like. We fhould find it
hard to vindicate the deftroying of any thing that
has life, merely out of wantonrseS ; yet in this
principle our children are bred up, and one of the



firft pleafures we allow them, is the licence of in-
flicting pain upon poor animals : almolt as foon ;;s
we are fcnliblc what life is ourfelves, we make it
our fport to take it from other creatures. I cannot
but believe a very good ufe might be made of the
fancy which children have for birds and infects.
Mr. Locke takes notice of a mother who permit-
ted them to her children, but rewarded or punifh-
ed them as they treated them well or ill. This
was no other than entering them betimes into a
daily exercife of humanity, and improving their
very diverfion to a virtue.

I fancy too, fome advantage might be taken of
the common notion, that 'tis ominous or unlucky,
to deftroy fome forts of birds, as Swallows and
Martins. This opinion might poflibly arife from
the confidence thefe birds Teem to put in us by
building under our roofs, fo that it is a kind of
violation of the laws of hofpitality to murder them.
As for Robin-red-breafts in particular, 'tis not im-
probable they owe their fecurity to the old ballad
of The Children in the Wood. However it be, 1
don't know, I fay, why this prejudice, well im-
proved and carried as far as it would go, might not
be made to conduce to the prcfervation of many in-
nocent creatures, which are now expofed to all die
wantonnefs of an ignorant barbarity.

There arc other animals that have the misfor-
tune, for no manner of reafon, to be treated as
common enemies where -ever found. The conceit
that a Cat h:u nine lives has cod at leaft nine lives
in ten of the whole race of them : fcarce a boy in
the ftreets but has in this point outdone Hercules
himfclf, who was famous for killing a monftcr
that had but three live-. Whether the unaccount-
able animofity againft this ufeful domeftick may be
any caufc of the general perfecution of Owls (who
are a fort of feathered cats) or whether it be only
1' 4 an


an unreafonable pique the moderns have taken tq
a fcrious countenance, I (hall not determine. Tho"
I am inclined to believe the former ; fmce I ob-
ferve the fo!e reafon alledged for the deftruclion of
Frogs is becaufe they are like Toads. Yet amidft
all the misfortunes of thefe unfriended creatures,
'tis fome happinefs that we have not yet taken a
fancy to eat them : for fhould our countrymen re-
fine upon the French never fo little, 'tis not to be
conceived to what unheard-of tormentr, owls, cats,
and frogs may be yet referved.

When we grow up to men, we have another
fucceflionof Sanguinary fports ; in particular hunt-
in<r. I dare not attack a divcrfion which has fuch

authority and cuftom to fupport it - y but muft ha\ e
leave to be of opinion, that the agitation of that
exercife, with the example and number of the cha-
fers, not a little contribute to refill thofc ch
which companion would naturally fuggeft in be-
half of the animal purfued. Nor fhall I fay with
Monfieur Fleury, that this fport is a remain of the
Gothic barbarity ; but I muft animadvert upon a
certain cuftom yet in ufe with us, and barbarous
enough to be derived from the Goths, or even the
Scythians : I mean that favage compliment our
huntfmen pafs upon Ladies of quality, who aie
prefent at the death of a Stag, when thej put the
knife in their hands to cut the throat of a hclplefs,
trembling and weeping creature.

Qucftuque ci'ucntMy
At^ut Imploranlifunilis.

But if our fports are deftructive, our gluttony is
more fo, and in a more inhuman manner. Lob-
fters roaftcd alive, Pigs whipp'd to death, Fou ! ,
fewcd up, are teftimonies of our outrsgious lu-
Thofc, who (as Seneca KJ it) divid^e



their lives betwixt an anxious confcicncc, and a nau-
leated ftomuch, have a jull reward of their glut-
tony in the di (cafes it brings with it : for human
favages, like other wild beads, find (hare-; and poi-
fon in the provifions of lite, and arc allured by
their appetite to their delh-uction. I know nothing
more Shocking, or horrid, than the profpecl of
one of their kitchins covered with blood, and fill-
ed with the cries of creatures expiring in tortures.
It gives one an image of a Giant's den in a romance
:vv'd with the fcattered heads and mangled
limbs of thofe who were flain by his cruelty.

The excellent Plutarch (who has more ftrokes
of good-nature in his writings than I remember
in any author) cites a faying of Cato to this effect:
*' That 'tis no eafy tafk to preach to the belly
44 which has no ears. Yet if (fays he) we are
44 afhamed to be fo out of fafhion as not to offend,
" let us at leaft offend with fome difcretion and
" meafure. If we kill an animal for our provi-
44 fion, let ub do it witii the meltings of compaf-
44 fion, and without tormenting it. Let us confi-
" der, that 'tis in its own nature cruelty to put a
4 living creature to death ; we at leaft deftroy a
4 foul that has fenfe and perception." In the life
of Cato the Cenfor, he takes occafion from the fe-
vcrc difpofition of that man to difcourfc in this
manner : " It ought to be efteemed a happinefs to
44 mankind, that our humanity has a wider fphere
*' to exert itfelf in, than bare juftice. It is no more
44 than the obligation of our very birth to pracHfc
" equity to our own kind ; but humanity may be
lt extended thro' the whole order of creatures,
*' even to the meanelt : fuch actions ot charity
'* are the over-flowingsof a mild gcxxl nature on all
44 below us. It is certainly the part of a wcll-na-
" tured man to take care of his hodes and do^ - ,
t only in expectation of their labour while


" they are foals and whelps, but even when their
" old age has made them incapable of fcrvice."

Hiftory tells us of a wife and polite nation, that
rejected a perfon of the firft quality, who flood
for a judiciary office, only bccaufe he had been ob-
ferved in his youth to take pleafure in tearing and
murdering of birds. And of another, that expel-
led a man out of the fenate for darning a bird
againfl the ground which had taken {helter in his
hofom. Every one knows how remarkable the
Turks are for their humanity in this kind. I re-
member an Arabian author, who has written a
treatife to fhew, how far a man, fuppofed to have
fubfifted in a defert ifland, without any inftruli-
on, or fo much as the fight of any other man,
may, by the pure light of nature, attain the know-
ledge of philofophy and virtue. One of the firft
things he makes him obferve is, that univerfal be-
nevolence of nature in the prote&ion and prefer-
vation of its creatures. In imitation of which, the
firft aft of virtue he thinks his felf-taught philofo-
pher would of courfe fall into is, to relieve and
aflift all the animals about him in their wants and

Ovid has fome very tender and pathetick lines
applicable to this occalion :

Quid meruiftis, o-ueSj placidumpecus, inque tegen'dos
Natum homines, -plena queefertis in ubere ncrtar ?
Mottia ques nobis vefiras velamina lanas
Prabetis ; viiaque magh quam mortejuvatis.
^uidmeruere boves, animal fine fraude dolifque^
Innocuum, fimplex^ natum tolerare labor es ?
Immemor eft demum, necfrugum munere dignus^
Qui potuit, curvi dempto modo ponder e aratri,
Rurkolam matlare fuum

$$nam male confuevit^ quamfe parat ilk cruori
Intpius kumanoy vituli qtil gultura cultro


pity it immotas preebtt mugltibus aurcs !
qui vagitus fimilei puerilibus h&dum
Edentem jugular e pot eft !

Perhaps that voice or cry fo nearly refcmWing the
human, with which providence has endued fo
many different animals, might purpofely be given
them to move our pity, and prevent thofe cruelties
we arc too apt to inflicl on our fellow creatures.

There is a pafiage in the book of Jonas, when
God declares his unwillingnefs to deftroy Nineveh,
where, methinks, that compaflion of the Creator,
which extends to the mcanclt rank of his creatures
is exprefTed with wonderful tcndernefs " Should
" I not fpare Nineveh the great city, wherein are
" more than fixfcore thoufand perfons And alfo
*' much cattel r" And we have in Deuteronomy a
preceptof greatgood natureof this fort, witha blef-
fing in form annexed to it in thofe words : " If
" thou (halt find a bird's neft in the way, thou
" malt not take the dam with the young : But
" thou (halt in any wife let the dam go, that it
" may be well with thee, and that thou may'it,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 17 18 19 20

Online LibraryAlexander PopeThe works of Alexander Pope Esq. : In nine volumes, complete. With his last corrections, additions, and improvements; as they were delivered to the editor, a little before his death. Together with the commentary and notes of Mr. Warburton (Volume 6) → online text (page 15 of 20)