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your Lordship assails them; if I cannot answer all your arguments as plainly and as distinctly as you have adduced them; the appellation "invariable" I shall instantly discard; but saying,-if I fall, it is Enea dextrâ,

On the contrary, if meeting any arguments fairly, I turn them against you; if, without avoiding the full force of any, I rebut them satisfactorily; I shall have more reason than ever to think those principles INVARIABLE, which even Lord Byron cannot overturn.

It is singular that in the latter part of my vindication from the charges of the Quarterly Review, I had quoted your own poetry, my Lord, to prove those very principles which your Lordship's criticism is employed to destroy.

One thing will give me satisfaction. If you, having descended into this contest, comprehend me, I shall not probably be misrepresented by others. But, as much misrepresentation on the subject has taken place, and some misconceptions, from which I think I shall show that your Lordship is not exempt; I shall first place before your Lordship, and the public, my sentiments, as they stand recorded in the tenth volume of POPE's Works. They are these: I have often quoted them in part, but I find it, in consequence of so many misconceptions, necessary to transcribe the greater part, that my principles may be seen in connection, and under one view. "I presume it will readily be granted, that 'all images drawn from what is beautiful or sublime in the works of NX*TURE, are MORE beautiful and sublime than any images "drawn from ART;' and that they are therefore, per se, more poetical.

"In like manner, those PASSIONS of the human heart, which belong to Nature in general, are, per se, more adapted to the HIGHER SPECIES of Poetry, than those which are derived from incidental and transient MANNERS. A description of a Forest is more poetical than a description of a cultivated Garden; and the Passions which are pourtrayed in the Epistle of an Eloisa, render such a poem more poetical, (whatever might be the difference of merit in point of execution,) intrinsically more poetical, than a poem founded on the characters, incidents, and modes of artificial life; for instance, the Rape of the Lock.

"If this be admitted, the rule by which we would estimate POPE's general poetical character would be obvious.

"Let me not, however, be considered as thinking that the subject alone constitutes poetical excellency. The execution is to be taken into consideration at the same time; for, with

Lord Harvey, we might fall asleep over the "Creation" of

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Blackmore, but be alive to the touches of animation and satire in Boileau.

The subject, and the execution, therefore, are equally to be considered the one respecting the Poetry, the other, the art and powers of the poet. The poetical subject, and the art and tulents of the poet, should always be kept in mind; and I imagine it is for want of observing this rule, that so much has been said, and so little understood, of the real ground of Pope's character as a poet.

"If you say he is not one of the first poets that England, and the polished literature of a polished æra can boast, 'Recte necne crocos floresque perambulat Atti

Fabula si dubitem, clamant perisse pudorem
Cuncti pene patres.'

"If you say that he stands poetically pre-eminent, in the highest sense, you must deny the principles of criticism, which I imagine will be acknowledged by all.

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"In speaking of the poetical subject, and the powers of execution; with regard to the first, Pope cannot be classed among the highest orders of poets; with regard to the second, none ever was his superior. It is futile to expect to judge of one composition by the rules of another. To say that Pope, in this sense, is not a Poet, is to say that a didactic Poem is not a Tragedy, and that a Satire is not an Ode. Pope must be judged according to the rank in which he stands, among those whose delineations are taken more from manners than from NATURE. When I say that this is his predominant character, I must be insensible to every thing exquisite in poetry, if I did not except, instanter, the Epistle of Eloisa: but this can only be considered according to its class; and if I say that it seems to me superior to any other of the kind, to which it might fairly be compared, such as the Epistles of Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, (I will not mention Drayton, and Pope's numerous subsequent Imitations;) but when this transcendent poem is compared with those which will bear the comparison, I shall not be deemed as giving reluctant praise, when I declare my conviction of its being infinitely superior to every thing of the kind, ancient or modern.

In this poem, therefore, Pope appears on the high ground of the Poet of Nature; but this certainly is not his general character. In the particular instance of this poem, how distinguished and superior does he stand! It is sufficient that nothing of the kind has ever been produced equal to it, for pathos, painting, and melody."

Before I proceed, it will save myself and your Lordship



some trouble, if I request you to remember, in casting your eye on this portion of the estimate of Pope's poetical cha racter, four material points. fra * T TO $ ¢ { 3 བྷིཊྛི

1st. I speak not of NATURE GENERALLY, but of images SUBLIME OF BEAUTIFUL in Nature; and if your Lordship had only kept this circumstance in recollection, you would have seen, that your pleasant pictures of "the Hog in the high wind," the footman's livery, the Paddington Canal, and the pigsties, the horse-pond, the slop-basin, or ANY OTHER vessel, all must go for nothing; for natural as these images might be, they are neither "sublime or beautiful;" and notwithstanding the pleasantry and wit with which they are as sociated in your Lordship's imagination, t

"It grieves me much, the clerk might say again,


2d. You will observe, that the proposition, "Images from what is sublime or beautiful in Nature, per se," abstractedly, are connected with what follows, viz. the "PASSIONS which belong to Nature" in general, NOT to Man, as living at one period, but to the human heart in general, to Nature of all ages.

3dly. You will observe, that, in speaking of the subject and execution of a poem, I do not pass over the execution for otherwise, Blackmore would be a greater poet than Pope-and if your Lordship had remembered this point, you would not have supposed I could ever consider Fenton, or any other tragedian of the kind, as great a poet as Pope, though Fenton wrote a successful tragedy, and Pope, sa tires, &c.

And, 4thly. You will observe, that, in execution I think no poet was ever superior to Pope; though your Lordship thinks the execution all, and I do not, for reasons which will be given.

I now beg to place before you what follows, requesting you to observe that I most freely admit Pope's unquestioned rank in the pathetic part of poetry, concerning which my concluding Temark was,-"In the particular instance of this poem, how distinguished and SUPERIOR does he stand. It is sufficient that nothing of the kind ever has been produced, EQUAL TO IT for PATHOS, PAINTING, and MELODY!"

To the first part I called Mr. Campbell's particular atten tion before; but I am certain many mistakes would be pré vented, if any opposer of another's opinion would only take the trouble to do him the justice of impartially examining what those opinions are. I therefore think it necessary, before

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I meet Lord Byron, to show where his most effective strokes seem to hit the hardest, and where they are wasted, not on my theory, but on the winds. I must hope, therefore, the reader will a little farther follow me.

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After the word "melody" my observations on Pope's poetical character proceed as follow:

"From this exquisite performance, which seems to stand as the boundary between the poetry derived from the great and primary feelings of Nature, and that derived from Art, to satire, whose subject wholly concerns existing manners, the transition is easy, but the idea painful. Nevertheless, as Pope has chosen to write satires and epistles, they must be compared, not as Warton has, I think, injudiciously done with pieces of genuine poetry, but only with things of the same kind. To say that the beginning of one of Pope's satires is not poetical; to say that you cannot find in it, if the words are transposed, the "disjecti membra poeta," is not criticism. The province of satire is totally wide; its career is in artificial life; and therefore to say that satire is not poetry, is to say an epigram is not an elegy. Pope has written satires; that is, confined himself chiefly, as a poet, to those subjects with which, as it has been seen, he was most conversant; subjects taken from living man, from habits and manners, more than from principles and passions.


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"The career, therefore, which he opened to himself was in the second order in poetry; but it was a line pursued by Horace, Juvenal, Dryden, Boileau; and if in that line he stand the highest, upon these grounds we might fairly say, with Johnson, it is superfluous to ask whether Pope were a poet.

"From the poetry, which, while it deals in local manners, exhibits also, as far as the subject would admit, the most. exquisite embellishments of fancy, such as the machinery' of the Rape of the Lock, we may proceed to those subjects which concern 'living man.'

“The abstract philosophical view is first presented, as in the Essay on Man. The ground of such a poem is philosophy, not poetry: the poetry is only the coloring, if I may say so; and to the coloring the eye is chiefly attentive. We hardly think of the philosophy, whether it be good or bad; whether it be profound or specious; whether it evince deep thinking, or exhibit only in new and pompous array the babble of the Nurse.' Scarcely any one, till a controversy

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In a note to this poem, the reason is given why Pope's airy spirits are inferior to Sha kespeare's.

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was raised, thought of the doctrines; but a thousand must have been warmed by the pictures, the addresses, the sublime interspersions of description, and the nice and harmonious precision of every word, and of almost every line. Whether, as a system of philosophy, it inculcated fate or not, no one paused to inquire; but every eye read a thousand times, and every lip, perhaps, repeated, rosaa lae bae sul 267

fono a Lo the poor Indian!" &c. 1272.16. “The Lamb thy riot," &c. a Over MO Happiness," &e.

and many other passages.p

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All these illustrative and secondary images are painted from the source of genuine poetry; from NATURE, not from ART. They therefore, independent of powers displayed in the versification, raise the Essay on Man, considered in the abstract, into genuine poetry, although the poetical part is subservient to the philosophical.

"The Moral; Essays depart much farther from poetry so defined, as they exhibit particular casts and characters of man, according to different habits of existing society; that is, of artificial life.

"There is no reason to suppose that Pope, of the general internal feelings of Nature, could be more ignorant, or less capable of pourtraying them by vividness of expression and colors, than others; but we must estimate what he has done, not what he might have done. Many, perhaps, may regret with me, that if he disdained,

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1. in Fancy's fields to wander long,

But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song;' that he had not at least wandered somewhat longer among scenes that were congenial to the feelings of every heart; and that he should leave them for the thorns and briars of ineffectual satire and bitterness; quitting for these such scenes as The Paraclete's white walls and silver springs;

like his great predecessor in poetry, Milton, who left the 'Pastures of Peneus, and the Pines of Ætna,' to write Tetrachordon,' and to mingle in the malignant puritanical turbulence of the times.'

"When we speak of the poetical character, derived from passions of general Nature, two obvious distinctions must occur, without regard to Aristotle ;-those which, derived from the passions, may be called pathetic, and those which, derived from the same source, may be called sublime.

"Of the pathetic, no one (considering the Epistle of Eloisa alone) has touched the chords so tenderly, so pathetically, and

'. Warton.

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