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that so exquisite a sketch of character should facts. The pretended “surreptitious” edition survive for our instruction.
of Curll was of course Pope's own :It is our opinion, then, that in the Addison
“But recently fresh evidence has transpired. quarrel, Pope had some justification. In his It has been proved that Pope printed letters general feuds he showed, however, a too con- as addressed to his deceased contemporaries, tinuous relish for controversy. A man cap- Addison, Arbuthnot, and Trumbull, which able of translating Homer, and writing the were originally written to other parties; and
that he altered, added, or omitted names, “Essay on Man,” need not have kept up so prolonged a war with the dunces. He took dates, and incidents, in order to serve pur
poses of his own. It has also been ascera pleasure in it inconsistent with the dignity tained that although he had so early as 1729 which belonged to his general mind and deposited letters in Lord Oxford's library, he character. Again, his frequent references withdrew them in the spring of 1735-10 to his money, and the friends he had'among doubt with a view to the publication by Curll. lords, smacked of his city parentage, and This dispels the last shadow of doubt and were not in harmony with his description of uncertainty., The surreptitious edition' was
one of Pope's poeticæ fraudes, intended spe When he professed to be indifferent to the nate love of stratagem."
cially to benefit himself and to gratify his inworld and careless about enmity, and yet
There was something rather southern than altered (much spoiling) the Dunciad in order to take revenge for a pamphlet by Cibber, -he English in his passion for mystery, intrigue, surely laid himself open to a charge of cant
and masquerade ; but it harmonizes with the and affectation. In short, the weaknesses of peculiar brilliance and subtlety of his mind. the little man are endless
. When examined, these mystifications of his we shall not ven
The exact degree of moral guilt involved in they will be found to resolve themselves generally into egotism, and this egotism was
ture to fix; but it is right to say that they
were more practised to gratify his own vanclosely connected with his bad health. A sick man is only too likely to be selfish, and ity, than to injure any body else. It is pain
ful to think that so wonderful a genius should Pope was so much thrown upon himself that
have done what was little, but we cannot 'behe brooded over every little thing that con
lieve that he did what was base. cerned him till it attained quite rițiculous
“ Base,” however, will have to be the word proportions. In a word—he was morbid.
for one deed attributed to him, if future But he was a great man, too :--alive to every biographers do not repudiate more decidedly flash of the lofty and the generous from
than Mr. Carruthers, the story that Pope took books, or life, and capable of embodying the
a bribe from the Duchess of Marlborough to impression they made in immortal language. Nay, he did some of his little things under suppress his satire on her—the character of the self-deceit that they were fine things. Carruthers (in spite of that kindly feeling to
“Atossa.”. So scrupulously anxious is Mr. When he lashed some poor devil of a scrib
Pope, which we confess to sharing with him), bler, he persuaded himself that it was a duty to truth, &c.—and did not remember that partial, that he scarcely decides whether to
so anxious, we say, is he, to be utterly imwhat he called duty many people could not believe this story or no. First, he tells us help believing to be partly spite.
that One of the most remarkable illustrations of Pope's character is the whole way in which
“Surely such an act is contrary to the tenor he managed and prepared the publication of of the poet's life, if not of his moral char
acter. It was his boast that he was unhis correspondence. That it was a trick by placed, un pensioned, no man's heir or slave.' which he first contrived that his letters should He had rejected offers of Treasury grants see the light at all--nobody, we presume, from Halifax and Craggs; he had even, as now affects to doubt. But it is gradually be- Warburton asserts, declined making use of a coming clearer, that he cooked these letters subscription for £1000 of South Sea stock for publication in an unparalleled manner.
which Čraggs would have pressed upon him. The Athenæum critic has done wonders (from
To his noble friend Bathurst and others, he
was a lender, not a borrower, and his annuMS. authority) in establishing this; and our ities secured him against any heavy reverse present biographer shall tell us, briefly, the of fortune."
But afterwards he wavers—and we have the The “favor you and I know," however, by following melancholy paragraph :
no means need be £1000 in hard cash, and “The poet may have become avaricious for there is absolutely no proof whatever that it another, if not for himself. There are indi- was — barring a pencil-mark which Lord cations of a love of money in his publication Marchmont's executor, Sir George Rose, put of the licentious version of Horace, 'Sober on the letter, and which Rose junior (who Advice,' and in the subscription edition of his edited it) thought intended to assert that Letters. The former was injurious to his Marchmont himself told his father so. True · fame, and the latter was not necessary towards it, as the cheap editions of the Letters were
stories require a clearer pedigree than this in every one's hands. But Pope was strongly where the affiliation is not established. That and passionately desirous to see Martha there was a story to the effect that Pope took Blount settled in easy and independent cir- the bribe (floating about 'among a hundred cumstances for life. Her mother had died at lies soon after Pope's death), is indeed true. the beginning of this year (March 31, 1743), (See Athenæum, No. 1562.) And this
and he had agreed to purchase for her, at a cost of £315, the remainder of the lease of a explains the " it is said” of Warton-and house in Berkeley-row. He had some time of Horace Walpole, who would believe anybefore engaged Fortescue to procure an an- thing bad of a successful writer. But loose nuity for life for £1000, in behalf of a lady of rumors about a dreaded satirist are probably their acquaintance, evidently Miss Blount. as likely to be false as any ana one could And thus we may conceive that the poet, name. blinded by affection and impelled by what seemed a generous and unselfish feeling: likely to be too proud to incur the shame,
Failing real proof then, was not Pope yielded to the temptation, and was ultimately and not sufficiently in need to want the induced, as Warton reports, by female persuasion, to accept of a favor’ from the money? Would he absolutely (as we know haughty Duchess, who would gladly have pur- he did) have "printed and distributed” copies chased his friendship or his silence at any of a book containing the satire, during the price, and whose wealth was known to be al- Duchess' life, if it had been in her power to most boundless."
put him to open shame? (Athenæum, ubi Now, that an offence like this stands by sup.) The thing is incredible. He was alitself, apart from the style of Pope's ordinary ways vain, and he was sometimes weak; but faults, alien from his general character in he was never at any time a rogue and a fool! matters of money, inconsistent with his known We are sorry that Mr. Carruthers did not pride towards people of rank, is so perfectly follow, more decidedly, the instinct which. well known to all who are really familiar with told him that this accusation, at all events, him, that the charge cannot be believed ex
was false. Mr. Peter Cunningham in his cept on direct evidence. Of this there is none, edition of Johnson's Lives of the Poets had, except in the subjoined passage from a letter indeed, set him a bad example, by professing of Bolingbroke's to Marchmont:
his faith in it on no better authority than that “Our friend Pope, it seems, corrected and stated above. prepared for the press, just before his death, Our readers may perhaps think that we an edition of the four epistles that follow the have confined ourselves too. exclusively to the Essay on Man. They were then printed off shady side of the great writer's character. and are now ready for publication. I am sorry for it, because if he could be excused But the fact is, and facts ought always to be for writing the character of Atossa formerly, faced, that recent discoveries have thrown there is no excuse for his design of publishing more light on this side than on the other; it after the favor you and I know; and the, and that a critic's business is to deal with character of Atossa is inserted. I have a what is immediately pressing first, whether copy of the book. Warburton has the pro
* It is extraordinary, what serious effects are priety (or property] of it, as you know. Alter produced on reputations by wandering and piquant it he cannot by the terms of the will. Is it anecdotes, of which the mass of peoplo never seek worth while to suppress the edition ! or, the original authority. The story about Congreve's should her Grace's friends say (as they may telling Voltaire that he wanted to be visited as a from several strokes in it) that it was not in
gentleman (which has affected Congreve's tended for her character ? and should she whole reputation with posterity), is a case in
point. There is no authority for it—as was slown despise it? If you come over hither, we may for the first time in the Notes to Thackeray's talk better than write on the subject.” Lectures.
he finds the task pleasant or no. It would the balance, then throw in his services to have been more agreeable to admirers of literature, and what will the position of the Hope, like ourselves, to dwell on the sound scales be? tenderness of his filial relations—his genuine This biography will form a most agreeable love of Swift and Bolingbroke, and Gay and addition to the works produced by that revival Arbuthnot—his noble sense of the dignity of of the Queen Anne reputations which we alliterature—his tender hankering after sweeter luded to in our recent paper on Walpole. emotion in his life-long devotion to the fair- We believe that the revival will do good. haired Martha Blount *—and such familiar Pope may still be studied as the most perfect topics. But we are entering .on an epoch master of didactic writing in verse that our when his character is being-and is likely to literature can afford, and in studying the bemore severely scrutinized than ever-writer it is a great aid to know the man. There and it is wise to be prepared for the worst. is no fear, now, of his erer again being overWe have not failed to distinguish his great- rated in either capacity; the danger is rather ness and his weaknesses. Weigh them in the other way; and — extraordinary' as it
* Mr. Blount of Mapledurham-the representa- would have seemed a century since—it is now tive of that “right worshipful” old family in our become necessary to recommend a due study day-has very kindly aided the labors of Mr. Carruthers in this edition. It is nearly four centuries and appreciation of Alexander Pope to the since some of the Blounts were encouraging Eras- rising generation of Englishmen! mus.
RUSSIAN CURE FOR IMPROVIDENCE. INDIAN LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION.-" As “There exists in slavery, and even in serfdom, in all probability the European will be furnished a considerable abatement of the evils arising with several letters of introduction, it may be as from improvidence on the part of the working well to warn him that upon the delivery of those classes. Among free laborers, go where you credentials, (which should be sent on his arrival will, you find improvidence generally prevail- by a Sepoy belonging to the hotel or club at ing. In the East and in the West, in the tem- which he is staying, with his card- and address perate zone and in the tropics, as all authors in full,) the following morning he should make agree, the laborer scarcely looks forward be- a personal call, such being the etiquette observyond the day. He marries without any secure able in India. He must not anticipate to be prospects of a maintenance; he spends the cordially received, or to have a 'carte blanche' whole of his gains when he first marries, with given him to renew his visits whenever he may out reflecting that in a few years he may have think proper or convenient; for an old resident half-a-dozen additional mouths to fill; he makes in India, although most unbounded in his hosno provision against old age and infirmity, and pitality, must have some intimate knowledge of only some faint provision even against sickness. an individual - some insight into his habits, Now a slave cannot be improvident, because to character, &c., ere he fraternizes with, or allows him providence is impossible. He depends on a Griffin (as a new comer in India is termed). his master; he knows that if he is sick he will to put his legs under his mahogany' whenever be fed and doctored ; that when he is old he will he likes. He will be received with marked and be decently maintained: he marries with the studied politeness, and then bowed out most cheerful consent of his master, who regards courteously; and not until he has established children as a valuable property; and the greater himself, and becomes better known (either perthe number of mouth to be fed, the more the sonally or by report) to the old Indian, must he maintenance that is willingly supplied him. Even look for anything beyond the polito bow or nod under serfdom the same is true. A Russian no- of recognition, and perhaps, as a mark of great bleman cannot now sell his serfs from the land condescension, an occasional invite. Still, should they inherit; he may sell the land with the serfs any unforeseen misfortuno overtake him, then, upon it; he can prevent the serfs from leaving upon making an application to him, (provided his estate, and can compel them to cultivate the that his entire conduct has been fair and honor. soil. His property is valuable very much ac- able,) the old Indian will relax his rigidity and cording to the number of serfs he possesses, and interest himself most warmly and heartily in his therefore he has a strong interest in having them behalf, and serve him to the very best of his well treated and in securing their physical well- ability and the uttermost of his power: but if, being. Under these restraints, a serf may be on the other hand, the Griffin has been guilty of guilty of some improvidence and recklessness, any faux pas,' or has acted indiscreetly, he has yet he is not sufficiently his own master to do nothing to expect at the hands of the resident, this with impunity. If any serf behaves in such his letter of introduction will not then have the a way as to be a scandal to his neighborhood, slightest weight with him. Sơ that, in fact. the seigneur selects him as a suitable man for a these credentials are not of much value to any soldier, as well fitted to be food for powder. He civilian or European on his entrance into Indian is marched off, and his village sees him no life.”-Bradshaw's Overland Guide to India. more." - Suryani's Economy of the Laboring Classes.
From Chambers' Journal.
clare that to possess a single vestige of the ANATOMY OF A LITERARY FORGERY. poet's handwriting, would be esteemed a
ALTHOUGH, doubtless, all the world, or at gem beyond all price, and far dearer to him least all the reading part of it, has heard of than his whole collection.” At these converthat most audacious of literary forgeries, Vor- sations, young Ireland was always present, tigern, a Tragedy, yet, as we suspect that "swallowing with avidity the honeyed poison ;
, very few even of the few who have seen it when, by way,” he says, “ of completing this have ever read it, and that only a small infatuation, my father, who had already prominority of our readers generally is at all duced picturesque tours of some of the Britlikely to be acquainted with its history, we ish rivers, determined on commencing that of purpose to avail ourselves of the recent ac- the Avon, and I was selected as the compan. quisition of a copy of the rare reprint of ion of his journey. Of course,” he adds, 1832,* to supply-in many places in the “no inquiries were spared either at Stratforger's own words—such an account of the ford or in the neighborhood, respecting the circumstances which led to the perpetration mighty poet. Every legendary tale, vended of the fraud as shall be wanting, we fully anecdote, or traditionary account was treashope, neither in interest nor instruction. ured up. In short, the name of Shakspeare
Samuel Ireland the father of the unhappy ushered in the dawn, and a bumper, quaffed lad whose career we are about to trace, was to his immortal memory at night, sealed our emphatically one of those madmen who
weary eyelids to repose.” make men mad—one of those idolaters who Induced by the reiterated eulogies rung esteem the book above the life, and who, in his ears respecting Shakspeare, by his without an eye to see or a heart to under- father's enthusiasm, and, above all, by the stand wherein lies the greatness of him whom incessant remark on the old man's part, they adore, prefer some filthy, worm-eaten, " that to possess even a signature of the useless relic of their deified mortal to the bard would make him the happiest of human body of genius and wisdom, which is in the beings,” it occurred to young Ireland to take better testament of his works. Even such a advantage of his residence in a conveyancer's divinity, according to the testimony of the office, environed by old deeds, to produce a son, was Shakespeare to Samuel Ireland. spurious imitation of Shakspeare's autograph. “Four days at least out of the seven were Having supplied himself with a tracing of his writings made the after-dinner theme of the poet's signature, he wrote a mortgage the old man's conversation; while in the deed, imitating the law-hand of the time of evening, still further to impress the subject James I., and affixed thereto Shakspeare's upon the minds of his son and his visitors, cer- sign-manual. This mortgage deed purporttain plays were selected, and a part allotted ing to be between Shakspeare and one Mito each, in order that they might read aloud chael Fraser and Elizabeth his wife, not only and-commune doubtless with the soul of transported the sage elder into tủe seventh their divinity, and extract the heart of the heaven of felicity, but attracted crowds of mystery ? no—but in order that they might other connoisseurs and antiquaries. To the " thereby acquire a knowledge of the deliv- question where the deed was found, Ireland ery of blank verse articulately and with the younger replied, that.“ he had formed proper emphasis !”
“The comments to an acquaintance with a gentleman of ancient which these rehearsals, if I may be per- family, possessed of a mass of deeds and mitted so to call them, gave rise, were of a papers relating to his ancestors, who finding nature to elicit, in all its bearings, the enthu- him very partial to the examination of old siasm entertained by my father for the bard documents, had permitted him to inspect of Avon. With him, Shakspeare was no them; that, shortly after commencing his mortal, but a divinity; and frequently while search, the mortgage-deed in question had expatiating on this subject, impregnated with fallen into his hands, and had been presented all the fervor of Garrick, with whom he had to him by the proprietor.” He added,“ that been on intimate terms, my father wouid de- the personage alluded to, well aware that the Tragedy. Reprinted from the edition of 1796, able sensation, and being a very retiring and
* The Shakespeare Forgeries. Portigern, a name of Shakspeare must create a considerwith an Introduction. By W. H. Ireland. Lon- diffident man, had bound him by a solemn don. 1832.
engagement never to divulge his name." | a drama—the Vortigern we have already reWhereupon so completely had this young ferred to—although, if he is to be believed. rogue's skill and plausibility produced the he had never essayed a pen at poetical comeffect he wished - Mr. Byng, afterwards Vis- position, and had not at that time written a count Torrington, Sir Frederick Eden, and single line of the play which he purposed many others, gave it as their decided opinion producing. Prior to its completion, the fame that, wheresoever he found the deed, there, of his discoveries had resounded from one no doubt, the mass of papers existed which extremity of the country to the other; and had been so long and vainly sought after by on the completion of the drama, strenuous the numerous commentators on Shakspeare! applications were made by the lessee of Co
Thus urged to make "further searches," as vent Garden Theatre to secure it; but the he modestly called them, the young scape- elder Ireland, from his long intimacy with grace proceeded to pen a few letters and the Sheridan and Linley families, preferred “The Profession of Faith of William Shaks- Drury Lane, where the play was subsequently pear," the whole of which passed muster, represented. although, in many instances, the documents Malone, whose experience of deception produced as two hundred years old had not had given him some caution, now stood forbeen fabricated many hours previous to their ward as “generalissimo of the unbelievers.” production. On the pretended “Profession “Some pamphlets pro. and con. had also of Faith,” particularly, Dr. Warton, after issued from the press, while the newspapers having twice perused the important docu- incessantly teemed with paragraphs written ment, pronounced a pompous eulogy in the on the spur of the moment, and dictated by presence of Dr. Parr: “Sir, we have many the particular sentiments entertained as to fine things in our church-service, and our lit- the papers by their authors. Malone having, urgy abounds in beauties ; but here, sir, is a in the interim, collected his mass of documan who has distanced us all!”
ments intended to prove the whole a forgery, Well might the precocious lad be excited committed them to the press, under a hope by these old ass-heads to more ambitious ef- that he should be able to publish his volume forts! Anon, he announced the existence of before the representation of Vortigern. The It is curious enough that a somewhat similar
bulkiness of his production, however, having fraud had, a quarter of a century before, been defeated that object, he, the day the piece played off by Steevens upon Malone. Thomas was to be performed, issued a notice, to the · Hart, a descendant of Shakspeare's sister, Joan, employed, in the year 1770, a bricklayer of the effect that he had a work on the eve of pubname of Mosely, to new-tile his house the same lication which would infallibly prove the house in Henly Street, Stratford, bequeathed by manuscripts in Mr. Ireland's possession mere the poet to his sister for the term of her natural life at the yearly rent of twelve pence;” and fabrications, and warning the people not to here, between the rafters and the tiling, he discov- be imposed upon by the play advertised for ered, or is said to have discovered, a manuscript of that night's representation, as being from six leaves, purporting to be “The Confession of Faith of John Shakspear (the poet's father), an the pen of Shakspeare. My father”-it is unworthy member of the holy Catholic religion.” Mosely gave his prize to Mr. Peyton, an alderman young Ireland who writes—“having proof Stratford, who sent it to Malone, through the cured a copy of this notice, though late in Rev. Mr. Davenport, as a curiosity of great impor- the day, instantly forwarded to the press the tance. Malone was completely deceived. “I have taken some pains," he says in 1790, “ to as
following handbill, and distributed an im"certain the authenticity of this document, and am mense number amongst the assembled mulperfectly satisfied that it is genuine." But the titudes, then choking up every avenue to paper as we have said, was a fabrication, and a
“ VORTIGERN. --A clumsy one-a trick of Steevens to mislead his Drury Lane Theatre : rival editor. Malone, however, discovered his malevolent and impotent attack on the error at last. "I have since obtained documents," Shakspeare MSS. having appeared on the he says in a subsequent publication, " that clearly prove it could not have been the composition of eve of representation of the play of Vortiany of onr poet's family.” Boswell quietly and gern, evidently intended to injure the interjudiciously dropped the document from his edition, treating it as a paper that had never existed. Ma- ests of the proprietor of the MSS., Mr. Irelone himself was not guiltless of like unseemly land feels it impossible, within the short frauds. The drawing of Shakspeare's house of New Place, which figures in his edition of 1790 as space of time that intervenes between the taken " from the margin of an ancient survey,” is, publishing and the representation, to produce by uis owu confession, a forgery.