Alexander Pope: The Critical Heritage

By John Barnard | Go to book overview
Save to active project

EPITAPH ON MR. GAY IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY

June/July 1733


86.

Swift's criticisms

1733

Jonathan Swift, extract from letter to Pope [30 March 1733], The Correspondence of Jonathan Swift, ed. Sir H. Williams (1963), iv. 133.

There are three versions of the epitaph (see Twickenham, vi. 349-52). Pope accepted most of Swift's suggestions. For Dr Johnson's criticism of the poem, see pp. 418-19 below.

I have not seen in so few lines more good sence, or more proper to the Subject. Yet I will tell you my remarks and submit them. The whole is intended for an Apostrophe to the dead person, which however doth not appear till the eighth line, Therefore as I checkt a little at the article the twice used in the second line, I imagined it might be changed into thy and then the Apostrophe will appear at first, and be clearer to common readers. My Lord Orrery your great admirer saith the word mixed suits not so properly the Heroes bust, as the dust of Kings. Perhaps My Lord may be too exact, yet you may please to consider it. The beginning of the last Line, striking their aking bosoms. 1 Those last two participles come so near, and sounding so like, I could wish [them] altered, if it might be easily done. The Scripture expression upon our Saviour's death is that the People smote their breasts. You will pardon me, for since I have left off writing, I am sunk into a Critick. Some Gentlemen here, object against the expression in the second line, A

1 [Swift again attacked this phrase on I May, Correspondence, ed. cit., iv. 153]

-317-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Alexander Pope: The Critical Heritage
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 544

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?