28 December 1734
Thomas Bentley, extracts from A Letter to Mr. Pope, Occasion'd by Sober Advice from Horace, &c. (1735), pp. 3-5, 9-18. Published 1-4 March 1735.
Thomas (1693?-1742) was the nephew of Richard Bentley, and a classical scholar like his uncle. The immediate cause for the pamphlet lay in Pope's far from sober and often gross parodies of Richard Bentley's annotations. His nephew's reply considers An Essay on Man, the 'Ethic Epistles', and the Imitations of Horace, as well as Sober Advice. Further on Thomas Bentley, see Twickenham, v. 305-6, 492. Pope's original enmity towards Richard Bentley is traditionally ascribed to a remark, made in his hearing, that the Iliad translation 'is not Homer, it is Spondanus' (Joseph Warton, An Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope, ii , 296). However, Bentley had taken the side of the Ancients in the Phalaris controversy, and this together with his unwieldy erudition, made him, in Pope's eyes, a major example of 'False Learning'.
I HAVE not met with any body yet, that disputed in the least your being the Author of Sober Advice from HORACE, as delivered in his second Sermon; nor any body that did not wonder you would publish such a piece. You deny it; and, they say, that's all the Satisfaction one ought to expect. But see now what you have done: You have given us