Alexander Pope: The Critical Heritage

By John Barnard | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES: DIALOGUE II

18 July 1738


89.

Opinions of Aaron Hill and Swift

1738


(a) Aaron Hill, extract from letter to Pope, 31 July 1738, Corresp., iv. 112.

Stor'd with beauties, as every thing must be, that you write, for the public, shall I dare to confess, that I did not use to consider your works, of this vein, as those, from which you were surest of the love and admiration of posterity; but I find, in this, satire, something inexpressibly daring and generous. It carries the acrimony of Juvenal, with the Horatian air of ease and serenity. It reaches heights the most elevated, without seeming to design any soaring. It is raised and familiar at once. It opposes just praise to just censure, and, thereby, doubles the power of either. It places the Poet in a light for which nature and reason designed him; and attones all the pitiful sins of the trade, for, to a trade, and a vile one, poetry is irrecoverably sunk, in this kingdom. What a pity, that our rottenness begins at the core! and is a corruption, not of persons alone, but of things! One would, else, strongly hope, from a ridicule so sharp, and so morally pointed, that wicked men might be laughed into something, like penitence. But, alas! they are only bit by Tarantula's, who can be cured by the power of musick.-Not even the harp of Apollo had a charm to expel vipers, that have crept into the entrails.

Go on, however, to make war, with a courage, that reproaches a nation's; and live (would you could) just as long as 'till the virtues, your spirit would propagate, become as general, as the esteem of your genius!

-331-

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Alexander Pope: The Critical Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Editor's Preface v
  • Acknowledgments vi
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • Preface xv
  • I - Introduction 1
  • Note on the Text 39
  • Part I - Contemporary Criticism 41
  • General Reactions 43
  • Pastorals 59
  • An Essay on Criticism 71
  • Messiah, a Sacred Eclogue 87
  • Windsor Forest 89
  • The Rape of the Lock 93
  • Iliad 114
  • A Roman Catholick Version of the First Psalm 139
  • Eloisa to Abelard 140
  • Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady 143
  • Epitaph on John Hewet and Sarah Drew in the Churchyard at Stanton Harcourt 144
  • General Reactions 147
  • Odyssey 164
  • The Dunciad 208
  • The Dunciad Variorum 219
  • General Reactions 236
  • 'Ethick Epistles' (An Abandoned Project) 263
  • Moral Essays Iv: Epistle to Burlington, of Taste 265
  • Moral Essays Iii: to Allen Lord Bathurst, of the Use of Riches 268
  • Imitations of Horace, Satire Ii. I 269
  • An Essay on Man 278
  • Epitaph on Mr. Gay in Westminster Abbey 317
  • Imitations of Horace: Serm. I. II (Sober Advice from Horace) 319
  • An Epistle from Mr. Pope to Dr. Arbuthnot 329
  • Epilogue to the Satires: Dialogue II 331
  • The New Dunciad: As It Was Found in the Year 1741 333
  • The Dunciad in Four Books 342
  • A Final Tribute 346
  • Part II - Later Criticism 351
  • Appendix A 529
  • Appendix B 532
  • Bibliography 537
  • Index 539
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