The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems

By Alexander Pope; Thomas Marc Parrott | Go to book overview

EPISTLE TO DR ARBUTHNOT

Advertisement to the first publication of this Epistle

THIS paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some Persons of Rank and Fortune (the Authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace, and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from a Nobleman at Hampton Court) to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my Writings (of which, being public, the Public is judge), but my Person, Morals, and Family, whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the Truth and the Sentiment; and if any thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous.

Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true; but I have, for the most part, spared their Names, and they may escape being laughed at, if they please.

I would have some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid Friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage, and honour, on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless character can never be found out, but by its truth and likeness. P.

P. SHUT, shut the door, good John! fatigu'd, I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The Dog-star rages! nay 't is past a doubt,
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,5

-66-

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The Rape of the Lock and Other Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • SELECTIONS FROM POPE 1
  • The Rape of the Lock - AN HEROI-COMICAL POEM 3
  • An Essay on Criticism 31
  • An Essay on Man - TO H. ST. JOHN LORD BOLINGBROKE 54
  • Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot 66
  • Notes 83
  • Appendix 145
  • ANNOUNCEMENTS 158
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