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Blest in each science, blest in ev'ry strain!
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear
Who, careless now of Int'rest, Fame, or Fate,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine.
Ver. 21. And sure, if aught] Strength of mind appears to have been the predominant characteristic of Lord Oxford; of which he gave the most striking proofs when he was stabbed, displaced, imprisoned. These noble and nervous lines allude to these circumstances of his fortitude and firmness another striking proof remains, in a letter which the Earl wrote from the Tower to a friend, who advised him to meditate an escape, and which is worthy of the greatest hero of antiquity. This extraordinary letter I had the pleasure of reading, by the favour of the Earl's excellent granddaughter, the late Dutchess Dowager of Portland, who inherited that love of literature and science, so peculiar to her ancestors and family.
I am well informed that Bolingbroke was greatly mortified at Pope's bestowing these praises on his old antagonist, whom he mortally hated; yet I have seen two original letters in the hands of the same Dutchess of Portland, of Lord Bolingbroke to Lord
A soul supreme, in each hard instance try'd,
Oxford, full of the most fulsome flattery of the man whom he affected to despise, and of very idle and profane applications of Scripture.
The visions of Parnelle, at the end of his Poems, published in the Guardian, are in a rugged inharmonious style; as indeed is the Life of Zoilus, printed 1717; and also the Essay on the Life of Homer, prefixed to our Author's translation: and his Essay on the Different Styles in Poetry is rather a mean performance,
JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
SECRETARY OF STATE.
A SOUL as full of Worth, as void of Pride, Which nothing seeks to shew, or needs to hide, Which nor to Guilt nor Fear its caution owes, And boasts a Warmth that from no Passion flows. A face untaught to feign; a judging Eye, That darts severe upon a rising Lie, And strikes a blush through frontless Flattery. All this thou wert; and being this before, Know, Kings and Fortune cannot make thee more. Then scorn to gain a Friend by servile ways, Nor wish to lose a Foe these Virtues raise; But candid, free, sincere, as you began, Proceed-a Minister, but still a Man. Be not (exalted to whate'er degree) Asham'd of any Friend, not ev'n of Me; The Patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue : If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of You.
Secretary of State] In the year 1720. P.
I SHALL add a dialogue by Mr. Pope, in verse, that is
"Since my old friend is grown so great,
I'm told, but 'tis not true I hope,
That Craggs will be asham'd of Pope."
"Alas! if I am such a creature,
To grow the worse for growing greater;
WITH MR. DRYDEN'S TRANSLATION OF FRESNOY'S
THIS Verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse This, from no venal or ungrateful Muse. Whether thy hand strike out some free design, Where Life awakes, and dawns at ev'ry line; Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass, And from the canvas call the mimic face; Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire Fresnoy's close Art, and Dryden's native Fire :
Epistle to Mr. Jervas] This Epistle and the two following were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717. P.
Jervas owed much more of his reputation to this Epistle than to his skill as a painter. "He was defective," says Mr. Walpole, "in drawing, colouring, and composition; his pictures are a light, flimsy, kind of fan-painting, as large as the life; his vanity was excessive." The reason why Lady Bridgewater's name is so frequently repeated in this Epistle, is, because Jervas affected to be violently in love with her. As she was sitting to him one day, he ran over the beauties of her face with rapture; but added, "I cannot help telling your Ladyship you have not a handsome ear:"" 66 No!-Pray, Mr. Jervas, what is a handsome ear?" He turned aside his cap, and shewed his own!