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those which are usually inserted in his in the Greek bear a ridiculous allusion to works, some are indifferent, and some their natures, have no force to the English moderately good, but the greater part are reader. A Bacon-eater was a good name excellent. A slight stricture on the most for a mouse, and Pternotractas in Greek striking shall conclude this account, which was a very good sounding word, that conI have already drawn out to a dispro veyed that meaning. Puffcheek would portionate length.
sound odiously as a name for a frog, and Hesiod, or the Rise of Woman, is a very yet Physignathos does admirably well in fine illustration of a hint from Hesiod. It the original. was one of his earliest productions, and The Letter to Mr. Pope is one of the finest first appeared in a miscellany published by compliments that ever was paid to any Tonson.
poet : the description of his situation at Of the three songs that follow, two of the end of it is very fine, but far from being them were written upon the lady he aster- true. That part of it where he deplores wards married: they were the genuine his being far from wit and learning, as dictates of his passion, but are not excellent being far from Pope, gave particular in their kind.
offence to his friends at home. Mr. Coote, The anacreontic beginning with“When a gentleman in his neighbourhood, who spring came on with fresh delight,” is thought that he himself had wit, was very taken from a French poet, whose name I much displeased with Parnell for casting forget, and, as far as I am able to judge his eyes so far off for a learned friend, of the French language, is better than the when he could so conveniently be supplied original, The anacreontic that follows, at home.
Gay Bacchus,” &c., is also a translation The translation of a part of the Rape of a Latin poem by Aurelius Augurellus, of the Lock into monkish verse serves to an Italian poet, beginning with,
show what a master Parnell was of the
Latin; a copy of verses made in this man-
ner is one of the most difficult trifles that
can possibly be imagined. I am assured Parnell, when he translated it, applied that it was written upon the following the characters to some of his friends, and occasion. Before the Rape of the Lock as it was written for their entertainment, was yet completed, Pope was reading it to it probably gave them more pleasure than his friend Swift, who sat very attentively, it has given the public in the perusal. It while Parnell, who happened to be in the seems to have more spirit than the original; house, went in and out without seeming but it is extraordinary that it was pub- to take any notice. However, he was lished as an original, and not as a trans- very diligently employed in listening, and lation, Pope should have acknowledged was able, from the strength of his memory, it, as he knew.
to bring away the whole description of the The Fairy Tale is, incontestably, one Toilet pretty exactly. This he versified of the finest pieces in any language. The in the manner now published in his works ; old dialect is not perfectly well preserved; and the next day, when Pope was reading but this is a very slight defect, where all his poem to some friends, Parnell insisted the rest is so excellent.
that he had stolen that part of the deThe Pervigilium Veneris (which, by the scription from an old monkish manuby, does not belong to Catullus,) is very script. An old paper with the Latin well versified; and, in general, all Parnell's verses was soon brought forth, and it translations are excellent. The Battle of was not till after some time that Pope the Frogs and Mice, which follows, is was delivered from the confusion which done as well as the subject would admit; it at first produced. but there is a defect in the translation,
The Bookworm is another unacknowwhich sinks it below the original, and ledged translation from a Latin poem by which it was impossible to remedy, -I Beza. It was the fashion with the wits mean the names of the combatants, which, of the last age to conceal the places
whence they took their hints or their sub- correspond with any that have seen the jects. A trifling acknowledgment would last ministry. Some affirm you have have made that lawful prize, which may quarreled with Pope (whose friends, they now be considered as plunder.
observe, daily fall from him on account The Night Piece on Death deserves of his satirical and comical disposition); every praise, and I should suppose, with others, that you are insinuating yourself very little amendment, might be made to into the opinion of the ingenious Mr. surpass all those night pieces and church- What-do-ye-call-him. Some think you yard scenes that have since appeared. are preparing your sermons for the press,
But the poem of Parnell's best known, and others that you will transform them and on which his best reputation is into essays and moral discourses. But grounded, is the Hermit. Pope, speak- the only excuse that I will allow, is your ing of this in those manuscript anecdotes attention to the life of Zoilus. The frogs already quoted says, “That the poem already seem to croak for their transporis very good. The story,” continues tation to England, and are sensible how he, was written originally in Spanish, much that doctor is cursed and hated, whence, probably, Howel had translated who introduced their species into your it into prose, and inserted it in one of his nation ; therefore, as you dread the wrath letters. Addison liked the scheme, and of St. Patrick, send them hither, and rid was not disinclined to come into it.” the kingdom of those pernicious and However this may be, Dr. Henry Moore, loquacious animals. in his Dialogues, has the very same story;
I have at length received your poem and I have been informed by some, that out of Mr. Addison's hands, which shall it is originally of Arabian invention. be sent as soon as you order it, and in
With respect to the prose works of what manner you shall appoint. I shall, Parnell, I have mentioned them already; in the meantime, give Mr. Tooke a packet his fame is too well grounded for any de- for you, consisting of divers merry pieces, fects in them to shake it. I will only ada, -Mr. Gay's new farce, Mr. Burnet's that the Life of Zoilus was written at the letter to Mr. Pope, Mr. Pope's Temple request of his friends, and designed as a of Fame, Mr. Thomas Burnei's Grumbler satire upon Dennis and Theobald, with on Mr. Gay, and the Bishop of Ailsbury's whom his club had long been at variance. Elegy, written either by Mr. Cary or some I shall end this account with a letter to other hand. him from Pope and Gay, in which they “Mr. Pope is reading a letter , and, in endeavour to hasten him to finish that the meantime, I make use of the pen to production
testify my uneasiness in not hearing from
you. I find success, even in the most “LONDON,
March 18. trivial things, raises the indignation of “DEAR SIR,-I must own I have long scribblers : for I, for my what-d'ye-callowed you a letter, but, you must own, it, could neither escape the fury of Mr. you have owed me one a good deal longer. Burnet or the German Doctor; then, Besides, I have but two people in the where will rage end, when Homer is to whole kingdom of Ireland to take care be translated ? Let Zoilus hasten to your of,—the Dean and you; but you have friend's assistance, and envious criticism several who complain of your neglect in shall be no more. I am in hopes that we England. Mr. Gay complains, Mr. Har- may order our affairs so as to meet this court complains, Mr. Jervas complains, summer at the Bath ; for Mr. Pope and Dr. Arbuthnot complains, my Lord com- myself have thoughts of taking a trip plains, I complain. * (Take notice of this thither. You shall preach, and we will figure of iteration when you make your write lampoons ; for it is esteemed as next sermon.) Some say you are in deep great an honour to leave the Bath for fear discontent at the new turn of affairs; of a broken head, as for a Terræ Filius others, that you are so much in the Arch- of Oxford to be expelled. I have no bishop's good graces, that you will not place at court; therefore, that I may not entirely be without one everywhere, show to Sir John Parnell for the generous assis. that I have a place in your remembrance. tance he was pleased to give me, in fur
- Your most affectionate, faithful ser. nishing me with many materials, when he vants,
“ A. Pope and J. Gay. heard I was about writing the life of his “ Homer will be published in three uncle ; as also to Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, weeks."
relations of our paet ; and to my very
good friend Mr. Stevens, who, being an I cannot finish this trifle without re- ornament to letters himself, is very ready turning my sincerest acknowledgments to assist all the attempts of others.
END OF THE LIFE OF DR. PARNELL,