Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[blocks in formation]

You are to know, then, that as it is likeness that begets affection, so my favourite Dog is a little one, a lean one, and none of the finest shaped! He is not unuch of a spaniel in his fawning, but has (what might be worth any man's while to imitate him in) a dumb, surly sort of kindness that rather shews itself when he thinks me ill-used by others, than when we walk quietly and peaceably by ourselves. If it be the chief point of friendship to comply with a friend's motions and inclinations, he possesses this in an eminent degree; he lies down when I sit, and walks when I walk, which is more than many good friendş can pretend to : witness our walk a year ago in St. James's Park. Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of Dogs than of friends, but I will not insist upon many of them, because it is possible some may be almost as fabulous as those of Pylades and Orestes, &c. Homer's account of Ulysses dog Argus, is the most pathetic imaginable, all the circumstances considered, and an excellent proof of the old Bard's good nature. Ulysses had left him at Ithica when he embarked for Troy, and found him at his return, after twenty years : you shall have it in


When WISE ULYSSES from his native coast
Long kept by wars and long by tempests tost;
Arriv'd at last, poor, old, disguis’d, alone,
To all his friends and e'en his Queen unknown;
Chang'd as he was, with age and toils and cares,
Furrow'd bis reverend face and white his hairs,



In his own palace forc'd to ask his bread,
Scorn'd by those slaves his former bounty fed,
Forgot of all his own domestic crew-
The FAITHFUL Dog alone his rightful master knew!
Unfed, unhous'd, neglected, on the clay,
Like an old servant, now cashier'd, he lay,
Touch'd with resentment of ungrateful Man,
And longing to behold his ancient Lord again!
Him when he saw, he rose, and crawl'd to meet
('Twas all he could), and fawn'd and kiss'd his feet,
Seiz'd with dumb joy—then, falling by his side,
Owu’d his returning Lord, look'd up, and died!

“ Plutarch, relating how the Athenians were obliged to abandon Athens in the time of Themistocles, steps back again out of the way of his history, purely to describe the lamentable cries and howlings of the poor Dogs they left behind! He makes mention of one that followed his master across the sea to Salamis, where he died, and was honoured with a lomb by the Athenians, who gave the name of The Dog's Grave to that part of the island where he was buried. This respect to a Dog, in the most polite people of the world, is yery observable. A modern instance of gratitude to a Dog (though we have but few such) is, that the chief Order of Denmark (now injuriously called the Order of the Elephant) was instituted in memory of the fidelity of a Dog, named Wildbrat, to one of their Kings, who had been deserted by his subjects. He gave his Order this motto, or to this effect, Wildbrat was faithful.

“Sir Wilļiam Trumbull has told me a story, which he



heard from one that was present. King CHARLES the First being with some of his Court, during his troubles, a discourse arose what sort of Dogs deserved the pre-eminence; and it being, on all hands, agreed to belong either to the spaniel or greyhound, the King gave his opinion on the part of the greyhound, because (said he) it has all the good-nature of the other, without fawning! A good piece of satire upon his Courtiers; with which I will conclude my discourse on Dogs. Call me a cynic, or what you please, in revenge for all this impertinence, I will be contented, provided you will but believe me, when I say a bold word for a Christian, that, of all Dogs, you will find none more faithful than

“ Yours, &c." It has been mentioned, as a proof of the Poet's love of economy, that he wrote most of his lines on scraps of paper, and particularly the backs of letters. And, for the encouragement of young persons in the improvement of either their prose or poetical compositions, it should be added, that his manuscripts are full of interlineations ; indeed, so much so, that they are not easily legible! Fac similes have been published, exhibiting a curious specimen of his industry in polishing all his productions. Hence he somewhere remarks, in his Letters, that, whilst a work is in hand, the author cannot be too studious of its improvement, nor too little anxious for its fate when the writer, having thus done his best, sends it forth to the world.



A Supplementary Volume has been published, containing Pieces of Poetry not inserted in former Editions, and a Collection of Letters. Some of the poetical pieces are curious; and from the Letters are selected certain scattered sentiments, out of the Bard's correspondence, under the title of Thoughts on Various Subjects. As Pope was deeply versed in the knowledge of human nature, a few of his sayings may be acceptable. The following pleased me best:

1. Fine sense and exalted sense are not half so niseful as common sense. There are forty men of wit for one man of sense ; and he that will carry nothing about him but gold, will be every day at a loss for want of readier change.

2. A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong; which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.

3. To be angry is to revenge the fault of others

upon ourselves.

4. To relieve the oppressed is the most glorious act a man is capable of; it is, in some measure, doing the business of God and Providence.

5. When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old; and when we are old we perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.

6. The world is a thing we must, of necessity, either laugh at or be angry at: if we laugh at it, they say we are proud; if we are angry at it, they say we are ill-natured.



7. The greatest advantage I know of being thought a wit by the world is, that it gives one the greater freedom of playing the fool.

8. Flowers of rhetoric in sermons and serious discourses are like the blue and red Aowers in corn; pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit from it.

9. The difference between what is commonly called ordinary company and good company is, only hearing the same things said in a little room or in a large saloon, at small tables or at great tables, before two candles or twenty sconces.

10. Many men have been capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.

11. Wit in conversation is only readiness of thought and a facility of expression; or, in the midwives' phrase, a' quick conception and an easy delivery.

12. There is nothing wanting to make all rational and disinterested people of one religion, but that they should talk together every day.

The Will of Pope is so illustrative of his Character and Connexion's, that you, my young Friend, will be pleased with it:“ The last Will and Testament of ALEXANDER POPE,

of Twickenham, Esq. In the name of God, Amen. 1, ALEXANDER Pope, of Twickenham, in the county of Middlesex, , make this my last Will and Testament. I resign my Soul to its Creator, in all humble hope of its future


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »