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That harmless Mother thought no wife a whore:
Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause, While yet in Britain Honour had applaufe)
a Hatter, a Farmer, nay a Bankrupt. But, what is ftranger, a Nobleman (if such a reflection could be thought to come from a Nobleman) had dropt an allufion to that pitiful untruth, in a paper called an Epifle to a Doctor of Divinity: and the following line, "Hard as thy Heart, and as thy Birth obfcure,"
D. O. M.
ALEXANDRO. POPE. VIRO. INNOCVO. PROBO. PIO.
had fallen from a like Courtly pen, in certain Verses to the Imitator of Horace. Mr. Pope's Father was of a Gentleman's Family in Oxfordshire, the head of which was the Earl of Downe, whofe fole Heirefs married the Earl of Lindfay.-His Mother was the daughter of William Turner, Efq. of York: She had three brothers, one of whom was killed, another died in the fervice of King Charles; the eldest following his fortunes, and becoming a general officer in Spain, left her what estate remained after the fequeftrations and forfeitures of her family.-Mr. Pope died in 1717, aged 75; fhe in 1733, aged 93, a very few weeks after this Poem was finished. The following infcription was placed by their fon on their Monument in the parish of Twickenham, in Middlefex :
ET. EDITHE. CONIVGI. INCVLPABILI.
XCIII. OB. MDCCXXXIII.
PARENTIBVS. BENEMERENTIBVS. FILIVS. FECIT.
POPE. VER. 388. Of gentle blood] When Mr. Pope published the notes on the Epiftle to Dr. Arbuthnot, giving an account of his fa mily, Mr. Pottinger, a relation of his, obferved, that his coufin
Each parent fprung-A. What fortune, pray?—
P. Their own,
And better got, than Bestia's from the throne.
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age.
After Ver. 40;. in the MS.
And of myself, too, fomething must I say?
And if it live, it lives but to commend
The man whofe heart has ne'er forgot a Friend,
And friend to Learning, yet too wife to write.
Pape had made himself out a fine pedigree, but he wondered where he got it; that he had never heard any thing himself of their being defcended from the Earls of Downe; and, what is more, he had an old maiden aunt, equally related, a great genealogift, who was always talking of her family, but never mentioned this circumftance; on which the certainly would not have been filent, had fhe known any thing of it. Mr. Pope's grandfather was a clergyman of the church of England in Hampshire. He placed his fon, Mr. Pope's father, with a merchant at Lisbon,, where he became a convert to Popery. (Thus far Dr. Bolton, late Deam of Carlisle, a friend of Pope; from Mr. Pottinger.) The buryingplace and monuments of the family of the Popes, Earls of Downe, is at Wroxton, Oxfordshire. The Earl of Guildford says, that he has feen and examined the pedigrees and defcents of that family, and is fure that there were then none of the name of Pope left, who could be defcended from that family.(From John: Loveday, of Caversham, Efquire.) WARTON.
This account is also confirmed to me by my friend Mr. Dallaway, of the Heralds' College.
Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's fubtle art,
To rock the cradle of reposing Age,
With lenient arts extend a Mother's breath, 410 Make Languor fmile, and smooth the bed of Death, Explore
VER. 397. Nor dar'd an Oath,] He was a non-juror, and would not take the oath of allegiance or fupremacy, or the oath against the Pope.
VER. 408. Me, let the tender office] Thefe exquifite lines give us a very interefting picture of the exemplary filial piety of our Author! There is a penfive and pathetic sweetness in the very flow of them. The eye that has been wearied and oppressed by the harsh and auftere colouring of fome of the preceding paffages, turns away with pleasure from these afperities, and reposes with complacency on the foft tints of domeftic tenderness We are naturally gratified to fee men defcending from their heights, into the familiar offices of common life; and the sensation is the more pleafing to us, because admiration is turned into affection. In the very entertaining Memoirs of the Life of Racine (published by his fon) we find no paffage more amufing and interesting, than where that great Poet fends an excufe to Monfieur, the Duke, who had earnestly invited him to dine at the Hotel de Conde, because he had promised to partake of a great fish that his children had got for him, and he could not think of difappointing them.
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And just as rich as when he ferv'd a QUEEN.
Melan&hon appeared in an amiable light, when he was feen holding a book in one hand, and attentively reading, and with the other, rocking the cradle of his infant child. And we read with more fatisfaction,
Τρις μεν ορεξάτ ιων το δε
ΑιγαςWARTON. VER. 409. To rock the cradle} This tender image is from the Effays of Montaign. Mr. Gray was equally remarkable for affectionate attention to his aged mother; fo was Ariofto. Pope's mother was a fifter of Cooper's wife, the very celebrated miniature painter. Lord Carleton had a portrait of Cooper, in crayons, which Mrs. Pope faid was not very like; and which, descending to Lord Burlington, was given by his Lordship to Kent. "I have a drawing," fays Mr. Walpole, " of Pope's father, as he lay dead in his bed, by his brother in law, Cooper." It was Mr. Pope's. Anecdotes of Painting, vol. iii. p. 115. WARTOV.
τέτρατον ίκετο τεκμάρ
VER. 417. And just as rich as when he ferv'd a QUEEN.] An honeft compliment to his Friend's real and unaffected dilinterestednefs, when he was the favourite Phyfician of Queen Anne.
VER. 417. And just as rich, &c.] After the death of Queen Anne, Arbuthnot removed from St. James's Street to Dover Street, probably not in fo good circumstances, or fuch extenfive practice, as before. In a letter to Pope, he fays, " Martin's office is now the fecond door, on the left hand, in Dover ftreet, where he will be glad to fee Dr. Parnell, Mr. Pope, and his old Friends, to whom he can still afford a half pint of claret."