The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1: To Which Is Prefixed, a Life of the Author (Classic Reprint)
Excerpt from The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Vol. 1: To Which Is Prefixed, a Life of the Author
The education of our great author was attended with circumstances very singular, and some of them extremely unfavourable; but the amazing force of his genius fully compensated the want of any advan tage in his earliest instruction. He owed the know ledge of his letters to an aunt; and having learned very early to read, took great delight in it, and taught himself to write by copying after printed books, the characters of which he would imitate to great perfection. He began to compose verses far ther back than he could well remember; and at eight years of age, when he was put under one Taverner, a priest, who taught him the rudiments of the Latin and Greek tongues at the same time, he met with Ogilby's Homer, which gave him great delight; and this was increased by Sandy's Ovrd. The raptures which these authors, even in the disguise of such translations, then yielded him, were so strong, that he spoke of them with pleasure ever after. From Mr. Taverner's tuition he was sent to a private school at Twyford, near Winchester, where he continued about a year, and was then removed to another near Hyde Park Corner; but was so unfortunate as to lose under his two last masters what he had acquired under the first.
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