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But Lord Halifax, as we are assured by Mr. Pope, sent for him of his own accord, in the beginning of the reign of George the First, and acquainted him that he had often been concerned that his merit had never been rewarded as it deferved; adding, that he was very glad it was now in his power to be of service to him, by settling a pension upon him, if he chose to accept of it, and that no return should be required of him for it.
Mr. Pope, having thanked him for the proposal, desired time to consider of it; and about three months after, having in the interim heard nothing from his Lordship, he wrote to him, repeating his obligations to him for the offer, but at the same time declining it, with a noble indifference
* The letter was expressed in the following terms
“ My LORD, “I am obliged to you, both for the favours you have 65 done met, and those you intend me. I distrust neither
your your memory, when it is to do good : and if
ever I become troublesome or solicitous, it must not be out “ of expectation, but out of gratitude. Your Lordship
may either cause me to live agreeably in the town, or con“ tentedly in the country; which is really all the difference so I set between an easy fortune and a small one. It is in
+ His Lordship not only subscribed himself to the Iliad, but promoted it in the Hanover Club, and rallied their secretary Philips, for keeping the subscriptions in his hands for some time, out of enmity to Mr. Pope,
We do not find, that any farther proposals of this nature were made, till Mr. Craggs came into the ministry: and this minister, in all the warmth of friendship, assured Mr. Pope, that a pension of 300 l. per annum waited his acceptance: adding with great frankness and cordiality, that he, having the disposal of the secret service money, could pay him such an annual sum without the privity of any one.
But our author, without hesitation, declined this inviting offer. He thanked the secretary the warm zeal of his friendship, assuring him that he could not accept of a pension; but that, to shew his sense of so friendly a proposal, if he should at any time have occasion for a sum of money, he would apply to him.---An application however which he never made.
Mr. Craggs pressed this offer more than once, urging to him at the same time, how convenient the use of a coach would be. Mr. Pope, however, though very sensible of the convenience of an equipage, rightly judged that if on the strength of fo precarious an income, he should contract such a habit of indulgence, the want of it would prove doubly inconvenient to him ; if,
" deed a high strain of generosity in you to think of making " me easy all my life, only because I have been so happy to “ divert you tome few hours; but if I may have leave to “ add, it' is because you think me no enemy to my native
country, there will appear a better reason.".
from an accidental failure of that income, he Tould no longer be able to support it.
In short, Mr. Pope constantly declined all offers of this nature, with a steadiness which does honour to his character. Nay, he even carried his fcruples so far, as to decline making use of a subscription for 1000 l. in the South Sea, of which Mr. Craggs made him an offer in the year 1720. And he used to say, it was a fatisfaction to him that he did not grow
rich (as he might have done) by the public calamity. Of this noble spirit of independence, he shewed himself conscious in the epistle above mentioned to Dr. Arbuthnot, where we find him speaking of himself with becoming pride, as
Unplac'd, unpension'd, no man's heir, or
Mr. POPE's delicacy of sentiment probably fuggested to him, that the accepting of such offers, might impose on him an obligation of detaching himself from some personal connections which he valued : and he always industriously avoided all party-attachments, declaring in a letter to his friend Swift, that he had personal obligations to men of different fides, which he would never violate.
As Mr. Pope's spirit made him abhor the thought of a dependant state, so his prudence placed him above the necessity of submitting
Mr. Pope was superior to the little pride of supposing that an inattention to domestic concerns, was characteristical of a great genius. On the contrary, that fortune which his merit acquired, he was mindful to husband to the best advantage. With this view, in the year 1729, he purchased an annuity of 100 l, for his own life, and with pious solicitude, took care likewise to include his mother's life in the purchase.
Our author having taken leave of satire, we find his muse, in the fixth volume, more agreeably engaged. In this volume of his works we find imitations of the lighter pieces of Horace, some of them in the manner of Swift. They shew with what happy dexterity our author descends from grave to gay.
The most distinguished of these little pieces, is his imitation of the first Ode of the fourth book of Horace. This has all the ease and elegance of the original, and frequently surpasses
Our author here takes occasion to pay a delicate compliment to his friend, then Mr. MurRAY, which in some parts is more happily turned than the Latin.
« Ad VENERE M.
“ Circa lustra decein flectere mollibus
Tempestivius in domum
, purpureis ales oloribus,
« Si torrere jecur quaeris idoneum*. “ Namque et nobilis, et decens,
“ Et pro folicitis non tacitus reis, “ Et centum puer artium,
“ Late figna feret militiae tuae. “ Et, quandoque potentior
“ Largis muneribus riserit aemuli, “ Albanos prope te lacus
“ Ponet marmoream sub trabe citrea. “ Ilic plurima naribus
“ Duces thura ; lyraque et Berecynthiae « Delectabere tibia
“ Mixtis carminibus, non fine fiftula. “ Illic bis pueri die
“ Numen cum teneris virginibus tuum “ Laudantes, pede candido
“ In morem Salium ter quatient humum.
« To VENUS. « Mother too fierce of dear desires ! " Turn, turn to willing hearts your wan
“ ton fires. “ To Number five direct your doves, “ There spread round MURRAY all your
· blooming loves;
The imitation, the reader will observe, has all the pleasantry and sprightliness of the Latin, and has avoided the irdelicacy of torrere jecur idoneum.