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of art to conceal art.'] "The most difficult thing in all works of art," says Winkelmann, "is to make that which has been most highly elaborated appear as if it had not been elaborated at all."

80-7. There are difficulties in this passage. In the first place, "wit" means 'fancy' or 'imagination' in l. 8o, and 'judgment' or · 'common-sense' in 1. 81. Otherwise the statement is absurd; for how is wit to manage wit? and why should the man "to whom Heav'n in wit has been profuse want as much more," seeing that he is already better endowed than other people? Secondly, if in 1. 8o 'wit' stands for imagination, Pope must be speaking of poets, not of critics, for critics are certainly not profusely endowed with this faculty. Thirdly, in lines 84-5 to whom does he refer,-to poets, or critics, or both? Perhaps his meaning is this: "When the poet's fancy is inclined to grow riotous and to carry him beyond the bounds prescribed by sense, the critic's function is to exercise a restraining influence.” But it is quite as likely that lines 80-7 form a digression in which Pope's remarks apply exclusively to poets.

83. meant each other's aid. Our idiom requires for after meant in this use of the word. Compare 1. 27.

84. more, more important.'

86. winged courser, i.e. Pegasus, the horse of the Muses. At a blow from his hoof, Hippocrene, the fountain of the Muses, sprang forth on Mount Helicon. Pegasus ascended to the skies and was

changed into a constellation.

like a gen'rous horse, 'as might be expected of a high-bred horse.' generous, from Lat. genus, gener-, 'race,' 'stock,' signifies (1) 'of noble race,' 'thorough-bred'; (2) ‘noble,' 'magnanimous'; (3) ‘liberal,' 'munificent.' It is used here with 'horse' in the first sense; with 'pleasure,' 1. 238, in the second; with 'critic,' l. 100, in either the second or the third.

87. mettle: this was originally the spelling of metal in all its meanings, but it is now limited to the figurative uses of the word. Thus, in the ballad Johnnie Armstrong

"Then John pull'd out his good broad sword,

That was made of the mettle so free."

From its primary meaning 'metal,' the word mettle acquired the sense of 'constitution' or 'quality' of a thing, and its application was afterwards restricted to the special quality of courage.

88. discover'd, not devis'd: rules of criticism were not the inventions of the critics, but were deduced by them from the works of great poets.

Homer wrote unconscious that he was conforming to the principles of poetic composition. In due time appeared the critic who stated methodically the principles of the art to which Homer had unconsciously conformed. "The truths on which the success of Art depends, lurk in the artist's mind in an undeveloped state,-stimulating his invention, balancing his judgment, but not appearing in the form of enunciated propositions" (Whewell, Phil. of Induct. Sciences, Vol. II. p. 1II).

Johnson says, "We owe few of the rules of writing to the acuteness of critics, who have generally no other merit than that, having read the works of great authors with attention, they have observed the arrangement of their matter, or the graces of their expression, and then expected honour and reverence for precepts which they could never have invented; so that practice has introduced rules, rather than rules have directed practice" (Rambler, No. 158, Sept. 21, 1751).

90. but, 'only,' wrongly placed in accordance with the common solecism. "Nature is restrained only by the same laws as she herself ordained."

94. Parnassus was a high mountain in Phocis. From its slopes issued the Castalian spring, sacred to Apollo and the Muses, and at its foot stood the city of Delphi.

96. Held...aloft th' immortal prize. It was the custom at Athens for the judges to award a prize to the poet who produced the best set of dramas at the festival of Dionysus.

98. Just precepts...given: i.e. 'Just precepts being given,' or 'having been given,' in the absolute construction. The expression 'given from great examples' is not idiomatic. We can say that precepts were 'gathered' or 'derived from examples,' or 'afforded by examples,' or even given by examples,' but not given from examples.'

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102. Criticism must be pronounced as a trisyllable. The line is a harsh one to have passed muster with Pope.

103. To dress her charms. Dress supplies Pope with one of his favourite metaphors. See the note on 1. 297.

105. He, the antecedent of 'who' and subject of 'woo'd,' is omitted. Observe the effectiveness of the double alliteration, win... woo'd, mistress...maid.

106-7. A harsh couplet, and in the second verse "ten low words creep in one dull line " (1. 347). Some remarks in Dryden's Dedication to his Translation of Ovid seem to have suggested this passage to Pope. "Formerly the critics were quite another species of men. They were

defenders of poets, and commentators on their works, to illustrate obscure beauties, to place some passages in a better light, to redeem others from malicious interpretations. Are our auxiliary forces turned our enemies? Are they from our seconds become principals against us?" Half-a-century later Dryden's questions find an answer in one of Johnson's earlier numbers of the Rambler. "There is a certain race of men," he says, "that either imagine it their duty, or make it their amusement, to hinder the reception of every work of learning or genius, who stand as sentinels in the avenues of fame, and value themselves upon giving Ignorance and Envy the first notice of a prey. To these men, who distinguish themselves by the appellation of Critics, it is necessary for a new author to find some means of recommendation. It is probable that the most malignant of these persecutors might be somewhat softened, and prevailed on, for a short time, to remit their fury. Having for this purpose considered many expedients, I find in the records of ancient times, that Argus was lulled by music, and Cerberus quieted with a sop; and am therefore inclined to believe that modern critics, who, if they have not the eyes, have the watchfulness of Argus, and can bark as loud as Cerberus, though perhaps they cannot bite with equal force, might be subdued by methods of the same kind. I have heard how some have been pacified with claret and a supper, and others laid asleep with the soft notes of flattery" (Rambler, No. 3, Mar. 27, 1750).

What a difference between the critic as Dryden, or Pope, or Johnson knew him, and the critic of our own day, so genial and urbane, so free from prejudice and partiality, so intelligent and


108. 'pothecaries for 'apothecaries.' The word is derived from Gk. άтойýкη, 'a place in which things were put away,' so 'a shop,' especially a drug-shop:' cf. Fr. boutique, Span. bodega, 'wine-cellar.' In England a man who holds the licence of the Apothecaries' Society is still allowed to practise medicine as well as to sell drugs, but the term 'apothecary' is no longer in general use.

109. bills, 'prescriptions.' Bill is a doublet of bull, which comes from bulla, 'a seal,' so ‘a sealed writing.' "The Patient sendeth for a Physician who...prescribeth a Receipt in a Bill" (Comenius, Visible World, p. 183).

I12. A sneer at the editors who laboured to restore the Greek and Latin texts. In the Dunciad (Book IV. 199-238), Pope pours contempt on scholars, English and foreign, especially on Bentley, the

"-mighty Scholiast, whose unweary'd pains

Made Horace dull, and humbled Milton's strains."

114. Some drily plain: Warburton says that the allusion is to “the plagiarists from the French critics, who had made some admirable commentaries on the ancient critics."

116-7. These...those. The antithesis again. See note to 1. 5. 124-5. Horace, Ars Poet. 268-9:

"Vos exemplaria Graeca

Nocturna versate manu, versate diurna."

['See that you study by day and study by night the Greek masterpieces.'] 127. spring, 'source.'

128. still, 'constantly.' See note to 1. 32.

Roscommon, Essay on Translated Verse, 1. 186, says

"Consult your author, with himself compared.”

129. Mantuan Muse, viz., Publius Vergilius Maro, born B. C. 70, near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul.

130. Pope adds the following note :--"It is a tradition preserved by Servius, that Virgil began with writing a poem of the Alban and Roman affairs; which he found above his years, and descended first to imitate Theocritus on rural subjects, and afterwards to copy Homer in Heroic poetry."

138. Stagirite, viz., Aristotle, who was born in B.C. 384 at Stagira, a town in Thrace. He was invited by Philip, king of Macedonia, to undertake the education of the young prince Alexander. In B.C. 322 he died, an exile from Athens, at Chalcis. His works include treatises on poetry and rhetoric.

The accent should fall on the middle syllable of the word as the quantity of the vowel is long, Stăgira. Pope however treats it as short and throws the accent on the first syllable, as in l. 280,

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"The mighty Stagirite first left the shore."

Dryden handles the word in the same way.

Though Pope commends Virgil for confining his work within rules as strict as Aristotle's, he has a sneer at Dennis, in l. 271, for—


Concluding all were desp'rate sots and fools,

Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules."

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If Virgil "scorned to draw" except "from Nature's fountain,' why should he have "checked the bold design and copied Homer? Since "Nature and Homer were, he found, the same,"

copying Homer would not confine his work within stricter rules than copying Nature.

141-5. In these lines Pope states admirably a characteristic of the productions of Fine Art. Premeditated skill is required for their execution, and this skill admits of regulation up to a certain point. But when that point has been reached, there are secrets which cannot be taught by method and a freedom unfettered by rules. "A Painter may make a better Face than ever was; But he must doe it by a kinde of Felicity (As a Musician that maketh an excellent Ayre in Musicke) And not by Rule." (Bacon, Essays, No. 43, 'Of Beauty': p. 130.) "Because the artist cannot always communicate his own principles, men speak of his 'happy art,' as if it were almost by chance or hap that his works were accomplished." (Thomson, Laws of Thought, P. 13.)

141. yet, 'nevertheless.' Metrical requirements have dislodged the word from its natural position at the beginning of the sentence.

142. a happiness as well as care. Not the curiosa felicitas,-' the felicity of expression which results from taking pains,'-though Pope may have had this phrase in his mind when he wrote the line,—but the felicity of expression which is attained by the artist alone, and by him independently of careful effort.

152. gloriously offend. Dryden has the same expression in his Aurengzebe:

"Mean soul, and dar'st not gloriously offend?"

154. brave disorder. The phrase occurs in the Translation of Boileau's Art of Poetry by Soame and Dryden (Canto II. Ode, 14-—15): "Her gen'rous style at random oft will part,

And by a brave disorder shows her art."

Sir William Soame wrote a translation in verse of Boileau's Art Poétique, and asked Dryden to revise the composition. At Dryden's suggestion the allusions were adapted to English writers. The translation was published in 1689.

161. their, i.e. 'their own.'

162. Kings dispense with laws. Dryden employs the same illustration more than once in his Discourse on Epic Poetry prefixed in 1697 to his Translation of Virgil's Æneid. Apollo, dealing with a charge of anachronism which had been brought against "his son Virgil," asserts "that, being a monarch, he had a dispensing power, and pardoned him." (Dryden's Discourses on Satire and on Epic Poetry, p. 143, and again on p. 144.)

W. P. E.


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