Characteristic Anecdotes of Men of Learning and Genius
General Books LLC, 2009 - 266 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1808. Excerpt: ... ALEXANDER POPE. 1HE father of this elegant poet was a respectable merchant of the city of London, who retired from business at the revolution, with a fortune of twenty thousand pounds honourably acquired, but which he greatly diminished, by refusing to lay it out for improvement upon government security. He encouraged his son's propensity to poetry, by setting him, when a child, to make verses. It seems he was hard to please, and would oblige the lad to correct them over and over: and when, at last, they were such as he approved, he would say "these are good rhymes." Among the favourite books of young Pope, were May's Lucan, and Sandys' Ovid: he also read other old writers of the minor class; and his works evince many direct imitations of them. At last the poems of Dryden fell in his way, and then he renounced all the other poets, having found an author whose taste was congenial with his own. At the age of twelve he was introduced lo the veteran bard, at Will's coffee house, and Dryden gave him a shilling for translating the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. While at school he formed a kind of play from Ogilby's Homer connected by verses of his own. This This piece, which must have been a curiosity, was performed by his schoolfellows, the master's gardener representing Ajax. His pastorals, written at the age of sixteen, procured him the friendship of Walsh, who, in Dryden's estimation was the best critick of his time, and yet his own works are deservedly sunk into contempt. At the age of eighteen, Mr. Pope enrolled among his friends and correspondents, the greatest writers of the day; and Wycherly had so high an opinion of his genius, that he submitted his poems to his judgment for correction. Pope executed the task with strict impartiality, and made so many e...
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