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A solemn sacrifice, performed in state, You drink by measure, and to minutes eat. Between each act the trembling salvers ring, From soup to sweet-wine, and God bless the King. In plenty starving, tantalised in state, And complaisantly helped to all I hate, Treated, caressed, and tired, I take my leave, Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve; I curse such lavish cost and little skill, And swear no day was ever past so ill.

Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed; Health to himself, and to his infants bread The labourer bears; what his hard heart denies His charitable vanity supplies. Another age shall see the golden ear Embrown the slope, and nod on the parterre, Deep harvests bury all his pride has planned, And laughing Ceres re-assume the land. Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle. You too proceed! See the wild waste of all-devouring years! How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears, With nodding arches, broken temples spread!

Pope, Essay on Man, Epistle 1

The very tombs now vanished like their dead! Imperial wonders raised on nations spoiled, Where mixed with slaves the groaning martyr toiled: Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods, Now drained a distant country of her floods: Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey, Statues of men, scarce less alive than they! Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age, Some hostile fury, some religious rage.

Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire, And Papal piety, and Gothic fire. Ambition sighed: she found it vain to trust The faithless column and the crumbling bust: Huge moles, whose shadow stretched from shore to shore, Their ruins perished, and their place no more; Convinced, she now contracts her vast design, And all her triumphs shrink into a coin. A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps; Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps; Now scantier limits the proud arch confine, And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine; A small Euphrates through the piece is rolled, And little eagles wave their wings in gold.

The medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears each form and name: In one short view subjected to our eye Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. With sharpened sight pale antiquaries pore, The inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years! To gain Pescennius one employs his schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams. Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage; These pleased the fathers of poetic rage; The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, And art reflected images to art.

Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? In living medals see her wars enrolled, And vanquished realms supply recording gold? This Paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions offered.

An Essay on Man and the Great Chain of Being - Words | Cram

Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own laziness to undertake so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epistle. If it have anything pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth and the sentiment; and if anything offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous.


  • Alexander Pope's Essay on Man.
  • Critical analysis of “An Essay on Man”.
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Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true; but I have, for the most part, spared their names, and they may escape being laughed at if they please. I would have some of them know, it was owing to the request of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage and honour on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless character can never be found out but by its truth and likeness.

Shut, shut the door, good John! The dog-star rages! What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?

The Role of Nature

They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide; By land, by water, they renew the charge; They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. No place is sacred, not the Church is free; Even Sunday shines no Sabbath Day to me; Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, Happy to catch me just at dinner-time. Is there, who, locked from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darkened walls? All fly to Twitenham, and in humble strain Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.

Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, Imputes to me and my damned works the cause: Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope. Friend to my life! A dire dilemma! Seized and tied down to judge, how wretched I! To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace, And to be grave, exceeds all power of face. Dare you refuse him? And is not mine, my friend, a sorer case, When every coxcomb perks them in my face? Good friend, forbear! Out with it, Dunciad!

The Queen of Midas slept, and so may I. You think this cruel? Let peals of laughter, Codrus! Who shames a scribbler? Whom have I hurt? His butchers Henley, his free-masons Moore? Does not one table Bavius still admit? Still to one bishop Philips seem a wit?

Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man

Of all mad creatures, if the learned are right, It is the slaver kills, and not the bite. A fool quite angry is quite innocent: Alas! One dedicates in high heroic prose, And ridicules beyond a hundred foes: One from all Grubstreet will my fame defend, And more abusive, calls himself my friend. Why did I write?

As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisped in numbers, for the numbers came. I left no calling for this idle trade, No duty broke, no father disobeyed. The Muse but served to ease some friend, not wife, To help me through this long disease, my life, To second, Arbuthnot!

Alexander Pope's Essay on Man: An Introduction

But why then publish? Happy my studies, when by these approved! Happier their author, when by these beloved!

From these the world will judge of men and books, Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cookes. Soft were my numbers; who could take offence, While pure description held the place of sense?

Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill;— I wished the man a dinner, and sat still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret; I never answered—I was not in debt. If want provoked, or madness made them print, I waged no war with Bedlam or the Mint. Did some more sober critic come abroad; If wrong, I smiled; if right, I kissed the rod. Pains, reading, study, are their just pretence, And all they want is spirit, taste, and sense. The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there. Were others angry: I excused them too; Well might they rage, I gave them but their due.

How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe And swear not Addison himself was safe. Peace to all such!

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An Essay on Man

Who would not weep, if Atticus were he? What though my name stood rubric on the walls, Or plaistered posts, with claps, in capitals?


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  • Conclusion: Pope's Essay on Man and the Afterlife of English Freethinking - Stanford Scholarship?

I sought no homage from the race that write; I kept, like Asian monarchs, from their sight: Poems I heeded now be-rhymed so long No more than thou, great George! His library where busts of poets dead And a true Pindar stood without a head Received of wits an undistinguished race, Who first his judgment asked, and then a place: Much they extolled his pictures, much his seat, And flattered every day, and some days eat: Till grown more frugal in his riper days, He paid some bards with port, and some with praise; To some a dry rehearsal was assigned, And others harder still he paid in kind.

Dryden alone what wonder? May some choice patron bless each grey goose quill! May every Bavius have his Bufo still!

A Comparison of Volataire's "Candide" and Alexander Pope's "Essay on Man"

Blessed be the great! Oh let me live my own, and die so too! I was not born for courts or great affairs; I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers; Can sleep without a poem in my head; Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead. Why am I asked what next shall see the light? Has life no joys for me! Poor guiltless I! A lash like mine no honest man shall dread, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? Whether in florid impotence he speaks And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks; Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies.

But why insult the poor, affront the great?