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nell was of the Latin ; a copy of verses made in this manner, is one of the most difficult trifles that can possibly be imagined. I am assured that it was written upon the following occasion. Before the Rape of the Lock was yet completed, Pope was reading it to his friend Swift, who sat very attentively, while Parnell, who happened to be in the house, went in and out without seeming to take any notice. However, he was very diligently employed in listening, and was able, from the strength of his memory, to bring away the whole description of the Toilette pretty exactly. This he versified in the manner now published in his works; and the next day, when Pope was reading his poem to some friends, Parnell insisted that he had stolen that part of the description from an old monkish manuscript. An old paper with the Latin verses was soon brought forth, and it was not till after some time that Pope was delivered from the confusion which it at first produced.
The Book-worm is another unacknowledged translation from a Latin poem by Beza. It was the fashion with the wits of the last age, to conceal the places whence they took their hints or their subjects. A trifling acknowledgment would have made that lawful prize, which may now be considered as plunder.
The Night Piece on death deserves every praise, and I should suppose, with very little amendment, might be made to surpass all those night pieces and church-yard scenes that have since appeared. But the poem of Parnell's best known, and on which his best reputation is grounded, is the Hermit. Pope, speaking of this in those manuscript anecdotes already quoted, says, That the poem is very good. The stos ry, continues he, was written originally in Spanish, whence probably Howel had translated it into prose, and inserted it in one of his letters. Addison liked the
scheme, and was not disinclined to come into it. However this may be, Dr. Henry Moore, in his Dialogues, has the very same story; and I have been informed by some, that it is originally of Arabian invention.
With respect to the prose works of Parnell, I have mentioned them already; his fame is too well grounded, for any defects in them to shake it. I will only add, that the life of Zoilus was written at the request of his friends, and designed as a satire upon Dennis and Theobald, with whom his club had long been at variance. I shall end this account with a letter to him from Pope and Gay, in which they endeavour to hasten him to finish that production.
· DEAR SIR,
London, March 18. I MUST own I have long owed you a letter, but you must own, you have owed me one a good deal • longer.
Besides, I have but two people in the ( whole kingdom of Ireland to take care of; the Dean and you : but you have several who complain of your neglect in England. Mr. Gay complains, Mr. • Harcourt complains, Mr. Jervas complains, Dr. Arbuthnot complains, my Lord complains; I complain. (Take notice of this figure of iteration, ( when you make your next sermon.) Some say, you are in deep discontent at the new turn of af
others that you are so much in the archbishop's good graces, that you will not correspond with any that have seen the last ministry. Some af
firm, you have quarrelled with Pope (whose friends, • they observe, daily fall from him, on account of his (satirical and comical disposition ;) others, that you
are insinuating yourself into the opinion of the ingenious Mr. What-do-ye-call-him. Some think you are • preparing your sermons for the press, and others,
that you will transform them into essays and moral
• discourses. But the only excuse that I will allow, • is your attention to the life of Zoilus. The frogs
already seem to croak for their transportation to • England, and are sensible how much that Doctor is • cursed and hated, who introduced their species into your nation; therefore, as you dread the wrath of St. Patrick, send them hither, and rid the kingdom of those pernicious and loquacious animals.
I have at length received your poem out of Mr. • Addison's hands, which shall be sent as soon as you • order it, and in what manner you shall appoint. I 6 shall in the mean time give Mr. Tooke a packet for
you, consisting of divers merry pieces. Mr. Gay's
new farce, Mr. Burnet's letter to Mr. Pope, Mr. 6 Pope's Temple of Fame, Mr. Thomas Burnet's « Grumbler on Mr. Gay, and the bishop of Ailsbury's
Elegy, written either by Mr. Cary, or some other « hand.
• Mr. Pope is reading a letter, and in the mean time • I make use of the pen to testify my uneasiness in o not hearing from you. I find success, even in the
most trivial things, raises the indignation of scrib« blers : for I, for my What-d'-ye-call-it, could neither
escape the fury of Mr. Burnet, or the German doc( tor; then where will rage end, when Homer is to • be translated ? Let Zoilus hasten to your friend's ( assistance, and envious criticism shall be no more. • I am in hopes that we may order our affairs so as to ( meet this summer at the Bath ; for Mr. Pope and
myself have thoughts of taking a trip thither. You
shall preach and we will write lampoons ; for it is es• teemed as great an honour to leave the Bath, for fear (of a broken head, as for a Terræ Filius of Oxford to • be expelled. I have no place at court; therefore, " that I may not entirely be without one every VOL. I.
(where, show that I have a place in your remembrance.
• Your most affectionate,
A. POPE, and J. GAY.
• Homer will be published in three weeks.
I cannot finish this trifle, without returning my sincerest acknowledgments to Sir John Parnell, for the generous assistance he was pleased to give me, in furnishing me with many materials, when he heard I was about writing the life of his uncle; as also to Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, relations of our poet; and to my very good friend Mr. Stevens, who, being an ornament to letters himself, is very ready to assist all the attempts of others.