Son of a Roman Catholic linen-dealer at London. Born May 21, 1688, died May 30, 1744. the body being buried in the parish church of Twickenham. Many of his satires took up the cause of this or that political question and Pope's associates and friends numbered among them men high in the public life of England at that period. Deformed by disease in childhood, he was for life an invalid, yet a busy man of letters whose prose and verse, original and translated, were clever, keen, abiding. Devoted to his mother, his quarrels elsewhere were equally earnest, lasting, thorough. Probably the venom of his literary attacks was in part due to great sensitiveness over his crippled, unhealthy condition. His verse is particularly smooth in flow, bright of allusion, phrases neatly framed, apt for quotation, as in the following familiar lines from his Essay on Man:
Know then thyself, presume no God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man. An honest man s the noblest work of God Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused and disabused Created half to rise, and half to fall Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled The glory, jest and riddle of the world! The same work is equally striking in what is said f woman: Our grandsire, Adam, ere of Eve possesst Alone, and eten in Paradise unblest With mournful looks the blissful scenes survev'd, And wander'd in the solitary shade. The Maker saw, took pity, and bestow'd Woman, the last, the best reserv'd of God.
Several of his intimates were reputed to be members of the Craft. He is quoted as being a member of the same Masonic Lodge in London which enrolled on its books his life-long friends, Dean Swift and John Arbuthnot, by Brother J. H. Edge in the Builder, May, 1924- One therefore hunts through his writings or some reference to the Fraternity or its instruction. Strange but true is it that the Four Cardinal Virtues, Fortitude, Temperance, Prudence, and Justice exactly as they are enumerated in the Monitors, are given in that order by Alexander Pope:
In clouded Majesty her dulness shone; Four guardian Virtues round, support her throne Fears champion Fortitude, that knows no fears Of hisses blows, or want, or less of ease: Calm Temperance, whose blessings these partake Who hunger, and who thirst for scribbling sake prudence, whose glass presents the approaching jail Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale Where. in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs And solid pudding against empty brays.
Brother W. Wonnacott, late Grand Librarian of England, personally assured us that in his belief it is the name of Alexander Pope that is in the 1730 list of the members of the Lodge held at the Goat, a Tavern at the foot of The Haymarket, London, and our good Brother called attention to the above lines as probably pointing to some knowledge on Pope's part of the moralization that is impressed by us on our only admitted Brethren. The Universal Prayer, oft quoted in Masonic instruction, was written by Pope in 1738 and is given below:
Father of all! In every age In every clime adored, By saint, by savage, and by sage, Jehovah, Jove, or Lord! Thou Great First Cause, least understood Who all my sense confined To know but this, that Thou art good And that myself am blind. Yet gave me, in this dark estate, To see the good from ill; And. binding Nature fast in fate Left free the human will. What conscience dictates to be done Or warns me not to do This teach me more than Hell to shun, That more than Heaven pursue. What blessings Thy free bounty gives Let me not east away For God is paid when man receives: To enjoy is to obey. Yet not to earth's contracted span Thy goodness let me bound Or think Thee Lord alone of man, When thousand worlds are round. Let not this weak, unknowing hand Presume Thy bolts to throw, And teach damnation round the land On eaeh I judge Thy foe. If I am right, Thy grace impart Still in the right to stay If r am wrong, oh, teach my heart To find that better way l Save me alike from foolish pride, Or impious discontent At aught Thy wisdom has denied, Or aught that goodness lent. Teach me to feel another's woe To right the fault I see That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me. Mean though I am, not wholely so, Since quickened by Thy breath; Oh lead me nvheresoe'er I go Through this day's life or death. This day be bread and peace my lot; All else beneath the sun Thou know'st if best bestowed or not And let Thy will be done! To Thee NVhose temple is of space,-- Whose altar earth sea skies-- One chorus let all beings raise! All Nature s incense rise.
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