1716 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Alexander Pope to Charles Jervas, 14 November 1716; Works, ed. Warton (1796-97) 7:321.



But that you and I are upon equal terms, in all friendly laziness, and have taken an inviolable oath to each other, always to do what we will; I should reproach you for so long a silence. The best amends you can make for saying nothing to me, is by saying all the good you can of me [to those in Ireland], which is, that I heartily love and esteem the Dean and Dr. Parnelle.

Gay is yours and their's. His spirit is awakened very much in the cause of the Dean, which has broke forth in a courageous couplet or two upon Sir Richard Blackmore: he has printed it with his name to it, and bravely assigns no other reason, than that the said Sir Richard has abused Dr. Swift. I also suffered in the like cause, and shall suffer more unless Parnelle sends me his Zoilus and Book-worm (which the Bishop of Clogher, I hear, greatly extolls) it will be shortly "concurre Bellum atque Virum" — I love you all, as much as I despise most wits in this dull country. Ireland has turned the tables on England; and if I have no poetical friend in my own nation, I'll be as proud as Scipio, and say (since I am reduced to skin and bone) "Ingrata patria, ne offa quidem habeas."