1734 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Duncombe

Alexander Pope to William Duncombe, 20 October 1734; Duncombe, ed. Letters by Several Eminent Persons (1772; 1773) 2:48-49.



Twickenham, Oct. 20, 1734.

SIR,

I am obliged for the favour of yours. I have looked for the letter Mr. Hughes sent me, but cannot find it. I had a great regard for his merit, modesty, and softness of manners. He writ to me a few days before his death, concerning the play of the "Siege of Damascus," which is the only letter I can meet with.

I thank you for the part you are pleased to take, both in regard to my health (which has, I thank GOD, been as good as usual,) and to my reputation, my poetical welfare, which I resign as much to Providence as the other. But truly I had not the least thought of stealing applause by suppressing my name to that "essay" [Pope's Essay on Man]: I wanted only to hear truth, and was more afraid of my partial friends than enemies. Besides, I really was humble and diffident enough, to distrust my own performance. All I can say of it is, that I know it to be an honest one.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

A. POPE.