1871 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Matthew Pilkington

Whitwell Elwin, Note in Works of Pope, ed. Elwin and Courthope (1871-1889) 7:304n.



Mrs. Pilkington says that Pope invited her husband to stay a fortnight with him at Twickenham. In the course of his visit Pilkington wrote word to his wife that Pope oppressed him with civilities, and Pope wrote word to Swift that Pilkington was not a modest ingenious young man, but a most forward, shallow, conceited fellow, of whose impertinence he was sick before the end of the third day. Swift showed Pope's letter to Mrs. Pilkington, who defended her husband, and "upon this," she says, "the dean lost all patience, and asked me why I did not swear that my husband was six foot high? And did I think myself a better judge than Mr. Pope? or, Did I presume to give him the lie? and a thousand other extravagances." Long before Mrs. Pilkington wrote her Memoirs she had come round to Pope's opinion of her husband.