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The Works of Alexander Pope - Volume 2

Alexander Pope

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . having been offered to a bookseller, you had the good nature for my sake to consent to the publication of one more correct. This I was forced to before I had executed half my design, for the machinery was entirely wanting to complete it." Warburton reversed the parts. The requester was Pope, and Miss Fermor gave a consent which it was vain to refuse when the sole alternative presented to her was whether the poem should be printed surreptitiously, or under the supervision of its author. The miserable farce of circulating copies of a work, and then alleging that the publication had become a necessary measure of self-defence, was one of those transparent pretences which deceived no one except the person who fancied that he was deceiving. Pope never wrote a line of the smallest value which was not intended for the printer.

The motto from Martial was doubtless attached to the Rape of the Lock in the belief that Miss Fermor would be proud to countenance the misrepre. . . Read More