Somewhat like Swift, Pope was loyal and kind to his friends and inoffensive to persons against whom he did not conceive a prejudice.
During his last fifteen years Pope's original work was done chiefly in two very closely related fields, first in a group of what he called 'Moral' essays, second in the imitation of a few of the Satires and Epistles of Horace, which Pope applied to circumstances of his own time.
He derived the ideas, in fragmentary fashion, from Bolingbroke, who was an amateur Deist and optimist of the shallow eighteenth century type, and so far was Pope from understanding what he was doing that he was greatly disturbed when it was pointed out to him that the theology of the poem was Deistic rather than Christian [Footnote: The name Deist was applied rather generally in the eighteenth century to all persons who did not belong to some recognized Christian denomination.
Yet after all that must be said against Pope, it is only fair to conclude, as does his biographer, Sir Leslie Stephen: 'It was a gallant spirit which got so much work out of this crazy carcase, and kept it going, spite of all its feebleness, for fifty-six years.
As the pseudo-classic spirit yielded to the romantic this judgment was modified, until in the nineteenth century it was rather popular to deny that in any true sense Pope was a poet at all.
Note: The judgments of certain prominent critics on the poetry of Pope and of his period may well be considered.
Still more hostile is Matthew Arnold: 'The difference between genuine poetry and the poetry of Dryden, Pope, and all their school, is briefly this: Their poetry is conceived and composed in their wits, genuine poetry is conceived and composed in the soul.
To the informal position of dictator of English letters which had been held successively by Dryden, Addison, and Pope, succeeded in the third quarter of the eighteenth century a man very different from any of them, one of the most forcefully individual of all authors, Samuel Johnson.
Sir Robert Walpole, ruling the country with unscrupulous absolutism, had now put an end to the employment of literary men in public life, and though Johnson's poem 'London,' a satire on the city written in imitation of the Roman poet Juvenal and published in 1738, attracted much attention, he could do no better for a time than to become one of that undistinguished herd of hand-to-mouth and nearly starving Grub Street writers whom Pope was so contemptuously abusing and who chiefly depended on the despotic patronage of magazine publishers.
Thou old pope," said here Zarathustra interposing, "hast thou seen THAT with thine eyes?
said then the old pope, with intent ears; "O Zarathustra, thou art more pious than thou believest, with such an unbelief
The table was laid in a vineyard belonging to the pope, near San Pierdarena, a charming retreat which the cardinals knew very well by report.
but it was a legate a latere, who came with a smile on his lips to say from the pope, `His holiness requests you to dine with him.
Then Caesar and the pope hastened to lay hands on the heritage, under presence of seeking for the papers of the dead man.
There were two palaces and a vineyard behind the Palatine Hill; but in these days landed property had not much value, and the two palaces and the vineyard remained to the family since they were beneath the rapacity of the pope and his son.