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WILL OF POPE'S FATHER.
with laurel, and the several inscriptions, have all the force and beauty of one of his best wrote satires. Nor is there less expression in the bearded philosopher sitting by a fountain running to waste, and blowing up bubbles with a straw, from a small portion of water taken out of it in a dirty dish; admirably representing the vain business of school philosophy, that, with a little artifical logic, sits inventing airy arguments in support of false science, while the human understanding at large is suffered to lie waste and uncultivated."
In a communication with which we have been favoured by Mr. Stoneham, he mentions that in the painting itself there are not only all the particulars of the engraving, but a full-length figure of a rake reflecting amongst the ruins of Rome "Roma Eterne." He is seated on a stone under a tree growing out of the ruins, and over his head is the inscription Sic transit gloria mundi. Above this is the death's head crowned with laurel; and at the feet of the penitent rake lies the upper portion of a statue inscribed Viro Immortali. His dress, once fashionable, is patched and torn, his looks are haggard and miserable, he is partly supported by a staff, and kneeling down close to the troughs where he has just fed the swine, he joins his hands and appears in the attitude of prayer. In his left hand is a scroll containing a sketch of the parable of the Prodigal Son, and the corner of the scroll shades the letters Im of the inscription Capitoli Immobile Saxum, thereby changing it to mobile. The right arm of the figure rests on the moulding of the plinth or pedestal of the statue inscribed Viro Immortali. There are other interesting points in the picture. Perhaps the incongruity of mixing up the Scripture parable with the ruins of Rome led Pope to reject the figure of the Prodigal Son from the drawing copied by the engraver for the Essay on Man.
THE WILLS OF POPE'S FATHER AND MARTHA BLOUNT.
IN the name of God, Amen. I, ALEXANDER POPE, of Binfield, in the county of Berks, gentleman, being in health of body and of perfect mind and memory, make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following: Impri
mis, I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, trusting through the merits of Christ to receive eternal salvation. For my worldly estate, I dispose thereof as followeth: Item, I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving wife, Editha Pope, the furniture of her chamber, rings, and jewels. Item, I bequeath unto my said wife the sum of Twenty Pounds. Item, I give and bequeath to my son-in-law, Charles Rackett, and to my dear daughter, Magdalen, his wife, to each of them the sum of Six Pounds for mourning. All the rest of my estate, real and personal, my goods, chattels, lands, tenements, and hereditaments whatsoever, but more especially my rentcharge out of Mr. Chapman's estate, viz., out of the manor of Ruston and elsewhere in the county of York, and my lands and tenements in Binfield, in the county of Berks, and in Windsham, in Surrey, I do give and bequeath unto my dear son and only heir, Alexander Pope. And I do hereby make, constitute, and appoint the said Alexander Pope sole executor of this my last Will and Testament, revoking all other wills whatsoever. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this ninth day of February, Anno Domini 1710. ALEXANDER POPE.
Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the said Alexander Pope to be his last Will and Testament, in the pre
[The Will was proved by the Executor on the 8th of November, 1717. The name of the last attesting witness should probably be Mary Beach, that of the poet's nurse; but the signature is very indistinct.]
IN the name of God, Amen. I, MARTHA BLOUNT, of Berkeley-row, in the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, in the county of Middlesex, spinster, do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following: Impri
WILL OF MARTHA BLOUNT.
mis, I give to my god-daughter, Mrs. Tichborne, the sum of One hundred pounds. I also give to Matthew Swinburne, Esq.,10 the sum of One hundred pounds. I give to Mrs. Ann Blount the sum of Fifty pounds, and forgive her the debt she owes me. I give to my maid, Mary Brown, Fifty pounds and all my wearing apparel, linen and woollen, with the furniture of my bedchamber and dressing-room. I give to my other maid Five pounds. I give to Eleanor Aylmer, my former servant, Thirty pounds. For other proper expenses, I leave to the discretion of my Executor. All the worldly goods and effects I die possessed of (after these legacies are paid) I give to my dear nephew, Michael Blount, of Mapledurham, in the county of Oxford, Esquire, whom I constitute my full and sole Executor and Administrator of this my last Will and Testament. In witness of which I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 13th day of December, in the year of our Lord 1762.
Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of the underwritten witnesses:
I desire my nephew, Michael Blount, to give Miss Betty Hookell my silver tea-kettle and lamp for her great kindness to me; and Mr. Trustdale 51. 5s. besides his bills, for his kind attendance on me. Dec. 21, 1762.
[The Will was proved by the oath of Mr. Blount, the Executor, on the 18th of July, 1763-six days after the death of the Testator. Teresa Blount seems to have died intestate.]
9 Martha Blount's brother married the daughter and co-heir of Sir Joseph Tichborne, of Tichborne, Hants.
10 Sir William Swinburne, the second baronet of Capheaton, Northumberland, married, in 1697, Mary, daughter of Anthony Englefield, Esq., of Whiteknights, Berks, the maternal grandfather of Martha Blount.
"Probably the sister or daughter of Nathaniel Hooke the historian, with whom Pope and Martha Blount were very intimate.
FAMILY OF MR. EDWARD BLOUNT, POPE'S FRIEND.
MR. EDWARD BLOUNT (who has hitherto been strangely confounded with Mr. Michael Blount, of Mapledurham, the brother of Teresa and Martha Blount) was of the Sodington branch of the illustrious family now represented by Sir Edward Blount, Bart. Sir Walter Blount, the zealous Royalist in the time of Charles I., and the second Baronet of the family, after his release from the Tower, seems to have gone down to Blagdon House, parish of Paignton, Devonshire, on a visit to his eldest son, George, afterwards Sir George Blount, who had married Mary, sole daughter and heiress of Sir William Kirkham, of Blagdon, Knight. Here, in all probability, Sir Walter ended his days, for he was buried in Paignton Church, 29th August, 1654.
Sir George Blount had various children:
1. Sir Walter Kirkham Blount, who died without issue at Ghent, in Flanders, May 12, 1717.
2. George (who died in 1732, aged 80) married first to Mary, d. of Henry Earl of Thomond, by whom he had no issue. Secondly, to Constantia, d. of Sir George Cary, of Tor Abbey, Devonshire, by whom he had three sons and five daughters. Two of the sons died in infancy; the third, Edward, succeeded his uncle, Sir Walter Kirkham Blount, as fourth Baronet. Of his five daughters, 1, Constantia, m. Sir John Smyth, of Acton Burnell, in Salop; 2, Mary, m. Mr. Edward Dickenson, of Wrightington, in Lancashire; 3, 4, 5, Anne, Elizabeth, and Catherine, all died at Cambray unmarried.
3. William Blount. ["Here lyeth the body of William Blount, Esq., Third Sonne of Sir George Blount of Soddington, Baronet, who dyed in the 21 yeare of his age on y 9th of May, 1671."-Inscription on flat stone in the Chancel of Binfield Church.]
4. EDWARD BLOUNT, the friend and correspondent of
FAMILY OF EDWARD BLOUNT.
Pope. On the death of Sir George, in 1667, the Devonshire property, acquired by his marriage with the heiress of Kirkham, was settled on his fourth son, Edward, who about the year 1700 married Ann, daughter of Sir John Guise, of Rentcombe, Gloucestershire. Pope dates one of his letters to Mr. Blount from Rentcombe:
"Rentcombe in Gloucestershire, Oct. 3, 1721.
"Your kind letter has overtaken me here; for I have been in and about this country ever since your departure. I am well pleased to date this from a place so well known to Mrs. Blount, where I write as if I were dictated to by her ancestors, whose faces are all upon me. I fear none so much as Sir Christopher Guise, who, being in his shirt, seems as ready to combat me, as her own Sir John was to demolish Duke Lancaster. I dare say your lady will recollect his figure. I looked upon the mansion, walls, and terraces; the plantations, and slopes, which nature has made to command a variety of valleys and rising woods, with a veneration mixed with a pleasure, that represented her to me in those puerile amusements which engaged her so many years ago in this place. I fancied I saw her sober over a sampler, or gay over a jointed baby. I dare say she did one thing more, even in those early times: 'Remember her Creator in the days of her youth.'
By this lady Edward Blount had four daughters and no issue male. Pope, in one of his letters to Martha Blount, mentions the marriage of Viscount Dunbar to the daughter of Lord Clifford, and states that one of the agents in the affair was Mr. Edward Blount, "who, it was thought, might have provided for that noble Viscount much better out of his own family." Mr. Blount's family, however, was amply, even nobly, provided for. Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, was married in his lifetime in 1725 to the Hon. Hugh Clifford, who, upon the death of his father in 1730, became Lord Clifford. Mary, the second daughter, in November, 1727, married the Hon. Edward Howard, who upon the death of his brother in 1732, became Duke of Norfolk. "She graced that high station," says Sir Alexander Croke, "by the beauty and dignity of her person and the splendour of her wit and talents, and died in 1773." Mrs. Edward Blount, widow of the poet's friend, went abroad with her two unmarried daughters and