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1688, May 211709-17381744, May 30
an 18th-century English poet. He is best known for his satirical verse, as well as for his translation of Homer. Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after William Shakespeare. An Essay on Criticism was first published anonymously on 15 May 1711. Pope began writing the poem early in his career and took about three years to finish it. At the time the poem was published, the heroic couplet style in which it was written was a moderately new genre of poetry, and Pope's most ambitious work. An Essay on Criticism was an attempt to identify and refine his own positions as a poet and critic.
 Timeline (1)
05/15/1711-Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism is first published, anonymously
 Dictionary Citations (11) • View in Dictionary
Arrant: Originally a variant of errant, wandering, present participle of Latin errare, to stray. The original form ...
Badeen: Frivolous, jesting. Via French badine, silly, from Late Latin badare, to gape. Its only literary use is in ...
Bathykolpian: Deep-bosomed. Also bathykolpic; Greek bathos, deep + kolpos, breast. Both forms have been used spelled with...
Bubble-bow: An 18th century fashionable case for a lady's tweezers and the like. Used by Alexander Pope; explained by A...
Cit: Short for citizen. Also citt. Feminine (used by John Dryden, 1685) , citess; Johnson (1751) used cit as a f...
Cosins: An 18th century style of stays, named from the maker. Alexander Pope in THE ART OF POLITICKS (1729) inquire...
Forfex: A pair of scissors. The Late Latin word, used humorously in English, as in Alexander Pope's THE RAPE OF THE...
Irremeable: Without possibility of return. Latin ir, in, not + re, back + meare, to go, pass. This word, used from the ...
Nous: This Greek word for intellect (nous, noos, mind) was used in English, 17th into the 19th century, for commo...
Phantomnation: An illusion; the appearance of a spectre. The word itself was originally a phantomnation; it was first reco...
Prunella: A strong material (originally silk, later worsted) used for students', clergymen's, and barristers' gowns a...
 Mentions (22)
John Arbuthnot
...both Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels book III and Alexander Pope's Peri Bathous, Or the Art of Sinking in Poetry,...
James Bramston
...Horace, and The Man of Taste (1733), in imitation of Alexander Pope. He also parodied Phillips's Splendid Shilling...
Henry Brooke [2]
...forgotten Universal Beauty was published in 1735, and Alexander Pope thought its sentiments and poetry fine. He then...
Colley Cibber
...adapted from various sources, which led Robert Lowe and Alexander Pope, among others, to criticise his "miserable mutilation"...
Charles-Pierre Colardeau
...notable works are an imitation of Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope and a translation of the first two sections of...
William Collins
...odes mark a turn away from the Augustan poetry of Alexander Pope's generation and towards the Romantic era which would...
Thomas Cooke
...active English translator and author who ran afoul of Alexander Pope and was mentioned as one of the "dunces" in Pope's...
Wentworth Dillon
...quite free from the indecencies of his contemporaries. Alexander Pope, who seems to have learnt something from his...
Elijah Fenton
...now best known as the assistant of his neighbour, Alexander Pope, in his translation of the Odyssey, of which he 'Englished'...
Charles Gildon
...errors with them. He is remembered best as a target of Alexander Pope's in both Dunciad and the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot...
Luise Gottsched
...translated The Spectator (9 volumes, 1739–1743), Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock (1744) and other English and French...
Susanna Highmore
...with great wit and polish, one being a pastiche of an Alexander Pope poem. Despite these hints at Highmore's skill,...
Leigh Hunt
...Dryden, in opposition to the epigrammatic couplet of Alexander Pope which had superseded it. The poem is an optimistic...
Jean de La Bruyere
...to speak with a disdain only surpassed by that of Alexander Pope.
David Mallet
...as a private tutor. There he became friendly with Alexander Pope, James Thomson, and other literary figures including...
Thomas Parnell
...Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman who was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He spent much of his time...
James Ralph
...known for his works of history and his position in Alexander Pope's Dunciad B. His History of England in two volumes...
Lewis Theobald
...Shakespeare, and he was the first avatar of Dulness in Alexander Pope's The Dunciad.
William Walond Sr.
...from Christ Church, Oxford in 1757. His setting of Alexander Pope's Ode on St Cecilia's Day had served as his exercise....
William Warburton
...death. He edited editions of the works of his friend Alexander Pope, and of William Shakespeare. At Brant Broughton...
Leonard Welsted
an English poet and "dunce" in Alexander Pope's writings (both in The Dunciad and in Peri Bathos). Welsted was an accomplished writer...
Robert Wilks
..."triumvirate" of actor-managers that was denounced by Alexander Pope and caricatured by William Hogarth as leaders...
 Quotes (85) • View in Quotations
'Tis education forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.
'Tis not enough your counsel still be true; Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do.
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead.
A God without dominion, providence, and final causes, is nothing else but fate and nature.
A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.
A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
A wit with dunces, and a dunce with wits.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
An honest man's the noblest work of God.
And all who told it added something new, and all who heard it, made enlargements too.
And die of nothing but a rage to live.
At ev'ry word a reputation dies.
Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed was the ninth beatitude.
But Satan now is wiser than of yore, and tempts by making rich, not making poor.
Education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
Extremes in nature equal ends produce; In man they join to some mysterious use.
Fools admire, but men of sense approve.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
For Forms of Government let fools contest; whatever is best administered is best.
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight, His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.
Genius creates, and taste preserves. Taste is the good sense of genius; without taste, genius is only sublime folly.
Gentle dullness ever loves a joke.
Get place and wealth, if possible with grace; if not, by any means get wealth and place.
Happy the man whose wish and care a few paternal acres bound, content to breathe his native air in his own ground.
Health consists with temperance alone.
Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
Honor and shame from no condition rise. Act well your part: there all the honor lies.
Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot? The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense, and love the offender, yet detest the offence?
I find myself hoping a total end of all the unhappy divisions of mankind by party-spirit, which at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.
If a man's character is to be abused there's nobody like a relative to do the business.
In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold; Alike fantastic, if too new, or old: Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
Know then this truth, enough for man to know virtue alone is happiness below.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man.
Lo! The poor Indian, whose untutored mind sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.
Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around!
Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain, our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain; awake but one, and in, what myriads rise!
Man never thinks himself happy, but when he enjoys those things which others want or desire.
Many men have been capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.
Men must be taught as if you taught them not, and things unknown proposed as things forgot.
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Nature and nature's laws lay hid in the night. God said, Let Newton be! and all was light!
Never elated when someone's oppressed, never dejected when another one's blessed.
Never find fault with the absent.
Never was it given to mortal man - To lie so boldly as we women can.
No one should be ashamed to admit he is wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
No woman ever hates a man for being in love with her, but many a woman hate a man for being a friend to her.
Not to go back is somewhat to advance, and men must walk, at least, before they dance.
Of Manners gentle, of Affections mild; In Wit a man; Simplicity, a child.
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.
On wrongs swift vengeance waits.
One science only will one genius fit; so vast is art, so narrow human wit.
Order is heaven's first law.
Our passions are like convulsion fits, which, though they make us stronger for a time, leave us the weaker ever after.
Party-spirit at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.
Praise undeserved, is satire in disguise.
Pride is still aiming at the best houses: Men would be angels, angels would be gods. Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell; aspiring to be angels men rebel.
Remembrance and reflection how allied. What thin partitions divides sense from thought.
Satan is wiser now than before, and tempts by making rich instead of poor.
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through Nature up to Nature's God.
Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.
Teach me to feel another's woe, to hide the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head.
The difference is too nice - Where ends the virtue or begins the vice.
The learned is happy, nature to explore; The fool is happy, that he knows no more.
The most positive men are the most credulous.
The ruling passion, be it what it will. The ruling passion conquers reason still.
The same ambition can destroy or save, and make a patriot as it makes a knave.
The vulgar boil, the learned roast, an egg.
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.
There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.
They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.
Those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves.
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
To observations which ourselves we make, we grow more partial for th' observer's sake.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can.
Trust not yourself, but your defects to know, make use of every friend and every foe.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease.
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
Woman's at best a contradiction still.
 Contemporaries
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53
Alexander Pope1688, May 211709
 
17381744, May 30

Francisco de Artiga16501670
 
17111711
 an engraver, an architect, a mathematician, and an author of reputation. He painted several 'Siby...
Haquin Spegel1645, Jun 141670
 
17141714, Apr 17
 a religious author and hymn writer who held several bishop's seats for the Lutheran Swedish Churc...
William Dampier1651, Sep1673
 
17151715, Mar
 the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia, and the first person to circumn...
Naphtali Cohen16491690
 
17181718
 a Russo-German rabbi and kabalist born in Ostrowo in Ukraine. He belonged to a family of rabbis i...
Thomas Parnell1679, Sep 111705
 
17181718, Oct 24
 an Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman who was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He ...
Seamus O Fearghailunknown1711
 
 
1718unknown
 an Irish poet and scribe, fl. 1711-1718. Paul Walsh (priest) wrote of him in 1920: "James O Farr...
Samuel Schotten16441685
 
17191719, Jul 5
  He became Rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1685. Shmuel Schotten HaCohen was born ...
Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach1656, Jul 201671
 
17231723, Apr 5
 an Austrian architect, sculptor, and architectural historian whose Baroque architecture profoundl...
Richard Boultonunknown1697
 
1724unknown
 a physician and author from England. Boulton was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and for s...
Isaac Newton1642, Dec 251665
 
17261726, Mar 20
 an English physicist and mathematician (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who ...
Cotton Mather1663, Feb 121685
 
17261728, Feb 13
 a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphle...
George Sewellunknown1713
 
 
17261726
 an English physician and poet, known as a controversialist and hack-writer. In early life Sewell ...
Richard Blackmore1654, Jan 221682
 
17271729, Oct 9
 an English poet and physician, is remembered primarily as the object of satire and as an example ...
Daniel Defoe1660 ca1697
 
17281731, Apr
 an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer, and spy, most famous for his novel Robinson C...
David Nieto16541702
 
17281728, Jan 10
 the Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community in London, later succeeded in this capac...
Colen Campbell1676, Jun 151712
 
 
17291729, Sep 13
 a pioneering Scottish architect and architectural writer, credited as a founder of the Georgian s...
Samuel Izacke of Devonunknown1720
 
 
1729unknown
 a Chamberlain of the City of Exeter and an antiquarian. He was the son of Richard Izacke (c.1624...
Captain Charles Johnsonunknown1720
 
 
1729unknown
  the British author of the 1724 book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most n...
Seon Mac Solaidhunknown1720
 
 
1729unknown
 an Irish poet and scribe. A native of Harmanstown, parish of Stackallen, County Meath, Paul Walsh...
Sean O Cathainunknown1720
 
 
1729unknown
 an Irish scribe. Little is known of Ó Catháin. He transcribed Trí Biorghaoithe an Bháis – ...
William Wake1657, Jan 261716
 
 
17371737, Jan 24
 a priest and Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England from 1716 until his death in 1737....
Tobias Fitchunknown1720
 
1739unknown
 wrote a journal of his mission from Charleston to the Creeks. Succeeded Colonel Chicken as Indian...
John Bowackunknown1730
 
1739unknown
 a British topographer, for many years a writing-master at Westminster School. In 1705-6, when liv...
George Englandunknown1730
 
1739unknown
 an English divine and author. England was a member of the England family which flourished at Yarm...
John Zenger1697, Oct 261730
 
17391746, Jul 28
 a German American printer and journalist in New York City. Zenger printed The New York Weekly Jou...
Hristofor Zhefarovich1690 ca1730
 
17391753
 an 18th-century painter, engraver, writer and poet and a notable proponent of Pan-Slavism. His na...
Melchior de Polignac1661, Oct 111683
 
17421742, Nov 20
 a French diplomat, Cardinal and neo-Latin poet. During the last years of Louis XIV, Abbé de Pol...
John Atkins16851703
 
17421757
 a British Royal naval surgeon. Atkins published two books, both of which have had more than one e...
Richard Tipperunknown1709
 
1742unknown
 an Irish scribe. Richard Tipper lived at Mitchelstown, parish of Castleknock, County Dublin. He l...
Alain-Rene Lesage1668, May 61695
 
17431747, Nov 17
 a French novelist and playwright. Lesage is best known for his comic novel The Devil upon Two Sti...
Charlotte-Catherine Patin1672 ca1683
 
17441744
 a 17th- and 18th-century French writer and art critic. Granddaughter of medical doctor and letter...
John Potter1674 ca1737
 
17471747, Oct 10
 the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Church of England from 1737-1747. He was the son of a linen...
Gavril Stefanovic Venclovicunknown1680
 
1749unknown
 a Serbian priest, writer, poet, orator, philosopher, and illuminator. He was one of the first and...
Jonathan Swift1667, Nov 301690
 
17491745, Oct 19
 an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Torie...
Johann Heinrich Zedler1706, Jan 71727
 
17491751, Mar 21
 a bookseller and publisher. His most important achievement was the creation of a German encyclope...
John Wood the Elder17041725
 
17541754, May 23
 an English architect, working mainly in Bath. In 1740 he surveyed Stonehenge and the Stanton Drew...
Aaron Hart16701692
 
17561756
 the first chief rabbi of the United Kingdom and the rabbi of the Great Synagogue of London from 1...
Simon Awad16831708
 
17561756, Feb 12
 the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch from 1743 to his death in 1756, remembered as an Arab writer. I...
Samuel Richardson1689, Aug 191706
 
17581761, Jul 4
 an 18th-century English writer and printer. He is best known for his three epistolary novels: Pam...
Francesco Vanneschiunknown1732
 
1760unknown
 an Italian opera manager, director and librettist. He was known as having been active as a libret...
Edward Young16811713
 
17621765
 an English poet, best remembered for Night-Thoughts. Young is said to have been a brilliant talke...
Richard Brookesunknown1721
 
1763unknown
 an English physician and author of compilations and translations on medicine, surgery, natural hi...
Firmin Abauzit1679, Nov 111698
 
17671767, Mar 20
 a French scholar who worked on physics, theology and philosophy, and served as librarian in Genev...
Laurence Sterne1713, Nov 241737
 
17681768, Mar 18
 an Irish novelist and an Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels The Life and Opinion...
Johann Joachim Quantz1697, Jan 301716
 
17691773, Jul 12
 a German flutist, flute maker and composer. He composed hundreds of flute sonatas and concertos, ...
Enrique Florez1701, Feb 141716
 
17701773, Aug 20
 a Spanish historian. At 15 years old, he entered the order of St Augustine. He subsequently becam...
David Hume1711, Apr 261736
 
17711776, Aug 25
 a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highl...
James Ferguson [3]1710, Apr 251720
 
17731776, Nov 17
  a Scottish astronomer, instrument and globe maker. It is, as the inventor and improver of astron...
Voltaire1694, Nov 211713
 
17781778, May 30
 a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the ...
Jose Francisco de Isla1703, Apr 241722
 
17811781, Nov 2
 a Spanish Jesuit, celebrated as a preacher and a humorist and satirist of the stamp of Miguel de ...
Cesar-Francois Cassini de Thury1714, Jun 171735
 
17841784, Sep 4
 a French astronomer and cartographer. His chief works are: La méridienne de l’Observatoire Roy...
Benjamin Franklin1705, Jan 61718
 
17891790, Apr 17
 one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading aut...
Horace Walpole1717, Sep 241737
 
17971797, Mar 2
 an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. He had Strawberry Hill...
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