[POPE, Alexander]. Sober Advice from Horace to the Young Gentlemen about Town …. Together with the original text, as restored by the Rev’d. R. Bentley. London: T. Boreman, . 2° (318 x 228mm). Parallel Latin and English texts with duplicate pagination. (Title lightly soiled at margins, some creasing at inner margin.) Early 20th-century green half morocco, uncut. Provenance: Henry Carlisle Tuttle (bookplate); Gerald E. Slater (his sale, Christie’s New York, 12 February 1982, lot 138).
TUTTLE-SLATER COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. An explicitly sexual and personally allusive poem, published 21 December 1734 and seldom reprinted. Boreman paid the large sum of 60 guineas for the copyright. By publishing anonymously and not with Gilliver, Pope could more easily deny having written this “impudent satire” which savagely caricatures Lady Mary Wortley Montagu as Fufidia, the woman who “thirsts and hungers only at one end”. Speaking generally of the concealing dresses of women, he comments: “A Lady’s Face is all you see undress’d;/ For none but Lady M---- shows the Rest”. There is also more gentle sexual comedy, reminiscent of the Rape of the Lock. A lover must overcome obstacles in the shape either of relatives or of a woman’s stays: ”Danger on Dangers! Obstacles by dozens !/ Spies, Guardians, Guests, old women, Aunts and Cozens!/ Could you directly to her Person go,/ Stays will obstruct above, and hoops below,/ And if the Dame says yes, the dress says no.” Walpole is another of Pope’s targets, and the pretence is made that the notes are by the classical scholar, Richard Bentley. Foxon P968; Griffith 347.
POPE, A. Horace his Ode to Venus. Lib. IV. Ode I. London: for J. Wright, and sold by J. Roberts, 1737. 2° (324 x 204mm). Parallel Latin and English texts. Quarter dark red morocco by Whitman Bennett, New York.
AN ATTRACTIVE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. In view of his age, Pope pleads with Venus to stop assaulting him with amorous desires. “I am not now, alas! the man/ As in the gentle reign of My Queen Anne.” Instead he bids the Goddess “To Number five direct your doves”, a reference to 5 King’s Bench Walk, the chambers of his younger friend, William Murray, later first earl of Mansfield. The fifty-year-old poet’s “extended dream” of renewed love with Martha Blount ends in comic rather than tragic disappointment: “Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,/ And now you burst, (ah cruel!) from my arms.” He had, indeed, been a different man in the reign of Queen Anne. Writing to Cromwell about the beauty of Martha and Teresa Blount, 21 December 1711, he remarked: “How gladly wou’d I give all I am worth, that is to say, my Pastorals for one of their maidenheads, and my Essay for the other?” I wou’d lay out all my poetry in Love” (Corr. i. 137). Foxon P896; Griffith 443.