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Pope's, and others, he proceeded to a second, and by laying out far and wide, for letters of all sorts, he has now, I think, made them up 6 vols. When Charles found him so greedy of letters he translated three or four letters of Voiture's to Madlle. Rambouillet, &c., and sent them by the Penny Post to Curll as Pope's to Miss Blount, and Curll has not fail'd to publish them to the world as such.'-From a letter written by Mr. J. Plumtre to his wife Annabella, dated Jermyn Street, 1 May, 1744."
On turning to Burke's "Landed Gentry," we find notices of the Plumptre family. John Plumptre, Esq., of Nottingham (born in 1679, and died in 1751), married Annabella, eldest daughter of Sir Francis Molyneux, Bart., and had, with several other children, a son Charles, born in 1712, and afterwards D.D., Archdeacon of Ely, &c. Charles Plumptre, at the age of twenty-three, was likely enough perhaps to commit this hoax upon Curll, but the resemblance of the handwriting to that of Pope is remarkable. The form of the characters, the address in imitation of print, and the size and quality of the paper (small quarto), are precisely the same as those of the genuine Pope letters also in the Bodleian Library. Dr. Bandinell, and other gentlemen connected with the Bodleian, concurred with the editor in believing the spurious letters to be by Pope, but similarity of handwriting is a fallible test, and the poet should have the benefit of the doubt caused by Douce's extract. The spurious letters are bound up in a volume with the letters addressed to Henry Cromwell by Pope, and others received by Corinna (Mrs. Thomas) from Dryden, Norris of Bemerton, Lady Chudleigh, &c. Rawlinson (who was a voracious and indiscriminate collector) had most likely purchased the manuscripts from Curll after they had been printed. On one of the pages in the correspondence is a clever pen-and-ink drawing by Pope, representing a robed figure in an attitude of contemplation, under which Curll has written: "This figure is the delineation of Mr. Pope's penmanship. E. CURLL."
On the subject of these Voiture letters, we subjoin part of a communication, evidently from Pope, in the Grub-street Journal of January 8th, 1736:
"How unjustifiable is it, to speak in the mildest term, thus to
prostitute an author's name to three volumes of Letters, the first of which Mr. Pope has publicly disowned, and the two last can on no other ground be ascribed to this author but the insufferable assurance of the publisher of them. Not content with three volumes, he promises to trouble the world with another. It must, therefore, be highly reasonable to let those who have not an opportunity of examining before they purchase, know what they are likely to expect. C-l's second vol. has, I presume, been published long enough to be pretty well known. I shall, therefore, only say of it that there are contained in it, notwithstanding it bears the title of Mr. Pope's Literary Correspondence, only eight letters pretended to be his, besides two fragments of letters and some verses, which either are not Mr. Pope's, or have been often in print before. As to the third volume, though it bears the same title, it has still less plea to it, and Chas here exceeded his usual exceedings. If the single letter to the Duchess of Bucks be Mr. Pope's, I aver it to be the only one that is so in the whole volume. For though there are given four others-and but four-as Mr. Pope's to Miss B., any one may soon be satisfied with how little foundation it is, who will but consult Voiture's Letters, from which they are word for word transcribed, excepting only two or three words to adapt them more to these times, and a quotation from Shakspeare. Nay, so notorious is this re-publisher that they are not so much as transcribed anew from the French, but taken from an old English translation by one J. Davies, printed at London for T. Dring and J. Starkey in the year 1657. The letters are in Voiture the 13th, 14th, 36th, and 71st. Thus, neither the knowledge he professes to have of Voiture's writings nor the uncouthness of the language of this old translation (for he would be thought a judge of language in his prefixed letters signed S. E.), so very unlike that of Mr. Pope's, could deter this doughty re-publisher from endeavouring to foist these things on the world as Mr. Pope's; and to countenance all this he has prefixed a formal letter, as if these four letters came from a person who was possessed of some of Mr. Pope's writings, and he is ready no doubt, on being called on, to produce the originals. But if encouragement be given to such proceedings there will never be wanting crowds of plagiaries of this kind to pester the world with the gleanings of their hard-bound brains, and of their shallow readings."
The phrase "hard-bound brains" Pope had, in the Epistle to Arbuthnot, applied to Philips.
POPE'S GARDEN AND GROTTO.
PLAN OF POPE'S GARDEN AND GROTTO, BY J. SEARLE,
IN 1745 was published a slight pamphlet, entitled "A Plan of Mr. Pope's Garden, as it was left at the time of his death, with a Plan and Perspective View of the Grotto. All taken by J. Searle, his Gardener. With an account of all the Gems, Minerals, Spars, and Ores of which it is composed, and from whom they were sent. To which is added a Character of his Writings. London: R. Dodsley. Price 18. 6d."
EXPLANATION OF PLAN.
1. The Grass Plat before the House next the Thames.
2. The House.
3. The Under-ground Passage.
4. The Road from Hampton Court to London.
5. The Shell Temple.
6. The Large Mount.
7. The Stoves.
8. The Vineyard.
9. The Obelisk in Memory of his Mother.
10. Two Small Mounts.
11. The Bowling Green.
12. The Grove.
13. The Orangery.
14. The Garden House.
15. Kitchen Garden.
AN ACCOUNT OF THE MATERIALS WHICH COMPOSE THE GROTTO.
Over the Entrance from the Garden:
"Secretum iter et fallentis semita vita."-HOR.
1. At the entrance of the Grotto next the Garden are various sorts of stones, thrown promiscuously together, in imitation of an Old Ruin; some full of holes, others like honeycombs, which came from RALPH ALLEN'S, Esq., at Widcombe, near Bath. Several fine fossil and snake stones,
with petrified wood and moss in various shapes, from the petrifying spring at Nasborough [Knaresborough], in Yorkshire, by the Rev. D. KEY. Fine verd antique from Egypt, with several sorts of Italian sparry marble of divers colours. Amethysts; several clumps of different forms, with some fine pieces of white spar, from her Grace the Duchess of CLEVELAND, at Raby Castle, in Westmoreland [Durham]. Some fine pieces of German spar, intermixed with yellow mundic, with moss and some English pebbles. In the centre is a fine spring.
2. Flints, moss of many sorts, many pieces of Plymouth marble of different colours, from Mr. COOPER of that place. Several pieces of well-chosen things from the Glass-house. Several fine flakes of gold clift from Mr. CAMBRIDGE, with several fine pieces of white spar from the Duchess of CLEVE
3. Many small dice of mundic and tin ore. Two sorts of yellow-flaky copper; one showing, by the different strata of metal, that different masses of copper will, though concreted at different times, unite close into one globe or lump. Several groups of Cornish diamonds incrusted, semi-pellucid, and shot round a globe of yellow copper. Many thick incrustations of shot-spar of a yellowish cast, sprinkled with small cubes of mundic, lead ore, kallan, or wild iron. Many fine pieces of yellow mundic, several small Cornish diamonds, tinged with a blackish water, and others with a green water. Several large groups of Cornish diamonds, very transparent, from the Rev. Dr. WILLIAM BORLASE, of Ludgvan, in Cornwall. Many fine large pieces of red spar, out of Colonel Stapleton's lead mine, from GEORGE LYTTELTON, Esq. Fine petrifactions from GILBERT WEST, Esq., at West Wickham, in Kent. Fine incrustations from Mr. ALLEN's quarries; and several pieces of sparry marble, of different colours, from Plymouth; with many large Cornish diamonds, and other petrifactions: which form two fine rocks, with water distilling from them.
4. Fine sparry marble, from Lord EDGECOMBE's quarry, with different sorts of moss. Several fine pieces of the eruption from Mount Vesuvius, and a fine piece of marble from the Grotto of Egeria, near Rome; from the Rev. Mr. SPENCE. With several fine petrifactions and Plymouth marble, from Mr. COOPER. Gold clift from Mr. CAMBRIDGE,