Mr. Perry yesterday continued his lectures on English Literature, his subject being "Pope." He discussed the Dunciad in detail and at some length, describing the literary enmities that had induced the composition of the work and giving some account of the victims "impaled like flies" who are now often remembered solely on this account. The concluding books are less personal than the first and the work ends with a very fine apostrophe. The coarse grossness of the Dunciad illustrates well the brutal spirit and thin polish of the century. After alluding to the pseudo-classical spirit that pervaded continental and English literature after the renaissance, Mr. Perry mentioned some of the questions that agitated the creeds of the day and led up to the state of mind in which Pope composed his "Essay on Man." It was "an attempt to vindicate the ways of God to man," and with such a necessarily large design the work was often rambling and incoherent. But though the thought is heterogeneous, it is warm, brilliant and clear, with all the charm of Pope's wonderful gift of expression.
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May 06, 2017