Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pope's Pen-portrait of Haywood

Alexander Pope included Haywood in his Dunciad (Book 2, ll. 149–56, 179–80; published 18 May 1728). The portrait is unflattering—which is no great surprise, Pope was a sexist pig—but it is one of the only pen-portraits we have. And for this reason, although it is a poisonous pen, it is quoted with tedious regularity in relation to Haywood. Here is the text:

  See in the circle next, Eliza plac'd,
  Two babes of love close clinging to her waste;
  Fair as before her works she stands confess'd,
  In flow'r'd brocade by bounteous Kirkall dress'd.
  Pearls on her neck, and roses in her hair,
  And her fore-buttocks to the navel bare.
  The Goddess then: "Who best can send on high
  The salient spout, fair-streaming to the sky;
  His be yon Juno of majestic size,
  With cow-like-udders, and with ox-like eyes."
  Thou [Curll] triumph'st, victor of the high-wrought day,
  And the pleas'd dame soft-smiling leads away.

152. Kirkall, the Name of a Graver. This Lady’s Works were printed in four Volumes duod. with her picture thus dressed up, before them.

The features mentioned (a low-cut brocade dress and a rose in her hair) make it clear that Pope had seen the Vertue engraving, or the Parmentier painting on which it is based, before he penned these lines. (For more about the portrait, see this post.)

* * * * *

The following poem was written as a response to The Dunciad. I think it should be quoted just as regularly in relation to Pope. The poem appeared in The Daily Journal (28 May 1728) under the title "Alexander Pope's Nosegay: or, The Dunciad Epitomiz'd" (a transcript is available online here. I have glossed the blanks, as appropriate.).

If the following Verses, at first Sight, be thought too gross for a Place in your Paper, you'll however not refuse it that Favour, when you find it to be the faithful Contents of a Piece, lately publish'd, intitled the DUNCIAD, from P. 18, to P. 34. The whole of which is certainly the most filthy and indecent Instance of the True Profund that ever defiled the English Language. If, as a great Poet says, Want of Decency is Want of Wit, I am sure nothing can be a greater Instance of Folly than the DUNCIAD, and nobody can be so fit to exhibit the intended Progress of Dulness, as the Author of it.
I am, Sir,
Yours, &c. A. B.

First Jove strains hard to give Ambrosia Vent,
And wipes the Ichor from his F—da—nt.
C—l's Vomit, and his Mistress's Discharge
By Stool and Urine, next are sung at large.
Then with her T—d our Bard embrowns C—l's Face,
   [turd, Curll
And fills with Stench the Strand's extended Space.
Eliza's Breasts, in Language most polite,
Are two Fore Buttocks, or Cows Udders hight.
Ch—d by C—l at Pissing overcome,
   [Chetwood, Curll
Crown'd with a Jordan, stalks contented home.
But who can bear the Stink from muddy Streams
Of Fleet-Ditch, rolling Carrion to the Thames?
Or the foul Images he draws from Jakes?
Or what a Dutchman plumps into the Lakes?

Thus P—e is dwindled to a Bog-house Wit,
And writes as filthy Stuff as others sh—.
Who reads P—e's Verses, or Dean Gully's Prose,
Must a strong Stomach have, or else no Nose.

The poem was reprinted in Gulliveriana; Or, A Fourth Volume of Miscellanies (1728), 315–16.

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