Pope and Martial: The Myth of Pelops And Belinda’s ‘Iv’ry Neck’

Pope and Martial: The Myth of Pelops And Belinda’s ‘Iv’ry Neck’ ABSTRACT Very little attention has been paid to Alexander Pope’s debt to the work of Martial. This article assembles evidence to demonstrate three things. First, that there was continuing interest in the Epigrammata, displayed by friends such as Swift, Prior, and Gay among others. Second, that Pope showed first-hand knowledge of the poet on more occasions than we had suspected, many of them congregated in the earlier phase of his life. Third, that there are many more places on his oeuvre where close parallels with Martial can be detected, both among his own exercises in the genre of epigram and within his poems generally. On a single occasion a larger intertextual connection can be suggested. This is set up by the motto to The Rape of the Lock, which quotes the first distich of a lesser-known epigram by Martial (12.84). The second and concluding couplet of this item invokes the story of Pelops, whose mutilated body was resurrected by the Fates, and made whole by them with the aid of an ivory shoulder to replace the one devoured by Demeter. A parallel is thus established with the ‘iv’ry Neck’ of Belinda. It was the Fates who had hidden from the heroine the ‘dire Disaster’ and permitted the ‘fatal Sheers’ to do their work. Belinda’s plea for the lock to be restored aligns her with Pelops, spared by the gods to found the great house of Atreus that played so a large a role in Greek literature and mythology. One might suppose that every allusion to the poets in the work of Alexander Pope had been traced. However, we hear very little about the presence of Martial in his writings. Scholars have devoted exhaustive treatment to Pope in relation to many classical authors: Homer, most obviously, along with Horace, Virgil, and Ovid. To this group Howard Weinbrot added detailed commentary on links with Juvenal, Persius and even the fragments of Lucilius.1 Statius has come into the reckoning as Pope translated the first book of the Thebaid while still in his teens. The possibility exists that he was drawn to the elegies of Tibullus in his mature years. It has sometimes been thought that Lucretius left considerable marks on An Essay on Man. Underlying the conclusion of The Rape of the Lock is the translation by Catullus of a mostly lost poem by Callimachus on the locks of Berenice, and there are stray moments elsewhere when we may be able to detect the voice of Catullus or Propertius. In the case of Martial, however, there is a deafening silence. Weinbrot’s book contains only one reference in passing, taken from an eighteenth-century commentator on Johnson. More surprisingly perhaps, the single work which has done most to document the literary impact of ancient authors on Pope, that is Reuben Arthur Brower’s study of ‘the poetry of allusion’, devotes not a single syllable to the epigrammatist—although one explanation could be that Brower largely ignores the epigrammatic side of Pope.2 Equally, J. P. Sullivan’s useful run-through of ‘Martial and English Poetry’ considers editions, translations and imitations from the Tudor age down as far as Ezra Pound, but it does not stop on authors such as Matthew Prior where the influence was diffuse as much as direct. The omission is significant insofar as Prior was Pope’s main rival and model among contemporary poets (especially in the less grand genres such as epigram) during his earlier career.3 Sullivan offers a brief comment on Swift and Pope: Although both…translated an epigram of Martial's, his influence on their concise epigrammatic couplets had already been mediated by the earlier epigrammatists. The Augustan refinement of taste, with its highly poetic vocabulary, its euphemisms and periphrases, would not find the same attractions in Martial as did the Elizabethans and Jacobeans.4 This judgment seems to reflect the present unspoken consensus, on Pope at least: he was too ‘Augustan’ (polished, devious, stylized in idiom) to need to borrow from the plainspoken, spontaneous-seeming and brutally explicit Martial. His methods were more congenial to the ‘undisciplined and rambunctious’ idiom of the Elizabethans. Nevertheless, Sullivan did allot Pope a fair amount of space in the anthology that he compiled for the ‘Penguin Poets in Translation’ series in 1996 (completed after his premature death by A. J. Boyle).5 Here Sullivan makes the significant observation that Pope was ‘influenced greatly by the Roman Augustan poet Horace, whom he openly acknowledged in a series of creative translations, Imitations of Horace (1733-8). His debt to Martial is less overt, but perhaps more profound.’6 The support for this view comes in the form of thirteen short passages occupying four pages. Two of these are epigrams whose source in Martial is admitted. Then comes the description of Belinda’s toilet, from the first canto of The Rape of the Lock. Three epitaphs are included, among them the famous couplet notionally designed for Isaac Newton’s tomb in Westminster Abbey. The remaining seven items are brief lines taken from the poet’s correspondence, most famously the verses on the two young lovers killed by lightning that Pope sent to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in 1718. No clear principle is set out for admitting these particular examples out of the poet’s large collections of epigrams.7 The most surprising omission is an item written probably right around the time of the Rape, imitating Epigrammata 10.47 (henceforth Ep). In addition, several well-known pieces which might appear to offer an equally strong case for admission find no place in the anthology. Among these is the one addressed to Henrietta Howard, ‘On a Certain Lady at Court’ (published 1732), which makes gentle sport with the lady’s deafness, as a virtue at a court ridiculed by gossip and intrigue. This ties her disability to public attitudes, in a manner familiar to readers of Martial’s ‘willingness to poke fun at physical infirmities and social contretemps.’8 Other contenders might be the cheerful obscenity of lines such as those on the hapless poet laureate: ‘Cibber! Write all thy Verses upon Glasses, / The only way to save ’em from our Asses.’9 Most obviously of all, there is a distich engraved on the collar of the dog which Pope presented to Frederick Prince of Wales, ‘I am his Highness’ Dog at Kew; / Pray tell me Sir, whose Dog are you,’ which has just the right mix of cheek towards those in power and wordplay to match the methods of Roman author.10 A comparison can also be made with Martial, Ep 2.18, ‘To Maximus’, beginning ‘Capto tuam, pudet heu, sed capto, Maxime, cenam’, in which the poet deplores his servile state before a powerful patron. The link becomes closer in the translation by James Michie (1973), which substitutes dogs for the more neutral nouns comes and anteambulo in the Latin text: I’m your spaniel, I’m the toady to your every pompous whim. You court a richer patron. I dog you and you dog him.11 Michie may be recalling the image cluster of spaniels and fawning in Shakespeare, first pointed out by Caroline Spurgeon, but in any case his version brings out the central idea found in Pope. As Harold Beaver observed in the fullest exploration of the Kew poem, ‘It is with the assurance of being a top-dog—at a regal, rural retreat—that these facts, it seems, can be so confidently rehearsed. His theme is that of proprietorship. As his Highness owns the dog, so the dog owns to the collar which puts this formal statement and question. The question propounded is: who owns whom?’12 Beaver sees a contest acted out between alternative owners and speakers (the dog, the collar, the poet). The last two lines in the Latin are rendered by Michie, ‘To be a slave is bad enough, but I refuse to be / A flunkey’s flunkey, Maximus. My master must be free.’ The dog Bounce that Pope gave to Frederick might be allowed to utter similar sentiments. On one occasion, Pope provides a mirror image of the scene dramatized in a well known item, Ep 1.33, ‘Amissum no flet cum sola Gellia patrem’, which describes a woman who never mourns her deceased father in private, but gives way to highly visible tears when in public. In a poem by Pope (possibly with Nicholas Rowe), the situation is inverted. ‘On a Lady who P--st at the Tragedy of Cato; Occasion’d by an Epigram on a Lady who Wept at it’ (1713), shows Celia sitting with dry eyes at a performance of Addison’s hit play Cato while others among the audience are in floods. But though her pride restrains her tears, ‘The gushing Waters find a Vent below.’ Thus secretly she mourns, like twenty river gods with their urns: ‘Let others screw their Hypocritick Face, / She shews her grief in a sincerer Place’ (TE 6.99). Where Gellia reserves her show of mourning for public show, Celia conceals the genuine but invisible feelings of grief she feels for Cato. The terse and sometimes elliptical manner of his verses made Martial a favourite source for mottos. Addison and Steele regularly enlisted his writings for this purpose in periodicals such as the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, as well as sometimes inserting their versions of the epigrams within the text. A clear sign of the visibility of Martial at the moment when the Rape appeared is the use of two verses from Ep 1.22 and 1.60, set between the claws of a lion whose effigy was placed outside Button’s coffee house. Here contributions to the Guardian could be deposited in the lion’s mouth. This was erected in July 1713, when Pope was at work on the five-canto version of the Rape. Then in the following September he cited Ep 3.58 at the start of his famous essay on gardening which appeared in Guardian 173 (the Latin poem had been the model in part for Ben Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’). Despite the congruences just noted, there is some excuse for overlooking Pope’s interest in Martial. In what follows I shall set out briefly the facts surrounding this possible aspect of his literary heritage. Second, I shall identify a number of locations within the oeuvre where we can plausibly detect influence, generally of the less overt kind to which Sullivan points. In the last section of the article I shall consider one more pervasive case of intertextuality, deriving from the use of a distich from Martial as epigraph to the Rape—the poem which most insistently recalls the Roman author. I It is almost inconceivable that Pope did not spend time getting to know Martial during his early teens, as a part of his extensive ‘rambles…through the poets…especially Latin ones of any note’, as he told Joseph Spence.13 Had he been allowed the opportunity to undergo a traditional schooling, either at a great college such as Eton or Winchester, or a well-established grammar school, he would certainly have encountered a selection of the epigrams, and possibly been encouraged to attempt the form himself in Latin or Greek.14 In addition he would have come across what was already a large corpus of English translations and imitations, including the vigorous renderings of Ben Jonson and the more courtly approach exemplified by Cowley. (He would much later refer to one of Cowley’s versions.) Campion, Herrick, Thomas May, and Crashaw figure among other writers who undertook to turn Martial into the vernacular. There is abundant evidence that these were the kind of model to whom the young poet devoted attention in his formative years.15 A single copy of the epigrams is known to have been in Pope’s collection, but it was a good one, and it survives in the Hurd library at Hartlebury Castle. The entry in Maynard Mack’s finding list of Pope’s books, no. 113, supplies the title and an ownership inscription: ‘Martial. M. Valerii Martialis Epigrammata. Ed. Cornelius Schrevel. Leyden: Francis Hacke, 1656. 8o. On the flyleaf in Pope’s hand: Ex Libris Alex, Popei. Pr. 4s.’16 This was one of the first variorum editions, first issued in 1661, with abundant notes and a comprehensive index: it was dedicated to the great scholar Johann Friedrich Gronov or Gronovius (1611–1671), at that date professor of Greek at Leiden, to whom we shall return shortly. The editor was Cornelis Schrevel (1608–1664), M.D., known in scholarly usage as Cornelius Schrevelius, who succeeded his father Theodor, humanist and author, as rector of the Latin faculty at Leiden in 1642. He was renowned especially for his Lexicon manuale græco-latinum et latino-græcum (1654) which went through innumerable editions, including one by John Field at Cambridge in 1668, and became the basis for the most widely used school dictionary in England and America during the nineteenth century. Significantly Pope owned three more of Schrevel’s Leiden editions of Latin authors, that is his Ovid in three volumes (1662); his Juvenal and Persius (1664); and his Terence (1669), found in Mack’s ‘Finding List’, 128, 100, 156. What is more, he had a Quintilian (1665), begun by Schrevel and completed by Gronovius (141). Most striking is the fact that the library contained Schrevel's Iliad and Odyssey (1656), gifted by Sir John Trevor in 1715—just as Pope’s Homer first entered the world (85). The bibliographical details point towards Pope’s contacts with classical scholarship. In The Dunciad he makes a number of onomastic jokes, and elsewhere he employed nomenclature that provides a link to commentators on Martial. We can find here an explanation for the choice made by John Arbuthnot and Pope to give the name Cornelius to the father of their satiric creation Martinus Scriblerus. At the very start of the Memoirs, Cornelius is described as a ‘grave and learned Gentleman, by Profession an Antiquary’, a German scholar who belonged to the ‘ancient Pedigree of the Scribleri.’17 The phonetic similarity in the surnames immediately calls to mind Petrus Scriverius or Peter Schrijver (1576–1660), the Dutch editor and historian whose daughter Cornelius marries. In that case, moreover, a semantic witticism goes along with the aural echo: Schrevelius is Latinized Dutch for scrivener, and Scriverius for writer.18 The Memoirs describe a visit to Peter at Haarlem, where he was born; he studied under the master of the Latin school there, another aptly named scholiast, Cornelius Schonaeus or Schoon (1540–1611), before migrating to Leiden.19 Among the contributions Scriverius made to scholarship were notes on Martial incorporated in his edition M. Val. Martialis nova editio. Ex museo Petri Scriverii, accompanied by P. Scriverii animadversiones in Martialem (1618–1619). Ben Jonson’s annotated copy of the 1619 text survives. Returning to the links between Martinus and Cornelius Schrevelius, we can see an obvious parallel in the paternal lineage that lies behind the scholarly vocation of each man. Moreover, Gronovius has a further connection in addition to the one just mentioned: he could easily be drawn into the act, because as a native of Hamburg he was a north German like Cornelius Scriblerus, born in Münster. On top of this, Pope’s copy of Statius (Mack, ‘Finding List’, 155), on which he probably based his early translation of Book I of the epic, was one published in Leiden in 1671, and incorporated material from the edition by Gronovius (1653). Johann’s son Jakob was also a classical scholar, whose Thesaurus graecarum antiquitatum (Leiden, 1697–1702) may have proved useful to Pope during his work on the translation of Homer—one more patriarchal line. The evidence suggests that Martinus was given his name and his antiquarian background in relation to at least three scholars active in the Netherlands (Schrevelius, Scriverius, and Gronovius)—all of whom had advanced the study of the Epigrammata. Characteristically, Pope was sporting with the very authorities on whom he depended. However, the edition by Schrevelius was not the only place in his library where Pope could have found something by Martial. In fact, the very next item alphabetically in Mack’s ‘Finding List’ (114) is relevant. This is Opera et fragmenta veterum poetarum Latinorum (1713), published in two volumes by a small consortium including Jacob Tonson. Pope probably acquired the set quite soon after its publication. The editor was the former Westminster schoolmaster Michael Maittaire, and this formed an appendage to the famous ‘Maittaire classics’ issued in duodecimo by Tonson and printed by John Watts (1713–1719), where Martial appeared in 1716. The folio collection offers a bumper book of Latin poetry, dramatic and non-dramatic, in the span of more than 1750 double-column pages: it is a little like the Norton anthology without the notes. The complete series of Martial’s epigrams, including the interpolated run designated books 13 and 14, appear almost immediately after Juvenal. Maittaire includes a very short life of the author, taken from the humanist Petro Crinito. While there is no reason to believe that Maittaire (once scheduled to appear in the Dunciad, until ‘spar’d’ when Pope’s friend Lord Oxford intervened) had given any specially close attention to Martial, it is a useful working assemblage of the epigrams. The terse elliptical manner of his verses had made Martial a favourite source for mottos. Addison and Steele regularly enlisted his writings for this purpose in periodicals such as the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, as well as sometimes inserting their versions of the epigrams within the text. One of the clearest testimonies to the visibility of Martial at the moment when the Rape appeared is the use of two verses from the Epigrammata between the claws of a lion whose effigy was placed outside Button’s coffee house. Here contributions to the Guardian could be deposited in the lion’s mouth. This was erected in July 1713, when Pope was at work on the five-canto version. Then in the following September he cited Ep 3.58 at the start of his famous essay on gardening which appeared in Guardian 173 (the Latin poem had been the model in part for Ben Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’). There are only a few references to Martial in the correspondence. The heaviest concentration appears in the earlier years, and none is of huge moment. One reference confirms the attribution to Pope of the version he made of the Ep 10.23, first published in 1717, an item present in Sullivan’s anthology (TE vi.167). Others show Pope able to trot out apposite citations in the manner then expected of a precocious schoolboy.20 Spence’s generally helpful anecdotes offer little beyond the allusion to Cowley’s rendering already mentioned.21 The text of the poems contains just one implied compliment, in the New Dunciad of 1742: ‘How many Martials were in Pult’ney lost!’ (TE 5.357)—but even this concentrates its energies more on the English follower, William Pulteney, than on his inspiration. Not a syllable on the subject of Martial appears on any of the 950 pages of Maynard Mack’s immensely thorough biography. II Perhaps we have been looking in the wrong places or for the wrong things. We must start with the obvious genre, epigram. However, one of the two commonly accepted pieces, as confirmed by their presence in the Sullivan anthology, is a dubious ascription. Entitled ‘Upon the Duke of Marlborough’s House at Woodstock’, it certainly bears very close comparison with Ep 12.50. Anonymously published in three Curll miscellanies between 1714 and 1731, it was first assigned to Pope in an edition of his works in 1777. A much more plausible case than for Pope or Swift (to whom it has also been attributed) exists for Rev. Abel Evans, and the Twickenham editors were right in my view to exclude the item. The author may also have recalled the end of Ep 5.34, rendered by Peter Porter with Martialesque wordplay, ‘Don’t be severe and tread on her with gravity, / She never did on you.’22 Other items that found their way into Sullivan’s anthology seem to have earned their place because of a teasing use of double entendre, though there is no close match in any single set of verses in Martial. An example is the ‘Rondeau’ (c.1710), tripping daintily around ‘a thing of little size, / You know where’ (TE vi.61). But we might find more echoes of the Latin poet’s voice if we look elsewhere, at items which deal with poetasters and plagiarists. For instance, ‘Epigram from the French’, published in the Miscellanies in 1732, runs as follows: ‘Sir, I admit your gen’ral Rule / That every Poet is a Fool: / But you yourself may serve to show it, / That every Fool is not a Poet’ (TE vi.347). This has exactly the tone of easy contempt found in the lines by Martial, Ep 12.63 (‘I could bear it if a good bard did this [committed plagiary]; one I could visit with pain in his turn…nothing [is] more safe than a bad poet’).23 Another motif that recalls Martial is what might be called physical revenge: thus in a riposte to Lord Hervey and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who had ‘cry[d] out your Back is round,’ he continues, ‘I answer thus – poor Sapho, you grow grey, / And sweet Adonis – you have lost a Tooth’ (TE vi.357). One of the most widely recognized attributes of Martial’s poetry is his heavy reliance on sententiae and maxims. Dozens of his epigrams offer a generalization about human life to strengthen the local argument of the poem: for example, in Ep 5.81, ‘dantur opes nulli nunc nisi divitibus.’24 Similarly Pope’s occasional verse is stuffed with proverbs and bywords, often slyly altered in their phrasing: an entire branch of rhetoric known as gnomonology could be brought to bear on his shorter items. For example, the clinching conclusion to an epigram entitled ‘On Cibber’s Declaration that he will have the Last Word with Mr. Pope’ (1741) reads, ‘For know, the last Word is the Word that lasts longest’ (TE vi.397), an obvious play on the familiar saying, ‘He who laughs last laughs longest’, first recorded in the early seventeenth century. This tendency to use not just simple aphorisms but acknowledged proverbial forms is a particular feature of Pope’s ballads—one reason to suggest that careful study of these largely neglected items would show some impress from Martial. We certainly need to go beyond the narrow category of epigrams. An obvious instance is the ‘Ode on Solitude’, one of Pope’s earliest works. A cursory examination of the text will throw up parallels with one of Martial’s best known poems, Ep 10.47: Sullivan’s anthology contains no fewer than fifteen English imitations and translations, more than any other selection in the volume.25 Many of these are modern, right up to a stylish version by Peter Porter, but the earlier poets include Surrey, Jonson, Fanshawe, and Cowley. We need to have the complete Latin text: Vitam quae faciant beatiorem, Iucundissime Martialis, haec sunt: Res non parta labore, sed relicta; Non ingratus ager, focus perennis; Lis numquam, toga rara, mens quieta;   5 Vires ingenuae, salubre corpus; Prudens simplicitas, pares amici; Convictus facilis, sine arte mensa; Nox non ebria, sed soluta curis; Non tristis torus, et tamen pudicus;   10 Somnus, qui faciat breves tenebras: Quod sis, esse velis nihilque malis; Summum nec metuas diem nec optes. What Pope supplies is patently less close than the versions which set out to render the original in a literal or closely paraphrastic fashion. Rather, it draws on the original to supply an allusion to Martial, bending the verses to a more specific purpose (solitude, rather than happiness at large), and adding a more autobiographic inflection. The overall tone is different, partly because of the more lyrical impression left by the stanzaic form. Nevertheless, the details and their ordering constantly recall Martial: witness the ‘paternal acres’ (2), recalling ager (4), phonetically and etymologically connected; ‘health of body, peace of mind’ (11), closely mirroring the Latin (5–6), though Juvenal’s famous phrase ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ could equally have been in Pope’s head; the innocence of ‘sweet recreation’ (14), as set out in the epigram (7 ff); and the closing emphasis on sound sleep, as a preparation for a quiet and unfearsome death (13–16, 18). It could be argued that this belongs one of the most familiar topoi in Renaissance literature, embodied in the beatus ille poem.26 The most precise origin can be found in Horace’s second Epode, again translated by Jonson amongst others. In addition, some of the key ideas occur in a passage from Horace’s Satires, 2.6, ‘oc erat in votis’, whoch Swifthh hoc erat in votis’—one which Swift imitated in 1714 and Pope completed in 1738. Unquestionably Pope would have been aware of the use made of this theme by his predecessors. The Twickenham editors are surely wrong to state that ‘In spite of its Horatian quality, no specific poem can be identified as the original, or inspiration, of the Ode’ (TE vi. 4), though they rightly add that some of the classical echoes could derive from Cowley’s translations of a group of Latin poems in his Essays, in Verse and Prose. The truth seems to be that Pope started from the Epode, paraphrasing many of its seventy lines, with a full awareness of what Jonson, Fanshawe, and Dryden among others had done with the text—Pope possibly recalled Dryden’s phrase ‘Their small paternal field of corn.’ Cowley did indeed produce an incomplete version of the beatus ille text, attached to his essay ‘Of Agriculture’, but no close verbal resemblance to Pope’s verses is apparent. Significantly, Cowley remarked in the course of this essay that he would content himself with three references to Horace on the happiness of rural existence, ‘and shall forbear to collect the suffrages of all other poets, which may be found scattered up and down through all their writings, and especially in Martial’s.’27 One index of the currency of Martial’s poem on the happy man is the fact that Surrey’s version was among his compositions reprinted in the hugely influential collection of songs and sonnets known as Tottel’s Miscellany (1557).28 The question is not whether Pope knew these forerunners to his own lines: the only issue is whether he identified Martial as a precise and particular model. The parallels listed above suggest that he did, for some of the content such as the mention of a peaceful death does not figure at all in either of the Horatian texts just mentioned, or in their English imitations. Several familiar portions of the Epode are conspicuously absent both in Martial’s recension and in the ode that Pope composed, with its quiet inflections on Horace. All this is to neglect, as Sullivan and other authorities do, a poem at first entitled ‘The Happy Life of a Country Parson. In Imitation of Martial’ (TE vi.110–11). Pope seems to have written this around 1713, but did not publish it until it came out in the Miscellanies in 1727. From 1736 he included it in his Works as an imitation of Swift. It is a brisk and funny updating of Ep 10.47, written in colloquial octosyllabics, and satirizing the cosy life of a rural clergyman (‘On Sundays preach, and eat his fill’). This is looser than most renditions of the Latin, using the form of the original as a basis on which to string pointed allusions—in other words, it is a typical imitation in the manner familiar within Augustan poetics. None the less, it has claims to be the most successful raid on Martial that Pope ever undertook, and it is one that probably dates from the very year that Pope was engaged on the five-canto Rape of the Lock. We have tended to make one mistake in seeking out signs of influence. This is to suppose that, since Martial confined himself almost exclusively to short forms such as epigram, with allied branches of poetry such as epitaph and dedicatory lines, we must restrict ourselves to Pope’s output of occasional verse. In fact echoes can be found in substantial items such as the Imitations of Horace and the Moral Essays, where they may be overwritten by the wider poetic context. To name just a single example, the famous portrait of Lord Hervey as Sporus in the Epistle to Arbuthnot carries so many historical references and personal jokes that it is easy to lose sight of its literary models. The cruelly specific charges have become almost too familiar: Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss, And he himself one vile Antithesis. Amphibious Thing! that acting either Part, The trifling Head, or the corrupted Heart! Fop at the Toilet, Flatt'rer at the Board, Now trips a Lady, and now struts a Lord.    (TE iv.119) Readers of Martial will easily perceive a likeness to passages such as Ep 1.24, where the seemingly macho individual with a fearsome scowl turns out to have been a bride yesterday. A closet homosexual way of life is uncovered in Ep 1.90, ‘Quod numquam maribus’, although this time the individual exposed is female. While such effects might be found in other poets such as Juvenal, they are characteristic of Martial’s most curt and vicious items. The Imitations of Horace, to which the poem to Arbuthnot served as a pendant, sometimes show Martial creeping into Pope’s version of the earlier Roman writer. Thus his rendition of the satire directed to the countryman Ofellus contains lines about living on a reduced income after dispossession by big landlords. The way Pope decorates the sense of the verses in Horace here (Satire 2.ii.132–8) seems to owe something to Ep 1.55: In South-sea days, not happier, when surmis’d The Lord of thousands, than if now Excis’d; In Forest planted by a Father’s hand, Than in five acres now of rented land. Content on little, I can piddle here On Broccoli and mutton, round the year.     (TE iv.65) This recalls Martial’s epigram (3–4), possibly filtered through the expressive version that Cowley appended to his essay ‘Of Liberty’ (see n. 27 above). The clinching mode of ending we find in the Epigrammata, sometimes to round off a single distich, is likely to occur as a medial climax in Pope’s longer works. Finality in the Latin is achieved through the use of the slightly shorter second line in the elegiac couplet; in English this commonly matched by rhyme and antithesis. Thus in An Essay on Criticism, Pope builds up an entire verse paragraph on the vagaries of literary fashion to prepare for the damning final couplet, ‘And Authors think their Reputation safe, / Which lives as long as Fools are pleas’d to Laugh’ (449–50). The paradox engendered by employing the phrase ‘as long as’ for a brief moment in time is an especially Martialeque touch, as in Ep 2.77: ‘sed tu, Cosconi, disticha longa facis.’ However, it is The Rape of the Lock which most clearly displays Pope’s skill in punctuating his narrative with pointed, often antithetical statements to dramatize the situation. A celebrated instance occurs at the end of Canto 4, with Belinda’s heartfelt cry: ‘Oh hadst thou, Cruel! Been content to seize / Hairs less in sight, or in any Hairs but these!’ (iv.176). The presence or absence of hair as a sexual giveaway had been observed by Martial (see Ep 6.56). In the English example, there is a hint of coyness which would not be typical of the Latin poet, but this is apt since it proceeds from the contrast between the seeming innocence of the heroine and the obvious connotations of the second verse. Martial could have made much the same joke—except that he seldom explores the lives of inexperienced maidens. Instances such as these show that Sullivan was exactly right in pointing to a body of influence upon Pope that was perhaps profound in its varied impact, but tantalizingly far from overt in many places. Together they indicate that Martial formed part of the poet’s mental furniture, as he did for educated readers of the time. Apart from the items confessedly based on one of the Epigrammata, these scattered examples offer for the most part fleeting echoes, suggestive parallels in phrasing, similarities in verbal technique and allusions to popular idiom, shared satiric motifs, and closely allied themes. What none of them has quite shown is a full measure of intertexuality, that is the use of a particular passage by Martial that lies at the heart of a considerable work by Pope, and requires us to take account of the full context in the Latin. In one case we may be able to fill this gap. III The poem in question is The Rape of the Lock. In the earliest two-canto version of 1712, Pope set on the title-page two lines taken from the first distich of what is in the standard collection Ep 12.84, simply replacing the vocative form ‘Polytime’ with the heroine’s name: ‘Nolueram, Belinda, tuos viiolare capillos, / Sed juvat hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. / Mart. Lib. 12. Ep. 86.’ (I was loathe to violate your locks, [Polytimus], but now I am pleased to have granted your entreaties.)29 In the expanded five-canto version of 1714, he substituted a single line from Ovid: ‘a tonso est hoc nomen adepta capillo’. Then, in the collected Works of 1717, the original motto was restored, where it appeared in the same prominent position on a bastard title-page. Only the erroneous identification of the epigram is dropped. This was the case for every collection of the Works until Warburton’s in 1751, which placed the lines at the head of the poem below the title. All subsequent editions have preserved the original motto. In neither case have scholars spent much time on these epigraphs. The Twickenham editor, Geoffrey Tillotson, did at least consider briefly the possible relevance they hold to our reading of the poem. The original application to Martial, he states, made two suggestions. One was that ‘(if the words were Pope’s) that Belinda had asked him to write the poem – a suggestion which had little weight in view of ‘…This Verse to C[aryl]l, Muse! is due’; and the second that ‘(if the words were the Baron’s) that Belinda, as the poem hinted elsewhere, was willing to marry him.’ Tillotson may have favoured the second explanation, judging by his comment that ‘Pope substituted a motto from Ovid in 1714 but brought back the Martial one in 1717 when it cannot possibly have been offensive’, presumably because Baron Petre had been dead since 1713, and Arabella Fermor safely married since (probably) late 1714, thus rendering the malicious gossip stale and no longer titillating (TE ii.92–3). Similarly Whitwell Elwin, in his almost wholly unsympathetic account of the Rape, suggests that the motto was originally used ‘in the belief that Miss Fermor would be proud’ to accept the poem as complimentary. In the event the poet would have been guilty of hateful abuse ‘if he had penned a word which could sully the reputation of an innocent maiden.’ When Pope found he had miscalculated his aims and her response, he substituted the lines from Ovid, ‘and when their temporary withdrawal had answered his purpose he restored them in the quarto version of his works.’30 Warburton must have accepted the first explanation offered by Tillotson, since his note at the opening of the Rape in 1751 begins, ‘It appears, by this Motto, that the following Poem was written or published by the Lady’s request’, going on to add that ‘The Author sent it to the Lady, with whom he was acquainted; and she took it so well as to give about copies of it.’ Every part of Warburton’s note cited here is suspect, and in any case the first explanation rests on an unduly literal reading of the motto, which would imply that Arabella had asked Pope to write in praise of her hair rather than her attributes at large. It would also supply a different account of the poem’s origins and motivation than the one that Pope continued to offer in his preface ‘To Mrs. Araballa Fermor.’ The second explanation raises even greater difficulties, since it would allow the fictional Baron to triumph in his actions and justify his behaviour, where the poem brings him to defeat, humiliation and death, inflicted by a girl able to subdue him with the flick of ‘one Finger and a Thumb’ (iv.80). Taken in isolation, neither interpretation appears plausible. It will be convenient to dispose of the short-lived Ovidian epigraph first. The line comes from the Metamorphoses (viii.151), and the immediate context begins with the words, ‘in avem mutantur mutatis Ciris.’ So we are dealing with the transformation of Scylla into a sea-bird, when she took the name Ciris, ‘the shearer.’ This alludes to her act in cutting off a magical strand from the head of her father Nisus: it was his hair which guaranteed the safety of his kingdom of Megara. She gave the trophy to the besieging general Minos, whom she loved, but who rejected her. As a punishment she was turned into the bird ciris and was pursued by her father, now transformed into sea-eagle. The real etymology derives from Greek κɛϊρις, but Pope’s quotation might allow room for the idea that Belinda’s star will be named after her following her own transformation. However, there is an obvious twist, since the ravisher here is a woman and her victim a man who later seeks revenge. That interpretation is unflattering to both the principals in the Rape: it casts Belinda as a monarch easily betrayed by one who should be trustworthy, and the Baron as a girl driven into violence by love. The locus in Ovid was explicitly linked to the poem as a whole, since Pope actually referred to it in Canto III: Ah cease rash Youth! Desist ere ’tis too late, Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla’s Fate! Chang’d to a Bird, and sent to flit in Air, She clearly pays for Nisus’s injur’d Hair!    (iii.121–4) The voice here is that of the poet, adjuring the rash Baron just before he air Hair commits the fatal deed. As just observed, the sex of the violator and the victim have been reversed, the kind of transformation in which the Rape delights. Like Scylla, the lord faces rejection from the one he desires. But there is a difference. Though Scylla’s actions were dictated by her love for Minos, the object of her attack was her father, and her motive not sexual possession but the keys to the kingdom. Putting the poetic narrative into a context within the Metamorphoses makes obvious sense. Everyone realises how big a part shape-changing, myth and magic play in the Rape, not to mention sexual high jinks. The conclusion of the poem echoes the translation of the soul of Caesar to the heavens at the end of Ovid’s work (xv.843–50). Yet Pope quickly dispensed with the motto and reinstated Martial in the banner of his text, itself an act of restoration just as the poem pretends to restore Belinda’s lock and thus Arabella’s reputation. The epigram in question must have held some literary significance. IV To see what this might be, we need to look at the second distich and see how this relates to the first two lines. The epigram consists of two elegiac couplets, in their entirety: Nolueram, Polytime, tuois violare capillos, Sed iuvat hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. Talis eras, modo tonse Pelops, positisque nitebas Crinibus ut totum sponsa videret ebur. It will be apparent that the first two lines concern a situation in the here and now, while the two latter open out by means of a comparison to a wider world of mythology—a movement familiar to us from the Rape, where the limits of allusion are stretched far beyond the petty doings of minor socialites in the English home counties. The story called up is that of Pelops and his ivory shoulder, to be described more fully presently. The grammar moves into a past imperfect tense, but the verses hint at a less remote time when Polytimus was able to display his dazzlingly white torso to his bride. A feature we can easily miss is that Martial does not actually specify the crucial body part in the myth of Pelops. He assumes that his readers know the episode, and chooses to end with the stark and initially surprising word for ivory, ebur. This brief item, which comes close to the end of the main sequence of Epigrammata, has never been among those frequently translated or imitated, either in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries or today. It does not figure centrally in commentaries on Martial’s oeuvre, and this is another reason to suppose that Pope had read his target author very carefully. Among the most effective English versions is this rendition, free but faithful to the spirit of the original, by a skilled modern translator, Anthony Reid: You begged me, boy, to cut your flowing hair And, after all, I’m glad I heard your prayer. For you’re like Pelops now, and older, You show the beauty of an ivory shoulder. Reid gets his key phrase, ‘ivory shoulder’, at the moment of closure. As we have seen, Martial does not refer directly to the shoulder of Pelops, but in a modern translation the allusion would be completely lost to most readers if the translator were not to put in crucial details of the story. Pelops hardly figures among the most familiar members of the Greek pantheon today, and to recover the aspects of his myth that Pope may have wished to lodge in our consciousness we must briefly rehearse the main grounds for his fame in antiquity. ‘He was a hero worshipped at Olympia and believed to be the eponym of the Peloponnese. As a child, he was killed and served up by his father Tantalus, in order to test his guests the Gods. Only Demeter, grieving the loss of her daughter, failed to notice, and ate part of his shoulder; the other Gods restored him to life and replaced him with ivory.’31 In some versions it is the Fates who carry out the surgery to afford Pelops a prosthetic shoulder. We might have expected the tale to have more resonance than it actually possesses in modern times. For one thing, Pelops supposedly gave his name to the entire southern region of mainland Greece, literally ‘the island of Pelops.’ A second reason is that Tantalus was condemned to his eternal punishment in Hades, still part of current knowledge, because of his contumacious behaviour in presenting the gods with a stew in which his own son floated. Many writers made use of the myth.32 In the first Olympic Ode Pindar refers to the ivory shoulder, as it struck those beholding the scene when Clotho pulled Pelops out of the cauldron. It was Clotho, youngest of the Fates, who spun the thread of human life and decided when death should come to an individual. The word fate(s) occurs fifteen times in the text of The Rape of the Lock, most emphasizing the ineluctable course of events. To take some of the more obvious examples: ‘But what, or where, the Fates have wrapt in Night’ (ii.104); ‘Anxious, and trembling for the Birth of Fate’ (ii.142); ‘Oh thoughtless Mortals! ever blind to Fate’ (iii.172); ‘Fate urg’d the Sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain’ (iii.151); ‘A Sylph too warn'd me of the Threats of Fate’ (iv.165). One of the attributes of the Fates was a pair of shears, paralleled in the poem by the ‘fatal Sheers’ so decisive for Belinda’s own history; and it is they who have concealed from her the ‘dire Disaster’ impending (ii.103–4).) By reactivating the story of Pelops through such an allusive device, Pope would be able to underline the way in which shearing off the lock initiated the working out of destiny, controlled by the Moirai as they clipped the threads of life. In fact, Pelops was a key figure in the legendary lore of the ancient world for quite another reason. As the father of Atreus, he spawned a line of the major characters who people Greek literature. His progeny in the second generation included Agamemnon, Menelaus, Iphigenia, Orestes and Electra. Thus the whole curse of the house of Atreus which fills the work of the great tragedians stems immediately from the line of Pelops. In the period that the Rape was written, no one with any reasonable degree of classical education would have been ignorant of these associations of the hero. Pope himself was long familiar with the passage in Book II of the Iliad describing the golden sceptre of Agamemnon, contrived by Vulcan, and its descent from Jove through Pelops, Atreus, the latter’s brother Thyestes, and his son Agamemnon (TE vii.133–4). He actually parodied this passage in Rape v.89–96. The passage in Pope’s rendition ends, ‘And now the mark of Agamemnon’s reign, / Subjects all Argos, and controls the main.’ The sceptre had become a symbol of the house of the Atrides, as its members acquired power over much of Greece. This genealogy is essential to an understanding of several tragedies that concern the Atrides, but it also underlies the family quarrel that set off the events of the Iliad. Anybody who knew the epigram well enough to recall, however distantly, its concluding couplet would understand how the allusion opens out the imaginative space from the intimate and diurnal concerns of the first two verses. As everyone knows, it is the principal poetic business of the Rape to make this move from a bijou object like a pair of scissors, used to snip fabric in needlework, to the great engines of war: ‘Steel cou’d the Labour of the Gods destroy, / And strike to Dust th’imperial Tow’rs of Troy’ (iii.173–4). Closer inspection of the verses enhances their relevance to the context of the Rape. After his body was made whole again, Pelops entered on a relationship with Hippodamia, daughter of the king of the region later known as Olympia, ousting alternative lovers and killing the king. In other words, ‘Pelops himself prospered greatly, and had six sons by Hippodamia.’33 The implied prophecy is for Belinda to prosper, despite the loss of her lock, at the expense of the ravisher. On one reading of the poem, she will triumph in perpetuity as her lock is transported to the heavens, while the Baron is condemned to a miserable end. In the myth the victim is male and the one who unwittingly consumes and mutilates part of his body is female: Pope slyly inverts these roles. As the epigram intimates, the white shoulder of Pelops resembles that of Polytimus, once his hair has been trimmed. In both cases there is a strong sense of sexual availability, enhanced by the new restored bodily part. Ivory figures twice in the Rape. The famous description of Belinda’s toilet in Canto I contains the lines, ‘The Tortoise here and Elephant unite, / Transformed to Combs, the speckled and the white’ (i.135–6). Much more significant is a familiar passage early in Canto II: This Nymph, to the Destruction of Mankind, Nourish’d two Locks, which graceful hung behind In equal Curls, and well conspir’d to deck With shining Ringlets the smooth Iv’ry Neck. (ii.19–22) This is the first mention of the fateful locks hanging down from Belinda’s head. What matters more here is their setting on her ‘Iv’ry Neck.’ Whenever we encounter a white neck in early modern literature, it is seldom located physically or semantically far from a snowy bosom. To take a single example, in Charles Cotton’s travesty of Lucian, Burlesque upon Burlesque: or, The Scoffer Scoft (1675), the description of the charms of Venus contains the lines, ‘What a white Neck! What Breasts! What Shoulders! / Belly and Back to catch beholders!’34 Neck and shoulders are almost always sexually charged attributes when a woman’s body is described, and may even represent nothing more than a polite periphrasis for her breasts. Pope has already referred to Belinda’s ‘white Breast’ (ii.7), and the similitude in colouring with her neck can be no coincidence. The erotic potential established here will appear later in the poem, when Belinda resolves to shear off the remaining lock of the pair which had attracted notice when hanging down towards her shoulders: ‘These, in two sable Ringlets taught to break, / Once gave new Beauties to the snowie Neck’ (iv.169). The survivor now ‘sits uncouth, alone’, as it ‘the fatal Sheers demands’, and ‘tempts’ he Baron’s sacrilegious Hands’ (iv.169–73). Every phrase here carries strong associations not just of violation but of sexual temptation, to which the rapist had succumbed—implying that fit punishment for his crimes would be those meted out to Tantalus in the myth of Pelops.35 Martial had made explicit the opportunity of Polytimus to show off to his bride the fair skin that had previously been hidden by his flowing mane, thus rivalling the (literally) ivory shoulder of Pelops. This would appear to be a gesture of sexual invitation, something that the Rape leaves ambiguous in terms of Belinda’s desires and her self-presentation. V It is time to draw the threads together to see how they may help to make sense of the epigraph to the Rape. As we have seen, Pelops had his body and his life restored. Near the climax of her story, Belinda cries out, ‘Restore the Lock!’ (v.103), but the coveted trophy is not to be found. The hair has seemingly disappeared, until on the authority of the muse it emerges into sight as a new star in the heavens. Of course this means that Belinda’s mythological standing is enhanced; but this is not quite the same thing as saying that Arabella Fermor’s reputation has been magically made whole once more. Even if Pelops came well out of his ordeal, his renewed life would lead ultimately to vast personal and public upheavals, not least the Trojan War. The family quarrel that John Caryll wanted his friend Pope to settle in a good humoured way has been forced into some uncomfortable conjunctions by the allusive methods of the poem. Another question we might ask is whether someone will be punished for their offences, as Tantalus and Scylla were? The obvious victim would be the Baron, but as we know he had departed the scene before the full version of the Rape came out. Possibly, as Elwin and Tillotson thought, Pope felt in 1714 that the wounds were too recent to emphasize Lord Petre’s misbehaviour, so that he inserted the motto from the Metamorphoses, but considered that these had healed by 1717, when he reinstated the two lines from Martial. But is Pope himself the transgressor, in exposing this embarrassing episode to the world? Elwin certainly believed that he ought to have felt contrition for what he had done. In sober historical fact, it is probably true that Arabella suffered more acutely than anyone else: Lord Petre’s prospects for an opulent marriage were not damaged (he married a fifteen year-old heiress within months of the publication of the original work), whereas Arabella made a more modest match than the bright union of socialites that had once beckoned her. If we look at the entire epigram, it is hard to see how Pope is expressing any regret at what he had done, or is doing any more for Arabella than complimenting her for having come through with her personal charms undiminished. In selecting this fairly obscure item for his epigraph, Pope seems to have wanted to add further epic weight to his narrative. It is debatable how far he wished readers to recall the story of Pelops—and perhaps by implication the fate of Tantalus (torture and punishment figure strongly in Cantos II and IV, especially), or even the destiny of the line of Atreus—an outcome which could not have occurred if the youth had not been brought back to life for reconstructive surgery. In mock-heroic terms, such mythical accretions would aggrandize the baneful aspects of the rape. The poetic conduit for such an effect was opened up by the comparison that Martial made between the shearing of Polytimus and the mutilation of Pelops—an enlargement of imaginative scale that Pope regularly sought to achieve in mock-epic. The plausibility of this case would be less if we could cling to the belief that Martial meant little to Pope. Evidence assembled here shows three things. First, that there was continuing interest in the Epigrammata, displayed by friends such as Swift, Prior, and Gay among others. Second, that Pope showed first-hand knowledge of the poet on more occasions than we had suspected, many of them congregated in the earlier phase of his life when The Rape of the Lock came into being. Third, that there are many more places on his oeuvre where close parallels with Martial can be detected, both among his own exercises in the genre of epigram and within his poems generally. A key instance comes in the neglected lines on the life of a country parson, based in part like the ‘Ode on Solitude’ on Ep 10.47. The epigram that Pope used is characteristic of Martial in that the first distich is comparatively simple, personal, and localized in its scope, whereas the main poetic energy is kept for the third and fourth lines, reaching out to potential sexual congress with the bride of Polytimus as well as introducing the comparison with Pelops. In fact there are few points of analogy between Polytimus and Belinda, other than simply in the cutting of hair, in the former’s case as part of a good-natured exchange with the poet. The threat implied by the word violare is made actual only when the story of Pelops is invoked in line 3. To put it simply, Pelops and Belinda were both in their way mutilated; Polytimus was not, but rather made more attractive. Belinda’s similitude with the Greek hero as the victim of rude assault is confirmed in the placing of the emphatic final word ebur, which refers to the ivory shoulder that according to the myth was the agency by which Pelops was made whole after his disfigurement, and which Pope echoes in the description of his heroine’s ‘Iv’ry Neck.’ It is only when we restore the full context, by reinstating the missing distich, that we see how the motto enhances Belinda’s jokingly offered claim to mythic status, which will culminate in the apotheosis of her lost lock. In our post-classical age, it is easy to overlook jokes of this kind, but then nobody ever accused Pope of going for the most simple and obvious effects in his poetry. A version of this article was given as a paper at the conference of the International Association of University Professors of English, held at the University of London in 2016. I am grateful for helpful comments by members of the audience. In addition, two anonymous readers for RES made extremely valuable suggestions for revision and thanks to Tom Keymer for his careful reading of the article. Footnotes 1 Howard D. Weinbrot, Alexander Pope and the Traditions of Formal Verse Satire (Princeton, NJ, 1982). 2 R. A. Brower, Alexander Pope: The Poetry of Allusion (Oxford, 1959). 3 Prior wrote a few items explicitly based on Martial in both English and Latin, as well as others showing a less immediate source in the Epigrammata. The best of these did not appear in his early collections, published prior to The Rape of the Lock, and came out in his Poems (1718). For fuller details see the notes on individual poems in The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, ed. H. B. Wright and M. K. Spears, 2nd edn (Oxford, 1971). 4 J. P. Sullivan, ‘Martial and English Poetry’, Classical Antiquity, 9 (1990), 149–74 (168). A few translations of Martial have been attributed to Swift, though none with any authority. The Dean’s friend Patrick Delany had a marked taste for the Epigrammata, and when the two men exchanged verses on Lord Carteret in 1729 each used lines form Martial as a motto at the head of their work. See The Poems of Patrick Delany, ed. Robert Hogan and Donald C. Mell (Newark, DE, 2006), 125–32. 5 Martial in English, ed. J. P. Sullivan and A. J. Boyle (London, 1996), henceforth MIE. Sullivan drew on a more eclectic anthology he had already edited with Peter Whigham, Epigrams of Martial Englished by Divers Hands (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1987). This contains the Latin text and contemporary translations, with an appendix of older versions. Another important contribution by Sullivan is his book Martial: The Unexpected Classic (Cambridge, 1991). 6 MIE, 176. 7 The collection M. Valerius Martialis Epigrammaton is cited in the form ‘Ep. 1.1’. The text is that of Ker (1919), though I have also consulted the editions by Shackleton Bailey (1990; 1993) for more recent scholarly information. 8 Sullivan, Martial: The Unexpected Classic, 299. The comment comes in relation to Prior, but it applies equally well to Pope. 9 As pointed out by a reader for this journal, Pope’s audience would also have recalled Catullus 36, ‘Annales Volusi, cacata carta’, on a worthless work of history doomed to be used as toilet paper. 10 Minor Poems, ed. N. Ault and J. Butt in The Twickenham Edition of the Works of Alexander Pope, vol. 6 (London, 1954), 360, 372. Henceforth cited as TE. 11 The Epigrams of Martial, tr. James Michie (New York, NY, 1972), 43. 12 Harold Beaver, ‘The Prince and the Poet: “Engraved on the Collar of a Dog which I Gave to his Royal Highness”,’ BJECS, 3 (1980), 208–15. 13 Joseph Spence, Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters of Books and Men, ed. J. M. Osborn, 2 vols (Oxford, 1966), i. 120. 14 A school text, Martialis Epigrammata, in usum scholæ Westmonasteriensis, appeared several times from 1721, sometimes with an addition of the words et Carthusianæ at the end of the title. It contains an elaborate index verborum. This seems to be Maittaire’s version for Tonson under another name. As an anonymous reader explains, ‘Epigram was a standard teaching tool for pupils in their first year of Latin (and those who went on to pick up some Greek would similarly meet selections from the Greek Anthology at an early stage)…all Pope's educated male readers will have possessed at least a basic familiarity with Martial’s manner.’ 15 Interest continued during the time of Pope’s writing career: see for instance a collection professedly based on the Roman poet, Martial Reviv’d: or, Epigrams, Satyrical, Panegyrical, Political, Moral, Elegiacal, Whimsical, and Comical. Above One Hundred in Number, Merrily but Justly applied to all Sorts of Persons and Things. And Particularly Inscrib’d to our Modern Courtiers, State Quacks, Fools, Lovers, Rakes, Beaus, Libertines, Poets, Stockjobbers, Saints, Hypocrites, Priests, Ladies, Maids, Wives, Widows, &c. With a Preface in Defence of Epigram, and Merry Fellows (1722). 16 Maynard Mack, ‘A Finding List of Books Surviving from Pope’s Library’, in Collected in Himself (Newark, DE, 1982), 424. 17 The Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, ed. Charles Kerby-Miller (New York, NY, 1988), 95. 18 Again I am indebted to the anonymous reader for this observation. 19 In that town he was a colleague of Daniel Heinsius, whose edition of Horace (Leiden, 1621) formed Pope’s working copy for his imitations, and whose Virgil (Leiden, 1636) was also in the poet’s library. 20 See The Correspondence of Alexander Pope, ed. George Sherburn, 5 vols (Oxford, 1956), i. 42, 101, 432; ii. 23; iii. 115. 21 See Spence, Anecdotes, i. 177. 22 MIE, 338. 23 The source of the poem is an epigram by the Poitevin author Scévole de Sainte-Marthe (1536–1623), beginning ‘Je confesse bien comme vous.’ This was not identified by the Twickenham editors, but it was unearthed by a correspondent to Notes and Queries, 5 (1876), 67, in relation to a version by Matthew Prior published in 1718. 24 The first line of this distich, ‘Semper eris pauper, si pauper es, Æmiliane,’ provided a possible grammatical template for the last line of Pope’s ‘Epitaph on Himself’ (1741): ‘Trusts in God, that as well he was, he shall be’ (TE vi. 386). 25 See also Sullivan’s article, ‘Some Versions of Martial 10.47: The Happy Life’, The Classical Outlook, 63 (1986), 112–14. 26 See Maren-Sofie Røstvig, The Happy Man: Studies in the Metamorphoses of a Classical Ideal, 2 vols (Oslo, 1954–1958). 27 The Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley, 3 vols (London, 1721), ii. 661. Cowley’s most insistent raids on Martial occur in his essay ‘Of Liberty’. In the first of these he renders Ep 1.55, containing the lines, ‘hoc petit, esse sui nee magni ruris arator, / sordidaque in parvis otia rebus amat’ (‘Would be no Lord, but less a Lord would have / The ground he holds, if he his own can call, / He quarrels not with Heaven because ’tis small: / Let gay and toilsome Greatness others please, / He loves of homely Littleness the Ease’ (MIE, 95). 28 I am grateful to Professor Rivkah Zim for pointing me to this source. 29 This is Ep 12.85 in the Westminster school text. 30 See The Works of Alexander Pope, ed. W. Elwin and W. J. Courthope, 10 vols (London, 1871–1889), ii. 221–2. 31 The Oxford Classical Dictionary, ed. Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth (Oxford, 1996), s.v. ‘Pelops’, 1134. 32 Two well known short allusions occur in Metamorphoses vi.401–11; and Georgics iii.7. In the former, Llewellyn Morgan suggests, ‘the recomposition of Pelops’ corpus is problematic.’ See ‘Child’s Play: Ovid and his Critics’, Journal of Roman Studies, 93 (2003), 66–91 (88). We might wonder whether Belinda’s lustrous hair can ever be fully returned to its pristine state, even if the lock shorn from her head has been given a new home in the skies. 33 Oxford Classical Dictionary, 1134. 34 The Genuine Works of Charles Cotton, Esq; (London, 1715), 225. 35 Compare the pursuit of the nymph Lodona by the lascivious Pan in Windsor-Forest, 195–6: ‘And now his shorter Breath with sultry Air / Pants on her Neck, and fans her parting Hair’ (TE 1.168). © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press 2017; all rights reserved http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of English Studies Oxford University Press

Pope and Martial: The Myth of Pelops And Belinda’s ‘Iv’ry Neck’

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Very little attention has been paid to Alexander Pope’s debt to the work of Martial. This article assembles evidence to demonstrate three things. First, that there was continuing interest in the Epigrammata, displayed by friends such as Swift, Prior, and Gay among others. Second, that Pope showed first-hand knowledge of the poet on more occasions than we had suspected, many of them congregated in the earlier phase of his life. Third, that there are many more places on his oeuvre where close parallels with Martial can be detected, both among his own exercises in the genre of epigram and within his poems generally. On a single occasion a larger intertextual connection can be suggested. This is set up by the motto to The Rape of the Lock, which quotes the first distich of a lesser-known epigram by Martial (12.84). The second and concluding couplet of this item invokes the story of Pelops, whose mutilated body was resurrected by the Fates, and made whole by them with the aid of an ivory shoulder to replace the one devoured by Demeter. A parallel is thus established with the ‘iv’ry Neck’ of Belinda. It was the Fates who had hidden from the heroine the ‘dire Disaster’ and permitted the ‘fatal Sheers’ to do their work. Belinda’s plea for the lock to be restored aligns her with Pelops, spared by the gods to found the great house of Atreus that played so a large a role in Greek literature and mythology. One might suppose that every allusion to the poets in the work of Alexander Pope had been traced. However, we hear very little about the presence of Martial in his writings. Scholars have devoted exhaustive treatment to Pope in relation to many classical authors: Homer, most obviously, along with Horace, Virgil, and Ovid. To this group Howard Weinbrot added detailed commentary on links with Juvenal, Persius and even the fragments of Lucilius.1 Statius has come into the reckoning as Pope translated the first book of the Thebaid while still in his teens. The possibility exists that he was drawn to the elegies of Tibullus in his mature years. It has sometimes been thought that Lucretius left considerable marks on An Essay on Man. Underlying the conclusion of The Rape of the Lock is the translation by Catullus of a mostly lost poem by Callimachus on the locks of Berenice, and there are stray moments elsewhere when we may be able to detect the voice of Catullus or Propertius. In the case of Martial, however, there is a deafening silence. Weinbrot’s book contains only one reference in passing, taken from an eighteenth-century commentator on Johnson. More surprisingly perhaps, the single work which has done most to document the literary impact of ancient authors on Pope, that is Reuben Arthur Brower’s study of ‘the poetry of allusion’, devotes not a single syllable to the epigrammatist—although one explanation could be that Brower largely ignores the epigrammatic side of Pope.2 Equally, J. P. Sullivan’s useful run-through of ‘Martial and English Poetry’ considers editions, translations and imitations from the Tudor age down as far as Ezra Pound, but it does not stop on authors such as Matthew Prior where the influence was diffuse as much as direct. The omission is significant insofar as Prior was Pope’s main rival and model among contemporary poets (especially in the less grand genres such as epigram) during his earlier career.3 Sullivan offers a brief comment on Swift and Pope: Although both…translated an epigram of Martial's, his influence on their concise epigrammatic couplets had already been mediated by the earlier epigrammatists. The Augustan refinement of taste, with its highly poetic vocabulary, its euphemisms and periphrases, would not find the same attractions in Martial as did the Elizabethans and Jacobeans.4 This judgment seems to reflect the present unspoken consensus, on Pope at least: he was too ‘Augustan’ (polished, devious, stylized in idiom) to need to borrow from the plainspoken, spontaneous-seeming and brutally explicit Martial. His methods were more congenial to the ‘undisciplined and rambunctious’ idiom of the Elizabethans. Nevertheless, Sullivan did allot Pope a fair amount of space in the anthology that he compiled for the ‘Penguin Poets in Translation’ series in 1996 (completed after his premature death by A. J. Boyle).5 Here Sullivan makes the significant observation that Pope was ‘influenced greatly by the Roman Augustan poet Horace, whom he openly acknowledged in a series of creative translations, Imitations of Horace (1733-8). His debt to Martial is less overt, but perhaps more profound.’6 The support for this view comes in the form of thirteen short passages occupying four pages. Two of these are epigrams whose source in Martial is admitted. Then comes the description of Belinda’s toilet, from the first canto of The Rape of the Lock. Three epitaphs are included, among them the famous couplet notionally designed for Isaac Newton’s tomb in Westminster Abbey. The remaining seven items are brief lines taken from the poet’s correspondence, most famously the verses on the two young lovers killed by lightning that Pope sent to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in 1718. No clear principle is set out for admitting these particular examples out of the poet’s large collections of epigrams.7 The most surprising omission is an item written probably right around the time of the Rape, imitating Epigrammata 10.47 (henceforth Ep). In addition, several well-known pieces which might appear to offer an equally strong case for admission find no place in the anthology. Among these is the one addressed to Henrietta Howard, ‘On a Certain Lady at Court’ (published 1732), which makes gentle sport with the lady’s deafness, as a virtue at a court ridiculed by gossip and intrigue. This ties her disability to public attitudes, in a manner familiar to readers of Martial’s ‘willingness to poke fun at physical infirmities and social contretemps.’8 Other contenders might be the cheerful obscenity of lines such as those on the hapless poet laureate: ‘Cibber! Write all thy Verses upon Glasses, / The only way to save ’em from our Asses.’9 Most obviously of all, there is a distich engraved on the collar of the dog which Pope presented to Frederick Prince of Wales, ‘I am his Highness’ Dog at Kew; / Pray tell me Sir, whose Dog are you,’ which has just the right mix of cheek towards those in power and wordplay to match the methods of Roman author.10 A comparison can also be made with Martial, Ep 2.18, ‘To Maximus’, beginning ‘Capto tuam, pudet heu, sed capto, Maxime, cenam’, in which the poet deplores his servile state before a powerful patron. The link becomes closer in the translation by James Michie (1973), which substitutes dogs for the more neutral nouns comes and anteambulo in the Latin text: I’m your spaniel, I’m the toady to your every pompous whim. You court a richer patron. I dog you and you dog him.11 Michie may be recalling the image cluster of spaniels and fawning in Shakespeare, first pointed out by Caroline Spurgeon, but in any case his version brings out the central idea found in Pope. As Harold Beaver observed in the fullest exploration of the Kew poem, ‘It is with the assurance of being a top-dog—at a regal, rural retreat—that these facts, it seems, can be so confidently rehearsed. His theme is that of proprietorship. As his Highness owns the dog, so the dog owns to the collar which puts this formal statement and question. The question propounded is: who owns whom?’12 Beaver sees a contest acted out between alternative owners and speakers (the dog, the collar, the poet). The last two lines in the Latin are rendered by Michie, ‘To be a slave is bad enough, but I refuse to be / A flunkey’s flunkey, Maximus. My master must be free.’ The dog Bounce that Pope gave to Frederick might be allowed to utter similar sentiments. On one occasion, Pope provides a mirror image of the scene dramatized in a well known item, Ep 1.33, ‘Amissum no flet cum sola Gellia patrem’, which describes a woman who never mourns her deceased father in private, but gives way to highly visible tears when in public. In a poem by Pope (possibly with Nicholas Rowe), the situation is inverted. ‘On a Lady who P--st at the Tragedy of Cato; Occasion’d by an Epigram on a Lady who Wept at it’ (1713), shows Celia sitting with dry eyes at a performance of Addison’s hit play Cato while others among the audience are in floods. But though her pride restrains her tears, ‘The gushing Waters find a Vent below.’ Thus secretly she mourns, like twenty river gods with their urns: ‘Let others screw their Hypocritick Face, / She shews her grief in a sincerer Place’ (TE 6.99). Where Gellia reserves her show of mourning for public show, Celia conceals the genuine but invisible feelings of grief she feels for Cato. The terse and sometimes elliptical manner of his verses made Martial a favourite source for mottos. Addison and Steele regularly enlisted his writings for this purpose in periodicals such as the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, as well as sometimes inserting their versions of the epigrams within the text. A clear sign of the visibility of Martial at the moment when the Rape appeared is the use of two verses from Ep 1.22 and 1.60, set between the claws of a lion whose effigy was placed outside Button’s coffee house. Here contributions to the Guardian could be deposited in the lion’s mouth. This was erected in July 1713, when Pope was at work on the five-canto version of the Rape. Then in the following September he cited Ep 3.58 at the start of his famous essay on gardening which appeared in Guardian 173 (the Latin poem had been the model in part for Ben Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’). Despite the congruences just noted, there is some excuse for overlooking Pope’s interest in Martial. In what follows I shall set out briefly the facts surrounding this possible aspect of his literary heritage. Second, I shall identify a number of locations within the oeuvre where we can plausibly detect influence, generally of the less overt kind to which Sullivan points. In the last section of the article I shall consider one more pervasive case of intertextuality, deriving from the use of a distich from Martial as epigraph to the Rape—the poem which most insistently recalls the Roman author. I It is almost inconceivable that Pope did not spend time getting to know Martial during his early teens, as a part of his extensive ‘rambles…through the poets…especially Latin ones of any note’, as he told Joseph Spence.13 Had he been allowed the opportunity to undergo a traditional schooling, either at a great college such as Eton or Winchester, or a well-established grammar school, he would certainly have encountered a selection of the epigrams, and possibly been encouraged to attempt the form himself in Latin or Greek.14 In addition he would have come across what was already a large corpus of English translations and imitations, including the vigorous renderings of Ben Jonson and the more courtly approach exemplified by Cowley. (He would much later refer to one of Cowley’s versions.) Campion, Herrick, Thomas May, and Crashaw figure among other writers who undertook to turn Martial into the vernacular. There is abundant evidence that these were the kind of model to whom the young poet devoted attention in his formative years.15 A single copy of the epigrams is known to have been in Pope’s collection, but it was a good one, and it survives in the Hurd library at Hartlebury Castle. The entry in Maynard Mack’s finding list of Pope’s books, no. 113, supplies the title and an ownership inscription: ‘Martial. M. Valerii Martialis Epigrammata. Ed. Cornelius Schrevel. Leyden: Francis Hacke, 1656. 8o. On the flyleaf in Pope’s hand: Ex Libris Alex, Popei. Pr. 4s.’16 This was one of the first variorum editions, first issued in 1661, with abundant notes and a comprehensive index: it was dedicated to the great scholar Johann Friedrich Gronov or Gronovius (1611–1671), at that date professor of Greek at Leiden, to whom we shall return shortly. The editor was Cornelis Schrevel (1608–1664), M.D., known in scholarly usage as Cornelius Schrevelius, who succeeded his father Theodor, humanist and author, as rector of the Latin faculty at Leiden in 1642. He was renowned especially for his Lexicon manuale græco-latinum et latino-græcum (1654) which went through innumerable editions, including one by John Field at Cambridge in 1668, and became the basis for the most widely used school dictionary in England and America during the nineteenth century. Significantly Pope owned three more of Schrevel’s Leiden editions of Latin authors, that is his Ovid in three volumes (1662); his Juvenal and Persius (1664); and his Terence (1669), found in Mack’s ‘Finding List’, 128, 100, 156. What is more, he had a Quintilian (1665), begun by Schrevel and completed by Gronovius (141). Most striking is the fact that the library contained Schrevel's Iliad and Odyssey (1656), gifted by Sir John Trevor in 1715—just as Pope’s Homer first entered the world (85). The bibliographical details point towards Pope’s contacts with classical scholarship. In The Dunciad he makes a number of onomastic jokes, and elsewhere he employed nomenclature that provides a link to commentators on Martial. We can find here an explanation for the choice made by John Arbuthnot and Pope to give the name Cornelius to the father of their satiric creation Martinus Scriblerus. At the very start of the Memoirs, Cornelius is described as a ‘grave and learned Gentleman, by Profession an Antiquary’, a German scholar who belonged to the ‘ancient Pedigree of the Scribleri.’17 The phonetic similarity in the surnames immediately calls to mind Petrus Scriverius or Peter Schrijver (1576–1660), the Dutch editor and historian whose daughter Cornelius marries. In that case, moreover, a semantic witticism goes along with the aural echo: Schrevelius is Latinized Dutch for scrivener, and Scriverius for writer.18 The Memoirs describe a visit to Peter at Haarlem, where he was born; he studied under the master of the Latin school there, another aptly named scholiast, Cornelius Schonaeus or Schoon (1540–1611), before migrating to Leiden.19 Among the contributions Scriverius made to scholarship were notes on Martial incorporated in his edition M. Val. Martialis nova editio. Ex museo Petri Scriverii, accompanied by P. Scriverii animadversiones in Martialem (1618–1619). Ben Jonson’s annotated copy of the 1619 text survives. Returning to the links between Martinus and Cornelius Schrevelius, we can see an obvious parallel in the paternal lineage that lies behind the scholarly vocation of each man. Moreover, Gronovius has a further connection in addition to the one just mentioned: he could easily be drawn into the act, because as a native of Hamburg he was a north German like Cornelius Scriblerus, born in Münster. On top of this, Pope’s copy of Statius (Mack, ‘Finding List’, 155), on which he probably based his early translation of Book I of the epic, was one published in Leiden in 1671, and incorporated material from the edition by Gronovius (1653). Johann’s son Jakob was also a classical scholar, whose Thesaurus graecarum antiquitatum (Leiden, 1697–1702) may have proved useful to Pope during his work on the translation of Homer—one more patriarchal line. The evidence suggests that Martinus was given his name and his antiquarian background in relation to at least three scholars active in the Netherlands (Schrevelius, Scriverius, and Gronovius)—all of whom had advanced the study of the Epigrammata. Characteristically, Pope was sporting with the very authorities on whom he depended. However, the edition by Schrevelius was not the only place in his library where Pope could have found something by Martial. In fact, the very next item alphabetically in Mack’s ‘Finding List’ (114) is relevant. This is Opera et fragmenta veterum poetarum Latinorum (1713), published in two volumes by a small consortium including Jacob Tonson. Pope probably acquired the set quite soon after its publication. The editor was the former Westminster schoolmaster Michael Maittaire, and this formed an appendage to the famous ‘Maittaire classics’ issued in duodecimo by Tonson and printed by John Watts (1713–1719), where Martial appeared in 1716. The folio collection offers a bumper book of Latin poetry, dramatic and non-dramatic, in the span of more than 1750 double-column pages: it is a little like the Norton anthology without the notes. The complete series of Martial’s epigrams, including the interpolated run designated books 13 and 14, appear almost immediately after Juvenal. Maittaire includes a very short life of the author, taken from the humanist Petro Crinito. While there is no reason to believe that Maittaire (once scheduled to appear in the Dunciad, until ‘spar’d’ when Pope’s friend Lord Oxford intervened) had given any specially close attention to Martial, it is a useful working assemblage of the epigrams. The terse elliptical manner of his verses had made Martial a favourite source for mottos. Addison and Steele regularly enlisted his writings for this purpose in periodicals such as the Tatler, Spectator, and Guardian, as well as sometimes inserting their versions of the epigrams within the text. One of the clearest testimonies to the visibility of Martial at the moment when the Rape appeared is the use of two verses from the Epigrammata between the claws of a lion whose effigy was placed outside Button’s coffee house. Here contributions to the Guardian could be deposited in the lion’s mouth. This was erected in July 1713, when Pope was at work on the five-canto version. Then in the following September he cited Ep 3.58 at the start of his famous essay on gardening which appeared in Guardian 173 (the Latin poem had been the model in part for Ben Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’). There are only a few references to Martial in the correspondence. The heaviest concentration appears in the earlier years, and none is of huge moment. One reference confirms the attribution to Pope of the version he made of the Ep 10.23, first published in 1717, an item present in Sullivan’s anthology (TE vi.167). Others show Pope able to trot out apposite citations in the manner then expected of a precocious schoolboy.20 Spence’s generally helpful anecdotes offer little beyond the allusion to Cowley’s rendering already mentioned.21 The text of the poems contains just one implied compliment, in the New Dunciad of 1742: ‘How many Martials were in Pult’ney lost!’ (TE 5.357)—but even this concentrates its energies more on the English follower, William Pulteney, than on his inspiration. Not a syllable on the subject of Martial appears on any of the 950 pages of Maynard Mack’s immensely thorough biography. II Perhaps we have been looking in the wrong places or for the wrong things. We must start with the obvious genre, epigram. However, one of the two commonly accepted pieces, as confirmed by their presence in the Sullivan anthology, is a dubious ascription. Entitled ‘Upon the Duke of Marlborough’s House at Woodstock’, it certainly bears very close comparison with Ep 12.50. Anonymously published in three Curll miscellanies between 1714 and 1731, it was first assigned to Pope in an edition of his works in 1777. A much more plausible case than for Pope or Swift (to whom it has also been attributed) exists for Rev. Abel Evans, and the Twickenham editors were right in my view to exclude the item. The author may also have recalled the end of Ep 5.34, rendered by Peter Porter with Martialesque wordplay, ‘Don’t be severe and tread on her with gravity, / She never did on you.’22 Other items that found their way into Sullivan’s anthology seem to have earned their place because of a teasing use of double entendre, though there is no close match in any single set of verses in Martial. An example is the ‘Rondeau’ (c.1710), tripping daintily around ‘a thing of little size, / You know where’ (TE vi.61). But we might find more echoes of the Latin poet’s voice if we look elsewhere, at items which deal with poetasters and plagiarists. For instance, ‘Epigram from the French’, published in the Miscellanies in 1732, runs as follows: ‘Sir, I admit your gen’ral Rule / That every Poet is a Fool: / But you yourself may serve to show it, / That every Fool is not a Poet’ (TE vi.347). This has exactly the tone of easy contempt found in the lines by Martial, Ep 12.63 (‘I could bear it if a good bard did this [committed plagiary]; one I could visit with pain in his turn…nothing [is] more safe than a bad poet’).23 Another motif that recalls Martial is what might be called physical revenge: thus in a riposte to Lord Hervey and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who had ‘cry[d] out your Back is round,’ he continues, ‘I answer thus – poor Sapho, you grow grey, / And sweet Adonis – you have lost a Tooth’ (TE vi.357). One of the most widely recognized attributes of Martial’s poetry is his heavy reliance on sententiae and maxims. Dozens of his epigrams offer a generalization about human life to strengthen the local argument of the poem: for example, in Ep 5.81, ‘dantur opes nulli nunc nisi divitibus.’24 Similarly Pope’s occasional verse is stuffed with proverbs and bywords, often slyly altered in their phrasing: an entire branch of rhetoric known as gnomonology could be brought to bear on his shorter items. For example, the clinching conclusion to an epigram entitled ‘On Cibber’s Declaration that he will have the Last Word with Mr. Pope’ (1741) reads, ‘For know, the last Word is the Word that lasts longest’ (TE vi.397), an obvious play on the familiar saying, ‘He who laughs last laughs longest’, first recorded in the early seventeenth century. This tendency to use not just simple aphorisms but acknowledged proverbial forms is a particular feature of Pope’s ballads—one reason to suggest that careful study of these largely neglected items would show some impress from Martial. We certainly need to go beyond the narrow category of epigrams. An obvious instance is the ‘Ode on Solitude’, one of Pope’s earliest works. A cursory examination of the text will throw up parallels with one of Martial’s best known poems, Ep 10.47: Sullivan’s anthology contains no fewer than fifteen English imitations and translations, more than any other selection in the volume.25 Many of these are modern, right up to a stylish version by Peter Porter, but the earlier poets include Surrey, Jonson, Fanshawe, and Cowley. We need to have the complete Latin text: Vitam quae faciant beatiorem, Iucundissime Martialis, haec sunt: Res non parta labore, sed relicta; Non ingratus ager, focus perennis; Lis numquam, toga rara, mens quieta;   5 Vires ingenuae, salubre corpus; Prudens simplicitas, pares amici; Convictus facilis, sine arte mensa; Nox non ebria, sed soluta curis; Non tristis torus, et tamen pudicus;   10 Somnus, qui faciat breves tenebras: Quod sis, esse velis nihilque malis; Summum nec metuas diem nec optes. What Pope supplies is patently less close than the versions which set out to render the original in a literal or closely paraphrastic fashion. Rather, it draws on the original to supply an allusion to Martial, bending the verses to a more specific purpose (solitude, rather than happiness at large), and adding a more autobiographic inflection. The overall tone is different, partly because of the more lyrical impression left by the stanzaic form. Nevertheless, the details and their ordering constantly recall Martial: witness the ‘paternal acres’ (2), recalling ager (4), phonetically and etymologically connected; ‘health of body, peace of mind’ (11), closely mirroring the Latin (5–6), though Juvenal’s famous phrase ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ could equally have been in Pope’s head; the innocence of ‘sweet recreation’ (14), as set out in the epigram (7 ff); and the closing emphasis on sound sleep, as a preparation for a quiet and unfearsome death (13–16, 18). It could be argued that this belongs one of the most familiar topoi in Renaissance literature, embodied in the beatus ille poem.26 The most precise origin can be found in Horace’s second Epode, again translated by Jonson amongst others. In addition, some of the key ideas occur in a passage from Horace’s Satires, 2.6, ‘oc erat in votis’, whoch Swifthh hoc erat in votis’—one which Swift imitated in 1714 and Pope completed in 1738. Unquestionably Pope would have been aware of the use made of this theme by his predecessors. The Twickenham editors are surely wrong to state that ‘In spite of its Horatian quality, no specific poem can be identified as the original, or inspiration, of the Ode’ (TE vi. 4), though they rightly add that some of the classical echoes could derive from Cowley’s translations of a group of Latin poems in his Essays, in Verse and Prose. The truth seems to be that Pope started from the Epode, paraphrasing many of its seventy lines, with a full awareness of what Jonson, Fanshawe, and Dryden among others had done with the text—Pope possibly recalled Dryden’s phrase ‘Their small paternal field of corn.’ Cowley did indeed produce an incomplete version of the beatus ille text, attached to his essay ‘Of Agriculture’, but no close verbal resemblance to Pope’s verses is apparent. Significantly, Cowley remarked in the course of this essay that he would content himself with three references to Horace on the happiness of rural existence, ‘and shall forbear to collect the suffrages of all other poets, which may be found scattered up and down through all their writings, and especially in Martial’s.’27 One index of the currency of Martial’s poem on the happy man is the fact that Surrey’s version was among his compositions reprinted in the hugely influential collection of songs and sonnets known as Tottel’s Miscellany (1557).28 The question is not whether Pope knew these forerunners to his own lines: the only issue is whether he identified Martial as a precise and particular model. The parallels listed above suggest that he did, for some of the content such as the mention of a peaceful death does not figure at all in either of the Horatian texts just mentioned, or in their English imitations. Several familiar portions of the Epode are conspicuously absent both in Martial’s recension and in the ode that Pope composed, with its quiet inflections on Horace. All this is to neglect, as Sullivan and other authorities do, a poem at first entitled ‘The Happy Life of a Country Parson. In Imitation of Martial’ (TE vi.110–11). Pope seems to have written this around 1713, but did not publish it until it came out in the Miscellanies in 1727. From 1736 he included it in his Works as an imitation of Swift. It is a brisk and funny updating of Ep 10.47, written in colloquial octosyllabics, and satirizing the cosy life of a rural clergyman (‘On Sundays preach, and eat his fill’). This is looser than most renditions of the Latin, using the form of the original as a basis on which to string pointed allusions—in other words, it is a typical imitation in the manner familiar within Augustan poetics. None the less, it has claims to be the most successful raid on Martial that Pope ever undertook, and it is one that probably dates from the very year that Pope was engaged on the five-canto Rape of the Lock. We have tended to make one mistake in seeking out signs of influence. This is to suppose that, since Martial confined himself almost exclusively to short forms such as epigram, with allied branches of poetry such as epitaph and dedicatory lines, we must restrict ourselves to Pope’s output of occasional verse. In fact echoes can be found in substantial items such as the Imitations of Horace and the Moral Essays, where they may be overwritten by the wider poetic context. To name just a single example, the famous portrait of Lord Hervey as Sporus in the Epistle to Arbuthnot carries so many historical references and personal jokes that it is easy to lose sight of its literary models. The cruelly specific charges have become almost too familiar: Now high, now low, now Master up, now Miss, And he himself one vile Antithesis. Amphibious Thing! that acting either Part, The trifling Head, or the corrupted Heart! Fop at the Toilet, Flatt'rer at the Board, Now trips a Lady, and now struts a Lord.    (TE iv.119) Readers of Martial will easily perceive a likeness to passages such as Ep 1.24, where the seemingly macho individual with a fearsome scowl turns out to have been a bride yesterday. A closet homosexual way of life is uncovered in Ep 1.90, ‘Quod numquam maribus’, although this time the individual exposed is female. While such effects might be found in other poets such as Juvenal, they are characteristic of Martial’s most curt and vicious items. The Imitations of Horace, to which the poem to Arbuthnot served as a pendant, sometimes show Martial creeping into Pope’s version of the earlier Roman writer. Thus his rendition of the satire directed to the countryman Ofellus contains lines about living on a reduced income after dispossession by big landlords. The way Pope decorates the sense of the verses in Horace here (Satire 2.ii.132–8) seems to owe something to Ep 1.55: In South-sea days, not happier, when surmis’d The Lord of thousands, than if now Excis’d; In Forest planted by a Father’s hand, Than in five acres now of rented land. Content on little, I can piddle here On Broccoli and mutton, round the year.     (TE iv.65) This recalls Martial’s epigram (3–4), possibly filtered through the expressive version that Cowley appended to his essay ‘Of Liberty’ (see n. 27 above). The clinching mode of ending we find in the Epigrammata, sometimes to round off a single distich, is likely to occur as a medial climax in Pope’s longer works. Finality in the Latin is achieved through the use of the slightly shorter second line in the elegiac couplet; in English this commonly matched by rhyme and antithesis. Thus in An Essay on Criticism, Pope builds up an entire verse paragraph on the vagaries of literary fashion to prepare for the damning final couplet, ‘And Authors think their Reputation safe, / Which lives as long as Fools are pleas’d to Laugh’ (449–50). The paradox engendered by employing the phrase ‘as long as’ for a brief moment in time is an especially Martialeque touch, as in Ep 2.77: ‘sed tu, Cosconi, disticha longa facis.’ However, it is The Rape of the Lock which most clearly displays Pope’s skill in punctuating his narrative with pointed, often antithetical statements to dramatize the situation. A celebrated instance occurs at the end of Canto 4, with Belinda’s heartfelt cry: ‘Oh hadst thou, Cruel! Been content to seize / Hairs less in sight, or in any Hairs but these!’ (iv.176). The presence or absence of hair as a sexual giveaway had been observed by Martial (see Ep 6.56). In the English example, there is a hint of coyness which would not be typical of the Latin poet, but this is apt since it proceeds from the contrast between the seeming innocence of the heroine and the obvious connotations of the second verse. Martial could have made much the same joke—except that he seldom explores the lives of inexperienced maidens. Instances such as these show that Sullivan was exactly right in pointing to a body of influence upon Pope that was perhaps profound in its varied impact, but tantalizingly far from overt in many places. Together they indicate that Martial formed part of the poet’s mental furniture, as he did for educated readers of the time. Apart from the items confessedly based on one of the Epigrammata, these scattered examples offer for the most part fleeting echoes, suggestive parallels in phrasing, similarities in verbal technique and allusions to popular idiom, shared satiric motifs, and closely allied themes. What none of them has quite shown is a full measure of intertexuality, that is the use of a particular passage by Martial that lies at the heart of a considerable work by Pope, and requires us to take account of the full context in the Latin. In one case we may be able to fill this gap. III The poem in question is The Rape of the Lock. In the earliest two-canto version of 1712, Pope set on the title-page two lines taken from the first distich of what is in the standard collection Ep 12.84, simply replacing the vocative form ‘Polytime’ with the heroine’s name: ‘Nolueram, Belinda, tuos viiolare capillos, / Sed juvat hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. / Mart. Lib. 12. Ep. 86.’ (I was loathe to violate your locks, [Polytimus], but now I am pleased to have granted your entreaties.)29 In the expanded five-canto version of 1714, he substituted a single line from Ovid: ‘a tonso est hoc nomen adepta capillo’. Then, in the collected Works of 1717, the original motto was restored, where it appeared in the same prominent position on a bastard title-page. Only the erroneous identification of the epigram is dropped. This was the case for every collection of the Works until Warburton’s in 1751, which placed the lines at the head of the poem below the title. All subsequent editions have preserved the original motto. In neither case have scholars spent much time on these epigraphs. The Twickenham editor, Geoffrey Tillotson, did at least consider briefly the possible relevance they hold to our reading of the poem. The original application to Martial, he states, made two suggestions. One was that ‘(if the words were Pope’s) that Belinda had asked him to write the poem – a suggestion which had little weight in view of ‘…This Verse to C[aryl]l, Muse! is due’; and the second that ‘(if the words were the Baron’s) that Belinda, as the poem hinted elsewhere, was willing to marry him.’ Tillotson may have favoured the second explanation, judging by his comment that ‘Pope substituted a motto from Ovid in 1714 but brought back the Martial one in 1717 when it cannot possibly have been offensive’, presumably because Baron Petre had been dead since 1713, and Arabella Fermor safely married since (probably) late 1714, thus rendering the malicious gossip stale and no longer titillating (TE ii.92–3). Similarly Whitwell Elwin, in his almost wholly unsympathetic account of the Rape, suggests that the motto was originally used ‘in the belief that Miss Fermor would be proud’ to accept the poem as complimentary. In the event the poet would have been guilty of hateful abuse ‘if he had penned a word which could sully the reputation of an innocent maiden.’ When Pope found he had miscalculated his aims and her response, he substituted the lines from Ovid, ‘and when their temporary withdrawal had answered his purpose he restored them in the quarto version of his works.’30 Warburton must have accepted the first explanation offered by Tillotson, since his note at the opening of the Rape in 1751 begins, ‘It appears, by this Motto, that the following Poem was written or published by the Lady’s request’, going on to add that ‘The Author sent it to the Lady, with whom he was acquainted; and she took it so well as to give about copies of it.’ Every part of Warburton’s note cited here is suspect, and in any case the first explanation rests on an unduly literal reading of the motto, which would imply that Arabella had asked Pope to write in praise of her hair rather than her attributes at large. It would also supply a different account of the poem’s origins and motivation than the one that Pope continued to offer in his preface ‘To Mrs. Araballa Fermor.’ The second explanation raises even greater difficulties, since it would allow the fictional Baron to triumph in his actions and justify his behaviour, where the poem brings him to defeat, humiliation and death, inflicted by a girl able to subdue him with the flick of ‘one Finger and a Thumb’ (iv.80). Taken in isolation, neither interpretation appears plausible. It will be convenient to dispose of the short-lived Ovidian epigraph first. The line comes from the Metamorphoses (viii.151), and the immediate context begins with the words, ‘in avem mutantur mutatis Ciris.’ So we are dealing with the transformation of Scylla into a sea-bird, when she took the name Ciris, ‘the shearer.’ This alludes to her act in cutting off a magical strand from the head of her father Nisus: it was his hair which guaranteed the safety of his kingdom of Megara. She gave the trophy to the besieging general Minos, whom she loved, but who rejected her. As a punishment she was turned into the bird ciris and was pursued by her father, now transformed into sea-eagle. The real etymology derives from Greek κɛϊρις, but Pope’s quotation might allow room for the idea that Belinda’s star will be named after her following her own transformation. However, there is an obvious twist, since the ravisher here is a woman and her victim a man who later seeks revenge. That interpretation is unflattering to both the principals in the Rape: it casts Belinda as a monarch easily betrayed by one who should be trustworthy, and the Baron as a girl driven into violence by love. The locus in Ovid was explicitly linked to the poem as a whole, since Pope actually referred to it in Canto III: Ah cease rash Youth! Desist ere ’tis too late, Fear the just Gods, and think of Scylla’s Fate! Chang’d to a Bird, and sent to flit in Air, She clearly pays for Nisus’s injur’d Hair!    (iii.121–4) The voice here is that of the poet, adjuring the rash Baron just before he air Hair commits the fatal deed. As just observed, the sex of the violator and the victim have been reversed, the kind of transformation in which the Rape delights. Like Scylla, the lord faces rejection from the one he desires. But there is a difference. Though Scylla’s actions were dictated by her love for Minos, the object of her attack was her father, and her motive not sexual possession but the keys to the kingdom. Putting the poetic narrative into a context within the Metamorphoses makes obvious sense. Everyone realises how big a part shape-changing, myth and magic play in the Rape, not to mention sexual high jinks. The conclusion of the poem echoes the translation of the soul of Caesar to the heavens at the end of Ovid’s work (xv.843–50). Yet Pope quickly dispensed with the motto and reinstated Martial in the banner of his text, itself an act of restoration just as the poem pretends to restore Belinda’s lock and thus Arabella’s reputation. The epigram in question must have held some literary significance. IV To see what this might be, we need to look at the second distich and see how this relates to the first two lines. The epigram consists of two elegiac couplets, in their entirety: Nolueram, Polytime, tuois violare capillos, Sed iuvat hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis. Talis eras, modo tonse Pelops, positisque nitebas Crinibus ut totum sponsa videret ebur. It will be apparent that the first two lines concern a situation in the here and now, while the two latter open out by means of a comparison to a wider world of mythology—a movement familiar to us from the Rape, where the limits of allusion are stretched far beyond the petty doings of minor socialites in the English home counties. The story called up is that of Pelops and his ivory shoulder, to be described more fully presently. The grammar moves into a past imperfect tense, but the verses hint at a less remote time when Polytimus was able to display his dazzlingly white torso to his bride. A feature we can easily miss is that Martial does not actually specify the crucial body part in the myth of Pelops. He assumes that his readers know the episode, and chooses to end with the stark and initially surprising word for ivory, ebur. This brief item, which comes close to the end of the main sequence of Epigrammata, has never been among those frequently translated or imitated, either in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries or today. It does not figure centrally in commentaries on Martial’s oeuvre, and this is another reason to suppose that Pope had read his target author very carefully. Among the most effective English versions is this rendition, free but faithful to the spirit of the original, by a skilled modern translator, Anthony Reid: You begged me, boy, to cut your flowing hair And, after all, I’m glad I heard your prayer. For you’re like Pelops now, and older, You show the beauty of an ivory shoulder. Reid gets his key phrase, ‘ivory shoulder’, at the moment of closure. As we have seen, Martial does not refer directly to the shoulder of Pelops, but in a modern translation the allusion would be completely lost to most readers if the translator were not to put in crucial details of the story. Pelops hardly figures among the most familiar members of the Greek pantheon today, and to recover the aspects of his myth that Pope may have wished to lodge in our consciousness we must briefly rehearse the main grounds for his fame in antiquity. ‘He was a hero worshipped at Olympia and believed to be the eponym of the Peloponnese. As a child, he was killed and served up by his father Tantalus, in order to test his guests the Gods. Only Demeter, grieving the loss of her daughter, failed to notice, and ate part of his shoulder; the other Gods restored him to life and replaced him with ivory.’31 In some versions it is the Fates who carry out the surgery to afford Pelops a prosthetic shoulder. We might have expected the tale to have more resonance than it actually possesses in modern times. For one thing, Pelops supposedly gave his name to the entire southern region of mainland Greece, literally ‘the island of Pelops.’ A second reason is that Tantalus was condemned to his eternal punishment in Hades, still part of current knowledge, because of his contumacious behaviour in presenting the gods with a stew in which his own son floated. Many writers made use of the myth.32 In the first Olympic Ode Pindar refers to the ivory shoulder, as it struck those beholding the scene when Clotho pulled Pelops out of the cauldron. It was Clotho, youngest of the Fates, who spun the thread of human life and decided when death should come to an individual. The word fate(s) occurs fifteen times in the text of The Rape of the Lock, most emphasizing the ineluctable course of events. To take some of the more obvious examples: ‘But what, or where, the Fates have wrapt in Night’ (ii.104); ‘Anxious, and trembling for the Birth of Fate’ (ii.142); ‘Oh thoughtless Mortals! ever blind to Fate’ (iii.172); ‘Fate urg’d the Sheers, and cut the Sylph in twain’ (iii.151); ‘A Sylph too warn'd me of the Threats of Fate’ (iv.165). One of the attributes of the Fates was a pair of shears, paralleled in the poem by the ‘fatal Sheers’ so decisive for Belinda’s own history; and it is they who have concealed from her the ‘dire Disaster’ impending (ii.103–4).) By reactivating the story of Pelops through such an allusive device, Pope would be able to underline the way in which shearing off the lock initiated the working out of destiny, controlled by the Moirai as they clipped the threads of life. In fact, Pelops was a key figure in the legendary lore of the ancient world for quite another reason. As the father of Atreus, he spawned a line of the major characters who people Greek literature. His progeny in the second generation included Agamemnon, Menelaus, Iphigenia, Orestes and Electra. Thus the whole curse of the house of Atreus which fills the work of the great tragedians stems immediately from the line of Pelops. In the period that the Rape was written, no one with any reasonable degree of classical education would have been ignorant of these associations of the hero. Pope himself was long familiar with the passage in Book II of the Iliad describing the golden sceptre of Agamemnon, contrived by Vulcan, and its descent from Jove through Pelops, Atreus, the latter’s brother Thyestes, and his son Agamemnon (TE vii.133–4). He actually parodied this passage in Rape v.89–96. The passage in Pope’s rendition ends, ‘And now the mark of Agamemnon’s reign, / Subjects all Argos, and controls the main.’ The sceptre had become a symbol of the house of the Atrides, as its members acquired power over much of Greece. This genealogy is essential to an understanding of several tragedies that concern the Atrides, but it also underlies the family quarrel that set off the events of the Iliad. Anybody who knew the epigram well enough to recall, however distantly, its concluding couplet would understand how the allusion opens out the imaginative space from the intimate and diurnal concerns of the first two verses. As everyone knows, it is the principal poetic business of the Rape to make this move from a bijou object like a pair of scissors, used to snip fabric in needlework, to the great engines of war: ‘Steel cou’d the Labour of the Gods destroy, / And strike to Dust th’imperial Tow’rs of Troy’ (iii.173–4). Closer inspection of the verses enhances their relevance to the context of the Rape. After his body was made whole again, Pelops entered on a relationship with Hippodamia, daughter of the king of the region later known as Olympia, ousting alternative lovers and killing the king. In other words, ‘Pelops himself prospered greatly, and had six sons by Hippodamia.’33 The implied prophecy is for Belinda to prosper, despite the loss of her lock, at the expense of the ravisher. On one reading of the poem, she will triumph in perpetuity as her lock is transported to the heavens, while the Baron is condemned to a miserable end. In the myth the victim is male and the one who unwittingly consumes and mutilates part of his body is female: Pope slyly inverts these roles. As the epigram intimates, the white shoulder of Pelops resembles that of Polytimus, once his hair has been trimmed. In both cases there is a strong sense of sexual availability, enhanced by the new restored bodily part. Ivory figures twice in the Rape. The famous description of Belinda’s toilet in Canto I contains the lines, ‘The Tortoise here and Elephant unite, / Transformed to Combs, the speckled and the white’ (i.135–6). Much more significant is a familiar passage early in Canto II: This Nymph, to the Destruction of Mankind, Nourish’d two Locks, which graceful hung behind In equal Curls, and well conspir’d to deck With shining Ringlets the smooth Iv’ry Neck. (ii.19–22) This is the first mention of the fateful locks hanging down from Belinda’s head. What matters more here is their setting on her ‘Iv’ry Neck.’ Whenever we encounter a white neck in early modern literature, it is seldom located physically or semantically far from a snowy bosom. To take a single example, in Charles Cotton’s travesty of Lucian, Burlesque upon Burlesque: or, The Scoffer Scoft (1675), the description of the charms of Venus contains the lines, ‘What a white Neck! What Breasts! What Shoulders! / Belly and Back to catch beholders!’34 Neck and shoulders are almost always sexually charged attributes when a woman’s body is described, and may even represent nothing more than a polite periphrasis for her breasts. Pope has already referred to Belinda’s ‘white Breast’ (ii.7), and the similitude in colouring with her neck can be no coincidence. The erotic potential established here will appear later in the poem, when Belinda resolves to shear off the remaining lock of the pair which had attracted notice when hanging down towards her shoulders: ‘These, in two sable Ringlets taught to break, / Once gave new Beauties to the snowie Neck’ (iv.169). The survivor now ‘sits uncouth, alone’, as it ‘the fatal Sheers demands’, and ‘tempts’ he Baron’s sacrilegious Hands’ (iv.169–73). Every phrase here carries strong associations not just of violation but of sexual temptation, to which the rapist had succumbed—implying that fit punishment for his crimes would be those meted out to Tantalus in the myth of Pelops.35 Martial had made explicit the opportunity of Polytimus to show off to his bride the fair skin that had previously been hidden by his flowing mane, thus rivalling the (literally) ivory shoulder of Pelops. This would appear to be a gesture of sexual invitation, something that the Rape leaves ambiguous in terms of Belinda’s desires and her self-presentation. V It is time to draw the threads together to see how they may help to make sense of the epigraph to the Rape. As we have seen, Pelops had his body and his life restored. Near the climax of her story, Belinda cries out, ‘Restore the Lock!’ (v.103), but the coveted trophy is not to be found. The hair has seemingly disappeared, until on the authority of the muse it emerges into sight as a new star in the heavens. Of course this means that Belinda’s mythological standing is enhanced; but this is not quite the same thing as saying that Arabella Fermor’s reputation has been magically made whole once more. Even if Pelops came well out of his ordeal, his renewed life would lead ultimately to vast personal and public upheavals, not least the Trojan War. The family quarrel that John Caryll wanted his friend Pope to settle in a good humoured way has been forced into some uncomfortable conjunctions by the allusive methods of the poem. Another question we might ask is whether someone will be punished for their offences, as Tantalus and Scylla were? The obvious victim would be the Baron, but as we know he had departed the scene before the full version of the Rape came out. Possibly, as Elwin and Tillotson thought, Pope felt in 1714 that the wounds were too recent to emphasize Lord Petre’s misbehaviour, so that he inserted the motto from the Metamorphoses, but considered that these had healed by 1717, when he reinstated the two lines from Martial. But is Pope himself the transgressor, in exposing this embarrassing episode to the world? Elwin certainly believed that he ought to have felt contrition for what he had done. In sober historical fact, it is probably true that Arabella suffered more acutely than anyone else: Lord Petre’s prospects for an opulent marriage were not damaged (he married a fifteen year-old heiress within months of the publication of the original work), whereas Arabella made a more modest match than the bright union of socialites that had once beckoned her. If we look at the entire epigram, it is hard to see how Pope is expressing any regret at what he had done, or is doing any more for Arabella than complimenting her for having come through with her personal charms undiminished. In selecting this fairly obscure item for his epigraph, Pope seems to have wanted to add further epic weight to his narrative. It is debatable how far he wished readers to recall the story of Pelops—and perhaps by implication the fate of Tantalus (torture and punishment figure strongly in Cantos II and IV, especially), or even the destiny of the line of Atreus—an outcome which could not have occurred if the youth had not been brought back to life for reconstructive surgery. In mock-heroic terms, such mythical accretions would aggrandize the baneful aspects of the rape. The poetic conduit for such an effect was opened up by the comparison that Martial made between the shearing of Polytimus and the mutilation of Pelops—an enlargement of imaginative scale that Pope regularly sought to achieve in mock-epic. The plausibility of this case would be less if we could cling to the belief that Martial meant little to Pope. Evidence assembled here shows three things. First, that there was continuing interest in the Epigrammata, displayed by friends such as Swift, Prior, and Gay among others. Second, that Pope showed first-hand knowledge of the poet on more occasions than we had suspected, many of them congregated in the earlier phase of his life when The Rape of the Lock came into being. Third, that there are many more places on his oeuvre where close parallels with Martial can be detected, both among his own exercises in the genre of epigram and within his poems generally. A key instance comes in the neglected lines on the life of a country parson, based in part like the ‘Ode on Solitude’ on Ep 10.47. The epigram that Pope used is characteristic of Martial in that the first distich is comparatively simple, personal, and localized in its scope, whereas the main poetic energy is kept for the third and fourth lines, reaching out to potential sexual congress with the bride of Polytimus as well as introducing the comparison with Pelops. In fact there are few points of analogy between Polytimus and Belinda, other than simply in the cutting of hair, in the former’s case as part of a good-natured exchange with the poet. The threat implied by the word violare is made actual only when the story of Pelops is invoked in line 3. To put it simply, Pelops and Belinda were both in their way mutilated; Polytimus was not, but rather made more attractive. Belinda’s similitude with the Greek hero as the victim of rude assault is confirmed in the placing of the emphatic final word ebur, which refers to the ivory shoulder that according to the myth was the agency by which Pelops was made whole after his disfigurement, and which Pope echoes in the description of his heroine’s ‘Iv’ry Neck.’ It is only when we restore the full context, by reinstating the missing distich, that we see how the motto enhances Belinda’s jokingly offered claim to mythic status, which will culminate in the apotheosis of her lost lock. In our post-classical age, it is easy to overlook jokes of this kind, but then nobody ever accused Pope of going for the most simple and obvious effects in his poetry. A version of this article was given as a paper at the conference of the International Association of University Professors of English, held at the University of London in 2016. I am grateful for helpful comments by members of the audience. In addition, two anonymous readers for RES made extremely valuable suggestions for revision and thanks to Tom Keymer for his careful reading of the article. Footnotes 1 Howard D. Weinbrot, Alexander Pope and the Traditions of Formal Verse Satire (Princeton, NJ, 1982). 2 R. A. Brower, Alexander Pope: The Poetry of Allusion (Oxford, 1959). 3 Prior wrote a few items explicitly based on Martial in both English and Latin, as well as others showing a less immediate source in the Epigrammata. The best of these did not appear in his early collections, published prior to The Rape of the Lock, and came out in his Poems (1718). For fuller details see the notes on individual poems in The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, ed. H. B. Wright and M. K. Spears, 2nd edn (Oxford, 1971). 4 J. P. Sullivan, ‘Martial and English Poetry’, Classical Antiquity, 9 (1990), 149–74 (168). A few translations of Martial have been attributed to Swift, though none with any authority. The Dean’s friend Patrick Delany had a marked taste for the Epigrammata, and when the two men exchanged verses on Lord Carteret in 1729 each used lines form Martial as a motto at the head of their work. See The Poems of Patrick Delany, ed. Robert Hogan and Donald C. Mell (Newark, DE, 2006), 125–32. 5 Martial in English, ed. J. P. Sullivan and A. J. Boyle (London, 1996), henceforth MIE. Sullivan drew on a more eclectic anthology he had already edited with Peter Whigham, Epigrams of Martial Englished by Divers Hands (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1987). This contains the Latin text and contemporary translations, with an appendix of older versions. Another important contribution by Sullivan is his book Martial: The Unexpected Classic (Cambridge, 1991). 6 MIE, 176. 7 The collection M. Valerius Martialis Epigrammaton is cited in the form ‘Ep. 1.1’. The text is that of Ker (1919), though I have also consulted the editions by Shackleton Bailey (1990; 1993) for more recent scholarly information. 8 Sullivan, Martial: The Unexpected Classic, 299. The comment comes in relation to Prior, but it applies equally well to Pope. 9 As pointed out by a reader for this journal, Pope’s audience would also have recalled Catullus 36, ‘Annales Volusi, cacata carta’, on a worthless work of history doomed to be used as toilet paper. 10 Minor Poems, ed. N. Ault and J. Butt in The Twickenham Edition of the Works of Alexander Pope, vol. 6 (London, 1954), 360, 372. Henceforth cited as TE. 11 The Epigrams of Martial, tr. James Michie (New York, NY, 1972), 43. 12 Harold Beaver, ‘The Prince and the Poet: “Engraved on the Collar of a Dog which I Gave to his Royal Highness”,’ BJECS, 3 (1980), 208–15. 13 Joseph Spence, Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters of Books and Men, ed. J. M. Osborn, 2 vols (Oxford, 1966), i. 120. 14 A school text, Martialis Epigrammata, in usum scholæ Westmonasteriensis, appeared several times from 1721, sometimes with an addition of the words et Carthusianæ at the end of the title. It contains an elaborate index verborum. This seems to be Maittaire’s version for Tonson under another name. As an anonymous reader explains, ‘Epigram was a standard teaching tool for pupils in their first year of Latin (and those who went on to pick up some Greek would similarly meet selections from the Greek Anthology at an early stage)…all Pope's educated male readers will have possessed at least a basic familiarity with Martial’s manner.’ 15 Interest continued during the time of Pope’s writing career: see for instance a collection professedly based on the Roman poet, Martial Reviv’d: or, Epigrams, Satyrical, Panegyrical, Political, Moral, Elegiacal, Whimsical, and Comical. Above One Hundred in Number, Merrily but Justly applied to all Sorts of Persons and Things. And Particularly Inscrib’d to our Modern Courtiers, State Quacks, Fools, Lovers, Rakes, Beaus, Libertines, Poets, Stockjobbers, Saints, Hypocrites, Priests, Ladies, Maids, Wives, Widows, &c. With a Preface in Defence of Epigram, and Merry Fellows (1722). 16 Maynard Mack, ‘A Finding List of Books Surviving from Pope’s Library’, in Collected in Himself (Newark, DE, 1982), 424. 17 The Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus, ed. Charles Kerby-Miller (New York, NY, 1988), 95. 18 Again I am indebted to the anonymous reader for this observation. 19 In that town he was a colleague of Daniel Heinsius, whose edition of Horace (Leiden, 1621) formed Pope’s working copy for his imitations, and whose Virgil (Leiden, 1636) was also in the poet’s library. 20 See The Correspondence of Alexander Pope, ed. George Sherburn, 5 vols (Oxford, 1956), i. 42, 101, 432; ii. 23; iii. 115. 21 See Spence, Anecdotes, i. 177. 22 MIE, 338. 23 The source of the poem is an epigram by the Poitevin author Scévole de Sainte-Marthe (1536–1623), beginning ‘Je confesse bien comme vous.’ This was not identified by the Twickenham editors, but it was unearthed by a correspondent to Notes and Queries, 5 (1876), 67, in relation to a version by Matthew Prior published in 1718. 24 The first line of this distich, ‘Semper eris pauper, si pauper es, Æmiliane,’ provided a possible grammatical template for the last line of Pope’s ‘Epitaph on Himself’ (1741): ‘Trusts in God, that as well he was, he shall be’ (TE vi. 386). 25 See also Sullivan’s article, ‘Some Versions of Martial 10.47: The Happy Life’, The Classical Outlook, 63 (1986), 112–14. 26 See Maren-Sofie Røstvig, The Happy Man: Studies in the Metamorphoses of a Classical Ideal, 2 vols (Oslo, 1954–1958). 27 The Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley, 3 vols (London, 1721), ii. 661. Cowley’s most insistent raids on Martial occur in his essay ‘Of Liberty’. In the first of these he renders Ep 1.55, containing the lines, ‘hoc petit, esse sui nee magni ruris arator, / sordidaque in parvis otia rebus amat’ (‘Would be no Lord, but less a Lord would have / The ground he holds, if he his own can call, / He quarrels not with Heaven because ’tis small: / Let gay and toilsome Greatness others please, / He loves of homely Littleness the Ease’ (MIE, 95). 28 I am grateful to Professor Rivkah Zim for pointing me to this source. 29 This is Ep 12.85 in the Westminster school text. 30 See The Works of Alexander Pope, ed. W. Elwin and W. J. Courthope, 10 vols (London, 1871–1889), ii. 221–2. 31 The Oxford Classical Dictionary, ed. Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth (Oxford, 1996), s.v. ‘Pelops’, 1134. 32 Two well known short allusions occur in Metamorphoses vi.401–11; and Georgics iii.7. In the former, Llewellyn Morgan suggests, ‘the recomposition of Pelops’ corpus is problematic.’ See ‘Child’s Play: Ovid and his Critics’, Journal of Roman Studies, 93 (2003), 66–91 (88). We might wonder whether Belinda’s lustrous hair can ever be fully returned to its pristine state, even if the lock shorn from her head has been given a new home in the skies. 33 Oxford Classical Dictionary, 1134. 34 The Genuine Works of Charles Cotton, Esq; (London, 1715), 225. 35 Compare the pursuit of the nymph Lodona by the lascivious Pan in Windsor-Forest, 195–6: ‘And now his shorter Breath with sultry Air / Pants on her Neck, and fans her parting Hair’ (TE 1.168). © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press 2017; all rights reserved

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Published: Feb 1, 2018

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