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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

in which alexander pope appreciates his dog

From a letter the poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) wrote to a friend, identified as "H.C. Esq.":
...Now I talk of my Dog, that I may not treat of a worse subject which my spleen tempts me to, I will give you some account of him; a thing not wholly unprecedented since Montaigne (to whom I am but a Dog in comparison) has done the very same thing of his Cat. Dic mihi quid melius desidiosus agam? (This seems to mean something like "How can I do any better and I'm lazy anyway" - curator) You are to know then, that as 'tis Likeness that begets affection, so my favorite dog is a little one, a lean one, and none of the finest shap'd. He is not much a Spaniel in his fawning, but has (what might be worth any man's while to imitate from him) a dumb surly sort of kindness, that rather shows itself when he thinks me ill-used by others, than when we walk peaceably and quietly by ourselves. If it be the chief point of Friendship to comply with a friend's Motions and Inclinations, he possesses this in an eminent degree; he lies down when I sit, and walks when I walk, which is more than many good friends can pretend to...
-- from Letters of Mr Pope, and Several Eminent Persons, from the year 1705, to 1711, Vol. 1 London: Printed and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 1735. pp. 112-3.

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