Wednesday, April 07, 2010


A Petition by Alexander Pope and Others

A mock petition quoted by Maynard Mack, Collected in Himself: Essays Critical, Biographical, and Bibliographical on Pope and Some of His Contemporaries (Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1982), pp. 363-364:
The Petition of
Dorothy Countess of Burlington, Dorothy & Charlot Boyle
Spinsters, Charles Duke of Grafton, Geo. Lord Euston,
Sir Clemt Cottrel Knt. Alexr. Pope Gent. & Chs.
Brunevall Gent. and others—
To the Right Hon. the Earl of Burlington,
Humbly Shewing
That whereas a Certain Tree lying, being & standing in or on the Grounds of your Lordship, at or before or on one side or the other of a Certain Edifice at your Honour's called the Casino, hath possessed occupied and held, for the space of twenty or twenty-one years or thereabouts, over or under, the said Ground Place and Bank, and suffered & endurd all the Changes & Vicissitudes of Wind Water & Weather in the Worst of Times. And whereas a certain Upstart Terras, hath arisen & stood opposite (tho at great distance) to your Honour's said Tree, above & before mentioned & described, which said Terras hath and can suffer no molestation, Let, or hindrance from any Shadow, Root or Branch of your said Tree, which both continued faithfully fixed to the Premises, nor ever stirred, or attempted to stir, from his said place, notwithstanding which the said Terras hath, by the Instigation of Sathan, & of William Kent, his agent & Attorney, conspiring thereunto, devised and plotted, and do at this time devise plot & conspire the Destruction, Abolition, Overthrow & Total Subversion of this Your Honour's Tree, the said Tree to cut down, or saw down, or root up & grub up, & ruin for ever: We, Your Honour's humble Petitioners who have many years known, accustomed & frequented the said Tree, sitten, reposed or disported under the Shade thereof yea and seen the said William Kent, the Agent & Attorney of the said Sathan, solace himself with Syllabubs, Damsels, and other Benefits of Nature, under the said Tree, Do, for ourselves & our Posterity, most earnestly, & jointly as well as Seperately, petition and pray that the said Tree may remain, subsist, continue & flourish in his place, during his or her natural life (not being absolutely certain of the Sex of the said Tree) to enjoy the Small Spot of Ground on which God & your Lordship's Ancestors of ever blessed memory have placed it.
Related posts: A Culture Is No Better Than Its Woods; Abraham, Cyriac, Barhadbshabba, and Sergius; Ronsard and the Forest of Gâtine; The Heavenly Beauty of Earthly Things; Apollo Karneios and the Cornel-Trees; Pitiful Destruction; Enemy of Orchards; Arboricide and Matricide; The Sacrilegious Axe; Arboricide on the Wayne Ranch; The Woods of Bachycraigh; Papadendrion; Papadendrion Again; A Bewilderment of Birds; Ancient Protests Against Deforestation; Illustrations of Erysichthon; Prayer and Sacrifice to Accompany Tree Cutting; A Spirit Protects the Trees; St. Martin and the Pine Tree; The Geismar Oak; Bregalad's Lament; Petition of a Poplar; Cactus Ed and Arboricide; Views from the Center of Highgate Wood; Artaxerxes and Arboricide; When the Last Tree Falls; The Hamadryads of George Lane; Sorbs and Medlars; So Foul a Deed; Like Another Erysichthon; The Fate of Old Trees; Scandalous Misuse of the Globe; The Groves Are Down; Massacre; Executioners; Anagyrasian Spirit; Butchers of Our Poor Trees; Cruel Axes; Odi et Amo; Kentucky Chainsaw Massacre; Hornbeams; Protection of Sacred Groves; Lex Luci Spoletina; Turullius and the Grove of Asclepius; Caesarian Section; Death of a Noble Pine; Two Yew Trees in Chilthorne, Somerset; The Fate of the Shrubbery at Weston; The Trees Are Down; Hornbeams; Sad Ravages in the Woods; Strokes of Havoc; Maltreatment of Trees; Arboricide; An Impious Lumberjack; Erysichthon in Ovid; Erysichthon in Callimachus; Vandalism.


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