The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

III. Pope

§ 10. Epistles

Whatever exception may be taken to his attempts in the higher sphere of passion, Pope’s sense of friendship, and something further which it is not easy to define, are expressed with singular charm in his Epistles to Mr. Jervas, to a Young Lady with the works of Voiture and to the Same on her leaving the Town after the Coronation. It is characteristic that the last two Epistles were written, in the first instance, for Teresa Blount, and transferred afterwards to her younger sister Martha. At this time, Pope seems to have been specially susceptible to female influence. How much genuine feeling and how much conventional gallantry made up his attitude to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, it might be hard to determine. The most likely explanation of the bitterness with which he assailed her in after years is to be found in her own statement, that a declaration of passionate love provoked on her side an immoderate fit of laughter. On the other hand, it was his fondness of thirty years for Martha Blount, at times misunderstood, that helped him through the long disease of his life.