David Mallet (1705?-1765)
From 18th Century Literary Anecdotes

David MALLET to whom Pope had consigned the care of his works, and who, he thought, had some intention of writing Mr. Pope's life, told Bishop Warburton he had an anecdote which he believed nobody knew but himself.

`I was sitting one day with Mr. Pope in his last illness. "Mr. Mallet," said he, "I have had an odd kind of a vision; methought I saw my own head open, and Apollo come out of it; then I saw your head open, and Apollo went into it; after which our heads closed up again."'

Warburton replied:

`Why, Sir, if I had an intention of writing your life this might, perhaps, be a proper anecdote; but I do not see that in Mr. Pope's it will be of any consequence whatever.'

From Owen Ruffhead, The Life of Alexander Pope (1769), p. 532.

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