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A Hard Hit At Pope

Pope was one evening at Button's Coffee-house, where he and a set of
literati had got poring over a Latin manuscript, in which they had found
a passage that none of them could comprehend. A young officer, who heard
their conference, begged that he might be permitted to look at the
passage. "Oh," said Pope, sarcastically, "by all means; pray let the
young gentleman look at it." Upon which the officer took up the manuscript,
and, considering it awhile, said there only wanted a note of interrogation
to make the whole intelligible: which was really the case. "And pray,
Master," says Pope with a sneer, "what is a note of interrogation?"--"A
note of interrogation," replied the young fellow, with a look of great
contempt, "is a little crooked thing that asks questions."

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