페이지 이미지

having printea seventeen huudred and fifty copies of had read his version, which indeed he has been somethe first volume, he reduced the number in the other times suspected of using instead of the original, volumes to a thousand.

Notes were likewise to be provided ; for the six volumes It is unpleasant to relate, that the bookseller, after all would have been very little more than six pamphlets his hopes and all his liberality, was, by a very unjust without them. What the mere perusal of the text could and illegal action, defrauded of his profit. An edition suggest, Pope wanted no assistance to collect or me. of the English · Iliad, was printed in Holland in Duo. thodize; but more was necessary; many pages were to decimo, and imported clandestinely for the gratification be filled, and learning must supply materials to wit and of those who were impatient to read what they could judgment. Something might be gathered from Dacier ; not yet afford to buy. This fraud could only be coun but no man loves to be indebted to his contemporaries, teracted by an edition equally cheap and more commo. and Dacier was accessible to common readers. Eustadious; and Lintot was compelled to contract bis folio at thius was therefore necessarily consulted. To read once into a duodecimo, and lose the advantage of an Eustathius, of whose work there was then no Latin intermediate gradation. The notes, which in the Dutch version, I suspect Pope, if he had been willing, not to copies were placed at the end of each book, as they had have been able; some other was therefore to be found, been in the large volumes, were now subjoined to the who had leisure as well as abilities; and he was doubtless text in the same page, and are therefore more easily most readily employed who would do much work for consulted. Of this edition two thousand five hundred little money. were first printed, and five thousand a few weeks after The history of the notes has never been traced. wards: but indeed great numbers were necessary to Broome, in his preface to his poems, declares himself produce considerable profit.

the commentator“ in part upon the Iliad;" and it apPope, having now emitted his proposals, and engaged pears from Fenton's letter, preserved in the British not only his own reputation, but in some degree that of Museum, that Broome was at first engaged in consulting his friends who patronized his subscription, began to Eustathius; but that after a time, whatever was the be frighted at his own undertaking; and finding him reason he desisted; another man of Cambridge was self at first embarrassed with difficulties, which retarded then employed, who soon grew weary of the work; and and oppressed him, he was for a time timorous and a third, that was recommended by Thirlby, is now dis. uneasy, had his nights disturbed by dreams of long covered to have been Jortin, a man since well known to journeys through unknown ways, and wished, as he the learned world, who complained that Pope, having said, “ that somebody would bang him.*"

accepted and approved his performance, never testified 'This misery, however, was not of long continuance; any curiosity to see him, and who professed to have for. he grew by degrees more acquainted with Homer's gotten the terms on which he worked. The terms which images and expression, and practice increased his fa- Fenton uses are very mercantile : “I think at first sight eility of versification. In a short time he represents that his performance is very commendable, and have himself as dispatching regularly fifty verses a day which sent word for him to finish the 17th book, and to send it would shew him by an easy computation the termina- with his demands for his trouble. I have here enclosed tion of his labour.

the specimen; if the rest come before the return, I will His own diffidence was not his only vexation. He keep them till I receive your order." that asks subscriptions soon finds that he has enemies, Broome then offered his service a second time, which Allwho do not encourage him, defame him. He that wants was probably accepted, as they had afterwards a closer money will rather be thought angry than poor: and he correspondence. Parnell contributed the Life of Homer, that wishes to save his money, conceals his avarice by which Pope found so harsh, that he took great pains in his malice. Addison had hinted his suspicion that Pope correcting it; and by his own diligence, with such help was too much a Tory; and some of the Tories suspected as kindness or money could procure him, in somewha* his principles, because he had contributed to the Guar more than five years he completed his version of the dian,' which was carried on by Steele.

Iliad,' with the notes. He began it in 1712, his twenty. To those who censured his politics were added ene-fifth year; and concluded it in 1718, his thirtieth year. mies yet more dangerous, who called in question his When we find him translating fifty lines a day, it is

nowledge of Greek, and his qualifications for a trans- natural to suppose that he would have brought his work lator of Homer. To these he made no public opposition; to a more speedy conclusion. The Iliad,' containing but in one of his Letters escapes from them as well as less than sixteen thousand verses, might have been dishe can.

At an age like his, for he was not more than patched in less than three hundred and twenty days by twenty five, with an irregular education, and a course fifty verses in a day. The notes, compiled with the asof life of which much seems to have passed in conver-sistance of his mercenaries, could not be supposed to sation, it is not very likely that he overflowed with require more time than the text. Greek. But when he felt himself deficient he sought According to this calculation, the progress of Pope assistance; and what man of learning would refuse to may seem to have been slow; but the distance is comhelp him ? Minute inquiries into the force of words are monly very great between actual performances and less necessary in translating Homer than other poets, speculative possibility. It is natural to suppose, that as because his positions are general, and his representations much as has been done to-day may be done to-morrow; natural, with very little dependence on local or temporary but on the morrow some difficulty emerges, or some ex: customs, on those changeable scenes of artificial life, ternal impediment obstructs. Indolence, interruption, which, by mingling original with accidental notions, and business, and pleasure, all take their turns of retardacrowding the mind with images which time effaces, tion; and every long work is lengthened by a thousand produces ambiguity in diction, and obscurity in books. causes that can, and ten thousand that cannot, be reTo this open display of unadulterated nature it must be counted. Perhaps no extensive and multifarious perascribed, that Homer has fewer passages of doubtful formance was ever effected within the term originally meaning than any other poet either in the learned or in fixed in the undertaker's mind. He that runs against modern languages. I have read of a man, who being, Time has an antagonist not subject to casualties. by his ignorance of Greek, compelled to gratify his cu. The encouragement given to this translation, though riosity with the Latin printed on the opposite page, de report seems to have overrated it, was such as the world clared that, from the rude simplicity of the lines literally has not often seen. The subscribers were five hundred rendered, he formed nobler ideas of the Homeric majes- and seventy-five. The copies, for which subscriptions ty, than from the laboured elegance of polished versions. were given, were six hundred and fifty-four; and only

Those literal translations were always at hand, and six hundred and sixty were printed. For these copies from them he could easily obtain his author's sense with Pope had nothing to pay; be therefore received, includ. sufficient certainty; and among the readers of Homer, ing the two hundred pounds a volume, five thousand the number is very small of those who find much in the three hundred and twenty pounds four shillings without Greek more than in the Latin, except the music of the deduction, as the book's were supplied by Lintot. numbers.

By the success of his subscription Pope was relieved If more help was wanting, he had the poetical trans- from those pecuniary distresses with which, notwith: lation of 'Eohanus Hessus,' an unwearied writer of standing his popularity, he had hitherto struggled. Latin versez ; he had the French Homers of La Valtiere Lord Oxford had often lamented his disqualification for and Dacier, and the English of Chapman, Hobbes, and public employment, but never proposed a pension. While Ogilby. With Chapman, whose work, though now to the translation of Homer' was in its progress, Mr. tally reglected, seems to have been popular almost to the Craggs, then secretary of state, offered to procure him end of the last century, he had very frequent consulta a pension, which, at least during his ministry, might be tions, and perhaps never translated any passage till he enjoyed with secrecy. This was not accepted by Pope,

who told him, however, that if he should be pressed

with want of money, he would send to him for occasional * Spence.

supplies. Craggs was not long in power, and was never

[ocr errors]

solicited for money by Pope, who disdained to beg what By these he begs, and lowly bending down
he did not want.

The golden sceptre, and the laurel crown,
With the product of this subscription, which he had

Presents the sceptre
too much discretion to squander, he secured his future For these are ensigns of his God he bare,
life from want, by considerable annuities. The estate The God that sends his golden shafts afar ;
of the Duke of Buckingham was found to have been Then low on earth, the venerable man,
charged with five hundred pounds a year, payable to Suppliant before the brother kings began.
Pope, which doubtless his translation enabled him to

He sued to all, but chief implor'd for grace, It cannot be unwelcome to literary curiosity, that ! The brother kings of Atreus' royal race : deduce thus miuutely the history of the English Iliad.' Ye kings and warriors, may your vows be crown'd, It is certainly the noblest version of poetry which the And Troy's proud walls lie level with the ground: world has ever seen; and its publication must therefore May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er, be considered as one of the great events in the annals Safe to the pleasures of your native shore. of Learning.

To those who have skill to estimate the excellence To all he sued, but chief implored for grace, and difficulty of this great work, it must be very desira. The brother kings of Atreus' royal race: ble to know how it was performed, and by what grada. Ye sons of Atreus, niay your vows be crown'd, tions it advanced to correctness. Of such an intellectual Kings and warriors process the knowledge has very rarely been attainable ; Your labours, by the Gods be all your labours but happily there remains the original copy of the 'Iliad,'

crown'd; which, being obtained by Bolingbroke as a curiosity, So may the Gods your arms with conquest bless, descended from him to Mallet, and is now by the solici. And Troy's proud wall lie level with the ground tation of the late Dr. Maty, reposited in the Museum.


Between this manuscript, which is written upon ac And crown your labours with deserved success;
cidental fragments of paper, and the printed edition, May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er
there must have been an intermediate copy, that was Safe to the pleasures of your native shore.
perhaps destroyed as it returned from the press.

From the first copy I have procured a few transcripts, But oh! relieve a wretched parent's pain,
and shall exhibit first the printed lines; then those And give Chryseis to these arms again;
of the manuscripts, with all their variations. Those If mercy fail, yet let my present move,
words which are given in Italics, are cancelled in the And dread avenging Phoebus, son of Jove.
copy, and the words placed under them adopted in their

But oh I relieve a hapless parent's pain,
The beginning of the first book stands thus:

And give my daughter to these arms again :

Receive my gifts : if mercy fails, yet let my present The wrath of Peleus' son, the direful spring

move, Of all the Grecian woes, O Goddess, sing,

And fear the God that deals his darts around. That wrath which hurld to Pluto's gloomy reign

avenging Phæbus, son of Jove.
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain.

The Greeks, in shouts, their joint assent declare
The stern Pelides' rage 0 Godiless, sing,

The priest to reverence, and release the fair.

Not so Atrides ; he with kingly pride,
Of all the woes of Greece the fatal spring,

Repulsed the sacred Sire, and thus reply'd.
That strew'd with warriors dead the Phrygian plain, He said, the Greeks their joint assent declare,

The father said the gen'rous Greeks relent,
And peopled the dark hell with heroes slain;

T'accept the ransom, and release the fair,
filld the shady hell with chiefs untimely

Revere the priest and speak the joint assent,

Not so the tyrant, he with kingly pride,
Whose limbs, unburied on the naked shore,

Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore,

Repulsed the sacred Sire, and thus reply'd.
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove;

[Not so the tyrant. DRYDEN.] Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove.

Of these lines, and of the whole first book, I am told Whose limbs, unburied on the hostile shore, that there was a former copy, more varied, and more Devouring dogs and greedy vultures tore,

deformed with interlineations. Since first Atrides and Achilles strove;

The beginning of the second book varies very little Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of from the printed page, and is therefore set down withJove..

out a parallel ; the few differences do not require to be

elaborately displayed.
Declare, O Muse, in what ill-fated hour
Sprung the fierce strife, from what offerded Power ? Now pleasing sleep had seal'd each mortal eye;
Latona's son a dire contagion spread,

Stretch'd in their tents the Grecian leaders lie;
And heap'd the camp with mountains of the dead ; Th’ Immortals slumber'd on their thrones above,
The King of men his reverend priest defy'd,

All but the ever-watchful eye of Jove.
And for the King's offence the people dy'd.

To honour Thetis' son he bends his care,

And plunge the Greeks in all the woes of war.
Declare, O Goddess, what offended Power

Then bids an empty phantom rise to sight,
Enflamed their rage, in that ill-omen'd hour; And thus commands the vision of the night:
anger fatal, hapless

directs Phæbus himself the dire debate procured,

Fly hence, delusive dream, and light, as air,

To Agamemnon's royal tent repair ;
T'avenge the wrongs his injured priest endured ; Bid him in arms draw forth th' embattled train,
For this the God a dire infection spread,

March all his legions to the dusty plain.
And heap'd the camp with millions of the dead. Now tell the King 'tis given him to destroy
The King of Men the Sacred Sire defy'd,

Declare even now
And for the King's offence the people dy'd.

The lofty walls of wide extended Troy;

tower's For Chryses sought, with costly gifts, to gain

For now no more the Gods with Fate contend; His captive daughter from the Victor's chain ;

At Junio's suit the heavenly factions end. Suppliant the venerable Father stands,

Destruction hovers o'er yon devoted wall, Apollo's awful ensigns grace his hands;

hangs By these he begs, and, lowly bending down

And nodding llium waits th’impending fall.
Extends the sceptre and the laurel crown.

Invocation to the catalogue of Ships.
For Chryses sought by presents to regain
costly gifts to gain

Say, Virgins, seated round the throne divine,
His captive daughter from the Victor's chain : All-knowing Goddesses ! immortal nine !
Suppliant the venerable Father stands,

Since Earth's wide regions, Heaven's unmeasured
Apollo's awful ensigns grac'd his hands.

And Hell's abyss, hide nothing from your sight,

We, wretched mortals ! lost in doubts below,

The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
But guess by rumour, and but boast we know)

Eye the blue vault and bless the useful light.
Oh! say what heroes, fired by thirst of fanie,

So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,
Or urged by wrongs, to Troy's destruction came! And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays ;
To count them all, demands a thousand tongues, The long reflections of the distant fires
A throat of brass and adamantine lungs.

Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.

A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,
Now, Virgin Goddesses, immortal Nine!

And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field.
That round Olympus' heavenly summit shine, Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,
Who see through Heaven and Earth, and Hell Whose umber'd arms by fits thick flashes send;

Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn,
And all things know, and all things can resound ! And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.
Relate what armies sought the Trojan land,
What nations follow'd, and what chiefs command ; As when in stillness of the silent night,
(For doubtful fame distracts mankind below,

As when the moon in all her lustre bright;
and nothing can we tell, and nothing know)

As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night, Without your aid, to count th' unnumber'd train,

O'er Heaven's clear azure sheds her silver light; A thousand months, a thousand tongues, were vain.

pure spreads sacred

As still in air the trembling lustre stood,

And o'er its golden border shoots a flood,

When no loose gale disturbs the deep serene, But Pallas now Tydides' soul inspires,

not a breath Fills with her force, and warms with all her fires;

And no dim cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene; Above the Greeks his deathless fame to raise,

not a
And crown her hero with distinguish'd praise.

Around her silver throne the planets glow,
High on his helm celestial lightnings play,

And stars unnumber'd trembling beams bestow :
His beamy shield emits a living ray;

Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
Th’unwearied blaze incessant stream supplies,

And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole;
Like the red star that fires th' autumnal skies.

Clear gleams of light o'er the dark trees are seen,

o'er the dark trees a yellow sheds, But Pallas now Tydides soul inspires,

O'er the dark trees a yellower green they slied, Fills with her rage, and warms with all her fires;

gleam force,

O'er all the Greeks decrees his fame to raise,

And tip with silver all the mountain hearis
Above the Greeks her warrior's fame to raise,

his deathless

And tip with silver every mountain's head,
And crown her hero with immortal praise :

The vallies open, and the forests rise,

The vales appear, the rocks in prospect rise,
Bright from his beamy crest the lightnings play, Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
High on

All nature stands reveal'd before our eyes;
From his broad buckler flash'd'the living ray ;

A flood of glory burst from all the skies.
High on his helm celestial lightnings play,

The conscious shepherd, joyful at the sight,
His beamy shield emits a living ray;

Eyes the blue vault, and numbers every light, The Goddess with her breath the flame supplies, The conscious swains rejoicing at the sight, Bright as the star whose fires in Autumn rise ;

shepherds gazing with delight Her breath divine thick streaming flames supplies, Eye the blue vault, and bless the vivid light, Bright as the star that fires th' autumnal skies :

glorious Th' unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies,

useful Like the red star that fires th' autumnal skies.

So many fames before the navy blaze,

proud Ilion When first he rears his radiant orb to sight,

And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays: And, bath'd in Ocean shoots a keener light.

Wide o'er the fields to Troy extend the gleams, Such glories Pallas on the chief bestow'd,

And tip the distant spires with fainter beams;
Such from bis arms the fierce effulgence flow'd;

The long reflections of the distant fires
Onward she drives him, furious to engage,

Gild the high walls, and tremble on the spires;
Where the fight burns, and where the thickest rage.

Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.

A thousand fires at distant stations bright,
When fresh he rears his radiant orb to sight,

Gild the dark prospect and dispel the night.
And gilds old Ocean with a blaze of light.
Bright as the star that fires th' autumnal skies,
Fresh from the deep, and gilds the seas and skies,

Of these specimens every man who bas cultivated
Such glories Pallas on her chief bestow'd,

poetry, or who delights to trace the mind from the rudeSuch sparkling rays from his bright armour flow'd; will naturally desire a great number, but most other

ness of its first conceptions to the elegance of its last, Such from his arms the fierce effulgence flow'd ; Onward she drives him headlong to engage,

readers are already tired, and I am not writing only to

poets and philosophers. furious Where the war bleeds, and where the fiercest rage. translation proceeded : the four first books appeared in

The 'Tiad' was published volume by volume, as the fight burns,


1715. The expectation of this work was undoubtedly

high, and every man who had connected his name with The sons of Dares first the combat sought,

criticism, or poetry, was desirous of such intelligence as A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault; In Vulcan's fame the father's days were led,

might enable him to talk upon the popular topic. Ha

lifax, who, by having been first a poet, and then a patron The sons to toils of glorious battle bred ;

of poetry, had acquired the right of being a judge, was

willing to hear some books while they were yet unpubThere lived a Trojan-Dares was his name,

lislied. Of this rehearsal Pope afterwards gave the fol, The priest of Vulcan, rich, yet void of blame:

lowing account.* The sons of Dares first the combat sought,

“The famous Lord Halifax was rather a pretender to A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault.

taste, than really possessed of it.-When I had finished

the two or three first books of my translation of the CONCLUSION OF BOOK VIII. V. 687.

'Iliad,' that Lord desired to have the pleasure of hear

ing them read at his house.--Addison, Congreve, and As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,

Garth, were there at the reading. In four or five places, O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light,

Lord Halifax stopt me very civilly, and with a speech When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,

each time of much the same kind, "I beg your pardon, And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;

Mr. Pope ; but there is something in that passage that
Aronnd her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole;

does not quite please me. Be so good as to mark tho

place, and consider it a little at your leisure.-I am sure
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain's head;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise
A tiood of glory bursts from all the skies;


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* Spence,

you can give it a litle turn. -I returned from Lord increased, and his submission lessened; and that Addillalifax's witł. Dr. Garth, in his chariot; and, as we son felt no delight from the advances of a young wit, were going along, was saying to the Doctor, that my who might soon contend with him for the bighest place. Lord had laid me under a great deal of difficulty by such Every great man, of whatever kind be his greatness, loose and general observation's : that I had been think- has among his friends those who officiously or ining over the passages almost ever since, and could not sidiously quicken his attention to offences, heighten his guess at what it was that offended his Lordship in either disgust, and stimulate his resentment. Of such adheof them. Garth laughed heartily at my embarrassment; rents Addison doubtless had many; and Pope was now said, I had not been long enough acquainted with Lord too high to be without them. Halifax to know his way yet; that I need not puzzle my From the emission and reception of the proposals for self about looking those places over and over, when I got the “Iliad, the kindness of Addison seems to have Home. All you need do,' says he, “is to leave them just abated. Jervas the painter once pleased himself (August as they are; call on Lord Halifax two or three months 20, 1714) with imagining that he had re-established hence, thank him for his kind observations on those their friendship ; and wrote to Pope that Addison once passages, and then read them to him as altered. I have suspected him of too close a confederacy with Swift, but known him much longer than you have, and will be an was now satisfied with his conduct.

To this Pope swerable for the event.' I followed his advice ; waited answered, a week after, that his engagements to Swift on Lord Halifax some time after ; said, I hoped he would were such as his services in regard to the subscription find his objections to those passages removed ; read demanded, and that the Tories never put him under the them to him exactly as they were at first; and his necessity of asking leave to be grateful.

• But,” says Lordship was extremely pleased with them, and cried he," as Mr. Addison must be the judge in what regards out, 'Ay, now they are perfectly right, nothing can be himself, and seems to have no very just one in regard better."

to me, so I must own to you I expect nothing but It is seldom that the great or the wise suspect that civility from him.” In the same letter he mentions they are despised or cheated. Halifax, thinking this a Philips, as having been busy to kindle animosity be. lucky opportunity of securing immortality, made some tween them; but in a letter to Addison, he expresses advances of favour and some overtures of advantage to some consciousness of behaviour, inattentively deficient Pope, which he seems to have received with sullen in respect. coldness. All our knowledge of this transaction is Of Swift's industry in promoting the subscription, derived from a single letter (Dec. 1, 1714), in which there remains_the testimony of Kennet, no friend to Pope says, “I am obliged to you, both for the favours either him or Pope. you have done me, and those you intend me. I distrust “Nov. 2, 1713, Dr. Swift came into the coffee-house, neither your will nor your memory, when it is to do and had a bow from every body but me, who I confess, good; and if I ever become troublesome or solicitous, could not but despise him. When I came to the antiit must not be out of expectation, but out of gratitude. chamber to wait, before prayers, Dr. Swift was the Your Lordship may cause me to live agreeably in the principal man of talk and business, and acted as master town, or contentedly in the country, which is really all of requests.--Then he instructed a young nobleman the difference I set between an easy fortune and a that the best Poet in England was Mr. Pope (a papist small one. It is indeed a high strain of generosity in who had begun a translation of Homer into Englia you to think of making me easy all my life, only verse, for which he must have them all subscribe; for, because I have been so happy as to divert you some says he, the author shall not begin to print till I have few hours: but, if I may have leave to add, it is a thousand guineas for him.” because you think me no enemy to my native country, About this time it is likely that Steele, who was, there will appear a better reason; for I must of con with all his political fury, good-natured and officious, sequence be very much (as I sincerely am) yours, &c.” procured an interview between these angry rivals, which

These voluntary offers, and this faint acceptance, ended in aggravated malevolence. On this occasion, if ended without effect. The patron was not accustomed the reports be true, Pope made his complaint with to such frigid gratitude: and the poet fed his own frankness and spirit, as a man undeservedly neglected pride with the dignity of independence. They probalily or opposed; and Addison affected a contemptuous_unwere suspicious of each other. Pope would not dedicate concern, and, in a calm even voice, reproached Pope till he saw at what rate his praise was valued; he with his vanity, and, telling him of the improvements would be " troublesome out of gratitude, not expecta- which his early works had received from his own retion.” Halifax thought himself entitled to confidence; marks and those of Steele, said, that he, being now and would give nothing unless he knew what he could engaged in public business, had no longer any care for receive. Their commerce had its beginning in the hope his poetical reputation, nor had any other desire, with of praise on one side, and of money on the other, and regard to Pope, than that he should not, by too much ended because Pope was less eager of money than arrogance, alienate the public. Halifax of praise. It is not likely that Halifax had To this Pope is said to have replied with great keen. any personal benevolence to Pope; it is evi'ent that ness and severity, upbraiding Addison with perpetual Pope looked on Halifax with scorn and hatred.

dependance, and with the abuse of those qualifications 'The reputation of this great work failed of gaining which he had obtained at the public cost, and charging him a patron; but it deprived him of a friend. Addison him with mean endeavours to obstruct the progress of and he were now at the head of poetry and criticism ; rising merit. The contest rose so high, that they and both in such a state of elevation, that, like the two parted at last without any interchange of civility. rivals in the Roman state, one could no longer hear an The first volume of Homer' was (1715) in time pubequal, nor the other a superior. Of the gradual abate- lished : and a rival version of the first 'Ilíad,' for rivals ment of kindness between friends, the beginning is the time of their appearance inevitably made them, often scarcely discernible to themselves, and the process was immediately printed, with the name of Tickell. It is continued by petty provocations, and incivilities some. was soon perceived that, among the followers vi Additimes peevishly returned, and sometimes contemptuously son, Tickell had the preference, and the critics and neglected, which would escape all attention but that of poets divided into factions. “I,” says Pope, “have the pride, and drop from any memory but that of resent town, that is, the mob, on my side ; but it is not uncomment. That the quarrel of these two wits should be mon for the smaller party to supply by industry what it minutely deduced, is not to be expected from a writer wants in numbers.-İ appeal to the people as my rightto whom, as Homer says, “nothing but rumour has ful judges, and, while they are not inclined to condemn reached, and who has no personal knowledge."

me, shall not fear the high-flyers at Button's” This Pope doubtless approached Addison, when the reputa- opposition he immediately imputed to Addison, and tion of their wit first brought them together, with the complained of it in terms sufficiently resentful to Craggs respect due to a man whose abilities were acknowledged, their common friend. and who, having attained that eminence to which he When Addison's opinion was asked, he declared the was himself aspiring, had in his hands the distribution versions to be both good, but Tickell's the best that had of literary fame. He paid court with sufficient diligence ever been written ; and sometimes said, that they were by his Prologue to Cato,' by his abuse of Dennis, and both good, but that Tickell had more of. Homer.' with praise yet more direct, by his poem on the Dia Pope was now sufficiently irritated; his reputation logues on Medals, of which the immediate publication and his interest were at hazard. He once intended to was then intended. In all tsis, there was no hypocrisy; print together the four versions of Dryden, Maynwaring, for he confessed that he found in Addison something Pope, and Tickell, that they might be readily compared, more pleasing than in any other man.

and fairly estimated. This design seems to have been It may be supposed, that as Pope saw himself fa. defeated by the refusal of Tonson, who was the provoured by the world, and more frequently compared prietor of the other three versions. his own powers with those of others, his confidence

Pope intended, at another time, a rigorous criticism

- Tickell's translation, and had marked a copy, which privacy. lle is not known but by the character which
I have seen, in all places that appeared defective. his son has given him. If the money with which he re-
But, while he was thus meditating defence or revenge, tired was all gotten hy himself, he had traded very stic-
his adversary sunk before him without a blow; the voice cessfully in times when sudden riches were rarely at.
of the Public was not long divided, and the preference tainable.
was universally given to Pope's performazce.

The publication of the 'Iliad' was at last completed He was convinced, by adding one circumstance to ano- in 1720. The splendour and success of this work raised ther, that the other translation was the work of Addison Pope many eneinies, that endeavoured to depreciate his himself; but, if he knew it in Aldison's life-time, it abilities. 'Burnet, who was afterwards a judge of no does not appear that he told it. He left his illustrious mean reputation, censured him in a piece called • Hoantagonist to be punished by what has been considered merides' before it was published. Ducket likewise enas the most painful of all reflections, the remembra.ice deavoured to make him ridiculous. Dennis was the of a crime perpetrated in rain.

perpetual persecutor of all his studies. But, whoever The other circumstances of their quarrel were thus his critics were, their writings are lost; and the names related by Pope*

which are preserved, are preserved in the Dunciad.' Philips seemed to have been encouraged to abuse In this disastrous year (1729) of national infatuation, me in coffee-houses and conversations : and Gildon : where more riches tlian Pern can boast were expected wrote a thing about Wycherley, in which he had abused from the South Sea, when the contagion of avarice both me and my relations very grossly. Lord Warwick tainted every mind, and even poets panted after wealth, himself told me one day, that it was in vain for me to Pope was seized with the universal passion, and venendeavour to be well with Mr. Addison ; that his jra. tured some of his money. The stock rose in its price; lous temper would never admit of a settled friendship and for a while he thought l.imself the lord of thoubetween us : and, to convince me of what he had said, sands. But this dream of happiness did not last long; assured me, that Addison had encouraged Gildon to and he seems to have waked soon enough to get clear publish those scandals, and had given him ten guineas with the loss of what he once thought himself to have after they were published. The next day, while I was won, and perhaps not wholly of that. heated with what I had heard, I wrote a letter to Mr. ! Next year he published some select poems of his Addison, to let him know that I was not macquainted friend Dr. Parnell, with a very elegant Dedication to with this behaviour of his; that, if I was to speak the Earl of Oxford ; who, after all his struggles and severely of him in return for it, it should not be in such dangers, thien lived in retirement, still under the frown a dirty way; that I should rather tell him, bimself, of a victorious faction, who could take no pleasure in fairly of his faults, and allow his good qualities; and hearing his praise. that it should be something in the following manner; , He gave the same year (1721) an edition of ShakI then adjoined the first sketch of what has since been speare.' llis name was now of so much authority, that called my satire on Addison. Mr. Addison used me Tonson thought himself entitled by annexing it, to devery ciyilly ever after t.”

| mani a suliscription of six guineas for Shakspeare's The verses on Addison, when they were sent to plays in six quarto volumes: nor did his expectation Atterbury, were considered by him as the most excel. I much deceive him ; for of seven hundred and fifty which Ie'nt of Pope's performances; and the writer was ad. , be printed, he dispersed a great number at the price vised, since he knew where his strength lay, not to proposed. The reputation of that edition indeed sunk Bufter it to remain unemployed.

afterwards so low, that one hundred and forty copies This year (1715) being, by the subscription, enabled were sold at sixteen shillings each. to live more by choice, having persuaded bis father to On this undertaking, to which Pope was induced by sell their estate at Binfield, he purchased, I think only a reward of two hundred and seventeen pounds twelve for his life, that house at Twickenham. to which his : shillings, he seemis never to have reflected afterwards residence afterwards procured so much celebration, and, without vexation; for Theobald, a man of heavy diliremoved thither with his father and mother.

gence, with very slender powers, first, in a book called Here he planted the vines and the quincunx which Shakspeare Restored, ard then in a formal edition, his verses mention; and being under the necessity of detected his deficiencies with all the insolence of vic making a subterraneons passage to a garden on the tory; and, as he was now high enough to be feared and other side of the road, he adorned it with fossile l'odies, hated, Theobald had from others all the help that could and dignified it with the title of a grot:0, a place ot' he supplied, by the desire of humbling a haughty chasilence and retreat, from which he endeavoured to racter. persuade his friends and himself that cares and passions From this time Pope became an enemy to editors, could be excluded.

collators, commentators, and verbal critics; and hoped A grotto is not often the wish or pleasure of an Eng- to persuade the world, that he miscarried in this underlisbman, who has more frequcrit need to solicit than ex- taking only by having a mind too great for such minute clude the sun; but Pope's excavation was requisite as air employment. entrance to liis garden, and, as seme men try to be proud Poré in his edition undoubtedly did many things of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an incon wrong, and left many things undone ; but let him riot venience, and vanity produced a grotto wliere necessity be defiauded of his due praise. He was the first that enforced a passage. It may be frequently remarked 01 knew, at least the first that told, hy what helps the text the studious and speculative, that they are proud of might be improved. If he inspected the early editions trites, and that their amusements seem frivolous and negligently, he taught others to be more accurate. In chililish; whether it be that men, conscious of great ; his Preface he expanded with great skill and elegance reputation, think themselves above the reach of censure, the character which had been given of Shalizy care by and safe in the admission of negligent inlulgences, Dryden; and be drew the public attention upon his or that mankind expect from elevated genius a uni- works, which, though often mentioned, had been little formity of greatness, and watch its degradation with read. malicious wonder; like hijn who, having followed with Soon after the appearance of the Iliad,' rcsolving his eye au eagle into the clouds, should lament that she not to let the general kinness cool, he published propoever descended to a perch.

sals for a translation of the Odyssey,' in five volumes, While the volumes of his Homer' were annually for five guineas. He was willing, however, now to have published, he collected his former works (1717) into, associates in his labour, being either weary with toilica one quarto volume, to which he prefixed a Preface, upon another's thoughts, or having heard, as Ruthead written with great sprightliness and elegance, which I relates, that Fenton and lroome had already begun the was afterwards reprinted. with some passages sub- ! work, and liking letter to hare them confederates than joined that he at first omitted; other marginal addi- rivals. tions of the same kind he made in the latter editions In the paterit, instead of saying that he had “transof his poems. W'aller remarks, that poets lose half 'lated the Odyssey," as be had said of the Iliad,' he says, their praise, becau.e the reader knows not what they ; that he had “undertaken” a tranulation; and in the have blotted. Pope's voracity of rame taught him the proposals the subscription is said to le not swirly for his art of obtaining the accumulated honour, both of what own use, but for that of “two of his frieni's who have lie liad published, and of what he had suppressell. assisted him in this work."

In this year his father died very suddenly, in his se In 1723, builc le wa« (!?nged in this new vrrsion, verty-titli year, having rassed twenty-nine years in i he appeares before the Lords at the memorable trial if

Bislop Afterbury, with whom lie bad lived in great fa

miliarity, and trequent correspondence. Atterbury haci Spence.

honestly recommended to him the study of the Popiela + See, however, Life of Adilison, in the Biographia controversy, in hope of liis conversion : to nich Bose Britannica

Unswered in a manner that cannot much reconcis


[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »