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found. The superiority of Pope is so ingeniously , guineas; a sum, according to the value of money at dissembled, and the feeble lines of Phillips so skil- that time, by no means inconsiderable, and greater fully preferred, that Steele, being deceived, was than I believe to have been ever asked before. His unwilling to print the paper, lest Pope should be proposal, however, was very favourably received; offended. Addison immediately saw the writer's and the patrons of literature were busy to recomdesign; and, it seems, had malice enough to conceal mend his undertaking, and promote his interest his discovery, and to permit a publication, which, Lord Oxford, indeed, lamented that such a genius by making his friend Phillips ridiculous, made him should be wasted upon a work not original; but for ever an enemy to Pope.
proposed no means by which he might live without It appears that about this time Pope had a strong it. Addison recommended caution and moderation, inclination to unite the art of Painting with that of and advised him not to be content with the praise Poetry, and put himself under the tuition of Jer- of half the nation, when he might be universally vas. He was near-sighted, and therefore not form- favoured. ed by nature for a painter: he tried, however, how The greatness of the design, the popularity of far he could advance, and sometimes persuaded his the author, and the attention of the literary world, friends to sit. A picture of Betterton, supposed to naturally raised such expectations of the future be drawn by him, was in the possession of Lord sale, that the booksellers made their offers with Mansfield:* if this was taken from life, he must great eagerness; but the highest bidder was Berhave begun to paint earlier; for Betterton was now nard Lintot, who became proprietor on condition dead. Pope's ambition of this new art produced of supplying at his own expense, all the copies some encomiastic verses to Jervas, which certainly which were to be delivered to subscribers, or preshow his power as a poet; but I have been told that sented to friends, and paying two hundred pounds they betray his ignorance of painting.
for every volume. He appears to have regarded Betterton with of the Quartos it was, I believe, stipulated, that kindness and esteem; and after his death published, none should be printed but for the author, that the under his name, a version into modern English of subscription might not be depreciated; but Lintot Chaucer's Prologues, and one of his Tales, which, impressed the same pages upon a small Folio, and as was related by Mr. Harte, were believed to paper perhaps a little thinner; and sold exactly at have been the performance of Pope himself by half the price, for half a guinea each volume, books Fenton, who made him a gay offer of five pounds, so little inferior to the Quartos, that by a fraud of if he would show them in the hand of Betterton. trade, those Folios, being afterwards shortened by
The next year (1713) produced a bolder attempt, cutting away the top and bottom, were sold as by which profit was sought as well as praise. The copies printed for the subscribers. poems which he had hitherto written, however Lintot printed two hundred and fifty on royal pa-. they might have diffused his name, had made very per in Folio, for two guineas a volume; of the small little addition to his fortune. The allowance which Folio, having printed seventeen hundred and fifty his father made him, though proportioned to what copies of the first volume, he reduced the number he had, it might be liberal, could not be large; his in the other volumes to a thousand. religion hindered him from the occupation of any. It is unpleasant to relate, that the bookseller, afcivil employment; and he complained that he want- ter all his hopes and all his liberality, was, by a ed even money to buy books. He therefore re- very unjust and illegal action, defrauded of his profit. solved to try how far the favour of the public ex- An edition of the English Iliad,' was priuted in tended, by soliciting a subscription to a version of Holland in Duodecimo, and imported clandestinely the 'Iliad,' with large notes.
for the gratification of those who were impatient to To print by subscription was, for some time, a read what they could not yet afford to buy. This practice peculiar to the English. The first con- fraud could only be counteracted by an edition siderable work, for which this expedient was em- equally cheap and more commodious; and Lintot ployed, is said to have been Dryden's Virgil;'+ was compelled to contract his folio at once into a and it had been tried with great success when the duodecimo, and lose the advantage of an interme"Tatlers' were collected into volumes.
|diate gradation. The notes, which in the Dutch There was reason to believe that Pope's at-1 copies were placed at the end of each book, as they tempt would be successful. He was in the full had been in the large volumes, were now subbloom of reputation, and was personally known to joined to the text in the same page, and are therealmost all whom dignity of employment or splen- fore more easily consulted. Of this edition two thoudour of reputation had made eminent; he conversed sand five hundred were first printed, and five thouindifferently with both parties, and never disturbed sand a few weeks afterwards: but indeed great numthe public with his political opinions; and it might bers were necessary to produce considerable profit. naturally be expected, as each faction then boasted Pope, having now emitted his proposals, and enits literary zeal, that the great men, who on other gaged not only his own reputation, but in some occasions practiced all the violence of opposition, degree that of his friends who patronized his subwould emulate each other in their encouragement scription, began to be frighted at his own underof a poet who delighted all, and by whom none had taking; and finding himself at first embarrassed been offended.
with difficulties, which retarded and oppressed him, With those hopes, he offered an English Iliad' he was for a time timorous and uneasy, had his to subscribers, in six volumes in quarto, for six nights disturbed by dreams of long journeys through
unknown ways, and wished, as he said, “that * It is still at Caen Wood.
Spence. | Milton's Paradise Lost' had been published with great somebody would hang him."* Buccess by subscription in folio. 1688, under the patronage of Mn (afterwards Lord) Somers,
This misery, however, was not of long continu- to collect or methodize; but more was necessary; ance; he grew by degrees more acquainted with many pages were to be filled, and learning must Homer's images and expression, and practice in- supply materials to wit and judgment. Something creased his facility of versification. In a short time might be gathered from Dacier; but no man loves to he represents himself as despatching regularly fifty be indebted to his contemporaries, and Dacier was verses a day, which would show him by an easy accessible to common readers. Eustathius was computation the termination of his labour. : therefore necessarily consulted. To read Eusta
His own diffidence was not his only vexation. thịus, of whose work there.was then no Latin verHe that asks subscriptions soon finds that he has sion, I suspect Pope, if he had been willing, not to enemies. All who do not encourage him, defame have been able; some other was therefore to be him. He that wants money will rather be thought found, who had leisure as well as abilities; and he angry than poor: and he that wishes to save his was doubtless most readily employed who would money, conceals his avarice by his malice. Addi- do much work for little money. son had hinted his suspicion that Pope was too much! The history of the notes has never been traced. a Tory; and some of the Tories suspected his prin- Broome, in his preface to his poems, declares himciples, because he had contributed to the Guar-self the commentator " in part upon the Iliad;" and dian,' which was carried on by Steele.
it appears from Fenton's letter, preserved in the To those who censured his politics were added British Museum, that Broome was at first engaged enemies yet more dangerous, who called in ques- in consulting Eustathius; but that after a time, tion his knowledge of Greek, and his qualifications whatever was the reason, he desisted; another man for a translator of Homer. To these he made no of Cambridge was then employed, who soon grew public opposition; but in one of his Letters escapes weary of the work; and a third, that was recomfrom them as well as he can. At an age like his, mended by Thirlby, is now discovered to have for he was not more than twenty-five, with an been Jortin, a man since well known to the learned irregular education, and a course of life of which world, who complained that Pope, having accepted much seems to have passed in conversation, it is and approved his performance, never testified any not very likely that he overflowed with Greek. curiosity to see him, and who professed to have forBut when he felt himself deficient he sought assist- gotten the terms on which he worked. The terms arce; and what man of learning would refuse to help which Fenton uses are very mercantile; “I think hin? Minute inquiries into the force of words are at first sight that his performance is very commendless necessary in translating Homer than other able, and have sent word for him to finish the 17th poets, because his positions are general, and his book, and to send it with his demands for his trourepresentations natural, with very little dependence ble. I have here enclosed the specimen; if the rest on local or temporary customs, on those changeable come before the return, I will keep them till I re
scenes of artificial life, which, by mingling original ceive your order.” · with accidental notions, and crowding the mind! Broome then offered his service a second time, with images which time effaces, produces ambi- which was probably accepted, as they had after. guity in diction, and obscurity in books. To this wards a closer correspondence. Parnell contributed open display of unadulterated nature it must be the Life of Homer, which Pope found so harsh, that ascribed, that Homer has fewer passages of doubtful he took great pains in correcting it; and by his own meaning than any other poet, either in the learned diligence, with such help as kindness or money or in modern languages. I have read of a man, who could procure him, in somewhat more than five being, by his ignorance of Greek, compelled to years he completed his version of the Iliad,' with gratify his curiosity with the Latin printed on the the notes. He began it in 1712, his twenty-fifth opposite page, declared that, from the rude sim-year; and concluded it in 1718, his thirtieth year. plicity of the lines literally rendered, he formed! When we find him translating fifty lines a day, nobler ideas of the Homeric majesty, than from the it is natural to suppose that he would have brought laboured elegance of polished versions.
This work to a more speedy conclusion. The “Iliad,' Those literal translations were always at hand, containing less than sixteen thousand verses, might and from them he could easily obtain his author's have been despatched in less than three hundred sense with sufficient certainty; and among the read- and twenty days by fifty verses in a day. The ers of Homer, the number is very small of those notes, compiled with the assistance of his mercewho find much in the Greek more than in the naries, could not be supposed to require more time Latin, except the music of the numbers.
than the text. If more help was wanting, he had the poetical According to this calculation, the progress of Pope translation of Eobanus Hessus,' an unwearied wri- may seem to have been slow; but the distance is ter of Latin verses; he had the French Homers of commonly very great between actual performances La Valtiere and Dacier, and the English of Chap- and speculative possibility. It is natural to suppose man, Hobbes, and Ogilby. With Chapman, whose that as much as has been done to-day may be done work, though now totally neglected, seems to have to-morrow; but on the morrow some difficulty emer. been popular almost to the end of the last century, Iges, or some external impediment obstructs. Inhe had very frequent consultations, and perhaps dolence, interruption, business, and pleasure, all never translated any passage till he had read his take their turns of retardation; and every long work version, which indeed he has been sometimes sus- is lengthened by a thousand causes that can, and pected of using instead of the original. . Iten thousand that cannot, be recounted. Perhaps
Notes were likewise to be provided: for the six no extensive and multifarious performance was ever volumes would have been very little more than six effected within the term originally fixed in the unpamphlets without them. What the mere perusal dertaker's mind. He that runs against Time has of the text could suggest, Pope wanted no assistancel an antagonist not subject to casualties
The encouragement given to this translation, That strew'd with warriors dead the Phrygian plain, though report seems to have overrated it, was such
Heroes as the world has not often seen. The subscribers
And peopled the dark hell with heroes slain: were five hundred and seventy-five.
fill'd the shady hell with chiefs untimely
The copies, for which subscriptions were given, were six hun-Whose limbs, unburied on the naked shore, dred and fifty-four; and only six hundred and sixty Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore, were printed. For these copies Pope had nothing since great Achilles and Atrides strove; to pay; he therefore received, including the two Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove hundred pounds a volume, five thousand three hun
Whose limbs, unburied on the hostile shore, dred and twenty pounds four shillings without de
Devouring dogs and greedy vultures tore, duction, as the books were supplied by Lintot. |
Since first Atrides and Achilles strove; By the success of his subscription Pope was re Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove lieved from those pecuniary distresses with which, notwithstanding his popularity, he had hitherto Declare, O Muse, in what ill-fated hour struggled. Lord Oxford had often lamented his Sprung the fierce strife, from what offended Power ?
Latona's son a dire contagion spread, disqualification for public employment, but never
And heap'd the camp with mountains of the dead; proposed a pension. While the translation of 'Ho- The King of men his reverend priest defy'd, mer' was in its progress, Mr. Craggs, then secre- | And for the King's offence the people dy'd. tary of state, offered to procure him a pension, which, at least during his ministry, might be en Declare, O Goddess, what offended Power joyed with secrecy. This was not accepted by
Eoflamed their rage, in that ill-omen'd hour; Pope, who told him, however, that if he should be
anger fatal, hapless
Phæbus himself the dire debate procured, pressed with want of money, he would send to him
fierce for occasional supplies. Craggs was not long in
T'avenge the wrongs his injured priest endured; power, and was never solicited for money by Pope, For this the God a dire infection spread, who disdained to beg what he did not want.
And heap'd the camp with millions of the dead: With the product of this subscription, which hel The King of Men the Sacred Sire defy'd, had too much discretion to squander, he secured his And for the King's offence the people dy'd. future life from want, by considerable annuities. The estate of the Duke of Buckingham was found
For Chryses sought, with cosuy gifts, to gain
His captive daughter from the Victor's chain;
By these he begs, and, lowly bending down
For Chryses sought by presents to regain
costly gifts to gain which the world has ever seen; and its publication His captive daughter from the Victor's chain: must therefore be considered as one of the great Suppliant the venerable Father stands, events in the annals of Learning.
Apollo's awful ensigns grac'd his hands. To those who have skill to estimate the excel-| By these be begs, and lowly bending down lence and difficulty of this great work, it must bel The golden sceptre, and the laurel crown, very desirable to know how it was performed, and
Presents the sceptre by what gradations it advanced to correctness. Of
For these are ensigns of his God he bare,
The God that sends his golden shafts afar; such an intellectual process the knowledge has very
Then low on earth, the venerable man, rarely been attainable; but happily there remains/
Suppliant before the brother kings began. the original copy of the Iliad," which, being ob-l. tained by Bolingbroke as a curiosity, descended He sued to all, but chief implor'd for grace, from him to Mallet, and is now, by the solicitation
The brother kings of Atreus' royal race:
Ye kings and warriors, may your vows be crown'd of the late Dr. Maty, reposited in the Museum Land Troy's proud walls lie level with the ground:
Between this manuscript, which is written upon May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er, accidental fragments of paper, and the printed edi-Safe to the pleasures of your native shore. tion, there must have been an intermediate copy, that was perhaps destroyed as it returned from the
To all he sued, but chief implored for grace,
The brother kings of Atreus' royal race: press. From the first copy I have procured a few trans
Ye sons of Atreus, may your vows be crown'd,
Kings and warriors cripts, and shall exhibit first the printed lines; then
Your labours, by the Gods be all your labours those of the manuscripts, with all their variations. crown'd; Those words which are given in Italics, are can So may the Gods your arms with conquest bless, celled in the copy, and the words placed under And Troy's proud wall lie level with the ground them adopted in their stead.
laid The beginning of the first book stands thus:
And crown your labours with deserved success;
May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er
Safe to the pleasures of your native shore.
But oh ! "relieve a wretched parent's pain,
And give Chryseis to these arms again;
If mercy fail, yet let my present move, The stern Pelides' rage 0 Goddess, sing,
And dread avenging Phæbus, son of Jove.
But oh! relieve a hapless parent's pain,
And give my daughter to these arms again :
Receive my gifts : if mercy fails, yet let my present High on his helm celestial lightnings play, move,
His beamy shield emits a living ray; And fear the God that deals his darts around.. Th' unwearied blaze incessant stream supplies, avenging Phæbus, son of Jove.
Like the red star that fires th' autumnal skies. The Greeks, in shouts, their joint assent declare
But Pallas now Tydides' soul inspires, The priest to reverence, and release the fair.
Fills with her rage, and warms with all her fires ; Not so Atrides; he with kingly pride,
. force, Repulsed the sacred Sire, and thus reply'd.
O'er all the Greeks decrees his fome to raise,
Above the Greeks her warrior's fame to raise, He said, the Greeks their joint assent declare,
bis deathless The father said, the gen'rous Greeks relent,
And crowa her hero with immortal praise : T" accept the ransom, and release the fair,
distinguish'd Repere the priest and speak the joint assent,
Bright from his beamy crest the lightnings play, Not so the tyrant, he with kingly pride,
From his broad buckler flash'd the living ray; Repulsed the sacred Sire, and thus reply'd.
High on his helm celestial lightnings play, [Not so the tyrant. DRYDEN.)
His beamy shield emits a living ray; Of these lines, and of the whole first book, I am
The Goddess with her breath the flame supplies,
Bright as the star whose fires in Autumn rise; told that there was a former copy, more varied,
Her breath divine thick streaming flames supplies, and more deformed with interlineations.
Bright as the star that fires th' autumnal skies: The beginning of the second book varies very
Th' unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies, little from the printed page, and is therefore set Like the red star that fires th' autumnal skies. down without a parallel; the few differences do not require to be elaborately displayed.
When first he roars bis radiant orb to sight,
And, bath'd in Ocean shoots a keener light. Now pleasing sleep had seal'd each mortal eye;
Such glories Pallas on the chief bestow'd, Stretch'd in their tents the Grecian leaders lie:
Such from his arms the fierce effulgence flow'd; Th' Immortals slumber'd on their thrones above,
Onward she drives him, furious to engage, All but the ever-watchful eye of Jove.
Where the fight burns, and where the thickest rage. To honour Thetis' son he bends his care, And plunge the Greeks in all the woes of war.
When fresh he rears his radiant orb
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, directs
Such glories Pallas on her chief bestow'd,
Such sparkling rays from his bright armour flow'd Bid him in arme draw forth th' embattled train,
Such from his arms the fierce effulgence flow'd; March all his legions to the dusty plain.
Onward she drives him headlong to engage,
furious Noro tell the King 'tis given him to destroy
Where the war bleeds, and where the fiercest rage. Declare even now The lofty walls of wide extended Troy;
The sons of Dares first the combat sought, For now no more the Gods with Fate contend;
A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault: At Juno's suit the heavenly factions end.
In Vulcan's fane the father's days were led, Destruction hovers o'er yon devoted wall,
The sons to toils of glorious battle bred; hangs And nodding Ilium waits th' impending fall.
Tbere lived a Trojan-Dares was his name,
The priest of Vulcan, rich, yet void of blame: Invocation to the catalogue of Ships.
The song of Daces first the combat sought,
A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault.
CONCLUSION OF BOOK VIII. v. 687.
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light, (We, wretched mortals! lost in doubts below,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, But guess by rumour, and but boast we know)
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;' Oh! say what heroes, fired by thirst of fame,
Around her throne the vivid planets roll, Or urged by wrongs, to Troy's destruction came!
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole; To count them all, demands a thousand tongues,
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed, A throat of brass and adamantine lungs.
And tip with silver every mountain's head;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise, Now, Virgin Goddesses, immortal Nine!
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies: That round Olympus' heavenly summit shine, The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight, Who see through Heaven and Earth, and Hell profoun
, and tell profound, Eye the blue vault and bless the useful light. And all things know, and all things can resound!
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze, Relate what armies sought the Trojan land,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays; What nations follow'd, and what chiefs command;
The long reflections of the distant fires (For doubtful fame distracts mankind below,
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,
Whose umber'd arms by fits thick flashes send:
Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn, But Pallas now Tydides' soul inspires,
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn...
As when in stillness of the silent night,
As when the moon in all her lustre bright;
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
quite please me. Be so good as to mark the place, O'er Heaven's clear azure sheds her silver light; and consider it a little at your leisure.--I am sure pure spreads sacred
you can give it a little turn.'-I returned from As still in air the trembling lustre stood,
Lord Halifax's with Dr. Garth, in his chariot; and, And o'er its golden border shoots a flood, When no loose gale disturbs the deep serene,
as we were going along, was saying to the Doctor, not a breath
that my Lord had laid me under a great deal of And no dim cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene; difficulty by such loose and general observations: not a
that I had been thinking over the passages almost Around her silver throne the planets glow, 1 ever since, and could not guess at what it was that And stars unnumber'd trembling beams bestow :
offended his Lordship in either of them. Garth Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
laughed heartily at my embarrassment; said, I had And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole; Clear gleams of light o'er the dark, trees are seen,
not been long enough acquainted with Lord Halifax o'er the dark trees a yellow sheds,
to know his way yet; that I need not puzzle my. O'er the dark trees a yellower green they shed,
self about looking those places over and over, when gleam
I got home, 'All you need do,' says he, 'is to verdure
leave them just as they are; call on Lord Halifax And tip with silver all the mountain heads
two or three months hence, thank him for his kind forest
observations on those passages, and then read them And tip with silver every mountain's head,
to him as altered. I have known him much longer The valleys opon, and the forests rise,
than you have, and will be answerable for the The vales appear, the rocks in prospect rise, Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
event.' I followed his advice; waited on Lord All nature stands reveal'd before our eyes;
Halifax some time after; said, I hoped he would A flood of glory burst from all the skies.
find his objections to those passages removed; read The 'conscious shepherd, joyful at the sight,
them to him exactly as they were at first; and his Eyes the blue vault, and pumbers every light. Lordship was extremely pleased with them, and The conscious swains rejoicing at the sight, cried out, “Ay, now they are perfectly right, shepherds gazing with delight
nothing can be better.'” Eye the blue vault, and bless the vivid ligh
It is seldom that the great or the wise suspect glorious useful
that they are despised or cheated. Halifax, thinkBo many flames before the navy blaze,
ing this a lucky opportunity of securing immortaliproud Ilion
ty, made some advances of favour and some overAnd lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays: tures of advantage to Pope, which he seems to have Wide o'er the fields to Troy extend the gleams, received with sullen coldness. All our knowledge And tip the distant spires with fainter beams;
of this transaction is derived from a single letter The long reflections of the distant fires
(Dec. 1, 1715,) in which Pope says, “I am obliged Gild the high walls, and tremble on the spires; Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.
to you, both for the favours you have done me, and A thousand fires at distant stations bright,
those you intend me. I distrust neither your will Gild the dark prospect and dispel the night.
nor your memory, when it is to do good; and if I
ever become troublesome or solicitous, it must not Of these specimens, every man who has culti-be out of expectation, but out of gratitude. Your vated poetry, or who delights to trace the mind Lordship may cause me to live agreeably in the from the rudeness of its first conceptions to the ele- town, or contentedly in the country, which is really gance of its last, will naturally desire a great num- all the difference I set between an easy fortune and ber; but most other readers are already tired, and a small one. It is indeed a high strain of generosiI am not writing only to poets and philosophers. Ity in you to think of making me easy all my life,
The 'Iliad' was published volume by volume, as only because I have been so happy as to divert you be translation proceeded: the four first books ap- some few hours: but, if I may have leave to add, it peared in 1715. The expectation of this work was is because you think me no enemy to my native undoubtedly high, and every man who had con- country, there will appear a better reason; for I nected his name with criticism, or poetry, was de- must of consequence be very much (as I sincerely sirous of such intelligence as might enable him to am) yours, &c.” talk upon the popular topic. Halifax, who, by These voluntary offers, and this faint acceptance, haviag been first a poet, and then a patron of poe- ended without effect. The patron was not accustry, had acquired the right of being a judge, was tomed to such frigid gratitude: and the poet fed his willing to hear some books while they were yetown pride with the dignity of independence. unpublished. Of this rehearsal Pope afterwards They probably were suspicious of each other. gave the following account. *
Pope would not dedicate till he saw at what rate “The famous Lord Halifax was rather a pre-his praise was valued; he would be “troublesome tender to taste, than really possessed of it. When out of gratitude, not expectation.” Halifax thought I had finished the two or three first books of my himself entitled to confidence; and would give translation of the “Iliad,' that Lord desired to have nothing unless he knew what he should receive. the pleasure of hearing them read at his house. Their commerce had its beginning in the hope of Addison, Congreve, and Garth, were there at the praise on one side, and of money on the other, and reading. In four or five places, Lord Halifax stopt ended because Pope was less eager of money than me very civilly, and with a speech each time of Halifax of praise. It is not likely that Halifax had much the same kind, 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Pope; any personal benevolence to Pope ; it is evident but there is something in that passage that does not that Pope looked on Halifax with scorn and hatred.
The reputation of this great work failed of gain* Spence.
ling him a patron; but it deprived him of a friend.