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gine, or think his most partial readers imagined; that when he and Sir Richard Steele corrected his verses they had a different air; reminding Mr. Pope of the amendment, by Sir Richard, of a line in the poem called the Messiah;
He wipes the tears for ever from our eyes.
Which is taken from the prophet Isaiah,
The Lord God will wipe all tears from off all facet I
From every face he wipes off every tear.
and it stands so altered in the newer editions of Mr. Pope's works. He proceeded to lay before him all the mistakes and inaccuracies, hinted at by the writers who had attacked Mr. Pope, and added many things which he himself objected to. Speaking of his Translation in general, he said, that he was not to be blamed for endeavouring to get so large a sum of money, but that it was an ill-executed thing, and not equal to Tickell, which had all the spirit of Homer. Mr. Addison concluded, in a low hollow voice of feigned temper, that he was not solicitous about his own fame as a poet; that he had quitted the Muses to enter into the business of the public, and that all he spoke was through friendship to Mr. Pope, whom he advised to have a less exalted sense of his own merit.
Mr. Pope could not well bear such repeated re. preaches, but boldly told Mr. Addison, that he appealed from his judgment to the public, and that he had long known him too well to expect any friendship from him; upbraided him with being a pensioner from his youth, sacrificing the very learning purchased by the public money to a mean thirst of power; that he was sent abroad to encourage literature, in place of which he had always endeavoured to suppress merit. At last, the contest grew so warm, that they parted without any ceremony; and Mr. Pope, upon this, wrote the foregoing verses, which are esteemed too true a picture of Mr. Addison.
In this account, and indeed in all other accounts; which have been given concerning this quarrel, it does not appear that Mr. Pope was the aggressor. If Mr. Addison entertained suspicions of Mr. Pope's being carried too far among the enemy, the danger was certainly Mr. Pope's, and not Mr. Addison's. It was his misfortune, and not his crime. If Mr. Addison should think himself capable of becoming a rival to Mr. Pope, and, in consequence of this opinion, publish a translation of part of Homer at the same time with Mr. Pope's, and if the public should decide in favour of the latter, by reading his translation, and neglecting the other, can any fault be imputed to Mr. Pope? could he be blamed for exerting all his abilities in so arduous a province? and was it his fault that Mr. Addison (for the First Book of Homer was undoubtedly his) could not translate to please the public? Besides, was it not somewhat presumptuous to insinuate to Mr. Pope, that his verses bore another face when he corrected them, while, at the same time, the translation of Homer, which he had never seen in manuscript, bore away the palm from that very translation he himself asserted was done in the true spirit
of Homer? In matters of genius the public judgment seldom errs; and in this case posterity has confirmed the sentence of that age which gave the preference to Mr. Pope: for his translation is in the hands of all readers of taste, while the other is seldom regarded but as a foil to Pope's.
It would appear as if Mr. Addison were himself so immersed in parly business, as to contract his benevolence to the limits of a faction, which was infinitely beneath the views of a philosophei, and the rules which that excellent writer himself established. If this was the failing of Mr. Addison, it was not the error of Pope; for he kept the strictest correspondence with some persons whose affections to the Whig interest were suspected, yet was his name never called in question. While he was in favour with the Duke of Buckingham, the Lords Bolingbroke, Oxford, and Harcourt, Dr. Swift, and Mr. Prior, he did not drop his correspondence with the Lord Halifax, Mr. Craggs, and most of those who were at the head of the Whig interest. A professed Jacobite one day remonstrated to Mr. Pope, that the people of his party took it ill that he should write with Mr. Steele upon ever so indifferent a subject; at which he could not help smiling, and observed, that he hated narrowness of soul in any party; and that if he renounced his reason in religious matters, he should hardly do it on any other; and that he could pray not only for opposite parties, but even for opposite religions. Mr. Pope considered himself as a citizen of the world, and was therefore obliged to pray for the prosperity of mankind in general. As a son of Britain he wished those councils might be suffered by Providence to prevail, which were most for the interest of his native country; but as politics was not his study, he could not always determine, at least with any degree of certainty, whose councils were best; and had charity enough to believe, that contending parties might mean well. As taste and science are confined to no country, so ought they not to be excluded from any party; and Mr. Pope had an unexceptionable right to live upon terms of the strictest friendship with every man of parts, to which party soever he might belong. Mr. Pope's uprightness in his conduct towards contending politicians, is demonstrated by his living independent of either faction: he accepted noplace, and had too high a spirit to become a pensioner.
Many efforts, however, were made to proselyte him from the popish faith, which all proved ineffectual. His friends conceived hopes, from the moderation which he on all occasions expressed, that he was really a Protestant-in his heart, and that upon the death of his mother he would not scruple to declare his sentiments, notwithstanding the reproaches he might incur from the Popish party, and the public observation it would draw upon him. The Bishop of Rochester strongly advised him to read the controverted points between the Protestant and the Catholic church, to suffer his unprejudiced reason to determine for him, and he made no doubt but a separation from the Roraish communion would soon ensue. To this Mr. Pope tery candidly answered, "Whether the change would "be to my spiritual advantage God only knows: this "I know, that I mean as well in the religion I now "profess, as ever I can do in any other. Can a man "who thinks so justify a change, even if he thought "both equally good? to such an one the part of join"ing with any one body of Christians might perhaps "be easy, but I think it would not be so to renounce "the other.
"Your Lordship has formerly advised me to read "the best controversies between the Churches. Shall "I tell you a secret? I did so at fourteen years old; "for I loved reading, and my father had no other "books. There was a collection of all that had been "written on both sides, in the reign of King James II. "I warmed my head with them, and the consequence "was, I found myself a Papist, or a Protestant, by "turns, according to the last book I read. I am afraid "roost seekers are in the same case; and when they "stop, they are not so properly converted as outwit"ted. You see how little glory you would gain by "my conversion; and, after all, I verily believe your "Lordihip and I are both of the same religion, if we "were thoroughly understood by one another, and "that all honest and reasonable Christians would be "so, if they did but talk enough together every day, "and had nothing to do together but to serve God, "and live in peace with their neighbours.
"'As to the temporal side of the question,. I can Volume /. C