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frankness and spirit, as a man undeservedly neglected
keenness and severity, upbraiding Addison with perpetual dependance, and with the abuse of those qualifications which he had obtained at the publick cost, and charging him with mean endeayours to obstruct the progress of rising merit. The contest rose so high, that they parted at last without any inteịchange of civility,
The first volume of Homer was (1715) in time pub: lished; and a riyal version of the first Iliad, for rivals the time of their appearance inevitably made them, was immediately printed, with the name of Tickell. It was soon perceived that, among the followers of Addi: fon, Tickell had the preference, and the criticks and poets divided into factions. 1, says Pope, have tlję town, thut is, the mob, on my fide ; but it is not uncommon for the fimaller party to supply by industry what it wants in 'numbers.--I appeal to the people as niy rightful judges, and, while they are not inclined to condemn me, Jhall not fear the bigh-flyers at Button's. This opposition he immediately imputed to Addison, and complained of it in terms sufficiently resentful to Craggs, their common friend.
When Addison's opinion was asked, he declared the versions to be both good, but Tickells the best that had ever been written'; and sometimes said that they were both good, but that Tickell had more of Homer,
Pope was now sufficiently irritated; his reputation and his interest were at hazard. He once intended to print together the four versions of Dryden, Maynwaring, Pope, and Tickell, that they might be readily compared, and fairly estimated. This design seems to have been defeated by the refusal of Tonson, who was the proprietor of the other three versions.
Pope intended at another time a rigorous criticisi of Tickell's translation, and had marked a copy, which I have seen, in all places that appeared defective. But while he was thus meditating defence or revenge, his adversary funk before him without a. blow; the yoice of the publick were not long divided, and the preference was universally given to Pope's performance.
He was convinced, by adding one circumstance to another, that the other translation was the work of Addison himself; but if he knew it in Addison's lifetime, it does not appear that he told it. He left his illustrious antagonist to be punished by what has been considered as the most painful of all reflections, the remembrance of a crime perpetrated in vain.
The other circumstances of their quarrel were thus related by Pope *.
“ Philips seemed to have been encouraged to abuse me in coffee-houses, and conversations: and Gildon
wrote a thing about Wycherley, in which he had " abused both me and my relations very grofly. « Lord Warwick himself told me one day, that it
was in vain for me to endeavour to be well with " Mr. Addison; that his jealous temper would never « admit of a settled friendship between us: and, to « convince me of what he had said, assured me, that « Addison had encouraged Gildon to publish those * scandals, and had given him ten guineas after they " were published. The next day, while I was heated *** with what I had heard, I wrote a Letter to Mr. Ad« dison, to let him know that I was not unacquainted is with this behaviour of his; that if I was to speak " severely of him, in rețurn for it, it should be in “ such a dirty way, that I should rather tell him, « himself, fairly of his faults, and allow his good " qualities; and that it should be something in the *** following manner: I then adjoined the first sketch * of what has fince been called my fatire on Addi
Mr. Addison used me very civilly ever « after."
The verses on Addison, when they were sent to Atterbury, were considered by him'as the most excellent of Pope's performances; and the writer was advised, since he knew where his strength lay, not to fuffer it to remain unemployed.
This year (1715) being, by the subscription, enabled to live more by choice, having persuaded his father to sell their estate at Binfield, he purchased, I think only for his life, that house at Twickenham to which his residence afterwards procured so much celebration, and removed thither with his father and mnother,
Here he planted the vines and the quincunx which his verses mention; and being under the neceffity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden on the other side of the road, he adorned it with fossile bodies, and dignified it with the title of a grotto; a place of filence and retreat, from which he endeavoured to persuade his friends and himself that cares and passions could be excluded.
A grotto is not often the with or pleasure of an Englifhman, who has more frequent need to solicit than exclude the sun; but Pope's excavation was requisite as an entrance to his garden, and, as some men try to be proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity enforced a passage. It may be frequently remarked of the studious and speculative, thar they are proud of trifles, and that their amusements feem frivolous and childish; whether it be that men conscious of great reputation think themselves above the reach of censure, and safe in the admission of neg. ligent indulgences, or that mankind expect from elevated genius an uniformity of greatness, and watch its degradation with malicious wonder, like him who having followed with his eye an eagle into the clouds, Should lament that she ever descended to a perch.
While the volumes of his Homer were annually publifhed, he collected his former works (1717) into one quarto volume, to which he prefixed a Preface, written with great spriteliness and elegance, which was afterwards reprinted, with some passages subjoined that he at first omitted; other marginal additions of the same kind he made in the later editions of his poems. Waller remarks, that poets lose half their
praise; because the reader knows not what they have blotted. P'ope's voracity of fame taught him the art of obtaining the accumulated honour both of what he had published, and of what he had suppressed:
In this year his father died suddenly, in his seventyfifth year, having paffed twenty-nine years in privacy. He is not known but by the character which his son has given him. If the money with which he retired was all gotten by himself, he had traded very successfully in times when sudden riches were rarely attainable.
The publication of the Iliad was at last completed in 1720. The splendor and success of this work raised Pope many enemies, that endearoured to depreciate his abilities. Burnet, who was afterwards a Judge of no mean reputation, censured him in a piece called Humerides before it was publifhed. Ducket likewise endeavoured to inake him ridiculous. Dennis was the . perpetual perfecutor of all his studies. But, who .. ever his criticks were, their writings are lost; and the names which are preserved, are preserved in the Dunciad.
In this disastrous year (1720) of national infatuation, when more riches than Peru can boast were expected from the South Sea, when the contagion of avarice. tainted every mind, and even poets panted after wealth, Pope was seized with the universal passion, and ventured some of his money. The stock rose in its price, and he for a while thought himself the Lord of thousands. But this dream of happiness did not last long; and he seems to have waked foon enough to get clear with the loss only of what he once thought himself to have won, and perhaps not wholly of that.