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petual depeiidance, and with the abuse of those qualifications which he had obtained at the public cost, and charged him with mean endeavours to obstruct the progress of rising merit. The contest rose so high, that they parted at last without any interchange of civility.
The first volume of "Homer" was (1715) in time published; and a rival 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 Addison, Tickell had the preference, and the critics and poets divided into factions. "I," says Pope, " have the town, that is, "the mob, on my side; but it is not uncommon for "the smaller party to supply by industry what it "wants in numbers.—I appeal to the people as my "rightful judges, and while they are not inclined "to condemn me, shall not fear the high-flyers at "Button's." This opposition he immediately imputed to Addison, and complained of it in terms sufficiently resentnd to Craggs, their common friend.
When Addison's opinion Was asked, he declared the versions to be both good-, but Tickell's 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 criticism 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 sunk before him without a blow; the voice of the public was 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 life-time, 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 "Oildon wrote a thing about Wycherley, in which "he had abused both me and my relations very "grossly. Lord Warwick himself told me one day, "tltat 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 "m; and, to convince me of what he had said, as"sured me, that Addison had encouraged Gildon
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'' 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. Addison, to let him know il that I was not unacquainted with this behaviour "of his; that if I was to speak severely of him in u return for it, it should be not 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 since "been called my satire on Addison. 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 suffer 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 mother.
Here he planted the vines and the quincunx which his verses mention; and being under the necessity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden dh the other side of the road, he adorned it with fossile bodies, and dignified it with the title of
* See, however, the Life of Addison, in the Biographia Bri~ tannics." .. «1...?".; ,
a grotto, a place of silence 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 wish or pleasure of an Englishman, 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, that they are proud of trifles, aad that their amusements seem 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 negligent 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 published, he collected his former works (1717) into a quarto volume, to which he prefixed a Preface, written with great sprightliness 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. Pope'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 seventy-fifth year, having past 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 2720. The splendour and success of this work raised Pope many enemies, that endeavoured to depreciate his abilities. Burnet, who was afterwards a judge of no mean reputation, censured him in a piece called "Homerides" before it was published. Ducket likewise endeavoured to make him ridiculous. Dennis was the perpetual persecutor of all his studies. But, whoever his critics 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 for a while he thought himself the lord of thousands. But this dream of happiness did not last long; and he seems to have waked soon enough to get clear with the loss of what he once thought himself to have won, and perhaps not wholly of that.
Next year he published some select poems of his