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Were others angry: I excused them too; Well might they rage, I gave them but their due.
This epigram is rendered quite unintelligible in Mr. Bowles's edition, by a misprint in the third line, where we read,
“ On Milton's verse did Milton comment,” &c. Ver. 169. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms, &c.] Our poet had the full pleasure of this amusement soon after the publication of his Shakespear. Nor has his friend been less entertained since the appearance of his edition of the same poet ; the liquid amber of whose wit has lately licked up and enrolled such a quantity of these insects, and of tribes so grotesque and various, as would have puzzled Reaumur to give names to. Two or three of them it may not be amiss to preserve and keep alive: Such as the Rev. Dr. Zachary Grey, Thomas Edwards, Esq. and, to make up the triumvirate, their learned coadjutor, that very respectable personage, Mr. Theophilus Cibber. As to the poetic imagery of this passage, it has been much and justly admired; for the most detestable things in nature, as a toad or a beetle, become pleasing, when well represented in a work of art. But it is no less eminent for the beauty of the thought; for though a scribbler exists by being thus incorporated, yet he exists entombed. The last of them, one Capell, has been something less happy. He sticks in the surface, has stuck there these twenty years, and will stick for ever. Sedet, æternumque sedebit, infelir Theseus; so that instead of being embalmed, he is gibbetted; a lasting example of the wrath of the Muses !
Warburton. For this lively sally Warburton was attacked by Thomas Edwards, a barrister of Lincoln's-inn, and a gentleman of independent fortune, who, if he did not pour forth as many sonnets against Warburton as Father Lazzarelli did against Bonaventura Arrighini, under the name of Don Ciccio, honoured him at least with some, not exceeded in severity by any in that celebrated collection.
The Canons of Criticism of Edwards have given him a permanent rank amongst our first critics. Of this work a sixth edition, with additions, was printed in 1758, 8vo.
A man's true merit'tis not hard to find; 175
Ver. 180. a Persian tale] Amb. Philips translated a book called the Persian Tales.
Pope. Philips, certainly not a very animated or first-rate writer, yet appears not to deserve quite so much contempt, if we look at his first and fifth Pastoral, his Epistle from Copenhagen, his Ode on the Death of Earl Cowper, his translations of the two first Olympic Odes of Pindar, the two Odes of Sappho, and, above all, his pleasing tragedy of the Distressed Mother. The secret grounds of Philips's malignity to Pope, are said to be the ridicule and laughter he met with from all the Hanover Club, of which he was secretary, for mistaking the incomparable ironical paper in the Guardian, No. 40, which was written by Pope, for a serious criticism on pastoral poetry.
Warton. Ver. 189. All these, my modest satire bade translate,] See their works, in the Translations of classical books by several hands.
Pope. Ver. 190. And own'd that nine such poets] Before this piece
How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe; And swear, not Addison himself was safe!
Peace to all such! But were there one whose fires True genius kindles, and fair fame inspires ;
was published, Dr. Young had addressed two Epistles to our author, in the year 1730, concerning the authors of the age; in which are many passages that bear a great resemblance to many of Pope's; though Pope has heightened, improved, and condensed the hints, images, and sentiments of Young.
Warton. Ver. 192. And sweur, not Addison himself was safe !] This is an artful preparative for the following transition; and finely obviates what might be thought unfavourable of the severity of the satire, by those who were strangers to the provocation.
Warburton. Ver. 192. Addison himself was safe!) This character of Addison has been considered as Pope's master-piece, “ in hoc dicendi genere." It is certainly most successfully laboured; but how far it was a likeness, is with me very doubtful.
Bowles. Ver. 193. But were there one whose fires, &c.] Our poet's friendship with Mr. Addison began in the year 1713. It was cultivated, on both sides, with all the marks of mutual esteem and affection, and a constant intercourse of good offices. Mr. Addison was always commending moderation ; warned his friend against a blind attachment to party; and blamed Steele for his indiscreet zeal. The translation of the Iliad being now on foot, he recommended it to the public, and joined with the Tories in pushing the subscription; but at the same time advised Mr. Pope not to be content with the applause of one half of the nation. On the other hand, Mr. Pope made his friend's interest his own, (see note on ver. 215. 1 Ep. b. i. of Hor.) and, when Dennis so brutally attacked the tragedy of Cato, he wrote the piece called A Narratite of his Madness.
Thus things continued till Mr. Pope's growing reputation, and superior genius* in poetry, gave umbrage to his friend's false de
licacy : * This statement of Warburton's is neither candid nor true : it is very easy to say, “ Pope's growing reputation gave umbrage
Blest with each talent and each art to please, 195 And born to write, converse, and live with ease:
licacy: and then it was he encouraged Philips and others (see his Letters) in their clamours against him as a Tory and Jacobite, who had assisted in writing the Examiners; and, under an affected care for the government, would have hid, even from himself, the true grounds of his disgust. But his jealousy soon broke out, and discovered itself, first to Mr. Pope, and not long after, to all the world. The Rape of the Lock had been written in a very hasty manner, and printed in a collection of Miscellanies. The success it met with encouraged the author to revise and enlarge it, and give it a more important air; which was done by advancing it into a mock epic poem. In order to this it was to have its machinery; which, by the happiest invention, he took from the Rosicrucian system. Full of this noble conception, he communicated his scheme to Mr. Addison; who, he imagined, would have been equally delighted with the improvement. On the contrary, he had the mortification to see his friend receive it coldly; and even to advise him against any alteration ; for that the poem, in its original state, was a delicious little thing, and, as he expressed it, merum sal. Mr. Pope was shocked for his friend; and then first began to open
to his character. Soon after this, a translation of the first book of the Iliad appeared under the name of Mr. Tickell; which coming out at a critical juncture, when Mr. Pope was in the midst of his engagements on the same subject, and by a creature of Mr. Addison's, made him suspect this to be another shaft from the same quiver ; and after a diligent inquiry, and laying many odd circumstances together, he was fully convinced that it was not only published with Mr. Addison's participation, but was indeed his own performance. And Sir R. Steele, in the ninth edition of the Drum
to Addison ; that Addison encouraged Philips, &c. in their clamours; that his jealousy at last broke out.” But all this is directly contrary to the general tenor of Addison's life and character, and if I should make it appear, as I trust I shall, that part is untrue, we ought surely to give little credit to the rest.
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
mer (which Tickell had omitted to insert amongst Addison's Works) in a long epistle to Congreve, affirms very intelligibly, that Addison, and not Tickell, was the translator of the first book of the Iliad, to which the latter had set his name. Mr. Pope, in his first resentment of this usage, was resolved to expose this new version in a severe critique upon it. I have now by me the copy he had marked for this purpose; in which he has classed the several faults in translation, language, and numbers, under their proper heads. But the growing splendor of his own works so eclipsed the faint efforts of this opposition, that he trusted to its own weakness and malignity for the justice due unto it. About this time, Mr. Addison's son-in-law, the Earl of Warwick, told Mr. Pope, that it was in vain to think of being well with his father, who was naturally a jealous man; that Mr. Pope's talents in
poetry had hurt him; and to such a degree, that he had underhand encouraged Gildon to write a thing about Wycherley, in which he had scurrilously abused Mr. Pope and his family; and for this service he had given Gildon ten guineas, after the pamphlet was printed. The very next day, Mr. Pope, in great heat, wrote Mr. Addison a letter, wherein he told him, he was no stranger to his behaviour, which, however, he should not imitate; but that what he thought faulty in him, he would tell him fairly to his face, and what deserved praise he would not deny him to the world : and, as a proof of this disposition towards him, he had sent him the inclosed; which was the CHARACTER, first published separately, and afterwards inserted in this place of the Epist. to Dr. Arbuthnot. This plain dealing had no ill effect. Mr. Addison treated Mr. Pope with civility, and, as Mr. Pope believed, with justice, from this time to his death, which happened about three years after.
It appears, from a collection of Swift's letters lately published, that Mr. Addison, when party was at its height, used Swift*
much * It is said that “ Addison used Swift much belter than he used Pope.” Addison's conduct to Swift was generous and noble: they