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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 Eraminers; 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 his eyes 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*
* It is said that “ Addison used Swift much belter than he used Pope." Addison's conduct to Swift was generous and noble: they
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
much better than he had used Pope, on that account, though he had been more roughly treated by Swift than Pope's nature would suffer him to treat any one.
But the reason is plain. Swift was Addison's rival only in politics: Pope was his rival in poetry ; an opposition less tolerable, as more personal. However, Addison's social talents, in the entertainment and enjoyment of his intimate friends, charmed both Pope and Swift alike; as a quality far superior to any thing that was to be found in any other man.
Warburton. Ver. 193. But were there one whose fires, &c.] The strokes in this Character are highly finished. Atterbury so well understood the force of them, that in one of his letters to Mr. Pope, he says: “ Since you now know where your strength lies, I hope you will not suffer that talent to lie unemployed.” He did not; and, by that means, brought satiric poetry to its perfection. Warburton.
Ver. 198. Bear, like the Turk,] This is from Bacon de Aug. Scient. lib. iii. p. 180. And the thought was also used by Lord Orrery, and by Denham.
were of different parties : Addison was required to give up his acquaintance, but he constantly refused; he treated him with respect and kindness, though, by so doing, he disobliged Lord Sunderland.
He declared that he would not give up Swift, to be made chief governor of the kingdom ; and indeed so high was his character, that Swift himself says of him : " Mr. Addison's election has passed easy and undisputed, and I believe, if he had a mind to be chosen king, he would hardly be refused.” Why should he be jealous and splenetic only when Pope was concerned ? Bowles.
Dreading even fools, by flatterers besieged,
Ver. 209. Like Cato, give] In the second volume of the Biographia Britannica is a vindication of Addison, by a writer who, to a consummate knowledge of the laws and history of his country, added a most exquisite taste in literature; I mean Sir William Blackstone, who thus concludes this vindication :
“ Nothing surely could justify so deep a resentment, unless the story be true of the commerce between Addison and Gildon; which will require to be very fully proved, before it can be believed of a gentleman who was so amiable in his moral character, and who (in his own case) had two years before expressly disapproved of a personal abuse of Mr. Dennis. The person, indeed, from whom Mr. Pope seems to have received this anecdote, about the time of his writing the character, (viz. about July, 1715,) was no other than the Earl of Warwick, son-in-law to Mr. Addison himself: and the something about Wycherley (in which the story supposes that Addison hired Gildon to abuse Pope and his family) is explained by a note on the Dunciad, to mean a pamphlet containing Mr. Wycherley's Life. Now it happens, that in July, 1715, the Earl of Warwick (who died at the age of twenty-three, in August, 1721) was only a boy of seventeen, and not likely to be intrusted with such a secret, by a statesman between forty and fifty, with whom it does not appear he was any way connected or acquainted ; for Mr. Addison was not married to his mother, the Countess of Warwick, till the following year, 1716: nor would Gildon have
been VARIATIONS. After Ver. 208. in the MS.
Who, if two wits on rival themes contest,
Approves of each, but likes the worst the best. Alluding to Mr. Pis and Tickell's translation of the first book of the Iliad.
Who but must laugh, if such a man there be ?
been employed in July, 1715, to write Mr. Wycherley's Life, who lived till the December following. As therefore so many inconsistencies are evident in the story itself, which never found its way into print till near sixty years after it is said to have happened, it will be no breach of charity to suppose that the whole of it was founded on some misapprehension in either Mr. Pope or the Earl; and unless better proof can be given, we shall readily acquit Mr. Addison of this most odious part of the charge.”
I beg leave to add, that as to the other accusation, Dr. Young, Lord Bathurst, Mr. Harte, and Lord Lyttelton, each of them assured me that Addison himself certainly translated the first Book of Homer.
An able vindication of Addison was written by Mr. Jeremiah Markland, then a young man, and afterwards the celebrated critic. Both were printed together, by Curll, so early as 1717. And perhaps this circumstance may furnish a clue to what has been so ably discussed by Judge Blackstone, in the Biographia Britannica, under the article Addison. The Epistle to Arbuthnot was not published till January, 1735; that to Augustus, with some others, appeared in 1738.—“I have seen Mr. Pope's best performances, and find that he pleases the town most when he is most out of humour with the court. He has made very free with his gracious majesty, in the Epistle to Augustus. But he had lost his favourite bill ; even my Lord Harvey had carried a point against him; and while he is angry, he will never be idle. In this last Epistle he seems to have recanted all he had before said of Addison," viz.
(Excuse some courtly stains) “ No whiter page than Addison remains," &c. From a manuscript letter of Mr. Clarke, who wrote on ancient coins, to his learned printer and friend, Mr. Bowyer, July 6, 1738.
Warton. Ver. 214. Who would not weep, if Atticus were he ?] But when we come to know it belongs to Atticus, i. e. to one whose more obvious qualities had before engaged our love or esteem, then friendship, in spite of ridicule, will make a separation; our old VOL. VI.