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the estrangement of Pope and Addison Imagination, and his Epistle to Curio. became complete. Addison had from Pope himself, emboldened no doubt by the first seen that Pope was false and the success with which he had expanded malevolent. Pope had discovered that and remodelled the Rape of the Lock, Addison was jealous. The discovery made the same experiment on the Dunwas made in a strange manner. Pope ciad. All these attempts failed. Who had written the Rape of the Lock, in was to foresee that Pope would, once two cantos, without supernatural ma- in his life, be able to do what he could chinery. These two cantos had been not himself do twice, and what nobody loudly applauded, and by none more else has ever done ? loudly than by Addison. Then Pope Addison's advice was good, But had thought of the Sylphs and Gnomes, it been bad, why should we pronounce Ariel, Momentilla, Crispissa, and Um- it dishonest ? Scott tells us that one of briel, and resolved to interweave the his best friends predicted the failure of Rosicrucian mythology with the original Waverley. Herder adjured Goethe not fabric. He asked Addison's advice. to take so unpromising a subject as Addison said that the poem as it stood Faust. Hume tried to dissuade Robertwas a delicious little thing, and en- son from writing the History of Charles treated Pope not to run the risk of the Fifth. Nay, Pope himself was one marring what was so excellent in trying of those who prophesied that Cato to mend it. Pope afterwards declared would never succeed on the stage, and that this insidious counsel first opened advised Addison to print it without his eyes to the baseness of him who risking a representation. But Scott, gave it.
Goethe, Robertson, Addison, had the Now there can be no doubt that good sense and generosity to give their Pope's plan was most ingenious, and advisers credit for the best intentions. that he afterwards executed it with Pope's heart was not of the same kind great skill and success. But does it with theirs. necessarily follow that Addison's ad- In 1715, while he was engaged in vice was bad? And if Addison's ad- translating the Iliad, he met Addison vice was bad, does it necessarily follow at a coffeehouse, Phillipps and Budgell that it was given from bad motives ? were there; but their sovereign got rid If a friend were to ask us whether we of them, and asked Pope to dine with would advise him to risk his all in all him alone. After dinner, Addison said lottery of which the chances were ten that he lay under a difficulty which he to one against him, we should do our wished to explain. “Tickell,” he said, best to dissuade him from running “translated soine time ago the first such a risk. Even if he were so lucky book of the Iliad. I have promised to as to get the thirty thousand pound look it over and correct it. I cannot prize, we should not admit that we had therefore ask to see yours; for that counselled him ill; and we should cer- would be double dealing." Pope made tainly think it the height of injustice in a civil reply, and begged that his sehim to accuse us of having been ac- cond book might have the advantage tuated by malice. We think Addison's of Addison's revision. Addison readily advice good advice. It rested on a agreed, looked over the second book, sound principle, the result of long and and sent it back with warm commendawide experience. The general rule un- tions. doubtedly is that, when a successful Tickell's version of the first book work of imagination has been pro- appeared soon after this conversation. duced, it should not be recast. We In the preface, all rivalry was earnestly cannot at this moment call to mind a disclaimed. Tickell declared that he single instance in which this rule has should not go on with the Iliad. That been transgressed with happy effect, enterprise he should leave to powers except the instance of the Rape of the which he admitted to be superior to Lock. Tasso recast his Jerusalem. his own. His only view, he said, in Akenside recast his Pleasures of the publishing this specimen was to beVOL. II.
speak the favour of the public to a any turns of expression peculiar to translation of the Odyssey, in which | Addison. Had such turns of expreshe had made some progress.
sion been discovered, they would be Addison, and Addison's devoted fol- sufficiently accounted for by supposing lowers, pronounced both the versions Addison to have corrected his friend's good, but maintained that Tickell's lines, as he owned that he had done. had more of the original. The town Is there any thing in the character gave a decided preference to Pope's. of the accused persons which makes We do not think it worth while to the accusation probable? We answer settle such a question of precedence. confidently — nothing. Tickell was Neither of the rivals can be said to long after this time described by Pope have translated the Iliad, unless, in- himself as a very fair and worthy man. deed, the word translation be used in Addison had been, during many years, the sense which it bears in the Mid-before the public. Literary rivals, posummer Night's Dream. When Bot- litical opponents, had kept their eyes tom makes his appearance with an on him. But neither envy nor faction, ass's head instead of his own, Peter in their utmost rage, had ever imputed Quince exclaims, “Bless thee! Bot- to him a single deviation from the laws tom, bless thee! thou art translated." of honour and of social morality. Had In this sense, undoubtedly, the readers he been indeed a man meanly jealous of either Pope or Tickell may very of fame, and capable of stooping to properly exclaim, “ Bless thee! Ho- base and wicked arts for the purmer ; thou art translated indeed.” pose of injuring his competitors, would
Our readers will, we hope, agree his vices have remained latent so long? with us in thinking that no man in He was a writer of tragedy: had he Addison's situation could have acted ever injured Rowe? He was a writer more fairly and kindly, both towards of comedy : had he not done ample Pope, and towards Tickell, than he justice to Congreve, and given valuable appears to have done. But an odious help to Steele? He was a pamphsuspicion had sprung up in the mind leteer: have not his good nature and of Pope. He fancied, and he soon generosity been acknowledged by Swift, firmly believed, that there was a deep his rival in fame and his adversary in conspiracy against his fame and his politics ? fortunes. The work on which he had That Tickell should have been guilty staked his reputation was to be de- of a villany seems to us highly impropreciated. The subscription, on which bable. That Addison should have been rested his hopes of a competence, was guilty of a villany seems to us highly to be defeated. With this view Addi- improbable. But that these two men son had made a rival translation : should have conspired together to Tickell had consented to father it; commit a villany seems to us improand the wits of Button's had united | bable in a tenfold degree. All that to puff it.
is known to us of their intertourse Is there any external evidence to tends to prove, that it was not the support this grave accusation? The intercourse of two accomplices in crime. answer is short. There is absolutely These are some of the lines in which none.
| Tickell poured forth his sorrow over Was there any internal evidence the coffin of Addison : which proved Addison to be the author of this version ? Was it a work which
“ Or dost thou warn poor mortals left beTickell was incapable of producing ? hind, Surely not. Tickell was a Fellow of a A task well suited to thy gentle mind?
Oh, if sometimes thy spotless form descend, College at Oxford, and must be sup
To me thine aid, thou guardian genius, posed to have been able to construe lend. the Iliad ; and he was a better versifier When rage misguides me, or when fear than his friend. We are not aware
When pain distresses, or when pleasure that Pope pretended to have discovered
· In silent whisperings purer thoughts im- such a man as this should attribute to
part, And turn from ill a frail and feeble heart;
others that which he felt within himself. Lead through the paths thy virtue trod A plain, probable, coherent explanation before,
is frankly given to him. He is certain Till bliss shall join, nor death can part us that it is all a romance. A line of more."
conduct scrupulously fair, and even In what words, we should like to friendly, is pursued towards him. He know, did this guardian genius invite is convinced that it is merely a cover his pupil to join in a plan such as the for a vile intrigue by which he is to be Editor of the Satirist would hardly disgraced and ruined. It is vain to dare to propose to the Editor of the ask him for proofs. He has none, and Age?
wants none, except those which he carWe do not accuse Pope of bringing ries in his own bosom. an accusation which he knew to be Whether Pope's malignity at length false. We have not the smallest doubt provoked Addison to retaliate for the that he believed it to be true; and the first and last time, cannot now be evidence on which he believed it he known with certainty. We have only found in his own bad heart. His own Pope's story, which runs thus. Å life was one long series of tricks, as pamphlet appeared containing some mean and as malicious as that of which reflections which stung Pope to the he suspected Addison and Tickell. He quick. What those reflections were, was all stiletto and mask. To injure, and whether they were reflections of to insult, and to save himself from the which he had a right to complain, we consequences of injury and insult by have now no means of deciding. The lying and equivocating, was the habit Earl of Warwick, a foolish and vicious of his life. He published a lampoon lad, who regarded Addison with the on the Duke of Chandos; he was taxed feelings with which such lads genewith it; and he lied and equivocated. rally regard their best friends, told He published a lampoon on Aaron Pope, truly or falsely, that this pamphHill, he was taxud with it; and he let had been written by Addison's dilied and equivocated. He published a rection. When we consider what a still fouler lampoon on Lady Mary tendency stories have to grow, in passWortley Montague ; he was taxed with ing even from one honest man to anit; and he lied with more than usuall other honest man, and when we coneffrontery and vehemence. He puffed sider that to the name of honest man himself and abused his enemies under neither Pope nor the Earl of Warwick feigned names. He robbed himself of had a claim, we are not disposed to his own letters, and then raised the attach much importance to this anechue and cry after them. Besides his dote. frauds of malignity, of fear, of interest, It is certain, however, that Pope was and of vanity, there were frauds which furious. He had already sketched the he seems to have committed from love character of Atticus in prose. In his of fraud alone. He had a habit of anger he turned this prose into the brilstratagem, a pleasure in outwitting all liant and energetic lines which every who came near him. Whatever his body knows by heart, or ought to know object might be, the indirect road to it by heart, and sent them to Addison. was that which he preferred. For Bo- One charge which Pope has enforced lingbroke, Pope undoubtedly felt as with great skill is probably not withmuch love and veneration as it was in out foundation. Addison was, we are his nature to feel for any human being. inclined to believe, too fond of presidYet Pope was scarcely dead when it ing over a circle of humble friends, was discovered that, from no motive Of the other imputations which these except the mere love of artifice, he famous lines are intended to convey, had been guilty of an act of gross per- scarcely one has ever been proved to be fidy to Bolingbroke.
just, and some are certainly false. That Nothing was more natural than that Addison was not in the habit of "damn
ing with faint praise” appears from for Homer as Dryden had done for innumerable passages in his writings, Virgil. From that time to the end of and from none more than from those in his life, he always treated Pope, by which he mentions Pope. And it is Pope's own acknowledgment, with jusnot merely unjust, but ridiculous, to tice. Friendship was, of course, at an describe a man who made the fortune end. of almost every one of his intimate One reason which induced the Earl friends, as “so obliging that he ne'er of Warwick to play the ignominious obliged.”
part of talebearer on this occasion, may That Addison felt the sting of Pope's have been his dislike of the marriage satire keenly, we cannot doubt. That which was about to take place between he was conscious of one of the weak- his mother and Addison. The Counnesses with which he was reproached, tess Dowager, a daughter of the old is highly probable. But his heart, we and honourable family of the Middlefirmly believe, acquitted him of the tons of Chirk, a family which, in any gravest part of the accusation. He country but ours, would be called noble, acted like himself. As a satirist he resided at Holland House. Addison was, at his own weapons, more than had, during some years, occupied at Pope's match; and he would have been Chelsea a small dwelling, once the at no loss for topics. A distorted and abode of Nell Gwynn. Chelsea is now diseased body, tenanted by a yet more a district of London, and Holland House distorted and diseased mind; spite and may be called a town residence. But, envy thinly disguised by sentiments as in the days of Anne and George the benevolent and noble as those which First, milkmaids and sportsmen wanSir Peter Teazle admired in Mr. Joseph dered between green hedges and over Surface; a feeble sickly licentiousness; fields bright with daisies, from Kensingan odious love of filthy and noisome ton almost to the shore of the Thames. images; these were things which a ge- Addison and Lady Warwick were counnius less powerful than that to which try neighbours, and became intimate we owe the Spectator could easily have friends. The great wit and scholar held up to the mirth and hatred of tried to allure the young Lord from mankind. Addison had, moreover, at the fashionable amusements of beating his command, other means of vengeance watchmen, breaking windows, and rollwhich a bad man would not have scru- ing women in hogsheads down Holborn pled to use. He was powerful in the Hill, to the study of letters and the state. Pope was a Catholic; and, in practice of virtue. These well meant those times, a minister would have exertions did little good, however, either found it easy to harass the most inno- to the disciple or to the master. Lord cent Catholic by innumerable petty Warwick grew up a rake; and Addison vexations. Pope, near twenty years fell in love. The mature beauty of the later, said that “through the lenity of Countess has been celebrated by poets the government alone he could live in language which, after a very large with comfort.” “Consider," he ex- allowance has been made for flattery, claimed, “the injury that a man of would lead us to believe that she was a high rank and credit may do to a pri- fine woman; and her rank doubtless vate person, under penal laws and heightened her attractions. The courtmany other disadvantages.” It is pleas- ship was long. The hopes of the lover ing to reflect that the only revenge appear to have risen and fallen with which Addison took was to insert in the fortunes of his party. His attachthe Freeholder a warm encomium on ment was at length matter of such nothe translation of the Iliad, and to ex- toriety that, when he visited Ireland for hort all lovers of learning to put down the last time, Rowe addressed some contheir names as subscribers. There could solatory verses to the Chloe of Holland be no doubt, he said, from the speci- House. It strikes us as a little strange mens already published, that the mas- that, in these verses, Addison should be terly hand of Pope would do as much called Lycidas, a name of singularly
evil omen for a swain just about to cross I was celebrated in Latin verses, worthy St. George's Channel.
of his own pen, by Vincent Bourne, At length Chloe capitulated. Addi- who was then at Trinity College, Camson was indeed able to treat with her bridge. A relapse soon took place; on equal terms. He had reason to ex- and, in the following spring, Addison pect preferment even higher than that was prevented by a severe asthma from which he had attained. He had inhe- discharging the duties of his post. He rited the fortune of a brother who died resigned it, and was succeeded by his Governor of Madras. He had pur- friend Craggs, a young man whose nachased an estate in Warwickshire, and tural parts, though little improved by had been welcomed to his domain in cultivation, were quick and showy, very tolerable verse by one of the neigh- whose graceful person and winning bouring squires, the poetical foxhunter, manners had made him generally acWilliam Somerville. In August 1716, ceptable in society, and who, if he had the newspapers announced that Joseph lived, would probably have been the Addison, Esquire, famous for many ex- most formidable of all the rivals of cellent works both in verse and prose, Walpole. had espoused the Countess Dowager of As yet there was no Joseph Hume. Warwick.
| The Ministers, therefore, were able to He now fixed his abode at Holland bestow on Addison a retiring pension House, a house which can boast of a of fifteen hundred pounds a year. In greater number of inmates distinguish- what form this pension was given we ed in political and literary history than are not told by the biographers, and any other private dwelling in England. have not time to inquire. But it is cerHis portrait still hangs there. The tain that Addison did not vacate his features are pleasing; the complexion seat in the House of Commons. is remarkably fair; but, in the expres Rest of mind and body seem to have sion, we trace rather the gentleness of re-established his health; and he thankhis disposition than the force and keen ed God, with cheerful piety, for having ness of his intellect.
set him free both from his office and Not long after his marriage he reach from his asthma. Many years seemed ed the height of civil greatness. The to be before him, and he meditated Whig Government had, during some many works, a tragedy on the death of time, been torn by internal dissensions. Socrates, a translation of the Psalms, a Lord Townshend led one section of the treatise on the evidences of Christianity. Cabinet, Lord Sunderland the other. Of this last performance, a part, which At length, in the spring of 1717, Sun- we could well spare, has come down derland triumphed. Townshend re- to us. tired from office, and was accompanied But the fatal complaint soon returned, by Walpole and Cowper. Sunderland and gradually prevailed against all the proceeded to reconstruct the Ministry; resources of medicine. It is melancholy and Addison was appointed Secretary to think that the last months of such a of State. It is certain that the Seals life should have been overclouded both were pressed upon him, and were at by domestic and by political vexations. first declined by him. Men equally A tradition which began early, which versed in official business might easily has been generally received, and to have been found; and his colleagues which we have nothing to oppose, has knew that they could not expect assist- represented his wife as an arrogant and ance from him in debate. He owed imperious woman. It is said that, till his elevation to his popularity, to his his health failed him, he was glad to stainless probity, and to his literary escape from the Countess Dowager and fame.
her magnificent diningroom, blazing But scarcely had Addison entered with the gilded devices of the House of the Cabinet when his health began to Rich, to some tavern where he could fail. From one serious attack he re- enjoy a laugh, a talk about Virgil and covered in the autumn; and his recovery Boileau, and a bottle of claret, with the