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therefore, in the epistle, prove that it was sent to Teresa ; and the fact of her friendship or flirtation with Mr. Moore Smythe, explains why so insignificant a writer as he was should have had a place in the “ Dunciad.” About this time Pope published the “ Temple of Fame,” an imitation of Chaucer; and in 1712 “ Windsor Forest."
Hitherto he had earned fame, but not much pecuniary profit from his poetry, and his father's steadily diminishing hoard in the chest only allowed the old gentleman to give his gifted son a small allowance. Pope said that he wanted money even to buy books. Pussessing in a great degree the common sense which accompanies the higher development of genius, he resolved to endeavour to achieve an independence for himself.
He therefore solicited a subscription to an intended transla. tion of “Homer's Iliad.” In 1688, Milton's “ Paradise Lost" had been published with great success, in folio, by subscription, under the patronage of Lord Somers; Dryden's “Virgil” had been readily subscribed for also; Pope trusted, therefore, that the popularity he had already attained would stand him in good stead: and it did. He obtained a very full list of subscribers for a folio edition in six volumes at a guinea apiece. Bernard Lintot, the great bookseller, purchased the copyright of the work at a liberal price, and Pope gained altogether £5,320 by the translation of the “Iliad." He secured with this money annuities on his life, which raised him above pecuniary anxieties in the future. His whole income is said to have been about £800 a year. Broome and Jortin assisted him with the notes to the “Iliad;" and his friend Parnell wrote the life of Homer, but Pope altered and improved it. He is said to have been assisted greatly in his work by Chapman's adniirable translation, and also by Latin versions of the great Greek poet. Pope received an offer, while engaged on the work, of a pension of £300 a year from Mr. Craggs; who was then Secretary of State; but he declined it.
The publication of the “ Iliad” placed him at the acme of his reputation; but it cost him the friendship of Addison, of which he had long been proud. The origin of the quarrel was the production by Tickell-a protégé and friend of Addison's—of a rival “Iliad,” the same year that Pope published his first volume. This translation was greatly puffed by Addison and his friends-Addison saying that * Tickell had more of Homer” than Pope, and that his (Tickell's) was the best translation ever published. .
The world, however, decided against his opinion in this matter as it had previously with regard to the “Rape of the Lock.” The other circumstances of their quarrel are thus related by Pope:
“The author of the Pastorals' already mentioned, 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 grossly, Lord Warwick"-Addison's son-inlaw_"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. Addison, to let him know that I was not unacquainted with this behaviour of his ; that, if I was to speak severely of him in return for it, it should not 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 i.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.
Great efforts have been made since Dr. Johnson wrote his charming life of Pope, to defend Addison at Pope's expense. It really would seem as if some ill-fairy had dowered the poet at his birth with the power of making enemies, so savagely was he abused in life; so bitterly has he been maligned since his death. The distance of a century, the sanctity of the grave, have not preserved his memory from evil speakers; from the judgment of narrow-minded men, utterly unable to take a large and generous view of this wonderful -gifted-afflicted genius. What would they have been had they been born so deformed-so small-so delicate ? lad they lived in continual pain? Would they have been half as generous, or at all better tempered than the poet ?
Nåture had compensated in a degree for his infirmities by granting him “the precious jewel" of poetic genius; but he was not as others !-he could not even dress himself-he was never wholly free from pain—“his life was one long disease.” He was scorned by one woman, who herself acknowledged having laughed at him when he spoke to her of the love she had encouraged, and which (however sinful on his part) deserved at least pity: towards the close of his life he bore patiently with the caprices and selfishness of another.
Even the literary success of the mere boy raised enemies against him, and unhappily he was keenly sensitive, and does not seem to have possessed that thick-skinned self-conceit, which would have enabled him to look down on the insects that beset him. No wonder he was peevish—no marvel that he used the mighty weapon of defence with which he was endowed, and lashed his assailants with his pen ! As one reads some of the pitiless abuse of him, one wishes that he could have put his posthumous critics in a new “ Dunciad.” But we wander from his Memoir.
Pope, soon after the publication of the “Iliad,” bought a Villa at Twickenham for his life, and removed thither with
his father and mother, to whom he was a most devoted son; to his mother especially, whose old age he cherished with the tenderest care and love.
In this new home he planted vines and made a grotto, and gathered round him a circle of the most distinguished men of the age, who were proud to call him friend,—and here his first great domestic affliction occurred; he lost his father at the age of 74.
In 1720, he was presented with some shares in the South Sea Company, by Craggs and another friend, Sir Francis Child, the banker: perhaps also he purchased some himself. But the gigantic bubble burst, and Pope congratulated himself that he had not previously sold his shares; and enriched · himself at the expense of those who were ruined. In 1721 he published his friend Parnell's works, with an exquisite Epistle to Lord Oxford, and in the same year produced an edition of Shakespeare. In this he was thought to have failed, and never, it is said, reflected on it afterwards without vexation. Theobald, a heavy dull man, but industrious, published a book called “Shakespeare Restored,” in which he pointed out the poet-editor's deficiencies with great insolence. “Yet Pope,” says Dr. Johnson, “was the first that knew—at least the first who told how texts might be improved, ...," and he directed public attention to Shakespeare's works (which had then been but little read) by his elegant preface, in which he drew the great dramatist's character admirably. Soon after this editing, Pope published a translation of the “ Odyssey,” also by subscription. In this work he was materially assisted by Fenton and Broome. In his proposals for the work, he announces that the subscription was not solely for his own use, but for that also of two of his friends who had assisted him in the work. Of the “Odyssey” he translated only twelve books; the others were done by Fenton and Broome.
The publication of it introduced to him a friend who continued faithful to his last hours. Spence, prelector of poetry at Oxford, wrote a criticism on the new translation. It was just, but fair. Pope, who in him for the first time found a candid critic, sought his acquaintance, and they were much and familiarly together for the future.
In 1723 he suffered great sorrow through the exile of his friend Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, to whom he was very much attached, and who had endeavoured to win him over to the Church of England. His letters to Atterbury are full of tenderness anl gratitude. “Perhaps,” he says, “it is not only in this world that I shall have cause to remember the Bishop of Rochester."
In 1727 he joined his friend Swift in publishing three volumes of “Miscellanies.”
In 1728, (following Atterbury's advice “ to write satires”) he published the "Dunciad.” Of the first edition, his old antagonist Theobald was the hero; in a future one he gave the place to Colley Cibber.
The poem has ceased to have any interest save as a
curiosity. The “ Dunces” were not worth remembering, and have all sunk into oblivion, being preserved only like flies in amber by the poet's genius. In this the “ Dunciad” greatly differs from “ English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,” the heroes of which ranked (some of them) as high as their satirist.
In 1731 he published the first of his “Moral Essays"“On Taste."
He criticises in it the false taste of ostentation in the character of Timon-by whom he was supposed to have meant the Duke of Chandos. An outcry was instantly raised against him, “that he had received a thousand pounds and great hospitality from the Duke, and had thus repaid him.” But Pope publicly denied having ever received the money, and wrote an explanatory letter to the Duke.
In 1733 he published the first part of the “Essay on Man," anonymously. It sold well, and the second and third epistles then appeared. At last, in 1734, he publicly avowed himself its author. Crousaz, a Swiss professor of very serious views, happened to read Resnel's French translation of the epistle, and condemned it as leading to infidelity; it was defended by Warburton, a man of great learning and a clergyman. Pope was delighted at being vindicated from the suspicion of having written against revelation; and formed in consequence a warm and lasting friendship with Warburton. He introduced his champion to Mr. Murray, through whose influence he became preacher at Lincoln's Inn; and to Mr. Allen, who gave Warburton his niece in marriage, and finally left him his estate. Warburton became Bishop of Gloucester. Pope left him also the property of his works, which Dr. Johnson estimates at four thousand pounds. Bolingbroke was supposed to have given Pope the idea of the “Essay on Man," and his suspected infidel principles led to a distrust of the aim of the poem. But we are assured that Bolingbroke carefully concealed his real opinions from his friend.
The “ Moral Essays” followed the “ Essay on Man.”
Horace Walpole tells a scandalous story of the Duchess of Marlborough having given Pope a thousand pounds to withhold the character of Atossa—which she recognised as her own—from the epistle, and of his nevertheless publishing it after her death. But there is actually no certain proof of the truth of this assertion, and the Duchess's gift of a thousand pounds was probably as apocryphal as that of the Duke of Chandos had been proved to be. It is unlikely altogether that Pope, who prided himself on his independence-who had refused a pension from Craggs—and lost the patronage of the powerful Lord Halifax by not dedicating the “Iliad” to him—would condescend to a bribe-even, as is suggested, at the instigation of Martha Blount, his favourite friend ; nor is it very likely that the avaricious Duchess would have offered it. In English fairness we ought to give the benefit of the doubt to a man whose strict integrity has been generally acknowledged ; but wliom such
At fourteen he made a version of the first book of the “ Thebais” of Statius; he translated also the epistle from Sappho to Phaon—from Ovid—and modernised Chaucer's " January and May,” and “Prologue to the Wife of Bath.” At fourteen, also, he wrote his poem on “Silence," in imitation of Lord Rochester's “Nothing."
The “Pastorals” were published in 1790; and the same year he wrote the “Essay on Criticism.” In 1711 Pope produced “The Rape of the Lock,” which placed him on the highest eminence of fame.
In 1727 he joined his friend Swift in publishing three volumes of Miscellanies; and the following year he published “The Dunciad.”
In 1733 he published the first part of the “Essay on Man," anonymously, which was followed by “Moral Essays."
Between 1730 and 1740, Pope published the “Satires in Imitation of Horace.” He also produced a revival of Dr. Donne's “Satires,” in smoother verse. These publications were followed by the “Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot,” in which is the character of Atticus that he had so long before sent to Addison.
It is time now to say something about the two loves or female friendships of Pope's life.
In 1716 he became acquainted with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, a beautiful woman of great genius, and very unconventional manners. Accustomed only to the society of the homely ordinary women of his own class—to “ vixenish” Teresa, or dull Martha Blount—both of whom had rather taken his young fancy, Lady Mary must have been a very dazzling vision to the poet. She was attracted by his fame, and probably also by his conversation, and they became friends. She accompanied her husband, Mr. Montagu, to Constantinople, whither he had been sent as ambassador, and during her absence corresponded with Pope, who sent for her perusal his “ Epistle from Eloïsa to Abelard ;” at the close of which he hinted at his own feelings.
On her return, Lady Mary went to reside, at his request, at Twickenham, and here they quarrelled. She is said to have acknowledged that he made professions of love to her, and that she laughed in his face, a strange way of treating such wicked folly; and cruel also, as the offender was so sadly deformed and dwarfish; the offended poet never forgave her; and certainly behaved very badly in treating her with contempt in his “Essay on Woman."
Lord Hervey, a great friend of the lady's, and Lady Mary herself, attacked him in their turn with great bitterness, and the feud raged between them with grave faults on both sides.
Teresa Blount had already scorned the more youthful homage of Pope ; probably no woman would have cared to marry him ; but with Martha he formed a warm Platonic friendship, much resembling that which existed between Cowper and Mrs. Unwin-only Pope (who we are not aware was ever engaged to be married to Miss Blount, as Cowper