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to send it you, but rot arriving here before your book was out, imagin'd it a lost piece of labour. If you will still have it, you need only write me word.
I have here seen the First Book of Homer, which came out at a time when it cou'd not but appear as a kind of setting up against you. My opinion is, that you may if you please, give them thanks who writ it. Neither the numbers nor the spirit have an equal mastery with yours; but what surprizes me more is, that a scholar being concern'd, there should happen to be some mistakes in the author's sense; such as putting the light of Pallas's eyes into the eyes of Achilles, making the taunt of Achilles to Agamemnon (that he should have spoils when Troy should be taken) to be a cool and serious proposal; the translating what you call Ablution by the word offals, and so leaving Water out of the rite of lustration, &c. but you must have taken notice of all this before. I write not to inform you, but to shew I always have you at heart.
I am, &c.
* ExtraEt from a Letter of the Reverend Doctor Berkley Dean of London-Derry.
July 7, 1715., Some days ago, three or four gentlemen and my self exerting that right which all readers pretend to over authors, fate in judgment upon the two new Translations of the first Iliad. Without partiality to my country-men, I aflure you they all gave the preference where it was due ; being unanimously of opinion, that yours was equally just to the sense with Mr.-'s, and without comparison more easy, more poetical, and more sublime. But I will say no more on such a thread-bare subject, as your late performance is at this time.
I am, &C.
* Extraet from a Letter of Mr. Gay to Mr. Pope.
July 8, 1715. I have just set down Sir Samuel Garth at the Opera. He bid me tell you, that every body is pleas'd with your translation, but a few at Button's; and that Sir Richard Steele told him, that Mr. Addison said the other translation was the best that ever was in any language *. He treated me with extream civility, and out of kindness gave me a squeeze by the fore finger. I am inform'd that at Button's your character is made very free with as to Morals, &c. and Mr. Addison says, that your translation and Tickel's are both very well done, but that the latter has more of Homer.
I am, &C.
* Extract from a Letter of Dr. Arbuthnot to
July 9, 1715. minom I congratulate you upon Mr. T *'s first book. It does not indeed want its merit; but I was strangely disappointed in my expectation of a translation nice
* Sir Richard Steele afterwards, in his Preface to an Edition of the Drummer, a Comedy by Mr. Addison, shews it to be his opinion, that “ Mr. Addison himself so was the person who translated this book.
ly true to the Original; whereas in those parts where the greatest exactness seems to be demanded, he has been the least careful, I mean the history of ancient Ceremonies and rites, &c, in which you have with great judgment been exact.
I am, &c.
LET T E R XXVI. Mr. Pope to the Honourable James Craggs, Esq;
July 15. 1715: T Lay hold of the opportunity given me by my Lord 1 Duke of Shrewsbury, to assure you of the continuance of that esteem and affection I have long born you, and the memory of so many agreeable conversations as we have pass'd together. I wish it were a compliment to say, such conversations as are not to be found on this side of the water: for the Spirit of difsention is gone forth among us; nor is it a wonder that Button's is no longer Button's, when old England is no longer old England, that region of hospitality, society, and good humour. Party affects us all, even the wits, tho they gain as little by politicks as they do by their wit. We talk much o fine sense, refin'd sense, and exalted sense; but for use and happiness, give me, a little common sense. I say this in regard to some gentlemen, profess’d Wits of our acquaintance, who fancy they can make Poetry of consequence at this time of day, in the midst of this raging fit of Politicks. For they tell me, the busy part of the nation are not more divided about Whig and Tory, than these idle fellows of the feather about Mr. T *'s and my translation. I (like the 'Tories) have thc town in general, that is the
mob, on my side; but 'tis usual with the smaller para ty to make up in industry what they want in number, and that's the case with the little Senate of Cato. However, if our principles be well consider'd, I must ap. pear a brave Whig, and Mr. T. a rank Tory: I tran. Nated Homer for the publick in general, he to gratify the inordinate. desires of one Man only. We have it feems, a great Turk in poetry, who can never bear a brother on the throne; and has his mutes too, a sett of nodders, winkers, and whisperers, whose business is to strangle all other offsprings of wit in their birth. The new translator of Homer is the humblelt slave he has, that is to say, his first Minister; let him receive the honours he gives him, but receive them with fear. and trembling; let him be proud of the approbation of his absolute Lord, I appeal to the people, as my rightful judges and masters; and if they are not inclin'd , to condemn me, I fear no arbitrary high-flying proceeding from the small Court-faction at Buttons. But after all I have said of this great man, there is no rupture between us. We are each of us so civil and obliging, that neither thinks he is obliged: And I for my part treat with him, as we do with the grand Mo. narch; who has too many great qualities not to be res. pected, tho' we know he watches any occafion to oppress us.
When I talk of Homer, I must not forget the early present you made me of Monsieur de la Motte's book: And I can't conclude this letter without telling you a melancholy piece of news, which affects our very entrails, L.* is dead, and soupes are no more! You see I write in the old familiar way. "This is not to the minister but to the friend.” However it is some mark of uncommon regard to the minister that I steal ap expression from a Secretary of State.
I am, &c. LaTTER:
Jan. 16, 1714:15. TAT Ethinks when I write to you, I am making a IV1 confeffion, I have got (I can't tell how) such a custom of throwing my self out upon paper without referve. You were not miftaken in what you judged of my temper of mind when I writ lait. My faults will not be hid from you, and perhaps it is no difpraise to me that they will not: the cleanness and purity of one's mind is never better prov'd, than in discovering its own faults at first view; as when a stream fhows the dirt at its bottom, it shows also the traniparency of the water,
My spleen was not occasioned however, by any thing an abusive angry crilic could write of me. I take very kindly your heroick manner of congratulation upon this scandal ; for I think nothing more honourable, than to be involved in the fame fate with all the great and the good that ever lived ; that is, to be envy'd and cenfured by bad writers.
You do no more than answer my expectations of you, in declaring how well you take my freedom, in fome. times neglecting as I do, to reply to your letters fo foon as I ought. Those who have a right taite of the fubftantial part of friendship,can wave the ceremonial : a friend is the only one that will bear the omiffion; and one may find who is not so, by the very tryal of it.
As to any anxiety I have concerning the fate of my Homer, the care is over with me : the world must be the judge, and I fhall be the first to consent to the justice of its judgment, whatever it be. I am not so