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who gives the following account of the matter in his Adversaria :
“ What passed between Mr. Pope and me, I will endeavour to recollect as well as I can, for it happened many years ago, and I never made any memorandum of it.
“When I was a soph at Cambridge, Pope was about his Translation of Homer's Ilias, and had published part of it.
“ He employed some person (I know not who he was) to make extracts for him from Eustathius, which he inserted in his notes. At that time there was no Latin translation of that commentator. Alerander Politi (if I remember right) began that work some years afterward, but never proceeded far in it. The person employed by Mr. Pope was not at leisure to go on with the work; and Mr. Pope (by his bookseller, I suppose,) sent to Jefferies, a bookseller at Cambridge, to find out a student who would undertake the task. Jefferies applied to Dr. Thirlby, who was my tutor, and who pitched upon me. I would have declined the work, having, as I told my tutor, other studies to pursue, to fit me for taking my degree. But he-qui quicquid volebat valde volebat, --would not hear of any excuse. So I complied. I cannot recollect what Mr. Pope allowed for each book of Homer; I have a notion that it was three or four guineas. I took as much care as I could to perform the task to his satisfaction; but I was ashamed to desire my tutor to give himself the trouble of overlooking my operations; and he, who always used to think and speak too favourably of me, said, that I
did not want his help. He never perused one line of it before it was printed, nor perhaps afterward.
“When I had gone through some books (I forget how many), Mr. Jefferies let us know that Mr. Pope had a friend to do the rest, and that we might give
“ When I sent my papers to Jefferies, to be conveyed to Mr. Pope, I inserted, as I remember, some remarks on a passage, where Mr. Pope, in my opinion, had made a mistake. But, as I was not directly employed by him, but by a bookseller, I did not inform him who I was, or set my name to my papers.
“ When that part of Homer came out in which I had been concerned, I was eager, as it supposed, to see how things stood; and much pleased to find that he had not only used almost all my notes, but had hardly made any alteration in the expressions. I observed also, that, in a subsequent edition, he corrected the place to which I had made objections.
“I was in some hopes, in those days (for I was young), that Mr. Pope would make inquiry about his coadjutor, and take some civil notice of him. But he did not; and I had no notion of obtruding myself upon him.— I never saw his face.”
The first four books were published 1715, and the largeness of the subscription enabled him also to purchase the house at Twickenham, besides the
* Dr. Johnson says, the first considerable work published by subscription was Dryden's Virgil; but the folio edition of Paradise Lost was so published some years before.
annuities above-mentioned; to which he removed, having persuaded his father to sell his little property at Binfield.
But now the pleasure he took in the success of his great undertaking, was diminished and interrupted by an unforeseen accident. At the
At the very time when the First Volume of Pope's Iliad was published, a Translation of the First Book appeared under the name of Tickell; and though Addison lived in terms of friendship with Pope, and had warmly encouraged him to undertake this work, yet Pope had reason to think that this First Book was the work of Addison himself, and not of Tickell. The reasons of this suspicion, and of a conduct so unaccountable in a man of Addison's character, are given by Pope himself in the following words, faithfully transcribed by me from Spence's Anecdotes.
“There had been a coldness between Mr. Addison and me for some time, and we had not been in company together, for a good while, any where but at Button's coffee-house, where I used to see him almost every day. On his meeting me there one day in particular, he took me aside, and said he should be glad to dine' with me at such a tavern, if I stayed till those people were gone (Budget and Philips). We went accordingly; and after dinner Mr. Addison said,
That he had wanted for some time to talk with me; that his friend Tickell had formerly, whilst at Oxford, translated the First Book of the Iliad; that he designed to print it, and had desired him to look it over; that he must therefore beg that I would not desire him to look over my First Book, because, if he did, it would have the air of double-dealing.' I assured him that I did not at all take it ill of Mr. Tickell that he was going to publish his Translation; that he certainly had as much right to translate any Author as myself; and that publishing both was entering on a fair stage. I then added, that I would not desire him to look over my First Book of the Iliad, because he had looked over Mr. Tickell's ; bụt could wish to have the benefit of his observations on my Second, which I had then finished, and which Mr. Tickell had not touched upon. Accordingly I sent him the Second Book the next morning; and Mr. Addison a few days after returned it with very high commendations. Soon after it was generally known that Mr. Tickell was publishing the First Book of the Iliad, I met Dr. Young in the street; and, upon our falling into that subject, the Doctor expressed a great deal of surprise at Tickell’s having had such a Translation so long by him. He said, that it was inconceivable to him, and that there must be some mistake in the matter; that each used to communicate to the other whatever verses they wrote, even to the least things; that Tickell could not have been busied in so long a work there, without his knowing something of the matter; and that he had never heard a single word of it till on this occasion. This surprise of Dr. Young, together with what Steele has said against Tickell in relation to this affair, makes it highly probable that there was some underhand dealing in that business; and indeed Tickell himself, who is a very fair worthy man, has since, in a manner, as good as owned it to me.' Great and just was Pope's indignation on this occasion, especially when Addison declared at Button's, that both versions were good; but that Tickell had more of Homer. “I appeal,” said Pope,“ to the people as my rightful judges, and while they are not inclined to condemn me, shall not fear the high-fliers at Button's."
At one time he intended to print together all the four versions that had been given of this First Book, by Dryden, Maynwaring, himself, and Tickell! ; at another, to make a close, and minute, and rigorous criticism on every passage of the last that seemed defective. In the collection of his Letters, in this edition, many particulars of this unhappy quarrel, and the sentiments of his friends, may be found, which are not therefore here detailed. Every candid reader must wish that the charge against so amiable a man as was Addison, could be totally refuted. It most certainly is not, though it was expected it would have been done effectually in what has been lately said on the subject by the learned Author of Warburton's Life, who is of opinion, that Tickell might have begun and finished his First Book of Homer four years before Lord Halifax's death, though known to Lord Halifax only four months before his death, and might intended to have dedicated the work to this Lord. Well convinced of the rashness and uncertainty of judging merely by different styles, I hardly venture to say, that the style of this version is
• Mr. Watts the printer, a man of integrity, assured a friend of Mr. Nicols, that the translation of the First Book of the Iliad was in Tickell's hand-writing, but much corrected and interlined by Addison.