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Who but must laugh, if fuch a man there be?
founded on fome mifapprehenfion in either Mr. Pope or the Earl; and unless better proof can be given, we fhall readily acquit Mr. Addison of this molt odious part of the charge."
I beg leave to add, that as to the other accufation, Dr. Young, Lord Bathurst, Mr. Harte, and Lord Lyttelton, each of them affured 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, fo early as 1717. And perhaps this circumftance may furnish a clue to what has been fo ably difcuffed by Judge Blackstone, in the " Biographia Britannica," under the article Addison. The epiftle to Arbuthnot was not published till January 1735; that to Auguftus, with fome others, appeared in 1738.-"I have feen Mr. Pope's best performances, and find that he pleases the town moft when he is moft out of humour with the court. He has made very free with his gracious majefty, in the Epifle to Auguftus. But he had loft 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 laft Epiftle he seems to have recanted all he had before said of Addifon," viz.
"(Excufe fomthe courtly ftains)
"No whiter page than Addison remains," &c.
From a manufcript 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 feparation; our old impreffions will get the better of our new; or, at least, suffer themselves to be no further impaired than by the admiffion of a mixture of pity and concern. WARBURTON.
VER. 214. if ATTICUS were he ?] I have fuffered Warburton's note to remain entire, that it may not be faid any thing has
What tho' my Name ftood rubric on the walls, Or plaister'd pofts, with claps, in capitals?
been fuppreffed that could be ftated in Pope's favour. A few obfervations I have made on it, as I went along. Wha I have further to offer, I truft will not be imputed to any defire of leffening Pope's character; but merely to do that justice to Mr. Addifon which truth feems to require.
Mr. Addison is accused of " mean jealousy towards Pope; that he encouraged Pope's abufers; that he objected to the fineft part of the Rape of the Lock, from envy and jealousy; that he produced, in oppofition, a translation of the first Book of Homer, which was given to the world oftenfibly as Tickell's, but which was in reality the work of Addison, who was actuated in the attempt by the defire of "injuring Pope's reputation;” that finally, Lord Warwick, Addison's fon in law, had himself confeffed that it was in vain for Pope to endeavour to be well with Addison, and that he had hired Gildon to abuse him."
These are fevere charges, and they ought to be supported by certain proof, or the ftrongeft probabilities.
With respect to the first charge, it is not impoffible but that Pope, and this I have no doubt was the cafe, really thought, when he became, in the eye of the public and in his own of course, fo great a man, that every one who had a high literary character must certainly be jealous of him. Once poffeffed with this idea, which was the natural confequence of his own felf-importance, he faw the cloven foot of envy and jealoufy in every thing connected with the name of Addison. If Philips, the rival Arcadian, hung up a rod at Button's Coffee-houfe to chaftife Pope, the rival Paftoralfwain, Addison was the inftigator. If Gildon, foured by poverty, attacked the more fuccefsful bard with fcurrility and anger, Addison bribed him! If a translation of Homer comes out at the same time with Pope's, certainly there can be but one cause - Addison's jealousy: Addison fuggefted it, Addifon mended it, Addifon wrote it!
Pope has faid himself, that "all feems yellow to the jaundiced eye." Was his eye quite clear in his view of things respecting Addison? We have his own ideas and affertions. Are
Or fmoaking forth, a hundred hawkers load,
thefe to be trufted, unfupported by other evidence? We have the "ipfe dixit" of one party against the other? The world is ap. pealed to; it naturally afks, is fuch a charge admitted by Pope's cotemporaries? I exclude his own particular friends. Does Craggs, the friend of both, feem to believe it? Pope wrote to him on the fubject,- he received no anfwer. What are Addison's and Pope's refpective characters? has the firft ever been charged. with duplicity, even by his enemies? Has the other escaped the charge? Have there been no unequivocal proofs against him in that refpect? Look at Addison's warm, manly, difinterested, and honeft conduct to Swift? remember his liberal and humane mode of difavowing Pope's perfonal attack on Dennis, on account of his Criticisms on Cato? recollect the uniform teftimony, not only of his friends, but of all with whom he affociated; confider the proofs of his candor and kindness, in almost every fituation; and reflect, that nothing was urged with the least appearance of weight against him, even from thofe who were hoftile to him in politics, till after his death? and from whom do they come, from one man, that man angry and interested, and that man, whofe character, compared to Addifon's, was, as perhaps Johnfon might fay, like Tortuofity oppofed to Rectitude.
These things are fo;- Pope poffibly may have been right in his judgment, but Addison ought not to be condemned by candid and impartial judges, unless there was collateral and much stronger evidence, than the ex parte evidence of Pope. Neither candour, nor equity, nor juftice allow it.
Let us now go a step further, and confider the more specific and fevere charges brought with apparently direct proof. Lord Warwick's teflimony is adduced againft Addifon, folemnly and decifively. This has been clearly proved to be impoffible, at leaft fo utterly improbable, that no one can believe it (fee Warton's note on ver. 209.). The strongest proof falls at once to the ground; it was invented, and is proved to be false. What then are we to think of the deliberate inventor, and what credit is due to his bare fufpicions, without any attempt at proof at all, and which are contradicted by Addison's general character, and by his acknowledged honour and worth?
I fought no homage from the race that write;
I kept, like Afian Monarchs, from their fight: 220 Poems
I will also ask, whether any affertion be entitled to credit, which is brought forward fo long after the death of the accused, as was the cafe in this inftance?
One word respecting the supposed tranflation. It has been faid that Pope, when he taxed Addison with being the author, was chiefly hurt by Addifon's lofty manner and affected indifference. Is this to be attributed to innocence, or consciousness? An innocent man would, and must have behaved fo-a guilty man might; but this has been weakly brought against Addifon, as if such a mode of behaviour must have been affected. This, however, is hardly worth taking notice of. It has also been faid, that Tickell was incapable of fuch a translation, without Addison's affiftance, to which I have no hesitation in saying, that Tickell wrote verfes better than Addison. Compare Tickell's "Prospect of the Peace," his verfes on Addison's death: they are fo nervous and correct, that Addison's own verfes appear (hazardous as may be my opinion) very inferior to them. Addifon might have given his opinion respecting the merit of either tranflation, as he gave his opinion of the Sylphs in the Rape of the Lock; but it does not follow that it was directed by spleen and envy. But Dr. Warton would put the matter out of doubt; for he fays, that Dr. Young, Lord Bathurst, Mr. Harte, and Lord Lyttelton, affured him of the fact !-Very well; and who afsured Lord Bathurst, Young, &c.? I very much fear, Pope himself. These were all Pope's friends, they no doubt believed what Pope told them. But as there is no other evidence, I do not think it entitled to any other credit than what is due to Pope's own affertions; if it can be traced to Pope alone, with me it weighs nothing.-In the last edition of Johnson's Lives there is a note, which, though not fo defigned, contributes to elucidate this point.
It relates to another ftory, Addison's arrefting Steel: the words are by the Editor of Johnson's works, viz. "The late Dr. Stinton confirmed this flory to me, by faying he had it from Mr. Hooke, author of the Roman Hiftory; and he, FROM POPE."
Poems I heeded (now be-rhym'd fo long)
No more than thou, great GEORGE! a birth-day fong.
Et dici potuiffe et non potuiffe revelli
On the fame foundation probably rests a circumstance which Warton has admitted in a note; who fays, "He was informed by Mr. Spence, that Addison in his laft illness fent to fpeak with Gay, and told him he had injured him, probably with refpect to his getting preferment at Court; but, if he lived, he would make him amends!" Where did Spence get this anecdote? how came it never mentioned openly before? As it happens, the caufe which prevented Gay's preferment has been clearly afcertained by that accurate and fenfible Hiftorian Mr. Coxe. I fhall fpeak of this under the article of Gay. In the mean time, perhaps, I ought to beg pardon of the reader for this long note; but I had no object but truth, and of fuch a character as Addifon I could not bear
VER. 214. ATTICUS] It was a great falfchood, which fome of the libels reported, that this Character was written after the Gentleman's death; which fee refuted in the Teftimonies prefixed to the Dunciad. But the occafion of writing it was fuch as he 'would not make public out of regard to his memory: and all that could further be done was to omit the name, in the Edition of his Works..
VER. 218. On wings of winds came flying all abroad? Hopkins, in the civth Pfalm.