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He left the pamphlet to itself, having disowned it to Dennis', and perhaps did not think Pope to have deserved much by his officiousness.
This year was printed in The Guardian the ironical comparison 68 between the Pastorals of Philips and Pope'; a composition of artifice, criticism, and literature, to which nothing equal will easily be found. The superiority of Pope is so ingeniously dissembled, and the feeble lines of Philips so skilfully preferred, that Steele, being deceived, was unwilling to print the paper lest Pope should be offended. Addison immediately saw the writer's design; and, as it seems, had malice enough to conceal his discovery, and to permit a publication which, by making his friend Philips ridiculous, made him for ever an enemy to Pope.
It appears that about this time Pope had a strong inclination 69 to unite the art of Painting with that of Poetry, and put himself under the tuition of Jervas3. He was near-sighted, and therefore not formed by nature for a painter: he tried, however, how far he could advance, and sometimes persuaded his friends to sit. A picture of Betterton, supposed to be drawn by him, was in the possession of Lord Mansfield: if this was taken from the life, he must have begun to paint earlier; for Betterton was now dead 5.
Ante, ADDISON, 65.
2 Written by Pope. Ante, GAY, 4; post, A. PHILIPS, 20.
'Mr. Addison did not discover Mr. Pope's style in the Letter on Pastorals in The Guardian [No. 40]; but then that was a disguised style.' Spence's Anec. p. 168.
Warburton says (vii. 203) that 'it was taken for a serious criticism by Steele, and indeed by all at Button's [ante, ADDISON, 115] except Mr. Addison, who saw into the joke immediately; and the next time he met Mr. Pope told him into what a ridiculous situation he had put his friends, who had declared their dislike of having Philips so extolled at the expense of another of the Club.'
3 He began in the spring of 1713. Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vi. 7, 183, 186. 'Which 'gives you the most pleasure, Sir, poetry or painting?' Spence asked of him. 'I really can't well say; both of them are extremely pleasing.' Spence's Anec. p. 23.
In The Tatler, No. iv, Jervas is called 'the last great painter Italy has sent us.' Walpole speaks of 'his wretched daubings. Yet he sat at the top of his profession.... In general his pictures are a light flimsy kind of fan-painting, as large as the life.' Anecdotes of Painting, iv. 23.
According to Pope he valued himself, not on his pictures, where he had merit; but 'on the translation of Don Quixote without Spanish.' Warburton, vii. 232 n. The translation has great merit. See also ante, DRYDEN, 146 n. 1; post, POPE, 106, 213 n.
4 Writing to Cromwell on July 17, 1709, about a young gentlewoman, who saluted him by name 'in an uneasy stage-coach,' he says:-'I had
never more reason to accuse nature
for making me short-sighted than now, when I could not recollect I had ever seen those fair eyes which knew me so well.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vi. 80.
5 Betterton died in 1710. Pope wrote to Caryll in 1713:-'I find my
Pope's ambition of this new art produced some encomiastick verses to Jervas1, which certainly shew his power as a poet, but I have been told that they betray his ignorance of painting 2.
He appears to have regarded Betterton with kindness and esteem; and after his death published, under his name, a version into modern English of Chaucer's Prologues, and one of his Tales, which, as was related by Mr. Harte, were believed to have been the performance of Pope himself by Fenton, who made him a gay offer of five pounds, if he would shew them in the hand of Betterton 3.
The next year (1713) produced a bolder attempt, by which profit was sought as well as praise. The poems which he had hitherto written, however they might have diffused his name, had made very little addition to his fortune. The allowance which
hand most successful in drawing of friends, and those I most esteem, insomuch that my masterpieces have been one of Dr. Swift, and one of Mr. Betterton.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vi. 193.
Hawkins says that Johnson has incorrectly reported the following anecdote which he had from him:-'A picture of Betterton, certainly copied from Kneller by Pope, Lord Mansfield once showed me at Kenwood House, adding that it was the only one he ever finished; for that the weakness of his eyes was an obstruction to the use of the pencil.' Johnson's Works, 1787, iv. 90.
Pope designed 'the frontispiece to a small edition of the Essay on Man.' Walpole's Anec. iv. 25. It is the frontispiece to Knapton's edition of 1748.' The plate is inscribed with Pope's name, and Feb. 6, 1744, as the date of publication. N. & Q. 6 S. i. 135. See also ib. pp. 161, 225. In the Catalogue of the Goods at Twickenham, taken after his death, is the following:-'In the Garrets. The room next the leads 17 drawings by Mr. Pope.' Ib. 6 S. v. 363. For other drawings by him see Spence's Anec. p. 336.
Paulo's free stroke and Titian's warmth divine'—
told Warton 'he did not think these artists exactly characterized.' Warton, ii. 295. He was willing to bid thirty guineas for a fan painted by Pope. He said that the skill with which it was painted was such as might be expected from one who only painted for his amusement, like the work of a child.' Gwynn's Memoirs of an Eighteenth Century Painter, p. 99.
Johnson described lines 67-8'Led by some rule that guides, but not constrains,
And finished more through happi
ness than pains'—
as a union that constituted the ultimate degree of excellence in the fine arts.' Johnson's Misc. ii. 254.
3 Part of this anecdote Warton had from Harte. Warton, ii. 158. 'The internal evidence supports the conclusion that Betterton composed the translation, and that Pope merely revised it.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), i. 160, vi. 157. For Betterton see Cibber's Apology, ch. iv; The Tatler, No. 167; and Warton, vii. 119 n.
his father made him, though, proportioned to what he had, it might be liberal, could not be large'; his religion hindered him from the occupation of any civil employment 2, and he complained that he wanted even money to buy books3.
He therefore resolved to try how far the favour of the publick 72 extended, by soliciting a subscription to a version of the Iliad, with large notes *.
To print by subscription was, for some time, a practice peculiar 73 to the English. The first considerable work for which this expedient was employed is said to have been Dryden's Virgil, and it had been tried again with great success when The Tatlers were collected into volumes.
There was reason to believe that Pope's attempt would be 74 successful. He was in the full bloom of reputation, and was personally known to almost all whom dignity of employment or splendour of reputation had made eminent; he conversed indifferently with both parties, and never disturbed the publick with his political opinions; and it might be naturally expected, as each faction then boasted its literary zeal, that the great men, who on other occasions practised all the violence of opposition, would emulate each other in their encouragement of a poet who had delighted all, and by whom none had been offended'.
With those hopes, he offered an English Iliad to subscribers, in six volumes in quarto, for six guineas; a sum, according to the value of money at that time, by no means inconsiderable, and greater than I believe to have been ever asked before. His proposal, however, was very favourably received, and the patrons of literature were busy to recommend his undertaking, and promote his interest'. Lord Oxford, indeed, lamented that such a genius should be wasted upon a work not original; but proposed no means by which he might live without it: Addison recommended caution and moderation, and advised him not to be content with the praise of half the nation, when he might be universally favoured 3.
wrote to Pope in 1715:-'If your friends the Whigs continue, you may hope for some favour; if the Tories return, you are at least sure of quiet.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vii. 10. Writing to Swift in 1734 he spoke of that strict neutrality as to public parties which I have constantly observed in all my writings.' Ib. p. 319. He might perhaps more justly have said with Johnson (Boswell's Johnson, i. 504):-'I took care that the Whig dogs should not have the best of it.'
In the list of subscribers are found the Libraries of ten Oxford Colleges, and the names of six members of Colleges. There is no entry under Cambridge. Cowper, thinking it likely that in his Homer he should be patronized by Cambridge, wrote:'I understand that on whatsoever occasion either of those learned bodies thinks fit to move, the other always makes it a point to sit still, thus proving its superiority.' Southey's Cowper, vii. 2.
Of the two-guinea edition of Prior's Poems, 1718 (ante, PRIOR, 41), thirtyseven copies were subscribed for in Oxford and fifty-nine in Cambridge. See List of Subscribers prefixed.
OfThyer's Remains of Butler (ante, BUTLER, 20), 2 vols. 8vo, 1759, sixtynine copies were subscribed for in Oxford, twenty-three in Cambridge, and fifty-nine in Lisbon. See List prefixed.
Of the edition of Swift's Works, 17 vols. 8vo, 1765, 106 copies were
subscribed for in Oxford and thirty in Cambridge. See vol. xv for List.
2 Post, POPE, 91. 'He affected,' writes Warburton, 'to discourage that design; for so great a genius (he said) ought not to be confined to translation.' Warburton, iv. 69. See also Spence's Anec. p. 304.
Our Lord Oxford,' wrote Swift to Pope, 'used to curse the occasions that put you on translations.' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vii. 49. Bolingbroke wrote to Pope :
Prelude with translations, if you please, but after translating what was writ 3,000 years ago it is incumbent upon you that you write, because you are able to write, what will deserve to be translated 3,000 years hence into languages as yet perhaps unformed.' Ib. vii. 394.
Bolingbroke perhaps had in mind, 'How many ages hence Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!'
Julius Caesar, Act iii. sc. 1. Johnson says of Young: 'To translation he never condescended.' Post, YOUNG, 158.
Pope told Spence that 'Addison wrote a letter to him when young, in which he desired him not to list himself under either party. "You," says he, "who will deserve the praise of the whole nation, should never content yourself with the half of it." Spence's Anec. p. 9. For the letter, published by Pope as Addison's, see
The greatness of the design, the popularity of the author, and 76 the attention of the literary world, naturally raised such expectations of the future sale, that the booksellers made their offers with great eagerness; but the highest bidder was Bernard Lintot, who became proprietor on condition of supplying, at his own expence, all the copies which were to be delivered to subscribers, or presented to friends, and paying two hundred pounds for every volume".
Of the quartos it was, I believe, stipulated that none should be 77 printed but for the author, that the subscription might not be depreciated; but Lintot impressed the same pages upon a small folio, and paper perhaps a little thinner 3; and sold exactly at half the price, for half a guinea each volume, books so little inferior to the quartos, that, by a fraud of trade, those folios, being afterwards shortened by cutting away the top and bottom, were sold as copies printed for the subscribers*.
Lintot printed two hundred and fifty5 on royal paper in folio 78 for two guineas a volume"; of the small folio, having printed seventeen hundred and fifty copies of the first volume, he reduced the number in the other volumes to a thousand.
It is unpleasant to relate that the bookseller, after all his hopes 79 and all his liberality, was, by a very unjust and illegal action, defrauded of his profit. An edition of the English Iliad was printed in Holland in duodecimo, and imported clandestinely for the gratification of those who were impatient to read what they could not yet afford to buy. This fraud could only be counteracted by an edition equally cheap and more commodious; and Lintot was compelled to contract his folio at once into a duodecimo, and lose the advantage of an intermediate gradation. The notes, which in the Dutch copies were placed at the end of each book, as they had been in the large volumes, were now
Pone's Works (Elwin and Courthope), vi. 401. See also Warburton, iv. 27.
1 Ante, SMITH, 48; post, POPE, 135.
Warton's Essay, i. 105.
3 The folios were printed on paper of two sizes, with the full concurrence of the translator, and with the sanction of a royal patent [post, POPE, 130]; the smaller at 125. a volume,
the royal paper at a guinea.' NICHOLS, Lit. Anec. viii. 169.
Post, POPE, 238 n.
5 In the first edition, 'printed some,' &c.
In the first edition the sentence continued:-' but of this experiment he repented, and his son sold copies of the first volume, with all their extent of margin, for two shillings.'