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View him with fcornful, yet with jealous eyes,
After Ver. 208. in the MS.
Who, if two Wits on rival themes conteft,
Alluding to Mr. P.'s and Tickell's Tranflation of the firft Book of the Iliad.
Swift much better than he had ufed Pope, on that account, though he had been more roughly treated by Swift than Pope's nature would fuffer him to treat any one. But the reafon is plain. Swift was Addison's rival only in politics: Pope was his rival in poetry; an oppofition lefs tolerable, as more perfonal. However Addison's focial talents, in the entertainment and enjoyment of his intimate friends, charmed both Pope and Swift alike; as a quality far fuperior to any thing that was to be found in any other W.
VER. 193. But were there One whofe fires, &c.] The ftrokes in this Character are highly finished. Atterbury fo well understood the force of them, that in one of his letters to Mr. Pope he says, "Since you now know where your Strength lies, I hope you will not fuffer that talent to lie unemployed." He did not; and, by that means, brought fatiric poetry to its perfection. W.
VER. 198. Bear, like the Turk,] This is from Bacon de Aug. Scient. lib. 3. p. 180. And the thought was also used by Ld. Orrery, and by Denham.
Like Cato, give his little Senate laws,
VER. 209. Like Cato, give] In the fecond volume of the Biographia Britannica is a vindication of Addison, by a writer who, to a confummate knowledge of the laws and hiftory of his country, added a most exquifite taste in literature, I mean Sir William Blackftone; who thus concludes this vindication : "Nothing furely could justify so deep a resentment, unless the story be true of the commerce between Addison and Gildon; which will require to be very fully proved, before it can be believed of a gentleman who was so amiable in his moral character, and who (in his own cafe) had two years before expressly disapproved of a perfonal abuse of Mr. Dennis. The perfon, indeed, from whom Mr. Pope feems to have received this anecdote, about the time of his writing the character, (viz. about July 1715,) was no other than the Earl of Warwick, fon-in-law to Mr. Addison himself: and the something about Wycherley (in which the story supposes that Addison hired Gildon to abuse Pope and his family) is explained by a note on the Dunciad, to mean a pamphlet containing Mr. Wycherley's Life. Now it happens, that in July 1715, the Earl of Warwick (who died at the age of twenty-three, in Auguft 1721) was only a boy of feventeen, and not likely to be entrusted with such a secret, by a statesman between forty and fifty, with whom it does not appear he was any way connected or acquainted; for Mr. Addison was not married to his mother, the Countefs of Warwick, till the following year 1716: nor would Gildon have been employed in July 1715 to write Mr. Wycherley's Life, who lived till the December following. As therefore fo many inconfistencies are evident in the ftory itself, which never found its way into print till near fixty years after it is faid to have happened, it will be no breach of charity to fuppofe that the whole of it was founded on fome misapprehenfion in either Mr. Pope or the Earl; and unless better proof can be given, we shall readily acquit Mr. Addison of this most 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.
While Wits and Templars ev'ry sentence raise,
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 circumstance may furnish a clue to what has been fo ably difcuffed by Judge Blackftone, 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 Epiftle 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 fome courtly ftains)
"No whiter page than Addison remains," &c.
From a manuscript letter of Mr. Clarke, who wrote on Antient
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 themfelves to be no further impaired than by the admiffion of a mixture of pity and concern. W.
Ibid. ATTICUS] It was a great falfehood, 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. P.
What tho' my
Name ftood rubric on the walls,
No more than thou, great GEORGE! a birth-day fong.
After Ver. 234. in the MS.
To Bards reciting he vouchfaf'd a nod,
VER. 218. On wings of winds came flying all abroad?] Hopkins, in the civth Pfalm.
VER. 232. Puff'd by ev'ry quill;] By Addifon, in his Account of Poets; by Steele, in a dedication to the Spectator; by Tickell, to his Homer. The ridicule on the Hind and Panther was the beft of Halifax's compofitions.
His Library (where bufts of Poets dead
And others (harder ftill) he paid in kind.
VER. 236. A true Pindar flood without a head] Ridicules the affectation of Antiquaries, who frequently exhibit the headlefs Trunks and Terms of Statues, for Plato, Homer, Pindar, &c. Vide. Fulv. Urfin. &c. P.
VER. 245. Dryden alone] Our Poet, with true gratitude, has feized every opportunity of fhewing his reverence for his great mafter, Dryden; whom Swift as conftantly depreciated and maligned. "I do affirm," fays he feverely, but with exquifite irony indeed, in the dedication of the Tale of a Tub to Prince Pofterity, 66 upon the word of a fincere man, that there is now actually in being a certain poet, called John Dryden, whofe tranflation of Virgil was lately printed in a large folio, well bound, and, if diligent fearch were made, for aught I know, is yet to be seen." And he attacks him again in the Battle of Books. Shaftesbury is alfo very fond of petulantly carping at Dryden: "To fee the incorrigibleness of our poets in their pedantic manner," fays he, vol. iii. p. 276. " their vanity, defiance of criticifm; their rhodomontade, and poetical bravado; we need only turn to our famous poet-laureat, the very Mr. Bays himself, in one of his latest and moft-valued pieces, Don Sebastian, writ many years after the ingenious author of the Rehearsal had drawn his picture." I remember to have heard my father fay, that Mr. Elijah Fenton, who D 3