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In this disastrous year (1720) of national infatuation, when 123 more riches than Peru can boast were expected from the South Sea, when the contagion of avarice tainted every mind, and even poets panted after wealth", Pope was seized with the universal passion, and ventured some of his money. The stock rose in its price, and he for a while thought himself the Lord of thousands ?' But this dream of happiness did not last long, and he seems to have waked soon enough to get clear with the loss only of what he once thought himself to have won, and perhaps not wholly of that.
Next year he published some select poems of his friend 124 Dr. Parnell, with a very elegant Dedication to the Earl of Oxford, who, after all his struggles and dangers, then lived in retirement, still under the frown of a victorious faction, who could take no pleasure in hearing his praise 3.
He gave the same year (1721) an edition of Shakespeare". His 1:25 name was now of so much authority that Tonson thought him
· Ante, GAY, 14.
Scilicet ea age of hope and golden mountains) argenti cupido, quae olim bibliopolis not to venture.' Pope's Works (Elwin solum, nunc ipsis authoribus insedit.' and Courthope), x. 229. See also ib. Quoted in Monk's Bentley (ii. 145 n.] v. 185-9, vi. 272-5, ix. 20, 271, 295. from Z. Pearce's Epistolae Duae, For Craggs see ante, Pope, 91 ; post, 1721. a''In South Sea days not happier Ante, PARNELL, 5, 9. For Pope's when surmis'd
splendid praise of the Earl see ib. iii. The Lord of Thousands than if 189, viii. 186. Speaking of him to now excis'd.'
Spence he said : -'He was huddled Imit. Hor., Sat. ii. 2. 134. in his thoughts, and obscure in his 'South Sea subscriptions take who manner of delivering them. ... He please,
may have put on the appearance of Leave me but liberty and ease. being in the Pretender's interest to 'Twas what I said to Craggs and some great men; but he betrayed Child,
them by making his peace with the Who prais'd my modesty and present family without their knowsmil'd.' 1b., Epis. i. 7. 65. ledge.'
ledge.' Spence's Anec. pp. 178, 202, 'Mr. Craggs gave him some South 313 Sea subscriptions. He was so in- It appeared on March 12, 1724-5. different about them as to neglect Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), making any benefit of them. War- viii. 88 n. The engagement was made burton, vi. 7. 'He did not sell out. with Tonson in 1721. Warton, Introd. His stock was valued at between twenty and thirty thousand pounds 5. Ce qui encourage le plus les when it fell.' 16. iv. 91. He wrote gens de lettres en Angleterre, c'est la to a friend on March 21, 1719-20, considération où ils sont: le portrait about investing :--Let but Fortune du premier ministre se trouve sur la favour us, and the world will be sure cheminée de son cabinet, mais j'a to admire our prudence. If we fail, vu celui de M. Pope dans vingt mailet's e'en keep the mishap to our- sons.' VOLTAIRE, Euvres, xxiv. selves. But 'tis ignominious (in this 140.
self entitled, by annexing it, to demand a subscription of six guineas for Shakespeare's plays in six quarto volumes; nor did his expectation much deceive him; for of seven hundred and fifty which he printed, he dispersed a great number at the price proposed'. The reputation of that edition indeed sunk afterwards so low, that one hundred and forty copies were sold at
sixteen shillings each”. 126 On this undertaking, to which Pope was induced by a reward
of two hundred and seventeen pounds twelve shillings, he seems never to have reflected afterwards without vexation; for Theobald, a man of heavy diligence, with very slender powers, first, in a book called Shakespeare Restored“, and then in a formal edition, detected his deficiencies with all the insolence of victory; and, as he was now high enough to be feared and hated, Theobald had from otherss all the help that could be supplied, by the
desire of humbling a haughty character. 127 From this time Pope became an enemy to editors, collaters,
commentators, and verbal criticks', and hoped to persuade the
' On Jan. 18, 1742-3, Pope wrote 5 Among them Thirlby. John. to Warburton about Hanmer's Shake- Misc. ii. 431. Johnson describes speare, then printing at the Clarendon Theobald as 'zealous for minute acPress : The Heads of some Houses curacy. ... What little he did was (Oxford Colleges] have subscribed commonly right.' Johnson's Works, for 100 and 50, at three guineas the V. 137. For poor Tib'see Boswell's book, which they refund by putting Johnson, i. 329. them off to the Gentlemen-Com- Yet this very dull man was the moners, and this way the press is first publisher of Shakespeare that hit paid.. Pope's Works (Elwin and upon the true method of correcting Courthope), ix. 228. It is to this and illustrating his author, that is, by subscription, no doubt, he alludes in reading such books (whatever trash lines he left to be inserted in The Pope might call them) as Shakespeare Dunciad (iv. 115-18) :
read, and by attending to the genius, ' But (happy for him as the times learning and notions of his times.' went then)
WARTON, Essay, ii. 297. Appear'd Apollo's May'r and Alder- The editors of the Cambridge men,
Shakespeare say of him (Preface, p. On whom three hundred gold-capt 31):- Many most brilliant emendayouths await,
tions are due to him.' To lug the pond'rous volume off in He was paid £652 for his octavo state.'
edition in 1732-3. Of his various 2 'At the sale of the effects of Mr. editions 12,860 copies were sold. Jacob Tonson in 1767.' Gent. Mag. Nichols's Lit. Hist. ii. 714. See 1787, p. 76.
ante, GAY, 9; post, POPE, 145, 3 Nichols's Lit. Hist. ii. 714.
"Of this, it is said, he was so vain Pains, reading, study are their just as to aver in Mist's Journal, June 8, pretence, 1726, “ that to expose any errors in it And all they want is spirit, taste was impracticable." Cibber's Lives,
and sense. v. 278.
world that he miscarried in this undertaking only by having a mind too great for such minute employment'.
Pope in his edition undoubtedly did many things wrong, and 128 left many things undone ; but let him not be defrauded of his due praise: he was the first that knew, at least the first that told, by what helps the text might be improved. If he inspected the early editions negligently, he taught others to be more accurate?. In his Prefacehe expanded with great skill and elegance the character which had been given of Shakespeare by Dryden *; and he drew the publick attention upon his works, which, though often mentioned, had been little reads.
Soon after the appearance of the Iliad, resolving not to let the 129 general kindness cool, he published proposals for a translation of the Odyssey, in five volumes, for five guineas. He was willing, however, now to have associates in his labour, being either weary with toiling upon another's thoughts, or having heard, as Ruff
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd interest to suppress, but that every these ribalds,
reader would demand its insertion.' From slashing Bentley down to JOHNSON, Works, v. 137. piddling Tibbalds.'
* Ante, DRYDEN, 198. Prol. Sat. 1. 159. Ante, Rowe, 18. By 1716, one s 'This was a work which Pope hundred years after Shakespeare's seems to have thought unworthy of death, only six editions of his plays his abilities, being not able to sup- had appeared-perhaps 6,000 copies press his contempt of the dull duty in all. Atterbury wrote to Pope in of an editor. He understood but half 1721:- I have found time to read his undertaking. The duty of a col- some parts of Shakespeare which I lator is indeed dull; yet like other was least acquainted with.... Aeschytedious tasks is very necessary.' lus does not want a comment to me JOHNSON, Works, v. 136. For the more than he does.' Pope's Works dull duty of an editor' see Pope's (Elwin and Courthope), ix. 26. Works (Elwin and Courthope), X. Broome, in his Lines to Mr. Pope, 548.
says : 'He collated the old copies, which “Shakespeare, rejoice! his hand thy none had thought to examine before, page refines; and restored many lines to their in- Now ev'ry scene with native brighttegrity; but by a very compendious ness shines.' 16. i. 32. criticism he rejected whatever he dis- Swift seems to have thought that liked.' JOHNSON, Works, v. 136. among Shakespeare's plays was The
The editor of the second folio, Wife of Bath. Ib. vii. 167. whoever he was, and Mr. Pope were 6 The proposals are dated Jan. 10, the two great corrupters of our poet's 1724-5. Ib. iv. 61, viii. 89n. Gay text.' MALONE, Shakespeare, i. 208. wrote to Swift on Feb. 3, 1722–3:
'Once when a lady talked of Pope has engaged to translate the Johnson's preface to Shakespeare as Oriyssey in three years; I believe superior to Pope's: “I fear not, rather out of a prospect of gain than Madam (said he), the little fellow has inclination; for I am persuaded he done wonders." ' MRS. Piozzi, John. bore his part in the loss of the South Misc. i. 184.
Sea.' Swift's Works, xvi. 397. Pope's preface every editor has an
head relates, that Fenton and Broome had already begun the
work, and liking better to have them confederates than rivals ? 180 In the patent, instead of saying that he had 'translated 'the
Odyssey, as he had said of the Iliad, he says that he had 'undertaken’ a translation’; and in the proposals the subscription is said to be 'not solely for his own use, but for that of two of his
friends who have assisted him in this work 3.' 131 In 1723, while he was engaged in this new version, he appeared
before the Lords at the memorable trial of Bishop Atterbury, with whom he had lived in great familiarity and frequent correspondence. Atterbury had honestly recommended to him the study of the popish controversy, in hope of his conversion; to which Pope answered in a manner that cannot much recommend his principles or his judgement". In questions and pro
Ruffhead, p. 205 ; Spence's Anec. friends of his youth. When the Jap. 326; ante, FENTON, 10; BROOME, cobite rising brought trouble on the 5. For the improbability of the ac- whole sect he wrote to Caryll of the counts of Ruffhead and Spence see clouds of melancholy rising on those Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), faces I have so long looked upon viii. 49, 176.
with affection. Some abjured their * Prefixed to the first edition of religion. He speaks of the coldness the Iliad and also of the Odyssey is of relations whom change of religion a Letter Patent granting to Lintot may disunite.' Pope's Works (Elwin 'the sole printing and publishing' of and Courthope), vi. 239. Martha each work for the term of fourteen Blount's influence would be strong. years.' In the first Letter Patent, Honest pride would also keep him dated May 6, 1715, the printer is from leaving a persecuted Church. 'Our Trusty and Well-beloved,' and Addison, Prior, Congreve, Gay, Ticthe poet is Alexander Pope, Gent. kell, Steele and A. Philips all had In the second, dated Feb. 19, 1724-5, places. He was excluded by his reit is no longer the printer, but the ligion. In 1714 he was afraid of poet, who is 'Our Trusty and Well- Tosing his horse. No Papist could beloved,' while 'Gent.' becomes 'Esq.' keep one above the value of £5. 16. See also ante, JOHN PHILIPS, 31 vi. 217. In 1723 he speaks of the :
loss of part of my fortune by a late Pope's Works (Elwin and Court- Act of Parliament (the Act imposing hope), iv. 61.
double taxes on Papists).' Ib. ix. On May 8, 1723. Ib. v. 192. 426; ante, POPE, 9. In 1730 his Ante, SMITH, 57; YALDEN, II. nephew lost his practice as an at
5 On the death of Pope's father torney by an Act requiring attorneys Atterbury wrote:-'You have it now to take the oaths of supremacy, &c. in your power to pursue that method Ib. vi. 325, viii. 276. The Act forof thinking and living which you like bidding Papists to reside within ten best.!. 16. ix. 9. For Pope's reply miles of London troubled Pope in see ib. p. 1o. Mr. Blount said to 1737, and in 1744, less than three Spence :-'Mr. Pope is a Whig, and months before his death. Ib. ix. 197, would be a Protestant if his mother
241, 539. were dead! Spence's Anec. p. 327. Pope's reply to Atterbury is manly,
Regard for his parents had much sincere and not ungraceful.' It is to do in keeping Pope outwardly a written with a firmness and simpliRoman Catholic; regard too for the city which are too seldom found in
jects of learning, they agreed better. He was called at the trial to give an account of Atterbury's domestick life and private employment, that it might appear how little time he had left for plots. Pope had but few words to utter, and in those few he made several blunders '.
His letters to Atterbury express the utmost esteem, tenderness, 132 and gratitude: 'perhaps,' says he, 'it is not only in this world that I may have cause to remember the Bishop of Rochester ?? At their last interview in the Tower, Atterbury presented him with a Bible 3.
Of the Odyssey Pope translated only twelve books; the rest 133 were the work of Broome and Fenton: the notes were written wholly by Broome, who was not over-liberally rewarded. The Publick was carefully kept ignorant of the several shares, and an account was subjoined at the conclusion, which is now known not to be true 4.
The first copy of Pope's books, with those of Fenton, are to be 134 seen in the Museum. The parts of Pope are less interlined than the Iliad, and the latter books of the Iliad less than the former.
his letters.' PATTISON, Essays, ii. friend, the Bishop of Rochester. I 361. See also ib. p. 387.
went to take my leave of him yesterI'Though I had but ten words to day in the Tower, where I saw this say, and that on a plain point (how Bible upon his table. He said to that Bishop spent his time whilst I me:- My friend Pope, considering was with him at Bromley), I made your infirmities, and my age and two or three blunders in it; and that exile, it is not likely that we should notwithstanding the first row of Lords ever meet again; and therefore I (which was all I could see) were give you this legacy to remember me mostly of my acquaintance.' POPE, by. Take it home with you, and let Spence's Anec. p. 156. See also me advise you to abide by it.' 'Does Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), your Lordship abide by it yourself ?' v. 193, X. 199.
I do.' 'If you do, my Lord, it is For Johnson as a witness see Bos- but lately.' ... The Bishop replied : well's Johnson, ii. 98.
-'We have not time to talk of these ? Perhaps it will not be in this life things; but take home the Book, I only that I shall have cause to re- will abide by it, and I recommend member and acknowledge the friend- you to do so too, and so, God bless ship of the Bishop of Rochester.' you."'"' CHESTERFIELD, Misc.Works, Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), iv. App. p. 16.
In a note to Johnson's Works, viii. I went to Mr. Pope one morning 273, it is stated that this Bible was at Twickenham, and found a large afterwards used in the chapel of Prior folio Bible, with gilt clasps, lying be- Park. Dr. Warburton probably prefore him ; and as I knew his way of sented it to Mr. Allen (post, POPE, thinking upon that book I asked him 194).' See Warton, viii. 121, on the jocosely, if he was going to write an improbability of Chesterfield's story. answer to it. " It is a present," said Ante, FENTON, 10; BROOME, 5; te, “or rather a legacy, from my old post, POPE, 355.