Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

himself, divided the other half between his partners, giving four books to Fenton, and eight to Broome. Fenton's books I have enumerated in his Life"; to the lot of Broome fell the second, sixth, eighth, eleventh, twelfth, sixteenth, eighteenth, and twenty-third, together with the burthen of writing all the notes ?

As this translation is a very important event in poetical 6 history, the reader has a right to know upon what grounds I establish my narration. That the version was not wholly Pope's was always known 3; he had mentioned the assistance of two friends in his proposals “, and at the end of the work some account is given by Broome of their different parts, which however mentions only five books as written by the coadjutors: the fourth and twentieth by Fenton, the sixth, the eleventh, and the eighteenth by himself; though Pope, in an advertisement prefixed afterwards to a new volume of his works, claimed only twelve 5. A natural curiosity, after the real conduct of so great an undertaking, incited me once to enquire of Dr. Warburton, who told me, in his warm language, that he thought the relation given in the note 'a lieb'; but that he was not

[ocr errors]

129.

4

Ante, FENTON, 10; post, POPE, request that our several parts might

not be made known to the world till : Post, POPE, 133, 355. Broome the end of it. Odyssey, ed. 1760, iv. wrote to Fenton in 1722 :- Pray 266. This note, false in many particonsider what a weight lies upon my culars, written without Fenton's knowshoulders who, besides eight books of ledge, and to his annoyance, professed translation, am to write twenty-four to be in his name as well as Broome's. of annotations. Pope's Works (Elwin Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), and Courthope), viii. 54. In 1726 he viii. 121. Broome, as Mr. Elwin wrote to Pope :- huzza ! I have says, was both the tool of Pope and finished the notes on the Odyssey.' the dupe.' 16. p. 127 n. See also ib. Ib. p. 110. For the trouble Pope had pp. 135, 148, 160, 169; ante, FENTON, in correcting Broome's version see 17.n. post, POPE, 134.

Post, POPE, 130. Broome was not paid for his work 5 In Appendix vii to The Dunciad, on the Iliad. He wrote to Pope in 1729, p. 220, in ‘A List of all our 1735 :— I was so easy in my fortunes Author's Genuine Works' is 'Twelve that I was grown above taking any Books of the Odyssey, with some reward: 16. p. 177.

parts of other books; and the Disser3 Pope, in 1722, at the beginning tation by way of Postscript at the end.' of the undertaking wrote to Broome: 6 'It is remarkable, that in the -'I must once more put you in mind Life of Broome, Johnson takes notice that the whole success of this affair of Dr. Warburton using a mode of will depend upon your secrecy.' expression which he himself used, 1b. p. 49. See also ib. p. 68.

and that not seldom, to the great Broome says in his note at the end offence of those who did not know of the Odyssey, speaking for himself him. . . . Johnson had accustomed and Fenton :- It was our particular himself to use the word lie, to express

able to ascertain the several shares. The intelligence which Dr. Warburton could not afford me, I obtained from Mr.

Langton, to whom Mr. Spence had imparted it. 7

The price at which Pope purchased this assistance was three hundred pounds paid to Fenton, and five hundred to Broome, with as many copies as he wanted for his friends, which amounted to one hundred more. The payment made to Fenton I know but by hearsay; Broome's is very distinctly told by Pope, in

the notes to The Dunciad. 8 It is evident that, according to Pope's own estimate, Broome

was unkindly treated. If four books could merit three hundred pounds, eight and all the notes, equivalent at least to four, had

certainly a right to more than six ?. 9

Broome probably considered himself as injured, and there was for some time more than coldness between him and his employer. He always spoke of Pope as too much a lover of money ?, and Pope pursued him with avowed hostility, for he not only named him disrespectfully in The Dunciad, but quoted him

a mistake or an errour in relation; I call him false and ungrateful ?' 16.
in short, when the thing was not so p. 150.
as told, though the relator did not • In The Dunciad, iii. 331, the fol-
mean to deceive. When he thought lowing couplet :-
there was intentional falsehood in the 'Hibernian Politics, O Swift! thy
relator, his expression was, He lies, fate;
and he knows he lies.") Boswell's And Pope's, ten years to comment

Johnson, iv. 49. See also Pope's and translate,
Works (Elwin and Courthope), viii. had stood in earlier editions :-
91, 94, 102, 122, 125–8, 148.

'Hibernian Politics, O Swift! thy Spence's Anec. p. 270. For an doom, anecdote of Pope, 'when on a visit And Pope's, translating three whole to Spence at Oxford,' see Boswell's years with Broome.' Johnson, iv. 9. See also Johnson • On which was the following note :Letters, ii. 156, on the shares in the “He concludes his irony with a stroke Odyssey.

upon

himself : for whoever imagines á 'Broome and Fenton had £770 this a sarcasm on the other ingenious for half the translation and the whole person is surely mistaken. The of the notes, and Pope retained for opinion our Author had of him was his half of the translation and his sufficiently shown by his joining him general revision £3,767, or, with all in the undertaking of the Odyssey ; deductions, upwards of £3,500.' He in which Mr. Broome, having enkept his brother poets waiting a whole gaged without any previous agreeyear before he paid them. Pope's ment, discharged his part so much to Works (Elwin and Courthope), viii. Mr. Pope's satisfaction, that he grati129, 175.

fied him with the full sum of five In 1725 Broome compared him- hundred pounds, and a present of all self and Fenton to the animals in the those books for which his own interest fable who hunted with the lion. 16. could procure him subscribers, to the p. 105. In 1728 he wrote:

-Now value of one hundred more. The tell me, dear Fenton, am I unjust if author only seems to lament that he more than once in The Bathos', as a proficient in the Art of Sinking; and in his enumeration of the different kinds of poets distinguished for the profound, he reckons Broome among 'the Parrots who repeat another's words in such a hoarse odd tone as makes them seem their own 3.' I have been told that they were afterwards reconciled; but I am afraid their peace was without friendship *.

He afterwards published a Miscellany of Poems', which is 10 inserted, with corrections, in the late compilation.

He never rose to very high dignity in the church. He was 11 some time rector of Sturston in Suffolk, where he married a wealthy widowó; and afterwards, when the King visited Cambridge (1728), became Doctor of Laws?. He was (in August was employed in translation at all.”' Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), The Dunciad, 4to ed. 1729, iii. 327.

viii. 104. For the falsity of this statement see The quotation is from Broome's Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), lines To Mr. Pope, upon the Edition viii. 158. [The change was made in of his Works, 1725. Pope's Miscel1736.)

lany, 1726, 1727, vol. i. Pref. p. xxxvi. Spence (p. 326) records on the In his poem To Mr. Pope, who authority of Mr. Blount of Twicken- corrected my Verses (ib. p. 246) he ham that Broome asked five hundred,

writes:and upon Mr. Pope's saying that was 'So when Luke drew the rudiments too little, and Broome naming seven ; Well then (says Pope), let's split An angel finish'd what the saint the difference; there's six hundred began.' for you.”'

In 1735 he wrote to Pope:-'I "Only once, in ch. vii.

think it is about six years since I ? Fenton wrote to Broome:– He wrote to you.' Pope's Works (Elwin has indeed discovered a keen appe- and Courthope), viii. 171. Pope retite to quarrel with you.' Pope's plied :—'I sincerely embrace the Works (Elwin and Courthope), viii. pleasures of reconciliation.' Ib. p. 144. Pope tried to wriggle out of the 173. Broome was timid; otherwise authorship. Ib. pp. 159, 162.

he would never have been reconciled Broome suffered also with Fenton with a man who had used him so from Pope's enemies for their share ill. in the Odyssey. Fenton wrote to 5. In Bernard Lintot's Book of Broome in 1725:-'We have been Accounts, under the name Broome, but coarsely used this last summer, is the following entry :-“Feb. 22, both in print and conversation.' Ib. 1726–7. Misc. Poems, £35." Cunp. 103.

ningham's Lives of the Poets, iii. 213. 3 Ch. vi.

There is no copy of this edition in Pope wrote to Broome in 1725:- the British Museum. A second 'I am going to print your verses in a edition appeared in 1739. Miscellany. I wish you altered the 6 Elizabeth Clarke, a widow, on strength of that extravagant compli- July 22, 1716. Pope's Works (Elwin ment, “ what Heav'n created, and and Courthope), viii. 40; Barlow's what you have wrote.' Mr. Elwin Memoir, p. 11. says that 'Pope changed it himself ? My friends told me,' he wrote, to:

they could ask with a better grace What Heav'n created, and what for a doctor than a common clergyHeav'n inspires."

man.'

Ib. p. 147

of man,

4

1728) presented by the Crown' to the rectory of Pulham in Norfolk ?, which he held with Oakley Magna in Suffolk, given him by the Lord Cornwallis, to whom he was chaplain, and who added the vicarage of Eye in Suffolk ; he then resigned Pulham,

and retained the other two. 12 Towards the close of his life he grew again poetical, and amused

himself in translating Odes of Anacreon, which he published in

The Gentleman's Magazine, under the name of Chester 13 He died at Bath, November 16, 1745', and was buried in the

Abbey Church. 14 Of Broome, though it cannot be said that he was a great

poet, it would be unjust to deny that he was an excellent versifyer ; his lines are smooth and sonorous, and his diction is select and elegant. His rhymes are sometimes unsuitable: in his Melancholy he makes breath rhyme to birth in one place, and to earth in another?. Those faults occur but seldom; and he had such power of words and numbers as fitted him for translation, but, in his original works, recollection seems to have been his business more than invention. His imitations are so apparent that it is part of his reader's employment to recall the verses of some former poet. Sometimes he copies the most popular writers, for he seems scarcely to endeavour at concealment; and sometimes he picks up fragments in obscure corners. His lines to Fenton :

* Broome flattered Walpole in his Pope's Works (Elwin and Courthope), Epistle to Mr. Fenton. Eng. Poets, xliv. 170. Fenton wrote to him in For Compton see post, THOMSON, 9. 1726:-'I hope you intend to fill up Ante, FENTON, 27. the vacancy where a character of 3 He died Vicar of Pulham. [See eloquence is intended with Sir T. his will given in Barlow's Memoir, Hanmer's name.

Whatever name is intended, I can never consent to have • Charles Chester, M.D. Broome it begin with a W. Broome thus was born in Cheshire. Gent. Mag. filled the blank:

Nov. 1739 to June, 1740; Eng. Poets, O Compton, when this breath we once resign

s Gent. Mag. 1745, p. 614. My dust shall be as eloquent as 6 Dr. Warton had justly described thine.'

him as 'a mere versifier. Essay on Nevertheless ‘he introduced into Pope, Preface, p. 12. another part of the Epistle' the fol- 1 With cries we usher in our birth, lowing:

With groans resign our transient Why flames the star on Walpole's breath.' Eng. Poets, xliv. 160. gen'rous breast ?

"What art thou, gold, but shining Not that he's highest, but because earth? he's best,

Thou, common fame, but common Fond to oblige, in blessing others breath?' Ib. p. 161.

blest.'

viii. 131.

[ocr errors]

p. 16.)

xliv. 292.

Serene, the sting of pain thy thoughts beguile,

And make afflictions objects of a smile''; brought to my mind some lines on the death of Queen Mary, written by Barnes, of whom I should not have expected to find an imitator : • But [Yet] thou, O Muse, whose sweet nepenthean tongue Can charm the pangs of death with deathless song ; Canst (Can] stinging plagues with easy thoughts beguile, Make pains and tortures [flames and torments] objects of

a smile?' To detect his imitations were tedious and useless. What he 15 takes he seldom makes worse ; and he cannot be justly thought a mean man whom Pope chose for an associate, and whose co-operation was considered by Pope's enemies as so important, that he was attacked by Henley with this ludicrous distich :

'Pope came off clean with Homer ; but they say Broome went before, and kindly swept the way?'

[ocr errors]

Eng. Poets, xli. 253. The author Broom went before and kindly explains in a note that the pain is the swept the way.”' gout-a

disease of which Fenton died. JAMES BOSWELL, JUN., Johnson's Ante, FENTON, 18.

Works, viii. 232. . [Lines on the Untimely Death of [Richard Broome, the amanuensis the Queen, by Joshua Barnes, then or attendant of Jonson, is the author Senior Fellow of Emmanuel, Cam- of several comedies. Randolph in bridge; afterwards Professor of Greek An Answer to Mr. Ben Jonson's Ode, at Cambridge. They are among the to persuade him not to leave the English poems in Lacrymae Canta- stage, has the following lines: brigienses in obitum Reginae Mariae, And let those things in plush Cantab. 1694-5.]

Till they be taught to blush, 3 'Henley's joke was borrowed. In Like what they will, and more cona copy of verses entitled The Time tented be Poets, preserved in a Miscellany With what Broome swept from thee.' called Choice Drollery, 1656, are these ISAAC D'ISRAELI, Curiosities of lines:

Literature, 1834, ii. 197.) “ Sent by Ben Jonson, as

authors say,

some

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »