« ПредишнаНапред »
the Jansenist, the Scotift by the Thomist, and so forth.
There may be Errors I grant, but I can't think 'em of such Consequence as to destroy utterly the Charity of Mankind; the very greatest Bond in which we are engag'd by God to one another. Therefore I own to you, I was glad of any Opportunity to express my Dislike of fo shocking a Sentiment as those of the Religion I profess are commonly charg'd with; and I hop'd, a slight Insinuation, introduc'd fo easily by a casual Similitude on. ly, cou'd never have given Offence; but on the contrary must needs have done good; in a Nation and Time, where we are the smaller Party, and consequently most misrepresented, and most in need of Vindication.
For the same Reason, I took Occafion to mention the Superstition of foine Ages after the Subverfion of the Roman Empire, which is too manifeft a Truth to be deny’d, and does in no sort reflect upon the present Professors of our Faith who are free from it. Our Silence in these Points may with some Reason make our Adversaries think we allow and persist in those Bigottries; which yet in reality all good and sensible Men despise, though they are perfuaded not to speak against 'em; I can't tell why, fince now 'tis no way the Interest even of the worst of our Priesthood (as it might have been then) to have them smothered in Silence: For as the oppofite Sects are now prevailing, 'tis too late to hinder our Church from being Nander'd ; 'tis our Business now to show it is flander'd unjustly, and to vindicate ourselves from being thought Abettors of what they charge us with. This can't fo well be brought about with serious Faces; we must laugh with them at what deserves it; and then we need not doubt of being clear'd, ev'm in their Opinions.
As to Particulars: You cannot but have observ'd that at first the whole Objection against the Simile of Wit and Faith lay to the Word They: When that was beyond Contradiction removed (the very Grammar ferving to confute 'em), then the Objection lies against the Simile itself; or if that Simile will not be objected to (Sense and common Reafon being indeed a little stubborn, and not apt to give way to every Body), next the mention of Superstition must become a Crime (as if Religion and she were Sisters, or that it were a Scandal upon the Family of Christ, to say a Word against the Devil's Bastard). Afterwards, more Mischief is discover'd in a Place that seem'd innocent at first, the two Lines about Schismatics, at the Bottom of Page 24. An ordidinary Man wou'd imagine the Author plainly declar'd against those Schismatics, for quitting the true Faith out of Contempt of the Understanding of some few of it's Believers : But these Believers are call’d. Dull, and because I say that those Schifmatics think fome Believers dull, therefore these charitable Interpreters of my meaning will have it, that I think all Believers dull. I was telling lately Mr - - these Objections: Who affured me I had said nothing which a Catholic need to disown, and I have Cause to know that Gentleman's Fault (if he has any) is not want of Zeal: He put a Notion into which I confess I can't but perfectly acquiesce in; that when a Set of People are piqu’d at any Truth which they think to their own Disadvantage, their Method of Revenge on the Truth-Speaker is to attack his Reputation a By-way, and not openly to object to the Place they are really gallid by: What these therefore (in his Opinion) are in Earnest angry at, is, that Erasmus whom their Tribe oppress’d and persecuted, shou'd be vindicated after an Age of Obloquy by one of their own People, willing to utter an honest Truth in Behalf of the Dead, whom
no Man sure will flatter, and to whom few will do justice. Others, you know, were as angry that I mention's Mr Wals with Honour ; who as he never refused to any one of merit of any Party the Praise due to him, so honestly deserv'd it from all others, tho' of ever so different Interests or Sentiments. May I be ever guilty of this sort of Liberty, and Latitude of Principle ! which gives us the Hardiness of speaking well of those whom Envy oppresses ev'n after Death. As I wou'd always speak well of my living Friends when they are absent, nay, because they are abfent ; so would I much more of the Dead, in that eternal Absence; and the rather, because I expect no‘Thanks for it.
Thus, Sir, you see I do in my Conscience perlift in what I have written; yet in my Friendship I will recant and alter whatever you please, in cafe of a fecond Edition (which I think the Book will not so soon arrive at, for Tonfon's Printer told me he drew off a thousand Copies in this first Impresfion, and I fancy a Treatise of this Nature, which not one Gentleman in threescore even of a liberal Education can understand, can hardly exceed the Vent of that Number). You shall find me a true Trojan in my Faith, and Friendship, in both which I will persevere to the End.
To General upon bis having translated into French Verse the Effay on Criticism.
.. IF F I could as well express, or (if you will allow
me to say it) translate the Sentiments of my Heart, as you have done those of my Head, in your excellent Version of my Ellay; I should not only
appear the best Writer in the World, but what I much more desire to be thought, the most your Servant of any Man living. 'Tis an Advantage very rarely known, to receive at once a great Honour and a great Improvement. This, Sir, you have afforded me, having at the same Time made others take my Sense, and taught me to understand my own; if I may call that my own, which is indeed more properly your's: Your Verses are no more a Transation of mine, than Virgil's are of Homer, but are, like his, the justeft Imitation, and the noblest Commentary.
In putting me into a French Dress, you have not only adorned my Outside, but mended my Shape; and if I am now a good Figure, I must consider you have naturaliz'd me into a Country which is famous for making every Man a fine Gentleman. It is by your means, that (contrary to most young Travellers) I am come back much better than I went out.
I cannot but wish we had a Bill of Commerce for Translation established the next Parliament; we could not fail of being Gainers by that, nor of making ourselves amends for all we have lost by the War. Nay, tho' we should infist upon the demolishing of Boileau's Works; the French, as long they have Writers of your Form, might have as good an Equivalent.
Upon the whole, I am really as proud, as our Ministers can be, of the Terms I have gain'd from abroad ; and I defign, like them, to publish speedily to the World the Benefits accruing from them ; for I cannot resist the Temptation of Printing your admirable Translation here *; to which, if you will be so obliging to give me leave to prefix your Náme, it will be the only Addition you-can make to the Honour already done me. I am, Your, &c.
* This was never done, for the two printed French Versions are neither of this Hand. The one was the work of Monsieur Roboron, private Secretary to King George I. printed in 4.to at Amsterdam and at London 1717. The other by the Abbé Resnel, in 8vo. with a large Preface and Notes, at Paris 1730.
The Honourable J. C. to Mr POPE.
MAY 23, 1712. I of
for the credit of the Deceas'd, that + Betterton's Remains are fallen into fuch Hands as may render 'em reputable to the one and beneficial to the other. Besides the public Acquaintance I long had with that poor Man, I also had a flender Knowledge of his Parts and Capacity by private Conversation, and ever thought it Pity, he was necessitated by the Straitness of his Fortune, to act (and especially to his latest Hours) an imaginary and fictitious Part, who was capable of exhibiting a real one, with Credit to himself and Advantage to his Neighbour.
I hope your Health permitted you to execute your Design of giving us an Imitation of Pollio ; I am satisfy'd 'twill be doubly divine, and I shall long to fee it. I ever thought Church-Music the most ravishing of all harmonious Compositions, and must also believe facred Subjects, well handled, the most inspiring of all Poetry.
But where hangs the Lock- now? (tho? I know that rather than drąw any juft Reflection upon your felf, of the least Shadow of Ill-nature, you would freely have suppress'd one of the best of Poems) I bear no more of it-Will it come out in Lintot's Miscellany or not? I wroté to Lord Petre upon the Subject of the Lock, fome time since, but have as yet had no Answer, nor indeed do I know when he'll be in London. I have since I saw you corresponded with Mrs W. I hope she is now with her
+ A Translation of some Part of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Prologues, &c. printed in a Miscellany with some Works of Mr Pope, in 2 Vol. 12mo. By B. Lintot,