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Lines, but I will tell you directly that Mr Addison and I have had a Conversation, that it would have been worth your while to have been plac'd behind the Wainscot, or behind some half-length Picture to have heard. He assur'd me that he wou'd make use not only of his Interest, but of his Art, to do you fome Service ; he did not mean his Art of Poetry, but his Art at Court; and he is sensible that nothing can have a better Air for himself, than moving in your Favour, especially since Infinuations were spread, that he did not care you should prosper too much as a Poet. He protests that it shall not be his Fault, if there is not the best Intelligence in the World, and the most hearty Friendship, &c. He owns he was afraid Dr Swift might have carry'd you too far among the Enemy during the Heat of the Animosity, but now all is safe, and you are escap'd even in his Opinion. I promis'd in your Name, like a good Godfather, not that you should renounce the Devil and all his Works, but that you would be delighted to find him your Friend merely for his own fake ; therefore prepare yourself for fome Civilities.
I have done Homer's Head, shadow'd and heighten'd carefully; and I inclose the Out-line of the fame Size, that you may determine whether you wou'd have it fo large, or reduc'd to make room for a Feuillage, or Laurel, round the Oval, or about the Square of the Busto? Perhaps there is something more folemn in the Image itself, if I can get it well perform’d.
If I have been instrumental in bringing you and Mr Addison together with all Sincerity, I value my self upon it as an acceptable piece of Service to such a one as I know you to be,
Mr Pope's Answer.
AUG, 27, 1714 I A M just arriv'd from Oxford, very well diverted
and entertain’d there all very honest Fellows, much concern'd for the Queen's Death. No Panegyrics ready yet for the King.
I admire your Whig-principles of Resistance exceedingly, in the Spirit of the Barcelonians. I join in 'your Wifh for them. Mr Addison's Verses on Liberty, in his Letter from Italy, would be a good Form of Prayer, in my Opinion. 0. Liberty! thou Goddess heavenly bright! &c.
What you mention'd of the friendly Office you endeavour'd to do betwixt Mr Addison and me, de serves Acknowledgments on my Part. You thoroughly know my Regard to his Character, and my Propenfity to testify it by all ways in my Power. You as thoroughly know the fcandalous Meanness of that Proceeding which was us’d by Philips, to make a Man I fo highly value, suspect my Dispositions toward him. But as, after all, Mr Addison must be the Judge in what regards himself, and has feem'd to be no very just one to me ; fo I must own to you I exrect nothing but Civility from him, how much foever I wish for his Friendship : And as for any Offices of real Kindness or Service which it in his Power to. do me, I. fhould be alham'd to receive: 'em from any man who had no better Opinion of my Morals, than to think me a Party-man; nor of my Temper, than to believe me capable of maligning or envying another's Reputation as a Poet. So I leave it to Time to convince him as to both, to fhew him the shallow Depths of those half-witted Creatures who misinform’d him, and to prove that I
am incapable of endeavouring to lessen a Person whom I would be proud to imitate, and therefore asham’d to flatter. In a word, Mr Addison is sure of my Respect at all times, and of my real Friendship whenever he shall think fit to know me for what I am.
For all that pass'd betwixt Dr Swift and me, you know the whole (without Reserve) of our Core respondence : The Engagements I had to him were such as the actual Services he had done me, in relation to the Subscription for Homer, oblig'd me to. I must have leave to be grateful to him, and to any one who serves me, let him be never so obnoxious to any Party: nor did the Tory-party ever put me to the Hardship of asking this Leave, which is the greatest Obligation I owe to it; and I expect no greater from the Wbig-party than the same Liberty.
A curse on the Word Party, which I have been forc'd to use fo often in this period! I wish the present Reign may put an End to the Distinction, that there may be no other for the future than that of Honest and Knave, Fool, and Men of Sense; these two forts must always be Enemies, but for the rest, may all People do as you and I, believe what they please and be Friends.
I am, &c.
Mr POPE to Mr ADDISON.
Octob. 10. 1714. I
HAVE been acquainted by one of my Friends
who omits no Opportunities of gratifying me; that
you have lately been pleas'd to speak of me in a manner which nothing but the real Respect I have I 6
for you can deferve. May I hope that some late Malevolencies have lost their Effect ? Indeed it is neither for me, nor my Enemies, to pretend to tell you whether I am your Friend or not; but if you would judge by Probabilities, I beg to know which of your poetical Acquaintance has so little Interest in pretending to be fo Methinks no Man fhould queltion the real Friendship of one who defires no real Service : I am only to get as much from the Whigs, as I got by the Tories, that is to say, Civility ; being neither so proud as to be insensible of any good Office, nor fo humble, as not to dare 'heartily to despise any Man who does
I will not value myself upon having ever guarded all the Degrees of Respect for you; (for to say the truth) all the World speaks well of you, and I should be under the necessity of doing the same, whether I card for you or not.
As to what you have faid of me, I shall never believe that the Author of Cato can speak one thing and think another. As a Proof that I account you sincere, I beg a Favour of you : it is, that you would look over the two first Books of
Translation of Homer, which are now in the Hands of my Lord Halifax. I am sensible how much the Reputation of any poetical Work will depend upon the Character you give it : 'Tis therefore some Evidence of the Trust I repose in your good Will, when I give you this opportunity of speaking ill of me with Justice, and yet expect you will tell me your truest Thoughts, at the fame time that you tell others
most favourable ones. I have a farther Request, which I must press with Earnestness. My Bookfeller is reprinting the Elsay on Criticism, to which you have done too much
Honour in your Spectator of No 253. The period in that Paper, where you say, “ I have admitted " some Strokes of ill Nature into that Ejay,” is the only one I could wish omitted of all you have written: but I wou'd not defire it shou'd be fo, unless I had the Merit of removing your Objection : I beg you but to point out those Strokes to me, and you may be assur'd they shall be treated without Mercy,
Since we are upon Proofs of Sincerity (which I am pretty confident will turn to the Advantage of us both in each other's Opinion) give me leave to name another Passage in the fame Spectator, which I wish you wou'd alter. It is where you mention án Observation upon Homer's Verses of Sysiphus's Stone, * never having been made before by any of the Critics ; I happen'd to find the fame in Dionysius of Halicarnassus's Treatise, tepe Euvbete @ Őrofatov, who treats very largely upon these Verses. I know you will think fit to soften your Expression, when you fee the Passage ; which you must needs have read, though it be fince flipp'd out of your Memory.
with the utmost Efteem,
* These Words are fince left out in Mr Tickell's Edition, but were extant in all during Mr Addison's Life,