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I thought Mr Lintott's civility not to be neglected, so gave the Boy a small bag, containing three Shirts and an Elzevir Virgil; and mounting in an instant proceeded on the Road, with my Man before, my courteous Stationer beside, and the aforesaid Devil behind.
Mr Lintott began in this manner.,' " damn them! What if they should put it into the “ News-paper, how you and I went together to « Oxford? Why what would I care? If I should go
down into Sussex, they would say I was gone “ to the Speaker. But what of that? If my Son " were but big enough to go on with the Business, « by G-d I would keep as good company as old " Yacob."
Hereupon I enquir’d of his Son. « The Lad “ (says he) has fine Parts, but is somewhat sickly, “ much as you are ---I spare for nothing in his “ Education at Weftminster. Pray don't you think “ Westminster to be the best School in England? “ most of the late Ministry came out of it, so did “ many of this Ministry; I hope the Boy will make « his Fortune.”
Don't you design to let him pass a Year at Oxford? “ To what purpose? (faid he) the Universities do " but make Pedants, and I intend to breed him a 66 Man of Business."
As Mr Lintott was talking, I observ'd he fate uneasy on his Saddle, for which I express’d some Solicitude: Nothing, says he, I can bear it well · enough ; but since we have the Day before us, methinks it would be very pleasant for you to rest a while under the Woods. "When we were alighted, “ See here, what a mighty pretty Horace I have " in my Pocket: What if you amus’d yourself in “ turning an Ode, till we mount again ? Lord! " if you pleas’d, what a clever Miscellany might
you make at leisure Hours.” Perhaps I may, (faid I) if we ride on ; the Motion is an aid to my Fancy; a round Trot very much awakens my Spirits. Then jog on apace, and I'll think as hard as I can.
Silence ensu'd for a full Hour; after which Mr Lintott lugg'd the Reins, stopt short, and broke out,
« Well, Sir, how far have you gone?" I answer'd seven Miles. " Z-ds, Sir, said Lintott, “ I thought you had done seven Stanza's. Oldf “ worth in a Ramble round Wimbleton-hill, would " translate a whole Ode in half this Time. I'll “ say that for Oldsworth, (tho’I loft by his Timothy's) 6 he translates an Ode of Horace the quickest of any .“ Man in England. I remember Dr King would 16 write Verses in a Tavern three Hours after he « could n't speak; and there's Sir Richard in that " rumbling old Chariot of his, between Fleet“ ditch and St Giles's Pound fhall make you half 6 a Job."
Pray Mr Lintott (faid I) now you talk of TranSlators, what is your method of managing them? “ Sir (reply'd he) those are the saddest pack of “ Rogues in the World: In a hungry Fit, they'll “ swear they understand all the Languages in the " Universe: I have known one of them take down
Greek Book upon my Counter and cry, Ay " this is Hebrew, I must read it from the latter « End. By G-d I can never be sure in these “ Fellows, for I neither understand Greek, Latin, “ French, nor Italian my self. But this is my way: “ I agree with them for ten Shillings per Sheet, “ with a Proviso, that I will have their doings cor“ rected by whom I please; fo by one or other they
are led at last to the true Sense of an Author ; my “ Judgment giving the Negative to all my Tran“ Nators.” But how are you secure that those Cor
- Why I get
rectors may not impose upon you? “ any civil Gentleman, (especially any Scatchman) " that comes into my Shop, to read the Original to “me in English; by this I know whether my first " Translator be deficient, and whether my Cor" rector merits his money or no.
“ I'll tell you what happened to me last Month: « I bargain'd with S - for a new Version of “ Lucretius to publish against Tonson's; agreeing to
pay the Author so many Shillings at his producing « so many Lines. He made a great Progress in a “ very short Time, and I gave it to the Corrector to compare
with the Latin; but he went directly to “ Creech's Translation, and found it the same Word “ for Word, all but the first Page. Now, what “d'ye think I did? I arrested the Translator for a « Cheat; nay, and I stopt the Corrector's Pay too, “ upon this Proof that he had made use of Creech “ inftead of the Original.
Pray tell me next how you deal with the Critics. “ Sir (faid he) nothing more easy. I can filence 66 the most formidable of them; the rich one's for « for a Sheet a-piece of the blotted Manuscript, 66 which cofts me nothing.
They'll go about with “ it to their Acquaintance, and pretend they had it « from the Author, who submitted to their Cor« rection: This has given some of them such an 66 Air, that in Time they come to be consulted " with, and dedicated to, as the top Critics of the “ Town. As for the poor Critics, I'll give you « one Instance of my management, by which you
may guess at the rest. A lean Man that look'd « like a good Scholar, came to me t'other Day; he “ turn'd over Homer, fhook his Head, fhrugg'd up “ his Shoulders, and pifh'd at every Line of it; “ One would wonder (says he) at the strange Pre“ sumption of Men; Homer is no such easy task,
" that every Stripling, every Versifier he was “ going on when my Wife called to Dinner: Sir, said “ I, will you please to eat a piece of Beef with me? " Mr Lintott, faid he, I am forry you should be at “. the Expence of this great Book, I am really con“ cern'd on your Account-Sir, I am much ob66 lig'd to you: If you can dine upon a Piece of « Beef, together with a Slice of Pudding--Mr Lin, “tott, I do not say but Mr Pope, if he would con“ defcend to advise with Men of Learning Sir, " the Pudding is upon the Table, if you please to “ go in My Critic complies, he comes to a “ Taste of your Poetry, and tells me in the same - Breath, that the Book is commendable and the " Pudding excellent.
Now, Sir, (concluded Mr Lintott) in return to the Frankness I have shown, pray tell me," Is it “ the Opinion of yoạr Friends at Court, thạt my " Lord will be brought to the Bar or not?" I told him I heard not, and I hoped it, my Lord being one I had particular Obligations to.
. That may
be (reply'd Mr Lintott) but by God if he 66 is not, I shall lose the printing of a very good " Trial.”
These, my Lord, are a few Traits by which you may discern the Genius of my Friend Mr Lintott, which I have chosen for the subject of a Letter. I dropt him as soon as I got to Oxford, and paid a Visit to my Lord Carleton at Middleton.
The Conversations I enjoy here are not to be prejudiced by my Pen, and the Pleasures from them only to be equaľd when I meet your Lordship. I hope in a few Days to cast myself from your Horse at your Feet.
I am, &c.
Dr PARNELLE to Mr PO PE.
JUNE 27, 1715. I Am writing
you a long Letter, but all the Tediousness I feel in it is, that it makes me, during the time, think more intently of my being far from you. I fancy if I were with you, I cou'd remove some of the Uneasiness which you may have felt from the Opposition of the World, and which you should be ashamed to feel, since it is but the Testimony which one part of it gives you that your Merit is unqueftionable: What wou'd you have otherwise from Ignorance, Envy, or those Tempers which vie with you in your own way? I know this in Mankind, that when our Ambition is unable to attain it's End, it is not only wearied, but exafperated too at the Vanity of it's Labours; then we speak ill of happier Studies, and fighing condemn the Excellence which we find above our reach.
My * Zoilus which you usd to write about, I finished last Spring, and left in Town; I waited till I came up to send it you, but not arriving here before your Book was out, imagin'd it a loft Piece of Labour. If you will still have it, you need only write me Word.
I have here seen the First Book of Homer, which came out at a Time when it cou'd not but appear as a kind of setting up against you. My Opinion is, that you may, if you please, give them thanks who writ it. Neither the Numbers nor the Spirit have an equal mastery with your's, but what surprizes me more, is, that, a Scholar being concern'd, there should happen to be fome Mistakes in the
* Printed for B. Lintott 1715, 8vo. under this Title.