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to please my self with a distant Converfation with you and a few others, by writing. 'Tis no comfortable prospect to be reflecting, that so long a Siege as that of Tray lies upon my hands, and the Cam paign above half over, before I have made any Pro gress. Indeed the Greek Fortification upon a nearer Approach does not appear fo formidable as it did, and I am almost apt to flatter my self, that Homer Secretly seems inclined to a Correspondence with me, in letting me into a good Part of his Intentions, There are indeed a sort of underling Auxiliars to the Difficulty of a Work, called Commentators and Critics, who wou'd frighten many People by their number and bulk, and perplex our progress under pretence of fortifying their Author. These lie very low in the Trenches and Ditches they themselves have digged; encompassed with dirt of their own heaping up, but I think there may be found a Method of coming at the main Works by a more speedy and gallant Way than by mining under Ground, that is, by ufing the Poetical Engines, Wings, and Aying over their Heads.
While I'am engag’d in the Fight, I find you are concern'd how I Ihall be paid, and are sollicitous that I may not have the ill Fate of
discarded Generals, to be first envy'd and malign'd, then perhaps prais'd, and lastly neglected. The former (the constant Attendant upon all great and laudable Enterprizes) I have already experienc'd. Some have said I am not a Master in the Greek, who either are so themselves or are not: If they are not, they can't tell ; and if they are, they can't without having cate
But if they can read (for I know some Crities can, and others cannot) there are fairly lying before them, some Specimens of my Translation from this Author in the Miscellanies, which they are heartily welcome to. I have met with as much
Malignity another way, fome calling me a Tory, because the Heads of that Party have been distinguishingly favourable to me; fome a Whig, because I have been favoured with Your's, Mr Congreve's, and Mr Craggs his Friendship, and of late with my Lord Hallifax's Patronage. How much more natural a Conclusion might be formed, by any goodnatur'd Man, that a Person who has been well used by all sides, has been offenfive to none. This miferable Age is so funk between Animofities of Party, and those of Religion, that I begin to fear, most Men have Politics enough to make (thro' Violence) the best Scheme of Government a bad one ; and Faith enough to hinder their own Salvation. I hope for my own Part, never to have more of either than is confiftent with common Justice and Charity, and always as much as becomes a Christian and honest Man. Tho' I find it an unfortunate thing to be bred a Papist here, where one is obnoxious to four Parts in five as being fo too much, and to the fifth Part as being so too little; I fhall yet be eafy under both their mistakes, and be what I more than feem to be, for I suffer for it. God is my Witness, that I no more envy you Proteftants your places and Poffeffions, than I do our Priests their Charity or Learning. I am ambitious of nothing but the good Opinion of good Men, on both sides; for I know that one Virtue of a free Spirit is more wỏrth, than all the Virtues put together of all the narrow-foul’d People in the World.
The Rev. Dean BERKLEY to Mr Pore.
Leghorne, MAY 1, 1714. A ŞI take Ingratitude to be a greater Crime thàn
Impertinence, I chuse rather to run the Risque of being thought guilty of the latter, than not to return you my Thanks for a very agreeable Entertainment you just now gave me.
I have accidentally met with your Rape of the Lock here, having never seen it before. Style, Painting, Judgment, Spirit, I had already admired in others of your Writings; but in this Í am charmed with the Magic of your Invention, with all those Images, Allusions, and inexplicable Beauties, which you raise fo surprizingly, and at the same time so naturally, out of a Trife. And yet I cannot say that I was more pleased with the reading of it, than I am with the Pretext it gives me to renew in your Thoughts the Remembrance of one who values no Happiness beyond the Friendship of Men of Wit, Learning, and good Nature.
I remember to have heard you mention some half-formed Design of coming to Italy. What might we not expect from a Mufe that sings so well in the bleak Climate of England, if she felt the fame warm Sun, and breath'd the fame Air with Virgil and Horace?
There are here an incredible Number of Poets, that have all the Inclination but want the Genius, or perhaps the Art, of the Ancients. Some among them who understand English, begin to relish our Authors; and I am informed that at Florence they have translated Milton into Italian Verse. If one who knows so well how to write like the old Latin Poets, came among them; it wou'd probably be a
Means to retrieve them from their cold, trivial
As Merchants, Antiquaries, Men of Pleasure, &c. have all different Views in travelling; I know not whether it might not be worth a Poet's while, to travel, in order to store his Mind with strong Images of Nature.
Green Fields and Groves, Aow'ry Meadows and purling Streams, are no where in such Perfection as in England: But if you wou'd know lightsome Days, warm Suns, and blue Skies, you must come to Italy; and to enable a Man to describe Rocks and Precipices, it is absolutely necesfary that he pass the Alps.
You will easily perceive that it is Self-Interest makes me so fond of giving Advice to one who has no necd of it.
If you came into these Parts, I shou'd fly to fee you. I am here (by the Favour of my good Friend the Dean of St Patrick's) in Quality of Chaplain to the Earl of Peterborough; who about three Months since left the greatest Part of his family in this Town. God knows how ong we shall stay here. I am
Mr POPE to the Honourable
JUNE 8, 1714. THE Question you
Question you ask in Relation to Mr Adand Philips, I shall answer in a few Words, Mr Philips did express himself with much Indignation against me one Evening at Button's Coffeehouse (as I was told) saying, that I was entered into a Cabal with Dean Swift and others to write against the IVhig-Interest, and in particular to undermine
his own Reputation, and that of his Friends Steele and Addison. Bat Mr Philips never open'd his Lips to my Face, on this or any like Occasion, thoʻI was almost every Night in the same Room with him, nor ever offer'd me any Indecorum. Mr Ado difon came to me a Night or two after Philips had talk'd in this idle Manner, and assur'd me of his Disbelief of what had been said, of the Friendship we shou'd always maintain, and defir'd I wou'd say nothing further of it. My Lord Hallifax did me the Honour to stir in this Matter, by speaking to several People to obviate a falfe Afperfion, which might have done me no small Prejudice with one Party. However, Philips did all he could, secretly to continue the Report with the Hanover Club, and kept in his Hands the Subscriptions paid for me to him, as-Secretary to that Club. The Heads of it havę fince given him to understand, that they 'take it ill; but (upon the Terms I ought to be with a Man whom I think a Scoundrel) I wou'd not even ask him for this Money, but commissioned one of the players, his Equals, to receive it. This is the whole Matter; but as to the fecret Grounds of Philips's Malignity, they will make a very pleafant History when we meet. Mr Congreve and some others have been much diverted with it, and most of the Gentlemen of the Hanover Club have made it the Subject of their Ridicule on their Secretary. It is to this Management of Philips, that the World owes Mr Gay's Paftorals. The ingenious Author is extreamly your Servant, and would have comply'd with your kind Invitation, but that he is just now. appointed Secretary to my Lord Clatendon, in his Embafly to Hanover.
I am sensible of the Zeal and Friendship with which I am sure you will always defend your
Friend in his Absence, from all those little Tales and Ca