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Pope
Pope
113

Rowe, and Parnell for encouragement. He issued proposals for the translation of the 'Iliad' in October 1713. Lord Oxford and other friends regretted that he should devote his powers to anything but original work; but the plan was accepted with general enthusiasm. Swift was energetically touting for him in November 1713. Supported by both the whig and the tory leaders of literature, and by all their political and noble friends, the subscription soon reached unprecedented proportions. Dryden had made about 1,200l. by his 'Virgil' (1697), when the plan of publishing by subscription was still a novelty. Lintot agreed to pay Pope 200l. a volume, and supply him gratuitously with all the copies for subscribers and presents. The book was published in six volumes, and subscribers paid a guinea apiece. There were 675 subscribers for 660 copies (list in first edition), and the names include 160 persons of title and all the great men on both sides. The total, after deducting some payment for literary help, was over 5,000l., and Lintot is said to have sold 7,500 copies of a cheaper edition. Pope, who had scarcely made 150l. by his earlier poems (see list of Lintot's payments in D'Israeli's Quarrels of Authors, reprinted in Courthope's Life, p, 151), thus made himself independent for life. The translation must be considered not as a publisher's speculation, but as a kind of national commission given by the elegant society of the time to their representative poet.

The first volume, including the first four books of the 'Iliad,' was issued in June 1716. Almost at the same time appeared a translation of the first book by Thomas Tickell, one of Addison's clients. Although Tickell, in his preface, expressly disavowed rivalry, and said that he was only 'bespeaking public favour for a projected translation of the "Odyssey,"' Pope's jealousy was aroused. His previous quarrels with the Addison circle predisposed him to suspicion, and he persuaded himself that Addison was the real author of the translation published under Tickell's name. In a later quarrel after Addison's death in 1719, Steele called Tickell 'the reputed translator' of the 'Iliad' (dedication of the 'Drummer' in Addison's Works, 1811, vi. 319), a phrase which implies the currency of some rumours of this kind. Pope also asserted (Spence, p. 149) that Addison had paid Gildon ten guineas for a pamphlet about Wycherley, in which Pope and his relatives were abused. No such pamphlet is known, and the whole imputation upon Addison is completely disproved [see under Addison, Joseph]. The so-called 'quarrel,' which gave rise to much discussion superseded by recent revelations, was only a quarrel on Pope's side. The famous lines upon Addison, which were its main fruit, first appeared in print in a collection called 'Cythereïa,' published by Curll in 1723 (in Nichols's Anecdotes, iv. 273, it is asserted that some verses by Jeremiah Markland, appended to Pope's lines given at p. 314, were in print as early as 1717. No authority is given for the statement, which must be erroneous). They are mentioned in a letter from Atterbury of 26 Feb. 1721-2, and apparently as a new composition much 'sought after.' Pope was accused of writing them after Addison's death, 1719. Both Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Lord Oxford say that they had been previously written, though neither testimony is unequivocal (Courthope in Works, iii. 233); and a letter from Pope to Craggs, dated 15 July 1715, uses some of the phrases of the satire. The letter, however, is probably spurious, and it forms part of the correspondence concocted by Pope in order to give his own account of his relations to Addison. He told Spence (p. 149) that he had sent a 'first sketch' of his satire to Addison himself, who had afterwards 'used him very civilly.' The same story is told by Warburton. It is, however, quite incredible in itself, and is part of a whole system of 'mystification,' if such a word be not too gentle. It is possible, and perhaps probable, that Pope wrote the lines in his first anger at Tickell's publication, and afterwards kept them secret until the period fixed by Atterbury's letter.

The last volume of the 'Iliad,' delayed by ill-health, family troubles, and the preparation of various indexes, appeared in May 1720. A dedication was appended to Congreve, who was doubtless selected for the honour, as Macaulay observes, as a man of letters respected by both parties. Pope had not only made a competence, but had become the acknowledged head of English men of letters. The 'Homer' was long regarded as a masterpiece, and for a century was the source from which clever schoolboys like Byron learnt that Homer was not a mere instrument of torture invented by their masters. No translation of profane literature has ever occupied such a position, and the rise of new poetical ideals was marked by Cowper's attempt to supersede it by a version of his own. Cowper and the men of genius who marked the new era have made the obvious criticisms familiar. Pope was no scholar; he had to get help from Broome and Jortin to translate the notes of Eustathius, and obtained an introductory essay from Parnell. Many errors in translation