« הקודםהמשך »
To those verses it would not have been just to deny regard; for they contain some of the most elegant encomiaftick strains; and, among the innumerable poems of the same kind, it will be hard to find one with which they need to fear a comparison may
deserve observation, that when Pope wrote long afterwards in praise of Addison, he has copied, at least has resembled, Tickell.
Let joy falute fair Rosamonda's shade, And wreaths of myrtle crown the lovely maid. While now perhaps with Dido's ghost she roves, And hears and tells the story of their loves, Alike they mourn, alike they bless their fate, Since Love, which made them wretched, made
Nor longer that relentless doom bemoan,
Then future ages with delight shall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's, looks agree; Or in fair series laureld bards be shown, A Virgil there, and here an Addison. PoPE,
He produced another piece of the fame kind at the appearance of Cato, with equal skill, but not equal happiness.
When the ministers of queen Anne were negotiating with France, Tickell published The Prospect of Peace, a poem, of which the tendency was to reclaim the nation from the pride of conquest to the pleasures of tranquillity. How far Tickell, whom Swift afterwards mentioned as Whiggisimus, had then connected himself with any party, I know not; this poem certainly did not flatter the practices, or promote the opinions, of the men by whom he was afterwards befriended.
Mr. Addison, however he hated the men then in power, suffered his friendship to prevail over his publick spirit, and gave in the Spectator such praises of Tickell's poem, that when, after having long wished to peruse it, I laid hold on it at last, I thought it unequal to the honours which it had received, and found it a piece to be approved rather than admired. But the hope excited by a work of genius, being general and indefinite, is rarely gratified. It was read at that time with so much favour, that fix editions were fold.
At the arrival of king George he fung The Royal Progress; which being inserted in the Spectator is well known, and of which it is just to say that it is neither high nor low.
The poetical incident of most importance in Tickell’s life was his publication of the first book of the Iliad, as translated by himself, an apparent opposition to Pope's Homer, of which the first part made its entrance into the world at the same time.
Addison declared that the rival versions were both good; but that Tickell's was the best that ever was made ; and with Addison the wits, his adherents and followers, were certain to concur. Pope does not appear to have been much disınayed; for, says he, I bave the town, that is, the mob, on my side. But he remarks, that it is common for the smaller party to make up in diligence what they want in numbers; he appeals to the people as his proper judges; and if they are not inclined to condemn him, he is in little care about the high-flyers at Button's.
Pope did not long think Addison an impartial judge; for he considered him as the writer of Tickell's version. The reasons for his suspicion I will literally transcribe from Mr. Spence's Collection.
“ There had been a coldness between Mr. “ Addison and me for some time, and we “ had not been in company together, for a
good while, any where but at Button's “ coffee-house, where I used to see him al“ most every day. On his meeting me there,
one day in particular, he took me aside, “ and said he should be glad to dine with
me, at such a tavern, if I staid till those
people were gone (Budgel and Philips). “ We went accordingly; and after dinner " Mr. Addison said, “That he had wanted “ for some time to talk with me; that his “ friend Tickell had formerly, whilst at Ox“ ford, translated the first book of the Iliad; " that he designed to print it, and had de“ fired him to look it over; that he must “ therefore beg that I would not desire him “ to look over my first book, because, if “ he did, it would have the air of double“ dealing. I assured him that I did not
at all take it ill of Mr. Tickell that he was
any author as myself; and that publishing
added, that I would not desire him to look
over my first book of the Iliad, because “ he had looked over Mr. Tickell's; but « could wish to have the benefit of his ob« fervations on my second, which I had " then finished, and which Mr. Tickell had
not touched upon. Accordingly I sent « him the fecond book the next morning; « and Mr. Addison a few days after returned
it, with very high commendations. Soon " after it was generally known that Mr. “ Tickell was publishing the first book of the “ Iliad, I met Dr. Young in the street; and,
upon our falling into that subject, the " Doctor expressed a great deal of surprize
at Tickell's having had such a translation " so long by him. He said, that it was ines conceivable to him, and that there must “ be some mistake in the matter; that each " used to communicate to the other what“ ever verses they wrote, even to the least things; that Tickell could not have been