« הקודםהמשך »
Tickell's version. The reasons for his suspicion I will literally transcribe from Mr. Spence's Collection,
“ There had been a coldness (said Mr. Pope) be“ tween 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 almost every day. On his “ meeting me there, one day in particular, he took “mé aside, and said he should be glad to dine with
me, at such a tavern, if I staid till those people were gone (Budgell and Philips). We went accord
ingly; 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 “ Oxford, translated the first book of the Iliad; 6. that he designed to print it, and had desired 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 going to publish “ his translation ; that he certainly had as much
right to translate any author as myself; and that “ publishing both was entering on a fair stage. I " then 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 observations on the second, « which I had then finished, and which Mr. Tickell “had not touched upon. Accordingly I sent him “ the second book the next morning; and Mr. Ad“ dison 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 ex
pressed a great deal of surprize at Tickell's having “ had such a translation so long by him. He said, « that it was inconceivable to him, and that there “ must be some mistake in the matter ; that each " used to communicate to the other whatever verses
they wrote, even to the least things; that Tickell “ could not have been busied in so long a work there “ without his knowing something of the matter ; “ and that he had never heard a single word of it “ till on this occasion. This surprise of Dr. Young, “ together with what Steele has said against Tickell s in relation to this affair, make it highly probable “ that there was some underhand dealing in that bu« siness; and indeed Tickell himself, who is a very “ fair worthy man, has since, in a manner, as good
as owned it to me. When it was introduced into “a conversation between Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope,
by a third person, Tickell did not deny it; which, “ considering his honour, and zeal for his departed “ friend, was the same as owning it."
Upon these suspicions, with which Dr. Warburton hints that other circumstances concurred, Pope always in his Art of Sinking quotes this book as the Work of Addison.
To compare the two translations would be tedious; the palm is now given universally to Pope ; but I think the first lines of Tickell's were rather to be preferred ; and Pope seems to have since borrowed something from them in the correction of his own.
When the Hanover succession was disputed, Tickell gave what assistance his pen would supply. His Letter to Avignon stands high among party-poems ;
it expresses contempt without coarseness, and superiority without insolence. It had the success which it deserved, being five times printed.
He was now intimately united to Mr. Addison, who, when he went into Ireland as secretary to the lord Sunderland, took him thither and employed him in publick business' ; and when (1717) afterwards he rose to be secretary of state, made him under-secretary. Their friendship seems to have continued without abatement; for, when Addison died, he left him the charge of publishing his works, with a solemn recommendation to the patronage of Craggs.
To these works he prefixed an elegy on the author, which could owe none of its beauties to the assistance which might be suspected to have strengthened or embellished his earlier compositions; but neither he nor Addison ever produced nobler lines than are contained in the third and fourth paragraphs ; nor is a more sublime or more elegant funeral-poem to be found in the whole compass of English literature.
He was afterwards (about 1725) made secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland, a place of great honour; in which he continued till 1740, when he died on the twenty-third of April at Bath.
Of the poems yet unmentioned the longest is Kene sington Gardens, of which the versification is smooth and elegant, but the fiction unskilfully compounded of Grecian Deities and Gothick Fairies. Neither species of those exploded Beings could have done much ; and, when they are brought together, they
only make each other contemptible. To Tickell, however, cannot be refused a high place among the minor poets ; nor should it be forgotten that he was one of the contributors to the Spectator. With respect to his personal character, he is said to have been a man of gay conversation, at least a temperate lover of wine and company, and in his domestick relations without censure.
OF Mr. HAMMOND, though he be well remembered as a man esteemed and caressed by the elegant and the great, I was at first able to obtain no other memorials than such as are supplied by a book called Cibber's Lives of the Poets; of which I take this opportunity to testify that it was not written, nor I believe, ever seen, by either of the Cibbers; but was the work of Robert Shiels, a native of Scotland, a man of very acute understanding, though with little scholastick education, who, not long after the publication of his work, died in London of a consumption. His life was virtuous, and his end was pious. Theophilus Cibber, then a prisoner for debt, imparted, as I was told, his name for ten guineas. The manuscript of Shiels is now my possession.
I have since found that Mr. Shiels, though he was no negligent enquirer, had been misled by false accounts; for he relates that James Hammond, the author of the Elegies, was the son of a Turkey