Pope's Translation Of The Iliad
From The Life Of Pope by Samuel Johnson

It cannot be unwelcome to literary curiosity, that I deduce thus minutely the history of the English "Iliad ." It is certainly the noblest version of poetry which the world has ever seen, and its publication must therefore be considered as one of the great events in the annals of learning. To those who have skill to estimate the excellence and difficulty of this great work, it must be very desirable to know how it was performed, and by what gradations it advanced to correctness. Of such an intellectual process the knowledge has very rarely been attainable; but happily there remains the original copy of the "Iliad ," which, being obtained by Bolingbroke as a curiosity, descended from him to Mallet, and is now, by the solicitation of the late Dr. Maty, reposited in the Museum. Between this manuscript, which is written upon accidental fragments of paper, and the printed edition, there must have been an intermediate copy, that was perhaps destroyed as it returned from the press.

From the first copy I have procured a few transcripts, and shall exhibit first the printed lines; then, in a small print, those of the manuscripts, with all their variations. Those words in the small print, which are given in italics, are cancelled in the copy, and the words placed under them adopted in their stead:

The beginning of the first book stands thus:—

The wrath of Peleus' son, the direful spring
Of all the Grecian woes, O Goddess, sing,
That wrath which hurled to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain.
The stern Pelides' rage, O Goddess, sing,
Of all the woes of Greece the fatal spring,
That strewed with warriors dead the Phrygian plain,
And peopled the dark hell with heroes slain;
Whose limbs, unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore,
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove;
Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove.
Whose limbs, unburied on the hostile shore,
Devouring dogs and greedy vultures tore,
Since first Atrides and Achilles strove;
Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove.
Declare, O Muse, in what ill-fated hour
Sprung the fierce strife from what offended Power?
Latona's son a dire contagion spread,
And heaped the camp with mountains of the dead;
The King of Men his reverend priest defied,
And for the King's offence the people died.
Declare, O Goddess, what offended Power
Enflamed their rage in that ill-omened hour;
Phoebus himself the dire debate procured,
To avenge the wrongs his injured priest endured;
For this the god a dire infection spread,
And heaped the camp with millions of the dead:
The King of men the sacred sire defied,
And for the King's offence the people died.
For Chryses sought with costly gifts to gain
His captive daughter from the Victor's chain;
Suppliant the venerable father stands,
Apollo's awful ensigns grace his hands,
By these he begs, and, lowly bending down,
Extends the sceptre and the laurel crown.
For Chryses sought by presents to regain
His captive daughter from the Victor's chain;
Suppliant the venerable father stands,
Apollo's awful ensigns graced his hands.
By these he begs, and, lowly bending down
The golden sceptre and the laurel crown,
For these as ensigns of his god he bare,
The god who sends his golden shafts afar;
He sued to all, but chief implored for grace,
The brother kings of Atreus' royal race;
Ye kings and warriors, may your vows be crowned,
And Troy's proud walls lie level with the ground;
May Jove restore you, when your toils are o'er,
Safe to the pleasures of your native shore.
To all he sued, but chief implored for grace
The brother kings of Atreus' royal race.
Ye sons of Atreus, may your vows be crowned,
Your labours, by the gods be all your labours crowned;
So may the gods your arms with conquest bless,

May Jove restore you when your toils are o'er
Safe to the pleasures of your native shore.
But, oh! relieve a wretched parent's pain,
And give Chryses to these arms again;
If mercy fail, yet let my present move,
And dread avenging Phoebus, son of Jove.
But, oh! relieve a hapless parent's pain,
And give my daughter to these arms again;
Receive my gifts, if mercy fails, yet let my present move,
And fear the god who deals his darts around.
The Greeks, in shouts, their joint assent declare,
The priest to reverence, and release the fair:
Not so Atrides; he, with kingly pride,
Repulsed the sacred sire, and thus replied.
He said, the Greeks their joint assent declare,
The father said, the generous Greeks relent,
Revere the priest, and speak their joint assent;

Repulsed the sacred sire, and thus replied.

Of these lines, and of the whole first book, I am told that there was yet a former copy, more varied, and more deformed with interlineations.

The beginning of the second book varies very little from the printed page, and is therefore set down without any parallel. The few slight differences do not require to be elaborately displayed.

Now pleasing sleep had sealed each mortal eye:
Stretched in the tents the Grecian leaders lie;
The Immortals slumbered on their thrones above,
All but the ever-wakeful eye of Jove.
To honour Thetis' son he bends his care,
And plunge the Greeks in all the woes of war.
Then bids an empty phantom rise to sight,
And thus commands the vision of the night:
Fly hence, delusive dream, and, light as air,
To Agamemnon's royal tent repair;
Bid him in arms draw forth the embattled train,
March all his legions to the dusty plain.
Now tell the King 'tis given him to destroy
The lofty walls of wide-extended Troy;
For now no more the gods with fate contend;
At Juno's suit the heavenly factions end.
Destruction hovers o'er yon devoted wall,
And nodding Ilion waits the impending fall.

Invocation to the catalogue of ships.

Say, virgins, seated round the throne divine,
All-knowing goddesses! immortal nine!
Since earth's wide regions, heaven's unmeasured height,
And hell's abyss, hide nothing from your sight
(We, wretched mortals! lost in doubts below,
But guess by rumour, and but boast we know),
Oh! say what heroes, fired by thirst of fame,
Or urged by wrongs, to Troy's destruction came!
To count them all demands a thousand tongues,
A throat of brass and adamantine lungs.
Now virgin goddesses, immortal nine!
That round Olympus' heavenly summit shine,
Who see through heaven and earth, and hell profound,
And all things know, and all things can resound!
Relate what armies sought the Trojan land,
What nations followed, and what chiefs command;
(For doubtful fame distracts mankind below,
And nothing can we tell, and nothing know)
Without your aid, to count the unnumbered train,
A thousand mouths, a thousand tongues, were vain.

Book V. v. 1.

But Pallas now Tydide's soul inspires,
Fills with her force, and warms with all her fires:
Above the Greeks his deathless fame to raise,
And crown her hero with distinguished praise,
High on his helm celestial lightnings play,
His beamy shield emits a living ray;
The unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies,
Like the red star that fires the autumnal skies.
But Pallas now Tydides' soul inspires,
Fills with her rage, and warms with all her fires:
O'er all the Greeks decrees his fame to raise,
above the Greeks her warrior's fame to raise
And crown her hero with immortal praise,
Bright from his beamy crest the lightnings play,
From his broad buckler flashed the living ray,
High on his helm celestial lightnings play,
His beamy shield emits a living ray;
The Goddess with her breath the flame supplies,
Bright as the star whose fires in Autumn rise;
Her breath divine thick streaming flames supplies,
The unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies,
Bright as the star that fires the autumnal skies:
The unwearied blaze incessant streams supplies, Like the red star that fires the autumnal skies.
When first he rears his radiant orb to sight,
And bathed in ocean shoots a keener light,
Such glories Pallas on the chief bestowed,
Such from his arms the fierce effulgence flowed;
Onward she drives him, furious to engage,
Where the fight burns, and where the thickest rage.
When fresh he rears his radiant orb to sight,
And bathed in ocean shoots a keener light,
Such glories Pallas on the chief bestowed,
Such from his arms the fierce effulgence flowed;
Onward she drives him, headlong to engage,
Where the war bleeds , and where the fiercest rage.
The sons of Dares first the combat sought,
A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault;
In Vulcan's fane the father's days were led,
The sons to toils of glorious battle bred.
There lived a Trojan — Dares was his name,
The priest of Vulcan, rich, yet void of blame;
The sons of Dares first the combat sought,
A wealthy priest, but rich without a fault.

Conclusion of Book VIII. v. 687.

As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light,
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole:
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver every mountain's head:
Then shine the vales — the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies;
The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight,
Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.
So many flames before proud Ilion blaze,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays;
The long reflections of the distant fires
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires.
A thousand piles the dusky horrors gild,
And shoot a shady lustre o'er the field;
Full fifty guards each flaming pile attend,
Whose umbered arms by fits thick flashes send;
Loud neigh the coursers o'er their heaps of corn,
And ardent warriors wait the rising morn.
As when in stillness of the silent night,
As when the moon in all her lustre bright,
As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
O'er Heaven's clear azure sheds her silver light;
As still in air the trembling lustre stood,
And o'er its golden border shoots a flood;
When no loose gale disturbs the deep serene,
And no dim cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene;
Around her silver throne the planets glow,
And stars unnumbered trembling beams bestow;
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumbered gild the glowing pole:
Clear gleams of light o'er the dark trees are seen,
O'er the dark trees a yellower green they shed,
And tip with silver all the mountain heads
And tip with silver every mountain's head.
The valleys open, and the forests rise,
The vales appear, the rocks in prospect rise,
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
All nature stands revealed before our eyes;
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies.
The conscious shepherd, joyful at the sight,
Eyes the blue vault, and numbers every light.
The conscious swains rejoicing at the sight
Eye the blue vault, and bless the vivid light.
So many flames before the navy blaze,
And lighten glimmering Xanthus with their rays,
Wide o'er the fields to Troy extend the gleams,
And tip the distant spires with fainter beams;
The long reflections of the distant fires
Gild the high walls, and tremble on the spires;
Gleam on the walls, and tremble on the spires;
A thousand fires at distant stations bright,
Gild the dark prospect, and dispel the night.

Of these specimens every man who has cultivated poetry, or who delights to trace the mind from the rudeness of its first conceptions to the elegance of its last, will naturally desire a great number; but most other readers are already tired, and I am not writing only to poets and philosophers.

The "Iliad" was published volume by volume, as the translation proceeded. The four first books appeared in 1715. The expectation of this work was undoubtedly high, and every man who had connected his name with criticism or poetry was desirous of such intelligence as might enable him to talk upon the popular topic. Halifax, who,by having been first a poet, and then a patron of poetry, had acquired the right of being a judge, was willing to hear some books while they were yet unpublished. Of this rehearsal Pope afterwards gave the following account: —

"The famous Lord Halifax was rather a pretender to taste than really possessed of it. — When I had finished the two or three first books of my translation of the 'Iliad,' that lord desired to have the pleasure of hearing them read at his house.— Addison, Congreve, and Garth were there at the reading. In four or five places Lord Halifax stopped me very civilly, and with a speech each time of much the same kind, 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Pope, but there is something in that passage that does not please me. Be so good as to mark the place, and consider it a little at your leisure. I am sure you can give it a little turn.' I returned from Lord Halifax's with Dr. Garth in his chariot, and as we were going along was saying to the Doctor that my lord had laid me under a great deal of difficulty by such loose and general observations; that I had been thinking over the passages almost ever since, and could not guess at what it was that offended his lordship in either of them. Garth laughed heartily at my embarrassment: said I had not been long enough acquainted with Lord Halifax to know his way yet; that I need not puzzle myself about looking those places over and over when I got home. ' All you need do,' says he, ' is to leave them just as they are, call on Lord Halifax two or three months hence, thank him for his kind observations on those passages, and then read them to him as altered. I have known him much longer than you have, and will be answerable for the event.' I followed his advice, waited on Lord Halifax some time after; said I hoped he would find his objections to those passages removed; read them to him exactly as they were at first; and his lordship was extremely pleased with them, and cried out, ' Ay, now they are perfectly right; nothing can be better.'"

It is seldom that the great or the wise suspect that they are despised or cheated. Halifax, thinking this a lucky opportunity of securing immortality, made some advances of favour and some overtures of advantage to Pope, which he seems to have received with sullen coldness. All our knowledge of this transaction is derived from a single letter (December 1, 1714), in which Pope says,

"I am obliged to you, both for the favours you have done me and those you intend me. I distrust neither your will nor your memory when it is to do good; and if I ever become troublesome or solicitous, it must not be out of expectation, but out of gratitude. Your lordship may cause me to live agreeably in the town, or contentedly in the country, which is really all the difference I set between an easy fortune and a small one. It is indeed a high strain of generosity in you to think of making me easy all my life, only because I have been so happy as to divert you some few hours; but, if I may have leave to add it is because you think me no enemy to my native country, there will appear a better reason; for I must of consequence be very much (as I sincerely am) yours, etc."

These voluntary offers, and this faint acceptance, ended without effect. The patron was not accustomed to such frigid gratitude; and the poet fed his own pride with the dignity of independence. They probably were suspicious of each other. Pope would not dedicate till he saw at what rate his praise was valued; he would be "troublesome out of gratitude, not expectation." Halifax thought himself entitled to confidence, and would give nothing unless he knew what he should receive. Their commerce had its beginning in hope of praise on one side and of money on the other, and ended because Pope was less eager of money than Halifax of praise. It is not likely that Halifax had any personal benevolence to Pope; it is evident that Pope looked on Halifax with scorn and hatred.

The reputation of this great work failed of gaining him a patron but it deprived him of a friend. Addison and he were now at the head of poetry and criticism, and both in such a state of elevation that, like the two rivals in the Roman State, one could no longer bear an equal, nor the other a superior. Of the gradual abatement of kindness between friends, the beginning is often scarcely discernible to themselves, and the process is continued by petty provocations, and incivilities sometimes peevishly returned, and sometimes contemptuously neglected, which would escape all attention but that of pride, and drop from any memory but that of resentment. That the quarrel of these two wits should be minutely deduced is not to be expected from a writer to whom, as Homer says,

"nothing but rumour has reached, and who has no personal knowledge."

Pope doubtless approached Addison, when the reputation of their wit first brought them together, with the respect due to a man whose abilities were acknowledged, and who, having attained that eminence to which he was himself aspiring, had in his hands the distribution of literary fame. He paid court with sufficient diligence by his prologue to "Cato," by his abuse of Dennis, and with praise yet more direct, by his poem on the " Dialogues on Medals," of which the immediate publication was then intended. In all this there was no hypocrisy for he confessed that he found in Addison something more pleasing than in any other man.

It may be supposed that, as Pope saw himself favoured by the world, and more frequently compared his own powers with those of others, his confidence increased, and his submission lessened; and that Addison felt no delight from the advances of a young wit, who might soon contend with him for the highest place. Every great man, of whatever kind be his greatness, has among his friends those who officiously or insidiously quicken his attention to offences, heighten his disgust, and stimulate his resentment. Of such adherents Addison doubtless had many; and Pope was now too high to be without them.

From the emission and reception of the proposals for the "Iliad ," the kindness of Addison seems to have abated. Jervas the painter once pleased himself (August 20,1714) with imagining that he had re-established their friendship, and wrote to Pope that Addison once suspected him of too close a confederacy with Swift, but was now satisfied with his conduct. To this Pope answered, a week after, that his engagements to Swift were such as his services in regard to the subscription demanded, and that the Tories never put him under the necessity of asking leave to be grateful.

"But," says he, "as Mr. Addison must be the judge in what regards himself, and seems to have no very just one in regard to me, so I must own to you I expect nothing but civility from him."

In the same letter he mentions Philips, as having been busy to kindle animosity between them; but in a letter to Addison he expresses some consciousness of behaviour, inattentively deficient in respect.

Of Swift's industry in promoting the subscription there remains the testimony of Kennet, no friend to either him or Pope.

"November 2, 1713, Dr. Swift came into the coffee-house, and had a bow from everybody but me, who, I confess, could not but despise him. When I came to the antechamber to wait, before prayers, Dr. Swift was the principal man of talk and business, and acted as master of requests. — Then he instructed a young nobleman that the best Poet in England was Mr. Pope (a papist), who had begun a translation of 'Homer' into English verse, for which he must have them all subscribe; for, says he, the author shall not begin to print till I have a thousand guineas for him."

About this time it is likely that Steele, who was, with all his political fury, good-natured and officious, procured an interview between these angry rivals, which ended in aggravated malevolence. On this occasion, if the reports be true, Pope made his complaint with frankness and spirit, as a man undeservedly neglected or opposed; and Addison affected a contemptuous unconcern, and in a calm, even voice reproached Pope with his vanity, and, telling him of the improvements which his early works had received from his own remarks and those of Steele, said that he, being now engaged in public business, had no longer any care for his poetical reputation, nor had any other desire with regard to Pope than that he should not, by too much arrogance, alienate the public.

To this Pope is said to have replied with great keenness and severity, upbraiding Addison with perpetual dependence, and with the abuse of those qualifications which he had obtained at the public cost, and charging him with mean endeavours to obstruct the progress of rising merit. The contest rose so high that they parted at last without any interchange of civility.

The first volume of "Homer" was (1715) in time published; and a rival version of the first "Iliad ," for rivals the time of their appearance inevitably made them, was immediately printed, with the name of Tickell. It was soon perceived that, among the followers of Addison, Tickell had the preference, and the critics and poets divided into factions.

"I," says Pope, "have the town, that is, the mob, on my side; but it is not uncommon for the smaller party to supply by industry what it wants in numbers. I appeal to the people as my rightful judges, and, while they are not inclined to condemn me, shall not fear the high-flyers at Button's."

This opposition he immediately imputed to Addison, and complained of it in terms sufficiently resentful to Craggs, their common friend. When Addison's opinion was asked, he declared the versions to be both good, but Tickell's the best that had ever been written; and sometimes said that they were both good, but that Tickell had more of " Homer."

Pope was now sufficiently irritated; his reputation and his interest were at hazard. He once intended to print together the four versions of Dryden, Maynwaring, Pope, and Tickell, that they might be readily compared and fairly estimated. This design seems to have been defeated by the refusal of Tonson, who was the proprietor of the other three versions.

Pope intended, at another time, a rigorous criticism of Tickell's translation, and had marked a copy, which I have seen, in all places that appeared defective. But while he was thus meditating defence or revenge, his adversary sunk before him without a blow; the voice of the public was not long divided, and the preference universally given to Pope's performance. He was convinced, by adding one circumstance to another, that the other translation was the work of Addison himself; but, if he knew it in Addison's lifetime, it does not appear that he told it. He left his illustrious antagonist to lie punished by what has been considered as the most painful of all reflections — the remembrance of a crime perpetrated in vain. The other circumstances of their quarrel were thus related by Pope:—

"Philips seemed to have been encouraged to abuse me in coffee-houses and conversations, and Gildon wrote a thing about Wycherley, in which he had abused both me and my relations very grossly. Lord Warwick himself told me one day that it was in vain for me to endeavour to be well with Mr. Addison; that his jealous temper would never admit of a settled friendship between us; and, to convince me of what he had said, assured me that Addison had encouraged Gildon to publish those scandals, and had given him ten guineas after they were published. The next day, while I was heated with what I had heard, I wrote a letter to Mr. Addison, to let him know that I was not unacquainted with this behaviour of his; that if I was to speak severely of him in return for it, it should not be in such a dirty way; that I should rather tell him himself fairly of his faults, and allow his good qualities; and that it should be something in the following manner. I then adjoined the first sketch of what has since been called my satire on Addison. Mr Addison used me very civilly ever after."

The verses on Addison, when they were sent to Atterbury, were considered by him as the most excellent of Pope's performances; and the writer was advised, since he knew where his strength lay, not to suffer it to remain unemployed.

This year (1715), being by the subscription enabled to live more by choice, having persuaded his father to sell their estate at Binfield, he purchased, I think only for his life, that house at Twickenham to which his residence afterwards procured so much celebration, and removed thither with his father and mother.

Here he planted the vines and the quincunx which his verses mention; and being under the necessity of making a subterraneous passage to a garden on the other side of the road, he adorned it with fossil bodies, and dignified it with the title of a grotto; a place of silence and retreat, from which he endeavoured to persuade his friends and himself that cares and passions could be excluded.

A grotto is not often the wish or pleasure of all Englishmen, who has more frequent need to solicit than exclude the sun; but Pope's excavation was requisite as an entrance to his garden; and, as some men try to be proud of their defects, he extracted an ornament from an inconvenience, and vanity produced a grotto where necessity enforced a passage. It may be frequently remarked of the studious and speculative, that they are proud of trifles, and that their amusements seem frivolous and childish. Whether it be that men, conscious of great reputation, think themselves above the reach of censure, and safe in the admission of negligent indulgences, or that mankind expect from elevated genius a uniformity of greatness, and watch its degradation with malicious wonder, like him who, having followed with his eye an eagle into the clouds, should lament that she ever descended to a perch.

While the volumes of his " Homer" were annually published, he collected his former works (1717) into one quarto volume, to which he prefixed a preface, written with great sprightliness and elegance, which was afterwards reprinted, with some passages subjoined that he at first omitted. Other marginal additions of the same kind he made in the later editions of his poems. Waller remarks, that poets lose half their praise, because the reader knows not what they have blotted. Pope's voracity of fame taught him the art of obtaining the accumulated honour both of what he had published, and of what he had suppressed.

In this year his father died suddenly, in his seventy-fifth year, having passed twenty-nine years in privacy. He is not known but by the character which his son has given him. If the money with which he retired was all gotten by himself, he had traded very successfully in times when sudden riches were rarely attainable.

The publication of the "Iliad " was at last completed in 1720. The splendour and success of this work raised Pope many enemies that endeavoured to depreciate his abilities. Burnet, who was afterwards a judge of no mean reputation, censured him in a piece called "Homerides" before it was published. Ducket likewise endeavoured to make him ridiculous. Dennis was the perpetual persecutor of all his studies. But whoever his critics were, their writings are lost, and the names, which are preserved are preserved in the " Dunciad."

In this disastrous year (1720) of national infatuation, when more riches than Peru can boast were expected from the South Sea, when the contagion of avarice tainted every mind, and even poets panted after wealth, Pope was seized with the universal passion, and ventured some of his money. The stock rose in its price, and for a while he thought himself the lord of thousands. But this dream of happiness did not last long, and he seems to have waked soon enough to get clear with the loss of what he once thought himself to have won, and perhaps not wholly of that.

Next year he published some select poems of his friend Dr. Parnell, with a very elegant dedication to the Earl of Oxford, who, after all his struggles and dangers, then lived in retirement, still under the frown of a victorious faction, who could take no pleasure in hearing his praise.

He gave the same year (1721) an edition of Shakespeare. His name was now of so much authority that Tonson thought himself entitled, by annexing it, to demand a subscription of six guineas for Shakespeare's plays in six quarto volumes. Nor did his expectation much deceive him, for, of seven hundred and fifty which he printed, he dispersed a great number at the price proposed. The reputation of that edition indeed, sunk, afterwards so low, that one hundred and forty copies were sold at sixteen shillings each.

On this undertaking, to which Pope was induced by a reward of two hundred and seventeen pounds twelve shillings, he seems never to have reflected afterwards without vexation; for Theobald a man of heavy diligence, with very slender powers, first, in a book called Shakespeare Restored, and then in a formal edition, detected his deficiencies with all the insolence of victory; and as he was now high enough to be feared and hated, Theobald had from others all the help that could be supplied, by the desire of humbling a haughty character.

From this time Pope became an enemy to editors, collators, commentators, and verbal critics, and hoped to persuade the world that he miscarried in this undertaking only by having a mind too great for such minute employment.

Pope in his edition undoubtedly did many things wrong, and left many things undone; but let him not be defrauded of his due praise. He was the first that knew, at least the first that told, by what helps the text might be improved. If he inspected the early editions negligently, he taught others to be more accurate. In his preface he expanded with great skill and elegance the character which had been given of Shakespeare by Dryden; and he drew the public attention upon his works, which, though often mentioned, had been little read.

Soon after the appearance of the "Iliad ," resolving not to let the general kindness cool, he published proposals for a translation of the " Odyssey," in five volumes, for five guineas. He was willing, however, now to have associates in his labour, being either weary with toiling upon another's thoughts, or having heard, as Ruffhead relates, that Fenton and Broome had already begun the work, and liking better to have them confederates than rivals.

In the patent, instead of saying that he had " translated" the " Odyssey," as he had said of the "Iliad ," he says that he had " undertaken" a translation: and in the proposals, the subscription is said to be not solely for his own use, but for that of " two of his friends who have assisted him in his work."

In 1723, while he was engaged in this new version, he appeared before the Lords at the memorable trial of Bishop Atterbury, with whom he had lived in great familiarity, and frequent correspondence. Atterbury had honestly recommended to him the study of the Popish controversy, in hope of his conversion; to which Pope answered in a manner that cannot much recommend his principles or his judgment. In questions and projects of learning they agree better. He was called at the trial to give an account of Atterbury's domestic life and private employment, that it might appear how little time he had left for plots. Pope had but few words to utter, and in those few he made several blunders.

His letters to Atterbury express the utmost esteem, tenderness, and gratitude.

"Perhaps," says he, "it is not only in this world that I may have cause to remember the Bishop of Rochester."

At their last interview in the Tower, Atterbury presented him with a Bible.

Of the " Odyssey" Pope translated only twelve books. The rest were the work of Broome and Fenton: the notes were written wholly by Broome, who was not over liberally rewarded. The public was carefully kept ignorant of the several shares; and an account was subjoined at the conclusion which is now known not to be true.

The first copy of Pope's books, with those of Fenton, are to be seen in the Museum. The parts of Pope are less interlined than the "Iliad ," and the latter books of the "Iliad " less than the former. He grew dexterous by practice, and every sheet enabled him to write the next with more facility. The books of Fenton have very few alterations by the hand of Pope. Those of Broome have not been found, but Pope complained, as it is reported, that he had much trouble in correcting them.

His contract with Lintot was the same as for the "Iliad ," except that only one hundred pounds were to be paid him for each volume. The number of subscribers were five hundred and seventy-four, and of copies eight hundred and nineteen, so that his profit, when he had paid his assistants, was still very considerable. The work was finished in 1723; and from that time he resolved to make no more translations.

The sale did not answer Lintot's expectation, and he then pretended to discover something of a fraud in Pope, and commenced or threatened a suit in Chancery.

On the English " Odyssey" a criticism was published [1727] by Spence, at that time Prelector of Poetry at Oxford, a man whose learning was not very great, and whose mind was not very powerful. His criticism, however, was commonly just; what he thought he thought rightly, and his remarks were recommended by his coolness and candour. In him Pope had the first experience of a critic without malevolence, who thought it as much his duty to display beauties as expose faults, who censured with respect, and praised with alacrity.

With this criticism Pope was so little offended, that he sought the acquaintance of the writer, who lived with him from that time in great familiarity, attended him in his last hours, and compiled memorials of his conversation. The regard of Pope recommended him to the great and powerful, and he obtained very valuable preferments in the Church.

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