Imatges de pÓgina
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TICKELL.

1686–1740.

Boro at Bridekirk, la Cumberland Educated at Oxford-Marrles-Acquires the friendship of

Addison–His Arst Poems-Hls Translation of the first Book of the Iliad-Made Under-Secre tary-Addison leaves him the charge of Publishing his Works-His Elegy on AddisonMade Secretary to the Lords Justices-Death at Bath-Works and Character.

TACAS TICKELL, the son of the Reverend Richard Tickell, was born in 1686 at Bridekirk in Cumberland ; and in April, 1701, became a member of Queen's College in Oxford ; in 1708 he was made Master of Arts, and two years afterwards (9th Nov., 1710) was chosen Fellow; for which, as he did not comply with the statutes by tak.

i ing orders, he obtained [25th Oct., 1717] a dispensation from the Crown. He held his Fellowship till 1726, and then vacated it, by marrying,' in that year, at Dublin.

Tickell was not one of those scholars who wear away their lives in closets ;' he entered early into the world, and was long busy in public affairs; in which he was initiated under the patronage of Ad

; dison, whose notice he is said to have gained by his verses in praise of Rosamond.'

To those verses it would not have been just to deny regard ; for they contain some of the most elegant encomiastic strains; and, among the innumerable poems of the same kind, it will be bard to find one with which they need to fear a comparison. It may deserve observation, that when Pope wrote long afterwards' in praise of Addison, he has copied, at least has resembled, Tickell.

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"A Miss Eustace, with a fortune of 8000l. or 10,0001. (“Daily Post' of 9 February, 1726.) He was married at Dublin, by the Primate of Ireland, og St. George's Day, 1726. (New College Register.)

* An early acquaintance with the classics is what may be called the good-breeding of poetry, as it gives a certain gracefulness which never forsakes a mind that contracted it la youth, but is seldom or never hit by those who would learn it too late.-TICKELL: Prepuce to Addison's Works.

• In 1721. *To Mr. Addison, occasioned by his Dialogues op Medals,' but originally write ten in 1716 VOL. II.

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“Let joy transport 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, makes them great.
Nor longer that relentless doom bemoan
Which gained a Virgil and an Addison."

TICKELL (1709)
“Then future ages with delight shall see
How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree ;
Or in fair series laurell'd bards be shown,
A Virgil there, and here an Addison."

Pops (1721)

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He produced another piece of the same 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 (1713] “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 Whiggissimus,' 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 public spirit, and gave in The Spectator'' such praise of Tickell's poem, that when, after having long wished to peruse it, I laid hold on it at last, I thought it anequal 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 six editions were sold.

At the arrival of King George he sang The Royal Progress ;'

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• These verses were first published in Tonson's “Sixth Miscellany' (1709). Popo, as well as Tickell, made his Arst appearance as a poet in this Miscellany.

• Swift to Dr. Sheridan, Sept. 25, 1725. (Scott's Swift, xvi. 491, 2nd ed.)
• Tho Spectator, No. 523, Oct. 80, 1712.
* Fools admire, but men of sense approve.

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which being inserted in The Spectator' is well known, and of which it is jnst to say, that it is neither high nor low.

The poetical incident of most importance in Tickell's life was his publication (June 1715) 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, bis adherents and followers, were certain to concur. Pope does not appear to have been much dismayed ; "for,” says he, "I have 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-iyers at Batton's.” 10

Pope did not long think Addison an impartial judge ; for ho considered bim as the writer of Tickell's version. The reasons for his suspicion I will literally transcribe from Mr. Spence's Collection.

"There had been & coldness, (said Mr. Pope) between Mr. Addisou and me for some time ; and we had not been in company together, for a good wbile, any where but at Button's coffee-house, where I used to see him almost every day. On bis 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 would stay till those people (Budgell and Philips) were gone. We went accordingly; and after dinner Mr. Addison said, “That he had wanted for some time to talk with me; that bis friend Tickell had formerly, whilst at Oxford, translated the first book of the “Iliad ;' that he now designed to print it, and had desired him to look it over ; he must

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"The Spectator,' No. 620, for Nov. 15, 1714 "I must inform the reader that when I begun this first book I had some thoughts of translating the whole 'Iliad,' but had the pleasure of being diverted from that design by finding that the work was fallen into a much abler hand, I would not, therefore, be thought to have any other view to publishing this small specimen of Homer's 'Iliad,' than to bespeak, if pos. sible, the lavour of the public to a translation of Homer's Odyssey,' wherein I have alrcady made some progreus.-TICKELL: To tho Rondor.

10 This is the sense, though not the exact words, of Pope's letter to Craggn, of July 15, 1715 (Letters, tto., 1787, p. 137.)

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 Nr. 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 my second, which I had then finished, and which Mr. Tickell had not touched upon. Accordingly I sent bim the second book the next morning; and in a few days he returned it, with very high commendation. 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 surprise at Tickell's having such a translation by him so long. He said that it was inconceivable to him, and that there must be some mistake in the matter ; that he and Tickell were so intimately acquainted at Oxford, 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 bis 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 in relation to this affair," make it highly probable that there was some underband dealing in that business; and indeed Tickell himself, who is a very fair, worthy man, has since, in a manner, as good as owned it to me. (To which Spence adds :) When it was introduced in conversation between Mr. Tickell and Mr. Pope, by a third person, Tickell did not deny it; which, considering his honour aud zeal for his departed friend, was the same as owning it.” 13

Upon these suspicions, with which Dr. Warburton hints that

11 He (Addigon) translated the Arst book of the 'Illad' that appeared u Tickell's; and Steele has blurted it out in his angry Preface against Tickell.-Port: Sponce by Singor

19 Spence by singer,' p. 147.

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