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amusement of bathing is succeeded by a general assembly of the people at the pump-room, some for pleasure, and some to drink the hot waters. Three glasses at three different times is the usual portion, and the intervals between every glass are enlivened by the small band of music, as well as by the conversation of the gay, the witty, or the forward. From the pump-room the ladies from time to time withdraw to a female coffee-house, and from thence return to their lodgings to breakfast. The gentlemen withdraw to their coffee-houses, to read the papers or converse on the news of the day." And with equal minuteness Goldsmith goes over the whole day, till the round is closed by evening prayers in the pump-room, and by nightly balls, plays, or visits. When Frederick Prince of Wales visited Bath in 1738, Beau Nash commemorated the event by erecting an obelisk, and he wrote to Pope requesting an inscription. Pope replied that he had received so few favours from the great, that he was utterly unacquainted with what kind of thanks they liked best. "Whether," he said, "the Prince most loves poetry or prose I protest I do not know; but this I dare venture to affirm, that you can give him as much satisfaction in either as I can." Nash persevered in his request, and Pope sent a brief prose inscription: "In memory of honours bestowed, and in gratitude for benefits conferred on this city by his Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wales, and his royal consort, in the year 1738, this obelisk is erected by Richard Nash, Esq." Goldsmith's comment on this affair is the most amusing part of the business: "I dare venture to say there was scarce a common councilman in the corporation of Bath but could have done this as well. Nothing can be more frigid, though the subject was worthy of the utmost exertions of genius."

Pope relished the amusements of the place, thus regulated and presided over by the redoubted Beau Nash, and spent the day pleasantly among the pump assemblies, the walks, the chocolate-houses, raffling-shops, plays, and medleys. He even thought the appearance of the ladies in the bath, encased in buckram, and moving about in common with the men, between swimming and walking, a spectacle worthy of

• Life of Beau Nash in Prior's and Cunningham's editions of Goldsmith's works.

POPE'S ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE GREAT.

139

female applause and imitation! The barbarity of the practice shocked Dr. Johnson, and it affords a curious illustration of the taste and manners of the period. Occasionally a meteor like Lord Peterborough appeared at "the Bath," as the city was termed, and astonished visitors by wearing boots (which were then used only in travelling), and by his disregard of Beau Nash and personal dignity. "It is a comical sight to see him," says Lady Hervey, "with his blue ribbon and star, and a cabbage under each arm, or a chicken in his hand, which, after he himself has purchased at market, he carries home for his dinner." After this we need not wonder to find Peterborough, with the spade or pruningknife, assisting Pope in his garden at Twickenham. But the poet himself would be guilty of no such solecism at Bath. He wished to be esteemed a man of vivacity and spirit, or as he has said,

"The gayest valetudinaire,
Most thinking rake alive!"

And whether in town or country his company was courted. Without fortune, without the advantages of high birth or connexions, without personal graces or fashionable accomplishments, he had by his genius and management raised himself to social eminence and unrivalled literary celebrity. Dryden, better descended, and with good family alliances, failed to accomplish as much. There was no inferiority of talent or of moral worth-and of these, in his latter days, the world made cheerful recognition-but the elder bard, diffident and retiring-"not a genteel man," as Pope said— could not command the arts which permanently please and attract in high society. He could flatter the great, but wanted skill to court them.

Shortly after the delivery of the first volume of his Homer, Pope made a journey to Oxford on horseback, having borrowed his steed from the Earl of Burlington. When in Windsor Forest, on his way, he was overtaken by Bernard Lintot, who had heard that the poet designed to go to Oxford, "the seat of the Muses," and who, as his bookseller, would by all means accompany him. Pope, on arriving at Oxford, wrote to Lord Burlington an account of his journey and adventures on the road, in which Lintot figures largely,

describing both himself and the "eminent hands" who worked for him, as translators and critics. The letter is one of Pope's most humorous prose sketches, evidently intended for publication. Smollett, in his Humphry Clinker, describes a meeting of Grub-street authors in his house at Chelsea, which bears some resemblance to Pope's lively caricature, and shows that fifty years had wrought little alteration in this class.

"I asked him where he got his horse? He answered, he got it of his publisher: For that rogue my printer (said he) disappointed me: I hoped to put him in good humour by a treat at the tavern, of a brown fricassee of rabbits, which cost two shillings, with two quarts of wine, besides my conversation. I thought myself cocksure of his horse, which he readily promised me, but said that Mr. Tonson had just such another design of going to Cambridge, expecting there the copy of a new kind of Horace from Dr. and if Mr. Tonson went, he was pre-engaged to attend him, being to have the printing of the said copy.

So in short I borrowed this horse of my publisher, which he had of Mr. Oldmixon for a debt; he lent me, too, the pretty boy you see after me. He was a smutty dog yesterday, and cost me near two hours to wash the ink off his face: but the devil is a fair-conditioned devil, and very forward in his catechise: if you have any more bags, he shall carry them.'

"I thought Mr. Lintot's civility not to be neglected, so gave the boy a small bag, containing three shirts, and an Elzevir Virgil; and mounting in an instant, proceeded on the road, with my man before, my courteous stationer beside, and the aforesaid devil behind.

"Mr. Lintot began in this manner: 'Now, damn them! what if they should put it into the newspaper, how you and I went together to Oxford ? what would I care? If I should go down into Sussex, they would say I was gone to the Speaker. But what of that? If my son were big enough to go on with the business, by G-d I would keep as good company as old Jacob.' Hereupon I inquired of his son. The lad (says he) has fine parts, but is somewhat sickly, much as you are. I spare for nothing in his education at Westminster. Pray, don't you think Westminster to be the best school in England? Most of the late ministry came out of it, so did many of this ministry. I hope the boy will make his fortune.' 'Do not you design to let him pass a year at Oxford ? To what purpose? (said he). The universities do but make pedants, and I intend to breed him a man of business.'

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"As Mr. Lintot was talking, I observed he sat uneasy on his saddle, for which I expressed some solicitude. 'Nothing,' says he: 'I can bear

VISIT TO OXFORD WITH LINTOT.

141

it well enough; but since we have the day before us, methinks it would be very pleasant for you to rest awhile under the woods.' When we were alighted, See here, what a mighty pretty Horace I have in my pocket! what if you amused yourself in turning an ode till we mount again? Lord! if you pleased, what a clever miscellany might you make at leisure hours! Perhaps I may,' said I, 'if we ride on; the motion is an aid to iny fancy, a round trot very much awakens my spirits: then jog on apace, and I will think as hard as I can.'

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"Silence ensued for a full hour: after which Mr. Lintot lugged the reins, stopped short, and broke out, Well, sir, how far have you gone?' I answered, Seven miles.' Z-ds, sir,' said Lintot, 'I thought you had done seven stanzas. Oldsworth, in a ramble round Wimbleton-hill, would translate a whole ode in half this time. I will say that for Oldsworth (though I lost by his Timothys)," he translates an ode of Horace the quickest of any man in England. I remember Dr. King would write verses in a tavern three hours after he could not speak; and there is Sir Richard, in that rumbling old chariot of his, between Fleet-ditch and St. Giles's pond, shall make you half a Job."

"Pray, Mr. Lintot (said I), now you talk of translators, what is your method of managing them?" "Sir (replied he), those are the saddest pack of rogues in the world; in a hungry fit they will swear they understand all the languages in the universe. I have known one of them take down a Greek book upon my counter, and cry, "Ah, this is Hebrew, I must read it from the latter end." By the Lord, I can never be sure in these fellows, for I neither understand Greek, Latin, French, nor Italian myself. But this is my way: I agree with them for ten shillings per sheet, with a proviso, that I will have their doings corrected by whom I please; so by one or other they are led at last to the true sense of an author; my judgment giving the negative to all my translators.' 'But how are you secure those correctors may not impose upon you?' 'Why, I get any civil gentleman (especially any Scotsman), that comes into my shop, to read the original to me in English; by this I know whether my first translator be deficient, and whether my corrector merits his money or not. I'll tell you what happened to me last month: I bargained with S- for a new version

of Lucretius to publish against Tonson's, agreeing to pay the author so many shillings at his producing so many lines. He made a great progress in a very short time, and I gave it to the corrector to compare with the Latin; but he went directly to Creech's translation, and found it the same, word for word, all but the first page. Now, what

This alludes to "A Dialogue between Timothy and Philatheus, &c.," written against the rights of the Church.-Curll's Key. The "Safterwards mentioned, was George Sewel, a miscellaneous writer and translator, who died in 1726.

d'ye think I did? I arrested the translator for a cheat; nay, and I stopped the corrector's pay too, upon this proof that he had made use of Creech instead of the original.'

"Pray tell me next how you deal with the critics? Sir (said he), nothing more easy. I can silence the most formidable of them: the rich ones for a sheet apiece of the blotted manuscript, which costs me nothing; they'll go about with it to their acquaintance, and pretend they had it from the author, who submitted to their correction. This has given some of them such an air, that in time they come to be consulted with, and dedicated to, as the top critics of the town. As for the poor critics, I'll give you one instance of my management, by which you may guess at the rest. A lean man, that looked like a very good scholar, came to me t'other day; he turned over your Homer, shook his head, shrugged up his shoulders, and pished at every line of it. "One would wonder (says he) at the strange presumption of some men; Homer is no such easy task, that every stripling, every versifier"- -He was going on when my wife called to dinner; "Sir," said I, "will you please to eat a piece of beef with me?" "Mr. Lintot," said he, "I am sorry you should be at the expense of this great book, I am really concerned on your account"- "Sir, I am much obliged to you. If you can dine upon a piece of beef, together with a slice of pudding". -"Mr. Lintot, I do not say but Mr. Pope, if he would condescend to advise with men of learning""Sir, the pudding is upon the table, if you please to go in." My critic complies, he comes to a taste of your poetry, and tells me in the same breath, that the book is commendable, and the pudding excellent.

"Now, sir (concluded Mr. Lintot), in return to the frankness I have shown, pray tell me, is it the opinion of your friends at court that my Lord Lansdowne will be brought to the bar or not ?' I told him I heard he would not, and I hoped it, my Lord being one I had particular obligations to. That may be (replied Mr. Lintot), but if he is not, I shall lose the printing of a very good trial.'"*

"These, my Lord, are a few traits by which you may discern the genius of Mr. Lintot, which I have chosen for the subject of a letter. I dropt him as soon as I got to Oxford, and paid a visit to my Lord Carlton at Middleton." 237

To the young ladies at Mapledurham he transmitted an account of his visit to Oxford, which we insert as written, not as printed by Pope:

"LADIES,-I came from Stonor (its master not being at home) to Oxford the same night. Nothing could have more of that melancholy

• Lansdowne was committed to the Tower in September, 1715, and released in February, 1716-7.

Letters of Mr. A. Pope: London, 1737.

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