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lingbroke, to the lady to whom the verses were originally addressed, to Hugh Bethel, and others, who knew the verses to be his (Pope's) long before Smythe composed his play. They had appeared in the Miscellany as addressed to the lady three years before, in 1723. But were they really sent to Martha Blount in 1723? In the copy at Mapledurham there are no such lines; two contemporary manuscripts of the poem exist, and neither contains them ;14 they were not in the copy sent to Judith Cowper, and a copy printed and published in 1726 is without them. The inevitable conclusion is that Pope inserted them in the verses addressed to M. B., as published in the Miscellany, in order to found or support the charge of plagiarism against Smythe. He had made preparation for it by his anonymous letters in the Daily Journal, and the triumphant exposure was reserved for the Dunciad. Never before was so much lasting enmity built on so slender a basis! The charge of plagiarism, even in its worst shape, is feebly supported. The lines are not exactly given as a quotation, though Smythe might have argued that they were. Most of the characters in the play are made occasionally to
14 Athenæum, June 28, 1856. The writer says, "I cannot but believe that Pope had some regrets at this unworthy proceeding, for the Moore Smythe verses were omitted from the Dunciad in 1786, and struck out of the Verses to M. B.' when published by Dodsley in 1738." Pope's reason for these omissions, we suspect, was simply that he had previously (in 1735) included the lines in the Characters of Women or Moral Essays, Ep. ii. He could not well continue them in both poems. Smythe, we may suppose, had seen the lines in the hands of his friends, the Miss Blounts. He asked leave of Pope to put them into his comedy; consent was given, but afterwards withdrawn; yet Smythe included them in his condemned play, and they appeared in it when printed. Lintot had given a hundred guineas for the play, and Smythe had dedicated it to Walpole. Pope was now in high wrath, and being then engaged in preparing the Miscellany, he vindicated his right to the appropriated lines by introducing them into the Verses to Mrs. M. B., though he may have intended them for his Epistle on Women, addressed to "A Lady "-i. e. Martha Blount, to which he afterwards transferred them. Some of the lines addressed to Erinna (Judith Cowper) are also in this Epistle, and were written as early as 1723. These, along with the Moore Smythe lines, may have been seen by Bethel, &c., though not in the Birthday Verses, and Pope does not say in what poem they were seen. This is perhaps the only way in which Pope's plot can be vindicated or palliated.
SMYTHE'S "RIVAL MODES."
deliver scraps of verse. In Act II. Sagely (performed by Mills) says:
"Gone! May the common course of jilts light on you, that not one of your follies may end till it give birth to a worse.
'Tis thus that vanity coquettes rewards, &c.
The lines are not distinguished by inverted commas, but are printed in italics. Other verses, sprinkled throughout the play, are given in the same manner; and it is important to notice that in the very next page to that in which the plagiarised lines appear, two from Pope's long-published and popular Essay on Criticism are quoted or appropriated thus, and printed like the others:
"Bell. Nay, fly to altars, there I'll talk you dead.
It is difficult to reconcile this fact with Pope's warning to Smythe and Smythe's entreaty; for it is obvious that the miserable dramatist did not think it necessary that his tag verses should be supposed to be written for the play.
The masked battery against Moore Smythe was opened, as we have seen, in the Daily Journal of March 18, 1728. He made no reply, but in the same journal of April 6 there appeared an effort at satire from his pen, which, harmless as it is, Pope includes in his catalogue of the writings which provoked the Dunciad:
Notice is hereby given to all Lovers of Art, and Ingenuity,
THAT the following Collection of such uncommon Curiosities as never were yet exhibited in any publick AUCTION, belonging to a noted Person at Twickenham, who had been long since advised to leave off his Business, may be viewed there any day in the month of April instant.
Qui non credit hodie, cras credat. Ex Auto. T. R.
7. Adamantine Lungs 8. A Vermilion Prore
9. A many-coloured Maid 10. A Triple Dog 11. A singing Spear 12. A quivering Shade. 13. A dancing Cork 14. A sequestered Scene 15. A Velvet Plain. 16. An Oozy Bed 17. A Liquid Road. 18. A Branching Deer. 19. A Feather'd Fate 20. A Leaden Death 21. A Pensive Steed 22. A winged Wonder. 23. A living Cloud . 24. A brown Horror 25. A blue Languish 26. A Self-mov'd Tripod
as good as new.
the Romish School.
a copy from Blackmore.
These two go together.
both very capital.
after the Blacksmith of Antwerp.
N.B. The Gentleman's NURSE, who us'd to shew the abovementioned Collection, being lately deceas'd, Attendance will be given only in a Morning.
Before quitting the Miscellanies we shall add some particulars relative to the copyright of the work. They are of biographical interest as illustrating Pope's acuteness as a man of business, and they form a new chapter in literary history. The original documents have recently been brought to light,15 and they serve also to correct the statement often made that Swift abandoned to Pope the sum obtained for the Miscellanies, and that the sum was 1501.
The agreement between Swift and Pope and Motte the publisher was drawn up and signed March 29, 1727. For the copyright of a previous volume of Miscellanies, Motte was to pay 501.; for the new pieces he was to pay at the rate of four pounds for each printed sheet, or sixteen pages. The sum of 50%. was to be "paid down;" 1007. within two months after the publication of the two new volumes; another 1007. within four months; and in case of a fourth volume
15 In the Gentleman's Magazine. The originals are in the possession of Mr. Bathurst Woodman (see ante, p. 239), and that gentleman kindly submitted them to our inspection.
COPYRIGHT OF THE MISCELLANIES.
being added, the rate of payment was to be the same. sum of 50%. was "paid down" to Pope on the 10th of April, and he granted a receipt for the same. On the 30th of June he writes to Motte, "As to the poem which I will have to end the volume, it will make three sheets at least, and I will take time till winter to finish it. It may then be published, singly first, if proper. I'm sure it will be advantageous so to do, but say not a word of it to any man."
Swift left England in the autumn of 1727, and in the March following Pope wrote to him: "Our Miscellany [the third volume] is now quite printed. I am prodigiously pleased with this joint volume, in which methinks we look like friends side by side, serious and merry by turns, conversing interchangeably, and walking down, hand in hand, to posterity-not in the stiff forms of learned authors, flattering each other, and setting the rest of mankind at nought, but in a free, unimportant, natural, easy manner, diverting others just as we diverted ourselves." The public looked with less complacency on the joint volumes, and on the authors of this chaos of odd scraps," as Jonathan Smedley ("the other Jonathan") styled the compilation. The sale was at first slow, and the publisher, as was his wont, solicited a longer term of credit. The first instalment of 1007. was due in May, but Pope granted further time, and in June accepted a promissory note for 50l., and another note for 50%. payable to Dr. Arbuthnot. As the winter approached, Pope got anxious for a settlement:
"Nov. the 9th.
"MR. MOTTE,―This is to acquaint you, in order that I may not be disappointed a third time in the manner I last was, that at the time you desired, I will draw a bill of 251. on you, namely the 16th of this. instant, which I promised the payment of, as of the remainder, the beginning of next month. I found it very troublesome to borrow it the morning you left me, and I must acquaint you that, trying to procure it of Dr. Arbuthnot, he told me (what had I known before I should have been more vexed) that his family were made to wait for the payment of his 50%. six or seven times after he was at Bath. I am ashamed of it.
"As I would do anything in reason to make you easy, this was ill done of you. The Dean does not come to England this winter, as I was made to hope. As to what I promised you of the Miscellanies I
will keep my word as you do with me, since it presupposed your observing the conditions. It will be necessary to give Mr. Gay a note for the remainder due, and what patience he pleases he may have, but since what I heard of Dr. Arbuthnot I will take it upon myself no further. I am your sincere well-wisher and servant,-A. POPE."
It would seem as if the publisher, before finally settling the claims upon him, wished to obtain possession of the promised new poem, that was to make at least three sheets, and might be advantageously printed in a separate form. But this Pope, who had another object in view, resisted. "When you have paid the 1007., either to Mr. Gay or me," he writes to Motte, January 14th, 1728-9," or given him or me a note for it, for value received-as then the agreement for the former volumes will be made good-I will give you a full discharge, and give you a title to the other volume for 251., to which you will have liberty, on my word, to add the poem." In these negotiations respecting the "copy money" Swift's name has not appeared since he signed the agreement; but, on the 8th of March, Pope writes to Motte that he had received a letter from the Dean, desiring that Motte should send the balance of his account to the widow Hyde, in Dublin, "and she will pay it," he adds, " as to our account." Mr. John Hyde was a respectable bookseller in Dublin, mentioned in Swift's correspondence. He died in 1729, in Motte's debt; and it was no doubt to relieve the widow that Swift made this benevolent request. He intended to present her with his share of the copyright of the Miscellanies. Pope then apologised to Motte for having spoken "a passionate word or two" to him:
"I thought myself very ill used in your complaining of me to Mr. Lewis, and I was also provoked at finding from him, some time before, how you had been as backward with the Dean's note. . . . There could be no shadow of an excuse on any pretence of that book's not selling [Gulliver's Travels], which had so extraordinary a run; I desire, therefore, that you will tell me by a line when I may draw upon you for the rest of the fifty (351.), and entreat you to put me no more out of countenance with Mr. Gay, but that you'll send me a note of 50%., payable to him on demand. Upon which I will finish our whole accounts, and observe punctually what I promised you after, which, till then, you have no right to claim, as it is noway due, but an act of free good will."