This work is thoroughly representative both of Pope and of his period.
Moreover, the noble but direct and simple spirit and language of Homer were as different as possible from the spirit and language of the London drawing-rooms for which Pope wrote; hence he not only expands, as every author of a verse-translation must do in filling out his lines, but inserts new ideas of his own and continually substitutes for Homer's expressions the periphrastic and, as he held, elegant ones of the pseudo-classic diction.
From the two Homeric poems together, thanks to this device, Pope realized a profit of nearly L9000, and thus proved that an author might be independent of the publisher.
I suppose that if I once cherished such a passion for Pope personally that I would willingly have done the things that he did, and told the lies, and vented the malice, and inflicted the cruelties that the poor soul was full of, it was for the reason, partly, that I did not see these things as they were, and that in the glamour of his talent I was blind to all but the virtues of his defects, which he certainly had, and partly that in my love of him I could not take sides against him, even when I knew him to be wrong.
My reading from the first was such as to enamour me of clearness, of definiteness; anything left in the vague was intolerable to me; but my long subjection to Pope, while it was useful in other ways, made me so strictly literary in my point of view that sometimes I could not see what was, if more naturally approached and without any technical preoccupation, perfectly transparent.
The old pope however did not answer, but looked aside timidly, with a painful and gloomy expression.
To speak before three eyes," said the old pope cheerfully (he was blind of one eye), "in divine matters I am more enlightened than Zarathustra himself--and may well be so.
Only can he be blamed for the election of Julius the Second, in whom he made a bad choice, because, as is said, not being able to elect a Pope
to his own mind, he could have hindered any other from being elected Pope
; and he ought never to have consented to the election of any cardinal whom he had injured or who had cause to fear him if they became pontiffs.
The pope and Caesar Borgia first found the two future cardinals; they were Giovanni Rospigliosi, who held four of the highest dignities of the Holy See, and Caesar Spada, one of the noblest and richest of the Roman nobility; both felt the high honor of such a favor from the pope.
The pope heaped attentions upon Rospigliosi and Spada, conferred upon them the insignia of the cardinalate, and induced them to arrange their affairs and take up their residence at Rome.
You would deserve to be pope at Rome, as well as at Paris.
In the meantime, all the beggars, all the lackeys, all the cutpurses, joined with the scholars, had gone in procession to seek, in the cupboard of the law clerks' company, the cardboard tiara, and the derisive robe of the Pope of the Fools.