THE POETICAL WORKS OF ALEXANDER POPE
VOLUME TWO OF TWO
THE GENIUS AND POETRY OF POPE.
Few poets during their lifetime have been at once so much admired and so much abused as Pope. Some writers, destined to oblivion in after-ages, have been loaded with laurels in their own time; while others, on whom Fame was one day to "wait like a menial," have gone to the grave neglected, if not decried and depreciated. But it was the fate of Pope to combine in his single experience the extremes of detraction and flattery—to have the sunshine of applause and the hail-storm of calumny mingled on his living head; while over his dead body, as over the body of Patroclus, there has raged a critical controversy, involving not merely his character as a man, but his claims as a poet. For this, unquestionably, there are some subordinate reasons. Pope's religious creed, his political connexions, his easy circumstances, his popularity with the upper classes, as well as his testy temper and malicious disposition, all tended to rouse against him, while he lived, a personal as well as public hostility, altogether irrespective of the mere merit or demerit of his poetry. "We cannot bear a Papist to be our principal bard," said one class. "No Tory for our translator of Homer," cried the zealous Whigs, "Poets should be poor, and Pope is independent," growled Grub Street. The ancients could not endure that a "poet should build an house, but this varlet has dug a grotto, and established a clandestine connexion between Parnassus and the Temple of Plutus." "Pope," said others, "is hand-in-glove with Lords Oxford and Bolingbroke, and it was never so seen before in any genuine child of genius." "He is a little ugly insect," cried another class; "can such a misbegotten brat be a favourite with the beautiful Apollo?" "He is as venomous and spiteful as he is small; never was so much of the 'essence of devil' packed into such a tiny compass," said another set; "and this, to be sure, is England's great poet!" Besides these personal objections, there were others of a more solid character. While all admitted the exquisite polish and terse language of Pope's compositions, many felt that they were too artificial—that they were often imitative—that they seldom displayed those qualities of original thought and sublime enthusiasm which had formed the chief characteristics of England's best bards, and were slow to rank the author of "Eloisa and Abelard," with the creator of "Hamlet," "Othello," and "Lear;" the author of the "Rape of the Lock" with the author of "Paradise Lost;" the author of the "Pastorals," with the author of the "Faery Queen;" and the author of the "Imitations of Horace," with the author of the "Canterbury Tales." On the one hand, Pope's ardent friends erred in classing him with or above these great old writers; and on the other, his enemies were thus provoked to thrust him too far down in the scale, and to deny him genius altogether. Since his death, his fame has continued to vibrate between extremes. Lord Byron and Lord Carlisle (the latter, in a lecture delivered in Leeds in December 1850, and published afterwards) have placed him ridiculously high; while Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Bowles, have underrated him. It shall be our endeavour, in our succeeding remarks, to steer a middle course between the parties.
Lord Carlisle commenced his able and eloquent prelection by deploring the fact, that Pope had sunk in estimation. And yet, a few sentences after, he told us that the "Commissioners of the Fine Arts" selected Pope, along with Chaucer, Shakspeare, Spenser, Milton, and Dryden, to fill the six vacant places in the New Palace of Westminster. This does not substantiate the assertion, that Pope has sunk in estimation. Had he sunk to any great extent, the Commissioners would not have dared to put his name and statue beside those of the acknowledged masters of English poetry. But apart from this, we do think that Lord Carlisle has exaggerated the "Decline and Fall" of the empire of Pope. He is still, with the exception, perhaps, of Cowper, the most popular poet of the eighteenth century. His "Essay on Man," and his "Eloisa and Abelard," are probably in every good library, public and private, in Great Britain. Can we say as much of Chaucer and Spenser? Passages and lines of his poetry are stamped on the memory of all well-educated men. More pointed sayings of Pope are afloat than of any English poet, except Shakspeare and Young. Indeed, if frequency of quotation be the principal proof of popularity, Pope, with Shakspeare, Young, and Spenser, is one of the four most popular of English poets. In America, too, Lord Carlisle found, he tells us, the most cultivated and literary portion of that great community warmly imbued with an admiration of Pope.
What more would, or at least should, his lordship desire? Pope is, by his own showing, a great favourite with many wherever the English language is spoken, and that, too, a century after his death. And there are few critics who would refuse to subscribe, on the whole, Lord Carlisle's enumeration of the Poet's qualities; his terse and motto-like lines—the elaborate gloss of his mock-heroic vein—the tenderness of his pathos—the point and polished strength of his satire—the force and vraisemblance of his descriptions of character—the delicacy and refinement of his compliments, "each of which," says Hazlitt, "is as good as an house or estate"—and the heights of moral grandeur into which he can at times soar, whenever he has manly indignation, or warm-hearted patriotism, or high-minded scorn to express. If Lord Carlisle's object, then, was to elevate Pope to the rank of a classic, it was a superfluous task; if it was to justify the Commissioners in placing him on a level with Chaucer, Shakspeare, Spenser, and Milton, our remarks will show that we think it as vain as superfluous.
In endeavouring to fix the rank of a poet, there are, we think, the following elements to be analysed:—His original genius—his kind and degree of culture—his purpose—his special faculties—the works he has written—and the amount of impression he has made on, and impulse he has given to, his own age and the world. In other words, what were his native powers, and what has he done, for, by, and with them?
Now, that Pope possessed genius, and genius of a high order, we strenuously maintain. But whether this amounted to creative power, the highest quality of the poet, is a very different question. In native imagination, that eyesight of the soul, which sees in the rose a richer red, in the sky a deeper azure, in the sea a more dazzling foam, in the stars a softer and more spiritual gold, and in the sky a more dread magnificence than nature ever gave them, that beholds the Ideal always shining through and above the Real, and that lights the poet on to form within a new and more gorgeous nature, the fresh creation of his own inspired mind, Pope was not only inferior to Chaucer, Shakspeare, Spenser, and Milton, but to Young, Thomson, Collins, Burns, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Coleridge, and many other poets. His native faculty, indeed, seems rather fine than powerful—rather timid than daring, and resembles rather the petal of a rose peeping out into the summer air, which seems scarce warm enough for its shrinking loveliness, than the feather of the wing of a great eagle, dipping into the night tempest, which raves around the inaccessible rock of his birthplace. He was not eminently original in his thinking. In proof of this, many of those fine sentiments which Pope has thrown into such perfect shape, and to which he has given such dazzling burnish, are found by Watson (see the "Adventurer") in Pascal and others. Shakspeare's wisdom, on the other hand, can be traced to Shakspeare's brain, and no further, although he has borrowed the plots of his plays. Who lent Chaucer his pictures, fresh as dewdrops from the womb of the morning? Spenser's Allegories are as native to him as his dreams; and if Milton has now and then carried off a load which belonged to another, it was a load which only a giant's arm could lift, and which he added to a caravan of priceless wealth, the native inheritance of his own genius.
The highest rank of poets descend on their sublime subjects, like Uriel, descending alongst his sunbeam on the mountain tops; another order, with care, and effort, and circumspection, often with
'Labour dire and weary woe,'
reach noble heights, and there wave their hats, and dance in astonishment at their own perseverance and success. So it is with Pope in his peroration to the Dunciad, and in many other of the serious and really eloquent passages of his works. They ARE eloquent, brilliant, in composition faultless; but the intense self-consciousness of their author, and their visible elaboration, prevent them from seeming or being great. Of Pope, you say, "He smells of the midnight lamp;" of Dante, boys cried out on the street, "Lo! the man that was in hell." With the very first class of poets, artificial objects become natural, the "rod" becomes a "serpent;" with Pope, natural objects become artificial, the "serpent" becomes a "rod." Wordsworth makes a spade poetical; Pope would have made Skiddaw little better than a mass of prose.
Let us hear Hazlitt: "Pope saw nature only dressed by art; he judged of beauty by fashion; he sought for truth in the opinions of the world; he judged the feelings of others by his own. The capacious soul of Shakspeare had an intuitive and mighty sympathy with whatever could enter into the heart of man in all possible circumstances; Pope had an exact knowledge of all that he himself loved or hated, wished or wanted. Milton has winged his daring flight from heaven to earth, through Chaos and old Night; Pope's Muse never wandered in safety, but from his library to his grotto, or from his grotto into his library, back again. His mind dwelt with greater pleasure on his own garden than on the garden of Eden; he could describe the faultless whole-length mirror that reflected his own person, better than the smooth surface of the lake that reflects the face of heaven; a piece of cut glass or pair of paste-buckles with more brilliancy and effect than a thousand dewdrops glittering in the sun. He would be more delighted with a patent lamp than with the 'pale reflex of Cynthia's brow,' that fills the sky with the soft silent lustre that trembles through the cottage window, and cheers the mariner on the lonely wave. He was the poet of personality and polished life. That which was nearest to him was the greatest. His mind was the antithesis of strength and grandeur; its power was the power of indifference. He had none of the enthusiasm of poetry; he was in poetry what the sceptic is in religion. In his smooth and polished verse we meet with no prodigies of nature, but with miracles of wit; the thunders of his pen are whispered flatteries; its forked lightnings, pointed sarcasms; for the 'gnarled oak,' he gives us the 'soft myrtle;' for rocks, and seas, and mountains, artificial grass-plots, gravel-walks, and tinkling rills; for earthquakes and tempests, the breaking of a flower-pot or the fall of a China jar; for the tug and war of the elements, or the deadly strife of the passions,
"'Calm contemplation and poetic ease.'
"Yet within this retired and narrow circle, how much, and that how exquisite, was contained! What discrimination, what wit, what delicacy, what fancy, what lurking spleen, what elegance of thought, what pampered refinement of sentiment!"
A great deal of discussion took place, during the famous controversy about Pope between Bowles and Byron, on the questions—what objects are and are not fitted for poetic purposes, and whether natural or artificial objects be better suited for the treatment of the poet. In our life of Bowles we promised, and shall now proceed to attempt, a short review of the question then at issue, and which on both sides was pled with such ingenuity, ardour, and eloquence.
The question, professedly that of the province, slides away into what is the nature of poetry. The object of poetry is, we think, to show the infinite through the finite—to reveal the ideal in the real—it seeks, by clustering analogies and associations around objects, to give them a beautiful, or sublime, or interesting, or terrible aspect which is not entirely their own. Now, as all objects in comparison with the infinite are finite, and all realities in comparison with the ideal are little, it follows that between artificial and natural objects, as fitted for poetic purposes, there is no immense disparity, and that both are capable of poetic treatment. Both, accordingly, have become subservient to high poetic effect; and even the preponderance, whatever it be on the part of natural objects, has sometimes been equalised by the power of genius, and artificial things have often been made to wring the heart or awaken the fancy, as much or more than the other class. Think, for instance, of the words in Lear,
"Prithee, undo this button. Thank you, sir."
What more contemptibly artificial than a button? And yet, beating in the wind of the hysterical passion which is tearing the heart of the poor dying king, what a powerful index of misery it becomes, and its "undoing," as the sign of the end of the tragedy, and the letting forth of the great injured soul, has melted many to tears! When Lady Macbeth exclaims, in that terrible crisis,
"Give me the daggers!"'
who feels not, that, although a dagger be only an artificial thing, no natural or supernatural thing, not the flaming sword of the Cherubim itself, could seem, in the circumstances, more fearfully sublime. What action more artificial than dancing, and yet how grand it seems, in Ford's heroine, who continues to dance on till the ball is finished, while the news of "death, and death, and death" of friend, brother, husband, are successively recounted to her—and then herself expires! There seems no comparison between a diamond and a star, and yet a Shakspeare or a Schiller could so describe the trembling of a diamond on the brow say of Belshazzar when the apparition of the writing on the wall disturbed his impious feast, that it would seem more ideal and more magnificent than a star "trembling on the hand of God" when newly created, or trembling on the verge of everlasting darkness, when its hour had come. A slipper seems a very commonplace object; but how interesting the veritable slipper of Empedocles, who flung himself into Etna, whose slipper was disgorged by the volcano, and as a link, connecting the seen with the unseen, the grassy earth with the burning entrails of the eternal furnace, became intensely imaginative! A feather in a cap (even though it were an eagle's) seems, from its position, an object sufficiently artificial; but how affecting the black plume of Ravenswood floating on the waves which had engulphed the proud head that once bore it, and which old Caleb took up, dried, and placed in his bosom!
Nor are we sure that there are any objects so small or vulgar but what genius could extract poetry from them. In Pope's hands, indeed, the "clouded cane" and the "amber snuff-box" of Sir Plume assume no ideal aspect; but in Shakspeare's it might have been different; and the highest order of genius, like true catholicity of faith, counts "nothing common or unclean." What poetry Burns has gathered up even in "Poosie Nancy's," which had been lying unsuspected at the feet of beggars, prostitutes, and pickpockets! What powerful imagination there is in Crabbe's descriptions of poorhouses, prisons, and asylums; and in Wordsworth's "Old Cumberland Beggar," who, although he lived and died in the "eye of nature," was clothed in rags, and had the vulgar, mendicant meal-bag slung over his shoulders! What pathos Scott extracts from that "black bitch of a boat," which Mucklebackit, in the frenzy of his grief, accuses for the loss of his son! Which of the lower animals less poetical or coarser than a swine? and yet Shakspeare introduces such a creature with great effect in "Macbeth," in that weird dialogue of the witches—
"Where hast thou been, sister?"
And Goethe makes it ideal by mingling it with the mad revelry of the
"An able sow, with old Baubo upon her.
The whole truth on this vexed question may perhaps be summed up in the following propositions:—1st, No object, natural or artificial, is per se out of the province of imagination; 2d, There is no infinite gulf between natural and artificial objects, or between the higher and lower degrees of either, as subjects for the idealising power of poetry; 3d, Ere any object natural or artificial, become poetical, it must be subjected more or less to the transfiguring power of imagination; and, 4th, Some objects in nature, and some in art, need less of this transforming magic than others, and are thus intrinsically, although not immeasurably, superior in adaptation to the purposes of poetry.
The great point, after all, is, What eye beholds objects, whether natural or artificial? Is it a poetical eye or not? For given a poet's eye, then it matters little on what object that eye be fixed, it becomes poetical; where there is intrinsic poetry—as in mountains, the sea, the sky, the stars—it comes rushing out to the silent spell of genius; where there is less—as in artificial objects, or the poorer productions of nature—the mind of the poet must exert itself tenfold, and shed on it its own wealth and glory. Now, Pope, we fear, wanted almost entirely this true second sight. Take, for instance, the "lock" in the famous "Rape!" What fancy, humour, wit, eloquence, he brings to play around it! But he never touches it, even en passant, with a ray of poetry. You never could dream of intertwining it with
"The tangles of Neaera's hair,"
far less with the "golden tresses" and "wanton ringlets" of our primeval parent in the garden of Eden. Shakspeare, on the other hand, would have made it a dropping from the shorn sun, or a mad moonbeam gone astray, or a tress fallen from the hair of the star Venus, as she gazed too intently at her own image in the calm evening sea. Nor will Pope leave the "lock" entire in its beautiful smallness. He must apply a microscope to it, and stake his fame on idealising its subdivided, single hairs. The sylphs are created by combining the agility of Ariel with the lively impertinence of the inhabitants of Lilliput. Yet with what ease, elegance, and lingering love does he draw his petty Pucks, till, though too tiny for touch, they become palpable to vision! On the whole, had not the "Tempest" and the "Midsummer Night's Dream" existed before the "Rape of the Lock," the machinery in it would have proclaimed Pope a man of creative imagination. As it is, it proves wonderful activity of fancy. Shakspeare's delicate creations are touched again without crumbling at the touch, clad in new down, fed on a fresh supply of "honey-dew," and sent out on minor but aerial errands—although, after all, we prefer Puck and Ariel—not to speak of those delectable personages, Cobweb, Peaseblossom, and Mustardseed. Ariel's "oak," in our poet's hands, becomes a "vial"—"knotty entrails" are exchanged for a "bodkin's eye"—the fine dew of the "still vexed Bermoothes" is degraded into an "essence;" pomatum takes the place of poetry; the enchanted lock, of an enchanted isle; and the transformation of original imagination into ingenious fancy is completed before your eyes. Let the admirers of Pope, like the worshippers of Cæsar of old, "beg a hair of him for memory;" for certainly he is more at home among hairs and curls than in any field where he has chosen to exercise his powers.
About Pope originally there was a small, trivial, and stinted something which did not promise even the greatness he actually attained. We do not allude merely to his small stature, remembering that the nine-pin Napoleon overthrew half the thrones in Europe. But he possessed sana mens in sano copore, an erect figure, and was "every inch a man," although his inches were few; while in Pope, both bodily and mentally, there lay a crooked, waspish, and petty nature. His form too faithfully reflected his character. He was never, from the beginning to the close of his life, a great, broad, genial being. There was an unhealthy taint which partly enfeebled and partly corrupted him. His self-will, his ambition, his Pariah position, as belonging to the Roman Catholic faith, the feebleness of his constitution, the uncertainty of his real creed, and one or two other circumstances we do not choose to name, combined to create a life-long ulcer in his heart and temper, against which the vigour of his mind, the enthusiasm of his literary tastes, and the warmth of his heart, struggled with much difficulty. He had not, in short, the basis of a truly great poet, either in imagination or in nature. Nor, with all his incredible industry, tact, and talent, did he ever rise into the "seventh heaven of invention." A splendid sylph let us call him—a "giant angel" he was not.
His culture, like his genius, was rather elegant than profound. He lived in an age when a knowledge of the classics, with a tincture of the metaphysics of the schools, was thought a good average stock of learning, although it was the age, too, of such mighty scholars as Bentley, Clarke, and Warlburton. Pope seems to have glanced over a great variety of subjects with a rapid rechercé eye, not examined any one with a quiet, deep, longing, lingering, exhaustive look. He was no literary Behemoth, "trusting that he could draw up Jordan into his mouth." He became thus neither an ill-informed writer, like Goldsmith, whose ingenuity must make up for his ignorance, nor one of those doctorum vatum, those learned poets, such as Dante, Milton, and Coleridge, whose works alone, according at least to Buchanan, are to obtain the rare and regal palm of immortality—
"Sola doctorum monumenta vatum
That his philosophy was empirical, is proved by his "Essay on Man," which, notwithstanding all its brilliant rhetoric, is the shallow version of a shallow system of naturalism. And one may accommodate to him the well-known saying of Lyndhurst about Lord Brougham, "who would have made a capital Chancellor if he had had only a little law;" so Pope was very well qualified to have translated Homer, barring his ignorance of Greek. But every page of his writings proves a wide and diversified knowledge—a knowledge, too, which he has perfectly under control—which he can make to go a great way—and by which, with admirable skill, he can subserve alike his moral and literary purpose. But the question now arises—What was his purpose? Was it worthy of his powers? Was it high, holy, and faithfully pursued? No poet, we venture to say, can be great without a great purpose. "Purpose is the edge and point of character; it is the stamp and superscription of genius; it is the direction on the letter of talent. Character without it is blunt and torpid; talent without it is a letter which, undirected, goes nowhere; genius without it is bullion, sluggish, splendid, and uncirculating." Now, Pope's purpose seems, on the whole, dim and uncertain. He is indifferent to destruction, and careless about conserving. He is neither an infidel nor a Christian; no Whig, but no very ardent Tory either. He seems to wish to support morality, but his support is stumbling and precarious; although, on the other hand, notwithstanding his frequent coarseness of language and looseness of allusion, he exhibits no desire to overturn or undermine it. His bursts of moral feeling are very beautiful (such as that containing the noble lines—
"Vice is undone if she forgets her earth,
But they are brief, seem the result of momentary moods rather than the spray of a strong, steady current; and he soon turns from them to the expression of his petty chagrins and personal animosities. In satire, he has not the indomitable pace and deep-mouthed bellow of a Juvenal, pursuing his object like a bloodhound: he resembles more a half-angry, half-playful terrier. To obtain a terse and musical expression for his thought is his artistic purpose, but that of his mind and moral nature is not so apparent in his poetry. Indeed, we are tempted at times to class him with his own sylphs in this respect, as well as in the elegance and swiftness of his genius. They neither belonged to heaven nor hell, but vibrated between in graceful gyrations. They laughed at, and toyed with, all things—never rising to dangerous heights, never sinking into profound abysses—fancying a lock a universe, and a universe only a larger lock—dancing like evening ephemeræ in the sunbeam, which was to be their sepulchre, and shutting their tiny eyes to all the solemn responsibilities, grave uncertainties, and mysterious destinies of human nature. And so, too often, did their poet.
Pope's special faculties are easily seen, and may be briefly enumerated. Destitute of the highest imagination, and perhaps of constructive power—(he has produced many brilliant parts, and many little, but no large wholes)—he is otherwise prodigally endowed. He has a keen, strong, clear intellect, which, if it seldom reaches sublimity, never fails to eliminate sense. He has wit of a polished and vigorous kind—less easy, indeed, than Addison's, the very curl of whose lip was crucifixion to his foe. This wit, when exasperated into satire, is very formidable, for, like Addison's, it does its work with little noise. Pope whispers poetic perdition—he deals in drops of concentrated bitterness—he stabs with a poisoned bodkin—he touches his enemies into stone with the light and playful finger of a fairy—and his more elaborate invectives glitter all over with the polish of profound malignity. His knowledge of human nature, particularly of woman's heart, is great, but seems more the result of impish eavesdropping than of that thorough and genial insight which sympathy produces. He has listened at the keyhole, not by any "Open Sesame" entered the chamber. He has rather painted manners than men. His power of simulating passion is great; but the passion must, in general, be mingled with unnatural elements ere he can realise it—the game must be putrid ere he can enjoy its flavour. He has no humour, at least in his poetry. It is too much of an unconscious outflow, and partakes too much of the genial and the human nature for him. His fancy is lively and copious, but its poetical products often resemble the forced fruits of a hothouse rather than those of a natural soil and climate. His description of Sporus, lauded by Byron as a piece of imagination, is exceedingly artificial and far-fetched in its figures—a mere mass of smoked gumflowers. Compare for fancy the speeches of Mercutio, in "Romeo and Juliet," the "Rape of the Lock," if we would see the difference between a spontaneous and artificial outpouring of images, between a fancy as free as fervid, and one lashing itself into productiveness. His power of describing natural objects is far from first-rate; he enumerates instead of describing; he omits nothing in the scene except the one thing needful—the bright poetical gleam or haze which ought to have been there. There is the "grass" but not the "splendour"—the "flower" but not the "glory." In depicting character, it is very different. His likenesses of men and women, so far as manners, external features, and the contrasts produced by the accidents of circumstances and the mutation of affairs, are inimitable. His power of complimenting is superior even to that of Louis XIV. He picks out the one best quality in a man, sets it in gold, and presents it as if he were conferring instead of describing a noble gift.
"Would you be blest, despise low joys, low gains, Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains; Be virtuous, and be happy for your pains."
Pope's language seems as if it were laboriously formed by himself for his peculiar shape of mind, habits of thought, and style of poetry. Compared to all English before him, Pope's English is a new although a lesser language. He has so cut down, shorn, and trimmed the broad old oak of Shakspeare's speech, that it seems another tree altogether. Everything is so terse, so clear, so pointed, so elaborately easy, so monotonously brilliant, that you must pause to remember. "These are the very copulatives, diphthongs, and adjectives of Hooker, Milton, and Jeremy Taylor." The change at first is pleasant, and has been generally popular; but those who know and love our early authors, soon miss their deep organ-tones, their gnarled strength, their intricate but intense sweetness, their varied and voluminous music, their linked chains of lightning, and feel the difference between the fabricator of clever lines and sparkling sentences, and the former of great passages and works. In keeping with his style is his versification, the incessant tinkling of a sheep-bell—sweet, small, monotonous—producing perfectly-melodious single lines, but no grand interwoven swells and well-proportioned masses of harmony. "Pope," says Hazlitt, "has turned Pegasus into a rocking-horse." The noble gallop of Dryden's verse is exchanged for a quick trot. And there is not even a point of comparison between his sweet sing-song, and the wavy, snow-like, spirit-like motion of Milton's loftier passages; or the gliding, pausing, fitful, river-like progress of Shakspeare's verse; or the fretted fury, and "torrent-rapture" of brave old Chapman in his translation of Homer; or the rich, long-drawn-out, slow-swimming, now soft-languishing, and now full-gushing melody of Spenser's "Faery Queen."—Yet, within his own sphere, Pope was, as Scott calls him, a "Deacon of his craft;" he aimed at, and secured, correctness and elegance; his part is not the highest, but in it he approaches absolute perfection; and with all his monotony of manner and versification, he is one of the most interesting of writers, and many find a greater luxury in reading his pages than those of any other poet. He is the facile princeps of those poetical writers who have written for, and are so singularly appreciated by, the fastidious—that class who are more staggered by faults than delighted with beauties.
Our glance at his individual works must be brief and cursory. His "Ode to Solitude" is the most simple and natural thing he ever wrote, and in it he seems to say to nature, "Vale, longum vale." His "Pastorals" have an unnatural and luscious sweetness. He has sugared his milk; it is not, as it ought to be, warm from the cow, and fresh as the clover. How different his "Rural Life" from the rude, rough pictures of Theocritus, and the delightfully true and genial pages of the "Gentle Shepherd!" His "Windsor Forest" is an elegant accumulation of sweet sonnets and pleasant images, but the freshness of the dew is not resting on every bud and blade. No shadowy forms are seen retiring amidst the glades of the forest; no Uriels seem descending on the sudden slips of afternoon sunshine which pierce athwart the green or brown masses of foliage; and you cannot say of his descriptions that
"Visions, as poetic eyes avow,
Shelley studied the scenery of his fine poem, "Alastor," in the same shades with Pope; but he had, like Jonathan of old, touched his lips with a rod dipped in poetic honey, and his "eyes were enlightened" to see sights of beauty and mystery which to the other are denied. Keats could have comprised all the poetry of "Windsor Forest" into one sonnet or line; indeed, has he not done so, where, describing his soul following the note of the nightingale into the far depths of the woods, where she is pouring out her heart in song, he says—
"And with thee fade away into the forest dim?"
The "Essay on Criticism" is rather a wonderful, intellectual, and artistic feat, than a true poem. It is astonishing as the work of a boy of nineteen, and contains a unique collection of clever and sparkling sentences, displaying the highest powers of acuteness and assimilation, if not much profound and original insight or genius. This poem suggests the wish that more of our critics would write in verse. The music might lessen the malice, and set off the commonplace to advantage, so that if there were no "reason," there might be at least "rhyme." His "Lines to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady" are too elaborate and artificial for the theme. It is a tale of intrigue, murder, and suicide, set to a musical snuff-box! His "Rape of the Lock" we have already characterised. It is an "Iliad in a nutshell," an Epic of Lilliput, where all the proportions are accurately observed, and where the finishing is so exact and admirable, that you fancy the author to have had microscopic eyes. It contains certainly the most elegant and brilliant badinage, the most graceful raillery, the most finished nonsense, and one of the most exquisitely-managed machineries in the language. His "Eloisa and Abelard," a poem beautiful and almost unequalled in execution, is ill chosen in subject. He compels you indeed to weep, but you blame and trample on your tears after they are shed. Pope in this poem, as Shelley in the "Cenci," has tried to extract beauty from moral deformity, and to glorify putrefaction. But who can long love to gaze at worms, however well painted, or will be disposed to pardon the monstrous choice of a dead or demon bride for the splendour of her wedding-garment? The passion of the Eloisa and that of the Cenci were both indeed facts; but many facts should be veiled statues in the Temple of Truth. To do, however, both Pope and Shelley justice, they touch their painful and shocking themes with extreme delicacy. "Dryden," well remarks Campbell, "would have given but a coarse draught of Eloisa's passion." Pope's Epistles, Satires, Imitations, &c., contain much of the most spirited sense and elegant sarcasm in literature. The portraits of "Villars" and "Atticus" will occur to every reader as masterpieces in power, although we deem the latter grossly unjust to a good and great man. His Homer is rather an adaptation than a translation—far less a "transfusion" of the Grecian bard. Pope does not, indeed, clothe the old blind rhapsodist with a bag-wig and sword; but he does all short of this to make him a fine modern gentleman. Scott, we think, could have best rendered Homer in his ballad-rhyme. Chapman is Chapman, but he is not Homer. Pope is Pope, and Hobbes is Hobbes, and Sotheby is Sotheby, and Cowper is Cowper, each doing his best to render Homer, but none of them is the grand old Greek, whose lines are all simple and plain as brands, but like brands pointed on their edges with fire.
The "Essay on Man" ought to have been called an "Epigram on Man," or, better still, should have been propounded as a riddle, to which the word "Man" was to supply the solution. But an antithesis, epigram, or riddle on man of 1300 lines, is rather long. It seems so especially as there is no real or new light cast in it on man's nature or destiny. (We refer our readers to the notes of Dr Croly's edition for a running commentary of confutation to the "Essay on Man" distinguished by solid and unanswerable acuteness of argument.) But such an eloquent and ingenious puzzle as it is! It might have issued from the work-basket of Titania herself. It is another evidence of Pope's greatness in trifles. How he would have shone in fabricating the staves of the ark, or the fringes of the tabernacle!
The "Dunciad" is in many respects the ablest, the most elaborate, and the most characteristic of Pope's poems. In embalming insignificance and impaling folly he seems to have found, at last, his most congenial work. With what apparently sovereign contempt, masterly ease, artistic calm, and judicial gravity, does he set about it! And once his museum of dunces is completed, with what dignity—the little tyrant that he was!—does he march through it, and with what complacency does he point to his slain and dried Dunces, and say, "Behold the work of my hands!" It never seems to have occurred to him that his poem was destined to be an everlasting memorial, not only of his enemies, but of the annoyance he had met from them—at once of his strength in crushing, and his weakness in feeling, their attacks, and in showing their mummies for money.
That Pope deserves, on the whole, the name of "poet," we are willing, as aforesaid, to concede. But he was the most artificial of true poets. He had in him a real though limited vein, but did not trust sufficiently to it, and at once weakened and strengthened it by his peculiar kind of cultivation. He weakened it as a faculty, but strengthened it as an art; he lessened its inward force, but increased the elegance and facility of its outward expression. What he might have attained, had he left his study and trim gardens, and visited the Alps, Snowdon, or the Grampians—had he studied Boileau less, and Dante, Milton, or the Bible more—we cannot tell; but he certainly, in this case, would have left works greater, if not more graceful, behind him; and if he had pleased his own taste and that of his age less, he might have more effectually touched the chord of the heart of all future time by his poetry. As it is, his works resemble rather the London Colosseum than Westminster Abbey. They are exquisite imitations of nature; but we never can apply to them the words of the poet—
"O'er England's abbeys bends the sky,
Read, and admired, Pope must always be—if not for his poetry and passion, yet for his elegance, wit, satiric force, fidelity as a painter of artificial life, and the clear, pellucid English. But his deficiency in the creative faculty (a deficiency very marked in two of his most lauded poems we have not specified, his "Messiah" and "Temple of Fame," both eloquent imitations), his lack of profound thought, the general poverty of his natural pictures (there are some fine ones in "Eloisa and Abelard"), the coarse and bitter element often intermingled with his satire, the monotonous glitter of his verse, and the want of profound purpose in his writings, combine to class him below the first file of poets. And vain are all attempts, such as those of Byron and Lord Carlisle, to alter the general verdict. It is very difficult, after a time, either to raise or depress an acknowledged classic; and Pope must come, if he has not come already, to a peculiarly defined and strictly apportioned place on the shelf. He was unquestionably the poet of his age. But his age was far from being one of a lofty order: it was a low, languid, artificial, and lazily sceptical age. It loved to be tickled; and Pope tickled it with the finger of a master. It liked to be lulled, at other times, into half-slumber; and the soft and even monotonies of Pope's pastorals and "Windsor Forest" effected this end. It loved to be suspended in a state of semi-doubt, swung to and fro in agreeable equipoise; and the "Essay on Man" was precisely such a swing. It was fond of a mixture of strong English sense with French graces and charms of manner; and Pope supplied it. It was fond of keen, yet artfully managed satire; and Pope furnished it in abundance. It loved nothing that threatened greatly to disturb its equanimity or over-much to excite or arouse it; and there was little of this in Pope. Had he been a really great poet of the old Homer or Dante breed, he would have outshot his age, till he "dwindled in the distance;" but in lieu of immediate fame, and of elaborate lectures in the next century, to bolster it unduly up, all generations would have "risen and called him blessed."
We had intended some remarks on Pope as a prose-writer, and as a correspondent; but want of space has compelled us to confine ourselves to his poetry.
TRANSLATIONS AND IMITATIONS—
PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES—
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER
Index of Persons celebrated in this Poem
The 'Essay on Man' was intended to have been comprised in four books:—
The first of which, the author has given us under that title, in four epistles.
The second was to have consisted of the same number:—1. Of the extent and limits of human reason. 2. Of those arts and sciences, and of the parts of them, which are useful, and therefore attainable, together with those which are unuseful, and therefore unattainable. 3. Of the nature, ends, use, and application of the different capacities of men. 4. Of the use of learning, of the science of the world, and of wit; concluding with a satire against the misapplication of them, illustrated by pictures, characters, and examples.
The third book regarded civil regimen, or the science of politics, in which the several forms of a republic were to have been examined and explained; together with the several modes of religious worship, as far forth as they affect society; between which the author always supposed there was the most interesting relation and closest connexion; so that this part would have treated of civil and religious society in their full extent.
The fourth and last book concerned private ethics or practical morality, considered in all the circumstances, orders, professions, and stations of human life.
The scheme of all this had been maturely digested, and communicated to the Lord Bolingbroke, Dr Swift, and one or two more, and was intended for the only work of his riper years; but was, partly through ill health, partly through discouragements from the depravity of the times, and partly on prudential and other considerations, interrupted, postponed, and, lastly, in a manner laid aside.
But as this was the author's favourite work, which more exactly reflected the image of his strong capacious mind, and as we can have but a very imperfect idea of it from the disjecta membra poetae that now remain, it may not be amiss to be a little more particular concerning each of these projected books. The first, as it treats of man in the abstract, and considers him in general under every one of his relations, becomes the foundation, and furnishes out the subjects, of the three following; so that—
The second book takes up again the first and second epistles of the first book, and treats of man in his intellectual capacity at large, as has been explained above. Of this, only a small part of the conclusion (which, as we said, was to have contained a satire against the misapplication of wit and learning) may be found in the fourth book of 'The Dunciad,' and up and down, occasionally, in the other three.
The third book, in like manner, reassumes the subject of the third epistle of the first, which treats of man in his social, political, and religious capacity. But this part the poet afterwards conceived might be best executed in an epic poem; as the action would make it more animated, and the fable less invidious; in which all the great principles of true and false governments and religions should be chiefly delivered in feigned examples.
The fourth and last book pursues the subject of the fourth epistle of the first, and treats of ethics, or practical morality; and would have consisted of many members; of which the four following epistles were detached portions: the two first, on the characters of men and women, being the introductory part of this concluding book.—Warburton.
EPISTLE I.—TO SIR RICHARD TEMPLE, LORD COBHAM.
OF THE KNOWLEDGE AND CHARACTERS OF MEN.
That it is not sufficient for this knowledge to consider man in the abstract: books will not serve the purpose, nor yet our own experience singly, ver. 1. General maxims, unless they be formed upon both, will be but notional, ver. 10. Some peculiarity in every man, characteristic to himself, yet varying from himself, ver. 15. Difficulties arising from our own passions, fancies, faculties, &c., ver. 31. The shortness of life, to observe in, and the uncertainty of the principles of action in men, to observe by, ver. 37, &c. Our own principle of action often hid from ourselves, ver. 41. Some few characters plain, but in general confounded, dissembled, or inconsistent, ver. 51. The same man utterly different in different places and seasons, ver. 71. Unimaginable weaknesses in the greatest, ver. 70, &c. Nothing constant and certain but God and nature, ver. 95. No judging of the motives from the actions; the same actions proceeding from contrary motives, and the same motives influencing contrary actions, ver. 100. II. Yet to form characters, we can only take the strongest actions of a man's life, and try to make them agree: the utter uncertainty of this, from nature itself, and from policy, ver. 120. Characters given according to the rank of men of the world, ver. 135. And some reason for it, ver. 140. Education alters the nature, or at least character of many, ver. 149. Actions, passions, opinions, manners, humours, or principles, all subject to change. No judging by nature, from ver. 158 to 174. III. It only remains to find (if we can) his ruling passion: that will certainly influence all the rest, and can reconcile the seeming or real inconsistency of all his actions, ver. 175. Instanced in the extraordinary character of Clodio, ver. 179. A caution against mistaking second qualities for first, which will destroy all possibility of the knowledge of mankind, ver. 210. Examples of the strength of the ruling passion, and its continuation to the last breath, ver. 222, &c.
Yes, you despise the man to books confined,
And yet the fate of all extremes is such,
That each from other differs, first confess;
Our depths who fathoms, or our shallows finds,
Yet more; the difference is as great between
Nor will life's stream for observation stay,
True, some are open, and to all men known;
But these plain characters we rarely find;
See the same man, in vigour, in the gout;
Catius is ever moral, ever grave,
Who would not praise Patricio's high desert,
What made (says Montaigne, or more sage Charron)
Know, God and Nature only are the same:
II. In vain the sage, with retrospective eye,
Not always actions show the man: we find
But grant that actions best discover man;
'Tis from high life high characters are drawn;
'Tis education forms the common mind,
That gay free-thinker, a fine talker once,
Judge we by nature? Habit can efface,
Manners with fortunes, humours turn with climes,
III. Search, then, the ruling passion: there, alone,
Nature well known, no prodigies remain,
Yet, in this search, the wisest may mistake, 210
In this one passion man can strength enjoy,
Old politicians chew on wisdom past,
Behold a reverend sire, whom want of grace
A salmon's belly, Helluo, was thy fate;
The frugal crone, whom praying priests attend,
'Odious! in woollen! 'twould a saint provoke,'
The courtier smooth, who forty years had shined
'I give and I devise' (old Euclio said,
And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath
'Oh, save my country, Heaven!' shall be your last.
After VER. 86, in the former editions—
Triumphant leaders, at an army's head,
VER. 129, in the former editions—
Ask why from Britain Cæsar made retreat?
In the former editions, VER. 208—
Nature well known, no miracles remain.
EPISTLE II.—TO A LADY.
OF THE CHARACTERS OF WOMEN.
Nothing so true as what you once let fall—
How many pictures of one nymph we view,
Come then, the colours and the ground prepare!
Rufa, whose eye quick glancing o'er the park,
How soft is Silia! fearful to offend;
Papillia, wedded to her amorous spark,
Ladies, like variegated tulips, show,
Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild,
See Sin in state, majestically drunk;
Flavia's a wit, has too much sense to pray;
Wise wretch! with pleasures too refined to please;
Turn then from wits; and look on Simo's mate,
But what are these to great Atossa's mind?
Pictures like these, dear Madam, to design,
'Yet Chloe, sure, was form'd without a spot'—
One certain portrait may (I grant) be seen,
But grant, in public men sometimes are shown,
In men, we various ruling passions find;
That, Nature gives; and where the lesson taught
Men, some to business, some to pleasure take;
Yet mark the fate of a whole sex of queens!
Pleasure the sex, as children birds, pursue,
See how the world its veterans rewards!
Ah, friend! to dazzle let the vain design;
Oh! bless'd with temper, whose unclouded ray
And yet, believe me, good as well as ill,
Be this a woman's fame: with this unbless'd,
VER. 77 in the MS.—
In whose mad brain the mix'd ideas roll
After VER. 122 in the MS.—
Oppress'd with wealth and wit, abundance sad!
After VER. 148 in the MS.—
This Death decides, nor lets the blessing fall
After VER. 198 in the MS.—
Fain I'd in Fulvia spy the tender wife;
VER. 207 in the first edition—
In several men we several passions find;
EPISTLE III.—TO ALLEN LORD BATHURST.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
That it is known to few, most falling into one of the extremes, avarice or profusion, ver. 1., &c. The point discussed, whether the invention of money has been more commodious, or pernicious to mankind, ver. 21 to 77. That riches, either to the avaricious or the prodigal, cannot afford happiness, scarcely necessaries, ver. 89 to 160. That avarice is an absolute frenzy, without an end or purpose, ver. 113 to 152. Conjectures about the motives of avaricious men, ver. 121 to 153. That the conduct of men, with respect to riches, can only be accounted for by the order of Providence, which works the general good out of extremes, and brings all to its great end by perpetual revolutions, ver. 161 to 178. How a miser acts upon principles which appear to him reasonable, ver. 179. How a prodigal does the same, ver. l99. The due medium, and true use of riches, ver. 219. The Man of Ross, ver. 250. The fate of the profuse and the covetous, in two examples; both miserable in life and in death, ver. 300, &c. The story of Sir Balaam, ver. 339 to the end.
P. Who shall decide, when doctors disagree,
But I, who think more highly of our kind,
Like doctors thus, when much dispute has pass'd,
B. What nature wants, commodious gold bestows,
P. But how unequal it bestows, observe,
B. Trade it may help, society extend.
P. But lures the pirate, and corrupts the friend. 30
B. It raises armies in a nation's aid.
P. But bribes a senate, and the land's betray'd.
Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see,
Poor avarice one torment more would find;
B. Say! Why, take it, gold and all.
P. What riches give us, let us then inquire: Meat, fire, and clothes.
B. What more?
P. Meat, clothes, and fire. 80
Perhaps you think the poor might have their part?
Yet, to be just to these poor men of pelf,
B. Who suffer thus, mere charity should own,
P. Some war, some plague, or famine, they foresee,
Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold,
The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
Much-injured Blunt! why bears he Britain's hate?
'All this is madness,' cries a sober sage:
Hear, then, the truth: ''Tis Heaven each passion sends,
Riches, like insects, when conceal'd they lie,
Old Cotta shamed his fortune and his birth,
Not so his son; he mark'd this oversight,
The sense to value riches, with the art
B. To worth or want well-weigh'd, be bounty given,
P. Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats?
But all our praises why should lords engross?
B. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
P. Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear,
B. And what? no monument, inscription, stone?
P. Who builds a church to God, and not to fame,
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
His Grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee,
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepared
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies
The devil was piqued such saintship to behold,
Roused by the Prince of Air, the whirlwinds sweep
Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks,
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,
The Tempter saw his time; the work he plied;
Behold Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit,
A nymph of quality admires our knight;
After VER. 50, in the MS.—
To break a trust were Peter bribed with wine,
VER. 77, in the former edition—
Well then, since with the world we stand or fall,
After VER. 218 in the MS.—
Where one lean herring furnish'd Cotta's board,
After VER. 226, in the MS.—
That secret rare with affluence hardly join'd,
After VER. 250 in the MS—
Trace humble worth beyond Sabrina's shore,
VER. 287, thus in the MS.—
The register enrolls him with his poor,
VER. 337, in the former editions—
That knotty point, my lord, shall I discuss
EPISTLE IV.—TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF BURLINGTON.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality. The abuse of the word 'taste,' ver. 13. That the first principle and foundation, in this as in every thing else, is good sense, ver. 40. The chief proof of it is to follow nature, even in works of mere luxury and elegance. Instanced in architecture and gardening, where all must be adapted to the genius and use of the place, and the beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it, ver. 50. How men are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings, for want of this true foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all; and the best examples and rules will but be perverted into something burdensome or ridiculous, ver. 65 to 92. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimension, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole, ver. 97; and the second, either in joining together parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, or in the repetition of the same too frequently, ver. 105, &c. A word or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly in entertainments, ver. 133, &c. Yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered in this manner, since it is dispersed to the poor and laborious part of mankind, ver. 169 [recurring to what is laid down in the 'Essay on Man,' ep. ii. and in the epistle preceding this, ver. 159, &c.] What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men, ver. 177, &c.; and finally, the great and public works which become a prince, ver. 191, to the end.
'Tis strange, the miser should his cares employ
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted?
You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer,
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
Consult the genius of the place in all;
Still follow sense, of every art the soul,
Without it, proud Versailles! thy glory falls;
Through his young woods how pleased Sabinus stray'd,
At Timon's villa let us pass a day,
My lord advances with majestic mien,
His study! with what authors is it stored?
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed;
Another age shall see the golden ear
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil?—
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
You, too, proceed! make falling arts your care,
After VER. 22 in the MS.—
Must bishops, lawyers, statesmen have the skill
EPISTLE V. TO MR ADDISON.
OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS.
See the wild waste of all-devouring years!
Ambition sigh'd: she found it vain to trust
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine:
Oh! when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
TRANSLATIONS AND IMITATIONS.
SAPPHO TO PHAON.
FROM THE FIFTEENTH OF OVID'S EPISTLES.
Say, lovely youth, that dost my heart command,
A spring there is, whose silver waters show,
But why, alas! relentless youth, ah, why
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.
FROM THE NINTH BOOK OF OVID'S METAMORPHOSES.
She said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs;
'A lake there was with shelving banks around,
'This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight,
'Behold Andraemon and th' unhappy sire
'"If to the wretched any faith be given,
'She ceased at once to speak and ceased to be, 100
VERTUMNUS AND POMONA,
FROM THE FOURTEENTH BOOK OF OVID'S METAMORPHOSES.
The fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign;
These cares alone her virgin breast employ,
A female form at last Vertumnus wears,
'Yet this tall elm, but for this vine,' he said,
This, when the various god had urged in vain,
THE FIRST BOOK OF STATIUS'S THEBAIS.
TRANSLATED IN THE YEAR 1703.
Oedipus, King of Thebes, having, by mistake, slain his father Laius, and married his mother Jocasta, put out his own eyes, and resigned his realm to his sons Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tisiphone, to sow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last to reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the gods, declares his resolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adrastus, King of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is sent on a message to the shades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices, in the meantime, departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos, where he meets with Tydeus, who had fled from Calydon, having killed his brother. Adrastus entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo that his daughters should be married to a boar and a lion, which he understands to be meant by these strangers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this solemnity, he relates to his guests; the loves of Phoebus and Psamathe, and the story of Choroebus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality. The sacrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a hymn to Apollo.—P.
Fraternal rage, the guilty Thebes' alarms,
But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong,
The time will come when a diviner flame
What hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate?
Now wretched Oedipus, deprived of sight,
'Ye gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign,
The Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink
As stubborn steers, by brawny ploughmen broke,
Yet then no proud aspiring piles were raised, 200
But Fortune now (the lots of empire thrown)
But the vile vulgar, ever discontent,
'As when two winds with rival force contend,
And now th' almighty Father of the gods
'How long shall man the wrath of Heaven defy, 300
He said; and thus the queen of heaven return'd:
Thus in reproach and prayer the queen express'd 400
The god obeys, and to his feet applies
Meantime the banish'd Polynices roves
The hero then resolves his course to bend
'Twas now the time when Phoebus yields to night,
So fares the sailor on the stormy main, 520
Thus strove the chief, on every side distress'd;
Adrastus here his happy people sways,
Lo, hapless Tydeus, whose ill-fated hand
When thus the chiefs from different lands resort
Struck with the sight, and fix'd in deep amaze,
'Goddess of shades! beneath whose gloomy reign
Thus, seized with sacred fear, the monarch pray'd;
And now the king, his royal feast to grace,
The banquet done, the monarch gives the sign
This golden bowl with generous juice was crown'd,
Then thus the king: 'Perhaps, my noble guests,
'When by a thousand darts the Python slain,
'How mean a fate, unhappy child! is thine!
'But, touch'd with sorrow for the deed too late,
'But generous rage the bold Choroebus warms,
'But fired with rage, from cleft Parnassus' brow
'But Phoebus, ask'd why noxious fires appear,
'Bless'd be thy dust, and let eternal fame
'Merit distress'd, impartial heaven relieves: 780
'But say, illustrious guest, (adjoin'd the king) 790
The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes,
To whom the king (who felt his generous breast
'O father Phoebus! whether Lycia's coast
'Propitious hear our prayer, O power divine!
* * * * *
JANUARY AND MAY.
There lived in Lombardy, as authors write,
But in due time, when sixty years were o'er,
These thoughts he fortified with reasons still
But what so pure which envious tongues will spare?
Our grandsire Adam, ere of Eve possess'd,
A wife! ah, gentle deities! can he
These weighty motives January the sage
'My friends,' he cried (and cast a mournful look
'One caution yet is needful to be told,
'Conceive me, sirs, nor take my sense amiss;
'And since I speak of wedlock, let me say
He said; the rest in different parts divide;
First to the knight Placebo thus begun,
'Sir, I have lived a courtier all my days,
Justin, who silent sate, and heard the man,
'A heathen author, of the first degree,
''Tis well, 'tis wondrous well,' the knight replies,
'I say,' quoth he, 'by Heaven, the man's to blame,
At this the council rose without delay;
Who now but January exults with joy?
'A dame there is, the darling of my eyes,
'One only doubt remains: full oft, I've heard
This Justin heard, nor could his spleen control,
So said, they rose, nor more the work delay'd
I pass each previous settlement and deed,
And now the palace gates are open'd wide,
Bacchus himself, the nuptial feast to grace,
The beauteous dame sat smiling at the board,
Damian alone, of all the menial train,
The weary sun, as learnèd poets write,
The foe once gone, our knight prepared t' undress,
By this the sheets were spread, the bride undress'd,
But anxious cares the pensive squire oppress'd,
When now the fourth revolving day was run, 400
Who studies now but discontented May?
Were it by forceful destiny decreed,
Ye fair, draw near, let May's example move
But to my tale:—Some sages have defined 440
Full in the centre of the flowery ground
Hither the noble knight would oft repair,
But ah! what mortal lives of bliss secure?
The rage of jealousy then seized his mind,
Ah! gentle knight, what would thy eyes avail, 500
Argus himself, so cautious and so wise,
The dame at last, by diligence and care,
But now no longer from our tale to stray; 520
'Awake, my love, disclose thy radiant eyes!
This heard, to Damian straight a sign she made
It was not long ere January came,
'Here let us walk,' he said, 'observed by none,
'Consider then, my lady, and my wife,
He ceased, and May with modest grace replied,
'First may the yawning earth her bosom rend,
Thus while she spoke a sidelong glance she cast,
'Twas now the season when the glorious sun
It so befell, in that fair morning tide,
''Tis too apparent, argue what you can,
'Heaven rest thy spirit, noble Solomon!
'Thus says the king, who knew your wickedness;
'Now by my own dread majesty I swear,
'And will you so,' replied the queen, 'indeed?
'What though this slanderous Jew, this Solomon,
'But since the sacred leaves to all are free,
'Well, I'm a woman, and as such must speak;
'Nay,' quoth the king, 'dear madam, be not wroth; 700
'And so has mine' (she said)—'I am a queen:
We leave them here in this heroic strain, 710
Thus singing as he went, at last he drew
Sore sigh'd the knight to hear his lady's cry,
'With all my soul,' he thus replied again,
Now prove your patience, gentle ladies all! 740
In that nice moment, lo! the wondering knight
'What ails my lord?' the trembling dame replied,
'If this be struggling, by this holy light,
'Guard me, good angels!' cried the gentle May,
'What I have said (quoth he) I must maintain,
'By all those powers, some frenzy seized your mind 780
The knight was touch'd; and in his looks appear'd
'Ah, my loved lord! 'twas much unkind (she cried)
With that she leap'd into her lord's embrace,
Thus ends our tale, whose moral next to make,
THE WIFE OF BATH, HER PROLOGUE.
Behold the woes of matrimonial life,
Christ saw a wedding once, the Scripture says,
But let them read, and solve me if they can,
'Increase and multiply' was Heaven's command,
Paul, knowing one could never serve our turn,
I envy not their bliss, if he or she
Full many a saint, since first the world began,
Know then, of those five husbands I have had,
Presents flow'd in apace: with showers of gold
Hark, old Sir Paul! ('twas thus I used to say)
Horses (thou say'st) and asses men may try, 100
You tell me, to preserve your wife's good grace,
On Jenkin, too, you cast a squinting eye:
Why are thy chests all lock'd? on what design?
Lord! when you have enough, what need you care
Lo! thus, my friends, I wrought to my desires
Thus with my first three lords I pass'd my life,
But oh, good gods! whene'er a thought I cast
My fourth dear spouse was not exceeding true;
Now for my fifth loved lord, the last and best;
In pure goodwill I took this jovial spark,
It so befell, in holy time of Lent,
'Twas when fresh May her early blossoms yields, 290
I vow'd I scarce could sleep since first I knew him, 300
Thus day by day, and month by mouth we pass'd;
But to my tale: A month scarce pass'd away,
Stubborn as any lioness was I,
My spouse (who was, you know, to learning bred)
It chanced my husband, on a winter's night,
He had by heart the whole detail of woe
He read how Arius to his friend complain'd
Then how two wives their lords' destruction prove,
How some with swords their sleeping lords have slain,
Long time I heard, and swell'd, and blush'd, and frown'd;
But after many a hearty struggle past,
Now, Heaven, on all my husbands gone bestow
PROLOGUE AND EPILOGUES
TO A PLAY FOR MR DENNIS'S BENEFIT, IN 1733, WHEN HE WAS OLD, BLIND, AND IN GREAT DISTRESS, A LITTLE BEFORE HIS DEATH.
As when that hero, who, in each campaign,
PROLOGUE TO MR ADDISON'S 'CATO.'
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
Britons, attend: be worth like this approved,
PROLOGUE TO THOMSON'S 'SOPHONISBA.'
When Learning, after the long Gothic night,
What foreign theatres with pride have shown,
PROLOGUE, DESIGNED FOR MR D'URFEY'S LAST PLAY.
Grown old in rhyme, 'twere barbarous to discard
PROLOGUE TO 'THE THREE HOURS AFTER MARRIAGE'
Authors are judged by strange capricious rules;
How shall our author hope a gentler fate,
Gallants, look here! this fool's cap has an air, 30
EPILOGUE TO MR ROWE'S 'JANE SHORE.'
DESIGNED FOR MRS OLDFIELD.
Prodigious this! the frail one of our play
There are, 'tis true, who tell another tale,
Well, if our author in the wife offends,
If, after all, you think it a disgrace,
The basset-table spread, the tallier come;
Ah, madam, since my Sharper is untrue,
Is this the cause of your romantic strains?
Is that the grief, which you compare with mine?
A lover lost, is but a common care;
See Betty Lovet! very àpropos
Tell, tell your griefs; attentive will I stay,
Behold this equipage, by Mathers wrought,
This snuff-box,—once the pledge of Sharper's love,
Alas! far lesser losses than I bear,
But ah! what aggravates the killing smart,
Wretch that I was, how often have I swore,
How many maids have Sharper's vows deceived?
But of what marble must that breast be form'd,
What more than marble must that heart compose,
At the groom-porter's, batter'd bullies play,
Soft Simplicetta dotes upon a beau;
Cease your contention, which has been too long;
ON RECEIVING FROM THE EIGHT HON. THE LADY FRANCES SHIRLEY A STANDISH AND TWO PENS.
1 Yes, I beheld the Athenian queen
2 'Secure the radiant weapons wield;
3 Awed, on my bended knees I fell,
4 'What well? what weapon?' Flavia cries—
5 'But, friend, take heed whom you attack;
6 'You'd write as smooth again on glass,
7 'Athenian queen! and sober charms!
8 'Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
VERBATIM FROM BOILEAU.
UN JOUR DIT UN AUTEUR, ETC.
Once (says an author—where I need not say)
ANSWER TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION OF MRS HOWE.
What is prudery?
'Tis a bledam,
OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
Muse, 'tis enough: at length thy labour ends,
MACER: A CHARACTER.
When simple Macer, now of high renown,
So some coarse country wench, almost decay'd,
BY A PERSON OF QUALITY, WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733.
1 Fluttering, spread thy purple pinions,
2 Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
3 Thus the Cyprian goddess, weeping,
4 Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
5 Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
6 Mournful cypress, verdant willow,
7 Melancholy smooth Maeander,
8 Thus when Philomela, drooping,
ON A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.
1 I know the thing that's most uncommon;
2 Not warp'd by passion, awed by rumour,
3 'Has she no faults, then (Envy says), sir?'
ON HIS GROTTO AT TWICKENHAM,
COMPOSED OF MARBLES, SPARS, GEMS, ORES, AND MINERALS.
Thou who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave
After VER. 6, in the MS.—
Yon see that island's wealth, where, only free,
—i.e. Britain is the only place on the globe which feels not tyranny even to its very entrails. Alluding to the condemnation of criminals to the mines, one of the inflictions of civil justice in most countries—W.
VER. 11, in MS. it was thus—
To Wyndham's breast the patriot passions stole.
ROXANA, OR THE DRAWING-ROOM.
Roxana, from the Court returning late,
'Was it for this, that I these roses wear?
TO LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGUE.
1 In beauty or wit,
2 Impertinent schools,
3 'Twas a woman at first
4 Then bravely, fair dame,
5 But if the first Eve
ON A PORTRAIT OF LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGUE, PAINTED BY KNELLER.
The playful smiles around the dimpled mouth,
LINES SUNG BY DURASTANTI,
WHEN SHE TOOK LEAVE OF THE ENGLISH STAGE.
1 Generous, gay, and gallant nation,
2 Let old charmers yield to new;
UPON THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH'S HOUSE AT WOODSTOCK.
'See, sir, here's the grand approach,
'Thanks, sir,' cried I, ''tis very fine,
VERSES LEFT BY MR POPE.
ON HIS LYING IN THE SAME BED WHICH WILMOT, THE CELEBRATED EARL OF ROCHESTER, SLEPT IN AT ADDERBURY, THEN BELONGING TO THE DUKE OF ARGYLL, JULY 9, 1739.
1 With no poetic ardour fired,
2 Beneath thy roof, Argyll, are bred
3 Such flames as high in patriots burn,
THE CHALLENGE, A COURT BALLAD.
TO THE TUNE OF 'TO ALL YOU LADIES NOW AT LAND.'
1 To one fair lady out of Court,
2 What passes in the dark third row,
3 Then why to Courts should I repair,
4 Alas! like Schutz I cannot pun,
5 In truth, by what I can discern
6 At Leicester Fields, a house full high,
7 But should you catch the prudish itch
8 And thus, fair maids, my ballad ends;
THE THREE GENTLE SHEPHERDS.
Of gentle Philips will I ever sing,
ENGRAVED ON THE COLLAR OF A DOG WHICH I GAVE TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS.
I am His Highness' dog at Kew;
Ozell, at Sanger's call, invoked his Muse,
ON MRS PULTENEY.
With scornful mien, and various toss of air,
A FAREWELL TO LONDON
IN THE YEAR 1715.
1 Dear, damn'd, distracting town, farewell!
2 Soft B——s and rough C——s, adieu!
3 To drink and droll be Rowe allow'd
4 Farewell, Arbuthnot's raillery
5 Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go;
6 Why should I stay? Both parties rage;
7 The love of arts lies cold and dead
8 My friends, by turns, my friends confound,
9 Why make I friendships with the great,
10 Still idle, with a busy air,
11 Solicitous for others' ends,
12 Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell,
13 Adieu to all but Gay alone,
OR, A PROPER NEW BALLAD ON THE NEW OVID'S METAMORPHOSES: AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE TRANSLATED BY PERSONS OF QUALITY.
1 Ye Lords and Commons, men of wit
2 Beware of Latin authors all!
3 For not the desk with silver nails,
4 Hear how a ghost in dead of night,
5 Rare imp of Phoebus, hopeful youth!
6 Ah! why did he write poetry,
7 A desk he had of curious work,
8 Now, as he scratch'd to fetch up thought,
9 With whiskers, band, and pantaloon,
10 'Ho! Master Sam,' quoth Sandys' sprite,
11 'I hear the beat of Jacob's drums,
12 'Then lords and lordlings, squires and knights,
13 'What Fenton will not do, nor Gay,
14 'If Justice Philips' costive head
15 'Let Warwick's Muse with Ashurst join,
16 'L—— himself, that lively lord,
17 'Ye ladies, too, draw forth your pen;
18 'Now, Tonson, list thy forces all,
19 'A metamorphosis more strange
Close to the best known author Umbra sits,
Fool! 'tis in vain from wit to wit to roam;
SYLVIA, A FRAGMENT.
Sylvia my heart in wondrous wise alarm'd
Men, some to business, some to pleasure take;
IMPROMPTU TO LADY WINCHELSEA.
OCCASIONED BY FOUR SATIRICAL VERSES ON WOMEN WITS, IN 'THE RAPE OF THE LOCK.'
In vain you boast poetic names of yore,
A Bishop, by his neighbours hated,
EPIGRAM ON THE FEUDS ABOUT HANDEL AND BONONCINI.
Strange! all this difference should be
ON MRS TOFTS, A CELEBRATED OPERA SINGER.
So bright is thy beauty, so charming thy song,
THE BALANCE OF EUROPE.
Now Europe balanced, neither side prevails;
EPITAPH ON LORD CONINGSBY.
Here lies Lord Coningsby—be civil!
You beat your pate, and fancy wit will come;
EPIGRAM FROM THE FRENCH.
Sir, I admit your general rule,
EPITAPH ON GAY.
Well, then, poor G—— lies under ground!
EPIGRAM ON THE TOASTS OF THE KIT-CAT CLUB, ANNO 1716.
1 Whence deathless 'Kit-cat' took its name,
2 From no trim beaux its name it boasts,
TO A LADY, WITH THE 'TEMPLE OF FAME.'
What's fame with men, by custom of the nation,
ON THE COUNTESS OF BURLINGTON CUTTING PAPER.
1 Pallas grew vapourish once, and odd;
2 Jove frown'd, and 'Use (he cried) those eyes
3 This vexing him who gave her birth,
4 Pallas, you give yourself strange airs;
5 Alas! one bad example shown,
ON DRAWINGS OF THE STATUES OF APOLLO, VENUS, AND HERCULES,
MADE FOR POPE BY SIR GODFREY KNELLER.
What god, what genius did the pencil move,
ON BENTLEY'S 'MILTON.'
Did Milton's prose, O Charles! thy death defend?
WRITTEN IN WINDSOR FOREST.
All hail, once pleasing, once inspiring shade,
Though sprightly Sappho force our love and praise,
ODE TO QUINBUS FLESTRIN,
THE MAN MOUNTAIN, BY TITTY TIT, POET-LAUREATE TO HIS MAJESTY OF LILLIPUT. TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH.
See him stride
THE LAMENTATION OF GLUMDALCLITCH FOR THE LOSS OF GRILDRIG.
Soon as Glumdalclitch miss'd her pleasing care,
In vain she search'd each cranny of the house,
'Vain is thy courage, Grilly, vain thy boast!
'Why did I trust thee with that giddy youth?
'But ah! I fear thy little fancy roves
She spoke; but broken accents stopp'd her voice,
TO MR LEMUEL GULLIVER,
THE GRATEFUL ADDRESS OF THE UNHAPPY HOUYHNHNMS, NOW IN SLAVERY AND BONDAGE IN ENGLAND.
To thee, we wretches of the Houyhnhnm band,
O happy Yahoo! purged from human crimes,
Art thou the first who did the coast explore?
You, like the Samian, visit lands unknown,
You went, you saw, you heard; with virtue fought,
Oh would the stars, to ease my bonds, ordain,
MARY GULLIVER TO CAPTAIN LEMUEL GULLIVER.
The captain, some time after his return, being retired to Mr Sympson's in the country, Mrs Gulliver, apprehending from his late behaviour some estrangement of his affections, writes him the following expostulatory, soothing, and tenderly complaining epistle:—
Welcome, thrice welcome, to thy native place!—
Biddel, like thee, might farthest India rove;
Not touch me! never neighbour call'd me slut:
Some say the devil himself is in that mare:
My bed (the scene of all our former joys,
At early morn I to the market haste 50
These, for some moments when you deign to quit,
Oh teach me, dear, new words to speak my flame!
A FRAGMENT OF A POEM.
O Wretched B——, jealous now of all,
Through clouds of passion P——'s views are clear;
Grave, righteous S—— jogs on till, past belief,
To purge and let thee blood with fire and sword,
That those who bind and rob thee would not kill,
Of Ch—-s W—— who speaks at all,
G—-r, C—-m, B—-t, pay thee due regards,
As for the rest, each winter up they run,
Rise, rise, great W——, fated to appear,
What can thy H—- …
Though still he travels on no bad pretence,
Or those foul copies of thy face and tongue,
C——, that Roman in his nose alone,
Can the light packhorse, or the heavy steer,
The plague is on thee, Britain, and who tries
Thy nobles sl—-s, thy se—-s bought with gold
Alas! on one alone our all relies,
THE FOURTH EPISTLE OF THE FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.
Say, St John, who alone peruse
To you (the all-envied gift of heaven)
What could a tender mother's care
Amidst thy various ebbs of fear,
In spite of fears, of mercy spite,
ON ONE WHO MADE LONG EPITAPHS.
Friend, for your epitaphs I'm grieved,
ON AN OLD GATE.
ERECTED IN CHISWICK GARDENS.
O gate, how cam'st thou here?
What are the falling rills, the pendant shades,
TO MR GAY,
WHO HAD CONGRATULATED POPE ON FINISHING HIS HOUSE AND GARDENS.
'Ah, friend! 'tis true—this truth you lovers know—
'What are the gay parterre, the chequer'd shade,
When wise Ulysses, from his native coast
PRAYER OF BRUTUS.
FROM GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH.
Goddess of woods, tremendous in the chase,
LINES ON A GROTTO, AT CRUX-EASTON, HANTS.
Here shunning idleness at once and praise,
THE UNIVERSAL PRAYER
DEO OPT. MAX.
1 Father of all! in every age,
2 Thou great First Cause, least understood:
3 Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
4 What conscience dictates to be done,
5 What blessings thy free bounty gives,
6 Yet not to earth's contracted span
7 Let not this weak, unknowing hand
8 If I am right, Thy grace impart,
9 Save me alike from foolish pride,
10 Teach me to feel another's woe,
11 Mean though I am, not wholly so,
12 This day, be bread and peace my lot:
13 To Thee, whose temple is all space,
IN FOUR BOOKS.
A LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER,
OCCASIONED BY THE FIRST CORRECT EDITION OF THE DUNCIAD.
It is with pleasure I hear that you have procured a correct copy of 'The Dunciad,' which the many surreptitious ones have rendered so necessary; and it is yet with more, that I am informed it will be attended with a commentary; a work so requisite, that I cannot think the author himself would have omitted it, had he approved of the first appearance of this poem.
Such notes as have occurred to me I herewith send you: you will oblige me by inserting them amongst those which are, or will be, transmitted to you by others; since not only the author's friends but even strangers appear engaged by humanity, to take some care of an orphan of so much genius and spirit, which its parent seems to have abandoned from the very beginning, and suffered to step into the world naked, unguarded, and unattended.
It was upon reading some of the abusive papers lately published, that my great regard to a person, whose friendship I esteem as one of the chief honours of my life, and a much greater respect to truth, than to him or any man living, engaged me in inquiries, of which the enclosed notes are the fruit.
I perceived that most of these authors had been (doubtless very wisely) the first aggressors. They had tried till they were weary, what was to be got by railing at each other; nobody was either concerned or surprised, if this or that scribbler was proved a dunce. But every one was curious to read what could be said to prove Mr Pope one, and was ready to pay something for such a discovery; a stratagem which, would they fairly own it, might not only reconcile them to me, but screen them from the resentment of their lawful superiors, whom they daily abuse, only (as I charitably hope) to get that by them, which they cannot get from them.
I found this was not all. Ill success in that had transported them to personal abuse, either of himself, or (what I think he could less forgive) of his friends. They had called men of virtue and honour bad men, long before he had either leisure or inclination to call them bad writers; and some had been such old offenders, that he had quite forgotten their persons as well as their slanders, till they were pleased to revive them.
Now what had Mr Pope done before to incense them? He had published those works which are in the hands of everybody, in which not the least mention is made of any of them. And what has he done since? He has laughed, and written 'The Dunciad.' What has that said of them? A very serious truth, which the public had said before, that they were dull; and what it had no sooner said, but they themselves were at great pains to procure, or even purchase, room in the prints to testify under their hands to the truth of it.
I should still have been silent, if either I had seen any inclination in my friend to be serious with such accusers, or if they had only meddled with his writings; since whoever publishes, puts himself on his trial by his country. But when his moral character was attacked, and in a manner from which neither truth nor virtue can secure the most innocent; in a manner which, though it annihilates the credit of the accusation with the just and impartial, yet aggravates very much the guilt of the accusers; I mean by authors without names; then I thought, since the danger was common to all, the concern ought to be so; and that it was an act of justice to detect the authors, not only on this account, but as many of them are the same who, for several years past, have made free with the greatest names in Church and State, exposed to the world the private misfortunes of families, abused all, even to women, and whose prostituted papers (for one or other party, in the unhappy divisions of their country) have insulted the fallen, the friendless, the exiled, and the dead.
Besides this, which I take to be a public concern, I have already confessed I had a private one. I am one of that number who have long loved and esteemed Mr Pope; and had often declared it was not his capacity or writings (which we ever thought the least valuable part of his character), but the honest, open, and beneficent man, that we most esteemed, and loved in him. Now if what these people say were believed, I must appear to all my friends either a fool, or a knave; either imposed on myself, or imposing on them; so that I am as much interested in the confutation of these calumnies as he is himself.
I am no author, and consequently not to be suspected either of jealousy or resentment against any of the men, of whom scarce one is known to me by sight; and as for their writings, I have sought them (on this one occasion) in vain, in the closets and libraries of all my acquaintance. I had still been in the dark if a gentleman had not procured me (I suppose from some of themselves, for they are generally much more dangerous friends than enemies) the passages I send you. I solemnly protest I have added nothing to the malice or absurdity of them; which it behoves me to declare, since the vouchers themselves will be so soon and so irrecoverably lost. You may in some measure prevent it, by preserving at least their titles, and discovering (as far as you can depend on the truth of your information) the names of the concealed authors.
The first objection I have heard made to the poem is, that the persons are too obscure for satire. The persons themselves, rather than allow the objection, would forgive the satire; and if one could be tempted to afford it a serious answer, were not all assassinates, popular insurrections, the insolence of the rabble without doors, and of domestics within, most wrongfully chastised, if the meanness of offenders indemnified them from punishment? On the contrary, obscurity renders them more dangerous, as less thought of: law can pronounce judgment only on open facts; morality alone can pass censure on intentions of mischief; so that for secret calumny, or the arrow flying in the dark, there is no public punishment left, but what a good writer inflicts.
The next objection is, that these sort of authors are poor. That might be pleaded as an excuse at the Old Bailey for lesser crimes than defamation (for 'tis the case of almost all who are tried there), but sure it can be none: for who will pretend that the robbing another of his reputation supplies the want of it in himself? I question not but such authors are poor, and heartily wish the objection were removed by any honest livelihood. But poverty is here the accident, not the subject: he who describes malice and villany to be pale and meagre, expresses not the least anger against paleness or leanness, but against malice and villany. The apothecary in Romeo and Juliet is poor; but is he therefore justified in vending poison? Not but poverty itself becomes a just subject of satire, when it is the consequence of vice, prodigality, or neglect of one's lawful calling; for then it increases the public burden, fills the streets and highways with robbers, and the garrets with clippers, coiners, and weekly journalists.
But admitting that two or three of these offend less in their morals than in their writings, must poverty make nonsense sacred? If so, the fame of bad authors would be much better consulted than that of all the good ones in the world; and not one of a hundred had ever been called by his right name.
They mistake the whole matter: it is not charity to encourage them in the way they follow, but to get them out of it; for men are not bunglers because they are poor, but they are poor because they are bunglers.
Is it not pleasant enough to hear our authors crying out on the one hand, as if their persons and characters were too sacred for satire; and the public objecting on the other, that they are too mean even for ridicule? But whether bread or fame be their end, it must be allowed, our author, by and in this poem, has mercifully given them a little of both.
There are two or three who, by their rank and fortune, have no benefit from the former objections, supposing them good; and these I was sorry to see in such company. But if, without any provocation, two or three gentlemen will fall upon one, in an affair wherein his interest and reputation are equally embarked, they cannot, certainly, after they have been content to print themselves his enemies, complain of being put into the number of them.
Others, I am told, pretend to have been once his friends. Surely they are their enemies who say so, since nothing can be more odious than to treat a friend as they have done. But of this I cannot persuade myself, when I consider the constant and eternal aversion of all bad writers to a good one.
Such as claim a merit from being his admirers, I would gladly ask, if it lays him under a personal obligation? At that rate, he would be the most obliged humble servant in the world. I dare swear for these in particular, he never desired them to be his admirers, nor promised in return to be theirs: that had truly been a sign he was of their acquaintance; but would not the malicious world have suspected such an approbation of some motive worse than ignorance in the author of the Essay on Criticism? Be it as it will, the reasons of their admiration and of his contempt are equally subsisting, for his works and theirs are the very same that they were.
One, therefore, of their assertions I believe may be true—'That he has a contempt for their writings.' And there is another, which would probably be sooner allowed by himself than by any good judge beside— 'That his own have found too much success with the public.' But as it cannot consist with his modesty to claim this as justice, it lies not on him, but entirely on the public, to defend its own judgment.
There remains what in my opinion might seem a better plea for these people than any they have made use of. If obscurity or poverty were to exempt a man from satire, much more should folly or dulness, which are still more involuntary; nay, as much so as personal deformity. But even this will not help them: deformity becomes an object of ridicule when a man sets up for being handsome; and so must dulness when he sets up for a wit. They are not ridiculed because ridicule in itself is, or ought to be, a pleasure, but because it is just to undeceive and vindicate the honest and unpretending part of mankind from imposition, because particular interest ought to yield to general, and a great number who are not naturally fools ought never to be made so, in complaisance to a few who are. Accordingly we find that in all ages, all vain pretenders, were they ever so poor or ever so dull, have been constantly the topics of the most candid satirists, from the Codrus of Juvenal to the Damon of Boileau.
Having mentioned Boileau, the greatest poet and most judicious critic of his age and country, admirable for his talents, and yet perhaps more admirable for his judgment in the proper application of them, I cannot help remarking the resemblance betwixt him and our author, in qualities, fame, and fortune, in the distinctions shown them by their superiors, in the general esteem of their equals, and in their extended reputation amongst foreigners; in the latter of which ours has met with the better fate, as he has had for his translators persons of the most eminent rank and abilities in their respective nations. But the resemblance holds in nothing more than in their being equally abused by the ignorant pretenders to poetry of their times, of which not the least memory will remain but in their own writings, and in the notes made upon them. What Boileau has done in almost all his poems, our author has only in this: I dare answer for him he will do it in no more; and on this principle, of attacking few but who had slandered him, he could not have done it at all, had he been confined from censuring obscure and worthless persons, for scarce any other were his enemies. However, as the parity is so remarkable, I hope it will continue to the last; and if ever he shall give us an edition of this poem himself, I may see some of them treated as gently, on their repentance or better merit, as Perrault and Quinault were at last by Boileau.
In one point I must be allowed to think the character of our English poet the more amiable. He has not been a follower of fortune or success; he has lived with the great without flattery—been a friend to men in power, without pensions, from whom, as he asked, so he received no favour but what was done him in his friends. As his satires were the more just for being delayed, so were his panegyrics; bestowed only on such persons as he had familiarly known, only for such virtues as he had long observed in them, and only at such times as others cease to praise, if not begin to calumniate them—I mean, when out of power or out of fashion. A satire, therefore, on writers so notorious for the contrary practice, became no man so well as himself; as none, it is plain, was so little in their friendships, or so much in that of those whom they had most abused—namely, the greatest and best of all parties. Let me add a further reason, that, though engaged in their friendships, he never espoused their animosities; and can almost singly challenge this honour, not to have written a line of any man, which, through guilt, through shame, or through fear, through variety of fortune, or change of interests, he was ever unwilling to own.
I shall conclude with remarking, what a pleasure it must be to every reader of humanity to see all along, that our author in his very laughter is not indulging his own ill-nature, but only punishing that of others. As to his poem, those alone are capable of doing it justice, who, to use the words of a great writer, know how hard it is (with regard both to his subject and his manner) vetustis dare novitatem, obsoletis nitorem, obscuris lucem, fastiditis gratiam.—I am
Your most humble servant,
MARTINUS SCRIBLERUS HIS PROLEGOMENA AND ILLUSTRATIONS TO THE DUNCIAD:
WITH THE HYPERCRITICS OF ARISTARCHUS.
DENNIS, REMARKS ON PR. ARTHUR.
I cannot but think it the most reasonable thing in the world to distinguish good writers, by discouraging the bad. Nor is it an ill-natured thing, in relation even to the very persons upon whom the reflections are made. It is true, it may deprive them, a little the sooner, of a short profit and a transitory reputation; but then it may have a good effect, and oblige them (before it be too late) to decline that for which they are so very unfit, and to have recourse to something in which they may be more successful.
CHARACTER OF MR P., 1716.
The persons whom Boileau has attacked in his writings have been for the most part authors, and most of those authors, poets: and the censures he hath passed upon them have been confirmed by all Europe.
GILDON, PREF. TO HIS NEW REHEARSAL.
It is the common cry of the poetasters of the town, and their fautors, that it is an ill-natured thing to expose the pretenders to wit and poetry. The judges and magistrates may, with full as good reason, be reproached with ill-nature for putting the laws in execution against a thief or impostor. The same will hold in the republic of letters, if the critics and judges will let every ignorant pretender to scribbling pass on the world.
THEOBALD, LETTER TO MIST, JUNE 22, 1728.
Attacks may be levelled either against failures in genius, or against the pretensions of writing without one.
CONCANEN, DED. TO THE AUTHOR OF THE DUNCIAD.
A satire upon dulness is a thing that has been used and allowed in all ages.
Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, wicked scribbler.
TESTIMONIES OF AUTHORS
CONCERNING OUR POET AND HIS WORKS.
M. SCRIBLERUS LECTORI S.
Before we present thee with our exercitations on this most delectable poem (drawn from the many volumes of our Adversaria on modern authors) we shall here, according to the laudable usage of editors, collect the various judgments of the learned concerning our Poet: various indeed, not only of different authors, but of the same author at different seasons. Nor shall we gather only the testimonies of such eminent wits as would of course descend to posterity, and consequently be read without our collection; but we shall likewise, with incredible labour, seek out for divers others, which, but for this our diligence, could never, at the distance of a few months, appear to the eye of the most curious. Hereby thou may'st not only receive the delectation of variety, but also arrive at a more certain judgment, by a grave and circumspect comparison of the witnesses with each other, or of each with himself. Hence also, thou wilt be enabled to draw reflections, not only of a critical, but a moral nature, by being let into many particulars of the person as well as genius, and of the fortune as well as merit, of our author: in which, if I relate some things of little concern peradventure to thee, and some of as little even to him, I entreat thee to consider how minutely all true critics and commentators are wont to insist upon such, and how material they seem to themselves, if to none other. Forgive me, gentle reader, if (following learned example) I ever and anon become tedious: allow me to take the same pains to find whether my author were good or bad, well or ill-natured, modest or arrogant; as another, whether his author was fair or brown, short or tall, or whether he wore a coat or a cassock.
We purposed to begin with his life, parentage, and education: but as to these, even his cotemporaries do exceedingly differ. One saith, he was educated at home; another, that he was bred at St Omer's by Jesuits; a third, not at St Omer's, but at Oxford; a fourth, that he had no University education at all. Those who allow him to be bred at home differ as much concerning his tutor: one saith, he was kept by his father on purpose; a second, that he was an itinerant priest; a third, that he was a parson; one calleth him a secular clergyman of the Church of Rome; another, a monk. As little do they agree about his father, whom one supposeth, like the father of Hesiod, a tradesman or merchant; another, a husbandman; another, a hatter, &c. Nor has an author been wanting to give our Poet such a father as Apuleius hath to Plato, Jamblichus to Pythagoras, and divers to Homer, namely, a demon: For thus Mr Gildon: 'Certain it is, that his original is not from Adam, but the Devil; and that he wanteth nothing but horns and tail to be the exact resemblance of his infernal Father.' Finding, therefore, such contrariety of opinions, and (whatever be ours of this sort of generation) not being fond to enter into controversy, we shall defer writing the life of our Poet, till authors can determine among themselves what parents or education he had, or whether he had any education or parents at all.
Proceed we to what is more certain, his Works, though not less uncertain the judgments concerning them; beginning with his Essay on Criticism, of which hear first the most ancient of critics—
MR JOHN DENNIS.
'His precepts are false or trivial, or both; his thoughts are crude and abortive, his expressions absurd, his numbers harsh and unmusical, his rhymes trivial and common:—instead of majesty, we have something that is very mean; instead of gravity, something that is very boyish; and instead of perspicuity and lucid order, we have but too often obscurity and confusion.' And in another place: 'What rare numbers are here! Would not one swear that this youngster had espoused some antiquated Muse, who had sued out a divorce from some superannuated sinner, upon account of impotence, and who, being poxed by her former spouse, has got the gout in her decrepid age, which makes her hobble so damnably.'
No less peremptory is the censure of our hypercritical historian,
'I dare not say anything of the Essay on Criticism in verse; but if any more curious reader has discovered in it something new which is not in Dryden's prefaces, dedications, and his Essay on Dramatic Poetry, not to mention the French critics, I should be very glad to have the benefit of the discovery.'
He is followed (as in fame, so in judgment) by the modest and simple-minded
MR LEONARD WELSTED,
who, out of great respect to our poet not naming him, doth yet glance at his essay, together with the Duke of Buckingham's, and the criticisms of Dryden, and of Horace, which he more openly taxeth: 'As to the numerous treatises, essays, arts, &c., both in verse and prose, that have been written by the moderns on this ground-work, they do but hackney the same thoughts over again, making them still more trite. Most of their pieces are nothing but a pert, insipid heap of common-place. Horace has even, in his Art of Poetry, thrown out several things which plainly shew he thought an Art of Poetry was of no use, even while he was writing one.'
To all which great authorities, we can only oppose that of
'The Art of Criticism (saith he), which was published some months since, is a master-piece in its kind. The observations follow one another, like those in Horace's Art of Poetry, without that methodical regularity which would have been requisite in a prose writer. They are some of them uncommon, but such as the reader must assent to, when he sees them explained with that ease and perspicuity in which they are delivered. As for those which are the most known and the most received, they are placed in so beautiful a light, and illustrated with such apt allusions, that they have in them all the graces of novelty, and make the reader, who was before acquainted with them, still more convinced of their truth and solidity. And here give me leave to mention what Monsieur Boileau has so well enlarged upon in the preface to his works—that wit and fine writing doth not consist so much in advancing things that are new, as in giving things that are known an agreeable turn. It is impossible for us, who live in the latter ages of the world, to make observations in criticism, morality, or any art or science, which have not been touched upon by others; we have little else left us but to represent the common sense of mankind in more strong, more beautiful, or more uncommon lights. If a reader examines Horace's Art of Poetry, he will find but few precepts in it which he may not meet with in Aristotle, and which were not commonly known by all the poets of the Augustan age. His way of expressing and applying them, not his invention of them, is what we are chiefly to admire.'
'Longinus, in his Reflections, has given us the same kind of sublime which he observes in the several passages that occasioned them: I cannot but take notice that our English author has, after the same manner, exemplified several of the precepts in the very precepts themselves.' He then produces some instances of a particular beauty in the numbers, and concludes with saying, 'that there are three poems in our tongue of the same nature, and each a master-piece in its kind—the Essay on Translated Verse, the Essay on the Art of Poetry, and the Essay on Criticism.'
Of WINDSOR FOREST, positive is the judgment of the affirmative
MR JOHN DENNIS,
'That it is a wretched rhapsody, impudently writ in emulation of the Cooper's Hill of Sir John Denham. The author of it is obscure, is ambiguous, is affected, is temerarious, is barbarous.'
But the author of the Dispensary,
in the preface to his poem of Claremont, differs from this opinion:
Of the Epistle of ELOISA, we are told by the obscure writer of a poem called Sawney, 'That because Prior's Henry and Emma charmed the finest tastes, our author writ his Eloise in opposition to it, but forgot innocence and virtue: if you take away her tender thoughts and her fierce desires, all the rest is of no value.' In which, methinks, his judgment resembleth that of a French tailor on a villa and gardens by the Thames: 'All this is very fine, but take away the river and it is good for nothing.'
But very contrary hereunto was the opinion of
himself, saying in his Alma—
'O Abelard! ill-fated youth,
Come we now to his translation of the ILIAD, celebrated by numerous pens, yet shall it suffice to mention the indefatigable
SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE, KT.,
who (though otherwise a severe censurer of our author) yet styleth this a 'laudable translation.' That ready writer,
in his forementioned essay, frequently commends the same. And the painful
MR LEWIS THEOBALD
thus extols it: 'The spirit of Homer breathes all through this translation.—I am in doubt whether I should most admire the justness to the original, or the force and beauty of the language, or the sounding variety of the numbers: but when I find all these meet, it puts me in mind of what the poet says of one of his heroes, that he alone raised and flung with ease a weighty stone, that two common men could not lift from the ground; just so, one single person has performed in this translation what I once despaired to have seen done by the force of several masterly hands.' Indeed, the same gentleman appears to have changed his sentiment in his Essay on the Art of Sinking in Reputation (printed in Mist's Journal, March 30, 1728,) where he says thus:—'In order to sink in reputation, let him take into his head to descend into Homer (let the world wonder, as it will, how the devil he got there), and pretend to do him into English, so his version denote his neglect of the manner how.' Strange variation! We are told in
MIST'S JOURNAL, JUNE 8,
'That this translation of the Iliad was not in all respects conformable to the fine taste of his friend, Mr Addison; insomuch that he employed a younger Muse in an undertaking of this kind, which he supervised himself.' Whether Mr Addison did find it conformable to his taste or not, best appears from his own testimony the year following its publication, in these words:
MR ADDISON, FREEHOLDER, NO. 40.
'When I consider myself as a British freeholder, I am in a particular manner pleased with the labours of those who have improved our language with the translations of old Greek and Latin authors.—We have already most of their historians in our own tongue, and what is more for the honour of our language, it has been taught to express with elegance the greatest of their poets in each nation. The illiterate among our own countrymen may learn to judge from Dryden's Virgil of the most perfect epic performance. And those parts of Homer which have been published already by Mr Pope, give us reason to think that the Iliad will appear in English with as little disadvantage to that immortal poem.'
As to the rest, there is a slight mistake, for this younger Muse was an elder: nor was the gentleman (who is a friend of our author) employed by Mr Addison to translate it after him, since he saith himself that he did it before. Contrariwise that Mr Addison engaged our author in this work appeareth by declaration thereof in the preface to the Iliad, printed some time before his death, and by his own letters of October 26, and November 2, 1713, where he declares it his opinion that no other person was equal to it.
Next comes his Shakspeare on the stage: 'Let him (quoth one, whom I take to be
MR THEOBALD, MIST'S JOURNAL, JUNE 8, 1728,)
publish such an author as he has least studied, and forget to discharge even the dull duty of an editor. In this project let him lend the bookseller his name (for a competent sum of money) to promote the credit of an exorbitant subscription.' Gentle reader, be pleased to cast thine eye on the proposal below quoted, and on what follows (some months after the former assertion) in the same journalist of June 8. 'The bookseller proposed the book by subscription, and raised some thousands of pounds for the same: I believe the gentleman did not share in the profits of this extravagant subscription.
'After the Iliad, he undertook (saith
MIST'S JOURNAL, JUNE 8, 1728,)
the sequel of that work, the Odyssey; and having secured the success by a numerous subscription, he employed some underlings to perform what, according to his proposals, should come from his own hands.' To which heavy charge we can in truth oppose nothing but the words of
MR POPE'S PROPOSAL FOR THE ODYSSEY, (PRINTED BY J. WATTS, JAN. 10, 1724.)
'I take this occasion to declare that the subscription for Shakspeare belongs wholly to Mr Tonson: And that the benefit of this proposal is not solely for my own use, but for that of two of my friends, who have assisted me in this work.' But these very gentlemen are extolled above our poet himself in another of Mist's Journals, March 30, 1728, saying, 'That he would not advise Mr Pope to try the experiment again of getting a great part of a book done by assistants, lest those extraneous parts should unhappily ascend to the sublime, and retard the declension of the whole.' Behold! these underlings are become good writers!
If any say, that before the said proposals were printed, the subscription was begun without declaration of such assistance, verily those who set it on foot, or (as their term is) secured it, to wit, the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Harcourt, were he living, would testify, and the Right Honourable the Lord Bathurst, now living, doth testify the same is a falsehood.
Sorry I am, that persons professing to be learned, or of whatever rank of authors, should either falsely tax, or be falsely taxed. Yet let us, who are only reporters, be impartial in our citations, and proceed.
MIST'S JOURNAL, JUNE 8, 1728.
'Mr Addison raised this author from obscurity, obtained him the acquaintance and friendship of the whole body of our nobility, and transferred his powerful interests with those great men to this rising bard, who frequently levied by that means unusual contributions on the public.' Which surely cannot be, if, as the author of The Dunciad Dissected reporteth, 'Mr Wycherley had before introduced him into a familiar acquaintance with the greatest peers and brightest wits then living.'
'No sooner (saith the same journalist) was his body lifeless, but this author, reviving his resentment, libelled the memory of his departed friend; and, what was still more heinous, made the scandal public.' Grievous the accusation! unknown the accuser! the person accused no witness in his own cause; the person, in whose regard accused, dead! But if there be living any one nobleman whose friendship, yea, any one gentleman whose subscription Mr Addison procured to our author, let him stand forth that truth may appear! Amicus Plato, amicus Socrates, sed magis amica veritas. In verity, the whole story of the libel is a lie. Witness those persons of integrity, who, several years before Mr Addison's decease, did see and approve of the said verses, in nowise a libel but a friendly rebuke sent privately in our author's own hand to Mr Addison himself, and never made public, till after their own journals and Curll had printed the same. One name alone, which I am here authorised to declare, will sufficiently evince this truth, that of the Eight Honourable the Earl of Burlington.
Next is he taxed with a crime (in the opinion of some authors, I doubt, more heinous than any in morality) to wit, plagiarism, from the inventive and quaint-conceited
JAMES MOORE SMITH, GENT.
'Upon reading the third volume of Pope's Miscellanies, I found five lines which I thought excellent; and happening to praise them, a gentleman produced a modern comedy (the Rival Modes) published last year, where were the same verses to a tittle. These gentlemen are undoubtedly the first plagiaries that pretend to make a reputation by stealing from a man's works in his own life-time, and out of a public print.' Let us join to this what is written by the author of the Rival Modes, the said Mr James Moore Smith, in a letter to our author himself, who had informed him, a month before that play was acted, Jan. 27, 1726-7, that 'these verses, which he had before given him leave to insert in it, would be known for his, some copies being got abroad. He desires, nevertheless, that since the lines had been read in his comedy to several, Mr P. would not deprive it of them,' &c. Surely if we add the testimonies of the Lord Bolingbroke, of the lady to whom the said verses were originally addressed, of Hugh Bethel, Esq., and others, who knew them as our author's, long before the said gentleman composed his play, it is hoped the ingenuous that affect not error will rectify their opinion by the suffrage of so honourable personages.
And yet followeth another charge, insinuating no less than his enmity both to Church and State, which could come from no other informer than the said
MR JAMES MOORE SMITH.
'The Memoirs of a Parish Clerk was a very dull and unjust abuse of a person who wrote in defence of our religion and constitution, and who has been dead many years.' This seemeth also most untrue, it being known to divers that these memoirs were written at the seat of the Lord Harcourt in Oxfordshire, before that excellent person (Bishop Burnet's) death, and many years before the appearance of that history of which they are pretended to be an abuse. Most true it is that Mr Moore had such a design, and was himself the man who pressed Dr Arbuthnot and Mr Pope to assist him therein; and that he borrowed those memoirs of our author, when that history came forth, with intent to turn them to such abuse. But being able to obtain from our author but one single hint, and either changing his mind, or having more mind than ability, he contented himself to keep the said memoirs, and read them as his own to all his acquaintance. A noble person there is, into whose company Mr Pope once chanced to introduce him, who well remembereth the conversation of Mr Moore to have turned upon the 'contempt he had for the work of that reverend prelate, and how full he was of a design he declared himself to have of exposing it.' This noble person is the Earl of Peterborough.
Here in truth should we crave pardon of all the foresaid right honourable and worthy personages, for having mentioned them in the same page with such weekly riff-raff railers and rhymers, but that we had their ever-honoured commands for the same; and that they are introduced not as witnesses in the controversy, but as witnesses that cannot be controverted; not to dispute, but to decide.
Certain it is, that dividing our writers into two classes, of such who were acquaintance, and of such who were strangers to our author; the former are those who speak well, and the other those who speak evil of him. Of the first class, the most noble
JOHN DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
sums up his character in these lines:
'And yet so wondrous, so sublime a thing,
So also is he deciphered by the honourable
'Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose,
Recorded in like manner for his virtuous disposition and gentle bearing, by the ingenious
MR WALTER HART,
in this apostrophe:
'Oh! ever worthy, ever crown'd with praise!
The witty and moral satirist,
DR EDWARD YOUNG,
wishing some check to the corruption and evil manners of the times, calleth out upon our poet to undertake a task so worthy of his virtue:
'Why slumbers Pope, who leads the Muses' train,
in his epistle on Verbal Criticism:
'Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends his lays;
that delicate and correct imitator of Tibullus, in his Love Elegies, Elegy xiv.:
'Now, fired by Pope and Virtue, leave the age,
in his elegant and philosophical poem of the Seasons:
'Although not sweeter his own Homer sings,
To the same tune also singeth that learned clerk of Suffolk,
MR WILLIAM BROOME.
'Thus, nobly rising in fair Virtue's cause,
And to close all, hear the reverend Dean of St Patrick's:
'A soul with every virtue fraught,
Let us now recreate thee by turning to the other side, and showing his character drawn by those with whom he never conversed, and whose countenances he could not know, though turned against him: first again, commencing with the high-voiced and never-enough quoted
MR JOHN DENNIS,
who, in his 'Reflections on the Essay on Criticism,' thus describeth him, 'A little affected hypocrite, who has nothing in his mouth but candour, truth, friendship, good-nature, humanity, and magnanimity. He is so great a lover of falsehood, that, whenever he has a mind to calumniate his cotemporaries, he brands them with some defect which is just contrary to some good quality for which all their friends and their acquaintance commend them. He seems to have a particular pique to people of quality, and authors of that rank. He must derive his religion from St Omer's.' But in the character of Mr P. and his writings (printed by S. Popping, 1716), he saith, 'Though he is a professor of the worst religion, yet he laughs at it;' but that 'nevertheless he is a virulent Papist; and yet a pillar for the Church of England.'
Of both which opinions
MR LEWIS THEOBALD
seems also to be; declaring, in Mist's Journal of June 22, 1718—'That, if he is not shrewdly abused, he made it his practice to cackle to both parties in their own sentiments.' But, as to his pique against people of quality, the same journalist doth not agree, but saith (May 8, 1728)— 'He had, by some means or other, the acquaintance and friendship of the whole body of our nobility.'
However contradictory this may appear, Mr Dennis and Gildon, in the character last cited, make it all plain, by assuring us, 'That he is a creature that reconciles all contradictions; he is a beast, and a man; a Whig, and a Tory; a writer (at one and the same time) of Guardians and Examiners; an assertor of liberty, and of the dispensing power of kings; a Jesuitical professor of truth, a base and a foul pretender to candour.' So that, upon the whole account, we must conclude him either to have been a great hypocrite, or a very honest man; a terrible imposer upon both parties, or very moderate to either.
Be it as to the judicious reader shall seem good. Sure it is, he is little favoured of certain authors, whose wrath is perilous: for one declares he ought to have a price set on his head, and to be hunted down as a wild beast. Another protests that he does not know what may happen; advises him to insure his person; says he has bitter enemies, and expressly declares it will be well if he escapes with his life. One desires he would cut his own throat, or hang himself.
But Pasquin seemed rather inclined it should be done by the Government, representing him engaged in grievous designs with a lord of Parliament, then under prosecution. Mr Dennis himself hath written to a minister, that he is one of the most dangerous persons in this kingdom; and assureth the public, that he is an open and mortal enemy to his country; a monster, that will, one day, shew as daring a soul as a mad Indian, who runs a-muck to kill the first Christian he meets. Another gives information of treason discovered in his poem. Mr Curll boldly supplies an imperfect verse with kings and princesses. And one Matthew Concanen, yet more impudent, publishes at length the two most sacred names in this nation, as members of the Dunciad.
This is prodigious! yet it is almost as strange, that in the midst of these invectives his greatest enemies have (I know not how) borne testimony to some merit in him.
in censuring his Shakspeare, declares, 'He has so great an esteem for Mr Pope, and so high an opinion of his genius and excellencies, that, notwithstanding he professes a veneration almost rising to idolatry for the writings of this inimitable poet, he would be very both even to do him justice, at the expense of that other gentleman's character.'
MR CHARLES GILDON,
after having violently attacked him in many pieces, at last came to wish from his heart, 'That Mr Pope would be prevailed upon to give us Ovid's Epistles by his hand, for it is certain we see the original of Sappho to Pliaon with much more life and likeness in his version, than in that of Sir Car Scrope. And this,' he adds, 'is the more to be wished, because in the English tongue we have scarce anything truly and naturally written upon love.' He also, in taxing Sir Richard Blackmore for his heterodox opinions of Homer, challengeth him to answer what Mr Pope hath said in his preface to that poet.
calls him a great master of our tongue; declares 'the purity and perfection of the English language to be found in his Homer; and, saying there are more good verses in Dryden's Virgil than in any other work, excepts this of our author only.'
THE AUTHOR OF A LETTER TO MR CIBBER
says, 'Pope was so good a versifier [once], that, his predecessor, Mr Dryden, and his cotemporary, Mr Prior, excepted, the harmony of his numbers is equal to anybody's. And that he had all the merit that a man can have that way.' And
MR THOMAS COOKE,
after much blemishing our author's Homer, crieth out—
'But in his other works what beauties shine,
So also one who takes the name of
the maker of certain verses to Duncan Campbell, in that poem, which is wholly a satire on Mr Pope, confesseth—
''Tis true, if finest notes alone could show
MIST'S JOURNAL, JUNE 8, 1728.
Although he says, 'The smooth numbers of the Dunciad are all that recommend it, nor has it any other merit,' yet that same paper hath these words: 'The author is allowed to be a perfect master of an easy and elegant versification. In all his works we find the most happy turns and natural similes, wonderfully short and thick sown.'
The Essay on the Dunciad also owns (p. 25) it is very full of beautiful images. But the panegyric which crowns all that can be said on this poem is bestowed by our laureate,
MR COLLEY CIBBER,
who 'grants it to be a better poem of its kind than ever was writ:' but adds, 'it was a victory over a parcel of poor wretches, whom it was almost cowardice to conquer.—A man might as well triumph for having killed so many silly flies that offended him. Could he have let them alone, by this time, poor souls! they had all been buried in oblivion.' Here we see our excellent laureate allows the justice of the satire on every man in it but himself, as the great Mr Dennis did before him.
MR DENNIS AND MR GILDON,
in the most furious of all their works (the forecited Character, p. 5), do in concert confess, 'That some men of good understanding value him for his rhymes.' And (p. 17), 'That he has got, like Mr Bayes in the Rehearsal (that is, like Mr Dryden), a notable knack at rhyming, and writing smooth verse.'
Of his Essay on Man, numerous were the praises bestowed by his avowed enemies, in the imagination that the same was not written by him, as it was printed anonymously.
Thus sang of it even
'Auspicious bard! while all admire thy strain,
MR LEONARD WELSTED
thus wrote to the unknown author, on the first publication of the said Essay:—'I must own, after the reception which the vilest and most immoral ribaldry hath lately met with, I was surprised to see what I had long despaired—a performance deserving the name of a poet. Such, sir, is your work. It is, indeed, above all commendation, and ought to have been published in an age and country more worthy of it. If my testimony be of weight anywhere, you are sure to have it in the amplest manner,' &c.
Thus we see every one of his works hath been extolled by one or other of his most inveterate enemies; and to the success of them all, they do unanimously give testimony. But it is sufficient, instar omnium, to behold the great critic, Mr Dennis, sorely lamenting it, even from the Essay on Criticism to this day of the Dunciad! 'A most notorious instance,' quoth he, 'of the depravity of genius and taste, the approbation this essay meets with.' 'I can safely affirm, that I never attacked any of these writings, unless they had success infinitely beyond their merit. This, though an empty, has been a popular scribbler. The epidemic madness of the times has given him reputation.' 'If, after the cruel treatment so many extraordinary men (Spencer, Lord Bacon, Ben. Jonson, Milton, Butler, Otway, and others) have received from this country, for these last hundred years, I should shift the scene, and show all that penury changed at once to riot and profuseness, and more squandered away upon one object than would have satisfied the greater part of those extraordinary men, the reader to whom this one creature should be unknown would fancy him a prodigy of art and nature, would believe that all the great qualities of these persons were centred in him alone. But if I should venture to assure him that the people of England had made such a choice, the reader would either believe me a malicious enemy and slanderer, or that the reign of the last (Queen Anne's) ministry was designed by fate to encourage fools.'
But it happens that this our poet never had any place, pension, or gratuity, in any shape, from the said glorious queen, or any of her ministers. All he owed, in the whole course of his life, to any court, was a subscription, for his Homer, of £200 from King George I., and £100 from the Prince and Princess.
However, lest we imagine our author's success was constant and universal, they acquaint us of certain works in a less degree of repute, whereof, although owned by others, yet do they assure us he is the writer. Of this sort Mr Dennis ascribes to him two farces, whose names he does not tell, but assures us that there is not one jest in them; and an imitation of Horace, whose title he does not mention, but assures us it is much more execrable than all his works. The Daily Journal, May 11, 1728, assures us 'He is below Tom D'Urfey in the drama, because (as that writer thinks) the Marriage-Hater Matched, and the Boarding School, are better than the What-d'-ye-call-it,' which is not Mr P.'s, but Mr Gay's. Mr Gildon assures us, in his New Rehearsal, p. 48, 'That he was writing a play of the Lady Jane Grey;' but it afterwards proved to be Mr Howe's. We are assured by another, 'He wrote a pamphlet called Dr Andrew Tripe,' which proved to be one Dr Wagstaff's. Mr Theobald assures us in Mist of the 27th April, 'That the Treatise of the Pro-found is very dull, and that Mr Pope is the author of it.' The writer of Gulliveriana is of another opinion, and says, 'The whole, or greatest part, of the merit of this treatise must and can only be ascribed to Gulliver.' (Here, gentle reader! cannot I but smile at the strange blindness and positiveness of men, knowing the said treatise to appertain to none other but to me, Martinus Scriblerus.) We are assured, in Mist of June 8, 'That his own plays and farces would better have adorned the Dunciad than those of Mr Theobald, for he had neither genius for tragedy nor comedy;' which, whether true or not, is not easy to judge, inasmuch as he hath attempted neither—unless we will take it for granted, with Mr Cibber, that his being once very angry at hearing a friend's play abused was an infallible proof the play was his own, the said Mr Cibber thinking it impossible for a man to be much concerned for any but himself: 'Now let any man judge,' saith he, 'by this concern, who was the true mother of the child?'
But from all that hath been said, the discerning reader will collect, that it little availed our author to have any candour, since, when he declared he did not write for others, it was not credited; as little to have any modesty, since, when he declined writing in any way himself, the presumption of others was imputed to him. If he singly enterprised one great work, he was taxed of boldness and madness to a prodigy; if he took assistants in another, it was complained of, and represented as a great injury to the public. The loftiest heroics, the lowest ballads, treatises against the State or Church, satires on lords and ladies, raillery on wits and authors, squabbles with booksellers, or even full and true accounts of monsters, poisons, and murders; of any hereof was there nothing so good, nothing so bad, which hath not at one or other season been to him ascribed. If it bore no author's name, then lay he concealed; if it did, he fathered it upon that author to be yet better concealed: if it resembled any of his styles, then was it evident; if it did not, then disguised he it on set purpose. Yea, even direct oppositions in religion, principles, and politics, have equally been supposed in him inherent. Surely a most rare and singular character! Of which, let the reader make what he can.
Doubtless most commentators would hence take occasion to turn all to their author's advantage; and, from the testimony of his very enemies, would affirm that his capacity was boundless, as well as his imagination; that he was a perfect master of all styles, and all arguments; and that there was in those times no other writer, in any kind, of any degree of excellence, save he himself. But as this is not our own sentiment, we shall determine on nothing, but leave thee, gentle reader, to steer thy judgment equally between various opinions, and to choose whether thou wilt incline to the testimonies of authors avowed, or of authors concealed—of those who knew him, or of those who knew him not.
* * * * *
MARTINUS SCRIBLERUS OF THE POEM.
This poem, as it celebrateth the most grave and ancient of things, Chaos, Night, and Dulness; so is it of the most grave and ancient kind. Homer (saith Aristotle) was the first who gave the form, and (saith Horace) who adapted the measure, to heroic poesy. But even before this, may be rationally presumed from what the ancients have left written, was a piece by Homer, composed of like nature and matter with this of our poet. For of epic sort it appeareth to have been, yet of matter surely not unpleasant, witness what is reported of it by the learned Archbishop Eustathius, in Odyss. x., and accordingly Aristotle, in his Poetic, chap, iv., does further set forth, that as the Iliad and Odyssey gave example to tragedy, so did this poem to comedy its first idea.
From these authors also it should seem that the hero or chief personage of it was no less obscure, and his understanding and sentiments no less quaint and strange (if indeed not more so), than any of the actors of our poem. Margites was the name of this personage, whom antiquity recordeth to have been Dunce the first; and surely, from what we hear of him, not unworthy to be the root of so spreading a tree and so numerous a posterity. The poem therefore celebrating him was properly and absolutely a Dunciad; which, though now unhappily lost, yet is its nature sufficiently known by the infallible tokens aforesaid. And thus it doth appear that the first Dunciad was the first epic poem, written by Homer himself, and anterior even to the Iliad or Odyssey.
Now, forasmuch as our poet had translated those two famous works of Homer which are yet left, he did conceive it in some sort his duty to imitate that also which was lost; and was therefore induced to bestow on it the same form which Homer's is reported to have had, namely, that of epic poem; with a title also framed after the ancient Greek manner, to wit, that of Dunciad.
Wonderful it is that so few of the moderns have been stimulated to attempt some Dunciad! since, in the opinion of the multitude, it might cost less pain and oil than an imitation of the greater epic. But possible it is also, that, on due reflection, the maker might find it easier to paint a Charlemagne, a Brute, or a Godfrey, with just pomp and dignity heroic, than a Margites, a Codrus, or a Flecknoe.
We shall next declare the occasion and the cause which moved our poet to this particular work. He lived in those days, when (after Providence had permitted the invention of printing as a scourge for the sins of the learned) paper also became so cheap, and printers so numerous, that a deluge of authors covered the land; whereby not only the peace of the honest unwriting subject was daily molested, but unmerciful demands were made of his applause, yea of his money, by such as would neither earn the one nor deserve the other. At the same time, the licence of the press was such, that it grew dangerous to refuse them either: for they would forthwith publish slanders unpunished, the authors being anonymous, and skulking under the wings of publishers, a set of men who never scrupled to vend either calumny or blasphemy, as long as the town would call for it.
Now our author, living in those times, did conceive it an endeavour well worthy an honest satirist to dissuade the dull and punish the wicked, the only way that was left. In that public-spirited view he laid the plan of this poem, as the greatest service he was capable (without much hurt, or being slain) to render his dear country. First, taking things from their original, he considereth the causes creative of such authors—namely, dulness and poverty; the one born with them, the other contracted by neglect of their proper talents, through self-conceit of greater abilities. This truth he wrappeth in an allegory (as the construction of epic poesy requireth), and feigns that one of these goddesses had taken up her abode with the other, and that they jointly inspired all such writers and such works. He proceedeth to show the qualities they bestow on these authors, and the effects they produce; then the materials, or stock, with which they furnish them; and (above all) that self-opinion which causeth it to seem to themselves vastly greater than it is, and is the prime motive of their setting up in this sad and sorry merchandise. The great power of these goddesses acting in alliance (whereof as the one is the mother of industry, so is the other of plodding) was to be exemplified in some one great and remarkable action: and none could be more so than that which our poet hath chosen, viz., the restoration of the reign of Chaos and Night, by the ministry of Dulness their daughter, in the removal of her imperial seat from the city to the polite world; as the action of the Æneid is the restoration of the empire of Troy, by the removal of the race from thence to Latium. But as Homer singing only the wrath of Achilles, yet includes in his poem the whole history of the Trojan war; in like manner our author hath drawn into this single action the whole history of Dulness and her children.
A person must next be fixed upon to support this action. This phantom in the poet's mind must have a name: He finds it to be ——; and he becomes, of course, the hero of the poem.
The fable being thus, according to the best example, one and entire, as contained in the proposition, the machinery is a continued chain of allegories, setting forth the whole power, ministry, and empire of Dulness, extended through her subordinate instruments, in all her various operations.
This is branched into episodes, each of which hath its moral apart, though all conducive to the main end. The crowd assembled in the second book demonstrates the design to be more extensive than to bad poets only, and that we may expect other episodes of the patrons, encouragers, or paymasters of such authors, as occasion shall bring them forth. And the third book, if well considered, seemeth to embrace the whole world. Each of the games relateth to some or other vile class of writers: the first concerneth the Plagiary, to whom he giveth the name of More; the second the libellous Novelist, whom he styleth Eliza; the third, the flattering Dedicator; the fourth, the bawling Critic, or noisy Poet; the fifth, the dark and dirty Party-writer; and so of the rest; assigning to each some proper name or other, such as he could find.
As for the characters, the public hath already acknowledged how justly they are drawn: the manners are so depicted, and the sentiments so peculiar to those to whom applied, that surely to transfer them to any other or wiser personages would be exceeding difficult: and certain it is, that every person concerned, being consulted apart, hath readily owned the resemblance of every portrait, his own excepted. So Mr Cibber calls them 'a parcel of poor wretches, so many silly flies;' but adds, 'our author's wit is remarkably more bare and barren whenever it would fall foul on Cibber, than upon any other person whatever.'
The descriptions are singular, the comparisons very quaint, the narration various, yet of one colour. The purity and chastity of diction is so preserved, that in the places most suspicious, not the words but only the images have been censured, and yet are those images no other than have been sanctified by ancient and classical authority (though, as was the manner of those good times, not so curiously wrapped up), yea, and commented upon by the most grave doctors and approved critics.
As it beareth the name of Epic, it is thereby subjected to such severe indispensable rules as are laid on all neoterics—a strict imitation of the ancients; insomuch that any deviation, accompanied with whatever poetic beauties, hath always been censured by the sound critic. How exact that imitation hath been in this piece, appeareth not only by its general structure, but by particular allusions infinite, many whereof have escaped both the commentator and poet himself; yea, divers by his exceeding diligence are so altered and interwoven with the rest, that several have already been, and more will be, by the ignorant abused, as altogether and originally his own.
In a word, the whole poem proveth itself to be the work of our author when his faculties were in full vigour and perfection, at that exact time when years have ripened the judgment without diminishing the imagination; which by good critics is held to be punctually at forty. For at that season it was that Virgil finished his Georgics; and Sir Richard Blackmore at the like age composing his Arthurs, declared the same to be the very acmè and pitch of life for epic poesy—though since he hath altered it to sixty, the year in which he published his Alfred. True it is, that the talents for criticism—namely, smartness, quick censure, vivacity of remark, certainty of asseveration, indeed all but acerbity—seem rather the gifts of youth than of riper age. But it is far otherwise in poetry; witness the works of Mr Rymer and Mr Dennis, who, beginning with criticism, became afterwards such poets as no age hath paralleled. With good reason, therefore, did our author choose to write his essay on that subject at twenty, and reserve for his maturer years this great and wonderful work of the Dunciad.
RICARDUS ARISTARCHUS OF THE HERO OF THE POEM.
Of the nature of Dunciad in general, whence derived, and on what authority founded, as well as of the art and conduct of this our poem in particular, the learned and laborious Scriblerus hath, according to his manner, and with tolerable share of judgment, dissertated. But when he cometh to speak of the person of the hero fitted for such poem, in truth he miserably halts and hallucinates. For, misled by one Monsieur Bossu, a Gallic critic, he prateth of I cannot tell what phantom of a hero, only raised up to support the fable. A putrid conceit! As if Homer and Virgil, like modern undertakers, who first build their house, and then seek out for a tenant, had contrived the story of a war and a wandering, before they once thought either of Achilles or Æneas. We shall therefore set our good brother and the world also right in this particular, by assuring them, that, in the greater epic, the prime intention of the Muse is to exalt heroic virtue, in order to propagate the love of it among the children of men; and, consequently, that the poet's first thought must needs be turned upon a real subject meet for laud and celebration; not one whom he is to make, but one whom he may find, truly illustrious. This is the primum mobile of his poetic world, whence everything is to receive life and motion. For this subject being found, he is immediately ordained, or rather acknowledged, a hero, and put upon such action as befitteth the dignity of his character.
But the Muse ceaseth not here her eagle-flight. For sometimes, satiated with the contemplation of these suns of glory, she turneth downward on her wing, and darts with Jove's lightning on the goose and serpent kind. For we may apply to the Muse, in her various moods, what an ancient master of wisdom affirmeth of the gods in general: 'Si Dii non irascuntur impiis et injustis, nec pios utique justosque diligunt. In rebusenim diversis, aut in utramque partem moveri necesse est, aut in neutram. Itaque qui bonos diligit, et malos odit; et qui malos non odit, nec bonos diligit. Quia et diligere bonos ex odio malorum venit; et malos odisse ex bonorum caritate descendit.' Which, in our vernacular idiom, may be thus interpreted: 'If the gods be not provoked at evil men, neither are they delighted with the good and just. For contrary objects must either excite contrary affections, or no affections at all. So that he who loveth good men must at the same time hate the bad; and he who hateth not bad men cannot love the good; because to love good men proceedeth from an aversion to evil, and to hate evil men from a tenderness to the good.' From this delicacy of the Muse arose the little epic, (more lively and choleric than her elder sister, whose bulk and complexion incline her to the phlegmatic), and for this some notorious vehicle of vice and folly was sought out, to make thereof an example. An early instance of which (nor could it escape the accurate Scriblerus) the father of epic poem himself affordeth us. From him the practice descended to the Greek dramatic poets, his offspring, who, in the composition of their tetralogy, or set of four pieces, were wont to make the last a satiric tragedy. Happily one of these ancient Dunciads (as we may well term it) is come down unto us amongst the tragedies of the poet Euripides. And what doth the reader suppose may be the subject thereof? Why, in truth, and it is worthy observation, the unequal contention of an old, dull, debauched buffoon Cyclops, with the heaven-directed favourite of Minerva; who, after having quietly borne all the monster's obscene and impious ribaldry, endeth the farce in punishing him with the mark of an indelible brand in his forehead. May we not then be excused, if for the future we consider the epics of Homer, Virgil, and Milton, together with this our poem, as a complete tetralogy, in which the last worthily holdeth the place or station of the satiric piece?
Proceed we therefore in our subject. It hath been long, and, alas for pity! still remaineth a question, whether the hero of the greater epic should be an honest man? or, as the French critics express it, un honnête homme: but it never admitted of any doubt, but that the hero of the little epic should be just the contrary. Hence, to the advantage of our Dunciad, we may observe how much juster the moral of that poem must needs be, where so important a question is previously decided.
But then it is not every knave, nor (let me add) every fool, that is a fit subject for a Dunciad. There must still exist some analogy, if not resemblance of qualities, between the heroes of the two poems, and this in order to admit what neoteric critics call the parody, one of the liveliest graces of the little epic. Thus, it being agreed that the constituent qualities of the greater epic hero are wisdom, bravery, and love, from whence springeth heroic virtue; it followeth that those of the lesser epic hero should be vanity, impudence, and debauchery, from which happy assemblage resulteth heroic dulness, the never-dying subject of this our poem.
This being confessed, come we now to particulars. It is the character of true wisdom to seek its chief support and confidence within itself, and to place that support in the resources which proceed from a conscious rectitude of will. And are the advantages of vanity, when arising to the heroic standard, at all short of this self-complacence? Nay, are they not, in the opinion of the enamoured owner, far beyond it? 'Let the world (will such an one say) impute to me what folly or weakness they please; but till wisdom can give me something that will make me more heartily happy, I am content to be gazed at.' This, we see, is vanity according to the heroic gauge or measure; not that low and ignoble species which pretendeth to virtues we have not, but the laudable ambition of being gazed at for glorying in those vices which everybody knows we have. 'The world may ask (says he) why I make my follies public? Why not? I have passed my time very pleasantly with them.' In short, there is no sort of vanity such a hero would scruple, but that which might go near to degrade him from his high station in this our Dunciad—namely, 'Whether it would not be vanity in him to take shame to himself for not being a wise man?'
Bravery, the second attribute of the true hero, is courage manifesting itself in every limb; while its correspondent virtue in the mock hero is that same courage all collected into the face. And as power when drawn together must needs have more force and spirit than when dispersed, we generally find this kind of courage in so high and heroic a degree, that it insults not only men, but gods. Mezentius is, without doubt, the bravest character in all the Æneis. But how? His bravery, we know, was a high courage of blasphemy. And can we say less of this brave man's, who, having told us that he placed 'his summum bonum in those follies, which he was not content barely to possess, but would likewise glory in,' adds, 'If I am misguided, 'tis nature's fault, and I follow her.' Nor can we be mistaken in making this happy quality a species of courage, when we consider those illustrious marks of it which made his face 'more known (as he justly boasteth) than most in the kingdom,' and his language to consist of what we must allow to be the most daring figure of speech, that which is taken from the name of God.
Gentle love, the next ingredient in the true hero's composition, is a mere bird of passage, or (as Shakspeare calls it) summer-teeming lust, and evaporates in the heat of youth; doubtless, by that refinement, it suffers in passing through those certain strainers which our poet somewhere speaketh of. But when it is let alone to work upon the lees, it acquireth strength by old age, and becometh a lasting ornament to the little epic. It is true, indeed, there is one objection to its fitness for such a use: for not only the ignorant may think it common, but it is admitted to be so, even by him who best knoweth its value. 'Don't you think,' argueth he, 'to say only a man has his whore, ought to go for little or nothing? Because defendit numerus; take the first ten thousand men you meet, and I believe you would be no loser if you betted ten to one that every single sinner of them, one with another, had been guilty of the same frailty.' But here he seemeth not to have done justice to himself: the man is sure enough a hero who hath his lady at fourscore. How doth his modesty herein lessen the merit of a whole well-spent life: not taking to himself the commendation (which Horace accounted the greatest in a theatrical character) of continuing to the very dregs the same he was from the beginning,
… 'Servetur ad imum
But here, in justice both to the poet and the hero, let us further remark, that the calling her his whore implieth she was his own, and not his neighbour's. Truly a commendable continence! and such as Scipio himself must have applauded. For how much self-denial was exerted not to covet his neighbour's whore? and what disorders must the coveting her have occasioned in that society where (according to this political calculator) nine in ten of all ages have their concubines!
We have now, as briefly as we could devise, gone through the three constituent qualities of either hero. But it is not in any, or in all of these, that heroism properly or essentially resideth. It is a lucky result rather from the collision of these lively qualities against one another. Thus, as from wisdom, bravery, and love, ariseth magnanimity, the object of admiration, which is the aim of the greater epic; so from vanity, impudence, and debauchery, springeth buffoonery, the source of ridicule, that 'laughing ornament,' as he well termeth it, of the little epic.
He is not ashamed (God forbid he ever should be ashamed!) of this character, who deemeth that not reason, but risibility, distinguisheth the human species from the brutal. 'As nature,' saith this profound philosopher, 'distinguished our species from the mute creation by our risibility, her design must have been by that faculty as evidently to raise our happiness, as by our os sublime (our erected faces) to lift the dignity of our form above them.' All this considered, how complete a hero must he be, as well as how happy a man, whose risibility lieth not barely in his muscles, as in the common sort, but (as himself informeth us) in his very spirits! and whose os sublime is not simply an erect face, but a brazen head, as should seem by his preferring it to one of iron, said to belong to the late king of Sweden!
But whatever personal qualities a hero may have, the examples of Achilles and Aeneas show us, that all those are of small avail without the constant assistance of the gods—for the subversion and erection of empires have never been adjudged the work of man. How greatly soever, then, we may esteem of his high talents, we can hardly conceive his personal prowess alone sufficient to restore the decayed empire of Dulness. So weighty an achievement must require the particular favour and protection of the great—who, being the natural patrons and supporters of letters, as the ancient gods were of Troy, must first be drawn off and engaged in another interest, before the total subversion of them can be accomplished. To surmount, therefore, this last and greatest difficulty, we have, in this excellent man, a professed favourite and intimado of the great. And look, of what force ancient piety was to draw the gods into the party of Aeneas, that, and much stronger, is modern incense, to engage the great in the party of Dulness.
Thus have we essayed to portray or shadow out this noble imp of fame. But now the impatient reader will be apt to say, if so many and various graces go to the making up a hero, what mortal shall suffice to bear his character? Ill hath he read who seeth not, in every trace of this picture, that individual, all-accomplished person, in whom these rare virtues and lucky circumstances have agreed to meet and concentre with the strongest lustre and fullest harmony.
The good Scriblerus indeed—nay, the world itself—might be imposed on, in the late spurious editions, by I can't tell what sham hero or phantom; but it was not so easy to impose on him whom this egregious error most of all concerned. For no sooner had the fourth book laid open the high and swelling scene, but he recognised his own heroic acts; and when he came to the words—
'Soft on her lap her laureate son reclines,'
(though laureate imply no more than one crowned with laurel, as befitteth any associate or consort in empire), he loudly resented this indignity to violated majesty—indeed, not without cause, he being there represented as fast asleep; so misbeseeming the eye of empire, which, like that of Providence, should never doze nor slumber. 'Hah!' saith he, 'fast asleep, it seems! that's a little too strong. Pert and dull at least you might have allowed me, but as seldom asleep as any fool.' However, the injured hero may comfort himself with this reflection, that though it be a sleep, yet it is not the sleep of death, but of immortality. Here he will live at least, though not awake; and in no worse condition than many an enchanted warrior before him. The famous Durandarte, for instance, was, like him, cast into a long slumber by Merlin, the British bard and necromancer; and his example, for submitting to it with a good grace, might be of use to our hero. For that disastrous knight being sorely pressed or driven to make his answer by several persons of quality, only replied with a sigh—'Patience, and shuffle the cards.'
But now, as nothing in this world, no, not the most sacred or perfect things either of religion or government, can escape the sting of envy, methinks I already hear these carpers objecting to the clearness of our hero's title.
It would never (say they) have been esteemed sufficient to make an hero for the Iliad or Aeneis, that Achilles was brave enough to overturn one empire, or Aeneas pious enough to raise another, had they not been goddess-born, and princes bred. What, then, did this author mean by erecting a player instead of one of his patrons (a person 'never a hero even on the stage,') to this dignity of colleague in the empire of Dulness, and achiever of a work that neither old Omar, Attila, nor John of Leyden could entirely bring to pass?
To all this we have, as we conceive, a sufficient answer from the Roman historian, Fabrum esse suae quemque fortunae: That every man is the smith of his own fortune. The politic Florentine, Nicholas Machiavel, goeth still further, and affirmeth that a man needeth but to believe himself a hero to be one of the worthiest. 'Let him (saith he) but fancy himself capable of the highest things, and he will of course be able to achieve them.' From this principle it follows, that nothing can exceed our hero's prowess; as nothing ever equalled the greatness of his conceptions. Hear how he constantly paragons himself; at one time to Alexander the Great and Charles XII of Sweden, for the excess and delicacy of his ambition; to Henry IV of France for honest policy; to the first Brutus, for love of liberty; and to Sir Robert Walpole, for good government while in power. At another time, to the godlike Socrates, for his diversions and amusements; to Horace, Montaigne, and Sir William Temple for an elegant vanity that maketh them for ever read and admired; to two Lord Chancellors, for law, from whom, when confederate against him at the bar, he carried away the prize of eloquence; and, to say all in a word, to the right reverend the Lord Bishop of London himself, in the art of writing pastoral letters.
Nor did his actions fall short of the sublimity of his conceit. In his early youth he met the Revolution face to face in Nottingham, at a time when his betters contented themselves with following her. It was here he got acquainted with old Battle-array, of whom he hath made so honourable mention in one of his immortal odes. But he shone in courts as well as camps. He was called up when the nation fell in labour of this Revolution; and was a gossip at her christening, with the bishop and the ladies.
As to his birth, it is true he pretended no relation either to heathen god or goddess; but, what is as good, he was descended from a maker of both. And that he did not pass himself on the world for a hero as well by birth as education was his own fault: for his lineage he bringeth into his life as an anecdote, and is sensible he had it in his power to be thought he was nobody's son at all: And what is that but coming into the world a hero?
But be it (the punctilious laws of epic poesy so requiring) that a hero of more than mortal birth must needs be had, even for this we have a remedy. We can easily derive our hero's pedigree from a goddess of no small power and authority amongst men, and legitimate and install him after the right classical and authentic fashion: for like as the ancient sages found a son of Mars in a mighty warrior, a son of Neptune in a skilful seaman, a son of Phoebus in a harmonious poet, so have we here, if need be, a son of Fortune in an artful gamester. And who fitter than the offspring of Chance to assist in restoring the empire of Night and Chaos?
There is, in truth, another objection, of greater weight, namely, 'That this hero still existeth, and hath not yet finished his earthly course. For if Solon said well, that no man could be called happy till his death, surely much less can any one, till then, be pronounced a hero, this species of men being far more subject than others to the caprices of fortune and humour.' But to this also we have an answer, that will (we hope) be deemed decisive. It cometh from himself, who, to cut this matter short, hath solemnly protested that he will never change or amend.
With regard to his vanity, he declareth that nothing shall ever part them. 'Nature (saith he) hath amply supplied me in vanity—a pleasure which neither the pertness of wit nor the gravity of wisdom will ever persuade me to part with.' Our poet had charitably endeavoured to administer a cure to it: but he telleth us plainly, 'My superiors perhaps may be mended by him; but for my part I own myself incorrigible. I look upon my follies as the best part of my fortune.' And with good reason: we see to what they have brought him!
Secondly, as to buffoonery, 'Is it (saith he) a time of day for me to leave off these fooleries, and set up a new character? I can no more put off my follies than my skin; I have often tried, but they stick too close to me; nor am I sure my friends are displeased with them, for in this light I afford them frequent matter of mirth, &c., &c.' Having then so publicly declared himself incorrigible, he is become dead in law (I mean the law Epopoeian), and devolveth upon the poet as his property, who may take him and deal with him as if he had been dead as long as an old Egyptian hero; that is to say, embowel and embalm him for posterity.
Nothing therefore (we conceive) remaineth to hinder his own prophecy of himself from taking immediate effect. A rare felicity! and what few prophets have had the satisfaction to see alive! Nor can we conclude better than with that extraordinary one of his, which is conceived in these oraculous words, 'My dulness will find somebody to do it right.'
'Tandem Phoebus adest, morsusque inferre parantem
By virtue of the Authority in Us vested by the Act for subjecting poets to the power of a licenser, we have revised this piece; where finding the style and appellation of King to have been given to a certain pretender, pseudo-poet, or phantom, of the name of Tibbald; and apprehending the same may be deemed in some sort a reflection on Majesty, or at least an insult on that Legal Authority which has bestowed on another person the crown of poesy: We have ordered the said pretender, pseudo-poet, or phantom, utterly to vanish and evaporate out of this work: And do declare the said Throne of Poesy from henceforth to be abdicated and vacant, unless duly and lawfully supplied by the Laureate himself. And it is hereby enacted, that no other person do presume to fill the same.
BOOK THE FIRST.
TO DR JONATHAN SWIFT.
The proposition, the invocation, and the inscription. Then the original of the great empire of Dulness, and cause of the continuance thereof. The college of the goddess in the city, with her private academy for poets in particular; the governors of it, and the four cardinal virtues. Then the poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting her, on the evening of a Lord Mayor's day, revolving the long succession of her sons, and the glories past and to come. She fixes her eye on Bayes to be the instrument of that great event which is the subject of the poem. He is described pensive among his books, giving up the cause, and apprehending the period of her empire: after debating whether to betake himself to the Church, or to gaming, or to party-writing, he raises an altar of proper books, and (making first his solemn prayer and declaration) purposes thereon to sacrifice all his unsuccessful writings. As the pile is kindled, the goddess, beholding the flame from her seat, flies and puts it out by casting upon it the poem of Thulè. She forthwith reveals herself to him, transports him to her temple, unfolds her arts, and initiates him into her mysteries; then announcing the death of Eusden the poet laureate, anoints him, carries him to court, and proclaims him successor.
The mighty mother, and her son, who brings
In eldest time, ere mortals writ or read,
Still her old empire to restore she tries,
Close to those walls where Folly holds her throne,
In clouded majesty here Dulness shone;
Here she beholds the chaos dark and deep,
All these, and more, the cloud-compelling queen
'Twas on the day, when Thorold rich and grave,
In each she marks her image full express'd,
But, high above, more solid learning shone,
Of these, twelve volumes, twelve of amplest size,
Then he: Great tamer of all human art!
O born in sin, and forth in folly brought!
With that, a tear (portentous sign of grace!)
Roused by the light, old Dulness heaved the head,
Her ample presence fills up all the place;
Here to her chosen all her works she shows;
The goddess then o'er his anointed head,
She ceased. Then swells the chapel-royal throat:
So when Jove's block descended from on high
VER. 1. The mighty mother, &c. In the first edition it was thus—
Books and the man I sing, the first who brings
After VER. 22, in the MS.—
Or in the graver gown instruct mankind,
But this was to be understood, as the poet says, ironicè, like the 23d verse.
VER. 29. Close to those walls, &c. In the former edition thus—
Where wave the tatter'd ensigns of Rag-fair,
VER. 41 in the former lines—
Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lay,
VER. 42 alludes to the annual songs composed to music on St Cecilia's
VER. 85 in the former editions—
'Twas on the day—when Thorald, rich and grave.
VER. 108. But chief in Bayes's, &e. In the former edition thus—
But chief, in Tibbald's monster-breeding breast;
VER. 121. Round him much embryo, &c. In the former editions thus—
He roll'd his eyes, that witness'd huge dismay,
VER. 146. In the first edition it was—
Well-purged, and worthy W—y, W—s, and Bl—-.
VER. 162. A twisted, &c. In the former edition—
And last, a little Ajax tips the spire.
VER. 177. Or, if to wit, &c. In the former edition—
Ah! still o'er Britain stretch that peaceful wand,
VER. 195. Yet sure had Heaven, &c. In the former edition—
Had Heaven decreed such works a longer date,
VER. 213. Hold—to the minister. In the former edition—
Yes, to my country I my pen consign
VER. 225. O born in sin, &c. In the former edition—
Adieu, my children! better thus expire
VER. 250. Now flames the Cid, &c. In the former edition—
Now flames old Memnon, now Rodrigo burns,
After VER. 268, in the former edition, followed these two lines—
Raptured, he gazes round the dear retreat,
VER. 293. Know, Eusden, &c. In the former edition—
Know, Settle, cloy'd with custard and with praise,
BOOK THE SECOND.
The king being proclaimed, the solemnity is graced with public games and sports of various kinds; not instituted by the hero, as by Aeneas in Virgil, but for greater honour by the goddess in person (in like manner as the games Pythia, Isthmia, &c., were anciently said to be ordained by the gods, and as Thetis herself appearing, according to Homer, Odyss. xxiv., proposed the prizes in honour of her son Achilles). Hither flock the poets and critics, attended, as is but just, with their patrons and booksellers. The goddess is first pleased, for her disport, to propose games to the booksellers, and setteth up the phantom of a poet, which they contend to overtake. The races described, with their divers accidents. Next, the game for a poetess. Then follow the exercises for the poets, of tickling, vociferating, diving: The first holds forth the arts and practices of dedicators; the second of disputants and fustian poets; the third of profound, dark, and dirty party-writers. Lastly, for the critics, the goddess proposes (with great propriety) an exercise, not of their parts, but their patience, in hearing the works of two voluminous authors, one in verse, and the other in prose, deliberately read, without sleeping: the various effects of which, with the several degrees and manners of their operation, are here set forth; till the whole number, not of critics only, but of spectators, actors, and all present, fall fast asleep; which naturally and necessarily ends the games.
High on a gorgeous seat, that far out-shone
Not with more glee, by hands Pontific crown'd,
And now the queen, to glad her sons, proclaims
Amid that area wide they took their stand,
With authors, stationers obey'd the call,
All gaze with ardour: some a poet's name,
A place there is, betwixt earth, air, and seas,
In office here fair Cloacina stands,
And now the victor stretch'd his eager hand
Heaven rings with laughter: of the laughter vain,
To him the goddess: 'Son! thy grief lay down,
With that she gave him (piteous of his case,
See in the circle next, Eliza placed,
Osborne and Curll accept the glorious strife,
Swift as it mounts, all follow with their eyes:
But now for authors nobler palms remain;
He chinks his purse, and takes his seat of state:
While thus each hand promotes the pleasing pain,
'Now turn to different sports (the goddess cries),
Now thousand tongues are heard in one loud din:
As when the long-ear'd milky mothers wait
This labour past, by Bridewell all descend,
In naked majesty Oldmixon stands,
Next Smedley dived; slow circles dimpled o'er
Then Hill essay'd; scarce vanish'd out of sight,
True to the bottom, see Concanen creep,
Next plunged a feeble, but a desperate pack,
Not so bold Arnall; with a weight of skull,
The plunging Prelate, and his ponderous Grace,
First he relates, how sinking to the chin,
Thence to the banks where reverend bards repose,
He ceased, and spread the robe; the crowd confess
'Ye critics! in whose heads, as equal scales,
Three college Sophs, and three pert Templars came,
Thus the soft gifts of sleep conclude the day,
VER. 207 in the first edition—
But Oldmixon the poet's healing balm, &c.
After VER. 298 in the first edition, followed these—
Far worse unhappy D—-r succeeds,
VER. 399. In the first edition it was—
Collins and Tindal, prompt at priests to jeer.
VER. 413. In the first edition it was—
T—-s and T—— the Church and State gave o'er,
BOOK THE THIRD.
After the other persons are disposed in their proper places of rest, the goddess transports the king to her temple, and there lays him to slumber with his head on her lap; a position of marvellous virtue, which causes all the visions of wild enthusiasts, projectors, politicians, inamoratos, castle-builders, chemists, and poets. He is immediately carried on the wings of Fancy, and led by a mad poetical Sibyl, to the Elysian shade; where, on the banks of Lethe, the souls of the dull are dipped by Bavius, before their entrance into this world. There he is met by the ghost of Settle, and by him made acquainted with the wonders of the place, and with those which he himself is destined to perform. He takes him to a mount of vision, from whence he shows him the past triumphs of the empire of Dulness, then the present, and lastly the future: how small a part of the world was ever conquered by science, how soon those conquests were stopped, and those very nations again reduced to her dominion: then distinguishing the island of Great Britain, shows by what aids, by what persons, and by what degrees it shall be brought to her empire. Some of the persons he causes to pass in review before his eyes, describing each by his proper figure, character, and qualifications. On a sudden the scene shifts, and a vast number of miracles and prodigies appear, utterly surprising and unknown to the king himself, till they are explained to be the wonders of his own reign now commencing. On this subject Settle breaks into a congratulation, yet not unmixed with concern, that his own times were but the types of these. He prophesies how first the nation shall be overrun with farces, operas, and shows; how the throne of Dulness shall be advanced over the theatres, and set up even at Court; then how her sons shall preside in the seats of arts and sciences; giving a glimpse, or Pisgah-sight, of the future fulness of her glory, the accomplishment whereof is the subject of the fourth and last book.
But in her temple's last recess enclosed,
And now, on Fancy's easy wing convey'd,
Wond'ring he gazed: when, lo! a sage appears,
'Oh born to see what none can see awake!
'Ascend this hill, whose cloudy point commands
'Far eastward cast thine eye, from whence the sun
'Thence to the south extend thy gladden'd eyes;
'How little, mark! that portion of the ball,
'Lo! Rome herself, proud mistress now no more
'Behold yon isle, by palmers, pilgrims trod,
'And see, my son! the hour is on its way
'Mark first that youth who takes the foremost place,
'A second see, by meeker manners known,
'Jacob, the scourge of grammar, mark with awe,
'Silence, ye wolves! while Ralph to Cynthia howls,
'Sense, speech, and measure, living tongues and dead,
'Ah Dennis! Gildon ah! what ill-starr'd rage
'Behold yon pair, in strict embraces join'd;
'But who is he, in closet close y-pent,
'There, dim in clouds, the poring scholiasts mark,
'But where each science lifts its modern type,
'Yet O! my sons, a father's words attend
Thus he, for then a ray of reason stole
His never-blushing head he turn'd aside,
Breaks out refulgent, with a heaven its own:
Joy fills his soul, joy innocent of thought: 249
'But, lo! to dark encounter in mid air,
'And are these wonders, son, to thee unknown?
'Now, Bavius, take the poppy from thy brow,
'Proceed, great days! till Learning fly the shore,
Enough! enough! the raptured monarch cries;
VER. 73. In the former edition—
Far eastward cast thine eye, from whence the sun
VER. 149. In the first edition it was—
Woolston, the scourge of scripture, mark with awe!
VER. 151. Lo Popple's brow, &c. In the former edition—
Haywood, Centlivre, glories of their race,
VER. 157. Each songster, riddler, &c. In the former edition—
Lo Bond and Foxton, every nameless name.
After VER. 158 in the first edition followed—
How proud, how pale, how earnest all appear!
VER. 197. In the first edition it was—
And proud philosophy with breeches tore,
After VER. 274 in the former edition followed—
For works like these let deathless journals tell,
VER. 295. Safe in its heaviness, etc. In the former edition—
Too safe in inborn heaviness to stray,
VER. 323. See, see, our own, &c. In the former edition—
Beneath his reign shall Eusden wear the bays.
VER. 331. In the former edition, thus—
—— O Swift! thy doom,
After VER. 338, in the first edition, were the following lines—
Then when these signs declare the mighty year,
BOOK THE FOURTH.
The poet being, in this book, to declare the completion of the prophecies mentioned at the end of the former, makes a new invocation; as the greater poets are wont, when some high and worthy matter is to be sung. He shows the goddess coming in her majesty to destroy order and science, and to substitute the kingdom of the Dull upon earth; how she leads captive the Sciences, and silenceth the Muses; and what they be who succeed in their stead. All her children, by a wonderful attraction, are drawn about her; and bear along with them divers others, who promote her empire by connivance, weak resistance, or discouragement of Arts; such as half-wits, tasteless admirers, vain pretenders, the flatterers of Dunces, or the patrons of them. All these crowd round her; one of them offering to approach her, is driven back by a rival, but she commends and encourages both. The first who speak in form are the geniuses of the schools, who assure her of their care to advance her cause, by confining youth to words, and keeping them out of the way of real knowledge. Their address, and her gracious answer; with her charge to them and the Universities. The Universities appear by their proper deputies, and assure her that the same method is observed in the progress of education. The speech of Aristarchus on this subject. They are driven off by a band of young gentlemen returned from travel with their tutors; one of whom delivers to the goddess, in a polite oration, an account of the whole conduct and fruits of their travels; presenting to her at the same time a young nobleman perfectly accomplished. She receives him graciously, and indues him with the happy quality of want of shame. She sees loitering about her a number of indolent persons abandoning all business and duty, and dying with laziness: to these approaches the antiquary Annius, entreating her to make them virtuosos, and assign them over to him; but Mummius, another antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, she finds a method to reconcile their difference. Then enter a troop of people fantastically adorned, offering her strange and exotic presents: amongst them, one stands forth and demands justice on another, who had deprived him of one of the greatest curiosities in nature; but he justifies himself so well, that the goddess gives them both her approbation. She recommends to them to find proper employment for the indolents before-mentioned, in the study of butterflies, shells, birds' nests, moss, &c., but with particular caution not to proceed beyond trifles, to any useful or extensive views of nature, or of the Author of nature. Against the last of these apprehensions, she is secured by a hearty address from the minute philosophers and freethinkers, one of whom speaks in the name of the rest. The youth thus instructed and principled, are delivered to her in a body, by the hands of Silenus; and then admitted to taste the cup of the Magus her high-priest, which causes a total oblivion of all obligations, divine, civil, moral, or rational. To these her adepts she sends priests, attendants, and comforters, of various kinds; confers on them orders and degrees; and then dismissing them with a speech, confirming to each his privileges, and telling what she expects from each, concludes with a yawn of extraordinary virtue: the progress and effects whereof on all orders of men, and the consummation of all, in the restoration of Night and Chaos, conclude the poem.
Yet, yet a moment, one dim ray of light
Now flamed the dog-star's unpropitious ray,
She mounts the throne: her head a cloud conceal'd,
Beneath her foot-stool, Science groans in chains,
When, lo! a harlot form soft sliding by,
'O Cara! Cara! silence all that train:
And now had Fame's posterior trumpet blown,
The gathering number, as it moves along,
Nor absent they, no members of her state,
There march'd the bard and blockhead, side by side,
When Dulness, smiling—'Thus revive the wits!
Now crowds on crowds around the goddess press,
Then thus: 'Since man from beast by words is known,
'Oh (cried the goddess) for some pedant reign!
Prompt at the call, around the goddess roll
''Tis true, on words is still our whole debate,
'Ah, think not, mistress! more true Dulness lies
'What though we let some better sort of fool
In flow'd at once a gay embroider'd race,
Then look'd, and saw a lazy, lolling sort,
'Grant, gracious goddess! grant me still to cheat,
Mummius o'erheard him; Mummius, fool-renown'd,
'Speak'st thou of Syrian prince? Traitor base!
'Witness, great Ammon! by whose horns I swore,
The goddess smiling seem'd to give consent;
Then thick as locusts blackening all the ground,
The first thus open'd: 'Hear thy suppliant's call,
'Of all th' enamell'd race, whose silvery wing
'My sons! (she answer'd) both have done your parts:
'Oh! would the sons of men once think their eyes
'Be that my task' (replies a gloomy clerk,
Roused at his name, up rose the bousy sire,
With that, a wizard old his cup extends,
Kind Self-conceit to some her glass applies,
On others Interest her gay livery flings,
Others the Syren sisters warble round,
On some, a priest succinct in amice white
Next bidding all draw near on bended knees,
Then, blessing all, 'Go, children of my care!
More she had spoke, but yawn'd—All Nature nods:
O Muse! relate (for you can tell alone,
In vain, in vain,—the all-composing hour
'What! no respect, he cried, for Shakspeare's page?'
VER. 441. The common soul, &c. In the first edition, thus—
Of souls the greater part, Heaven's common make,
VER. 643. In the former edition, it stood thus—
Philosophy, that reach'd the heavens before,
BY THE AUTHOR.
Whereas certain haberdashers of points and particles, being instigated by the spirit of pride, and assuming to themselves the name of critics and restorers, have taken upon them to adulterate the common and current sense of our glorious ancestors, poets of this realm, by clipping, coining, defacing the images, mixing their own base alloy, or otherwise falsifying the same; which they publish, utter, and vend as genuine: The said haberdashers having no right thereto, as neither heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, or in any sort related to such poets, to all or any of them: Now we, having carefully revised this our Dunciad, beginning with the words 'The Mighty Mother,' and ending with the words 'buries all,' containing the entire sum of one thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses, declare every word, figure, point, and comma of this impression to be authentic: And do therefore strictly enjoin and forbid any person or persons whatsoever, to erase, reverse, put between hooks, or by any other means, directly or indirectly, change or mangle any of them. And we do hereby earnestly exhort all our brethren to follow this our example, which we heartily wish our great predecessors had heretofore set, as a remedy and prevention of all such abuses. Provided always, that nothing in this Declaration shall be construed to limit the lawful and undoubted right of every subject of this realm, to judge, censure, or condemn, in the whole or in part, any poem or poet whatsoever.
Given under our hand at London, this third day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred thirty and two.
Declarat' cor' me,
APPENDIX TO THE DUNCIAD.
PREFIXED TO THE FIVE FIRST IMPERFECT EDITIONS OF THE DUNCIAD, IN THREE BOOKS, PRINTED AT DUBLIN AND LONDON, IN OCTAVO AND DUODECIMO, 1727.
THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER.
It will be found a true observation, though somewhat surprising, that when any scandal is vented against a man of the highest distinction and character, either in the state or in literature, the public in general afford it a most quiet reception; and the larger part accept it as favourably as if it were some kindness done to themselves: whereas, if a known scoundrel or blockhead but chance to be touched upon, a whole legion is up in arms, and it becomes the common cause of all scribblers, booksellers, and printers whatsoever.
Not to search too deeply into the reason hereof, I will only observe as a fact, that every week for these two months past, the town has been persecuted with pamphlets, advertisements, letters, and weekly essays, not only against the wit and writings, but against the character and person of Mr Pope. And that of all those men who have received pleasure from his works, which by modest computation may be about a hundred thousand in these kingdoms of England and Ireland (not to mention Jersey, Guernsey, the Orcades, those in the new world, and foreigners who have translated him into their languages), of all this number not a man hath stood up to say one word in his defence.
The only exception is the author of the following poem, who, doubtless, had either a better insight into the grounds of this clamour, or a better opinion of Mr Pope's integrity, joined with a greater personal love for him, than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Further, that he was in his peculiar intimacy, appears from the knowledge he manifests of the most private authors of all the anonymous pieces against him, and from his having in this poem attacked no man living, who had not before printed or published some scandal against this gentleman.
How I came possessed of it is no concern to the reader; but it would have been a wrong to him had I detained the publication, since those names which are its chief ornaments die off daily so fast, as must render it too soon unintelligible. If it provoke the author to give us a more perfect edition, I have my end.
Who he is I cannot say, and (which is a great pity) there is certainly nothing in his style and manner of writing which can distinguish or discover him: for if it bears any resemblance to that of Mr Pope, 'tis not improbable but it might be done on purpose, with a view to have it pass for his. But by the frequency of his allusions to Virgil, and a laboured (not to say affected) shortness in imitation of him, I should think him more an admirer of the Roman poet than of the Grecian, and in that not of the same taste with his friend.
I have been well informed, that this work was the labour of full six years of his life, and that he wholly retired himself from all the avocations and pleasures of the world, to attend diligently to its correction and perfection; and six years more he intended to bestow upon it, as it should seem by this verse of Statius, which was cited at the head of his manuscript—
'Oh mihi bissenos multum vigilata per annos,
Hence, also, we learn the true title of the poem; which, with the same certainty as we call that of Homer the Iliad, of Virgil the Aeneid, of Camoens the Lusiad, we may pronounce, could have been, and can be no other than
It is styled heroic, as being doubly so: not only with respect to its nature, which, according to the best rules of the ancients, and strictest ideas of the moderns, is critically such; but also with regard to the heroical disposition and high courage of the writer, who dared to stir up such a formidable, irritable, and implacable race of mortals.
There may arise some obscurity in chronology from the names in the poem, by the inevitable removal of some authors, and insertion of others in their niches. For whoever will consider the unity of the whole design, will be sensible that the poem was not made for these authors, but these authors for the poem. I should judge that they were clapped in as they rose, fresh and fresh, and changed from day to day; in like manner as when the old boughs wither, we thrust new ones into a chimney.
I would not have the reader too much troubled or anxious, if he cannot decipher them; since when he shall have found them out, he will probably know no more of the persons than before.
Yet we judged it better to preserve them as they are, than to change them for fictitious names; by which the satire would only be multiplied, and applied to many instead of one. Had the hero, for instance, been called Codrus, how many would have affirmed him to have been Mr T., Mr E., Sir R. B., &c.; but now all that unjust scandal is saved by calling him by a name, which by good luck happens to be that of a real person.
II.—A LIST OF BOOKS, PAPERS, AND VERSES,
IN WHICH OUR AUTHOR WAS ABUSED, BEFORE THE PUBLICATION OF THE DUNCIAD; WITH THE TRUE NAMES OF THE AUTHORS.
Reflections Critical and Satirical on a late Rhapsody, called an Essay on Criticism. By Mr Dennis. Printed by B. Lintot, price 6d.
A New Rehearsal, or Bayes the Younger; containing an Examen of Mr Rowe's plays, and a word or two on Mr Pope's Rape of the Lock. Anon. [By Charles Gildon]. Printed for J. Roberts, 1714, price 1s.
Homerides, or a Letter to Mr Pope, occasioned by his intended translation of Homer. By Sir Iliad Doggrel. [Tho. Burnet and G. Ducket, Esquires]. Printed for W. Wilkins, 1715, price 9d.
Aesop at the Bear Garden; a Vision, in imitation of the Temple of Fame.
The Catholic Poet, or Protestant Barnaby's Sorrowful Lamentations; a
An Epilogue to a Puppet Show at Bath, concerning the said Iliad. By
A Complete Key to the What-d'ye-call-it? Anon. [By Griffin, a player, supervised by Mr Th—-]. Printed by J. Roberts, 1715.
A True Character of Mr P. and his Writings, in a Letter to a Friend.
The Confederates, a Farce. By Joseph Gay. [J. D. Breval]. Printed for R.
Remarks upon Mr Pope's Translation of Homer; with Two Letters concerning the Windsor Forest, and the Temple of Fame. By Mr Dennis. Printed for E. Curll, 1717, price 1s. 6d.
Satires on the Translators of Homer, Mr P. and Mr T. Anon. [Bez.
The Triumvirate; or, a Letter from Palaemon to Celia at Bath. Anon.
The Battle of Poets, an Heroic Poem. By Thomas Cooke. Printed for J.
Memoirs of Lilliput. Anon. [Eliza Haywood]. Octavo, printed in 1727.
An Essay on Criticism, in Prose. By the Author of the Critical History of England [J. Oldmixon]. Octavo, printed 1728.
Gulliveriana and Alexandriana; with an ample Preface and Critique on
Characters of the Times; or, an Account of the Writings, Characters, &c., of several Gentlemen libelled by S—— and P—-, in a late Miscellany. Octavo, 1728.
Remarks on Mr Pope's Rape of the Lock, in Letters to a Friend. By Mr
VERSES, LETTERS, ESSAYS, OR ADVERTISEMENTS, IN THE PUBLIC PRINTS.
British Journal, Nov. 25, 1727. A Letter on Swift and Pope's
Daily Journal, March 18, 1728. A Letter by Philo-mauri. James Moore
Ibid. March 29. A Letter about Thersites; accusing the author of disaffection to the Government. By James Moore Smith.
Mist's Weekly Journal, March 30. An Essay on the Arts of a Poet's
Daily Journal, April 3. A Letter under the name of Philo-ditto. By James
Flying Post, April 4. A Letter against Gulliver and Mr P. [By Mr
Daily Journal, April 5. An Auction of Goods at Twickenham. By James
The Flying Post, April 6. A Fragment of a Treatise upon Swift and Pope.
The Senator, April 9. On the same. By Edward Roome.
Daily Journal, April 8. Advertisement by James Moore Smith.
Flying Post, April 13. Verses against Dr Swift, and against Mr P—-'s
Daily Journal, April 23. Letter about the Translation of the Character of Thersites in Homer. By Thomas Cooke, &c.
Mist's Weekly Journal, April 27. A Letter of Lewis Theobald.
Daily Journal, May 11. A Letter against Mr P. at large. Anon. [John
All these were afterwards reprinted in a pamphlet, entitled, A Collection of all the Verses, Essays, Letters, and Advertisements, occasioned by Mr Pope and Swift's Miscellanies, prefaced by Concanen, Anonymous, octavo, and printed for A. Moore, 1728, price 1s. Others of an elder date, having lain as waste paper many years, were, upon the publication of the Dunciad, brought out, and their authors betrayed by the mercenary booksellers (in hope of some possibility of vending a few), by advertising them in this manner:—"The Confederates, a Farce. By Captain Breval (for which he was put into the Dunciad). An Epilogue to Powell's Puppet Show. By Colonel Ducket (for which he is put into the Dunciad). Essays, &c. By Sir Richard Blackmore. (N.B.—It was for a passage of this book that Sir Richard was put into the Dunciad)." And so of others.
AFTER THE DUNCIAD, 1728.
An Essay on the Dunciad, octavo. Printed for J. Roberts. [In this book, p. 9, it was formally declared, 'That the complaint of the aforesaid libels and advertisements was forged and untrue; that all mouths had been silent, except in Mr Pope's praise; and nothing against him published, but by Mr Theobald.']
Sawney, in Blank Verse, occasioned by the Dunciad; with a Critique on that Poem. By J. Ralph [a person never mentioned in it at first, but inserted after]. Printed for J. Roberts, octavo.
A Complete Key to the Dunciad. By E. Curll. 12mo, price 6d.
A Second and Third Edition of the same, with Additions, 12mo.
The Popiad. By E. Curll. Extracted from J. Dennis, Sir Richard
The Curliad. By the same E. Curll.
The Female Dunciad. Collected by the same Mr Curll. 12mo, price 6d. With the Metamorphosis of P. into a Stinging Nettle. By Mr Foxton. 12mo.
The Metamorphosis of Scriblerus into Snarlerus. By J. Smedley. Printed for A. Moore, folio, price 6d.
The Dunciad Dissected. By Curll and Mrs Thomas. 12mo.
An Essay on the Tastes and Writings of the Present Times. Said to be writ by a Gentleman of C. C. C. Oxon. Printed for J. Roberts, octavo.
The Arts of Logic and Rhetoric, partly taken from Bouhours, with New
Remarks on the Dunciad. By Mr Dennis. Dedicated to Theobald. Octavo.
A Supplement to the Profund. Anon. By Matthew Coucanen. Octavo.
Mist's Weekly Journal, June 8. A long Letter, signed W. A. Writ by some or other of the Club of Theobald, Dennis, Moore, Concanen, Cooke, who for some time held constant weekly meetings for these kind of performances.
Daily Journal, June 11. A Letter signed Philoscriblerus, on the name of Pope. Letter to Mr Theobald, inverse, signed B. M. (Bezaleel Morris) against Mr P—-. Many other little Epigrams about this time in the same papers, by James Moore, and others.
Mist's Journal, June 22. A Letter by Lewis Theobald.
Flying Post, August 8. Letter on Pope and Swift.
Daily Journal, August 8. Letter charging the Author of the Dunciad with
Durgen: A Plain Satire on a Pompous Satirist. By Edward Ward, with a little of James Moore.
Apollo's Maggot in his Cups. By E. Ward.
Gulliveriana Secunda. Being a Collection of many of the Libels in the
Pope Alexander's Supremacy and Infallibility Examined, &c. By George
Dean Jonathan's Paraphrase on the Fourth Chapter of Genesis. Writ by E.
Labeo. A Paper of Verses by Leonard Welsted, which after came into One Epistle, and was published by James Moore, quarto, 1730. Another part of it came out in Welsted's own name, under the just title of Dulness and Scandal, folio, 1731.
There have been since published—
Verses on the Imitator of Horace. By a Lady (or between a Lady, a Lord, and a Court-squire). Printed for J. Roberts. Folio.
An Epistle from a Nobleman to a Doctor of Divinity, from Hampton Court
A Letter from Mr Cibber to Mr Pope. Printed for W. Lewis in Covent
III.—ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION—WITH NOTES,
IN QUARTO, 1729.
It will be sufficient to say of this edition, that the reader has here a much more correct and complete copy of the Dunciad than has hitherto appeared. I cannot answer but some mistakes may have slipped into it, but a vast number of others will be prevented by the names being now not only set at length, but justified by the authorities and reasons given. I make no doubt the author's own motive to use real rather than feigned names, was his care to preserve the innocent from any false application; whereas, in the former editions, which had no more than the initial letters, he was made, by Keys printed here, to hurt the inoffensive, and (what was worse) to abuse his friends, by an impression at Dublin.
The commentary which attends this poem was sent me from several hands, and consequently must be unequally written; yet will have one advantage over most commentaries, that it is not made upon conjectures, or at a remote distance of time: and the reader cannot but derive one pleasure from the very obscurity of the persons it treats of, that it partakes of the nature of a secret, which most people love to be let into, though the men or the things be ever so inconsiderable or trivial.
Of the persons it was judged proper to give some account; for since it is only in this monument that they must expect to survive (and here survive they will, as long as the English tongue shall remain such as it was in the reigns of Queen Anne and King George), it seemed but humanity to bestow a word or two upon each, just to tell what he was, what he writ, when he lived, and when he died.
If a word or two more are added upon the chief offenders, it is only as a paper pinned upon the breast, to mark the enormities for which they suffered; lest the correction only should be remembered, and the crime forgotten. In some articles it was thought sufficient barely to transcribe from Jacob, Curll, and other writers of their own rank, who were much better acquainted with them than any of the authors of this comment can pretend to be. Most of them had drawn each other's characters on certain occasions; but the few here inserted are all that could be saved from the general destruction of such works.
Of the part of Scriblerus, I need say nothing; his manner is well enough known, and approved by all but those who are too much concerned to be judges.
The Imitations of the Ancients are added, to gratify those who either never read, or may have forgotten them; together with some of the parodies and allusions to the most excellent of the Moderns. If, from the frequency of the former, any man think the poem too much a Cento, our poet will but appear to have done the same thing in jest which Boileau did in earnest; and upon which Vida, Fracastorius, and many of the most eminent Latin poets, professedly valued themselves.
IV.—ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE DUNCIAD,
WHEN PRINTED SEPARATELY IN THE YEAR 1742.
We apprehend it can be deemed no injury to the author of the three first books of the Dunciad that we publish this fourth. It was found merely by accident in taking a survey of the library of a late eminent nobleman; but in so blotted a condition, and in so many detached pieces, as plainly showed it to be not only incorrect, but unfinished. That the author of the three first books had a design to extend and complete his poem in this manner appears from the dissertation prefixed to it, where it is said that the design is more extensive, and that we may expect other episodes to complete it; and from the declaration in the argument to the third book, that the accomplishment of the prophecies therein would be the theme hereafter of a greater Dunciad. But whether or no he be the author of this, we declare ourselves ignorant. If he be, we are no more to be blamed for the publication of it than Tucca and Varius for that of the last six books of the Aeneid, though perhaps inferior to the former.
If any person be possessed of a more perfect copy of this work, or of any other fragments of it, and will communicate them to the publisher, we shall make the next edition more complete: in which we also promise to insert any criticisms that shall be published (if at all to the purpose) with the names of the authors; or any letters sent us (though not to the purpose) shall yet be printed under the title of Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum; which, together with some others of the same kind formerly laid by for that end, may make no unpleasant addition to the future impressions of this poem.
V.—ADVERTISEMENT TO THE COMPLETE EDITION of 1743.
I have long had a design of giving some sort of Notes on the works of this poet. Before I had the happiness of his acquaintance, I had written a commentary on his Essay on Man, and have since finished another on the Essay on Criticism. There was one already on the Dunciad, which had met with general approbation; but I still thought some additions were wanting (of a more serious kind) to the humorous notes of Scriblerus, and even to those written by Mr Cleland, Dr Arbuthnot, and others. I had lately the pleasure to pass some months with the author in the country, where I prevailed upon him to do what I had long desired, and favour me with his explanation of several passages in his works. It happened that just at that juncture was published a ridiculous book against him, full of personal reflections, which furnished him with a lucky opportunity of improving this poem, by giving it the only thing it wanted—a more considerable hero. He was always sensible of its defect in that particular, and owned he had let it pass with the hero it had purely for want of a better; not entertaining the least expectation that such an one was reserved for this post as has since obtained the Laurel: but since that had happened, he could no longer deny this justice either to him or the Dunciad.
And yet I will venture to say, there was another motive which had still more weight with our author. This person was one who from every folly (not to say vice) of which another would be ashamed has constantly derived a vanity; and therefore was the man in the world who would least be hurt by it.
VI.—ADVERTISEMENT PRINTED IN THE JOURNALS, 1730.
Whereas, upon occasion of certain pieces relating to the gentlemen of the Dunciad, some have been willing to suggest, as if they looked upon them as an abuse: we can do no less than own it is our opinion, that to call these gentlemen bad authors is no sort of abuse, but a great truth. We cannot alter this opinion without some reason; but we promise to do it in respect to every person who thinks it an injury to be represented as no wit, or poet, provided he procures a certificate of his being really such, from any three of his companions in the Dunciad, or from Mr Dennis singly, who is esteemed equal to any three of the number.
VII.—A PARALLEL OF THE CHARACTERS OF MR DRYDEN AND MR POPE,
AS DRAWN BY CERTAIN OF THEIR CONTEMPORARIES.
MR DRYDEN—HIS POLITICS, RELIGION, MORALS.
MR DRYDEN is a mere renegado from monarchy, poetry, and good sense—a true republican son of monarchical Church—a republican atheist. Dryden was from the beginning an [Greek: alloprosallos], and I doubt not will continue so to the last.
In the poem called Absalom and Achitophel are notoriously traduced, the King, the Queen, the Lords and Gentlemen, not only their honourable persons exposed, but the whole nation and its representatives notoriously libelled. It is scandalum magnatum, yea of majesty itself.
He looks upon God's gospel as a foolish fable, like the Pope, to whom he is a pitiful purveyor. His very Christianity may be questioned. He ought to expect more severity than other men, as he is most unmerciful in his own reflections on others. With as good a right as his holiness, he sets up for poetical infallibility.
MR DRYDEN ONLY A VERSIFIER.
His whole libel is all bad matter, beautified (which is all that can be said of it) with good metre. Mr Dryden's genius did not appear in any thing more than his versification, and whether he is to be ennobled for that only is a question.
MR DRYDEN'S VIRGIL.
Tonson calls it Dryden's Virgil, to show that this is not that Virgil so admired in the Augustaean age; but a Virgil of another stamp, a silly, impertinent, nonsensical writer. None but a Bavius, a Maevius, or a Bathyllus carped at Virgil; and none but such unthinking vermin admire his translator. It is true, soft and easy lines might become Ovid's Epistles or Art of Love; but Virgil, who is all great and majestic, &c., requires strength of lines, weight of words, and closeness of expressions—not an ambling muse running on carpet-ground, and shod as lightly as a Newmarket racer. He has numberless faults in his author's meaning, and in propriety of expression.
MR DRYDEN UNDERSTOOD NO GREEK NOR LATIN.
Mr Dryden was once, I have heard, at Westminster school. Dr Bushby would have whipped him for so childish a paraphrase. The meanest pedant in England would whip a lubber of twelve for construing so absurdly. The translator is mad, every line betrays his stupidity. The faults are innumerable, and convince me that Mr Dryden did not, or would not understand his author. This shows how fit Mr D. may be to translate Homer! A mistake in a single letter might fall on the printer well enough, but [Greek: eichor] for [Greek: ichor] must be the error of the author. Nor had he art enough to correct it at the press. Mr Dryden writes for the court ladies. He writes for the ladies, and not for use.
The translator puts in a little burlesque now and then into Virgil, for a ragout to his cheated subscribers.
MR DRYDEN TRICKED HIS SUBSCRIBERS.
I wonder that any man, who could not but be conscious of his own unfitness for it, should go to amuse the learned world with such an undertaking! A man ought to value his reputation more than money; and not to hope that those who can read for themselves will be imposed upon, merely by a partially and unseasonably celebrated name. Poetis quidlibei audendi shall be Mr Dryden's motto, though it should extend to picking of pockets.
NAMES BESTOWED ON MR DRYDEN.
An Ape.—A crafty ape dressed up in a gaudy gown—whips put into an ape's paw, to play pranks with—none but apish and papish brats will heed him.
An Ass.—A camel will take upon him no more burden than is sufficient for his strength, but there is another beast that crouches under all.
A Frog.—Poet Squab endued with Poet Maro's spirit! an ugly croaking kind of vermin, which would swell to the bulk of an ox.
A Coward.—A Clinias or a Damaetas, or a man of Mr Dryden's own courage.
A Knave.—Mr Dryden has heard of Paul, the knave of Jesus Christ; and, if I mistake not, I've read somewhere of John Dryden, servant to his Majesty.
A Fool.—Had he not been such a self-conceited fool.—Some great poets are positive blockheads.
A Thing.—So little a thing as Mr Dryden.
MR POPE—HIS POLITICS, RELIGION, MORALS.
MR POPE is an open and mortal enemy to his country, and the commonwealth of learning. Some call him a Popish Whig, which is directly inconsistent. Pope, as a papist, must be a Tory and High-flyer. He is both a Whig and Tory.
He hath made it his custom to cackle to more than one party in their own sentiments.
In his miscellanies, the persons abused are—the King, the Queen, his late Majesty, both Houses of Parliament, the Privy Council, the Bench of Bishops, the Established Church, the present Ministry, &c. To make sense of some passages, they must be construed into royal scandal.
He is a popish rhymester, bred up with a contempt of the Sacred Writings. His religion allows him to destroy heretics, not only with his pen, but with fire and sword; and such were all those unhappy wits whom he sacrificed to his accursed popish principles. It deserved vengeance to suggest that Mr Pope had less infallibility than his namesake at Rome.
MR POPE ONLY A VERSIFIER.
The smooth numbers of the Dunciad are all that recommend it, nor has it any other merit. It must be owned that he hath got a notable knack of rhyming and writing smooth verse.
MR POPE'S HOMER.
The Homer which Lintot prints does not talk like Homer, but like Pope; and he who translated him, one would swear, had a hill in Tipperary for his Parnassus, and a puddle in some bog for his Hippocrene. He has no admirers among those that can distinguish, discern, and judge. He hath a knack at smooth verse, but without either genius or good sense, or any tolerable knowledge of English. The qualities which distinguish Homer are the beauties of his diction and the harmony of his versification. But this little author, who is so much in vogue, has neither sense in his thoughts nor English in his expressions.
MR POPE UNDERSTOOD NO GREEK.
He hath undertaken to translate Homer from the Greek, of which he knows not one word, into English, of which he understands as little. I wonder how this gentleman would look, should it be discovered that he has not translated ten verses together in any book of Homer with justice to the poet, and yet he dares reproach his fellow-writers with not understanding Greek. He has stuck so little to his original as to have his knowledge in Greek called in question. I should be glad to know which it is of all Homer's excellencies which has so delighted the ladies, and the gentlemen who judge like ladies.
But he has a notable talent at burlesque; his genius slides so naturally into it, that he hath burlesqued Homer without designing it.
MR POPE TRICKED HIS SUBSCRIBERS.
'Tis indeed somewhat bold, and almost prodigious, for a single man to undertake such a work; but 'tis too late to dissuade by demonstrating the madness of the project. The subscribers' expectations have been raised in proportion to what their pockets have been drained of. Pope has been concerned in jobs, and hired out his name to booksellers.
NAMES BESTOWED ON MR POPE.
An Ape.—Let us take the initial letter of his Christian name, and the initial and final letters of his surname, viz., A P E, and they give you the same idea of an ape as his face, &c.
An Ass.—It is my duty to pull off the lion's skin from this little ass.
A Frog.—A squab short gentleman—a little creature that, like the frog in the fable, swells, and is angry that it is not allowed to be as big as an ox.
A Coward.—A lurking, way-laying coward.
A Knave.—He is one whom God and nature have marked for want of common honesty.
A Fool.—Great fools will be christened by the names of great poets, and
A Thing.—A little abject thing.
PERSONS CELEBRATED IN THIS POEM.
THE FIRST NUMBER SHOWS THE BOOK; THE SECOND, THE VERSE.
Ambrose Philips, i. 105; iii. 326.
Blackmore, Sir Richard, i. 104; ii. 268.
Cibber, Colley, Hero of the Poem, passim.
Defoe, Daniel, i. 103; ii. 147.
Eusden, Laurence, Poet Laureate, i. 104.
Flecknoe, Richard, ii. 2.
Gay, ii. 127; iii. 330.
Holland, Philemon, i. 154.
John, King, i. 252.
Knight, Robert, iv. 561.
Lintot, Bernard, i. 40; ii. 53.
More, James, ii. 50, &c.
Newcastle, Duchess of, i. 141.
Ogilby, John, i. 141, 328.
Prynne, William, i. 103.
Quarles, Francis, i. 140.
Ralph, James, i. 216; iii. 165.
Settle, Elkanah, i. 90, 146; iii. 37.
Tate, i. 105, 238.
Vandals, iii. 86.
Walpole, late Sir Robert, praised by our author, ii. 314
Young, Ed., ii. 116.
 'Patricio:' Lord Godolphin.
 'Charron:' an imitator of Montaigne.
 'Perjured prince:' Louis XI. of France. See 'Quentin Durward'.
 'Godless regent:' Philip Duke of Orleans, Regent of France in the minority of Louis XV., a believer in judicial astrology, though an unbeliever in all religion.
 'Charles:' Charles V.
 'Philip:' Philip II. in the battle of Quintin.
 'Punk:' Cleopatra.
 'Wilmot:' Earl of Rochester.
 'Noble dame a whore:' the sister of Cato, and mother of Brutus.
 'Lanesborough:' an ancient nobleman, who continued this practice long after his legs were disabled by the gout. Upon the death of Prince George of Denmark, he demanded an audience of the Queen, to advise her to preserve her health and dispel her grief by dancing.—P.
 'Narcissa:' Mrs Oldfield, the actress.
 'Sappho:' Lady M. W. Montague.
 'Narcissa:' Duchess of Hamilton.
 'Philomede:' Henrietta, younger Duchess of Marlborough, to whom Congreve left the greater part of his fortune.
 'Her Grace:' Duchess of Montague.
 'Atossa:' Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough.
 'Chloe:' Mrs Howard, afterwards Countess of Suffolk.
 'Mahomet:' servant to the late king, said to be the son of a Turkish pasha, whom he took at the siege of Buda, and constantly kept about his person—P.
 'Parson Hale;' Dr Stephen Hale, not more estimable for his useful discoveries as a natural philosopher, than for his exemplary life and pastoral charity as a parish priest.—P.
 'Epistle III.:' this epistle was written after a violent outcry against our author, on a supposition that he had ridiculed a worthy nobleman merely for his wrong taste. He justified himself upon that article in a letter to the Earl of Burlington; at the end of which are these words: 'I have learnt that there are some who would rather be wicked than ridiculous; and therefore it may be safer to attack vices than follies. I will therefore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their idols, their groves, and their high places; and change my subject from their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their miseries; and as the only certain way to avoid misconstructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natured applications, I may probably, in my next, make use of real names instead of fictitious ones.'—P.
 'Ward:' John Ward of Hackney, Esq., member of Parliament, being prosecuted by the Duchess of Buckingham, and convicted of forgery, was first expelled the House, and then stood in the pillory on the 17th of March 1727.—P.
 'Chartres:' see a former note.
 'The patriot's cloak:' this is a true story, which happened in the reign of William III. to an unsuspected old patriot, who coming out at the back-door from having been closeted by the king, where he had received a large bag of guineas, the bursting of the bag discovered his business there.—P.
 'Ship off senates:' alludes to several ministers, counsellors, and patriots banished in our times to Siberia, and to that more glorious fate of the Parliament of Paris, banished to Pontoise in the year 1720.—P.
 'Coals:' some misers of great wealth, proprietors of the coal-mines, had entered at this time into an association to keep up coals to an extravagant price, whereby the poor were reduced almost to starve, till one of them, taking the advantage of underselling the rest, defeated the design. One of these misers was worth ten thousand, another seven thousand a-year.—P.
 'Colepepper:' Sir William Colepepper, Bart., a person of an ancient family and ample fortune, without one other quality of a gentleman, who, after ruining himself at the gaming table, passed the rest of his days in sitting there to see the ruin of others; preferring to subsist upon borrowing and begging, rather than to enter into any reputable method of life, and refusing a post in the army which was offered him.—P.
 'Turner:' a miser of the day.
 'Hopkins:' a citizen whose rapacity obtained him the name of Vulture Hopkins.—P.
 'Japhet:' Japhet Crook, alias Sir Peter Stranger, was punished with the loss of those parts, for having forged a conveyance of an estate to himself.—P.
 'Endow a college or a cat:' a famous Duchess of Richmond, in her last will, left considerable legacies and annuities to her cats.—P.
 'Bond:' the director of a charitable corporation.
 'To live on venison:' in the extravagance and luxury of the South-sea year, the price of a haunch of venison was from three to five pounds.—P.
 'General excise:' many people, about the year 1733, had a conceit that such a thing was intended, of which it is not improbable this lady might have some intimation.—P.
 'Wise Peter:' an attorney who made a large fortune.
 'Rome's great Didius:' a Roman lawyer, so rich as to purchase the Empire when it was set to sale upon the death of Pertinax.—P.
 'Blunt:' one of the first projectors of the South-sea scheme.
 'Oxford's better part:' Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford—P.
 'The Man of Ross:' the person here celebrated, who, with a small estate, actually performed all these good works, and whose true name was almost lost (partly by the title of the Man of Ross, given him by way of eminence, and partly by being buried without so much as an inscription) was called Mr John Kyrle. He effected many good works, partly by raising contributions from other benevolent persons. He died in the year 1724, aged 90, and lies interred in the chancel of the church of Ross, in Herefordshire.—P.
 'Go search it there:' the parish register.
 'Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone:' the poet ridicules the wretched taste of carving large periwigs on bustos, of which there are several vile examples in the tombs at Westminster and elsewhere.—P.
 'Great Villiers lies:' this lord, yet more famous for his vices than his misfortunes, after having been possessed of about L.50,000 a-year, and passed through many of the highest posts in the kingdom, died in the year 1687, in a remote inn in Yorkshire, reduced to the utmost misery.—P.
 'Shrewsbury:' the Countess of Shrewsbury, a woman abandoned to gallantries. The earl, her husband, was killed by the Duke of Buckingham in a duel; and it has been said, that during the combat she held the duke's horse in the habit of a page.—P.
 'Cutler:' a notorious miser.
 'Where London's column:' the monument, built in memory of the fire of London, with an inscription, importing that city to have been burnt by the Papists.
 'Topham:' a gentleman famous for a judicious collection of drawings.—P.
 'Hearne:' the antiquarian.
 'Ripley:' this man was a carpenter, employed by a first minister, who raised him to an architect, without any genius in the art; and after some wretched proofs of his insufficiency in public buildings, made him comptroller of the Board of Works.—P.
 'Bubo:' Bubb Doddington, who had just finished a mansion at Eastbury.
 'Dr Clarke:' Dr S. Clarke's busto placed by the Queen in the Hermitage, while the doctor duly frequented the court.—P.
 'Timon's villa:' Cannons, the estate of Lord Chandos. See Life.
 'Verrio or Laguerre:' Verrio (Antonio) painted many ceilings, &c., at Windsor, Hampton Court, &c; and Laguerre at Blenheim Castle, and other places.—P.
 'Who never mentions hell:' this is a fact; a reverend Dean, preaching at court, threatened the sinner with punishment in 'a place which he thought it not decent to name in so polite an assembly.'—P.
 'Sancho's dread doctor:' see 'Don Quixote,' chap, xlvii.—P.
 This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr Addison intended to publish his book of medals; it was sometime before he was Secretary of State; but not published till Mr Tickell's edition of his works; at which time the verses on Mr Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz., in 1720.—P.
 'Vadius:' see his history, and that of his shield, in the 'Memoirs of Scriblerus,' ch. ii.
 Alemena, mother of Hercules, is after his death here recounting her misfortunes to Iole, who replies by narrating the transformations of her sister Dryope.
 Such sons: Eteocles and Polynices.
 The Marchantes Tale. Written at sixteen or seventeen years of age.
 The first part of this prologue was written by Pope, the conclusion by Mallet.
 Shows a cap with ears.
 Flings down the cap, and exit.
 'Basset-Table:' only this of all the Town Eclogues was Mr Pope's, and is here printed from a copy corrected by his own hand. The humour of it consists in this, that the one is in love with the game, and the other with the sharper—W.
 'The Lady Frances Shirley:' a lady whose great merit Mr Pope took a real pleasure in celebrating.
 'Bertrand's:' a famous toy-shop at Bath.
 'Fool or ass:' 'The Dunciad.'—P.
 'Flattery or fib:' the 'Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot.'—P.
 'Arms:' such toys being the usual presents from lovers to their mistresses.—P.
 'Print:' when she delivers Aeneas a suit of heavenly armour.—P.
 'Truth nor lies:' if you have neither the courage to write satire, nor the application to attempt an epic poem. He was then meditating on such a work.—P.
 'Algerian grot:' alluding to Numa's projecting his system of politics in this grot, assisted, as he gave out, by the goddess Aegeria.—P.
 'What-d'ye-call-it:' a comedy by Gay.
 'Turk:' Ulrick, the Turk.
 'Pope:' the author.
 'Bellenden, Lepell, and Griffin:' ladies of the Court of the Princess Caroline.
 'Blunderland:' Ireland.
 'Meadows:' see verses to Mrs Howe.
 'God send the king safe landing:' this ballad was written anno 1717.
 'Philips:' Ambrose Philips.
 'Budgell:' Eustace Budgell.
 'Carey:' Henry Carey.
 'Mrs Pulteney:' the daughter of John Gumley of Isleworth, who acquired his fortune by a glass manufactory.
 'Sandys:' George Sandy's, the old, and as yet unequalled, translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
 'Jacob's:' old Jacob Tonson, the publisher of the Metamorphoses.
 'P——:' perhaps Pembroke.
 'Umbra:' intended, it is said, for Ambrose Philips.
 'Only Johnson:' Charles Johnson, a second-rate dramatist.
 'The Man Mountain:' this Ode, and the three following pieces, were produced by Pope on reading 'Gulliver's Travels.'
 'Biddel:' name of a sea captain mentioned in Gulliver's Travels.
 'Pannel:' name of a sea captain mentioned in Gulliver's Travels.
 'B——:' Britain.
 'C——:' Cobham.
 'P——'s: Pulteney's.
 'S——:' Sandys.
 'S——:' Shippen.
 'C——:' Perhaps the Earl of Carlisle.
 'Ch—-s W——:' Sir Charles Hanbury Williams.
 'Sir Har-y or Sir P——:' Sir Henry Oxenden or Sir Paul Methuen.
 'G—-r, C—-m, B—-t:' Lords Gower, Cobham, and Bathurst.
 'C—-d:' Chesterfield.
 'C—-t:' Lord Carteret.
 'P——:' William Pulteney, created in 1742 Earl of Bath.
 'W——:' Walpole.
 'H——:' either Sir Robert's brother Horace, who had just quitted his embassy at the Hague, or his son Horace, who was then on his travels.
 'W——:' W. Winnington.
 'Young:' Sir William Young.
 'Bub:' Dodington.
 'H——:' probably Hare, Bishop of Chicester.
 'F——, H—-y:' Fox and Henley.
 'H—-n:' Hinton.
 'Ebor:' Blackburn, Archbishop of York, and Hoadley, Bishop of Winchester.
 'O—-w:' Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Earl of Delawar, Chairman of the Committees of the House of Lords.
 'N——:' Newcastle.
 'D——'s sager:' Dorset; perhaps the last word should be sneer.
 'M——'s:' Duke of Marlborough.
 'J——'s:' Jekyll.
 'H—-k's:' Hardwick.
 'C——:' probably Sir John Cummins, Lord Chief-Justice of the Common Pleas.
 'B——:' Britain.
 'S—-w:' Earl of Scarborough.
 'M-m-t's:' Marchmont.
 'P—-th:' Polwarth, son to Lord Marchmont.
 'W—-m:' Wyndham.
 'Sl—-s:' slaves.
 'Se—-s:' senates.
 'Ad….:' administration.
 'Religion:' an allusion perhaps to Frederick Prince of Wales.
 'First Book of Horace:' attributed to Pope.
 The person here meant was Dr Robert Friend, head master of Westminster School.
 The Misses Lisle.
 There occurred here originally the following lax stanza:—
Can sins of moment claim the rod
 And that offend great nature's God, Which nature's self inspires.—See Boswell's 'Johnson.'
 This gentleman was of Scotland, and bred at the university of Utrecht, with the Earl of Mar. He served in Spain under Earl Rivers. After the peace, he was made one of the Commissioners of the Customs in Scotland, and then of Taxes in England, in which having shewn himself for twenty years diligent, punctual, and incorruptible, though without any other assistance of fortune, he was suddenly displaced by the minister in the sixty-eighth year of his age, and died two months after, in 1741.—P.
 Giles Jacob's Lives of Poets, vol. ii. in his Life.
 Dennis's Reflections on the Essay on Criticism.
 Dunciad Dissected, p. 4.
 Guardian, No. 40.
 Jacob's Lives, &c. vol. ii.
 Dunciad Dissected, p. 4.
 Farmer P—- and his Son.
 Dunciad Dissected.
 Characters of the Times, p. 45.
 Female Dunciad, p. ult.
 Dunciad Dissected.
 Roome, Paraphrase on the 4th of Genesis, printed 1729.
 Character of Mr Pope and his Writings, in a Letter to a Friend, printed for S. Popping, 1716, p. 10. Curll, in his Key to the Dunciad (first edition, said to be printed for A. Dodd), in the 10th page, declared Gildon to be author of that libel; though in the subsequent editions of his Key he left out this assertion, and affirmed (in the Curlliad, p. 4 and 8) that it was written by Dennis only.
 Reflections, Critical and Satirical, on a Rhapsody called An Essay on Criticism. Printed for Bernard Lintot, 8vo.
 Essay on Criticism in prose, 8vo, 1728, by the author of the Critical History of England.
 Preface to his Poems, p.18, 53.
 Spectator, No. 253.
 Letter to B. B. at the end of the Remarks on Pope's Homer, 1717.
 Printed 1728, p. 12.
 Alma, canto 2.
 In his Essays, vol. i., printed for E. Curll.
 Censor, vol. ii. n. 33.
 Vide preface to Mr Tickel's translation of the first book of the Iliad, 4to. Also vide Life.
 Daily Journal, March 18, 1728.
 Ibid, April 3, 1728.
 Verses to Mr Pope on his translation of Homer.
 Poem prefixed to his works.
 In his poems, printed for B. Lintot.
 Universal Passion, Satire i.
 In his Poems, and at the end of the Odyssey.
 The names of two weekly papers.
 Theobald, Letter in Mist's Journal, June 22, 1728.
 Smedley, Preface to Gulliveriana, p. 14, 16.
 Gulliveriana, p. 332.
 Anno 1723.
 Anno 1729.
 Preface to Remarks on the Rape of the Lock, p. 12, and in the last page of that treatise.
 Pages 6, 7 of the Preface, by Concanen, to a book entitled, A Collection of all the Letters, Essays, Verses, and Advertisements occasioned by Pope and Swift's Miscellanies. Printed for A. Moore, 8vo, 1712.
 Key to the Dunciad, third edition, p. 18.
 A list of persons, &c., at the end of the forementioned Collection of all the Letters, Essays, &c.
 Introduction to his Shakspeare Restored, in 4to, p. 3.
 Commentary on the Duke of Buckingham's Essay, 8vo, 1721, p. 97, 98.
 In his prose Essay on Criticism.
 Printed by J. Roberts, 1742, p. 11.
 Battle of Poets, folio, p. 15.
 Printed under the title of the Progress of Dulness, duodecimo, 1728.
 Cibber's Letter to Mr Pope, p. 9, 12.
 In a letter under his hand, dated March 12, 1733.
 Dennis's Preface to his Reflections on the Essay on Criticism.
 Preface to his Remarks on Homer.
 Remarks on Homer, p. 8, 9.
 Ibid, p. 8.
 Character of Mr Pope, p. 7.
 Ibid, p. G.
 Gulliver, p. 886.
 Cibber's Letter to Mr. Pope, p. 19.
 Burnet Homerides, p. 1 of his Translation of the Iliad.
 The London and Mist's Journals, on his undertaking of the Odyssey.
 Vide Bossu, Du Poeme Epique, ch. viii.
 Bossu, chap. vii.
 Book i. ver. 32, &c.
 Ver. 45 to 54.
 Ver. 57 to 77.
 Ver. 80.
 Ibid, chap, vii., viii.
 Bossu, chap. viii. Vide Aristot. Poetic, chap. ix.
 Cibber's Letter to Mr Pope, pp. 9, 12, 41.
 See his Essays.
 Si nil Heros Poëtique doit être un honnête homme. Bossu, du Poême Epique, lib. v. ch. 5.
 Dedication to the Life of C. C.
 Life, p. 2, 8vo edition.
 Life, ibid.
 Life, p. 23, 8vo.
 Alluding to these lines in the Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot:
'And has not Colley still his lord and whore,
 Letter to Mr Pope, p. 46.
 P. 31.
 Life, p. 23, 24.
 Letter, p. 8.
 Letter, p. 53.
 Letter, p. 1.
 Don Quixote, Part ii. book ii. ch. 22.
 See Life, p. 148.
 Life, p. 149.
 p. 424.
 p. 366.
 p. 457.
 p. 18.
 p. 425.
 pp. 436, 437.
 p. 52.
 p. 47.
 p. 57.
 pp. 58, 59.
 A statuary.
 Life, p. 6.
 p. 424.
 p. 19.
 Life, p. 17.
 Ibid. p. 243, 8vo edition.
 Ovid, of the serpent biting at Orpheus's head.
 'The Dunciad:' sic MS. It may well be disputed whether this be a right reading. Ought it not rather to be spelled Dunceiad, as the etymology evidently demands? Dunce with an e, therefore Dunceiad with an e? That accurate and punctual man of letters, the restorer of Shakespeare, constantly observes the preservation of this very letter e, in spelling the name of his beloved author, and not like his common careless editors, with the omission of one, nay, sometimes of two e's (as Shakspear), which is utterly unpardonable. 'Nor is the neglect of a single letter so trivial as to some it may appear; the alteration whereof in a learned language is an achievement that brings honour to the critic who advances it; and Dr Bentley will be remembered to posterity for his performances of this sort, as long as the world shall have any esteem for the remains of Menander and Philemon.'—Theobald.
This is surely a slip in the learned author of the foregoing note, there having been since produced by an accurate antiquary, an autograph of Shakspeare himself, whereby it appears that he spelled his own name without the first e. And upon this authority it was, that those most critical curators of his monument in Westminster Abbey erased the former wrong reading, and restored the true spelling on a new piece of old Egyptian granite. Nor for this only do they deserve our thanks, but for exhibiting on the same monument the first specimen of an edition of an author in marble; where (as may be seen on comparing the tomb with the book), in the space of five lines, two words and a whole verse are changed, and it is to be hoped will there stand, and outlast whatever hath been hitherto done in paper; as for the future, our learned sister University (the other eye of England) is taking care to perpetuate a total new Shakspeare, at the Clarendon press.—Bentl.
It is to be noted, that this great critic also has omitted one circumstance: which is, that the inscription with the name of Shakspeare was intended to be placed on the marble scroll to which he points with his hand; instead of which it is now placed behind his back, and that specimen of an edition is put on the scroll, which indeed Shakspeare hath great reason to point at.—Anon.
Though I have as just a value for the letter e as any grammarian living, and the same affection for the name of this poem as any critic for that of his author, yet cannot it induce me to agree with those who would add yet another e to it, and call it the Dunceiade; which being a French and foreign termination, is no way proper to a word entirely English and vernacular. One e, therefore, in this case is right, and two e's wrong. Yet, upon the whole, I shall follow the manuscript, and print it without any e at all; moved thereto by authority (at all times, with critics, equal, if not superior to reason). In which method of proceeding, I can never enough praise my good friend, the exact Mr Thomas Hearne; who, if any word occur which to him and all mankind is evidently wrong, yet keeps he it in the text with due reverence, and only remarks in the margin sic MS. In like manner we shall not amend this error in the title itself, but only note it obiter, to evince to the learned that it was not our fault, nor any effect of our ignorance or inattention.—Scriblerus.
This poem was written in the year 1726. In the next year, an imperfect edition was published at Dublin, and reprinted at London in twelves; another at Dublin, and another at London in octavo; and three others in twelves the same year. But there was no perfect edition before that of London in quarto; which was attended with notes. We are willing to acquaint posterity, that this poem was presented to King George the Second and his queen by the hands of Sir Robert Walpole, on the 12th of March 1728-9.—Schol. Vet.
It was expressly confessed in the preface to the first edition, that this poem was not published by the author himself. It was printed originally in a foreign country. And what foreign country? Why, one notorious for blunders; where finding blanks only instead of proper names, these blunderers filled them up at their pleasure.
The very hero of the poem hath been mistaken to this hour; so that we are obliged to open our notes with a discovery who he really was. We learn from the former editor, that this piece was presented by the hands of Sir Robert Walpole to King George II. Now the author directly tells us, his hero is the man
And it is notorious who was the person on whom this prince conferred the honour of the laurel.
It appears as plainly from the apostrophe to the great in the third verse, that Tibbald could not be the person, who was never an author in fashion, or caressed by the great; whereas this single characteristic is sufficient to point out the true hero, who, above all other poets of his time, was the peculiar delight and chosen companion of the nobility of England, and wrote, as he himself tells us, certain of his works at the earnest desire of persons of quality.
Lastly, the sixth verse affords full proof; this poet being the only one who was universally known to have had a son so exactly like him, in his poetical, theatrical, political, and moral capacities, that it could justly be said of him,
'Still Dunce the second reign'd like Dunce the first.'—Bentl.
 'Her son who brings,' &c. Wonderful is the stupidity of all the former critics and commentators on this work! It breaks forth at the very first line. The author of the critique prefixed to Sawney, a poem, p. 5, hath been so dull as to explain 'the man who brings,' &c., not of the hero of the piece, but of our poet himself, as if he vaunted that kings were to be his readers—an honour which though this poem hath had, yet knoweth he how to receive it with more modesty.
We remit this ignorant to the first lines of the Aeneid, assuring him that Virgil there speaketh not of himself but of Aeneas:
'Arma virumque cano, Trojae qui primus ab oris
I cite the whole three verses, that I may by the way offer a conjectural emendation, purely my own, upon each: First, oris should be read aris, it being, as we see, Aen. ii. 513, from the altar of Jupiter Hercaeus that Aeneas fled as soon as he saw Priam slain. In the second line I would flatu for fato, since it is most clear it was by winds that he arrived at the shore of Italy. Jactatus, in the third, is surely as improperly applied to terris, as proper to alto. To say a man is tossed on land, is much at one with saying, he walks at sea. Risum teneatis, amici? Correct it, as I doubt not it ought to be, vexatus.—Scriblerus.
 'The Smithfield Muses.' Smithfield was the place where Bartholomew Fair was kept, whose shows, machines, and dramatical entertainments, formerly agreeable only to the taste of the rabble, were, by the hero of this poem and others of equal genius, brought to the theatres of Covent Garden, Lincolns-Inn-Fields, and the Haymarket, to be the reigning pleasures of the court and town. This happened in the reigns of King George I. and II. See Book iii.
 'By Dulness, Jove, and Fate:' i.e., by their judgments, their interests, and their inclinations.—W.
 'Say how the goddess,' &c. The poet ventureth to sing the action of the goddess; but the passion she impresseth on her illustrious votaries, he thinketh can be only told by themselves.—Scribl. W.
 'Daughter of Chaos,' &c. The beauty of this whole allegory being purely of the poetical kind, we think it not our proper business, as a scholiast, to meddle with it, but leave it (as we shall in general all such) to the reader, remarking only that Chaos (according to Hesiod's [Greek: Theogonia]), was the progenitor of all the gods.—Scriblerus.
 'Laborious, heavy, busy, bold,' &c. I wonder the learned Scriblerus has omitted to advertise the reader, at the opening of this poem, that Dulness here is not to be taken contractedly for mere stupidity, but in the enlarged sense of the word, for all slowness of apprehension, shortness of sight, or imperfect sense of things. It includes (as we see by the poet's own words) labour, industry, and some degree of activity and boldness—a ruling principle not inert, but turning topsy-turvy the understanding, and inducing an anarchy or confused state of mind. This remark ought to be carried along with the reader throughout the work; and without this caution he will be apt to mistake the importance of many of the characters, as well as of the design of the poet. Hence it is, that some have complained he chooses too mean a subject, and imagined he employs himself like Domitian, in killing flies; whereas those who have the true key will find he sports with nobler quarry, and embraces a larger compass; or (as one saith, on a like occasion)—
'Will see his work, like Jacob's ladder, rise,
 'Still her old empire to restore.' This restoration makes the completion of the poem. Vide Book iv.—P.
 'Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver!' the several names and characters he assumed in his ludicrous, his splenetic, or his party-writings; which take in all his works.—P.
 'Or praise the court, or magnify mankind:' ironicè, alluding to Gulliver's representations of both. The next line relates to the papers of the Drapier against the currency of Wood's copper coin in Ireland, which, upon the great discontent of the people, his Majesty was graciously pleased to recall.
 'By his famed father's hand:' Mr Caius-Gabriel Cibber, father of the poet laureate. The two statues of the lunatics over the gates of Bedlam Hospital were done by him, and (as the son justly says of them) are no ill monuments of his fame as an artist.
 'Bag-fair' is a place near the Tower of London, where old clothes and frippery are sold—P.
 'A yawning ruin hangs and nods in air:'—Here in one bed two shivering sisters lie, The cave of Poverty and Poetry.
 'Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post:' two booksellers, of whom, see Book ii. The former was fined by the Court of King's Bench for publishing obscene books; the latter usually adorned his shop with titles in red letters.—P.
 'Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines:' it is an ancient English custom for the malefactors to sing a psalm at their execution at Tyburn, and no less customary to print elegies on their deaths, at the same time, or before.—P.
 'Sepulchral lies:' is a just satire on the flatteries and falsehoods admitted to be inscribed on the walls of churches, in epitaphs, which occasioned the following epigram:—
'Friend! in your epitaphs, I'm grieved,
 'New-year odes:' made by the poet laureate for the time being, to be sung at Court on every New-Year's Day, the words of which are happily drowned in the voices and instruments.—P.
 'Jacob:' Tonson, the well-known bookseller.
 'How farce and epic—how Time himself,' allude to the transgressions of the unities in the plays of such poets. For the miracles wrought upon time and place, and the mixture of tragedy and comedy, farce and epic, see Pluto and Proserpine, Penelope, &c., if yet extant.—P.
 ''Twas on the day, when Thorold rich and grave, like Cimon, triumph'd:' viz., a Lord Mayor's day; his name the author had left in blanks, but most certainly could never be that which the editor foisted in formerly, and which no way agrees with the chronology of the poem.—Bentl. The procession of a lord mayor is made partly by land, and partly by water. Cimon, the famous Athenian general, obtained a victory by sea, and another by land, on the same day, over the Persians and Barbarians.—P.
 'Glad chains:' The ignorance of these moderns! This was altered in one edition to gold chains, showing more regard to the metal of which the chains of aldermen are made than to the beauty of the Latinism and Graecism—nay, of figurative speech itself: Loetas segetes, glad, for making glad, &c.—P.
 'But lived, in Settle's numbers, one day more:' a beautiful manner of speaking, usual with poets in praise of poetry, in which kind nothing is finer than those lines of Mr Addison:—
'Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
Settle was poet to the city of London. His office was to compose yearly panegyrics upon the lord mayors, and verses to be spoken in the pageants. But that part of the shows being at length frugally abolished, the employment of city-poet ceased, so that upon Settle's demise there was no successor to that place.—P.
 John Heywood, whose interludes were printed in the time of Henry VIII.—P.
 'Daniel Defoe,' a man in worth and original genius incomparably superior to his defamer.
 'And Eusden eke out,' &c.: Laurence Eusden, poet laureate. Mr Jacob gives a catalogue of some few only of his works, which were very numerous. Mr Cook, in his Battle of Poets, saith of him—
'Eusden, a laurell'd bard, by fortune raised,
 Nahum Tate was poet laureate, a cold writer, of no invention; but sometimes translated tolerably when befriended by Mr Dryden. In his second part of Absalom and Achitophel are above two hundred admirable lines together of that great hand, which strongly shine through the insipidity of the rest. Something parallel may be observed of another author here mentioned.—P.
 'Dennis rage:' Mr John Dennis was the son of a sadler in London, born in 1657. He paid court to Mr Dryden; and having obtained some correspondence with Mr Wycherly and Mr Congreve, he immediately obliged the public with their letters. He made himself known to the Government by many admirable schemes and projects, which the ministry, for reasons best known to themselves, constantly kept private.—P.
 'Shame to Fortune:' because she usually shows favour to persons of this character, who have a threefold pretence to it.
 'Poor Fletcher's half-eat scenes:' a great number of them taken out to patch up his plays.—P.
 'Tibbald:' this Tibbald, or Theobald, published an edition of Shakspeare, of which he was so proud himself as to say, in one of Mist's journals, June 8, 'That to expose any errors in it was impracticable.' And in another, April 27, 'That whatever care might for the future be taken by any other editor, he would still give above five hundred emendations, that shall escape them all.'—P.
 'Wish'd he had blotted:' it was a ridiculous praise which the players gave to Shakspeare, 'that he never blotted a line.' Ben Jonson honestly wished he had blotted a thousand; and Shakspeare would certainly have wished the same, if he had lived to see those alterations in his works, which, not the actors only (and especially the daring hero of this poem) have made on the stage, but the presumptuous critics of our days in their editions—P.
 'Ogilby the great:' 'John Ogilby was one who, from a late initiation into literature, made such a progress as might well style him the prodigy of his time! sending into the world so many large volumes. His translations of Homer and Virgil done to the life, and with such excellent sculptures. And (what added great grace to his works) he printed them all on special good paper, and in a very good letter.'—Winstanly, Lives of Poets.—P.
 'There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines complete:' Langbaine reckons up eight folios of the Duchess of Newcastle's works, which were usually adorned with gilded covers, and had her coat of arms upon them.
 'Worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome:' the poet has mentioned these three authors in particular, as they are parallel to our hero in his three capacities—1. Settle was his brother laureate—only, indeed, upon half-pay, for the city instead of the court; but equally famous for unintelligible flights in his poems on public occasions, such as shows, birth-days, &c.; 2. Banks was his rival in tragedy (though more successful) in one of his tragedies, the Earl of Essex, which is yet alive: Anna Boleyn, the Queen of Scots, and Cyrus the Great, are dead and gone. These he dressed in a sort of beggar's velvet, or a happy mixture of the thick fustian and thin prosaic; exactly imitated in Perolla and Isidora, Caesar in Egypt, and the Heroic Daughter; 3. Broome was a serving-man of Ben Jonson, who once picked up a comedy from his betters, or from some cast scenes of his master, not entirely contemptible.—P.
 'Caxton:' a printer in the time of Edward IV., Richard III., and Henry VII.; Wynkyn de Worde, his successor, in that of Henry VII. and VIII.—P.
 'Nich. de Lyra:' or Harpsfield, a very voluminous commentator, whose works, in five vast folios, were printed in 1472.—P.
 'Philemon Holland:' doctor in physic. 'He translated so many books, that a man would think he had done nothing else; insomuch that he might be called translator general of his age. The books alone of his turning into English are sufficient to make a country gentleman a complete library.'—Winstanly.—P.
 'E'er since Sir Fopling's periwig:' the first visible cause of the passion of the town for our hero, was a fair flaxen full-bottomed periwig, which, he tells us, he wore in his first play of the Fool in Fashion. It attracted, in a particular manner, the friendship of Col. Brett, who wanted to purchase it.—P.
 'Ridpath—Mist:' George Ridpath, author of a Whig paper, called the Flying Post; Nathanael Mist, of a famous Tory journal.—P.
 'Rome's ancient geese:' relates to the well-known story of the geese that saved the Capitol; of which Virgil, Aen. VIII.
'Atque hic auratis volitans argenteus anser
A passage I have always suspected. Who sees not the antithesis of auratis and argenteus to be unworthy the Virgilian majesty? And what absurdity to say a goose sings? canebat. Virgil gives a contrary character of the voice of this silly bird, in Ecl. ix.
… 'argutos interstrepere anser olores.'
Read it, therefore, adesse strepebat. And why auratis porticibus? does not the very verse preceding this inform us,
'Romuleoque recens horrebat regia culmo.'
Is this thatch in one line, and gold in another, consistent? I scruple not (repugnantibas omnibus manuscriptis) to correct it auritis. Horace uses the same epithet in the same sense.—P.
 'Bear and Fiddle:' see 'Butler's Hudibras.'
 'Gratis-given Bland—Sent with a pass.' It was a practice so to give the Daily Gazetteer and ministerial pamphlets (in which this Bland, Provost of Eton, was a writer), and to send them post-free to all the towns in the kingdom.—P.
 'With Ward, to ape-and-monkey climes.' Edward Ward, a very voluminous poet in Hudibrastic verse, but best known by the London Spy, in prose. He has of late years kept a public-house in the City (but in a genteel way), and with his wit, humour, and good liquor (ale) afforded his guests a pleasurable entertainment, especially those of the High-Church party. Jacob, Lives of Poets, vol. ii., p. 225. Great number of his works were yearly sold into the plantations. Ward, in a book called Apollo's Maggot, declared this account to be a great falsity, protesting that his public-house was not in the City, but in Moorfields.—P.
 'Tate, Shadwell:' two of his predecessors in the Laurel.—P.
 'The dear Nonjuror, Moliere's old stubble:' a comedy threshed out of Moliere's Tartuffe, and so much the translator's favourite, that he assures us all our author's dislike to it could only arise from disaffection to the government:
'Qui meprise Cotin, n'estime point son roi,
He assures us, that 'when he had the honour to kiss his Majesty's hand upon presenting his dedication of it, he was graciously pleased, out of his royal bounty, to order him two hundred pounds for it. And this he doubts not grieved Mr P.'—P.
 'Thulè:' An unfinished poem of that name, of which one sheet was printed many years ago, by Amb. Philips, a northern author. It is a usual method of putting out a fire to cast wet sheets upon it. Some critics have been of opinion that this sheet was of the nature of the asbestos, which cannot be consumed by fire: but I rather think it an allegorical allusion to the coldness and heaviness of the writing.—P.
 'Tibbald:' Lewis Tibbald (as pronounced) or Theobald (as written) was bred an attorney, and son to an attorney (says Mr Jacob) of Sittenburn, in Kent. He was author of some forgotten plays, translations, and other pieces. He was concerned in a paper called the Censor, and a Translation of Ovid. 'There is a notorious idiot, one hight Whachum, who, from an under-spur-leather to the law, is become an under-strapper to the play-house, who hath lately burlesqued the Metamorphoses of Ovid by a vile translation, &c. This fellow is concerned in an impertinent paper called the Censor.' Dennis, Rem. on Pope's Hom. pp. 9, 10.—P.
 'Ozell:' 'Mr John Ozell (if we credit Mr Jacob) did go to school in Leicestershire, where somebody left him something to live on, when he shall retire from business. He was designed to be sent to Cambridge, in order for priesthood; but he chose rather to be placed in an office of accounts in the city, being qualified for the same by his skill in arithmetic, and writing the necessary hands. He has obliged the world with many translations of French plays.' Jacob, Lives of Dram. Poets, p. 198.—P. Mr Jacob's character of Mr Ozell seems vastly short of his merits, and he ought to have further justice done him, having since fully confuted all sarcasms on his learning and genius, by an advertisement of September 20, 1729, in a paper called the Weekly Medley, &c. 'As to my learning, this envious wretch knew, and everybody knows, that the whole bench of bishops, not long ago, were pleased to give me a purse of guineas, for discovering the erroneous translations of the Common Prayer in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, &c. As for my genius, let Mr Cleland show better verses in all Pope's works than Ozell's version of Boileau's Lutrin, which the late Lord Halifax was so pleased with, that he complimented him with leave to dedicate it to him, &c. Let him show better and truer poetry in the Rape of the Lock than in Ozell's Rape of the Bucket (La Secchia Rapita). And Mr Toland and Mr Gildon publicly declared Ozell's translation of Homer to be, as it was prior, so likewise superior to Pope's. Surely, surely, every man is free to deserve well of his country.'—John Ozell. We cannot but subscribe to such reverend testimonies as those of the bench of bishops, Mr Toland, and Mr Gildon.—P.
 'A heidegger:' a strange bird from Switzerland, and not (as some have supposed) the name of an eminent person who was a man of parts, and, as was said of Petronius, arbiter elegantiarum.—P.
 'Gildon:' Charles Gildon, a writer of criticisms and libels of the last age, bred at St Omer's with the Jesuits; but renouncing Popery, he published Blount's books against the divinity of Christ, the Oracles of Reason, &c. He signalised himself as a critic, having written some very bad plays, abused Mr Pope very scandalously in an anonymous pamphlet of the Life of Mr Wycherly, printed by Curll; in another, called the New Rehearsal, printed in 1714; in a third, entitled the Complete Art of English Poetry, in two volumes, and others.—P.
 'Howard:' Hon. Edward Howard, author of the British Princes, and a great number of wonderful pieces, celebrated by the late Earls of Dorset and Rochester, Duke of Buckingham, Mr Waller, &c.—P.
 'Under Archer's wing—Gaming:' when the statute against gaming was drawn up, it was represented that the king, by ancient custom, plays at hazard one night in the year; and therefore a clause was inserted, with an exception as to that particular. Under this pretence, the groom-porter had a room appropriated to gaming all the summer the court was at Kensington, which his Majesty, accidentally being acquainted of, with a just indignation prohibited. It is reported the same practice is yet continued wherever the court resides, and the hazard table there open to all the professed gamesters in town.
'Greatest and justest sovereign! know ye this?
DONNE to QUEEN ELIZ.—P.
 'Chapel-royal:' the voices and instruments used in the service of the chapel-royal being also employed in the performance of the Birth-day and New-year Odes.—P.
 'But pious Needham:' a matron of great and peculiar fame, and very religious in her way.—P.
 'Back to the Devil:' the Devil Tavern in Fleet Street, where these odes are usually rehearsed before they are performed at court.—W.
 'Ogilby—God save King Log:' See Ogilby's Aesop's Fables, where, in the story of the Frogs and their King, this excellent hemistich is to be found.—P.
 Sir George Thorald, Lord Mayor of London in the year 1720.
 'A little Ajax:' in duodecimo, translated from Sophocles by Tibhald.
 'Henley's gilt tub:' the pulpit of a dissenter is usually called a tub; but that of Mr Orator Henley was covered with velvet, and adorned with gold. He had also a fair altar, and over it is this extraordinary inscription, 'The Primitive Eucharist.' See the history of this person, book iii.
 'Flecknoe's Irish throne:' Richard Flecknoe was an Irish priest, but had laid aside (as himself expressed it) the mechanic part of priesthood. He printed some plays, poems, letters, and travels.—P.
 'Or that whereon her Curlls the public pours:' Edmund Curll stood in the pillory at Charing Cross, in March 1727-8. 'This,' saith Edmund Curll, 'is a false assertion. I had, indeed, the corporal punishment of what the gentlemen of the long robe are pleased jocosely to call mounting the rostrum for one hour; but that scene of action was not in the month of March, but in February' (Curliad, 12mo, p. 19). And of the history of his being tossed in a blanket, he saith—'Here, Scriblerus! thou leeseth in what thou assertest concerning the blanket—it was not a blanket, but a rug,' p. 25. Much in the same manner Mr Cibber remonstrated, that his brothers at Bedlam, mentioned book i., were not brazen, but blocks; yet our author let it pass unaltered, as a trifle that no way altered the relationship.—P.
 'Rome in her Capitol saw Querno sit:' Camillo Querno was of Apulia, who, hearing the great encouragement which Leo X. gave to poets, travelled to Rome with a harp in his hand, and sung to it twenty thousand verses of a poem called Alexias. He was introduced as a buffoon to Leo, and promoted to the honour of the laurel—a jest which the court of Rome and the pope himself entered into so far as to cause him to ride on an elephant to the Capitol, and to hold a solemn festival on his coronation, at which it is recorded the poet himself was so transported as to weep for joy. He was ever after a constant frequenter of the pope's table, drank abundantly, and poured forth verses without number. Paulus Jovius, Elog. Vir. doct. chap. lxxxii. Some idea of his poetry is given by Fam. Strada, in his Prolusions.—P.
 See Life of C.C. chap. vi. p. 149.
 'Never was dash'd out, at one lucky hit:' our author here seems willing to give some account of the possibility of Dulness making a wit (which could be done no other way than by chance). The fiction is the more reconciled to probability, by the known story of Apelles, who being at a loss to express the foam of Alexander's horse, dashed his pencil in despair at the picture, and happened to do it by that fortunate stroke.—P.
 'And call'd the phantom More:' Curll, in his Key to the Dunciad, affirmed this to be James Moore Smith, Esq., and it is probable (considering what is said of him in the Testimonies) that some might fancy our author obliged to represent this gentleman as a plagiary, or to pass for one himself. His case, indeed, was like that of a man I have heard of, who, as he was sitting in company, perceived his next neighbour had stolen his handkerchief. 'Sir,' said the thief, finding himself detected, 'do not expose me, I did it for mere want; be so good but to take it privately out of my pocket again, and say nothing.' The honest man did so, but the other cried out, 'See, gentlemen, what a thief we have among us! look, he is stealing my handkerchief!'—P.— Moore was a notorious plagiarist.—It appears from hence, that this is not the name of a real person, but fictitious. More, from [Greek: moros], stultus, [Greek: moria], stultitia, to represent the folly of a plagiary. Thus Erasmus, Admonuit me Mori cognomen tibi, quod tam ad Moriae vocabulum accedit quam es ipse a re alienus. Dedication of Moriae Encomium to Sir Tho. More; the farewell of which may be our author's to his plagiary, Vale, More! et moriam tuam gnaviter defende. Adieu, More! and be sure strongly to defend thy own folly! Scribl.—P.
 'But lofty Lintot:' we enter here upon the episode of the booksellers, persons whose names being more known and famous in the learned world than those of the authors in this poem, do therefore need less explanation. The action of Mr Lintot here imitates that of Dares in Virgil, rising just in this manner to lay hold on a bull. This eminent bookseller printed the Rival Modes before-mentioned.—P.
 'Stood dauntless Curll:' we come now to a character of much respect, that of Mr Edmund Curll. As a plain repetition of great actions is the best praise of them, we shall only say of this eminent man, that he carried the trade many lengths beyond what it ever before had arrived at; and that he was the envy and admiration of all his profession. He possessed himself of a command over all authors whatever; he caused them to write what he pleased; they could not call their very names their own. He was not only famous among these; he was taken notice of by the state, the church, and the law, and received particular marks of distinction from each. It will be owned that he is here introduced with all possible dignity: he speaks like the intrepid Diomede; he runs like the swift-footed Achilles; if he falls, 'tis like the beloved Nisus; and (what Homer makes to be the chief of all praises) he is favoured of the gods; he says but three words, and his prayer is heard; a goddess conveys it to the seat of Jupiter: though he loses the prize, he gains the victory; the great mother herself comforts him, she inspires him with expedients, she honours him with an immortal present (such as Achilles receives from Thetis, and Aeneas from Venus) at once instructive and prophetical: after this he is unrivalled and triumphant. The tribute our author here pays him is a grateful return for several unmerited obligations. Many weighty animadversions on the public affairs, and many excellent and diverting pieces on private persons, has he given to his name. If ever he owed two verses to any other, he owed Mr Curll some thousands. He was every day extending his fame, and enlarging his writings: witness innumerable instances; but it shall suffice only to mention the Court Poems, which he meant to publish as the work of the true writer, a lady of quality; but being first threatened, and afterwards punished for it by Mr Pope, he generously transferred it from her to him, and ever since printed it in his name. The single time that ever he spoke to C. was on that affair, and to that happy incident he owed all the favours since received from him: so true is the saying of Dr Sydenham, 'that any one shall be, at some time or other, the better or the worse for having but seen or spoken to a good or bad man.'—P.
 'Left-legged Jacob:' Jacob Tonson.
 'Curll's Corinna:' this name, it seems, was taken by one Mrs T——, who procured some private letters of Mr Pope, while almost a boy, to Mr Cromwell, and sold them without the consent of either of those gentleman to Curll, who printed them in 12mo, 1727. He discovered her to be the publisher, in his Key, p. 11. We only take this opportunity of mentioning the manner in which those letters got abroad, which the author was ashamed of as very trivial things, full not only of levities, but of wrong judgments of men and books, and only excusable from the youth and inexperience of the writer.—P.—See Life.
 'Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's Arms:' the Bible, Curll's sign; the Cross-keys, Lintot's.
 'Seas:' see Lucian's Icaro-Menippus, where this fiction is more extended.—P.
 'Evans, Young, and Swift:' some of those persons whose writings, epigrams, or jests he had owned.—P.
 'Bezaleel:' Bezaleel Morris was author of some satires on the translators of Homer, with many other things printed in newspapers. 'Bond wrote a satire against Mr P——. Capt. Breval was author of the Confederates, an ingenious dramatic performance to expose Mr P., Mr Gay, Dr Arb., and some ladies of quality,' says Curll, Key, p. 11.—P.
 'Joseph:' Joseph Gay, a fictitious name put by Curll before several pamphlets, which made them pass with many for Mr Gay's.—P.
 'And turn this whole illusion on the town:' it was a common practice of this bookseller to publish vile pieces of obscure hands under the names of eminent authors.—P.
 'Cook shall be Prior:' the man here specified wrote a thing called the Battle of the Poets, in which Philips and Welsted were the heroes, and Swift and Pope utterly routed. He also published some malevolent things in the British, London, and Daily journals; and at the same time wrote letters to Mr Pope protesting his innocence. His chief work was a translation of Hesiod, to which Theobald wrote notes and half-notes, which he carefully owned.—P.
 'Rueful length of face:' 'the decrepit person or figure of a man are no reflections upon his genius; an honest mind will love and esteem a man of worth, though he be deformed or poor. Yet the author of the Dunciad hath libelled a person for his rueful length of face!'—Mist's Journal, June 8. This genius and man of worth, whom an honest mind should love, is Mr Curll. True it is he stood in the pillory, an incident which would lengthen the face of any man though it were ever so comely, therefore is no reflection on the natural beauty of Mr Curll. But as to reflections on any man's face or figure Mr Dennis saith excellently: 'Natural deformity comes not by our fault; 'tis often occasioned by calamities and diseases, which a man can no more help than a monster can his deformity. There is no one misfortune and no one disease but what all the rest of mankind are subject to. But the deformity of this author is visible, present, lasting, unalterable, and peculiar to himself. 'Tis the mark of God and nature upon him, to give us warning that we should hold no society with him, as a creature not of our original, nor of our species; and they who have refused to take this warning which God and nature have given them, and have, in spite of it, by a senseless presumption, ventured to be familiar with him, have severely suffered, &c. 'Tis certain his original is not from Adam, but from the Devil,' &c.—Dennis, Character of Mr P., octavo, 1716. Admirably it is observed by Mr Dennis against Mr Law, p. 33, 'That the language of Billingsgate can never be the language of charity, nor consequently of Christianity.'—P.
 'On Codrus' old, or Dunton's modern bed:' of Codrus the poet's bed, see Juvenal, describing his poverty very copiously, Sat. iii. ver. 103, &c. John Dunton was a broken bookseller, and abusive scribbler. He wrote Neck or Nothing, a violent satire on some ministers of state; a libel on the Duke of Devonshire, and the Bishop of Peterborough, &c.—P.
 'And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge:' John Tutchin, author of some vile verses, and of a weekly paper called the Observator. He was sentenced to be whipped through several towns in the west of England, upon which he petitioned King James II. to be hanged. When that prince died in exile, he wrote an invective against his memory, occasioned by some humane elegies on his death. He lived to the time of Queen Anne.—P.
 'There Ridpath, Roper:' authors of the Flying-post and Post-boy, two scandalous papers on different sides, for which they equally and alternately deserved to be cudgelled, and were so.—P.
 'Himself among the storied chiefs he spies:' the history of Curll's being tossed in a blanket and whipped by the scholars of Westminster is well known.—P.
 'Eliza:' Eliza Haywood. This woman was authoress of those most scandalous books called the Court of Carimania, and the New Utopia.—P.
 'Kirkall:' the name of an engraver. Some of this lady's works were printed in four volumes in 12mo, with her picture thus dressed up before them.—P.
 'Osborne, Thomas;' a bookseller in Gray's Inn, very well qualified by his impudence to act this part; and therefore placed here instead of a less deserving predecessor. This man published advertisements for a year together, pretending to sell Mr Pope's subscription books of Homer's Iliad at half the price. Of which books he had none, but cut to the size of them (which was quarto) the common books in folio, without copperplates, on a worse paper, and never above half the value.—P. This was the man Johnson knocked down.
 'Rolli:' Paolo Antonio Rolli, an Italian poet, and writer of many operas in that language, which, partly by the help of his genius, prevailed in England near twenty years. He taught Italian to some fine gentlemen, who affected to direct the operas.—P.
 'Bentley:' this applies not to Richard but to Thomas Bentley, his nephew, and a small imitator of his great uncle.
 'Welsted:' Leonard Welsted, author of the Triumvirate, or a Letter in verse from Palaemon to Celia at Bath, which was meant for a satire on Mr P. and some of his friends about the year 1718.—P.
 'With thunder rumbling from the mustard bowl:' the old way of making thunder and mustard were the same; but since it is more advantageously performed by troughs of wood with stops in them. Whether Mr Dennis was the inventor of that improvement, I know not; but it is certain that being once at a tragedy of a new author, he fell into a great passion at hearing some, and cried, ''Sdeath! that is my thunder.'—P.
 'Norton:' see ver. 417.—J. Durant Breval, author of a very extra-ordinary Book of Travels, and some poems.—P.
 'Webster:' the editor of a newspaper called the Weekly Miscellany.
 'Whitfield:' the great preacher—what a contrast to his satirist!
 'As morning prayer, and flagellation end:' it is between eleven and twelve in the morning, after church service, that the criminals are whipped in Bridewell. This is to mark punctually the time of the day: Homer does it by the circumstance of the judges rising from court, or of the labourers' dinner; our author by one very proper both to the persons and the scene of his poem, which we may remember commenced in the evening of the Lord-mayor's day. The first book passed in that night; the next morning the games begin in the Strand; thence along Fleet Street (places inhabited by booksellers); then they proceed by Bridewell towards Fleet-ditch; and, lastly, through Ludgate to the City and the temple of the goddess.—P.
 'Dash through thick and thin—love of dirt—dark dexterity:' the three chief qualifications of party-writers: to stick at nothing, to delight in flinging dirt, and to slander in the dark by guess.—P.
 'The weekly journals:' papers of news and scandal intermixed, on different sides and parties, and frequently shifting from one side to the other, called the London Journal, British Journal, Daily Journal, &c., the concealed writers of which for some time were Oldmixon, Roome, Arnall, Concanen, and others; persons never seen by our author.—P.
 'A peck of coals a-piece:' our indulgent poet, whenever he has spoken of any dirty or low work, constantly puts us in mind of the poverty of the offenders, as the only extenuation of such practices. Let any one but remark, when a thief, a pickpocket, a highwayman, or a knight of the post are spoken of, how much our hate to those characters is lessened, if they add a needy thief, a poor pickpocket, a hungry highwayman, a starving knight of the post, &c.—P.
 'In naked majesty Oldmixon stands:' Mr John Oldmixon, next to Sir Dennis the most ancient critic of our nation.—P.
 'Next Smedley dived:' the person here mentioned, an Irishman, was author and publisher of many scurrilous pieces, a weekly Whitehall journal, in the year 1722, in the name of Sir James Baker; and particularly whole volumes of Billingsgate against Dr Swift and Mr Pope, called Gulliveriana and Alexandriana, printed in octavo, 1728.—P.
 'Aaron Hill:' see life.
 'With each a sickly brother at his back: sons of a day, &c:' these were daily papers, a number of which, to lessen the expense, were printed one on the back of another.—P.
 'Osborne:' a name assumed by the eldest and gravest of these writers, who at last, being ashamed of his pupils, gave his paper over, and in his age remained silent.—P.
 'Gazetteers:' temporary journals, the ephemerals of the then press, the spawn of the minister of the hour, 'born and dying with the foul breath that made them.'
 'William Arnall:' bred an attorney, was a perfect genius in this sort of work. He began under twenty with furious party-papers; then succeeded Concanen in the 'British Journal.' At the first publication of the 'Dunciad,' he prevailed on the author not to give him his due place in it, by a letter professing his detestation of such practices as his predecessor's. But since, by the most unexampled insolence, and personal abuse of several great men, the poet's particular friends, he most amply deserved a niche in the temple of infamy: witness a paper, called the 'Free Briton;' a dedication entitled, 'To the genuine blunderer,' 1732, and many others. He wrote for hire, and valued himself upon it; not indeed without cause, it appearing that he received 'for Free Britons, and other writings, in the space of four years, no less than ten thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven pounds, six shillings, and eight pence, out of the Treasury.' But frequently, through his fury or folly, he exceeded all the bounds of his commission, and obliged his honourable patron to disavow his scurrilities.—P.
 'The plunging prelate:' Bishop Sherlock.
 'And Milbourn:' Luke Milbourn, a clergyman, the fairest of critics, who, when he wrote against Mr Dryden's Virgil, did him justice in printing at the same time his own translations of him, which were intolerable.—P.
 'Lud's famed gates:' 'King Lud, repairing the city, called it after his own name, Lud's Town; the strong gate which he built in the west part he likewise, for his own honour, named Ludgate. In the year 1260, this gate was beautified with images of Lud and other kings. Those images in the reign of Edward VI. had their heads smitten off, and were otherwise defaced by unadvised folks. Queen Mary did set new heads upon their old bodies again. The 28th of Queen Elizabeth, the same gate was clean taken down, and newly and beautifully builded, with images of Lud and others, as afore.' Stowe's Survey of London.—P.
 'Thrice Budgell aim'd to speak:' famous for his speeches on many occasions about the South Sea Scheme, &c. 'He is a very ingenious gentleman, and hath written some excellent Epilogues to Plays, and one small piece on Love, which is very pretty.' Jacob, Lives of Poets, vol. ii. p. 289. But this gentleman since made himself much more eminent, and personally well known to the greatest statesmen of all parties, as well as to all the courts of law in this nation.—P.
 'Toland and Tindal:' two persons, not so happy as to be obscure, who wrote against the religion of their country. Toland, the author of the Atheist's liturgy, called 'Pantheisticon,' was a spy, in pay to Lord Oxford. Tindal was author of the 'Rights of the Christian Church,' and 'Christianity as Old as the Creation.' He also wrote an abusive pamphlet against Earl S——, which was suppressed, while yet in MS., by an eminent person, then out of the ministry, to whom he showed it, expecting his approbation: this doctor afterwards published the same piece, mutatis mutandis, against that very person.—P.
 'Christ's no kingdom here:' this is said by Curll, Key to Dunc., to allude to a sermon of a reverend Bishop (Hoadley).—P.
 'Centlivre:' Mrs Susanna Centlivre, wife to Mr Centlivre, Yeoman of the Mouth to his Majesty. She wrote many plays, and a song (says Mr Jacob, vol. i. p. 32) before she was seven years old. She also wrote a ballad against Mr Pope's Homer, before he began it.—P.
 'Motteux:' translator of Don Quixote.
 'Boyer the state, and Law the stage gave o'er:' A. Boyer, a voluminous compiler of annals, political collections, &c.—William Law, A.M., wrote with great zeal against the stage; Mr Dennis answered with as great.—P. William Law was an extraordinary man. His 'Serious Call' made Dr Johnson religious. He became mystical in his views.
 'Morgan:' a writer against religion.
 'Mandeville:' the famous author of the 'Fable of the Bees.'
 'Norton:' Norton Defoe, natural offspring of the famous Daniel. He edited the 'Flying Post,' and was a detractor of Pope.
 'Taylor:' John Taylor, the water-poet, an honest man, who owns he learned not so much as the Accidence—a rare example of modesty in a poet!
'I must confess I do want eloquence,
He wrote fourscore books in the reign of James I. and Charles I., and afterwards (like Edward Ward) kept an ale-house in Long-Acre. He died in 1654.—P.
 'Benlowes:' a country gentleman, famous for his own bad poetry, and for patronising bad poets, as may be seen from many dedications of Quarles and others to him. Some of these anagrammed his name, Benlowes, into Benevolus; to verify which, he spent his whole estate upon them.—P.
 'And Shadwell nods the poppy:' Shadwell took opium for many years, and died of too large a dose, in the year 1692.—P.
 'Old Bavius sits:' Bavius was an ancient poet, celebrated by Virgil for the like cause as Bayes by our author, though not in so Christian-like a manner: for heathenishly it is declared by Virgil of Bavius, that he ought to be hated and detested for his evil works; qui Bavium non odit; whereas we have often had occasion to observe our poet's great good nature and mercifulness through the whole course of this poem. Scribl.—P.
 'Brown and Mears:' booksellers, printers for anybody.—The allegory of the souls of the dull coming forth in the form of books, dressed in calf's leather, and being let abroad in vast numbers by booksellers, is sufficiently intelligible.—P.
 'Ward in pillory:' John Ward of Hackney, Esq., member of parliament, being convicted of forgery, was first expelled the House, and then sentenced to the pillory on the 17th of February 1727. Mr Curll (having likewise stood there) looks upon the mention of such a gentleman in a satire as a great act of barbarity. Key to the Dunc., 3d edit. p. 16. And another author reasons thus upon it: Durgen., 8vo, pp. 11, 12, 'How unworthy is it of Christian charity to animate the rabble to abuse a worthy man in such a situation? What could move the poet thus to mention a brave sufferer, a gallant prisoner, exposed to the view of all mankind? It was laying aside his senses, it was committing a crime, for which the law is deficient not to punish him! nay, a crime which man can scarce forgive or time efface! Nothing surely could have induced him to it but being bribed by a great lady,' &c. (to whom this brave, honest, worthy gentleman was guilty of no offence but forgery, proved in open court). But it is evident this verse could not be meant of him, it being notorious that no eggs were thrown at that gentleman. Perhaps, therefore, it might be intended of Mr Edward Ward, the poet, when he stood there.—P.
 'Settle:' Elkanah Settle was once a writer in vogue, as well as Cibber, both for dramatic poetry and politics.—P.
 'Monarch:' Chi Ho-am-ti, Emperor of China, the same who built the great wall between China and Tartary, destroyed all the books and learned men of that empire.—P.
 'Physic of the soul:' the caliph, Omar I., having conquered Egypt, caused his general to burn the Ptolemaean library, on the gates of which was this inscription, [Greek: PSYCHES IATREION], the Physic of the soul.—P.
 'Happy!—had Easter never been:' wars in England anciently, about the right time of celebrating Easter.—P.
 'Jacob, the scourge of grammar, mark with awe:' this gentleman is son of a considerable maltster of Romsey in Southamptonshire, and bred to the law under a very eminent attorney; who, between his more laborious studies, has diverted himself with poetry. He is a great admirer of poets and their works, which has occasioned him to try his genius that way. He has wrote in prose the Lives of the Poets, Essays, and a great many law-books, The Accomplished Conveyancer, Modern Justice, &c.' Giles Jacob of himself, Lives of Poets, vol. i. He very grossly, and unprovoked, abused in that book the author's friend, Mr Gay.—P.
 'Horneck and Roome:' these two were virulent party-writers, worthily coupled together, and one would think prophetically, since, after the publishing of this piece, the former dying, the latter succeeded him in honour and employment. The first was Philip Horneck, author of a Billingsgate paper called The High German Doctor. Edward Roome was son of an undertaker for funerals in Fleet Street, and wrote some of the papers called Pasquin, where by malicious innuendos he endeavoured to represent our author guilty of malevolent practices with a great man then under prosecution of Parliament. Of this man was made the following epigram:
'You ask why Roome diverts you with his jokes,
Popple was the author of some vile plays and pamphlets. He published abuses on our author in a paper called the Prompter.—P.
 'Goode:' an ill-natured critic, who wrote a satire on our author, called The Mock Aesop, and many anonymous libels in newspapers for hire.—P.
 'Ralph:' James Ralph, a name inserted after the first editions, not known to our author till he writ a swearing-piece called Sawney, very abusive of Dr Swift, Mr Gay, and himself. These lines allude to a thing of his, entitled Night, a Poem. This low writer attended his own works with panegyrics in the journals, and once in particular praised himself highly above Mr Addison, in wretched remarks upon that author's account of English Poets, printed in a London journal, September 1728. He was wholly illiterate, and knew no language, not even French. Being advised to read the rules of dramatic poetry before he began a play, he smiled and replied, 'Shakspeare wrote without rules.' He ended at last in the common sink of all such writers, a political newspaper, to which he was recommended by his friend Arnall, and received a small pittance for pay.—P. B. Franklin seems to have thought that his friend Ralph was alluded to here. See his Autobiography.
 'Behold yon pair:' one of these was author of a weekly paper called The Grumbler, as the other was concerned in another called Pasquin, in which Mr Pope was abused with the Duke of Buckingham and Bishop of Rochester. They also joined in a piece against his first undertaking to translate the Iliad, entitled Homerides, by Sir Iliad Doggrel, printed 1715.—P.
 'Wormius hight:' let not this name, purely fictitious, be conceited to mean the learned Olaus Wormius; much less (as it was unwarrantably foisted into the surreptitious editions) our own antiquary, Mr Thomas Hearne, who had no way aggrieved our poet, but, on the contrary, published many curious tracts which he hath to his great contentment perused.—P.
 'Lo! Henley stands,' &c.: J. Henley, the orator; he preached on the Sundays upon theological matters, and on the Wednesdays upon all other sciences. Each auditor paid one shilling. He declaimed some years against the greatest persons, and occasionally did our author that honour.—P.
 'Sherlock, Hare, Gibson:' bishops of Salisbury, Chichester, and London, whose Sermons and Pastoral Letters did honour to their country as well as stations.—P.
 Of Toland and Tindal, see book ii. Thomas Woolston was an impious madman, who wrote in a most insolent style against the miracles of the Gospel, in the year 1726, &c.—P.
 'A sable sorcerer:' Dr Faustus, the subject of a set of farces, which, lasted in vogue two or three seasons, in which both playhouses strove to outdo each other for some years.—P.
 'Hell rises, Heaven descends, and dance on earth:' this monstrous absurdity was actually represented in Tibbald's Rape of Proserpine.—P.
 'Lo! one vast egg:' in another of these farces, Harlequin is hatched upon the stage, out of a large egg.—P.
 'Immortal Rich:' Mr John Rich, master of the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden, was the first that excelled this way.—P.
 Booth and Cibber were joint managers of the Theatre in Drury Lane.—P.
 'Though long my party:' Settle, like most party-writers, was very uncertain in his political principles. He was employed to hold the pen in the character of a popish successor, but afterwards printed his narrative on the other side. He had managed the ceremony of a famous pope-burning on Nov. 17, 1680, then became a trooper in King James's army, at Hounslow Heath. After the Revolution he kept a booth at Bartholomew Fair, where, in the droll called St George for England, he acted in his old age in a dragon of green leather of his own invention; he was at last taken into the Charter-house, and there died, aged sixty years.—P.
 'Polypheme:' he translated the Italian Opera of Polifemo, but unfortunately lost the whole gist of the story. The Cyclops asks Ulysses his name who tells him his name is Noman. After his eye is put out, he roars and calls the brother Cyclops to his aid: they inquire who has hurt him? he answers Noman; whereupon they all go away again. Our ingenious translator made Ulysses answer, 'I take no name,' whereby all that followed became unintelligible. Hence it appears that Mr Gibber (who values himself on subscribing to the English translation of Homer's Iliad) had not that merit with respect to the Odyssey, or he might have been better instructed in the Greek Punology.—P.
 'Faustus, Pluto,' &c.: names of miserable farces, which it was the custom to act at the end of the best tragedies, to spoil the digestion of the audience.—P.
 'Ensure it but from fire:' in Tibbald's farce of Proserpine, a corn-field was set on fire; whereupon the other play-house had a barn burned down for the recreation of the spectators. They also rivalled each other in showing the burnings of hell fire, in Dr Faustus.—P.
 'Another Æschylus appears:' it is reported of Æschylus, that when his tragedy of the Furies was acted, the audience were so terrified that the children fell into fits, and the big-bellied women miscarried.—P.
 'On poets' tombs see Benson's titles writ:' W——-m Benson (surveyor of the buildings to his Majesty King George I.) gave in a report to the Lords, that their house and the painted-chamber adjoining were in immediate danger of falling. Whereupon the Lords met in a committee to appoint some other place to sit in, while the house should be taken down. But it being proposed to cause some other builders first to inspect it, they found it in very good condition. The Lords, upon this, were going upon an address to the king against Benson for such a misrepresentation; but the Earl of Sunderland, then secretary, gave them an assurance that his Majesty would remove him, which was done accordingly. In favour of this man, the famous Sir Christopher Wren, who had been architect to the Crown for above fifty years, who built most of the churches in London, laid the first stone of St Paul's, and lived to finish it, had been displaced from his employment at the age of nearly ninety years.—P.
 'Ambrose Philips:' 'he was,' saith Mr Jacob, 'one of the wits at Button's, and a justice of the peace.'—P.
 'While Jones' and Boyle's united labours fall:' at the time when this poem was written, the banqueting-house of Whitehall, the church and piazza of Covent Garden, and the palace and chapel of Somerset House, the works of the famous Inigo Jones, had been for many years so neglected as to be in danger of ruin. The portico of Covent Garden church had been just then restored and beautified at the expense of the Earl of Burlington, who, at the same time, by his publication of the designs of that great master and Palladio, as well as by many noble buildings of his own, revived the true taste of architecture in this kingdom.—P.
 'Mad Máthesis:' alluding to the strange conclusions some mathematicians have deduced from their principles, concerning the real quantity of matter, the reality of space, &c.—P. W.
 'Pure space:' i.e. pure and defaecated from matter. 'Ecstatic stare:' the action of men who look about with full assurance of seeing what does not exist, such as those who expect to find space a real being.—W.
 'Running round the circle, finds it square:' regards the wild and fruitless attempts of squaring the circle.—P. W.
 'Nor couldst thou,' &c.: this noble person in the year 1737, when the act aforesaid was brought into the House of Lords, opposed it in an excellent speech (says Mr Cibber), 'with a lively spirit, and uncommon eloquence.' This speech had the honour to be answered by the said Mr Cibber, with a lively spirit also, and in a manner very uncommon, in the 8th chapter of his Life and Manners.—P.
 'Harlot form:' the attitude given to this phantom represents the nature and genius of the Italian Opera; its affected airs, its effeminate sounds, and the practice of patching up these operas with favourite songs, incoherently put together. These things were supported by the subscriptions of the nobility. This circumstance, that Opera should prepare for the opening of the grand sessions, was prophesied of in book iii. ver. 304,
'Already Opera prepares the way,
 'Division reign:' alluding to the false taste of playing tricks in music with numberless divisions, to the neglect of that harmony which conforms to the sense, and applies to the passions. Mr Handel had introduced a great number of hands, and more variety of instruments into the orchestra, and employed even drums and cannon to make a fuller chorus; which proved so much too manly for the fine gentlemen of his age, that he was obliged to remove his music into Ireland. After which they were reduced, for want of composers, to practise the patch-work above mentioned.—P. W.
 'Chromatic:' that species of the ancient music called the Chromatic was a variation and embellishment, in odd irregularities, of the diatonic kind. They say it was invented about the time of Alexander, and that the Spartans forbad the use of it, as languid and effeminate.—W.
 'Wake the dull church, and lull the ranting stage:' i.e. dissipate the devotion of the one by light and wanton airs; and subdue the pathos of the other by recitative and sing-song.—W.
 'Narcissus:' Lord Hervey.
 'Bold Benson:' this man endeavoured to raise himself to fame by erecting monuments, striking coins, setting up heads, and procuring translations of Milton; and afterwards by as great passion for Arthur Johnston, a Scotch physician's version of the Psalms, of which he printed many fine editions. See more of him, book iii. v. 325.—P. W.
 'The decent knight:' Sir Thomas Hanmer, who was about to publish a very pompous edition of a great author, at his own expense.—P. W.
 'So by each bard an alderman,' &c.: alluding to the monument of Butler erected by Alderman Barber.
 'The Samian letter:' the letter Y, used by Pythagoras as an emblem of the different roads of Virtue and Vice.
'Et tibi quae Samios diduxit litera ramos.'—Pers. P. W.
 'House or Hall:' Westminster Hall and the House of Commons.—W.
 'Master-piece of man:' viz., an epigram. The famous Dr South declared a perfect epigram to be as difficult a performance as an epic poem. And the critics say, 'An epic poem is the greatest work human nature is capable of.'—P. W.
 'Gentle James:' Wilson tells us that this king, James I., took upon himself to teach the Latin tongue to Carr, Earl of Somerset; and that Gondomar, the Spanish ambassador, would speak false Latin to him, on purpose to give him the pleasure of correcting it, whereby he wrought himself into his good graces.—P. W. See Fortunes of Nigel.
 'Locke:' in the year 1703 there was a meeting of the heads of the University of Oxford to censure Mr Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, and to forbid the reading it. See his Letters in the last edit.—P. W.
 'Crousaz:' see Life.
 'The streams:' the River Cam, running by the walls of these colleges, which are particularly famous for their skill in disputation.—P. W.
 'Sleeps in port:' viz., 'now retired into harbour, after the tempests that had long agitated his society.' So Scriblerus. But the learned Scipio Maffei understands it of a certain wine called port, from Oporto a city of Portugal, of which this professor invited him to drink abundantly. Scip. Maff., De Compotationibus Academicis.—P. W.
 'Letter:' alluding to those grammarians, such as Palamedes and Simonides, who invented single letters. But Aristarchus, who had found out a double one, was therefore worthy of double honour.—Scribl. W.
 'Digamma:' alludes to the boasted restoration of the Aeolic digamma, in his long-projected edition of Homer. He calls it something more than letter, from the enormous figure it would make among the other letters, being one gamma set upon the shoulders of another.—P. W.
 'Cicero:' grammatical disputes about the manner of pronouncing Cicero's name in Greek.—W.
 'Freind—Alsop:' Dr Robert Freind, master of Westminster school, and canon of Christ-church—Dr Anthony Alsop, a happy imitator of the Horatian style.—P. W.
 'Manilius or Solinus:' some critics having had it in their choice to comment either on Virgil or Manilius, Pliny or Solinus, have chosen the worse author, the more freely to display their critical capacity.—P. W.
 'Suidas, Gellius, Stobaeus:' the first a dictionary-writer, a collector of impertinent facts and barbarous words; the second a minute critic; the third an author, who gave his common-place book to the public, where we happen to find much mince-meat of old books.—P. W.
 'Divinity:' a word much affected by the learned Aristarchus in common conversation, to signify genius or natural acumen. But this passage has a further view: [Greek: Nous] was the Platonic term for mind, or the first cause, and that system of divinity is here hinted at which terminates in blind nature without a [Greek: Nous].—P. W.
 'Petrify a genius:' those who have no genius, employed in works of imagination; those who have, in abstract sciences.—P. W.
 'And hew the block off:' a notion of Aristotle, that there was originally in every block of marble a statue, which would appear on the removal of the superfluous parts.—P. W.
 'Ajax' spectre:' see Homer Odyss. xi., where the ghost of Ajax turns sullenly from Ulysses the traveller, who had succeeded against him in the dispute for the arms of Achilles.—Scribl. W.
 'The first came forwards:' this forwardness or pertness is the certain consequence, when the children of Dulness are spoiled by too great fondness of their parent.—W.
 'As if he saw St James's:' reflecting on the disrespectful and indecent behaviour of several forward young persons in the presence, so offensive to all serious men, and to none more than the good Scriblerus.—P. W.
 'Lily-silver'd vales:' Tube roses.—P.
 'Lion of the deeps:' the winged Lion, the arms of Venice.—P. W.
 'Greatly-daring dined:' it being, indeed, no small risk to eat through those extraordinary compositions, whose disguised ingredients are generally unknown to the guests, and highly inflammatory and unwholesome.—P. W.
 'Jansen, Fleetwood, Cibber:' three very eminent persons, all managers of plays; who, though not governors by profession, had, each in his way, concerned themselves in the education of youth, and regulated their wits, their morals, or their finances, at that period of their age which is the most important—their entrance into the polite world.—P. W.
 'Paridel:' the poet seems to speak of this young gentleman with great affection. The name is taken from Spenser, who gives it to a wandering courtly squire, that travelled about for the same reason for which many young squires are now fond of travelling, and especially to Paris.—P. W.
 'Annius:' the name taken from Annius the Monk of Viterbo, famous for many impositions and forgeries of ancient manuscripts and inscriptions, which he was prompted to by mere vanity, but our Annius had a more substantial motive. Annius, Sir Andrew Fontaine.—P. W.
 'Still to cheat:' some read skill, but that is frivolous, for Annius hath that skill already; or if he had not, skill were not wanting to cheat such persons.—Bentl. P. W.
 'Hunt the Athenian fowl:' the owl stamped on the reverse on the ancient money of Athens.—P. W.
 'Attys and Cecrops:' the first king of Athens, of whom it is hard to suppose any coins are extant; but not so improbable as what follows, that there should be any of Mahomet, who forbad all images, and the story of whose pigeon was a monkish fable. Nevertheless, one of these Annius's made a counterfeit medal of that impostor, now in the collection of a learned nobleman.—P. W.
 'Mummius:' this name is not merely an allusion to the mummies he was so fond of, but probably referred to the Roman General of that name, who burned Corinth, and committed the curious statues to the captain of a ship, assuring him, 'that if any were lost or broken, he should procure others to be made in their stead,' by which it should seem (whatever may be pretended) that Mummius was no virtuoso.-P. W.
 'Cheops:' a king of Egypt, whose body was certainly to be known, as being buried alone in his pyramid, and is therefore more genuine than any of the Cleopatras. This royal mummy, being stolen by a wild Arab, was purchased by the consul of Alexandria, and transmitted to the Museum of Mummius; for proof of which he brings a passage in Sandys's Travels, where that accurate and learned voyager assures us that he saw the sepulchre empty, which agrees exactly (saith he) with the time of the theft above mentioned. But he omits to observe that Herodotus tells the same thing of it in his time.—P. W.
 'Speak'st thou of Syrian princes:' the strange story following, which may be taken for a fiction of the poet, is justified by a true relation in Spon's Voyages. Vaillant (who wrote the History of the Syrian Kings as it is to be found on medals) coming from the Levant, where he had been collecting various coins, and being pursued by a corsair of Sallee, swallowed down twenty gold medals. A sudden bourasque freed him from the rover, and he got to land with them in his belly. On his road to Avignon, he met two physicians, of whom he demanded assistance. One advised purgations, the other vomits. In this uncertainty he took neither, but pursued his way to Lyons, where he found his ancient friend, the famous physician and antiquary Dufour, to whom he related his adventure. Dufour first asked him whether the medals were of the higher empire? He assured him they were. Dufour was ravished with the hope of possessing such a treasure—he bargained with him on the spot for the most curious of them, and was to recover them at his own expense.—P. W.
 'Witness, great Ammon:' Jupiter Ammon is called to witness, as the father of Alexander, to whom those kings succeeded in the division of the Macedonian Empire, and whose horns they wore on their medals.—P. W.
 'Douglas:' a physician of great learning and no less taste; above all, curious in what related to Horace, of whom he collected every edition, translation, and comment, to the number of several hundred volumes.—P. W.
 'And named it Caroline:' it is a compliment which the florists usually pay to princes and great persons, to give their names to the most curious flowers of their raising. Some have been very jealous of vindicating this honour, but none more than that ambitions gardener, at Hammersmith, who caused his favourite to be painted on his sign, with this inscription—'This is my Queen Caroline.'—P. W.
 'Moss:' of which the naturalists count I can't tell how many hundred species.—P. W.
 'Wilkins' wings:' one of the first projectors of the Royal Society, who, among many enlarged and useful notions, entertained the extravagant hope of a possibility to fly to the moon; which has put some volatile geniuses upon making wings for that purpose.—P. W.
 'Moral evidence:' alluding to a ridiculous and absurd way of some mathematicians in calculating the gradual decay of moral evidence by mathematical proportions; according to which calculation, in about fifty years it will be no longer probable that Julius Caesar was in Gaul, or died in the senate-house.—P. W.
 'The high priori road:' those who, from the effects in this visible world, deduce the eternal power and Godhead of the First Cause, though they cannot attain to an adequate idea of the Deity, yet discover so much of him as enables them to see the end of their creation, and the means of their happiness; whereas they who take this high priori road (such as Hobbes, Spinoza, Descartes, and some better reasoners) for one that goes right, ten lose themselves in mists, or ramble after visions, which deprive them of all right of their end, and mislead them in the choice of the means.—P. W.
 'Make Nature still:' this relates to such as, being ashamed to assert a mere mechanic cause, and yet unwilling to forsake it entirely, have had recourse to a certain plastic nature, elastic fluid, subtile matter, &c.—P. W.
'Thrust some mechanic cause into his place,
The first of these follies is that of Descartes; the second, of Hobbes; the third, of some succeeding philosophers.—P. W.
 'Bright image:' bright image was the title given by the later Platonists to that vision of nature which they had formed out of their own fancy, so bright that they called it [Greek: Autopton Agalma], or the self-seen image, i. e., seen by its own light. This ignis fatuus has in these our times appeared again in the north; and the writings of Hutcheson, Geddes, and their followers, are full of its wonders. For in this lux borealis, this self-seen image, these second-sighted philosophers see everything else.—Scribl. W. Let it be either the Chance god of Epicurus, or the Fate of this goddess.—W.
 'Theocles:' thus this philosopher calls upon his friend, to partake with him in these visions:
'To-morrow, when the eastern sun
and invoking, first, the genius of the place, we'll try to obtain at least some faint and distant view of the sovereign genius and first beauty.' Charact. vol. ii. p. 245.—P. W.
 'Society adores:' see the Pantheisticon, with its liturgy and rubrics, composed by Toland.—W.
 'Silenus:' Silenus was an Epicurean philosopher, as appears from Virgil, Eclog. vi., where he sings the principles of that philosophy in his drink. He is meant for one Thomas Gordon.—P. W.
 'First, slave to words:' a recapitulation of the whole course of modern education described in this book, which confines youth to the study of words only in schools, subjects them to the authority of systems in the universities, and deludes them with the names of party distinctions in the world,—all equally concurring to narrow the understanding, and establish slavery and error in literature, philosophy, and politics. The whole finished in modern free-thinking; the completion of whatever is vain, wrong, and destructive to the happiness of mankind, as it establishes self-love for the sole principle of action.—P. W.
 'Smiled on by a queen:' i.e. this queen or goddess of Dulness.—P.
 'Mr Philip Wharton, who died abroad and outlawed in 1791.
 'Nothing left but homage to a king:' so strange as this must seem to a mere English reader, the famous Mons. de la Bruyère declares it to be the character of every good subject in a monarchy; 'where,' says he, 'there is no such thing as love of our country; the interest, the glory, and service of the prince, supply its place.'—De la République, chap. x.—P.
 'The balm of Dulness:' the true balm of Dulness, called by the Greek physicians [Greek: Kolakeia], is a sovereign remedy against inanity, and has its poetic name from the goddess herself. Its ancient dispensators were her poets; and for that reason our author, book ii. v. 207, calls it the poet's healing balm; but it is now got into as many hands as Goddard's Drops or Daffy's Elixir.—W.
 'The board with specious miracles he loads:' these were only the miracles of French cookery, and particularly pigeons en crapeau were a common dish.—P. W.
 'Séve and verdeur:' French terms relating to wines, which signify their flavour and poignancy.—P. W.
 'Bladen—Hays:' names of gamesters. Bladen is a black man. Robert Knight, cashier of the South Sea Company, who fled from England in 1720 (afterwards pardoned in 1742). These lived with the utmost magnificence at Paris, and kept open tables frequented by persons of the first quality of England, and even by princes of the blood of France.—P. W. The former note of 'Bladen is a black man,' is very absurd. The manuscript here is partly obliterated, and doubtless could only have been, Wash blackmoors white, alluding to a known proverb.—Scribl. P. W. Bladen was uncle to Collins the poet. See our edition of 'Collins.'
 'Gregorian, Gormogon:' a sort of lay-brothers, slips from the root of the freemasons.—P. W.
 'Arachne's subtile line:' this is one of the most ingenious employments assigned, and therefore recommended only to peers of learning. Of weaving stockings of the webs of spiders, see the Phil. Trans.—P. W.
 'Sergeant call:' alluding perhaps to that ancient and solemn dance, entitled, A Call of Sergeants.—P. W.
 'Teach kings to fiddle:' an ancient amusement of sovereign princes, viz. Achilles, Alexander, Nero; though despised by Themistocles, who was a republican. 'Make senates dance:' either after their prince, or to Pontoise, or Siberia.—P. W.
 'Gilbert:' Archbishop of York, who had attacked Dr King, of Oxford, a friend of Pope's.
 Verses 615-618 were written many years ago, and may be found in the state poems of that time. So that Scriblerus is mistaken, or whoever else have imagined this poem of a fresher date.—P. W.
 'Truth to her old cavern fled:' alluding to the saying of Democritus, that Truth lay at the bottom of a deep well, from whence he had drawn her; though Butler says, he first put her in, before he drew her out.—W.
 Read thus confidently, instead of 'beginning with the word books, and ending with the word flies,' as formerly it stood. Read also, 'containing the entire sum of one thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses,' instead of 'one thousand and twelve lines;' such being the initial and final words, and such the true and entire contents of this poem. Thou art to know, reader! that the first edition thereof, like that of Milton, was never seen by the author (though living and not blind). The editor himself confessed as much in his preface; and no two poems were ever published in so arbitrary a manner. The editor of this had as boldly suppressed whole passages, yea the entire last book, as the editor of Paradise Lost added and augmented. Milton himself gave but ten books, his editor twelve; this author gave four books, his editor only three. But we have happily done justice to both; and presume we shall live, in this our last labour, as long as in any of our others.—Bentl.
 Milbourn on Dryden's Virgil, 8vo, 1698, p. 6.
 Ibid. p. 38.
 Ibid. p. 192.
 Ibid. p. 8.
 Whip and Key, 4to, printed for R. Janeway, 1682, preface.
 Milbourn, p. 9.
 Ibid. p. 176.
 Ibid. p. 39.
 Whip and Key, preface.
 Oldmixon, Essay on Criticism, p. 84.
 Milbourn, p. 2.
 Ibid. p. 35.
 Ibid. pp. 22, 192.
 Ibid. p. 72.
 Ibid. p. 203.
 Ibid, p. 78.
 Ibid, p. 206.
 Ibid. p. 19.
 Ibid. p. 144, 190.
 Ibid. p. 67.
 Milbourn, p. 192.
 Ibid. p. 125.
 Whip and Key, preface.
 Milbourn, p. 105.
 Ibid. p. 11.
 Ibid. p. 176.
 Ibid. p. 57.
 Whip and Key, preface.
 Milbourn, p. 34.
 Ibid. p. 35.
 Dennis's Remarks on the Rape of the Lock, preface, p. xii.
 Dunciad Dissected.
 Preface to Gulliveriana.
 Dennis, Character of Mr P.
 Theobald, Letter in Mist's Journal, June 22, 1728.
 List at the end of a Collection of Verses, Letters, Advertisements, 8vo, printed for A. Moore, 1728, and the preface to it, p. 6.
 Dennis's Remarks on Homer, p. 27.
 Preface to Gulliveriana, p. 11.
 Dedication to the Collection of Verses, Letters, &c., p. 9.
 Mist's Journal of June 8, 1728.
 Character of Mr P. and Dennis on Homer.
 Dennis's Remarks on Pope's Homer, p. 12.
 Ibid. p. 14.
 Character of Mr P., p. 17, and Remarks on Homer, p. 91.
 Dennis's Remarks on Homer, p. 12.
 Daily Journal, April 23, 1728.
 Supplement to the Profund, preface.
 Oldmixon, Essay on Criticism, p. 66.
 Dennis's Remarks, p. 28.
 Homerides, p. 1, &c.
 British Journal, Nov. 25, 1727.
 Dennis, Daily Journal, May 11, 1728.
 Dennis, Remarks on Homer, Preface.
 Dennis's Remarks on the Rape of the Lock, preface, p. 9.
 Character of Mr P., p. 3.
 Dennis, Remarks on Homer, p. 37.
 Ibid, p. 8.
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