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Bays, form'd by Nature, stage, and town to bless, | Dulness with transport eyes the lively Duace,
“ I regard
refletion. Nor ought Mr. Oldmixon to com “ immaterial part docs from human understand plain, so long after, that the laurel would have “ ing.--He is as Itupid and as venomous as a become his owo brows, or any other's : It were “ hunch-backed coad. A book, through which more decent to acquiesce in the opinion of the folly and ignorance, those brethren so lame and Duke of Buckingham upon this matter :
“ impotent, doʻridiculously look big and very
• dull, and strut and hobble, cheek by jowl, with " -In ruth'd Eusden, and cry'd, Who Ahall have,
" their arms on kimbo, being led and supported, it, « But 1, che true laureate, to whom the king gave it, « dence."
" and bully-backed by that blind Hector, Impu
Reflect, on the Essay on Criticism, p. * Apollo begg'd pardon, and granted his claim,
26. 29, 30. " But vow'd that till then he ne'er heard of his
It would be unjust not to add his reasons for this name."
Seffion of Poets. fury, they are so strong and coercive. The same plea might also serve for his successor, “ him (faith he) as an enemy, not so much to Mr. Cibber; and is further strengthened in the me, as to my king, to my country, to my refollowing epigram made on that occafion : “ ligion, and to that liberty which has been the
“ fole felicity of my life. A vagary of fortune, In merry old England it once was a rule,
" who is sometimes pleased to be frolicfome, and The king had his poet, and also his food; But now we're fo frugal, I'd have you to know it him reputation, and reputation (as Hobbes
“ the epidemic madness of the times, have given That Cibber can serve both for fool and for poer.
" is power, and that has made him dangerous. of Blackmore, see Book ii. Of Philips, Book i. u Therefore I look on it as my duty to King ver. 262. and Book iii. prope
“ George, whose faithful subject I am; to my Nahum Tate was poet laurcate, a cold writer,“ country, of which I have appeared a constant of no invention ; but sometimes translated cole « lover; to the laws, under whose protection I rably when befriended by Mr. Dryden. In his “ have fo long lived; and to the liberty of my second part of Abfalom and Achitophel are above country, more dear to me than life, of which I two hundred admirable lines together of that great “ have now for forty years been a constant af. hand, which trongly shine through the insipidity " sertor, &c. I look upon it as my duty, I say, of the rest. Something parallel may be observed " to do--you shall see what to pull the lion's of another author here mentioned.
“ skin from this little ass, which popular error has Ver. 106. And all the mighty mad in Dennis' " thrown round him; and to show that this aurage.) Mr. Theobald, in the Censor, vol. ii. N. “ thor, who has been lately so much in vogue, 33. calls Mr. Dennis by the name of Furius. “ The “ has neither fense in his thoughts, nor English in • modern Furius is to be looked upon more as an “ his expressions.” Dennis' Rem. on Hom. Pref. * object of pity, than of that which he daily pro- p. 2.91, &c. « vokes, laughter and contempt. Did we really Besides these public fpirited reasons, Mr. D. had * know how much this poor man" (I wish that a private one; which, by his manner of expressing reflection on poverty had been spared) " suffers it in p 92, appears to have been equally strong. • " by being contradicted, or, which is the same He was even in bodily fear of his life from the " thing in effe&, by hearing another praised; we machinations of the said Mr. P. « The story “ Mould, in compassion, sometimes attend to him “ (says he) is too long to be told, but who would “ with a silent nod, and let him go away with “ be acquainted with it, may hear it from Mr. " the triumphs of his ill-nature. -Poor Furius “ Curll, my bookseller. -However, what my rea" (again) when any of his contemporaries are " son has suggefted to me, that I have, with a * well spoken of, quitting the ground of the pre- « just confidence said, in defiance of his two clan. * fent dispute, steps back a thousand years to call “ destine weapons, his fander and his poison." « in the fuccour of the ancients. His very pane- Which last words of his book plainly discover Mr. " gyric is spiteful, and he uses ic for the same D.'s suspicion was that of being poisoned, in like
* reason as some ladies do their commendations of mander as Mr. Curll had been before him : of * " a dead beauty, who would never have had their which fact, fee a full and true account of the hor. * good word, but that a living one happened to be rid and barbarous revenge, by poison, on the body ?" in their company. His applause is not the tri- of Edmund Curll, printed in 1916, the year an
bute of his heart, but the sacrifice of his revenge," tecedent to that wherein thefe Remarks of Mr. &c. Indeed his pieces against our poet are some-Dennis were published. But what puts it beyond what of an angry character, and as they are now all question, is a passage in a very warm treatise, scarce extant, a talte of his style may be satisfac- in which Mr. D. was also concerned, price two• tory to the curious. " A young, squab, short gen- pence, called a True character of Mr. Pope and “tleman, whose outward form, though it should his Writings, printed for S. Popping, 1716; in the u be that of downright monkey, would not differ tenth page whercof he is said “ to have insulted * so much from human shape as his unthinking “ people in those calamities and diseases which he
Now (shame to Fortune !) an ill run at play Swearing and supperless the hero sate,
Then gnaw'd his pen, then dash'd it to the ground,
Plung d for his sense, but found no bottom there, himself gave them, by administering poison to
Yet wrote and founder'd on in mere despair. 120 u them :" and is called (p. 4.) a lurking way.
Round him much embryo, much Abortion lay, “ laying coward, and a stabber in the dark." Much future Ode, and abdicated Play; Which (with many other things most lively fet Nonsense precipitate, like running lead, forth in that piece) must have rendered him a ter- That slip'd through crags and zig-zags of the ror, not to Mr. Dennis only, but to all Christian
dead : people. This charitable warning only provoked All that on Folly Frenzy could beget, our incorrigible poet to write the following epi- Fruits of Jull heat, and sooterkins of wit. gram : Should Dennis publish you had ftabb'd your bro
(ther : Lampoon'd your monarch, or debauch'd your mo
Ver. 121. Round him much embryo, &c.] In the
former cditions, thus, Say, what revenge on Dennis can be had? Too dull for laughter, for reply too mad :
He rolld his eyes that witness’d huge dismay, On one so poor you cannot take the law;
Where yet unpawn'd much Icarned lumber lay: On one so old your sword you fcorn to draw :
Volumes, whose fize the space exatly fill'd,
Or which fond authors were so good to gild. Uncag'd then let the harmless monster rage,
Or where, by sculpture made forever known, Secure in dulness, madness, want, and age.
The page admires new beauties not its own. For the rest; Mr. John Dennis was the son of a Here swells the thelf, &c. faddler in London, born in 1657. He paid court to Mr. Dryden; and having obtained some correspondence with Mr. Wycherley and Mr. Con Quoth Cibber co Pope, “ Though in verse you greve, he immediately obliged the public with their foreclofe,
(prose. letters. He made himself known to the Govern “ I'll have the last word: for, by G-, l'il write ment by many admirable schemes and projeAs; Poor Colly, thy reasoning is none of the strongest, which the Ministry, for reasons best known to For know, the last word is the word that lasts themselves, constantly kept private. For his cha longest. tader, as a writer, it is given us as follows: " Mr. Ver. 115. fupperless the hero fatc.) It is amaz“ Dennis is excellent at Pindaric writings, per ing how the sense of this hath been mistaken by "fectly regular in all his performances, and a per- all the former commentators, who most idly sup“ son of sound learning. That he is master of a pose it to imply that the hero of the poem wanted “ great deal of penetration and judgment, his cri- a supper. In truth a great absurdity! Not thac * ticisms (particularly on Prince Arthur) do suf we are ignorant that the hero of Homer's Odys“ ficiently demonstrate," From the same account sey is frequently in that circumstance, and thereit also appears that he writ plays “ more to get fore it can no way derogate from the grandeur of reputation than money." Dennis of himself. See epic poem to represent such hero under a calamity, Giles Jacob's Lives of Dramatic Poets, p. 68, 69, to which the greatest, not only of critics and poets, compared with p. 286.
but of kings and warriors, have been subject. But Ver. 109. Bays, form'd by Nature, &c.] It is much more refined, I will venture to say, is the hoped the poet here hath done full justice to his meaning of our author : I was to give us obliquehero's character, which it were a great miltake to ly a curious precept, or what Boffu calls a disguised imagine was wholly funk in Itupidity: he is al- sentence, that " Temiperance is the life of Study." lowed to have supported it with a wonderful | The language of poesy brings all into adion; and mixture of vivacity. This character is heightened to represent a critic encompassed with books but according to his own desire, in a letter he wrote without a supper, is a picture which lively exprelto our author. " Pert and dull at least you might seth how much the true critic prefers the diet of " have allowed me. What I am I only to be dull, the mind to that of the body, one of which he al" and dull fill, and again, and for ever?” ways castigates, and often totally neglects, for the then solemnly appealed to his own conscience, that greater improvement of the other. : SERIBL. she could not think himself fo, nor believe that But since the discovery of the true hero of the “ our poet did; but that he spake worse of him poem, may we not add, that nothing was so natu" than he could poflibly think; and concluded it ral, after fo great a loss of money at dice, or of re" must be merely to how his wit, or for fome putation by his play, as that the poet should have “ profit or lucre to himself.” Life of C. C. chap. no great ftomach to cat a supper? Besides, how
vii. and letter to Mr. P. page 15, 40, 53. And well has the poet consulted his heroic character, in to show his claim to what the poet was so unwil. adding that be swore all the time? BENTL. ling to allow him, of being pert as well as dull, Ver. 131. poor Fletcher's half.cat scenes.] A he declares he will have the last word; which oc- great number of then taken out to patch up his çalioned the following epigram :
Next o'et his books his eyes began to roll, Here all his suffering brotherhood retire,
And 'scape the martyrdom of jakes and fire :
The classics of an age that heard of none;
Ver. 145 in the first edit. it was Sach with their shelves as due proporcion hold, A Gothic Vatican ! of Greece and Rome Or their fond parents drest in red and gold; Well purg'd, and worthy Wy, W-s, and Blm, Or where the pictures for the page atone, And Quarles is fav'd for beauties not his own. 140
And in the following altered to Withers, Quarles, Here (wells the shelf with Ogilby the great;
and Blome, on which was the following nore. There, stamp'd with arms, Newcatie shines com
It was printed in the surreptitious editions, plete :
W-ly, W-s, who were persons eminent for good life; the one writ the Life of Christ in verse, the other fume valuable pieces in the lyric kind, on pious subjects. The line is here restored according
to its orriginal. Ver. 132. The srippery] “ When I fitted up an “George Withers was a great pretender to poe. " old play, it was as good a housewife will mend “tical zeal against the vices of the times, and " old linen, when she has not better employment."" abused the greatest personages in power, which Life , p. 217, odavo.
“ brought upon him frequent correction. The Ver. 133. hapless Shakspeare, &c.] It is not “ Marihallea and Newgate were no ftrangers to to be doubled but Bays was a subscriber to Tib * him." WINSTANLY. -Quarles was as dull a bald's Shakspeare. He was frequently liberal in writer, but an honeft dull man. Blome's books this
way; and, as he tells us, “ subscribed to Mr. are remarkable for their cuts. Pope's Homer, out of pure generofity and civility; but when Mr. Pope did fo to his Monju
ror he concluded it could be nothing but a joke." " and Virgit done to the life, and with such excel. Letter to Mr. P. p. 24.
“ lent sculptures: And (what added great grace This Tibbald, or Theobald, published an edition “ to his works) he printed them all on special good of Shakspeare, of which he was so proud himself “paper, and in a very good letter.” as to say, in one of Milt's Journals, June 8,
WINSTANLY, Lives of Pacts. " That to expose any errors in it was impractica Ver. 142. There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle " ble." And in another, April 27, " That what-lbines complete.] “ The Duchess of Newcastle "ever care might for the future be taken by any was one who bufied herself in the ravishing de"other editor, he would still give above five hun “ lights of poetry; leaving to pofterity, in print, * dred emendations, that thali escape them all." " three ample volumes of her Audious endea
Ver. 134. With'd he had blotted] It was a ridi “ vours." WINSTANLY, ibid.-Langbaine reckons culous praise which the players gave to Shakspeare, up eight folios of her Grace's; which were ufually " that he never blotted a line." Ben Jonson ho- adorned with gilded covers, and liad her coat of nebly wished he had blotced a thousand; and arms upon them. Shakspeare would certainly have wished the same, Ver. 146. Worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome.) it he had lived to see those alterations in his works, The poet has mentioned these three authors in para which, not the actors only (and especially the da- ticular, as they are parallel to our hero in his chree ring hero of this poem) have made on the ftage, capacities ; 1. Settle was his brother Jaureat; only, bue the presuniptuous critics of our days in their indeed, apon half pay, for the city instead of the
court ; but equally famous for unintelligible flights Ver. 135. The rest on outlide merit, &c.] This in his prems on public occafions, such as thows, library is divided into three parts: The firit con- birth-days, &c. 2. Banks was his rival in tragedy fits of those authors from whom he stole, and (though more succelsful) in one of his tragedies, whose works he mangled; the fecond of such as the Earl of Essex, which is yet alive : Anna Bó. frted the felves, or were gilded for show, or beyn, the Queen of Scots, and Cyrus the Great, are adorned with pidures: the third class our author dead and gone. These he dreit in a fort of begcalls folid learning, old bodies of divinity, old gar's velvet, or a happy mixture of the thick fukian Commentaries, old English printers, or old English and thin prosaic; exactly imitated in Perolla and translations : all very voluminous, and fit to erea Ifidora, Cæsar in Egype, and the Heroic Daughter. akars to Dulness.
3. Broome was a ferving-man of Ben. Johnson, Ver. 141. Ogilby the great.] “ John Ogilby was who once picked up a comedy from his betters, oue, who, from a late initiation into literature, or from some caft scenes of his master, por entirely made fuch a progress as might well style him the contemptible. prodigy of his time, feuding into the world so Ver. 147. More solid learning.) Some have obmiany large volumes! His translations of Homer jeded, that books of this fort, fuit not so well the Vo VIII,
There Caxton flept, with Wynkyn at his side, 149 O thou! of business the dire&ing foul :
true, De Lyra there a dreadful front extends,
Obliquely waddling to the mark in view : And here the groaning shelves Philemon bends. O! ever gracious to perplex'd mankind,
Of these twelve volumes twelve of amplest lize, Still spread a healing mist before the mind; Redeem'd from tapers and defrauded pies, And left we err by wit’s wild dancing light, Inspir'd he seizes : Thefe an altar raise :
Securc us kindly in our native night. An hecatomb of pure unsully'd lays
Ur if to wit a corconib make pretence, That altar crowns : A folio common-place 159 Guard the sure barrier between that and sense ; Founds the whole pile, of all his works the base : Quartos, actavos, shape the lessening pyre; A twisted birth-day ode completes the spire. Then he : Great Tamer of all human art!
Ver. 170. To human heads, &c. First in my care, and ever at my heart;
Ver. 171. Makes their aim. Dalness! whose good old cause I yet defend,
Ver 177. Or if to wit,&c.) In the former edit. With whom ny muse began, with whom shall cnd,
Ah! still o'er Britain stretch chat peaceful wand, E’er since Sir Fopling's periwig was praise,
Which lulls th' Helvetian and Batavian land; To the last honours of the Butt and Bays:
Where rebel to thy throne if Science rise,
There thy good fcholiasts with unwearied pains
Make Horace flat, and humble Maro's strains : Ver. 152. Old bodies of philosophy appear. Here ftudious I unlucky moderns fave,
Ver. 162. A iwisted, &c.] In the former edit. Nor Peeps one error in its father's grave, And latt, a little Ajax tips the spire.
Old puns reftore, loft blunders nicely seek, Var. A little Ajax.] In 12mo, translated from And crucify poor shakspeare once a week. Sophocles, by Tibbald.
For thee I dim thefe eyes, and fluff this head, Ver. 167, 168. Not in the first editions. With all such reading as was never read;
For thee fupplying, in the worst of days,
Notes to dull books, and prologues to dull plays ; library of our Bays, which they imagined consisted For thee explain a thing till all men doubt it, of novels, plays, and obscene books; but they are And write about it, geddess, and about it, to consider, that he furnithed his shelves only for So Ipins the Glk-worm fmall its slender store, ornament, and read these books no more than the And labours, till it ci uds itfelf all o'er. dry bodies of divinity, which, no doubt, were pur. Not that my quill to critics was confin'd, chared by his father when he designed him for the My verse gave ampler leffons to mankind; gown. See the note on ver. 260.
So graveft precepts may successful prove,
Var. Now sleeps one error-Old puns restore The former transated into profe Virgil's Ancis, as
Joft blunders, &c.) As where he (Tibbald) labour. á history; of which he speaks, in his proeme, in a
ed to prove Slakspeare guilty of terrible anachrovery fingular manner, as of a book hardly known. sibbald quotes a rare passage from him in Milt's nisms,
or low conundrums, which time had cover: Juurval of March 16. 1728, concerning a firaunge Wynkyo, rather than in Homer or Chaucer. Nay,
ed; and conversant in such authors as Caxton and and marvayilouse beafte, called Sagittayre, which
so far had he lost his reverence to this incomparahe would have Shakspeare to mean rather than
ble author, as to sayin print, he deserved io be Tencer, the archer celebrated by Homer. Ver. 153. Nich. de Lyra, or Harpsfield, a very
whipt. An info!ence which nothing sure can pa
rallei! but that of Dennis, who can be proved to voluminous commentator; whose works, in five
have declared before company, that Shakspeare vatt folios, were printed in 1472.
was a rascal. O tempora ! O morcs! Ver. 154. Philemon Holland, doctor in phyfic.) “ He trandated so many books, that a mian would
Var. And crucify poor Shakipeare one a week.} " think he had done nothing else ; infomuch that For some time, once a week or fortnight
, he princ“ he might be called tran Lator-general of his age. je&ure, on some word or pointing of Shakipcare,
ed in Milt's Journal, a single remark, or poor cone 1. The books alone of his turning into English, are
either in his own name, or in letters to himlelf, as “ sufficient to make a country gentleman a com
from others, without pame. Upon these, somebo" pie te library."
WINSTANLY. Ver. 167. E'er since Sir Fopling's periwig.) The dy made this epigram : first visible cause of the paflion of the cown for our • 'Tis generous, Tibbald ! in thee and thy brohero, was a fair flasen full-bottomed periwig, “thers, which he tells us he wore in his firit play of the * To help us thus to read the works of others : Fool in Fashion. It attracted, in a particular man “ Never for this can just returns be shown; Aer, the friendship of Col. Bretts who wanted to * For who will help us c'er to read thy own?".
Or quite uriravel all the reas’ning thread, Could Troy be fav'd by any single hand,
This gray-goofe weapon must have made her stand.
Or chair'd at White's amidst the doctors fit, And were my elasticity and fire.
Teach oaths to gainefters, and co nobles wit? Some dæmon Itole my pen (forgive th' offence) Or bidst thou rather pariy to embrace? And once betray'd me into common sense : (A friend to party thou, and all her race; Elle all my prose and verse were much the same.; 'Tis the fame rope at different ends they twist; This, profe on tilts; that, poetry fall'n lame. 190 To Pulness Ridpath is as dear as Mift. Did on the stage my fops appear confin'd? Shall 1, like Curiias, desperate in my zeal, My life gave ampler leilons to mankind.
O'er head and ears plunge for the commonweal? Did the dead letter unsuccessful prove ? The brisk example never fail'd to move. Yet sure had Heaven decreed to fave the state, Heaven had decreed these worlas a longer date. Instead of ver, 200-246. in the former edits.
Take up th' attorney's (once ny better) guide ?
Or rob the Roman geefe of all their glories,
And save the state by cackling to the Tories. Var, Notes to dull books, and prologues to dull Yes, to my country i my pen configr., plays) As to Cook's Hesiod, where sometimes a Yes, from this moment, nighty Mill! am thinc. pote, and sometimes even half a note, are careful And rival, Curtius! of thy lame and zeal, ly owned by him : And to Moore's comedy of the O'er head and ears plunge for the public weal. Rival Modes, and other authors of the same rank: Adieu, my children? better thus expire These were people who writ about the year 1726. Unstall'd, unsold; thus glorious mount in fire, Ver. 195. Yet fure, had Heaven, &c.] In the
Fair withoué spot; than greas'd by grocers hands,
Or ship'd with Ward to Ape-and-nionkey lands, former edit. Had Heaven decreed such works a longer date,
Or wafting ginger, round the Itreets to run, Heaven had decreed to Spare the Grub-itreet tate.
And visit ale-house, where ye first begun.
With that he lifted thrice the sparkling brand, But see great Settle to the dust defcend,
And thrice he dropp'd it, &c.
Ver. 198.--gray. goose weapon.} Alluding to REMARKS.
the old English weapon, the arrow of the long purchase it. “Whatever contempt (says he.) philo- bow, which was fletched with the feathers of the & fophers may have for a fine periwig, my friend, gray-goose. ** who was not to defpife the world, but live in it, Ver. 199. My Fletcher.) A familiar manner of • knew very well that fo material an article of speaking, used by modern critics, of a favourite “dress upon the head of a man of senfe, if it be author. Bays might as jullly speak this of Fletcher, * came him, could never fail of drawing to him a as a French wit did of Tully, seeing his works in * more partial regard and benevolence, than could a library ; " Ah! mon cher Ciceron! je le connois “ polfibly be hoped for in an ill-made one. This, “ bien ; c'est le même que Marc Tulle.” Bue he * perhaps, nayloften the grave cenfure, which fo had a better title to call Fletcher his own, having
youthful a purchase might otherwise have laid made fo free with him...
upon him. in a word, he made his attack upon Ver. 200. Take up the Bible, once my better w this periwig, as your young fellows generally do guide ?) When, according to his father's intention, “ upon a lady of pleafure ; tirit by a few familiar he had been a clergyman, or (as he thinks him· praises of her person, and then a civil inquiry in- felf) a bishop of the Church of England. Hear
to the price of it ; and we finished our bargain his own words : " At the time that the fate of * that night over a bottle." This remarkable pe “ K. James, the Prince of Orange, and myself, riwig usually made its entrance upon the stage in “ were on the anvil, Providence thought fit to a sedan, broughe 'in by two chairmen, with infi. nire approbation of the audience.
IMITATIONS Ver. 178, 179. Guard the fure barrier-Or Ver. 197, 198. Could Troy be fav'd-This graya quite unravel, &c.] For Wit or Reasoning are ne goose wcapon.] ver greatly hurtful to Dulness, but when the first
Si Pergama dextra is founded in truth, and the other in usefulness. " Defendi poffent, etiam hac defensa fuissent." Ver. 181. As forc'd from wind-guns, &c.] The
Viro. ib. thought of these four verses is founded in a poem Ver. 202. This box my thunder, this right hand of our author's, of a very early date (namely writ- my God.] ten at fourteen years old, and soon after printed) “ Dextra mihi Deus, et telum quod mislile li. to the author of a poem called Succello.
bro."-Virgil, of the Gods of Mescentiusa