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OF VERBAL CRITICISM,
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST AND SECOND EDITIONS. As the design of the following poem is to rally the abuse of Verbal Criticism, the author could not, with
out manifest partiality, overlook the editor of Milton, and the restorer of Shakspeare. With regard to the later, he has read over the many and ample specimens with which that scholiaft has already obliged the public: and of these, and these only, he pretends to give his opinion. But, whatever he may think of the critic, not bearing the least ill.will to the man, he deferred printing theie verles, though written several months ago, till he heard that the subicription for a new edition of Shak
speare was closed. He begs leave to add likewise, that this poem was undertaken and written entirely without the know
ledge of the gentleman to whom it is addressed. Only as it is a public testimony of his inviolable esteem for Mr. Pope, on that account, particularly, he wishes, it may not be judged to increase the
number of mean performances, with which the town is almost daily peftered. Among the numerous fools, by fate desigu'd
Pride of his own, and wonder of this age, Oft to disturb, and oft divert, mankind,
Who first created, and yet rules, the itage,
Bold to design, all-powerful to express,
Shakspeare each paflion drew in every dress :
Great above rule, and imitating none; Grave son of idle industry and pride, Whom learning but perverts, and books misguide. Rich without borrowing, nature was his own: O fam'd for judging, as for writing well,
Yet is his fente debas'd by gross allay: That rarelt science, where so few excel;
As gold in mines lies mix'd with dirt and clay. Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends thy lays,
Now, tagle-wing'd, his heavenward flight he takes; For wit fupreme is but thy second praise :
The big Itage thunders, and the soul awakes: "Tis thine, O Pope, who choose the better part,
Now, low on earth, a kindred repule creeps; To tell how false, how vain, the Scholiait's art,
Sad Hamlet quibbles, and the hearer ileeps. Which nor to taste, nor genius has pretence,
Such was the poet: next the Scholiatt view; And, if 'tis learning, is not common sense.
Faint through the colouring, yet the features true. In error obftinate, in wrangling loud,
Condemn'd tv dig and dung a barren toil, For trifles eager, positive, and proud;
Where hardly tales will grow with care and toil,
He, with low induiry, goes gleaning on Deep in the darkness of dull authors bred,
From good, from bad, irom mean, neglecting none: With all their refuse lumber'd in his head,
His brother book-worm fo, in helt or itall,
Will feed alike on Woolfton and oo Paul.
By living clients hopeless now of bread,
He pettyfogs a scrap from authors dead: Sagely resolv'd to swell each bulky piece
See him on Shakipeare pore, intent to tteal With venerable toys, from Ryne and Greece ;
Poor fauce, by fragments, for a third-day meal. How oft, in Homer, Paris curld his hair;
Such that grave bird in northern seas is found. If Aristotle's cap were found or square ;
Whose name a Dutchman only knows 10 found.
Where'er the king of fith moves on before, If in the cave, where Dido first wras (ped,
This humble friend attends from thore to those; To Tyre she turp'd her heels, to 'Troy her head. Such the choice anecdotes, profound and vain,
With eye still earnest, and with bill inclin'd, That store a Bentley's and a Burman's brain :
He picks up what his patron drops behind ; Hence, Plato quoted, or the Stagyrite,
With those choice cates his palate to regale, To prove that faine afcends, and snow is white:
And is the careful Tilbaldo of a whale. J'ence, much hard study, without sense or breeding, on each dull pallage, each dull book contains ;
Blest genius: who beftows his oil and pains And all the grave impertinence of reading. If Shakipeare says, the noon-day fun is bright,
The toil more grateful, as the task more low: His fcholiaft will remark, it then was light;
So carrion is the quarry of a crow. 'Turn Castón, Winkin, each old Goth and Hun,
* This rerrarkable bird is called the StrandtTo rectify the reading of a pun.
Jager. Here you see how he purchofes his jood: Thus, nicely trifling, accurately dull,
and the same author, fi cm whom this account is How one may toil, and toil--- to be a fool :
taken, teils us farther bow be comes by bis drink. But is there then no honour due to age?
You may fee bim, adds the Dutchman No reverence to great Shakspeare's noble page?
pursuing a jort of jea-new, called Kuge-Gebej, And he, who haif . ife has read him o'er,
whom he torments incefantly to make bim coid His mangled poisis and commas to reftore,
an excrement; which being liquid, ferves biin, Meets ne such light regard in nameless lays,
i imagine, for drink. Ses a colicdion of Voyage Wlom Bufo treats, and Lady Would-be pays to the North
= Where his fam'd author's page is flat and poor, To Milton lending sense, to Horace wit, There, moft exact the reading to restore ;
He makes them write what never poet writ: By dint of plodding, and hy sweat of face, The Roman muse arraigns his mangling pen; A bull to change, a blunder to replace :
And Paradise •, by him, is lo't again. Whate'er is refule critically gleaning,
Such was his doom impos'd by Heaven's decree, And mending nonsense into doubtful meaning. With ears that hear not, eyes that thall not see, For this, dread Dennis * (and who can forbear, The low to swell, to level the sublime, Dunce or not Dunce, relating it, to ftare?) To blaft all beauty, and beprose all rhyme.
His head though jealous, and his years fourscore, Great eldest born of dullness, blind and boid : - Ev'n Dennis + praises, who ne'er prais'd before ! Tyrant! more cruel than Procrustes old;
For this, the Scholiaft claims his share of fame, Who, to his iron-bed, by torture, fits, And, modeft, prints his own with Shakspeare's | Their nobler part, the souls of suffering wits. name:
Such is this man, who heaps his head with bays, How justly, Pope, in this short story view ; And calls on human kind to found his praise, Which may be dull, and therefore should be true. For points transplac'd with curious want of skill,
A prelate, fam'd for clearing each dark text, For flattened sounds, and sense amended ill. Who sense with sound, and truth with rhetoric So wise Caligula, in days of yore, mixt,
His helmet filld with pebbles on the fore, Once, as his moving theme to rapture warm’d, Swore he had rifled ocean's richest spoils, Inspir'd himself, his happy hearers charm’d. And claim'd a trophy for his martial toils. The sermon o'er, the crowd remain'd behind, Yet be his merits, with his faults, confett: And freely, man or woman, spoke their mind : Fair-dealing, as the plainest, is the best. All said they lik’d the lecture from their soul, Long lay the critic's work, with trifles stor'd, And each, remembering something, prais’d the Admir'd in Latin, but in Greek ador'd. whole.
Men fo well read, who confidently wrote, At last an honeft sexton join'd the throng
Their readers could have sworn, were men of note: (For as the theme was large, their talk was long); To pass upon the crowd for great or rare, Neighbours, he cry'd, my conscience bids me tell
, Aim not to make them knowing, make them ftare. 5 Though'twas the Doctor preacb'd--Itoll'd the bell. For there blind votaries good Bentley griev'd, In this the critic's folly most is :hown:
Writ English notes and mankind undeceiv'd: Is there a genius all-unlike his own,
In such clear light the serious folly plac'd, With learning elegant, with wit well bred, Ev'n thou, Brown Willis, thou may'it fee the jelt. And, as in books, in men and manners read;
But what can cure our vanity of mind, Himself with poring erudition blind,
Deaf to reproof, and to discovery blind? Unknowing, as unknown of human kind; Let Crooke, a brother-scholiaft Shakspeare call, That writer he selects, with awkward aim Tibbald, to Heliod-Cooke returns the ball. His sense, at once, to mimic and to maim.
So runs the circle still : in this, we see So Florio is a fop, with half a nose :
The lackies of the great and learn'd agree. So fat West Indian planters dress at beaus.
If Britain's nobles mix in high debate,
In mimic session their grave footmen meet,
Mere Tom and Dick are Stanhope and Argyll.
Though with big titles each his fellow greets, Skill'd in that noblest science, how to live ; Are but to wits, as scavenger's to streets: Which learning may direct, but heaven must give; The humble blackguards of a Pope or Gay, Grave with Agrippa, with Mæcenas gay;
To brush off duft, and wipe their spots away. Among the fair, but just as wise as they:
Or, if not trivial, harmful is their art; First in the friendships of the great enroll'd,
Fume to the head, or poison to the heart. The St. Johns, Boyles, and Lyttletons, of old. Where ancient authors hint at things obscene, While Bentley, long to wrangling schools con- The Scholiast speaks out broadly what they mean.
fin'd, And, but by books, acquainted with mankind, * This fagacious Scholiaft is pleased to create Dares, in the fullness of the pedant's pride, an imaginary editor of Milton; who, he says, by Rhyme, tho' no genius ; though no judge, decide.. his blunders, interpolations, and vile alterations, Yet he, prime pattern of the captious art, loff Paradise a second time. This is a postulatum Out-tibbalding poor. Tibbald, tops his part : which surely none of his readers can bave the Holds high the scourge o'er each fam’d author's beart to deny him; because otherwise he would Nor are their graves a refuge for the dead. [head; have wanted a fair opportunity of calling Mil
ton himself, in the person of this phantom, fool, Quis talia fanda
ignorant, idiot, and the like critical compellations, Myrmidonum, Dolopumve,"&C.-VIRG. wbich he plentifully bestows on him. But, though + See the Dedication of his Remarks on the he had no tafte in poetry, be was otherwise a man Denciad to Mr. Lewis Theobald.
of veryconsiderable abilities, andof
great eruditios, Disclofing each dark vice, well loft to fame, Thy bright example Thall our world adorn, And adding fuel to redundant flame,
And charm, in gracious princes, yet unborn. He, sober pimp to lechery, explains
Nor deem this verse from venal art proceeds, What Capreæa's ifle, or V-s alcove contains : That vice of courts, the soil for baneful weeds. Why Paulus, for his sordid temper known, Here candour dwells; here honest truths are taught, Was laviki, to his father's wife alone :
To guide and govern, not disguise, the thought. Why those fond female visits duly paid
See these enlighten'd sages, who preside To tuneful Incuba; and what her trade:
O'er learning's empire ; see the youth they guide: How modern love has made so many martyrs, Behold, all faces are in transport dreft: And which keeps ofteneft, Lady C-, or Chartres. But those most wonder, who disceru thee best.
But who their various follies can explain? At fight of thee, each free-born heart receives The tale is infinite, the talk were vain.
A joy, the fight of princes rarely gives; 'Twere to read new-year odes in search of thought; From tyrants sprung, and oft themselves design'd, To sum the libels Pryn or Withers wrote ; By fate, the future Neroes of their kind: To guels, ere one epistle * saw the light,
But tho' thy blood, we know, transmitted springs How many dunces met, and clubb'd their mite; From laurell'd heroes, and from warrior kings, To vouch for truth what Welfted prints of Pope, Through that high feries, we, delighted, trace Or from the brother-boobies steal a trope.
The friends of liberty, and human race! That be the part of persevering Wallet,
Oh, bom to glad and animate our isle ! With pen of lead; or, Arnall, thine of brass; For tbee, our heavens look pleas'd, our seasons A text for Henley, or a gloss for Hearne,
For thee, late object of our tender fears, (smile ; Who loves to teach, what no mancares to learn. When thy life droop'd, and Britain was in tears,
How little, knowledge reaps from toils like these! All-cheering health, the goddess rosy-fair, Too doubtful to direct, too poor to pleale. Attended by soft suns, and vernal air, [hour, Yet, critics, would your tribe deserve a name, Sought those *fam'd springs, where, each afflictive And, fairly useful, rise to honest fame;
Diseale, and age, and paio, invoke her power : First, from the head, a load of lumber move. She came ; and, while to thee the current flows, And, from the volume, all yourselves approve : Pour'd all herself, and in thy cup arose. For patch'd and pilter'd fragments, give us sense, Hence, to thy cheek, that inftant bloom deriv'd: Or learning, clear from learn'd impertinence, Hence, with thy health, the weeping world reWhere moral meaning, or where tafte presides, Proceed to emulate thy race divine : (viv'd! And wit enlivens but what reason guides : A life of action, and of praise be thine. Great without swelling, without meanneis praise, Assert the titles genuine to thy blood, Serious, not filly ; sportive, but not vain; By nature, daring ; but by reason, good. On trifles flight, on things of use profound, So great, so glorious thy forefathers shone, In quoting lober, and in judging found.
No lon of theirs must hope to live unknown:
Their deeds will place thy virtue full in fight; VERSES
Thy vice, if vice thou hait, in stronger light. Presented to the Prince of Orange, on his visiting If to thy fair beginnings nobly true,
Think what the world may claim, and thou must
The honours, that already grace thy name, IN THE YEAR M,DCC,XXXIV.
Have fixt thy choice, and force thee into fame. Receive, lov'd prince, the tribute of our praise,
Ev'n fhe, bright Anna, whom thy worth has won, This hafty welcome, in unfinish'd lays.
Inspires thee what to seek and what to thun : At best, the pomp of song, the paint of art,
Rich in all outward grace, th' exalted fair Display the genius, but not speak the heart;
Makes the soul's beauty her peculiar care. And oft, as ornament must truth supply,
O, be your nuptials crown'd with glad increase Are but the splendid colouring of a lie.
of son's in war renown'd, and great in peace ; These need not here; for to a soul like thine,
Of daughters, fair and faithful, to supply Truth, plain and simple, will more lovely thine.
The patriot-race, till nature's self thall die! The truely good but with the verie fincere : They court no flattery, who no cenfure fear.
ORIGINAL COPY Such Nassau is, the faireft, gentlest mind,
of the verses occasioned by Dr. Frazer's rebuilding pert In blooming youth the Titus of mankind,
of the University of Aberdeen. Crowds, who to hail thy with'd appearance ran, Forgot the prince, to praise and love the man.
In ancient times, ere wealth was learning's foc, Such sense with sweetness,grandeurmix'd withease! And dar'd despise the worth, he would not know; Our nobler youth will learn of thee to please :
Ere ignorance look'd lofty in a peer,
And imild at wit, cast back in fortune's rear, See a poem publifhed some time ago under
The pious prelate t, truly good, and great, that title, said to be the production of several inge- Friend to instructive arts, he knew to prize,
Courted the muses to this happy seat; nious anii prolific beads; one contributing a f- His bounty bade the mighty pile arise. mile, another a character, and a certain gentle. man four fyrewd lines u holly made up of nfierifks. Splendour adorn'd what knowing
And the fair ftru&ure spoke his noble mind. t Sce the preface to his edition of Sallnit; and read, if you are able, the Scholia of fixteen anno
* Bath. tators by him collcéted, befdes his own.
† Biskop Elpbinfiona
The fabric finish'd, to secure the fame,
Ere all our learning in a libellay, He styl'd it Royal, from the fou'reign's name And all our talk, in politics or play!
Here by successive worthies, well was taught The statesman oft would sooth his toils with wit, All that enlightens, and exalts the thought. What Spenser sung, and nature's Shakspeare writ; With labour planted, and improv'd with care, Or to the laurellid grove, at times, retire, Long, every cherish'd science flourish'd fair.
There, woo the mnie, and wake the moving lyre. Thus, without cloud, serene the seasons roll'd: As fair examples, like ascending morn, Thus, learning faw renew'd the age of gold. The world at once enlighten and adorns;
But now the years revolving backward ran, From them diffus'd, the gentle arts of peace And a dark series of worse time began.
Shot brightening o'er the lard, with swift increase: Vile avarice, in Gordon's † form, ai ofe;
Rough nature foften'd in grace and ease; Arts, unesteem'd, were govern'd by their focs;
Senle grew polite, and science fought to please. Zeal, pious to a criine, reform'd the age,
Recliev'd from yon rude scene of party din, And Gothic purity, and priefly rage.
Where open baseness vies with secret fin, Then fell, to low contenipt, th' instructing trade, And safe embower'd in * Woburn's airy groves, And every muse's portion was unpaid !
Let us recall the times our taste approves; Now, á lone waste the muse's seat appears, Awaken to our aid the mourning muse; By social foes defac’d, and length of years. Through every bosom tender thought infuse; O'er her declining roofs, with moss o'erspread,
Melt angry faction into moral sense,
And to his guests a Bedford's soul dispense.
And now, while springextends her finiling reign,
Green on the mountain, fowery in the plain; Ruin hangs hov'ring o'er the destin'd place; And solitary filence comes apace!
While genial nature breathes, from hill and dale,
Health, fragrance, gladnels, in the living gale ; Learning beheld with all a father's fear,
The various softness, ftealing through the heart, And mourn'd the total defolation near; He saw the muses ftretch the wing to fly,
Imprellions sweetly social, will impart.
When sad Eudocia pours her hopeless woe,
The tear of pity will unbidden tiow !
When erring Phocyas, whom wild passions blind, Compassion flew before her, sweetly bright;
Holds up himself, a mirror for mankind; And her meek eyes effulg'd unclouded light.
An equal eye on our own hearts we turn, « Hear, and rejoice, the Imiling power begun, And, conscious
, nature is in all the same,
Where frailties lurk, where fond affections burn: “ Full of my deity, thy best lov'd son $; “ Thy injur'd rights, regardful, shall allert, We mourn the guilty, while the guilt we blame ! " and nobly take his suffering parent's part: “ He, thy first favourite, and thy dearest friend, EPILOGUE TO THE BROTHERS, “ Shall bid thy walls arise, thy roofs afcend.
A TRAGEDY, BY DR. YOUNG. “ I fee, all charm’d, I see the future frame, Arising, emulate its ancient name!
To woman, sure, the most severe a fiction “ I see thy long lost pomp shine out again, Is, from theie fellows, point-blank contradiction. " And every muse, returning, claim her reign! Our bard, without-I wish he would appear.-“ Nor ends the bounty herc; by him bestow'd,
Ud! I would give it him--- but you shall hear--Learning's rich stores shall thy museum load
Good Sir! quoth I---and curtley'd as I spoke -“ Whate'er, deep-hid philofphy has found;
Our pit, you know, expects and loves a joke--“ Or the muse fung, with living laurel crown'd;
'Twere fit to humour them : for, right or wrong, “ Or history descry'd, far-looking sage!
True Britons never like the same thing long. “ In the dark doubtfulness of dillant age: [bin'd,
To-day is fair---they strut, huff, swear, harangue:-“ These, thy weil chofen treasures, there com
To-morrow's foul-.-they sneak aside, and hang, Unwafting, shall enrich the youthful mind:
Is there a war---peace! peace! is all their cry: “ But teach thy fons the gentle arts of peace;
Tbe peace is made---then, blood! they'll fight « Let faction lose his rule, and discord cease,
and die. “ Rivals, alone, in love, and doing well,
Gallants, in talking thus, I meant no treason: " Be their fair emulation to excell. “ Then shall encourag'd arts successful thrive,
I would have brought, you see, the man to reason.
But with some folks, 'tis labour lost to strive: “ And all the glory of thy name revive!"
A reasoning mule will neither lead nor drive,
He hum’d, and hawd; then, waking from his dream
Some queer, odd whim of pious propagation! +
* The fege of Damascus was acted at Woburn, Spread wide their influence o'er this happy ifle ; by the Duke of Bedford, the Earl of Sandwich, A golden reign, uncurst with party rage,
and some other persons of diflinction, in the That foe to taste, and tyrant of our age;
month of May, 1743.
† The profits arising from this play were in* James IV. † Bistop William Gordex. tended to be given, by the Author, to the Society James Frazer, Doctor of Law's.
for propagating Chriftian Knowledge z.
TO THE SIEGE OF DAMASCUS.
Lord! talk fo, here--the man must be a widgeon:---
On a certain Lord's passion for a finger.
NERINA's angel-voice delights;
Love! strike her dumb, or make him blind.
A SIMILE IN PRIOR,
APPLIED TO THE SAME PERSON
DEAR Thomas didst thou never
Thy head into a tin.man's ihop? Wøen this decisive night, at length, appears,
There, Thomas, didit thou never see-.. The night of every author's hopes and fears,
'Tis but by way of simile--. What thifts to bribe applause, poor poets try!
A squirrel spend its little rage, Io all the forms of wit they court and lie :
In jumping round a rolling cage ? These meanly beg it, as an alms; and those,
Mov'd in the orb, pleas'd with the chimes, By boastful bluster dazzle and impore.
The foolish creature thinks it climbs; Nor poorly fearful, nor securely vain,
But here or there, turn wood or wire, Ours would, by honest ways, that grace obtain;
It never gets two inches higher. Would, as a free-born wit, be fairly try'd :
So fares it with this little peer, And then---let candour, fairly too, decide.
So busy and so bustling here; He courts no friend, who blindly comes to praise ;
For ever flirting up and down, He dreads no foe---but whom his faults may raise.
And frilking round his cage, the town. Indulge a generous pride, that bids him own,
A world of nothing in his chat, He aims to please, by noble means alone;
Of who said this, and who did that: By what may win the judgment, wake the heart,
With similes, that never hit; Inspiring nature, and directing art;
Vivacity, that has no wit; By scenes, so wrought, as may applause command
Schemes laid this hour, the next forsaken; More from the judging head, than thundering
Advice oft alk'd, but never taken: hand.
Still whirld, by every rising whim, Important is the moral we would teach...
From that to this, from her to him; Oh may this island practise what we preach--
And when he hath his circle run,
He ends---just where he first begun.
ON AN AMOROUS OLD MAN.
STILL hovering round the fair at sixty-four,
“ As such our fair attempt, we hope to see A flesh-fly, that just flutters on the wing, “ Our judges ---here at least---from influence free: Awake to buz, but not alive to sting; “ One place ---unbias'd yet by party-rage,--
Brilk where he cannot, backward where he can; " Where only honour votes---the British Itage. The teazing ghost of the departed man. “ We ask for justice, for indulgence sue : “ Our last bett licence must proceed from you."
ON I. H. ESQ.
The youth had wit himself, and could afford
A witty neighbour his good word.
An oath had made the ladies ftare, with a very young Child.
At them he duly drefs'd, but without paffion : Way, on this least of little mifles,
His only miltress was the fashion. Did Celia wafte so many kisses ?
Her verse with fancy glitter'd, cold and faint; Quoth Love, who stood behind and smild,
His prose, with sense, correctly quaint. She kiss'd the father in the child.
Trifles he lov'd; he tasted arts :
At once a fribble, and a man of parts.
Fair morn ascends : soft zephyr's wing See what the muses have to brag on:
O'er hill and vale renews the fpring : The player in his own poft-chaise ;
Where, sown profusely, herb and flower,
Of balmy (well, of healing power,