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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 in ferre parantem Congelat, et patulos, ut erant, indurat hiatus.
1 Life, p. 243, octavo edit.-P.
Ovid, of the serpent biting at Orpheus's head.-P.
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 Porsy 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.
DR. JONATHAN SWIFT.
BOOK THE FIRST.
ARGUMENT. The proposition, the invocation, and the inscription. Îhen 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 Bays 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 Thulé. 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.