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Now flames the Cid,' and now Perolla burns;
1 “Jam Deïphobi dedit ampla ruinam,
Vulcano superante domus ; jam proximus ardet Ucalegon.”—P. In the first notes on the Dunciad it was said, that this Author was particularly excellent at Tragedy. “ This (says he) is as unjust as to say I could not dance on a Rope.” But certain it is that he had attempted to dance on this Rope, and fell most shamefully, having produced no less than four Tragedies (the names of which the Poet preserves in these few lines); the three first of them were fairly printed, acted, and damned; the fourth suppressed, in fear of the like treatment.-P. W.
The Four Tragedies, by Cibber were “Ximena," which was founded on Corneille's “ Cid,” “Indamora and Perolla,” and “ Cæsar in Egypt,” all of which were unsuccessful, and “King John," which was suppressed at first, but was acted in 1774.
? A Comedy threshed out of Molière'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 méprise Cotin, n'estime point son Roi,
Et n'a, selon Cotin, ni Dieu, ní foi, ni loi.”—Boil. 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. W.
3 See Virgil, Æn. ii., where I would advise the reader to peruse the story of Troy's destruction, rather than in Wynkyn. But I caution him alike in both to beware of a most grievous error, that of thinking it was brought about by I know not what Trojan Horse ; there never having been any such thing. For,
Roused by the light, old Dulness heaved the
head, Then snatched a sheet of Thule 1 from her bed; Sudden she flies, and whelms it o'er the pyre; Down sink the flames, and with a hiss expire. 260
Her ample presence fills up all the place; A veil of fogs dilates her awful face : Great in her charms !? as when on Shrieves and
Mayors She looks, and breathes herself into their airs.
first, it was not Trojan, being made by the Greeks ; and, secondly, it was not a horse, but a mare. This is clear from many verses in Virgil :
“Uterumque armato milite complent.
Inclusos utero Danaos-
- Atque utero sonitum quater arma dedere.” Nay, is it not expressly said,
“Scandit fatalis machina muros
Fæta armis. How is it possible the word fæta can agree with a horse ? And, indeed, can it be conceived that the chaste and virgin Goddess Pallas would employ herself in forming and fashioning the Male of that species ? But this shall be proved to a demonstration in our Virgil Restored.-Scribl.-P.
1 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 Asbetos, which cannot be consumed by fire : but I rather think it an allegorical allusion to the coldness and heaviness of the writing. --P
2 “ Alma parens confessa Deam ; qualisque videri Cælicolis, et quanta solet."-Virg. Æn. ii. “Et lætos oculis afflavit honores.”—Ibid. Æn. i.--P. She bids him wait her to her sacred Dome :: 265 Well pleased he entered, and confessed his
home. So Spirits ending their terrestrial race Ascend, and recognise their Native Place. This the Great Motherdearer held than all y The clubs of Quidnuncs, or her own Guildhall : Here stood her Opium, here she nursed her Owls,
271 And here she planned the Imperial seat of
Fools. Here to her Chosen all her works she shews; Prose swelled to verse, verse loitering into
prose : How random thoughts now meaning chance to find,
275 Now leave all memory of sense behind : How Prologues into Prefaces decay, And these to Notes are frittered quite away : How Index-learning turns no student pale, Yet holds the eel of science by the tail : 280 How, with less reading than makes felons 'scape, Less human genius than God gives an ape, Small thanks to France, and none to Rome or
1 Where he no sooner enters, but he reconnoitres the place of his original; as Plato says the spirits shall, at their entrance into the celestial regions.-P. 2 « Urbs antiqua fuit-Quam Juno fertur terris magis omnibus unam Posthabita coluisse Samo : hic illius arma, Hic currus fuit: hic regnum Dea gentibus esse (Si qua fata sinant) jam tum tenditque fovetque.”
Virg. Æn. i.-P. Magna mater, here applied to Dulness. The Quidnuncs, a name given to the ancient members of certain political clubs, who were constantly inquiring Quid nunc ? what news ?-P.
-A vast, vamped, future, old, revived, new piece, 'Twixt Plautus, Fletcher, Shakespear, and Corneille,
285 Can make a Cibber, Tibbald,' or Ozell.
i 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 understrapper 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. W.
2. “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.
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 shew 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. &c. Let him shew better and truer poetry in the Rape of the Lock, than in Ozell's Rape of the
The Goddess then, o'er his anointed head, With mystic words, the sacred Opium shed. And lo! her bird (a monster of a fowl, Something betwixt a Heideggre and Owl), 290 Perched on his crown. “All bail! and hail
again, My son: the promised land expects thy reign. Know, Eusden thirsts no more for sack or
praise ; He sleeps among the dull of ancient days; Safe, where no Critics damn, no duns molest, 295 Where wretched Withers, Ward, and Gildono
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.
Ozell translated Molière, Racine, Corneille, &c. He died in 1743.
1 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.—John James Heidegger was Manager of the Opera House, and Master of the Revels.
2 George Withers was a great pretender to poetical zeal, and abused the greatest personages in power, which brought upon him frequent correction. The Marshalsea and Newgate were no strangers to him.Winstanley.-P.
3 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 signalized himself as a critic, having written some very bad Plays; abused Mr. P. very scandalously in an anonymous pamphlet of the Life of Mr. Wycherly, printed by Curl ; in another called the