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Soft creeping, words on words, the sense com
pose; At every line they stretch, they yawn, they
doze. As to soft gales top-heavy pines bow low Their heads, and lift them as they cease to
Thus oft they rear, and oft the head decline,
pressed By potent Arthur, knocked his chin and
breast. Toland and Tindal, prompt at priests to jeer,
says an Enemy, in his Essay on the Dunciad, p. 21.
1 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.
Budgell committed suicide in 1737. He was a relation of Addison, whom he accompanied to Ireland as clerk : he afterwards rose to Under-Secretary of State.-Carruthers. See Satires of Dr. Donne, iv. 51.
2 Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons.
3 Two persons, not so happy as to be obscure, who writ 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.-P.
Yet silent bowed to Christ's No kingdom here. 400 Who sate the nearest, by the words o'ercome, Slept first; the distant nodded to the hum. Then down are rolled the books; stretched
o'er 'em lies Each gentle clerk, and muttering seals his
eyes. As what a Dutchman plumps into the lakes, One circle first, and then a second makes ; 406 What Dulness dropped among her sons im
pressed Like motion from one circle to the rest; So from the mid-most the nutation spreads Round and more round, o'er all the sea of heads.2
410 At last Centlivre felt her voice to fail ;3 Motteux himself unfinished left his tale ; 4 Boyer the State, and Law the Stage gave
o'er; 1 This is said by Curl, Key to Dunc., to allude to a sermon of a reverend Bishop.-P. W.
It alludes to Bishop Hoadley's sermon preached before George I. in 1717, “On the Nature of the Kingdom of Christ,” which occasioned a long, vehement, and learned debate known as the Bangorian Controversy, of which See Hoadley was at that time bishop.— Wakefield. Hoadley was afterwards Bishop of Hereford, Salisbury, and Winchester, successively. 2 “A waving sea of heads was round me spread, And still fresh streams the gazing deluge fed.”
Blackm. Job.-P. 3 Mrs. Susanna Centlivre, wife to Mr. Centlivre, Yeoman of the Mouth to his Majesty. She writ many plays and a Song (says Mr. Jacob, vol. i. p. 32) before she was seven years old. She also writ a Ballad against Mr. Pope's Homer, before he began it.-P.
4 Peter Anthony Motteux, the translator of Don Quixote See Satires of Dr. Donne, iv. 50.
5 A. Boyer, a voluminous compiler of Annals,
Morgan and Mandevil? could prate no more ;
Political Collections, &c. William Law, A.M., wrote with great zeal against the Stage; Mr. Dennis answered with as great. Their books were printed in 1726. Mr. Law affirmed, that “ The Playhouse is the temple of the Devil; the peculiar pleasure of the Devil ; where all they who go yield to the Devil ; where all the laughter is a laughter among Devils; and all who are there are hearing Music in the very Porch of Hell.” To which Mr. Dennis replied, that “ There is every jot as much difference between a true Play and one made by a Poetaster, as between two religious books, the Bible, and the Alcoran.”-P.
The same Mr. Law is author of a book, entitled, An Appeal to all that doubt of or disbelieve the truth of the Gospel, in which he detailed a System of the rankest Spinozism, for the most exalted Theology ; and amongst other things as rare, has informed us of this, that Sir Isaac Newton stole the principles of his philosophy from one Jacob Behman [Boehm), a German cobbler.-Warburton.
1 A writer against Religion, distinguished no otherwise from the rabble of his tribe than by the pompousness of his Title ; for having stolen his morality from Tindal, and his philosophy from Spinoza, he calls himself, by the courtesy of England, à Moral Philosopher. -Warburton.
? This writer, who prided himself as much in the reputation of an Immoral Philosopher, was author of a famous book called The Fable of the Bees ; written to prove that Moral Virtue is the invention of knaves, and Christian Virtue the imposition of fools ; and that Vice is necessary, and alone sufficient to render Society flourishing and happy.- Warburton.
Morgan was a Dissenting minister in Bristol, author of the Moral Philosopher, 1737.-Bernard Mandeville was a Dutchman by birth, but settled in England when young, and practised as a physician until his death, in 1733. His principal work, the Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices made Public Benefits, was doubly distinguished in being presented by the Grand Jury of Middlesex as immoral and pernicious, and in being answered by Pope's friend, Bishop Berkeley.Carruthers.
Norton,' from Daniel and Ostroea sprung, 415 Blessed with his father's front, and mother's
tongue, Hung silent down his never-blushing head ; And all was hushed, as Folly's self lav dead.3 Thus the soft gifts of Sleep conclude the
day, And stretched on bulks, as usual, Poets lay. 420 Why should I sing, what bards the nightly
Muse Did slumbering visit and convey to stews; Who prouder marched, with magistrates in
state, To some famed round-house, ever open gate! How Henley lay inspired beside a sink, 425 And to mere mortals seemed a Priest in drink :*
i Norton De Foe, offspring of the famous Daniel. Fortes creantur fortibus. One of the authors of the Flying Post, in which well-bred work Mr. P. had sometime the honour to be abused with his betters; and of many hired scurrilities and daily papers, to which he never set his name.-P.
The name of Ostræa, meaning an oyster wench, is borrowed from Gay's Trivia, iii. 185.-Courthope.
3 Alludes to Dryden's verse in the Indian Emperor : “All things are hushed, as Nature's self lay dead.”
4 This line presents us with an excellent moral, that we are never to pass judgment merely by appearances ; a lesson to all men who may happen to see a reverend Person in the like situation, not to determine too rashly; since not only the Poets frequently describe a Bard inspired in this posture, (“On Cam's fair bank, where Chaucer lay inspired,” and the like) but an eminent Casuist tells us, that “if a priest be seen in any indecent action, we ought to account it a deception of sight, or illusion of the