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land (not to mention Jersey, Guernsey, the Orcades, those in the new world, and foreigners who have tranflated him into their languages); of all this number not a man hath stood up to say one word in his defence.
The only exception is the d author of the following poem, who doubtless had either a better insight into the grounds of this clamour, or a better opinion of Mr. Pope's integrity, joined with a greater personal love for him, than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Farther, that he was in his peculiar intimacy, appears from the knowledge le manifests of the most private authors of all the anonymous pieces against him, and from his having in this poem attacked e no man living, who had not before printed, or published fome scandal againft this gentleman.
How I came poffest of it, is no concern to the reader : but it would have been a wrong to him had I detained the publication; fince those names which are its chief ornaments die off daily fo fast, as muft render it too foon unintelligible. If it provoke the author to give us a more perfect edition, I have
d The author of the following poem, &c.] A very plain irony, speaking of Mr. Pape hiinsólf.
c The publisher in these words went a little too far; but it is certain, whatever names the reader finds that are unknown to him, are of such ; and the exception is only of two or three, whose dulness, impudent scurrility, or self-conceit, all mankind agreed to have justly entitled them to a place in the Dunciad.
Who he is I cannot say, and (which is a great pity) there is certainly f nothing in his style and manner of writing, which can distinguish or discover him: For if it bears any resemblance to that of Mr. Pope, it is not improbable but it might be done on purpose, with a view to have it pass for his. But by the frequency of his allusions to Virgil, and a laboured (not to say affected) shortness in imitation of him, I should think him more an admirer of the Roman poet than of the Grecian, and in that not of the same tafte with his friend.
I have been well informed, that this work was the labour of full 3 fix years of his life, and that he wholly
€ We are
f There is certainly nothing in his style, &c.] This irony had fmall effect in concealing the author. The Dunciad, imperfect as it was, had not been publifhed two days, but the whole Town gave it to Mr. Pope.
& the labour of full fix years, &c.] This also was honefly and seriously believed by divers gentlemen of the Dunciad. J. Ralph, pref. to Sawney: “ told it was the labour of fix years, with the utmost " affiduity and application : It is no great compliment os to the author's lense, to have employed so large a part - of his life, &c.” So also Ward, pref. to Durgen, “ The Dunciad, as the publisher very wisely confeffes, “cof the author fix years retirement from all the plea“ sures of life; though it is somewhat difficult to coni ceive, from either its bulk or beauty, that it could “ be so long in hatching, &c. But the length of time “ and closeness of application were mentioned, to pre“ possess the reader with a good opinion of it.”
They just as well understood what Scriblerus faid of the poem.
retired himself from all the avocations'and pleasures of the world, to attend diligently to its correction and perfection; and fix years more he intended to bestow upon it, as would seem by this verse of Statius, which was cited at the head of his manuscript.
" O mihi bisfenos multum vigilata per annos,
“ Duncia! h” Hence also we learn the true title of the poem : which with the same certainty as we call that of Homer the Iliad, of Virgil the Æneid, of Camoens the Lusiad, we may pronounce, could have been, and can be, no other than
The DUNCIAD. It is styled Heroic, as being doubly fo; not only with respect to its nature, which according to the best rules of the ancients, and strictest ideas of the moderns, is critically such; but also with regard to the heroical difposition and high courage of the writer, who dared to stir up such a formidable, irritable, and implacable race of mortals. There
arise some obfcurity in chronology from the Names in the poem, by the inevitable removal of some authors, and insertion of others in their niches. For whoever will consider the unity of the whole design, will be sensible, that the poem was not made for
h The prefacer to Curll's key, p. 3. took this word to be really in Statius : “ By a quibble on the word Duno cia, the Dunciad is formed. Mr. Ward also follows him in the same opinion.
these authors, but these authors for the poem. I should judge that they were clapped in as they rose, fresh and fresh, and changed from day to day ; in like manner as when the old boughs wither, we thrust new ones into a chimney.
I would not have the reader too much troubled, or anxious, if he cannot decypher them : since when he shall have found them out, he will probably know no more of the persons than before.
Yet we judged it better to preserve them as they are, than to change them for fictitious names; by which the fatire would only be multiplied, and applied to many instead of one. Had the hero, for instance, been called Codrus, how many would have affirmed him to have been Mr. T. Mr. E. Sir R. B. &c. But now all that unjust scandal is saved by calling him by a name, which by good luck happens to be that of a real person.
A LIST of
BOOKS, PAPERS, and VERSES,
In which our Author was abused, before the Publica
tion of the DUNCIAD ; with the true Names of the Authors.
EFLECTIONS critical and satirical on a late
Rhapsody, called, An Essay on Criticism. By Mr. Dennis, printed hy B. Lintot, price 6 d.
A New Rehearsal, or Bays the younger: containing an Examen of Mr. Rowe's plays, and a word or two on Mr. Pope's Rape of the Lock. Anon. [by Charles Gildon) printed for J. Roberts, 1714, price i s.
Homerides, or a Letter to Mr. Pope, occafioned by his intended translation of Homer. By Sir Iliad Dogrel. [Tho. Burnet and G. Ducket esquires] printed for W. Wilkins, 1715, price 9 d.
Æsop at the Bear-garden; a vision, in imitation of the Temple of Fame, by Mr. Preston. Sold by John Morphew, 1715, price 6 d.
The Catholic Poet, or Protestant Barnaby's Sorrowful Lamentation ; a Ballad about Homer's Iliad. By Mrs. Centlivre and others, 1715, price id.
An Epilogue to a Puppet-show at Bath, concerning the said Iliad. By George Ducket efq; printed by E. Curll.