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you are sure to have it in the amplest manner," &c. &c. &c.
Thus we see every one of his works hath been extolled by one or other of his most inveterate enemies; and to the success of them all they do unanimously give testimony. But it is sufficient, instar omnium, to behold the great critic, Mr. Dennis, sorely lamenting it, even from the Essay on Criticism to this day of the Dunciad! “A most notorious instance (quoth he) of the depravity of genius and taste, the approbation this essay meets with. —I can safely affirm, that I never attacked any of these writings, unless they had success infinitely beyond their merit. - This, though an empty, has been a popular scribbler. The epidemic madness of the times has given him reputation.”—If, after the cruel treatment so many extraordinary men (Spenser, Lord Bacon, Ben Jonson, Milton, Butler, Otway, and others) have received from this country for these last hundred years, I should shift the scene, and show all that penury changed at once to riot and profuseness; and more squandered away upon one object than would have satisfied the greater part of those extraordinary men ; the reader, to whom this one creature should be unknown, would fancy him a prodigy of art and nature; would believe that all the great qualities of these persons were centred in him alone.--But if I should venture to assure him that the PEOPLE of ENGLAND had made such a choice—the reader would either believe me a malicious enemy and slanderer, or that the reign
Dennis, Pref. to his Reflect. on the Essay on Criticism.-P.
? Pref, to his Rem, on Homer.-P.
of the last (Queen Anne's) Ministry was designed by fate to encourage Fools.” 1
But it happens that this our Poet never had any Place, Pension, or Gratuity, in any shape, from the said glorious Queen, or any of her ministers. All he owed, in the whole course of his life, to any court, was a subscription for his Homer, of 2001. from King George I, and 1001. from the Prince and Princess.
However, lest we imagine our Author's Success, was constant and universal, they acquaint us of certain works in a less degree of repute, whereof, although owned by others, yet do they assure us he is the writer. Of this sort Mr. DENNIS? ascribes to him two Farces, whose names he does not tell, but assures as that there is not one jest in them; And an imitation of Horace, whose title he does not mention, but assures us it is much more execrable than all his works. The DAILY JOURNAL, May 11, 1728, assures us, “He is below Tom Durfey in the Drama, because (as that writer thinks) the Marriage-Hater matched, and the Boarding School, are better than the What-d'ye-call-it : " which is not Mr. P's. but Mr. Gay’s. Mr. Gildon assures us, in his New Rehearsal, p. 48,
That he was writing a Play of the Lady Jane Grey ;” but it afterwards proved to be Mr. Rowe's. We are assured by another, “He wrote a pamphlet called Dr. Andrew Tripe ; ” 4 which proved to be one Dr. Wagstaff's. Mr. THEOBALD assures us, in Mist of the 27th of April, “ That the treatise of the Profound is very
1 Rem. on Homer, pp. 8, 9.-P.
dall, and that Mr. Pope is the The writer of Gulliveriana is of a and says, “ the whole, or great merit of this treatise must a ascribed to Gulliver.” 1 Her cannot I but smile at the stran positiveness of men, knowing to appertain to none other but Scriblerus.
We are assured, in Mist of J own Plays and Farces would be the Dunciad than those of M he had neither genius for Trag Which, whether true or not judge, in as much as he had Unless we will take it for Cibber, that his being oncev ing a friend's Play abused, proof the Play was his own; thinking it impossible for a concerned for any but hims man judge (saith he) by thi the true mother of the child
But from all that hath bee ing reader will collect, th our author to have any Cal he declared he did not write not credited ; as little to since, when he declined w himself, the presumption of to him. If he singly ent work, he was taxed of Bold to a prodigy :: If he took as
i Gulliv. p. 336.-P. ? Cibber's Letter to Mr. Popel 3 Burnet's Homerides, p. 1, o Iliad.-P.
st Dunciad was the first y Homer himself, and ad or Odyssey. our poet had translated ks of Homer which are eive it in some sort his Iso which was lost; and to bestow on it the same is reported to have had,
poem ; with a title also sient Greek manner, to
at so few of the moderns to attempt some Dunciad! of the multitude, it might I than an imitation of the ossible it is also that, on ker might find it easier to 2, a Brute, or a Godfrey, 1 dignity heroic, than a or a Flecknoe. lare the occasion and the Jur poet to this particular
those days, when (after mitted the invention of rge for the sins of the
became so cheap, and , that a deluge of Authors hereby not only the peace ing subject was daily mo11 demands were made of f his money, by such as the one, nor deserve the time, the license of the it grew dangerous to reor they would forthwith inished, the authors being
dall, and that Mr. Pope is the author of it," The writer of Gulliveriana is of another opinion; and says, “the whole, or greatest part, of the merit of this treatise must and can only be ascribed to Gulliver."1 [Here, gentle reader! cannot I but smile at the strange blindness and positiveness of men, knowing the said treatise to appertain to none other but to me, Martinus Scriblerus.]
We are assured, in Mist of June 8, “ That his own Plays and Farces would better have adorned the Dunciad than those of Mr. Theobald ; for he had neither genius for Tragedy nor Comedy." Which, whether true or not, it is not easy to judge, in as much as he had attempted neither. Unless we will take it for granted, with Mr. Cibber, that his being once very angry at hearing a friend's Play abused, was an infallible proof the Play was his own; the said Mr. Cibber thinking it impossible for a man to be much concerned for any but himself : “Now let any man judge (saith he) by this concern, who was the true mother of the child ?"2
But from all that hath been said, the discerning reader will collect, that it little availed our author to have any Candour, since, when he declared he did not write for others, it was not credited; as little to have any Modesty, since, when he declined writing in any way himself, the presumption of others was imputed to him. If he singly enterprised one great work, he was taxed of Boldness and Madness to a prodigy :: If he took assistants in another,
i Gulliv. p. 336.-P.
3 Burnet's Homerides, p. 1, of his translation of the Iliad. —P.