صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

In eldest time, ere mortals writ or read, One cell there is, conceal'd from vulgar eye, Ere Pallas issued from the Thunderer's head, 10 The cave of poverty and poetry. Dulness o'er all possessid her ancient right, Keen, hollow winds howl through the bleak recess, Daughter of Chaos and eternal Night :

Emblem of music caused by emptiness. Fate in their dotage this fair idiot gave,

Hence bards, like Proteus, long in vain tied down, Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave, Escape in monsters, and amaze the town. Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, and blind,

Hence Miscellanies spring, the weekly boast She ruled, in native anarchy, the mind.

of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post: 40 Still her old empire to restore she tries,

Ilence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines, For, born a goddess, Dulness never dies.

Hence journals, medleys, Mercuries, Inagazines Oh thou ! whatever title please thine ear Sepulchral lies, our holy walls to grace, Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver ! 20 And new-year odes, and all the Grub-street race. Whether thou choose Cervantes' serious air,

In clouded majesty here Dulness shone; Or laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair, Four guardian virtues, round, support her throne: Or praise the court, or magnify mankind,

Fierce champion Fortitude, that knows no fears Or thy grieved country's copper chains unbind, of hisses, blows, or want, or loss of ears : From thy Baotia though her power retires, Calm Temperance, whose blessings those partake, Mourn not, my Swift, at aught our realm acquires. Who hunger and who thirst for scribbling' sake: 20 Ilere pleased behold her mighty wings outspread Prudence, whose glass presents the approaching jail: To hatch a new Saturnian age of lead.

Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale, Close to those walls where Folly holds her throne, Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weighs, And laughs to think Monroe would take her down, 30 And solid pudding against empty praise. Where o'er the gates, by his famed father's hand, Here she beholds the chaos dark and deep, Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers stand ; Where nameless somethings in their causes sleep,

Till genial Jacob, on a warm third day,

Calls for each mass, a poem or a play:
REMARKS.

How hints, like spawn, scarce quick in embryo lie: where Bartholomew fair was kept, whose shows, machines, How new-born nonsense first is taught to cry. the taste of the rabble, were by the hero of this poem, and Maggots, half-form'd, in rhyme exactly meet, others of equal genius, brought to the theatres of Covent- And learn to crawl upon poetic feet, garden, Lincolo's inn-fields, and the Hay-market, to be the reigning pleasures of the court and town. This happened in the reigns of King George I. and II. See Book iii. Ver. 4. By Dulness, Jove, and Fate :) i. e. by their judg

REMARKS. ments, their interests, and their inclinations.

Ver. 34. Poverty and poetry.] I cannot here omit a reVer. 15. Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, &c.] I wonder mark that will greatly endear our author to every one, who the learned Scriblerus has omitted to advertise the reader, shall attentively observe that humanity and candour, whien at the opening of this poem, that Dulness here is not to be every where appears in him towards thoxe unhappy objects taken contractedly for mere stupidity, but in the enlarged of the ridicule of all mankind, the bad poets. He there imsense of the word, for all slowness of apprehension, short-putes all scandalous rhymes, scurrilous weekly papers, base ness of sight, or imperfect sense of things. It includes (as flatteries, wretched elogies, songs, and verses (even from we see by the poet's own words) labour, industry, and some those sung at court, to ballads in the street,) not so much to degrees of activity and boldness; a ruling principle not malice or servility as to dulness, and not so much to dulness inert, but turning topsy-turvy the understan ing, and indu: as to necessity. And thus, at the very commeucement of cing an anarchy

or confused state of mind. This remark his satire, makes an apology for all that are to be satirized. ought to be carried along with the reader throughout the

Ver. 46. Curli's chaste press, and Lintot's rabric pest:} work; and without this cuution he will be apt to mistake Two booksellers, of whom see Book ii. The former was the importance of many of the characters, as well as of the fined by the Court of King's Bench for publishing obscene design of the poet. Hence it is that some have complained books; the latter usually adorned his shop with titles in red he chooses too mean a subject, and imagined he employs letters. himself like Domitian, in killing flies; whereas those who Ver. 41. Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines.] It is an have the true key will find he sports with nobler quarry, and ancient English custom for the malefactors to sing a psaim embraces a larger compass; or (as one saith on a like oc- at their execution at Tyburn; and no less customary to casion,)

print clegies on their deaths, at the same time, or before. "Will see his work, like Jacob's ladder rise, Ver. 43. Sepulchral lies, is a just satire on the tiatteries Its foot in dirt, its head amid the skies.'

and falsehoods admitted to be inscribed on the walls of Bentl.

churches, in epitaphs, which ocoasioned the following Ver. 17. Still her old empire to restore.] This restoration epigram: makes the completion of the poem. Vide Book iv.

Friend! in your epitaplis, I'm grieved Ver. 22. Laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair.] The

So very much is said ; imagery is exquisite ; and the equivoque in the last words, One half will never be belioved, gives a peculiar elegance to the whole expression. The

The other never read.' easy chair suits his age: Rabelais' easy chair marks his character; and be filled and possessed it as the right heir and Ver. 44. New-year odes.) Made by the poet-laureate successor of that original genius.

for the time being, to be sung at court on every new year's Ver. 23. Or praise the court, or magnify mankind.] day, the words of which are happily drowned in the roices Ironice, alluding to Gulliver's representations of both. The and instruments. The new-year odes of the hero of the next line relates to the papers of ihe Draper against the cur work were of a cast distinguished from all that preceded rency of Wood's copper coin in Ireland, which, upon tho him, and made a conspicuous part of his character as a great discontent of the people, his majesty was most gra- writer, which doubtless induced our author to mention them ciously plapsed to recall."

here so particularly. Ver. 96. Mourn not, my Swift, at aught our realm ac Ver. 45. In clouded majesty here Dulness shone.) See quires.] Ironice iterum. The politics of England and Ire- this cloud removed or rolled back, or gatherer up to her land were at this time by some thought to be opposite, or head, Book iv. ver. 17, 18. It is worth while to compare interfering with each other. Dr. Swift of course was in the this description of the majesty of Dulness in a state of peace interest of the latter, our author of the former,

and tranquillity, with that more busy scene where she Ver. 31. By his famed father's hand.) Mr. Caius Gabriel mounts the throne in triumph, and is not so much supported Cibber, father of the poet-laurento. The two statues of by her own virtues, as by the princely consciousness of ka he lunatics over the guies of Bedlam-hospital were done by ving destroyed all other. him, and (as the son justly snys of them) are no ill monu Ver. 57. Genial Jacob] Tonson. The famous race of books ments of his fame as an artist.

sellers of that name

Here one poor word a hundred clenches makes, She saw slow Phillips creep like Tate's poor page And ductile Dulness new meanders takes

And all the mighty mad in Dennis rage. There motley images her fancy strike,

In each she marks her image full exprest,
Figures ill-pair'd, and similes unlike.

But chief in Bays's monster-bleeding breast :
She sees a mob of metaphors advance,
Pleased with the madness of the mazy dance;

REMARKS.
How tragedy and comedy embrace;

some lines in Cowley's Miscellanies on the other. And How farce and epic get a jumbled race;

70 both these authors had a resemblance in their fates as well

as their writings, having bera alıke sentenced to the pillory. How Time himself stands still at her command, Ver. 104. And Eusden eke out, &c.] Lawrence Eusden, Realms shift their place, and ocean turns to land; poet laureate. Mr. Jacob gives a catalogu of some few Here gay description Egypt glads with showers

only of his works, which were very numeruus. Mr. Cooke,

in his Battle of Poets, saith of him, Or gives to Zembla fruits, to Barca flowers ;

Eusden, a laureld bard by fortune rais’d, Glittering with ice here hoary hills are seen,

By very few was read, by fewer praised.'' There painted valleys of eternal green,

Mr. Oldmixon, in his Arts of Logic and Rhetoric, p. 413, In cold December fragrant chaplets blow,

414, affirms, ' That of all the Galimatias he ever met with, And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.

none comes up to some verses of this poet, which have us

much of the ridiculum and the fustian in them as can woll All these, and more, the cloud compelling queen be jumbled together, and are of that sort of nonsense, which Beholds through fogs, that magnify the scene.

80 so perfectly confounds all ideas, that there is no distinet one She, tinsel'd o'er in robes of varying hues,

left in the mind.' Farther he says of him, "That he bath

prophesied his own poetry shall be sweeter than Catullus, With self-applause her wild creation views; Ovid, and Tibullus: but we have little hope of the accomSees momentary monsters rise and fall,

plishment of it, from what he hath lately published.' Upon And with her own fools' colours gilds them all.

which Mr. Oldmixon has not spared a reflection, 'That

the putting the laurel on the head of one who writ such 'Twas on the day, when ** rich and grave, verses, will give futurity a very lively idea of the judgment Like Cimon triumph'd both on land and wave:

and justice of those who bestowed it. Ibid. p. 417. But (Pomps without guilt, of bloodless swords and maces, lord chamberlain, might have screened him from this un

the well-known learning of that poble person, who was then Glad chains, warm furs, broad banners, and broad manserly reflection. Nor ought Mr. Oldmixon to complain, faces,

so long after, that the laurel would have better become his Now night descending, the proud scene was o'er,

own browe, or any other's: it were more decent to acquiesce

in the opinion of the dake of Buckingham upon this matter : But lived in Settle's numbers, one day more. 90

In rush'd Eusden, and cried who shall have it, Now mayors and shrieves all hush'd and satiate lay, But I the true laureate, to whom the king gave it?" Yet eat, in dreams, the custard of the day;

Apollo begg'd pardon, and granted his claim, While pensive poets painful vigils keep,

Bat vow'd that till then he ne'er heard of his name.'

Session of Poets. Sleepless themselves, to give their readers sleep. The same plea might also serve for his successor, Mr. Cib Much to the mindful queen the feast recalls

ber: and is farther strengthened in the following epigram

made on that occasion : What city swans once sung within the walls;

In merry Old England it once was a rulo Much she revolves their arts, their ancient praise, The king had his poet, and also his fool; And sure succession down from Heywood's days, But now we're so frugal, I'd have you to know it; She saw with joy, the line immortal run,

That Cibber can serve both for fool and for poet." Each sire imprest and glaring in his son : 100

or Blackmore, see Book ii. Of Phillips, Book i. ver. 262,

and Book iii. prope fin. So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care,

Nahum Tate was poet laureate, a cold writer of no inEach growing lump, and brings it to a bear. vention; but sometimes translated tolerably when befriended She saw old Pryn in restless Daniel shine,

by Mr. Dryden. In bis second part of Absolam and Achito

phel are above two hundred admirable lines together, of And Eusden eke out Blackmore's endless line : that great hand, which strongly shine through the insipidity

of the rest. Something parallel may be observed of another

author here mentioned. REMARKS.

Ver. 106. And all the mighty mad in Dennis rage.] Mr. Ver. 85, 86. "Twas on the day, when * * rich and grave by the name of Furius. The modern Furius is to be looked

Theobald, in the Censor, vol.'ii. No. 33, calls Mr. Denois tame the author had left in blanks, but most certainly could upon more as an object of pity,

than of that which he daily never be that which the editor foisted in formerly, and provokes, laughter and contempt. Did we really know which no way agrees with the chronology of the poem.

how much this poor man' [I wish that reflection on poverty

had been spared] ' suffers by being contradicted, or which is The procession of a lord mayor is made, partly by land should,

in compassion sometimes attend to him with a silent

the same thing in effect, by hearing another praised; we obtained a victory by sea, and another by land on the same sod, and let him go away with the triumphs of his ill-nature. day, over the Persians and Barbarians.

-Poor Furius, (again) when any of his contemporaries are Ver. 90. But lived, in Settle's nunbers, one day more.) spoken well of, quitting the ground of the present dispute, A beautiful manner of speaking, usual with poets, in praise steps back a thousand years to call in the succour of the of poetry.

ancients. His very panegyric ir spiteful, and he uses it for Ibid. But lived, in Settle's numbers, one day more.] Set- the same reason as some ladies do their cominendation of a tle was poet to the city of London. His office was to com

dead beauty, who would never have their good word, but pose yearly panegyrics upon the lord mayors, and verses to that a living one happened to be mentioned in their combe spoken in the pageants : but that part of the shows being pany. His applause is not the tribute

of his heart, but the at length frugally abolished, the employment of City-poe sacrifice of his revenge,' &c. Indeed, his pieces against our ceased; so that upon Settle's demire, there was no successor poet are somewhat of an angry character, and as they are to that place.

now scarce extant, a taste of this style may be satisfactory Ver. 18. John Heywood, whose interludes were printed to the curious. A young, squah, short gentleman, whose in the time of Henry VIII.

outward form, though it should be that of downright Ver. 103. Old Pryn in restless Daniel.] The first edition monkey, would not differ so much from the human shape

as his unthinking immaterial part does from human under"She saw in Norton all his father shine:'

standing.--He is as stupid and as venomous as a hunch

back'd toad. A book throngh which folly and ignorance, a grent mistake! for Daniel de Foe had parts, but Norton those brethren so lame and impotent, do ridiculously look de Poe was a wretched writer, and never attempted poetry, big and very dull, and strut and bobble, cheek by jowl, Mach more justly is Daniel bimself, made successor to W. with their arms on kimbo, beiog led and supported, and Pryn, both of whom wrote verses as well as Politica; as ap- bullv-hack'd by that blind Hector, Impudence. Reflect. on pears by the poem de Jure Divino, &c. of De Foe, and by the Essay on Criticism, p. 26, 29, 30.

z

Bentl.

had it,

REMARKS.

Bays, formid by nature stage and town to bless, Swearing and supperless the hero sat,
And act, and be, a coxcomb with success. 110 Blasphemed his gods, the dice, and damn'd his fate;
Dulness with transport eyes the lively dunce, Then gnawd his pen, then dash'd it on the ground,
Remembering she herself was pertness once. Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound !
Now (shame to fortune!) an ill run at play Plunged for his sense, but found no bottom there,
Blank'd his bold visage, and a thin third day: Yet wrote and founder'd on, in mere despair. 120

Round him much embryo, much abortion lay

Much future ode, and abdicated play: It would be unjust not to add his reasons for this fury,

Nonsense precipitate, like running lead, they are so strong and so coercive. "I regard him," saith Then slipp'd through crags and zig-zags of the head be, as an enemy, not so much to me, as to my king, to my All that on folly frenzy could beget, country, to my religion, and to that liberty which has been Fruit of dull heat, and sooterkins of wit. the sole felicity of my life. A vagary of fortune, who is sometimes pleased to be frolicsome, and the epidemic mad- Next o'er his books his eyes began to roll, ness of the times, have given him reputation, and " reputa- In pleasing memory of all he stole, tion," as Hobbes says, " is power," and that has made him How here he sipp'd, how here he plunder'd snug, George, whose faithful subject I am; to my country, or And suck'd all o'er like an industrious bug.

130 which I have appeared a constant lover; to the laws, under Here lay poor Fletcher's half-eat scenes, and nere whose protection I have so long lived; and to the liberty of the frippery of crucified Moliere : my country, more dear to me than life, of which I have now for forty years been a constant asserter, &c. I look upon it There hapless Shakspeare, yet of Tibbald sore, as any duty, I say, to do you shall see what to pull the Wish'd he had blotted for himself before. lion's skin from this little ass, which populer error has thrown around him; and to show that this author, who has been lately so much in vogue, has neither sease in his

REMARKS. thoughts, nor English in his expression. Dennis, Rem. on am I only to be dull

, and dull still, and again, and for ever ?" Hom. Pref. p. 2, 91, &c.

Besides these public-spirited reasons, Mr. D. hnd a pri- He then solemnuly appealed to his own conscience, that he vate one; which, by his manner of expressing it in p. 92, could not think himself so, nor believe that our poet did; appears to have been equally strong. He was even in bodily but that he spake

worse of him than he could possibly think fear of his life, from the machinations of the said Mr. P. and concluded it must be merely to show bis wit, or for some

The story,' says he, 'is too long to be told, but who would profit or lucre to himself. Lute of C. C. chap, vii. and Letbe acquainted with it, may hear it from Mr. Curll, my book- ter to Mr. P. page 15, 40, 53. And to show his clasin to seller. However, what my reason has suggested to me,

what the poet was so unwilling to allow him, ot being pert that I have with a just confidence said, in defiance of his as well as dull, he declares he will have the last word; which two clandestine weapons, his slander and his poison.' occasioned the following epigram: Which last words of his book plainly discover Mr. D's sus Quoth Cibber to Pope, " Though in verse you foreclose, picion was that of being poisoned, in like manner as Mr. I'll have the last word; for, by G-, I'll write prosse." Curll had been before him: of which fact, see a full and Poor Colly, thy reasoning is none of the strougest, true account of the horrid and barbarous revenge, by poison,! For know, the last word is the word that lasts longest. on the body of Edmund Curll, printed in 1716, the year ante Ver. 115. Supperless the hero sat.] It is amazirg hon cedent to that wherein these remarks of Mr. Dennis were the sense of this bath been mistaken by all the former com published. Bat what puts it beyond all question, is a pas- mentators, who most idly suppose it to imply, that the bero sage in a very warm treatise, in which Mr. D. was also of the poem wanted a supper. In truth, a great absurdity. concerned, price two-pence, called, A true character of Mr. Not that we are ignorant that the hero of Homer's Odyssey Pope and his Writings, printed for s. Popping, 1716; in the is frequently in that circumstance, and, therefore, it can no tenth page whereof he is said to have insulted people on way derogate from the grandeur of epic poem to represent those calamities and diseases which he himself gave them, such hero under a calamity, to which the greatest, not only by administering poison to them;" and is called (p. 4.) a of critics and poets, but of kings and warriors, have beea lurking way-laying coward, and a stabber in the dark.' subject. But much more refined, I will venture to say, is Which (with many other things most lively set forth in that the meaning of our author: it was to give us obliquely a piece) must have rendered him a terror, not to Mr. Dennis curious precept, or what Bossu calls a disguised sentence, only, but to all Christian people. This charitable warning that "Temperance is the life of study.' The language of only provoked our incorrigible poet to write the following poesy brings all into action, and to represent a critic encom epigram:

passed with books but without a supper, is a picture which "Should Dennis publish you had stabb'd your brother,

lively expresseth how much the true critic prefers the dret Lampoon'd your monarch, or debauch'd your mother;

of the mind to that of the body, one of which he always casSay, what revenge on Dennis can be had ?

tigates, and often totally neglects, for the greater improve Too dull for laughter, for reply too mad:

ment of the other.

Scribl. On one so poor you cannot take the law;

But since the discovery of the true hero of the poem, may On one so old your sword you scorn to draw;

we tot add, that nothing was so natural, after so great a los Uncaged then let the harmless monster raga,

of money at dice, or of reputation by his play, as that the Secure in dulness, madness, want, and age.”

poet should have no great stomach to eat a supper? Be

sides, bow well has the poet consulted his heroic character, For the rest; Mr. John Dennis was the son of a saddler, in adding that he has swore all the time?

Bentl. in London, born in 1657. He paid court to Mr. Dryden; Ver. 131. Poor Fletcher's hall-eat scenes.) A great numand having obtained some correspondence with Mr. Wycher-ber of them taken out to patch up his plays. ley and Mr. Congreve, he immediately obliged the public Ver. 132. The frippery.) When I fitied up an old play with their letters. He made himself known to the govern- it was as a good housewife will mend old linen, when she ment by many admirable schemes and projects, which the has not better employment.' Life, p. 217, 8vo. ministry, for rensons best known to themselves, constantly Ver. 133. Hapless Shakspeare, &c.] It is not to be kept private. For his character as a writer, it is given us as doubted but Bays was a subscriber to Tibbald's Shakspeare follows: Mr. Dennis is excellent at Pindaric writings, per- He was frequently liberal in this way, and, as he tells us, fectly regular in all his performances, and a person of sound subscribed to Mr. Pope's Homer out of pure generosity and learning. That he is master of a great deal of penetration civility; but when Mr. Pope did so to his Non-juror, he conand judgment, he criticisms (particularly on Prince Arthur) cluded it could be nothing but a joke.' Letter to Mr. P.p.24. do sufficiently demonstrate." From the same account it This Tibbald, or Theobald, pub ished an edition of Shak also appears that be writ plays more to get reputation than speare, of which he was so prond himself as to say, in one money.' Dennis of himself. See Giles Jacob's Lives of of Mist's Journals, June 8, That to expose any errors in it Dram. Poets, p. 68, 69, compared with p. 286.

was impracticable. And to another, April 27, "That whatVer. 109. Bays, form'd by nature, &c.). It is hoped the ever care might for the future be taken by any other editor, poet here hath done full justice to his' hero's character, he would still give about five hundred emendations, that which it were a great mistake to imagine was wholly sunk shall escape them all." in stupidity; he is allowed to have supported it with a won Vor. 134. Wish'd be bad blotted.] It was a ridiculous derful mixture of viracity. This character is heightened ac- praise which the players gave to Shakspeare, that he never cording to his own desire, in a letter he wrote to our author: blotted a line.' Ben Jonson honestly wished be had blotted "Pert and dull at least you might have allowed me. Whatila thousand ; and Shakspeare would certainly have wished

The rest on outside merit but presume,

Of these, twelve volumes, twelve of amplest size, Or serve (like other fools) to fill a room;

Redeemd from tapers and defrauded pies,
Such with their shelves as due proportion hold, Inspired he seizes: these an altar raise :
Or their fond parents dress'd in red and gold : A hecatomb of pure unsullied lays
Or where the pictures for the page atone, That altar crowns : a folio common-place
And Quarles is saved by beauties not his own. 140 Founds the whole pile, of all, his works the base : 160
Here swells the shelf with Ogilby the great : Quartos, octavos, shape the lessening pyre;
There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines complete: A twisted birth-day ode completes the spire
Here all his suffering brotherhood retire,

Then he : great tamer of all human art!
And 'scape the martyrdom of jakes and fire First in my care, and ever at my heart ;
A Gothic library! of Greece and Rome

Dulness! whose good old cause I yet defend,
Well purged, and worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome. With whom my muse began, with whom shall end,

But, high above, more solid learning shone, E'er since sir Fopling's periwig was praise,
The classics of an age that heard of none; To the last honours of the butt and bays :
There Caxton slept, with Wynkyn at his side, 149|0 thou! of business the directing soul;
One clasp'd in wood, and one in strong cow-hide ; To this our head like bias to the bowl, 170
There, saved by spice, like mummies, many a year, Which, as more ponderous, made its aim more true
Dry bodies of divinity appear:

Obliquely waddling to the mark in view :
De Lyra there a dreadful front extends,

0! ever gracious to perplex'd mankind, And here the groaning shelves Philemon bends. Still spread a healing mist before the mind;

And, lest we err by wit's wild dancing light,
REMARKS.

Secure us kindly in our native night.
the same, if he had lived to see the alterations in his works, Or, if to wit a coxcomb make pretence,
which not the actors only (and especially the daring hero of Guard the sure barrier between that and sense;
this poem) have made on the stage, but the presumptuous Or quite unravel all the reasoning thread,
critics of our days in their editions.

Ver. 135. The rest on outside merit, &c.) This library And hang some curious cobweb in its stead! 199 is divided into three parts; the first consists of those authors As forced from wind-guns, lead itself can fly, from whom he stole, and whose works he mangled; the se And ponderous slugs cut swiftly through the sky: or adorned with pictures: the third class our author calls As clocks to weight their nimble motions owe, solid learning, old bodies of divinity, old commentaries, old The wheels above urged by the load below : English printers, or, old English translations; all very volu- Me Emptiness and Dulness could inspire,

Ver. 141. Ogilby the great:) John Ogilby was one, And were my elasticity and fire. who, from a late initiation into literature, made such a pro- Some demon stole my pen (forgive the offence) gress as might well style him the prodigy of his time ! sending into the world so many large volumes! His translations And once betray'd me into common sense : of Homer and Virgil done to the life, and with such excel- Else all my prose and verse were much the same , lent sculptures: and (what added great grace to his works) This, prose on stilts; that, poetry fall’n lame.

196 he printed them all on special good paper, and in a very good Did on the stage my fops appear confined ! letter.' Winstanley, Lives of Poets.

Ver. 14. There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines My life gave ampler lessons to mankind.
complete :) "The dutchess of Newcastle was one who bu-
sied herself in the ravishing delights of poetry; Jeaving to
posterity in print three ample volumes of her studious en-
deavours.' Winstanley, ibid. Langbane reckons up eight

REMARKS. folios of her grace's, which were usually adorned with gild-nous commentator, whose works, in five vast folios, were ed covers, and had her coat of arms upon them.

printed in 1472 Ver. 146. Worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome.) The Ver. 154. Philemon Holland, doctor in physic. He transpoet hua mentioned these three authors in particular, as lated so many books, that a man would think he had done they are parallel to our hero in his three capacities ; 1. Set- nothing else; insomuch that he might be called translator tle was his brother laureate; only indeed upon half-pay, for general of his age. The books alone of bis turning into the city instead of the court; but equally famous for unin-English are sufficient to make a country gentleman a comtelligible flights in his poems on public occasions, such as plete library.

Winstanley. shows, birth-days, &c. 2. Banks was his rival in tragedy Ver. 167. E'er since sir Fopling's periwig.). The first (though more successful) in one of his tragedies, the Earl visible cause of the passion of the town for our hero, was a of Essex, which is yet alive: Anna Boleyn, the Queen of fair flaxen full-bottomed periwig, which, he tells us, he wore Scots, and Cyrus the Great, are dead and gone. These he in bis first play of the Fool in Fashion. It attraeted, in a dressed in a sort of beggar's velvet, or a happy mixture of particular manner, the friendship of Col. Brett, who wanted the thick fustian and thin prosaic; exactly imitated in Pe- to purchase it. Whatever contempt,' says he, "philosofolla and Isidora, Cosar in Egypt, and the Heroic Daughter. phers may have for a fine periwig, my friend, who was not 3. Broome was a serving man of Ben Jonson, who once to despise the world, but to live in it, knew very well, that picked up a comedy from his letters, or from some cast so material an article of dress upon the head of a man of scenes of his master, not entirely contemptible.

sense, if it became him, could never fail of drawing to him Ver. 147. More solid learning.) Some have objected, a more partial regard and benevolence, than could possibly that books of this sort suit not so well the library

of our be hoped for in an ill-made one. This, perhaps, may soften Bays, which they imagined consisted of novels, plays, and the grave censure which so youthful a purchase might obscene books; but they are to consider that he furnished otherwise have laid upon him. In a word, he made his athis shelves only for ornament, and read these books no more tack upon this periwig, as your young fellows generally do than the dry bodies of divinity, which, no doubt, were pur- upon a lady of pleasure, first by a few familiar praises of chased by his father when he designed him for the gown. her person, and then a civil inquiry into the price of it; and See the note on ver 200.

we finisbed our bargain that night over a bottle.' See Lifa Ver. 149. Caxton) A printer in the time of Edw. IV. 8vo. p. 303. This remarkable periwig usually made its enRichard III

. and Hen. VII; Wynkyn de Work, his suc- trance upon the stage in a sedan, brought in by two chair. cessor, in that of llen. VII. and VIII. The former trans- men, with infinite approbation of the audience. lated into proae Virgil's Æneis, as a history ; of which he Ver. 178, 179. Guard the sure barrier-Or quite unravel sprake, in his proeme, in a very singular manner, as of a &c.] For wit or reasoning are never greatly burtful to dul book hardly known. Tibbald quotes a rare passage from ness, but when the first is founded in truth, and the other in him in Mist's Journal of March 16, 1728, concerning a usefulness. strange and marvallous beaste, called Sagittayre, which he Ver. 181. As, forced from wind-guns, &c.] The thought would have Shakspeare to mean rather than Teucer, the of these four verses is founded in a poem of our author's of archer celebrated by Homer.

a very early date (namely, written at fourteen years old, and Ver. 153. Nich de Lyra, or Harpsfield, a very volumi- soon after printed,) to the author of a poem called Successio

220

Did the dead letter unsuccessful prove ?

| Hold-to the minister I more incline; The brisk example never fail'd to move.

To serve his cause, O queen! is serving thine. Yet sure, had Heaven decreed to save the state, And see! thy very Gazetteers give o'er; Heaven had decreed these works a longer date. E'en Ralph repents, and Henley writes no more. Could Troy be saved by any single hand,

What then remains ? Ourself. Still, still remain This gray-goose weapon must have made her stard. Cibberian forehead, and Cibberian brain. What can I now? my Fletcher cast aside, This brazen brightness, to the 'squire so dear; Take up the Bible, once my better guide ? 200 This polish'd hardness, that reflects the peer: Or tread the path by venturous heroes trod, This arch absurd, that wit and fool delights ; This box my thunder, this right hand my god ? This mess, loss'd up of Ilockley-hole and White's; Or, chair'd at White's, amidst the doctors sit, Where dukes and butchers join to wreathe my crown, Teach oaths to gamesters, and to nobles wit? At once the bear and fiddle of the town. Or bidst thou rather party to embrace ?

O born in sin, and forth in folly brought ! (A friend to party thou, and all her race;

Works damn'd, or to be damnd (your father's "Tis the same rope at different ends they twist;

fault,) To Dulness Ridpath is as dear as Mist.)

Go, purified by flames, ascend the sky, Shall I, like Curtius, desperate in my zeal, My better and more Christian progeny! O'er head and ears plunge for the common weal? 210 Unstain'd, untouch'd, and yet in maiden sheets ; Or rob Rome's ancient geese of all their glories, While all your smutty sisters walk the streets. 230 And cackling save the monarchy of Tories ? Ye shall not beg, like gratis-given Bland,

Sent with a pass, and vagrant through the land:

Nor sail with Ward, to ape and monkey climes, REMARKS.

Where vile mundungus trucks for viler rhymes : Ver. 198. Gray-goose weapon.) Alluding to the old Not, sulphur tipt, emblaze an ale-house fire ; English weapon, the arrow of the long-bow, which was Nor wrap up oranges, to pelt your sire ! fletched with the feathers of the gray-goose.

Ver. 199. My Fletcher) A familiar manner of speaking, used by modern critics, of a favourite author. Bays might as justly speak this of Fletcher, as a French wit did of Tolly, seeing his works in a library, Ah! mon cher Ciceron!

REMARKS. je le connois bien : c'est le meme que Marc Tulle. But he Not out of any preference or affection to the Tories. For had a better title to call Fletcher his own, having made so what Hobbes so ingeniously confesses of himselt, is true of free with him.

all ministerial writers whatsoever: That he defends the Ver. 200. Take up the Bible, once my better guide ?) supreme powers, as the geese by their cackling defended the When, according to his father's intention, he had been a Romans, who held the Capitol; for they favoured them no clergyman, or (as he thinks himself,) a bishop of the church more than the Gauls, their enemies; but were as ready to of England. Hear his own words : At the time that the have defended the Gauls if they had been possessed of the fate of King James, the prince of Orango, and myself, were Capitol."

Epis. Dedic. to the Leviathan. on the anvil, Providence thought fit to postpone mine, till

Ver. 215. Gazetteers.) A band of ministerial writers, theirs were determined: but had my father carried me a hired at the prices mentioned in the note on book ii. ver. 316, month sooner to the university, who knows but that purer who, on the very day their patron quitted his post, laid dowa fountain might have washed my imperfections into a capa- their paper, and declared they would never more weddle in city of writing, instead of plass and annual odes, sermons, politics. and pastoral letters !'--Apology for his Life, chap. iii. Ver. 2.3. At White's amidst the doctors) These doctors read; but I make no scruple to pronounce them all wrong,

Ver. 218. Cibberian forehead.] So indeed all the MSS. had a modest and upright appearunce, no air of overbear the laureate being elsewhere celebrated by our poet for his ing; but, like true masters of art, were only habited in black

great modesty--modest Cibber-Read, therefore, at my and white: they were justly styled subtiles and graves, but peril, Cerberian forehead. This is perfectly classical, and, not always irrefragabiles, being sometimes examined, and by what is more, Homerical; the dog was the ancient, as the a nice distinction, divided and laid open.

Scribl. This learned critic is to be understood allegorically. The

bitch is the modern symbol of impudence: (Kuvos eppur" doctors in this place mean no more than false dice, a cant perlative degree, may well be denominated from Cerberus, the

*%wv, says Achilles to Agamemnon:) which, when in a so• phrase used among gamesters. So the meaning of these dog with three heads--But as to the latter part of this verse, four sonorous lines is only this, 'Shall I play fair or foul ?' Ver. 208. Ridpath--Mist.) George Ridpath, author of a

Cibberian brain, that is certainly the genuine reading.

Bentl. Whig paper, called the Flying-post; Nathaniel Mist of a famous Tory journal.

Ver. 225. O born in sin, &c.] This is a tender and Ver. 211. Or rob Rome's ancient geese of all their to sacrifice, agreeable to the nature of man in great attie

passionate apostropho to his own works, which he is going gories,] Relates to the well-known story of the geese that tion: and reflecting, like a parent, on the many miserable saved the Capitol; of which Virgil, Æn. viii.

fates to which they would otherwise be subject. Atque hic auratis volitans argenteus anser

Ver. 298. My better and more christian progeny!) 'It Porticibus, Gallos in limine adesse canebat.' may be observable, that my muse and my spouse were

equally prolific! that the one was seldom the mother of a A parenge I have always suspected. Who sees not the child, but in the same year the other made me the father of antithesis of auratis and argenteus to be unworthy the a play. I think we had a dozen of each sort between us Virgilian majesty? And what absurdity to say a goose of both which kinds, some died in their infancy, &c.' Life kings ? canebat. 'Virgil gives a contrary character of the of C. C. p. 217, &vo. edit. voice of this silly bird, in Ecl. ix.

Ver. 131. Gratis-given Bland, - Sent with a pass,] It was '-argutos inter strepere anser olores.'

a practice so to give the Daily Gazetteer and ministerna!

pamphlets (in which this B. was a writer,) and to send them Read it, therefore, adesse strepebat. And why auratis post-free to all the towns in the kingdom. porticibus ? does not the very verse preceding this inform us, Ver. 233. With Ward, to ape and monkey climes.) * Romulcoque recens horrebat regia culmo.'

'Edward Ward, a very voluminous poet in Hadibrastic

verse, but best known by the London Spy, in prose. He Is this tha'ch in one line, and gold in another, consistent ? Ihas of late years kept a public-house in the city (but in a scruple not (repugnantibus omnibus manuscriptis) to correct genteel way,) and with bis wit, humour, and good liquor it auritis. Horace uses the same epithet in the sume sense, (ale) afforded his guests a pleasurable entertainment, Auritas fidibus canoris

especially those of the high church-party.' Jacob, Lives of Ducere quercus.'

Poets, vol. ii. p. 225. Great numbers of his works were

yearly sold into the Plautations.---Ward, in a book, called And to say that walls have cars is common even to a Apollo's Maggot, declared this account to be a great falsity, proverb

Scribi, protesting that his public-house was not in the city, but ia Ver. 212. And cackling save the monarchy of Tories ?) 'Moortields.

« السابقةمتابعة »