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So Jove's bright bow displays its watery round
Swift as it mounts, all follow with their eyes; 185
Thou triumph'st, victor of the high-wrought day,
Room for my Lord! three jockies in his train;
He chinks his purse, and takes his seat of state:
v. 181, 182, So (fam'd like thee for turbulence and horns) Eridanus.]
Virgil mentions these two qualifications of Eridanus, Georg. IV.
In mare purpureum violentior influit amnis."
"Heav'n her Eridanus no more shall boast,
Whose fame in thine, like lesser currents lost,
Rolli the feather to his ear conveys;
The more thou ticklest, gripes his fist the faster. 210
v.203.] Paolo Antonio Rolli, an Italian poet, and writer of many operas in that language, which, partly by the help of his genius, prevailed in England near twenty years. He taught Italian to some fine gentlemen, who affected to direct the operas.
v. 205. Bentley his mouth, &c.] Not spoken of the famous Dr. Richard Bentley, but of one Tho. Bentley, a small critic, who aped his uncle in a little Horace. The great one was intended to be dedicated to the Lord Halifax, but (on a change of the ministry) was given to the Earl of Oxford; for which reason the little oue was dedicated to his son the Lord Harley.
v. 207. --- Welsted.] Leonard Welsted, author of the Triumvirate, or A Letter in verse from Palemon to Celia at Bath, which was meant for a satire on Mr. P. and some of his friends, about the year 1718. He writ other things which we cannot remember. Smedley, in his Metamorphosis of Scriblerus, mentions one, the Hymn of a gentleman to his Creator: and there was another in praise either of a cellar, or a garret. L. W. characterized in the treatise Peri Bathous, or the Art of Sinking, as a didapper, and after as an eel, is said to be this person, by Dennis, Daily Journal of May 11, 1728.
He was also characterized under another animal, a mole, by the author of the ensuing simile, which was handed about at the same time:
"Dear Welsted, mark, in dirty hole,
That painful animal, a mole:
As taught by Venus, Paris learn'd the art
Secure, through her, the noble prize to carry,
"Now turn to different sports (the Goddess cries) And learn, my sons, the wondrous pow'r of noise, To move, to raise, to ravish every heart. With Shakspeare's nature, or with Jonson's art, Let others aim; 'tis yours to shake the soul With thunder rumbling from the mustard bowl; With horns and trumpets now to madness swell, Now sink in sorrows with a tolling bell! Such happy arts attention can command When fancy flags, and sense is at a stand. Improve we these. Three cat-calls be the bribe Of him whose chattering shames the monkey-tribe; And his this drum, whose hoarse heroic bass Drowns the loud clarion of the braying ass."
Now thousand tongues are heard in one loud din; The monkey-mimics rush discordant in;
'Twas chattering, grinning, mouthing, jabbering all,
"Hold, (cried the Queen) a cat-call each shall win; Equal your merits! equal is your din!
But that this well-disputed game may end,
v. 238. ---Norton.] See ver. 415.----J. Durant Breval, author of very extraordinary book of travels, and some poems.
So swells each wind-pipe; ass intones to ass,
There, Webster! peal'd thy voice, and, Whitefield! thine.
But far o'er all, sonorous Blackmore's strain;
v. 258. ----Webster---and Whitefield.] The one the writer of a newspaper called The Weekly Miscellany; the other a fieldpreacher. This thought the only means of advancing religion was by the new birth of spiritual madness; that by the old death of fire and faggot: and therefore they agreed in this, though in no other earthly thing, to abuse all the sober clergy. From the small success of these two extraordinary persons, we may learn how little burtful bigotry and enthusiasm are, while the civil magistrate prudently forbears to lend his power to the one, in order to the employing it against the other."
v. 260.bray back to him again.] A figure of speech taken from Virgil:
"Et vox assensu nemorum ingeminata remugit."
"He hears his numerous herds low o'er the plain, While neighb'ring hills low back to them again.' Cowley. The poet here celebrated, Sir R. B, delighted much in the word bray, which he endeavoured to ennoble by applying it to the sound of armour, war, &c. In imitation of him, and strengthened by his authority, our author has here admitted it into heroic poetry.
v. 262. Prick all their ears up, and forget to graze!] "Immemor herbarum quos est mirata juvenca." Virg. Ecl. VIII. The progress of the sound from place to place, and the scenery here of the bordering regions, Tottenham fields, Chancery-lane, the Thames, Westminster-hall, and Hungerford stairs, are imitated from Virgil, Æn. VII. on the sounding the horn of Alecto:
"Audiit et Triviæ longe lacus, audiit amnis
All hail him victor in both gifts of song,
To where Fleet Ditch, with disemboguing streams,
“Here strip, my children! here at once leap in, 275 Here prove who best can dash through thick and thin, And who the most in love of dirt excel,
Or dark dexterity of groping well:
Who flings most filth, and wide pollutes around
A peck of coals a-piece shall glad the rest."
And, Milo-like, surveys his arms and hands;
Next Smedley div'd; slow circles dimpled o'er,
v. 283. In naked majesty Oldmixon stands.] Mr. John Oldmixon, next to Mr. Dennis, the most ancient critic of our nation; an unjust censurer of Mr. Addison in his prose Essay on Criticism, whom also, in his imitation of Bouhours (called the Arts of Logic and Rhetoric) he misrepresents in plain matter of fact; for in p. 45, he cites the Spectator as abusing Dr. Swift by name, where there is not the least hint of it: and in p. 304, is so injurious as to suggest that Mr. Addison himself writ that Tatler, No. 43, which says of his own simile, that "it is as great as ever entered into the mind, of man."." In poetry he was not so happy as laborious, and is therefore characterized by the Tatler, No. 62, by the name of Omicron, the unborn poet." Curl, Key, p. 13. "He writ dramatic works, and a volume of poetry consisting of Heroic Epistles, &c. some whereof are very well done," said that great judge, Mr. Jacob, in his Lives of Poets, vol. ii. p. 303.
v. 201. Next Smedley div'd.] In the surreptitious editions this whole episode was applied to an initial letter E-, by whom if they