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And thou! his aid-de-camp, lead on my sons,
"O! when shall rise a monarch all our own,
She ceased. Then swells the chapel-royal throai:
REMARKS. Ver. 309, 310. Under Archer's wing,--Gaming, &c 1 When the statute against gaming was drawn up, it was re presented, that the king, by ancient custom, plays at hazard one night in the year; and therefore a clause was inserted, with an exemption as to that particular. Under this pretence, the groom-porter had a room appropriated to gaming all the summer the court was at Kensington, which his majesty accidentally being acquainted with, with a just indignation prohibited. It is reported the same practice is yet continued wherever the
court resides, and the hazard table there open to all the professed gamesters in town.
Greatest and justest sovereign! know you this?
Donne to Queen Eliz. Ver. 319. Chapel-royal.] The voices and instruments used in the service of the chapel-royal being also employer in the performance of the birth-day and new-year odes.
Ver. 324. But pious Needham.) A matron of great fame, and very religious in her way; whose constant prayer it was, that she might get enough by her profession to leave it off ir time, and make her peace with God.' But her fato was
Back to the Devil the last echoes roll,
So when Jove's block descended from on high,
REMARKS. not so happy; for being convicted, and set in the pillory, she was, (to the lasting shame of all her great friends and votaries) so ill used by the populace, that it put an end to her days. Ver. 325.
Back to the Devil.] The Devil Tavern in Fleet-street, where these odes are usually -ehearsed before they are performed at court. Upon which a wit of those times makes this epigram: "When laureates make odes, do you ask of what sort ?
Do you ask if they're good, or are evil?
And go from the court to the devil.'
Our author manifests here, and elsewhere, a prodigious tenderness for the bad writers. We see he selects the only good passage, perhaps, in all that ever Ogilby writ! which shows how candid and patient a reader he must have been. What can be more kind and affectionate than the words in the preface to his poems, where he labours to call upon all our humanity and forgiveness towards these unlucky men, by the most moderate representation of their case that has ever been given by any author ?
how much all indulgence is lost upon these people may appear from the just reflcction made on their constant conduct and constant fute, in the following epigram:
Ye little wits, that gleam'd awhile,
When Pope vouchsafed a ray;
How soon ye fade away!
Thus empty vapours rise,
That rear'd him to the skies.
There he shall ever burn:
And must to earth return.' Two things there are, upon the supposition of which the very basis of all verbal criticism is founded and supported
BOOK THE SECOND.
The king being proclaimed, the solemnity is graced with
public games and sports of various kinds; not insti. tuted by the hero, as by Æneas in Virgil, but, for greater honour, by the goddess in person, (in like man. ner as the games of Pythia, Isthmia, &c. were an. ciently said to be ordained by the gods, and as Thetis herself appearing, according to lomer, Odyss. xxiv. proposed the prizes in honour of her son Achilles.) Hither flock the poets and critics, attended, as is hu just, with their patrons and booksellers. The goddess is first pleased, for her disport, to propose games to the booksellers, and setteth up the phantom of a poet. which they contend to overtake. The races described. with their divers accidents. Next the game for a poetess. Then follow the exercises for the poets, of tickling, vociferating, diving. The first holds forth the arts and practices of dedicators, the second of dis. putants and fustian poets, the third of profound, dark, and dirty party-writers. Lastly, for the critics, the
REMARKS. the first, that an author could never fail to use the best word on every occasion: the second, that a critic cannor choose but know which that is. This being granted, whenever any word doth not fully content we take upon us to conclude, first, that the author could never have used it; and, secondly, that he must have used that very one, which we conjecture, in its stead.
We cannot, therefore, enough admire the learned Scriblerus, for his alteration of the text in the last two verses of the preceding book, which in all the former editions stood thus:
Hoarse thunder to its bottom shook the bog,
And the loud nation croak’d, 'God save king Log ! Ile has, with great judgment, transposed these two opi chets; putting hoarse to the nation, and loud to the thunder; and this being evidently the true reading, he vcuchsafed not 80 much as to mention the former: for which assertion of the just right of a critic he merits the acknowledgment of all sound commentators.
goddess proposes, (with great propriety) an exercise, not of their parts, but their patience, in hearing the works of two voluminous authors, one in verse, and the other in prose, deliberately read, without sleeping. the various effects of which, with the several degrees and manners of their operation, are here set forth; till the whole number, not of critics only, but of spectators, actors, and all present, fall asleep; which naturally and necessarily ends the games.
BOOK II. Higu on a gorgeous seat, that far out-shone Ilenley's gilt tub, or Fleckno's Irish throne. Or that whereron her Curlls the publin - urs, All bounteous, fragrant grains ar: golden showers,
REMARKS. Ver. 2. Henley's gilt tub,] The pulpit of a dissenter is usually called a tub; but that of Mr. Orator Henley was covered with velvet,' and adorned with gold. He had also a fair altar, and over it this extraordinary inscription : "The primitive eucharist.' See the history of this person, book iii.
Ver. 2. or Fleckno's Irish throne,] Richard Fleckno was an Irish priest, but had laid aside (as himself expressed it) the mechanic part of priesthood. He prinied some plays, poems, letters, and travels. I doubt not, our author took occasion to mention him in respect to the poom of Mr. Dryden, to which this bears some resemblancc, though of a character more different from it than that of the neid from the Iliad, or the Lutrin of Boileau from the Defait de Bouts ri mées of Sarazin.
It may be just worth mentioning, that the eminence from whence the ancient sophists entertained their auditors, was called by the pompous name of a throne. Themistius, Orat. i.
Ver. 3. Or that whereon her Curlls the public pours.] Edmund Curll stood in the pillory at Charing-cross, in March 1727-8. "This,' saith Edmund Curll, 'is a false assertionI had, indeed, the corporal punishment of what the gentlemen of the long robe are pleased jocosely to cail mounting the rostrum for one hour: but that scene of action was not in the month of March, but in February.' (Curliad, 12mo. p. 19.). And of the history of his being tossed in a blanket, he saith, 'Here, Scriblerus! thou leesest in what thou assertest concerning the blanket: it was not a blanket but a rug,' p. 25. Much in the same manner Mr. Cibber remon
Great Cibber sat : the proud Parnassian sneer,
And now the queen, to glad her sons, proclaims
REMARKS. strated, that his brothers, at Bedlam, mentioned Book i. were not brazen, but blocks; yet our auther let ii pass un altered, as a trifle that no way altered the rolationship.
We should think, gentle reader, that we but ilt performed our part, if we corrected not as well our own errors now, as formerly those of the printer; since what moved us to this work, was solely the love of truth, not in the least any vain glory, or desire to contend with great authors. And further, our mistakes, we conceive, will the rather be pardoned, as scarce possible to be avoided in writing of such persons and works as do ever shun the light. However, that we may not any how soften or extenuate the same, we give them thee in the very words of our antagonists; not defending, but retracting them from our heart, and craving excuse of the parties offended: for surely in this work, it bath been above all things our desire to provoke no man. Scribl.
Ver. 15. Rome in her Capitol saw Querno sit.] Camillo Querno was of Apulia, who hearing the great encouragement which Leo X gave to poets, travelled to Rome with a harp in his hand, and sung to it twenty thousand verses of a poem called Alexias. He was introduced as a buffoon to Leo, and promoted to the honour of the laurel; a jest which the court of Rome and the pope bimself entered into so far, as to cause him to ride on an elephant to the Capitol, and to hold a solemn festival on his coronation ; at which it is recorded the poet himself was so transported as to weep fo