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Enough! enough! the raptur'd Monarch cries;
that a great Part of their Provinces was once overflowed, by a small opening made in one of their dykes by a single Water-Rat.
However, that such is not seriously the judgment of our Poet, but that he conceiveth better hopes from the Diligence of our Schools, from the Regularity of our Universities, the Discernment of our Great men, the Accomplishments of our Nobility, the Encouragement of our Patrons, and the Genius of our Writers of all kinds (notwithstanding fome few exceptions in each) may plainly be seen from his conclusion; where causing all' this vision to pass through the Ivory gate, he expressly, in the language of Poesy, declares all such imaginations to be wild, ungrounded, and fictitious.
THE END OF THE THIRD BOOK.
DU U N C I A D.
BOOK THE FOURTH.
ARGU M E N T.
THE Poet being, in this Book, to declare the Com
pletion of the Prophecies mentioned at the end of the former, makes a new Invocation; as the greater Poets are wont, when fome high and worthy matter is to be sung. He thews the Goddess coming in her Majesty, to destroy Order and Science, and to substitute the Kingdom of the Dull upon earth. How the leads captive the Sciences, and filences the Muses; and what they be who succeed in their stead. All her Children, by a wonderful attraction, are drawn about her; and bear along with them divers others, who promote her Empire by connivance, weak refiftance, or discouragement of Arts ; such as Half wits, tasteless Admirers, vain Pretenders, the Flatterers of Dunces, or the Patrons of them. All these crowd round hér; one of them, offering to approach her, is driven back by a Rival, but the commends and encourages both. The first who speak in form are the P2
Geniuses of the Schools, who assure her of their care. to advance her Cause by confining Youth to Words, and keeping them out of the way of real Knowledge. Their Address, and her gracious Answer; with her Charge to them and the Universities. The Universities appear by their proper Deputies, and affure her that the fame method is observed in the progress of Education. The speech of Aristarchus on this fubject. They are driven off by a band of young gentlemen returned from Travel with their Tutors; one of whom delivers to the Goddess, in a polite oration, an account of the whole Conduct and Fruits of their Travels : presenting to her at the same time a young Nobleman perfectly accomplished. She receives him graciously, and endues him with the happy quality of Want of Shame. She sees loitering about her a number of Indolent Persons abandoning all business and duty, and dying with laziness : To these approaches the Antiquary Annius, entreating her to make them Virtuofos, and assign them over to him : But Mummius, another Antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, the finds a method to reconcile their difference. Then enter a Troop of people fantastically adorned, offering her strange and exotic presents : Amongst them, one stands forth and demands justice on another, who had deprived him of one of the greatest Curiosities in nature : but he justifies himself so well, that the Goddess gives them both her approbation. She recommends to them to find proper employment for the Indolents before mention
ed, in the study of Butterflies, Shells, Birds-nests, Moss, &c. but with particular caution, not to proceed beyond Trifles, to any useful or extensive views of Nature, or of the Author of Nature. Against the last of these apprehensions, she is secured by a hearty Address from the Minute Philosophers and Free-thinkers, one of whom speaks in the name of the rest. The Youth, thus instructed and principled, are delivered to her in a body, by the hands of Silenus; and then admitted to taste the Cup of the Magus her High Priest, which causes a total oblivion of all Obligations, divine, civil, moral, or rational. To these her Adepts she fends Priests, Attendants, and Comforters, of various kinds; confers on them Orders and Degrees; and then dismissing them with a speech, confirming to each his Privileges, and telling what the expects from each, concludes with a Yawn of extraordinary virtue : The Progress and Effects whereof on all Orders of men, and the Confummation of all, in the Restoration of Night and Chaos, conclude the Poem,