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BOOK THE SECOND.
The king being proclaimed, the solemnity is gncft with public games and sports of various kiads; not instituted by the hero, as by £neas in Virgil, but for greater honour by the goddess in person (in like manner as the games Pythia, Isthmia, Acwere anciently said to be ordained by the gods and as Thetis herself appearing, according to Homer, Odyss. xxiv. proposed the primes in honoui of her son Achilles). Hither flock the poets and critics, attended, as is but just, with their patmns and booksellers. The goddess is first pleased, fox her disport, to propose games to the bookselleis, and setteth up the phantom of a poet, which the; contend to overtake. The races described, with their divers accidents. Next, the game fori poetess. Then follow the exercises for the poets, of tickling, vociferating, diving. The first holdi forth the arts and practices of dedicators, the second of disputants and fustian -poets, the third of profound, dark; and dirty party-writers. Lastly, for the. critics, the goddess proposes (with great propriety) an exercise, not of their parts, but their patience, in hearing the works of two voluminoos anthors, one in verse, and the other in prose, deliberately read, without sleeping: the various effects of which, with the several degrees and Jnu i j
ners of their operation, are here set forth; till trie whole number, not of critics only, but of spectators, actors, and all present, fall fast asleep; %vhich naturally and necessarily ends the games.
IGH on a gorgeous seat, that far out-shone
Or that where on her Curlls the public pours,
REMARKS. Two things there are, upon the supposition of which the very basis of all verbal criticism is founded and supported: The first, that an author could never fail to use the best word on every occasion; the second, that a critic cannot choose but know which that is. This being granted, whenever any word doth not fully content us, 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!' He has, with great judgement, transposed these two epithets; putting hoarse to the nation, and loud to the thunder; and this being evidently the true reading, he vouchsafed not so much as to mention the former; for which assertion of the just right of a critic he merits the acknowledgement of all sound
Great Cibber sat: the prond Parnassian sneer.
REMARKS. Ver. 2. Henley's gilt tub,] The pulpit of a d* senter is usually called a tub; but that of Mr. Orator Henley was covered with velvet, and adorced with gold. He had also a fair altar, and over it tb.s extraordinary inscription: 'The primitive eucharist.' See the history of this person, book iii.
Ver. 2. or Fleckno's Irish throne,] Richard Fleclino was an Irish priest, but had laid aside (as himseHf expressed it) the mechanic part of priesthood. He printed some plays, poems, letters, and travels. 1 doubt not, our anthor took occasion to mention him in respect to the poem of Mr. Dryden, to which this bears some resemblance, though of a character more different from it than that of the jEneid from the Iliad, or the Lutrin of Boilean from the Defiit de Bouts rimees of Sarazin.
It may be just worth mentioning, that the eminence from whence the ancient sophists entertained their anditors, was called by the pompous name of a throne. Themistins, Orat. i.
Vfr. 3. Or that whereon her Curl Is the public pours.} Edmund Cur 11 stood in the pillory at Cturing-cross, in March 1727-8. 'This,' saith Edmund Curll, ' is a false assertion—1 had, indeed, the corporal punishment of what the gentlemen of the long robe are pleased jocosely to cat! mounting the mstrum for one hour: bat that scene of action was not in the month of March, but in February.' (Cuiliad, 12mo, p. 19.) And of the history of his being tnst in a blanket, he saith, ' Here Scriblerus! thou hesest in what thou assertest concerning the blanket: it was not a blanket, hut a rug.' p. 25. Much in the same manner Mr. Cibber remonstrated, that his brothers, at Bedlam, mentioned Book i. were not brazen, but blocks; yet our anthor let it pass utud*
Mix on his look: alt eyes direct their rays
ISTot with more glee, by hands pontine crown'd.
tered, as a trifle that no way altered the relationship.
We should think, gentle reader, that we but ill 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 way 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 hath been above all things our desire to provoke no man.
Ter. 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 tbousand 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 Home and the pope himself en
And now the queen, to glad her sons, proc!^ By herald hawkers, high heroic games. They summon alt her nice: an endless band Pours forth, and leaves unpeopled half the las: A motley mixture! in long wigs, in bags. In silks, in crapes, in garters, and in rags. From drawing-rooms, from colleges, from game On horse, on foot, in hacks, and gilded charic: All who true Dunces in her cause appear'd, And all who knew those Dunces to reward.
Amid that area wide they took their stand. Where the tall may-pole once o'erlook'd the StneBut now (so Anne and piety ordain) A church collects the saints of Drury-lane. 1
With authors, stationers obey'd the call (The field of glory is a field for all). Glory and gain, th' industrious tribe provoke; And gentle Dulness ever loves a joke. A poet's form she plac'd before their eyes, And bade the nimblest racer seize the prize; No meagre, muse-rid mope, adust and thin, In a dun night-gown of his own loose skin, But such a bulk as no twelve bards could raise, Twelve starveling bards of these degen'rate days. Alias a partridge plump, full-fed and fair, It She form'd this image of well-bodied air;
tered 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 for joy*. B* was ever after a constant frequenter of the popes table, drank abundantly, and poured forth verses without number. Paulus Jovins, Elog. Vir. doct. cap. lxxxiii. Some idea of his poetry i* given by Finu Strada, in his Prolusions.