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tYi pert flat eyes she window'd well its head; rain of feathers, and a heart of iead; d empty words she gave, and sounding strainr enseless, lifeless! idol void and vain! ^ever was dash'd out at one lucky hit, ; tip*l fool, so just a copy of a wit; gs *fy like, that critics said, and courtiers swore, csrf*: wit it was, and call'd the phantom More. 59
"Ver. 34. And gentle Dulness ever loves a joke.) ^Cliia species of mirth, called a joke, arising from a 'analentendn, may be well supposed to be the delight ^ of T)ulness.
; "Ver. 47. Never was dash'd out, at one lucky hit,] ''O ur author here seems willing to give some account ''„ of the possibility of Dulness making a wit (which could be done no other way than by chance). The ^ fiction is the more reconciled to probability by the ^ known story of Apelles, who, being at a loss to ext. ^2 press the foam of Alexander's horse, dash'd his pen
cil in despair at the picture, aud happened to do it by that fortunate stroke. . - Ver. 50. and call'd the phantom More.] Curll, in his Key to the Dunciad, affirmed this to be JamesMoore Smith, Esq. and it is probable (considering what is said of him in the testimonies) that soma might fancy our author obliged to represent this gentleman as a plagiary, or to pass for one himself. ,i His case, indeed, was like that of a man I have heard . of, who, as he was sitting in company, perceived
0 his next neighbour had stolen his handkerchief*;
1 1 Sir,' said the thief, finding himself detected, ' do I not expose me, I did it for mere want; be so good r but to take it privately out of my pocket again, and
say nothing.' The honest man did so, but the other cried out, 'See, gentlemen, what a thief we have among.us! look, he is stealing my handkerchief!' Some time before, he had borrowed of Dr. Ar
All gaze with ardour: some a poet's name, Others a sword-knot and lac d suit iuflame.
buthnot a paper, called a Historico-physical account of the South hea; and of Mr. Pope the Memoirs of a Parish Clerk, which for two years he kept, and read to the Rev. Dr. Young, F. Rillers. Esq. ami many others, as his own. Being applied to for than, he pretended they were lost, but there happening be another copy of the letter, it came out in Saift and Pope's Miscellanies. Upon this, it seems, he was so far mistaken as to confess his proceeding bj an endeavour to hide it: unguardedly printing (in the Daily Journal of April 8, 1728), * That the contempt which he &nd others had for those pieers,' (which only himself had shown, and handed about as his own)' occasioned their being lost, and for that canse only not returned.' A fact, of which, as none but he could be conscious, none but he could he the publisher of it. The plagiarisms of this person gave occasion to the following epigram: Moore always smiles whenever he recites; He smiles (you think) approving what he writes. And yet in ihis no vanity is shown; A modest man may like what's not his own. This young; gentleman's whole misfortune was too inordinate a passion to be thought a wit. Hcre a a very strong instance attested by Mr. Savage, sos of the late earl Rivers; who having shown some verses of his in manuscript to Mr. Moore, wherein Mr. Pope was called first of the tuneful train, lfr. Moore the next morning sent to Mr. Savage to desire him to give those verses another turn, to wit, * That Pope might now be the first, becanse Moore had left him unrivalled, in turning his style to comedy.' This was during the rehearsal of the Rival Modes, his first and only work; the town cot
But lofty Lintotin the circle rose:
demned it in the action, but he printed it in 1726-7, with this modest motto:
'Hie coestus, artemque repono.' * The smaller pieces which we have heard attributed to this anthor are, An Epigram on the Bridge at Blenheim, by Dr. Evans: Cosmelia, by Mr. Pit, Mr. Jones, &c. The Mock Marriage of a mad Divine, *with a CI. for a Parson, by Dr. W. The Saw-pit, a Simile by a Friend. Certain Physical Works on Sir James Baker; and some unowned Letters, Advertisements, and Epigrams against our anthor in the Daily Journal.
Notwithstanding what is here collected of the person imagined by Curll to be meant in this place, we cannot be of that opinion; since our poet had certainly no need of vindicating half a dozen verses to himself, which every reader had done for him; since the name itself is not spelled Moore, but More ; and, lastly, since the learned Scriblerus has 30 well proved the contrary.
Ver. 50. the phantom More.] It appears from hence, that this is not the name of a real person, but fictitious. More from /nia^o?, stultus, fxwgia, stultUia, to represent the folly of a plagiary. Thus Erasmus: Admonuit me Mori cognomen tibi, qnod tarn ad Morue voccdhdum accedit quam es ipse a re alienus. Dedication of Moria Encomium to sir Thomas More; the farewel of which may be our anthor's to bis plagiary, Vale, More! et moriani tuam gnaviter defende. Adien! More! and be sure strongly to defend thy own folly. SC&IBL.
Ver. 53. But lofty Lintot] We enter here upon the episode of the booksellers; persons, whose names being more known and famous in the learned
With me began this genins, and shall end/
Fear held them mute. Alone, untaught to fear, Stood danntless Curll: ' Behold that rival here,
world than those of the anthors in this poem, do, therefore, need less explanation. The action of Mr. JLintot here imitates that of Dares in Virgil, rising just in this manner to lay hold on a bull. This eminent bookseller printed the Rival Modes be tor'mentioned.
Ver. 58. Stood dauntless Curll:] We come no» to a character of much respect, that of Mr. Edmund Curll. As a plain repetition of great actions is the best praise of them, we shall only say of this eminent man, that he carried the trade many lengths beyond what it ever before had arrived at; and tbit he was the envy and admiration of all his profession. Be possessed himself of a contmand over all anthors whatever; he cansed them to write what he pleased; they could not call their very names their own. He was not only famous among these; he % as taken notice of by the state, the church, and the law, and received particular marks of distinction from each.
It will be owned that he is here introduced with all possible dignity. He sp,*aks like the intrepid Diomede; he runs like the swift-footed Achilles : if he falls, 'tis like the beloved Nisus; and (what homer makes to be the chief of all praises) he is favoured of the gods: he sajs but three words, and his prayer is heard; a goddess conveys it to the seit of Jupiter: though he leses the prize, he pains the victory; the great mother herself comforts him, sla inspires him with expedients, she honours him with an immortal present (such as Achilles receives from Thetis, and jF.nens from Venus), at once instrucim and prophetical: after this he is unrivalled, arid oi wmphant.
The race by vigour, not by vaunts, is won:
The tribute our author here pays him is a grateful return for several unmerited obligations: many weighty animadversions on the public affairs, aud many excellent and diverting pieces on private persons, has he given to his name. If ever he owed two verses to any other, he owed Mr. Curll some thousands. He was every day extending his fame, and enlarging his writings: witness innumerable instances; but it shall suffice only to mention the Court Poems, which he meant to publish as the work of the true writer, a lady of quality; but being first threatened, and afterwards punished for it by Mr. Pope, he generously transferred it from her to him, and ever since printed it in his name. The single time that ever he spoke to C. was on that affair, and to that happy incident he owed all the favour since received from him: so true is the saying of Dr. Sydenham, ' that any one shall be, at some time or other, the better or the worse, for having but seen or spoken to a good or bad man.
Ver. 70. Curll's Corinna] This name, it seem9, was taken by one Mrs. Thomas, who procured some private letters of Mr, Pope, while almost a boy, to Mr. Cromwell, and sold them, without the consent of either of those gentlemen, to Curll, who printed