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Sense, speech, and measure, living tongues and dead,
Let all give way,—and Morris may be read, flow, Welsted, flow! like thine inspirer, beer; l60 Though stale, not ripe; though thin, yet never clear;
Ver. 165. Ralphj James Ralph, a name inserted sifter the first editions, not known to our author till he -writ a swearing piece called Sawney, very abusive of Dr. Swift, Mr. Gay, and himself. These lines allude to a thing of his, entitled Night, a Poem. This low writer attended his own works with panegyrics in the Journals, and once in particular praised himself highly above Mr. Addison, in wretched remarks upon that author's Account of English Poets, printed in a London Journal, Sept. 1728. He was wholly illiterate, and knew no language, not even French. Being advised to read the rules of dramatic poetry before he began a play, he smiled and replied, * Shakespeare writ without rules.' He ended at last in the common sink of all such writers, a political newspaper, to which lie was recommended by his friend Arnall and received a small pittance for pay. Ver. 168. Morris,] Besaleel. See Book ii. Ver. 169. Flow, Welsted, &c.] Of this author see the Remark on Book ii. v.VOQ. But (to be impartial) add to it the following different character of bim:
Nr. Welsted had, in his youth, raised so great expectations of his future genins, that there was a kind of struggle between the most eminent of the two universities, which should have the honour of his education. To compound this he (civilly) became a member of both, and after having passed some time at the one, he removed to the other. From thence he returned to town, where he became the darling expectation of all the polite writers, whoso encouragement he acknowledged in his occasional
So sweetly mawkish, and so smoothly dull; Heady', not strong; o'ei flowing, though not full* Ah Dennis! Gildon, ah! what ill-starrM rage Divides a friendship long confirm'd by age?
poems, in a manner that will make no small part of the fame of his protectors. It also appears froa his works, that he was happy in the patronage of the most illustrious characters of the present ageEncouraged by such a combination in his favour, he —published a book of poems, some in the O vidian, some in the Horatian manner; in both which the most exquisite jndges pronounce he even rivalled his masters—His love verses have rescued that way of writing from contempt—In his translations, he has given us the very soul and spirit of his anthor. His Ode—his Epistle—his Verses—his Love-tale—all, are the most perfect things in all poetry. Welsted of himself. Char. of the Times, 8vo. 1723, page 23, 24. It should not be forgot for his honour, that he received at one time the sum of five hundred pounds for secret service, among the other excellent unthors hired to write anonymously for the ministry. See Report of the Secret Committee, &c. in 1742.
Ver.173. Ah Dennis! Gildon, ah!] These men hecame the public scorn by a mere mistake of their talents. They would needs turn critics of their own country writers (just as Aristotle and Longinus did of theirs), and discourse upon the beanties and defects of composition:
How parts relate to parts, and they to whole;
The body's harmony, the beaming soul. \Vhereas had they followed the example of those microscope* of wit, Kuster, Burman, and their followers, in verbal criticism on the learned languages, their acuteness and industry might have raised them a name equal to the most famous of the scuo
Blockheads with reason wicked wits abhor,
Behold yon pair, in strict embraces join'd;
liasts. We cannot, therefore, but lament the late apostasy of the prebendary of Rochester, who, beginning in so good a train, hat now turned short to write comments on the Fire-side, and dreams upon Shakespeare ; where we find the spirit of Oldmixon, Gildon, and Dennis, all revived in his belaboured observations. SCRIBL.
Here Scriblerus, in this affair of the Fire-side, I want thy usual candour. It is true, Mr. Upton did write notes upon it, but with all the honour and good faith in the world. He took it to be a panegyric on his patron. This it is to have to do with wits; a commerce unworthy a scholiast of so solid learning. AK1ST.
Ver. 173. Ah, Dennis, &c.] The reader, who has seen, through the course of these notes, what a constant attendance Mr. Dennis paid to our anthor and alt his works, may, perhaps, wonder he should be mentioned but twice, and so slightly touched, in this poem. But in truth he looked upon him with some esteem, for having (more generously than all the rest) set his name to such writings. He was also a very old man at this time. By his own account of himself, in Mr. Jacob's Lives, he must have been above threescore, and happily lived many years after. So that he was senior to Mr. D'Urfey, who hitherto, of all our poets, enjoyed the longest bodily life.
Ver. 179- Behold yon pair, &c.] One of these was author of a weekly paper called The Grumbler, as the other was concerned in another called Pasquin, Equal in wit, and equally politn,
Shall this a Pasquin, that a Grumbler write;
Like are their merits, like rewards they share,
That shines a consul, this commissioner.
• But who is he, in closet close y-pent. Of sober face, with learned dust besprent?*
in which Mr. Pope: was abused with the duke of Buckingham, and bishop of Rochester. Tbeyalso joined in a piece against his first undertaking to translate the Iliad, entitled Homerides, by sir Iliad Doggrel, printed 1715.
Of the other works of these gentlemen the worid has heard no more, than it would of Mr. Pope's, had their united landable endeavours discouraged him from pursuing his stndies. How few good works had ever appeared (since men of true merit are always the least presuming) had there been always such champions to stifle them in their conception? And were it not better for the public, that a million of monsters should come into the world, which are sure to die as soon as born, than that the serpents should strangle one Hercules in his cradle?
The union of these two anthors gave occasion to this epigram:
Burnet and Ducket, friends in spite,
Came hissing out in verse;
So dull, each hang an a .
Thus Amphisberna (I have read)
At either end assails;
For both heads are but tails.
After many editions of this poem, the anthor thought fit to omit the names of these two persons, whose injury to him was of so old a dale.
Right well mine eyes arede the myster wight,
But, where each science lifts its modern type,
Ver. 184- That shines a consul, this commissioner.] Such places were given at this time to such sort of writers.
Ver. 1BT. mysterwight.] Uncouth mortal.
Ver. 188- Wormias hight.] Let not this name, purely fictitious, be conceited to mean the learned Olaus Wormins; much less (as it was unwarrantably foisted into the surreptitious editions) our own antiquary, Mr. Thomas Hearne, who had no way aggrieved our poet, but on the contrary published many curious tracts which he hath to his great contentment permed.
Ver. 192. Wits who, like owls, &c.] These few lines exactly describe the right verbal critic: the darker his author is, the better he is pleased; like the famous quack doctor, who put up in his bills, he delighted in matters of difficulty. Somebody said well of these men, that their heads were libraries out of order.
Ver. 199. lo! Henley stands, &e.] J. Henley the orator; he preached on the Sundays upon theological matters, and on the Wednesdays upon all other sciences. Each auditor paid one shilling. He de