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As many quit the streams that murmuring fall
the doctors and heads of houses should ride on horseback, who of late days, being gouty or unwieldy, have kept their coaches. But these are horses of great strength, and fit to carry any weight, as their German and Dutch extraction may mani. fest; and very famous we may conclude, being honoured with names, as were the horses Pegasus and Bucephalus.
SCRIBL. Though I have the greatest deference to the penetratiou of this eminent scholiast, and must own that nothing can be more natural than that rule of criticism, which directs us to keep to the literal sense, when no apparent absurdity accompanies it (and sure there is no absurdity in supposing a logician on horseback), yet still I must needs think the hackneys here celebrated were not real horses, nor even Centaurs, which, for the sake of the learned Chiron, I should rather be inclined to think, if I were forced to find them four legs, but downright plain men, though logicians : and only thus metamorphosed by a rule of rhetoric, of which Cardinal Perron gives us an example, where he calls Clavius, Un esprit pesant, lourd, sans subtilite, ni gentil. lesse, un gros cheval d'Allemagne,
Here I profess to go opposite to the whole stream of commentators. I think the poet only aimed, though awkwardly, at an elegant Græcism in this representation; for in that language the word into (horse] was often prefixed to others, to denote greatness of strength; as innorámalov, i'nóyamooov, in mouégalgov, and particularly IDNOTN12MS2N, a great connoisseur, which comes nearest to the case in hand.
SCIP, MAFF. Ver. 199. the streams] The river Cam, running by
Where Bentley late tempestuous wont to sport
REMARKS. the walls of these colleges, which are particularly famous for their skill in disputation.
Ver. 202. sleeps in port.] Viz. · Now retired into harbour, after the tempests that had long agitated his society.' So Scriblerus. But the learned Scipio Maffei understands it of a certain wine called port, from Oporto, a city of Portugal, of which this pro. fessor invited him to drink abundantly, Scip. Maff, De Compotation. Academicis. [And to the opinion of Maffei inclineth the sagacious annotator on Dr. King's Advice to Horace.) · Ver. 210. Aristarchus.] A famous commentator and corrector of Homer, whose name has been frequently used to signify a complete critic. The compliment paid by our author to this eminent professor, in applying to him so great a name, was the reason that he hath omitted to comment on this part which contains his own praises. We shall, therefore, supply that loss to our best ability. SCRIBL.
Ver. 214. Critics like me-) Alluding to two famous editions of Horace and Milton; whose richest veius of poetry he had prodigally reduced to the poorest and most beggarly prose....Verily the learn
Roman and Greek grammarians ! know your better:
REMARKS. ed scholiast is grievously mistaken. Aristarchus is not boasting here of the wonders of his art in annihilating the sublime; but of the usefulness of it, in reducing the turgid to its proper class ; the words * make it prose again,' plainly showing that prose it was, though ashamed of its original, and therefore to prose it should return. Indeed, much it is to be lamented that Dulness doth not confine her critics to this useful task; and commission them to dismount what Aristophanes calls Ρημαθ ιπποβάμονα, all prose on horse-back.
SCRIBL. Ver. 216. Author of something yet more great than letter;) Alluding to those grammarians, such as Palamedes and Simonides, wbo invented single letters. But Aristarchus, who had found out a double one, was, therefore, worthy of double bo nour.
SCRIBL. Ver. 217, 218. While tow'ring o'er your alphabet, like Saul,-Stands our digamma,] Alludes to the boasted restoration of the Æolic digamma, in his long projected edition of Homer. He calls it some thing more than letter, from the enormous figure it would make among the other letters, being one gamma set upon the shoulders of another.
Ver. 220. of Me or Te, It was a serious dispute, about which the learned were much divided, and some treatises written: had it been about meum and tuum it could not be more contested, than whether at the end of the first Ode of Horace, to read, Me doctarum hederæ præmia frontium, or Te doctarum hedera.-By this the learned scholi.
To sound or sink in cano O or A,
REMARKS. ast would seem to insinuate that the dispute was not about meum and tuum, which is a mistake: for. as a venerable sage observeth, words are the counters of wise-men, but the money of fools ; so that we see their property was indeed concerned.
SCRIBL. Ver. 222. Or give up Cicero to C or K.] Gramma. tical disputes about the manner of pronouncing Ci. cero's name in Greek. It is a dispute whether in Latin the name of Hermagoras should end in as or a. Quintilian quotes Cicero as writing it Hermagora, which Bentley rejects, and says Quintilian must be mistaken, Cicero could not write it so, and that in this case he would not believe Cicero himself. These are his very words: Ego vero Ciceronem ita scripsisse ne Ciceroni quidem affirmanti crediderim. Epist. ad Mil. in fin. Frag. Menand. et Phil.
Ver. 223, 224. Freind--Alsop] Dr. Robert Freind, master of Westminster-school, and canon of Christchurch. Dr. Anthony Alsop, a happy imitator of the Horatian style.
Ver. 226. Manilius and Solinus] Some critics having had it in their choice to comment either on Virgil or Manilius, Pliny or Solinus, have chosen the worse author, the more freely to display their criti. cal capacity,
Ver. 228, &c. Suidas, Gellius, Stobæus] The first
What Gellius or Stobæus hash'd before,
• Ah, think not, mistress ! more true Dulness lies
a dictionary-writer, a collector of impertinent facts and barbarous words; the second a minute critic; the third an author, who gave his common-place book to the public, where we happen to find much mince-meat of old books.
Ver. 245, 246. Barrow, Atterbury) Isaac Barrow, master of Trinity, Francis Atterbury, dean of Christchurch, both great geniuses and eloquent preachers; one more conversant in the sublime geometry, the other in classical learning; but who equally made it their care to advance the polite arts in their several societies,