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WHEREAS certain Haberdashers of Points and Particles, being instigated by the Spirit of Pride, and assuming to themselves the name of Critics and Restorers, hare taken upon them to adulterate the common and current sense of our Glorious Ancestors, Poets of this Realm, by clipping, coining, defacing the images, mixing their own base allay, or otherwise falsifying the same; which they publish, utter, and vend as genuine; the said Haberdashers having no right thereto, as neither heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, or in any sort related to such Poets, to all or any of them: Now We, having carefully revised this our Dunciad, * beginning with the words The mighty Mother, and ending with the words buries All, containing the entire Sum of One thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses, declare every word, figure, point, and comma,,of this impression to be authentic: and do therefore strictly enjoin and forbid any person or persons wlmtsoever to erase, reverse, put between hooks, or by any other means, directly or indirectly, change or mangle any of them. And we do hereby earnestly exhort all our brethren to follow this our example, which we heartily wish our great Predecessors had heretofore set, as a remedy and p1evention of all such abuses. Provided always, that nothing in this Declaration shall be construed to limit the lanful and undoubted right ofevery subject of this Realm It judge, censure, or condemn, in the whole, or in part, any Poem or Poet whatsoever.
Given under our hand at London, this third Day of January, in tlir year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred thirty and two.
Declaraf cor* me, JOHN BARBER, Mayor.
* Read thus confidently, instead of " beginning with the word Books, and ending with the word Flies," as formerly it stood: read also, ** containing the entire sum of One thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses," instead of " One thousand and twelve lines;" such beinc. the initials and final words, and such the true and entiie contents of this poem.
TO DR. JONATHAN SWIFT.
fne proposition, the Invocation, and the Inscription. Then the original of the great Empire of Dutness, and cause of the continuance thereof The College of the Goddess in the City, with her private academy tbrpoets in particular; the governors of it, and the four cardinal virtues. Then the poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting her, on the evening of a Lord Mayor's day, revolving the long succession of her sons, and the glories past and to come. She fixes her eye on Bayes, to be the instrument of that great event which is to be the subject of the Poem. He is described pensive among his books, giving up the causa, and apprehending the period of her empire. After debating whether to betake himself to the church, or to L' ami-i.', or to party-writing, he raises an altar of proper books, and (making first his solemn prayer and declaration) purposfs thereon to sacrifice •11 his unsuccessful writings. As the pile if kindled, tot Goddess beholding tile flame from her seat, HVs and puts it out, by casting upon it the Poem of Thnle. She forthwith reveals herself to him, transports him to herTemple, mi fold., her arts, and initiates him into her mysteries; then announcing the death of Eusden the Poet-Laureat, anoints him, carries him to Court, ant) proclaims hiin successor.
The mighty mother, and her son, who brings
The Dunciad.] It is an inconvenience to which writers of reputatipn are subject, that the justice of their resentment is not always rightly understood: for the calumnies of dull authors.being soon forgotten, and those whom they aimed to injure not caring to recall to memory the particulars of false and scandalous abuse, their necessary correction is suspected of severity unprovoked. But in this case it would be but candid to estimate the chastisement on the general character of the offender, compared with that of the person injured. Let this serve with the candid reader, in justification of the poet, and, on occasion, of the editor.
This Poem was written in the year 1726- In the next year an imperfect edition was published at Dublin, and reprinted at London in twelves: another at Dublin, and another at London in octavo; and three others in twelves the same year: but there was no perfect edition before that of London in quarto, which was attended with notes. We are willing td acquaint posterity, that this poem was presented to King George II. and his Queen, by the hands of Sir Robert Walpole, on the 12th of March, .1728-9. ScHol. Vet.
It was expressly confessed in the preface to the nr$L tdition, that this Poem was not published by the author himself. It was printed
Y&u by whose care, in vain decry'd and curst, 5
In eldest time, ere mortals writ-or read,
Dulness o'er all possess'dher ancient right,
She rul'd, in native anarchy, the mind,
Still her old empire to restore she tries, For, born a goddess, Dulness never dies.
O thou! whatever title please thine ear,
Whether thou chuse Cervantes'serious air,
REMARKS, originally in a foreign country. And what foreign country? Why one notorious for blunders; where finding blanks only instead of proper names, these blunderers filled them up at Uieir pleasure.
The very hero of the Poem hath been mistaken to this hour; so that we are obliged to open our notes with a discovery who he really was. We learn from the former editor, that this piece was presented by the hands of Sir Robert Walpole to King Gaorge II. Wow the author directly tells us, his hero is the man
The Smithfield muses to the ear of kings. And it is notorious who was the person on whom this Prince conferred the honour of the laurel.
It appears as plainly from the apostrophe to the great in the third verse, that Tibbald could not be the person, who was never an author in fashion, or caressed by the great: whereas this single charac. teristic is sufficient to point out the true hero; who, above all other poets of his time, was the peculiar delight and chosen companion of the nobility of England; and wrote, as"he himself tells usr, certain of his works at the earnest desire of persons of quality.
Lastly, the sixth verse affords full proof; this poet being the only one who was universally known to have had a son so exactly like him, in his poetical, theatrical, political, and moral capacities, that it could be justly said of him,
Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the first.
From thy Boeotia though her pow'r retires, 23
Mourn not, my Swift! at ought our realm acquires. Here pleas'd behold her mighty wings outspread To hatch a new Saturnian age of lead.
Close to those walls where folly holds her throne, And laughs to think Monroe would take her down, Where o'er the gates by his fam'd father's hand, 31 Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers stand, One cell there is, conceal'd from vulgar eye The cave of poverty and poetry: Keen hollow winds howl through the bleak recess, 35 Emblem of music caus'd by emptiness: Hence bards, like Proteus long in vain ty'd down, Escape in monsters, and amaze the town: Hence miscellanies spring, the weekly boast Of Curl's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post: 40 Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines; Hence journals, medleys, Merc'ries, magazines: Sepulchral lies, our holy walls to grace, And New-year odes, and all the Grub-street race.
In clouded majesty here Dulness shone, 45
Four guardian virtues, round, support her throne:
Here she beholds the chaos dark and deep, 5S Where nameless somethings in their causes sleep,
,. 3i. by his fam'd father's hand.] Mr. Caius-Gabriel Cibber,
father of the Poet-laureate. The two statues of the lunatics over the gates of Bedlam-hospital were done by him, and (as the sou justly says of them) are no ill monuments of his fame as au artist.
IMITATIONS. v. 55. Here she beholds the chaos dark and deep, Where nameless somethings, &c] that is to >ay, uiformtd tilings, which are either made into poems,
Till genial Jacob, or a warm third day,
Figures ill-pair'd, and similies unlike.
How time himself stands still at her command,
There painted vallies of eternal green;
All these, and more, the cloud compelling queen Beholds through fogs that magnify the scene. 80
She, tinsel'd o'er in robes of varying hues,
Like Cimon, triumph'd both on land and wave:
IMITATIONS, or plays* as the booksellers or players bid most. These line; allude to the following in Garth's Dispensary, canto vi,
"Within the chambers of the globe they spy.
Unbinds the glebe, and calls them out to day." V. v.64. And ductile Dulness, 4,c] A parody on a verse in Garth, canto i.
"How ductile matter new meanders takes."