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Another (for in all what one can shine?)
Next, bidding all draw near on bended knees,
This good scholiast, not being acquainted with modern luxury, was ignorant that these were only the miracles of French cookery, and that particularly Pigeons en crapeau were a common
Impale a glow-worm, or vertù profess,
Ibid. Bladen, &c.] The former note of "Bladen is a black man," is very absurd. The manuscript here is partly obliterated, and doubtless could only have been, wash blackmoors white, alluding to a known proverb.-Scribl.
Some, deep free-masons, join the silent race
reality, a gentleman only of the Dunciad; or, to speak him better, in the plain language of our honest ancestors to such mushrooms, a gentleman of the last edition: who nobly eluding the solicitude of his careful father, very early retained
ending in a filthy beast. But here is the difficulty, why pigeons in so shocking a shape should be brought to a table. Hares indeed might be cut into larks at a second dressing, out of frugality:|himself in the cause of Dulness against Shakeyet that seems no probable motive, when we con- speare, and with the wit and learning of his ansider the extravagance before-mentioned, of dis- cestor Tom Thimble in the Rehearsal, and with solving whole oxen and boars into a small vial of the air of good nature and politeness of Caliban in jelly; nay it is expressly said, that all flesh is the Tempest, hath now happily finished the nothing in his sight. I have searched in Apicius, | Dunce's progress, in personal abuse. For a libelPliny, and the feast of Trimalchio, in vain; Iler is nothing but a Grub-street critic run to can only resolve it into some mysterious superstitious rite, as it is said so be done by a priest, and soon after called a sacrifice, attended (as all ancient sacrifices were)with libation and song.-Scribl.
Her children first of more distinguish'd sort, Who study Shakespare at the inns of court.] I would that scholiast discharge his duty, who should neglect to honour those whom Dulness has distinguished: or suffer them to lie forgotten, when their rare modesty would have left them nameless. Tet us not, therefore, overlook the services which have been done her cause, by one Mr. Thomas Edwards, a gentleman, as he is pleased to call himself, of Lincoln's-inn; but, in
Then blessing all, "Go, children of my care! To practice now from theory repair. 580
Ver. 556. Seve and verdeur] French terms relating to wines, which signify their flavour and poignancy.
Et je gagerois que chez le commandeur,
This tribe of men, which Scriblerus has here so well exemplified, our poet hath elsewhere adSt. Evremont has a very pathetic letter to a noble-inirably characterized in that happy line, man in disgrace, advising him to seek comfort in a good table, and particularly to be attentive to these qualities in his chainpaigne.
Ver. 560. Bladen-Hays] Names of gamesters. Bladen is a black man. Robert Knight, cashier of the South-Sea company, who fled from Eugland in 1720 (afterwards pardoned in 1742).— These lived with the utmost magnificence at Paris, and kept open tables frequented by persons of the first quality in England, and even by princes of
the blood of France.
Lamentable is the dulness of these gentlemen of the Dunciad. This Fungoso and his friends, who are all gentlemen, have exclaimed much against us for reflecting his birth, in the words,
a gentleman of the last edition," which we hereby declare concern not his birth, but his adoption only and mean no more than that he is become a gentleman of the last edition of the the Dunciad. Since gentlemen, then, are so captious, we think it proper to declare that Mr. Thomas Thimble, who is here said to be Mr. Thomas Edwards's ancestor, is only related to him by the Muse's side.--Scribl.
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead. For the satire extends much farther than to the person who occasioned it, and takes in the whole species of those on whom a good education (to lit them for some useful and learned profession) has been bestowed in vain. That worthless band
Of ever-listless loiterers, that attend
No cause, no trust, no duty, and no friend; Who, with an understanding too dissipated and futile for the offices of civil life; and a heart too umpish, narrow, and contracted for those of social, become fit for uothing and so turn wits and critics, where sense and civility are neither required nor expected.
Ver. 571. Some, deep free-masons, join the silent race] The poet all along expresses a very particular concern for this silent race. He has here provided, that in case they will not waken or open (as was before proposed) to a humuingbird or a cockle, yet at worst they may be made free-inasons; where taciturnity is the only essen tial qualification, as it was the chief of the disciples of Pythagoras.
Ver. 576. A Gregorian, one a Gormogon,] A sort of lay-brothers, slips from the root of the free-masons.
All my commands are easy, short, and full:
An hundred souls of turkeys in a pye ;
Ver. 584. each privilege your own, &c.] This speech of Dulness to her sons at parting may possibly fall short of the reader's expectation; who may imagine the goddess might give them a charge of more consequence, and, from such a theory as is before delivered, incite them to the practice of something more extraordinary, than to personate running footmen, jockeys, stagecoachmen, &c.
But if it be well considered, that whatever clination they might have to do mischief, her sons are generally rendered harmless by their inability; and that it is the common effect of Dulness (even in her greatest efforts) to defeat her own design; the poet, I am persuaded, will be justified, and it will be allowed that these worthy persons, in their several ranks, do as much as can be expected from them.
Ver. 585. The cap and switch, &c.] The goddess's political balance of favour, in the distribution of her rewards, deserves our notice. It consists of joining with those honours claimed by birth and high place, others more adapted to the genins and talents of the candidates. And thus her great forerunner, John of Leyden, king of Munster, entered on his government, by making his ancient friend and companion, Knipperdolling, general of his horse and hangman. And had but fortune seconded his great schemes of Reforma tion, it is said, he would have established his whole household on the same reasonable footing. -Scribl.
Tyrant supreme! shall three estates command,
More she had spoke, but yawn'd-All nature
The convocation gap'd, but could not speak: 610
Ver. 606. What mortal can resist the yawn of gods?] This verse is truly Homerical; as is the conclusion of the action, where the great mother composes all, in the same manner as Minerva at the period of the Odyssey.-It may indeed seem a very singular epitasis of a poem, to end as this does, with a great yawn; but we must consider it as the yawn of a god, and of powerful effects. It is not out of nature, most long and grave counsels concluding in this very manner : nor without authority, the incomparable Spenser having ended one of the most considerable of his works with a roar; but then it is the roar of a lion, the effects whereof are described as the catastrophe the poem.
Ver. 607. Churches and chapels, &c.] The in-progress of this yawn is judicious, natural, and worthy to be noted. First it seizeth the churches and chapels; then catcheth the schools, where, though the boys be unwilling to sleep, the masters are not: Next Westminster-hall, much more hard indeed to subdue, and not totally put to silence even by the goddess: Then the convocation, which though extremely desirous to speak, yet cannot: Even the house of commons, justly called the sense of the nation, is lost (that is to say suspended) during the yawn; (far be it from our author to suggest it could be lost any longer!) but it spreadeth at large over all the rest of the kingdom, to such a degree, that Palinurus himself (though as incapable of sleeping as Jupiter) yet noddeth for a moment; the effect of which, though ever so momentary, could not but cause some relaxation for the time, in all public affairs.-Scribl.
Ver. 590. Arachne's subtile line] This is one of the most ingenious employments assigned, and therefore recommended only to peers of learning. Of weaving stockings of the webs of spiders, see the Phil. Trans.
Ver. 591. The judge to dance his brother sergeant call;] Alluding perhaps to that ancient and solemn dance, entitled, A call of sergeants.
Ver. 598. Teach kings to fildle,] An ancient amusement of sovereign princes, (viz.) Achilles, Alexander, Nero; though despised by Themistocles, who was a republican-Make senates dance, either after their prince, or to Pontoise, or Siberia.
The vapour mild o'er each committee crept;
Ver. 610. The convocation gap'd, but could not speak ;] Implying a great desire so to do, as the learned scholiast on the place rightly observes, Therefore beware, reader, lest thou take this gape for a yawn, which is attended with no desire but to go to rest, by no means the disposition of the convocation; whose melancholy case in short is this: she was, as is reported, infected with the general influence of the goddess; and while she was yawning carelessly at her ease, a wanton courtier took her at advantage, and in the very nick clap'd a gag into her chops. Well therefore may we know her meaning by her gaping; and this distressful posture our poet here describes, just as she stands at this day, a sad example of the effects of Dulness and Malice unchecked, and despised.-Bentl.
And chiefless armies doz'd out the campaign!
O Muse! relate (for you can tell alone,
O sing, and hush the nations with thy song
Ver. 615-618. These verses were written many years ago, and may be found in the state poems of that time. So that Scriblerus is mistaken, or whoever else have imagined this poem of a fresher date.
Ver. 620. Wits have short memories,] This seems to be the reason why the poets, where they give us a catalogue, constantly call for help on the Muses, who, as the daughters of memory, are obliged not to forget any thing. So Homer, Iliad ii.
Πληθὺν δ ̓ οὐκ ἂν μυθήσομαι οὐδ ̓ ὀνομήνω,
And Virgil, Æn. vii.
Et meministis enim, divæ, et memorare potestis: Ad nos vix tenuis famæ perlabitur aura. But our poet had yet another reason for putting this task upon the muse, that, all besides being asleep, she only could relate what passed.-Scribl.
Ver. 624. The renal quiet, and, &c.] It were a problem worthy the solution of Mr. Ralph and his patron, who had lights that we know nothing of-which required the greatest effort of our goddess's power, to intrance the dull, or to quiet the venal. For though the venal may be more unruly than the dull. yet, on the other hand, it demands a much greater expense of her virtue to intrance than barely to quiet.--Scribl.
Ver. 629. She comes! she comes! &c.] the Muse, like Jove's eagle, after a sudden stoop at ignoble game, soareth again to the skies. prophecy hath ever been one of the chief provinces of poesy, our poet here foretells from what we feel, what we are to fear; and in the style of other prophets, hath used the future tense for the preterit: since what he says shall be, is already | to be seen, in the writings of some even of our most adored authors, in divinity, philosophy, physics, metaphysics, &e, who are too good deed to be named in such company.
Ibid. The sable throne behold] The sable thrones of Night and Chaos, here represented as advancing to extinguish the light of the sciences, in the first place, blot out the colours of fancy, and damp the fire of wit, before they proceed to their work.
As Argus' eyes, by Hermes' wand opprest,
Religion blushing veils her sacred fires,
Nor public flame, nor private dares to shine:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
Ver. 643. in the former edit. it stood thus:
Philosophy, that reach'd the Heavens before, Shrinks to her hidden cause, and is no more. And this was intended as a censure of the Newto nian philosophy. For the poet had been misled by the prejudices of foreigners, as if that philosophy had recurred to the occult qualities of Aristotle. This was the idea he received of it from a man educated much abroad, who had read every thing, but every thing superficially. Had his excellent friend Dr. A. been consulted in this matter, it is certain that so unjust a reflection had never discredited so noble a satire. When I binted to him how he had been imposed upon, he changed the lines with great pleasure into a comnius, and a satire on the folly by which he the pliment (as they now stand) on that divine gepoet himself had been misled.
Ver. 641. Truth to her old cavern fled.] Alluding to the saying of Democritus, that "Truth lay at the bottom of a deep well, from whence he had drawn her:" though Butler says, "He first put her in, before he drew her out."
Ver. 649. Religion blushing veils her sacred
in the present; of which it would be endless to
Ver. 650, And unawares morality expires.] It
BY THE AUTHOR.
Declarat' cor' me, John Barber, mayor.
WHEREAS certain haberdashers of points and particles, being instigated by the spirit of pride, and assuming to themselves the name of critics and restorers, have 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 alloy, 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 whatsoever, 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 prevention of all such abuses. Provided always, that nothing in this declaration shall be construed to limit the lawful and undoubted right of every subject of this realm, to judge, censure, or condemn, in the whole or in part, any poem or poet whatso-in
Given under our hands at London, this third day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred thirty and
Read thus confidently, instead of "beginning with the word books, and ending with the word flies," as formerly it stood: Read also, taining the entire sum of one thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses," instead of "one thousand and twelve lines;" such being the initial and final words, and such the true and entire contents of this poem.
Thou art to know, reader that the first edition thereof, like that of Milton, was never seen by the author (though living and not blind). The editor himself confessed as much in his preface: and no two poems were ever published in so arbitrary a manner. The editor of this had as boldly suppressed whole passages, yea the entire last book, as the editor of Paradise Lost added and augmented. Milton himself gave but ten books, his editor twelve; this author gave four books, his editor only three. But we have happily done justice to both; and presume we shall live, in this our last labour, as long as in any of our others. Bentl
PREFIXED TO THE FIVE FIRST IMPERFECT EDITIONS
THE PUBLISHER TO THE READER.
Ir will be found a true observation, though somewhat surprising, that when any scandal is vented against a man of the highest distinction and cha. racter, either in the state or literature, the public in general afford it a most quiet reception: and the larger part accept it as favourably as if it were some kindness done to themselves: whereas if a known scoundrel or blockhead but chanced to be touched upon, a whole legion is up in arms, and it becomes the common cause of all scriblers, booksellers, and printers whatsoever.
Edward Ward tells us, in his preface to Durgen,
Treatise of the Bathos, or Art of Sinking in There was published in those Miscellanies, a Poetry, in which was a chapter, where the species of bad writers were ranged in classes, and initial letters of names prefixed, for the most part at random. But such was the number of poets eminent in that art, that some one or other took every letter to himself. All fell into so violent a fury, that for half a year, or more, the common news-papers (in most of which they had some property, as being hired writers) were filled with the most abusive falsehoods and scurrilities they could possibly devise; a liberty no ways to be wondered at in those people, and in those papers, that, for many years, during the uncontrolled license of the press, had aspersed almost all the great characters of the age; and this with impunity, their own persons and names being utterly secret and obscure. This gave Mr. Pope the thought, that he had now some opportunity of doing good, by detecting and dragging into light these common enemies of mankind; since to invalidate this universal slander, it sufficed to show what contemptible men were the authors of it, He was not without hopes, that by manifesting the dulness of those who had only malice to recommend them; either the booksellers would not find their account in employing them, or the men themselves, when discovered, want courage to proceed in so unlawful an occupation. This it was that gave birth to the Dunciad; and he
Not to search too deeply into the reason hereof, I will only observe as a fact, that every week for these two months past, the town has been persecuted with pamphlets, advertisements, letters, and weekly essays, not only against the wit and writings, but against the character and person of Mr. Pope. And that of all those men who have received pleasure from his works, which by modest computation may be about a hundred thousand in these kingdoms of England and Irelaud (not to mention Jersey, Guernsey, the Orcades, those in the new world, and foreigners who have translated him into their languages); of all this number not a man hath stood up to say one word in his defence.
| pity) there is certainly nothing in his style and
I have been well informed, that this work was
The only exception is the author of the follow-its correction and perfection; and six years more ing poem, who doubtless bad either a better in-he intended to bestow upon it, as would seem by sight into the grounds of this clamour, or a better this verse of Statius, which was cited at the head opinion of Mr. Pope's integrity, joined with a of his manuscript: greater personal love for him, than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Farther, that he was in his peculiar intimacy, appears from the knowledge he manifests of the most private authors of all the anonymous pieces against him, and from his having in this poem attacked no man living, who had not before printed, or published some scandal against this gentleman.
How I came possest of it, is no concern to the reader: but it would have been a wrong to him had I detained the publication; since those names which are its chief ornaments die off daily so fast, as must render it too soon unintelligible. If it provoke the author to give us a more perfect edition, I have my end.
Who he is I cannot say, and (which is a great
thought it an happiness, that by the late flood of slander on himself, he had acquired such a peculiar right over their names as was necessary to his design.
Pamphlets, advertisements, &c.] See the List of those anonymous papers, with their dates and authors annexed, inserted before the poem.
2 About a hundred thousand] It is surprizing with what stupidity this preface, which is almost a continued irony, was taken by those authors. All such passages as these were understood by Corll, Cook, Cibber, and others, to be serious. Hear the laureate (Letter to Mr. Pope, p. 9.) Though I grant the Dunciad a better poem of its kind than ever was writ; yet, when I read it with those vain-glorious encumbrances of Notes and Remarks upon it, &c.-it is amazing, that you, who have writ with such masterly spirit upon the ruling passion, should be so blind a slave to your own, as not to see how far a low avarice of praise," &c. (taking for granted that the notes of Scriblerus and others, were the author's own.)
3 The author of the following poem, &c.] A very plain irony, speaking of Mr. Pope himself.
The publisher in these words went a little too far; but it is certain, whatever names the reader finds that are unknown to him, are of snch; and the exception is only of two or three, whose dulness, impudent scurrility, or self-conceit, all man kind agreed to have justly entitled them to place in the Dunciad.
O mihi bissenos multum vigilata per annos,
Hence also we learn the true title of the poem: which with the same certainty as we call that of Homer the Iliad, of Virgil the Æneid, of Camoens the Lusiad, we may pronounce, could have been, and can be, no other than
It is styled heroic, as being doubly so; not only
best rules of the ancients, and strictest ideas of
There may arise some obscurity in chronology from the names in the poem, by the inevitable removal of some authors, and insertion of others in their niches. For whoever will consider the unity of the whole design, will be sensible, that the poem was not made for these authors, but these
There is certainly nothing in his &c.]
2 The labour of full six years, &c.] This also
They just as well understood what Scriblerus said of the poem.
3 The prefacer to Curli's Key, p. 3. took this word to be really in Statius" By a quibble on the word Duncia, the Dunciad is formed." Mr. Ward also follows him in the same opinion.