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A shaggy tapestry, worthy to be spread
REMARKS. give us warning that we should hold no society with him. as a creature not of our original, nor of our species: and they who have refused to take this warning which God and nature has given them, and have, in spite of it, by a senseless presumption ventured to be familiar with him, have severely suffered, &c. 'Tis certain his original is not from Adam, but from the devil,' &c.-Dennis, Character of Mr. P. octavo, 1716.
Admirably it is observed by Mr. Dennis against Mr Law, p. 33. "That the language of Billingsgate can never be the language of charity, nor consequently of christianity.' I should else be tempted to use the language of a critic; for what is more provoking to a commentator, than to behold his author thus portrayed? Yet I consider it really hurts not him! whereas to call some others dull, might do them prejudice with a world too apt to believe it. Therefore, ihough Mr. D. may call another a little ass, or a young toad, far be it from us to call him a toothless lion, or an old serpent. Indeed, bad I written these notes (as was once my intent) in the learned language, I might have given him the appellations balatro, calceatum caput, scurra in triviis, being pbrases in good esteem and frequent usage among the best learned: but in our mother-tongue, were I to tax any gentleman of the Dunciad, surely it would be in words not to the vulgar intelligible; whereby christian charity, decency, and good accord among authors, might be preserved.
Scribl. The good Scriblerus here, as on all occasions, eminently shows his humanity. But it was far otherwise with the gentlemen of the Dunciad, whose scurrilities were always personal, and of that nature which provoked every honest man but Mr. Pope; yet never to be lamented, since thev occasioned the following amiable verses :
While malice, Pope, denies thy'page
Its own celestial fire;
Admiring, won't admire:
And envious tongues decry;
These times bewail not I.
And spleen no more shall blame,
In one established fame:
Instructive work ! whose wry-mouth'd portraiture
Devote a wreath to thee;
Shall I lament to see.' Ver. 143. A shaggy tapestry;] A sorry kind of tapestry frequent in old inns, made of worsted or some coarser stuff; like that which is spoken of by Donne.--Faces as frightful as theirs who whip Christ in old hangings. This imagery woven in it alludes to the mantle of Cloanthus, in Æn. v.
Ver. 144. John Dunton was a broken bookseller, and abusive scribbler; he writ Neck or Nothing, a violent satire on some ministers of state; a libel on the duke of Devonshire, and the bishop of Peterborough, &c.
Ver. 148. And Tutcbin flagrant from the scourge.) John Tutchin, author of some vile verses, and of a weekly paper called the Observator. He was sentenced to be whipped through several towns in the west of England, upon which he petitioned king James II. to be hanged. When that prince died in exile, he wrote an invective against his memory, occasioned by some humane elegies on his death. Ho lived to the time of queen Anne.
Ver. 149. There Ridpath, Roper,] Authors of the Flying-post and Post-boy, two scandalous papers on different sides, for which they equally and alternately deserved to be cudgelled, and were so.
Ver. 151. Himself among the storied chiefs he spies, The history of Curll's being tossed in a blanket, and whipped by the scholars of Westminster, is well known. Of his purging and vomiting, see A full and true Account of a hor. rid Revenge on the Body of Edmund Curll, itc. in Swift's and Pope'. Miscellanies.
See in the circle next Eliza placed, Two babes of love close clinging to her waist ; Fair as before her works she stands confess'd, In flowers and pearls by bounteous Kirkall dress'd. The goddess then: 'Who best can send on high 161 The salient spout, far streaming to the sky; His be yon Juno of majestic size, With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes. This China jordan let the chief o'ercome Replenish, not ingloriously, at home.'
Osborne and Curll accept the glorious strife: (Though this his son dissuades, and that his wife,)
REMARKS. Ver. 157. See in the circle next, Eliza placed,] In this pame is exposed, in the most contemptuous manner, the profligate licentiousness of those shameless scribblers (for the most part of that sex which ought least to be capable of such malice or impudence) who, in libellous memoirs and novels, reveal the faults or misfortunes of both sexes, to the ruin of public fame, or disturbance of private happiness. Our good poet (by the whole cast of his work being obliged not to take off the irony) where he could not show his indig. nation, hath shown his contempt, as much as possible; haying here drawn as vile a picture as could be represented in the colours of epic poesy.
Scribl. Ibid. Eliza Haywood; this woman was authoress of those most scandalous books called the Court of Carimania and the New Utopia. For the two babes of love, see Curll, Key, p. 22. But whatever reflection he is pleased to throw upon this lady, surely it was what from him she little deserved, who had celebrated Curll's undertakings for refor mation of manners, and declared herself 'to be so perfectly acquainted with the sweetness of his disposition, and that tenderness with which he considered the errors of his fellow creatures, that, though she should find the little inadvertencies of her own life recorded in his papers, she was certain it would be done in such a manner as she could not but approve.' Mrs. Haywood, Hist of Clar. printed in the Femalo Dunciad, p. 18. ! Ver. 160. Kirkall] The name of an engraver. Some of this lady's works were printed in four volumes in 12mo, with her picture thus dressed up before them.
Ver. 167. Osborne, Thomas) A bookseller in Gray'sInn, very well qualified by his impudence to act this part; therefore placed here instead of a less deserving predecestor. [Chapman, the publisher of Mrs. Ilaywood's New
One on his manly confidence relies,
Swift as it mounts, all follow with their eyes :
REMARKS. Utopia, &c. This man published advertisements for a year together, pretending to sell Mr. Pope's subscription books of Homer's Iliad at half the price: of which book be had none, but cut to the size of them (which was quarto) the common books in folio, without copper-plates, on a worse paper, and never above half the value.
Upon this advertisement the Gazetteer harangued thus, July 6, 1739; 'How melancholy must it be to a writer to be 80 unhappy as to see his works hawked for sale in a manner Bo fatal to his fame! How, with honour to yourself, and justice to your subscribers, can this be done? What an ingratitude to be charged on the only honest poet that lived in 1738! and than whom virtue has not had a sbriller trumpeter for many ages! That you were once generally admired and esteemed, can be denied by none; but that you and your works are now despised, is verified by this fact;' which being utterly false, did not much indeed humble the author, but drew this just chastisement on the bookseller.
Ver. 183. Through half the heavens he pours the exalted arn;] In a manuscript Dunciad (where are some marginal corrections of some gentlemen some time deceased) I have found another reading of these lines: thus,
Osborne, through perfect modesty o'ercome,
But now for authors nobler palms remain ; 191
He chinks his purse, and takes his seat of state: With ready quills the dedicators wait; Now at his head the dexterous task commence, And, instant, fancy feels the imputed sense; 200 Now gentle touches wanton o'er his face, He struts Adonis, and affects grimace :
REMARKS. And lifts his urn, through half the heavens to flow; His rapid waters in their passage glow.' This I cannot but think the right : for, first, though the difference between burn and glow may seem not very material to others, to me I confess the latter has an elegance, a je ne scay quoy, which is much easier to be conceived than explained. Secondly, every reader of our poet must have observed how frequently he uses this word, glow, in other parts of his works: to instance only in his Homer:
(1.) Iliad ix. ver. 726.-With one resentment glows. (2.) Iliad xi. ver. 626.--There the battle glows. ) Ibid. ver. 985.--The closing flesh that instant ceased
to glow. 4.) Iliad xii. ver. 45.--Encompass'd Hector glows. (5.) Ibid. ver. 475.--His beating breast with generous ar
dour glows. (6.) Iliad xviii. ver. 591.-Another part glow'd with reful
gent arms. (7.) Ibid. ver. 654.–And curl'd on silver props in order
glow. I am afraid of growing too luxuriant in examples, or 1 could stretch this catalogue to a great extent; but these are enough to prove his fondness for this beautiful word, which, therefore, let all future editions replace here.
I am aware, after all, that burn is the proper word to convey an idea of what was said to be Mr. Curll's condi. tion at this time; but from that very reason I infer the direct contrary. For surely every lover of our author will conclude he had more humanity than to insult a man on such a misfortune or calamity, which could never befall bim purely