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Not, sulphur-tipt, emblaze an Ale-house fire;
235 Nor wrap up Oranges, to pelt your fire ! O! pass more innocent, in infant state, To the mild Limbo of our Father Tate : Or peaceably forgot, at once be blest In Shadwell's bosom with eternal rest!
240 Soon to that mass of Nonsense to return, Where things destroy'd are swept to things unborn.
With that, a Tear (portentous sign of Grace!) Stole from the master of the seven-fold Face: And thrice he lifted high the Birth-day brand, 245 And thrice he dropt it from his quivering hand; Then lights the structure, with averted eyes : The rolling smokes involve the sacrifice. The opening clouds disclose each work by turns, Now flames the Cid, and now Perolla burns.;
Now flames old Memnon, now Rodrigo burns,
“ church party.” JACOB, Lives of Poets, vol. ii. p. 225. Great number of his works were yearly fold into the Plantations.- Ward, in a book called Apollo's Maggot, declared this account to be a great falsity, pro
Great Cæfar roars, and hiffes in the fires;
Var. Now flames old Memnon, now Rodrigo burns,
In one quick flash see Proserpine expire.] Memnon, a hero in the Persian Princess, very apt to take fire, as appears by these lines, with which he begins the play,
By heaven it fires my frozen blood with rage, “ And makes it scald my aged trunk.”Rodrigo, the chief personage of the Perfidious Brother (a play written between Theobald and a Watch-maker). The Rape of Proserpine, one of the Farces of this author, in which Ceres setting fire to a corn-field, endangered the burning of the Play-house.
Var. And last, his own cold Æschylus took fire.] He had been (to use an expression of our Poet) about Æfchylus for ten years, and had received subscriptions for the same, but then went about other books. The character of this tragic Poet is Fire and Boldness in a high degree, but our author fuppofes it very much cooled by the translation: upon fight of a specimen of which was made this Epigram,
“ Alas! poor schylus! unlucky Dog!
“ Whom once a Lobster kill'd, and now a Log." But this is a grievous error, for Eschylus was not Nain by the fall of a Lobster on his head, but of a Tortoise, teste Val. Max. l. ix.
testing that his public house was not in the City, but in Moor-fields.
Ver. 238, 240. Tate-Shadwell] Two of his predeceffors in the Laurel.
Ver. 250. Now flames, the Cid, &c.] In the first Notes on the Dunciad it was said, that this Author was
No merit now the dear Nonjuror claims,
Rouz’d by the light, old Dulness heav'd the head,
Her ample presence fills up all the place; A veil of fogs dilates her awful face :
Great REMARKS, particularly excellent at Tragedy. “This (says he) is " as unjust as to say I could not dance on a Rope.” But certain it is that he had attempted to dance on this Rope, and fell most shamefully, having produced no less than four Tragedies (the names of which the Poet preserves in these few lines) the three first of them were fairly printed, acted, and damned; the fourth suppressed in fear of the like treatment.
Ver. 253. the dear Nonjuror-Moliere's old stubble] A Comedy threshed out of Moliere's Tartuffe, and so much the Translator's favourite, that he assures us all our author's dislike to it could only arise from disaffection to the Government. He assures us, that " when he had “ the honour to kiss his Majesty's hand upon presenting “ his dedication of it, he was graciously pleased, out of « his Royal bounty, to order him two hundred pounds “ for it. And this he doubts not grieved Mr. P."
Ver. 258. Thule] An unfinished poem of that name, of which one sheet was printed many years ago, by Ambrose Philips, a northern author. It is an usual method of putting out a fire, to caft wet sheets upon it. Some critics have been of opinion that this sheet was of the nature of the Albestos, which cannot be consumed by fire : But I rather think it an allegorical allusion to the coldness and heaviness of the writing.
Great in Her charms! as when on Shrieyes and Mayors
Here to her Chosen all her works she shows; Prose swell’d to verse, verse loitering into prose: How random thoughts now meaning chance to find, 275 Now leave all memory of sense behind : How Prologues into Prefaces decay, And these to Notes are fritter'd quite away:
VARIATIONS. After ver. 268. in the former Ed. followed these two lines,
Raptur'd, he gazes round the dear retreat, And in sweet numbers celebrates the seat. Var. And in sweet numbers celebrates the feat.] Tibbald writ a Poem called the Cave of Poverty, which concludes with a very extraordinary wish, « That some
great genius, or man of distinguished merit, may be “ Itarved, in order to celebrate her power, and describe «cher Cave." It was printed in octavo, 1715.
REMARKS. Ver. 269. Great Mother] Magna mater, here applied to Dulness. The Quidnuncs, a name given to the ancient members of certain political clubs, who were constantly inquiring Quid nunc? What news ?
How Index-learning turns no student pale,
The VARIATION. Ver. 286. Can make a Cibber, Johnson, or Ozell.
REMARKS. Ver. 286. Tibbald,] Lewis Tibbald (as pronounced) or Theobald (as written) was bred an Attorney, and son to an Attorney (fays Mr. Jacob) of Sittenburn in Kent. He was Author of some forgotten Plays, Translations, and other pieces. He was concerned in a paper called the Censor, and a Translation of Ovid.
66 There is a • notorious Idiot, one hight Wachum, who, from an “ under-spur-leather to the law, is become an under“ strapper to the Play-house, who hath lately burlesqued « the Metamorphoses of Ovid by a vile Translation, « &c. This fellow is concerned in an impertinent paper
called the Censor.” Dennis, Rem. on Pope's Hom. p. 9, 10.
Ibid. Özell.] “ Mr. John Ozell (if we credit Mr. « Jacob) did go
to school in Leicestershire, where some« body left him something to live on, when he shall re" tire from business. He was designed to be sent to “ Cambridge, in order for priesthood; but he chose ra“ther to be placed in an office of accounts, in the City,
being qualified for the fame by his skill in arithmetic, “ and writing the necessary hands. He has obliged the “ world with many translations of French Plays.” JACOB, Lives of Dram. Poets, p. 198. VOL. III.