Abbildungen der Seite

All gaze with ardour : Some a poet's name, Others a sword-knot and lac'd fuit infame.



he could be the publisher of it. The plagiarisins of this person gave occasion to the following Epigram :

“ Moore always smiles whenever he recites; “ He smiles (you think) approving what he writes. “ And yet in this no vanity is Thown;

“ A modeft man may like what's not his own." This young Gentleman's whole misfortune was too inordinate a passion to be thought a Wit. Here is a very strong instance attested by Mr. Savage, son of the late Earl Rivers; who having shewn some verses of his in manuscript to Mr. Moore, wherein Mr. Pope was called first of the tuneful train, Mr. Moore the next morning sent to Mr. Savage to desire him to give those verses another turn, to wit, " That Pope might now be the «« first, because Moore had left him unrivaled, in turn“ing his style to Comedy.” This was during the rehearfal of the Rival Modes, his first and only work; the Town condemned it in the action, but he printed it in 1726-7, with this modest Motto,

“ Hic cæstus, artemque repono." The smaller pieces which we have heard attributed to this author, are, An Epigram on the Bridge at Blenheim, by Dr. Evans: Cosmelia, by Mr. Pit, Mr. Jones, &c.

The Mock-Marriage of a mad Divine, with a Cl. for a Parson, by Dr. W. The Saw-pit, a Simile, by a Friend. Certain Physical works on Sir James Baker; and some unowned Letters, Advertisements, and Epigrams against our author in the Daily Journal.

Notwithstanding what is here collected of the Person imagined by Curls to be meant in this place, we cannot be of that opinion ; since our Poet had certainly no VOL. III,



foes; are my

But lofty Lintot in the circle rose : “ This prize is mine ; who tempt it “ With me began this genius, and shall end." 55 He spoke : and who with Lintot shall contend ?

Fear held them mute. Alone, untaught to fear, Stood dauntless Curll ; " Behold that rival here!



need of vindicating half a dozen verses to himself, which every reader had done for him; since the name itself is not spelled Moore, but More; and lastly, since the learned Scriblerus has so well proved the contrary.

Ver. 50. the phantom More.] It appears from hence, that this is not the name of a real person, but fi&titious. More from pe@gos, stultus, poopia Itultitia, to represent the folly of a plagiary. Thus Erasmus, “ Admonuit me “Mori cognomen tibi, quod tam ad Moriæ vocabulum « accedit quam es ipfe a re alienus.” Dedication of Moriæ Encomium to Sir Tho. More; the farewell of which may be our author's to his plagiary, Vale, More! et moriam tuam gnaviter defende. Adieu ! More! and be sure strongly to defend thy own folly.

SCRIBE. Ver. 53. But lofty Lintot) We enter here upon the episode of the Bookfellers; Perfons, whose names being more known and famous in the learned world than those of the Authors in this poemn, do therefore need less explanation. The action of Mr. Lintot here imitates that of Dares in Virgil, rising just in this manner to lay hold on a Bull. This eminent Bookseller printed the Rival Modes before-mentioned.

Ver. 58. Stood dauntless Curll ;] We come now to a character of much-respect, that of Mr. Edmund Curll. As a plain repetition of great actions is the best praise of them, we shall only say of this eminent man, that he carried the Trade many lengths beyond what it ever before had arrived at; and that he was the envy and admiration of all his profession. He possessed himkélf of

a com

131 “ The race by vigour, not by vaunts, is won; So take the hindmost, Hell,” (he faid) and run. 60



a command over all authors whatever ; he caused them to write what he pleased; they could not call their very Names their own. He was not only famous among these ; he was taken notice of by the State, the Church, and the Law, and received particular marks of distinction from each.

It will be owned that he is here introduced with all possible dignity: He speaks like the intrepid Diomede; he runs like the swift-footed Achilles; if he falls, 'tis like the beloved Nisus; and (what Homer makes to be the chief of all praises) he is favoured of the Gods; he says but three words, and his prayer is heard; a Goddess conveys it to the seat of Jupiter: Though he loses the prize, he gains the victory, the great Mother her: self comforts him, the inspires him with expedients, the honours him with an immortal present, (such as Achilles receives from Thetis, and Æneas from Venus) at once instructive and prophetical : After this he is unrivaled and triumphant.

The tribute our author here pays him is a grateful return for several unmerited obligations : Many weighty animadversions on the public affairs, and many excel. lent and diverting pieces on private persons, has he given to his name. If ever he owed two verses to any other, he owed Mr. Curll fome thousands. He was every day extending his fame, and enlarging his Writings : Witness innumerable instances; but it shall suffice only to mention the Court Poems, which he meant to publish as the work of the true writer, a Lady of quality ; but being first threatened, and afterwards punished for it by Mr. Pope, he generoully transferred it from her to him, and ever since printed it in his name. The single time that ever he spoke to C. was on that affair,


[ocr errors]

Swift as a Bard the Bailiff leaves behind,
He left huge Lintot, and out-stript the wind.
As when a dab-chick waddles through the copse
On feet and wings, and flies, and wades, and hops ;
So labouring on, with shoulders, hands, and head, 65
Wide as a wind-mill all his figure spread,
With arms expanded Bernard rows his state,
And left-legg'd Jacob seems to emulate.
Full in the middle way there stood a lake,
Which Curll's Corinna chanc'd that morn to make: 70
(Such was her wont, at early dawn to drop
Her evening cates before his neighbour's shop)


VARIATION. Ver. 67. With legs expanded Bernard urgʻd the race,

And seem'd to emulate great Jacob's pace.


and to that happy incident he owed all the favour since received from him: So true is the saying of Dr. Sydenham, “ that any one shall be, at some time or other, the “ better or the worse, for having but seen or spoken to a “ good or bad man.

Ver. 70. Curll's Corinna] This name, it seems, was taken by one Mrs. Thomas, who procured some private letters of Mr. Pope, while almoft a boy, to Mr. Cromwell, and sold them without the consent of either of those Gentlemen to Curll, who printed them in 12 mo, 1727. He difcovered her to be the publisher, in his Key, 'p. 11. We only take this opportunity of mentioning the manner in which those letters got abroad, which the author was ashamed of as very trivial things, full not only of levities, but of wrong judgments of men and books, and only excusable from the youth and inexperience of the writer.

Here fortun d Curll to slide ; loud thout the band,
And Bernard ! Bernard ! rings through all the Strand.
Obscene with filth the Miscreant lies bewray'd, 75
Fall’n in the plalh his wickedness had laid :
Then first (if Poets aught of truth declare)
The caitiff Vaticide conceiv'd a prayer,

Hear, Jove! whose name my bards and I adore,
As much at least as any God's, or more ;
And him and his if more devotion warms,
Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's Arms.

A place there is, betwixt earth, air, and seas,
Where, from Ambrofia, Jove retires for ease.
There in his seat two spacious vents appear,

85 On this he fits, to that he leans his ear, And hears the various vows of fond mankind; Some beg an eastern, some a western wind : All vain petitions, mounting to the sky, With reams abundant this abode supply;

90 Amus’d he reads, and then returns the bills Sign’d with that Ichor which from Gods distils.

In office here fair Cloacina stands, And ministers to Jove with purest hands. Forth from the heap the pick'd her Votary's prayer, 95 And plac'd it next him, a distinction rare ! Oft had the Goddess heard her servant's call, From her black grottos near the Temple-wall,


REMARKS. Ver. 82. Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's Arms.) The Bible, Curll's lign: the Cross-keys, Lintot's.

« ZurückWeiter »