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“ Who flings most filth, and wide pollutes around
In naked majesty Oldmixon stands,
Ver. 283. In former Ed.-great Dennis stands.
Ver. 280. the weekly Journals) Papers of news and scandal intermixed, on different sides and parties, and frequently shifting from one side to the other, called the London Journal, British Journal, Daily Journal, &c. the concealed writers of which for some time were Oldmixon, Roome, Arnall, Concanen, and others; persons never seen by our author.
Ver. 283. In naked majesty Oldmixon ftands,] Mr. JOHN OLDMIXON, next to Mr. Dennis, the most ancient Critic of our Nation; an unjust censurer of Mr. Addison in his profe Effay on Criticism, whom also in his imitation of Bouhours (called the Arts of Logic and Rhetoric) he misrepresents in plain matter of fact ; for in p. 45. he cites the Spectator as abusing Dr. Swift by name, where there is not the least hint of it; and in p. 304. is so injurious as to suggest that Mr. Addison himself writ that Tatler, No. 43. which says of his own Simile, that “ 'Tis as great as ever entered into the « mind of man." “ In Poetry he was not so happy as “ laborious, and therefore characterized by the Tailer, « No. 62. by the name of Omicron the Unborn Poet." Curll, Key, p. 13, “ He writ Dramatic works, and a “ volume of Poetry consisting of heroic Epistles, &c. fome "s whereof are very well done,” said that great Judge, Mr. Jacob, in his Lives of Poets, vol. ii. p. 303.
Then sighing thus, “ And am I now threescore? 285
Next Smedley div’d; low circles dimpled o'er
In his Essay on Criticism, and the Arts of Logic and Rhetoric, he frequently reflects on our Author. But the top of his character was a Perverter of History, in that scandalous one of the Stuarts in folio, and his Critical History of England, two volumes, octavo. Being employed by bishop Kennet, in publishing the historians in his collection, he falified Daniel's Chronicle in numberless places. Yet this very man, in the preface to the first of these books, advanced a particular fact to charge three eminent persons of falfifying the Lord Clarendon's History; which fact has been disproved by Dr. Atterbury, late bishop of Rochetter, then the only survivor of them; and the particular part he pretended to be falfified, produced since, after almoft ninety years, in that noble author's original manuscript. He was all his life a virulent Party-writer for hire, and received his reward in a small place, which he enjoyed to his death. Ver.
291. Next Smedley div’d;] In the furreptitious editions, this whole Episode was applied to an initial letter E-, by whom if they meant the Laureate, nothing was more absurd, no part agreeing with his character. The allegory evidently demands a person dipped in scandal, and deeply immersed in dirty work; whereas Mr. Eulden's writings rarely offended but by their length and multitude, and accordingly are taxed
All look, all figh, and call on Smedley lost;
Then essay'd ; scarce vanilh'd out of sight, 295
True to the bottom, fee Concanen creep, A cold, long-winded, native of the deep :
VARIATIONS. Ver: 295. in former Ed.
Then ** try'd, but hardly snatched from sight.
Far worse unhappy D-r succeeds,
of nothing else in book i. ver. 102. But the person here mentioned, an Irishman, was author and publisher of many scurrilous Pieces, a weekly Whitehall Journal, in the year 1722, in the name of Sir James Baker; and particularly whole volumes of Billingsgate against Dr. Swift and Mr. Pope, called Gulliveriana and Alexandriana, printed in octavo. 1728.
Ver. 295. Then ** essay'd ;] A gentlemen of genius and spirit, who was secretly dipt in some papers of this kind, on whom our poet bestows a panegyric instead of a satire, as deserving to be better employed than in party-quarrels, and personal invectives.
Ver. 299. Concanen] MATTHEW CONCANEN, an Irishman, bred to the law. Smedley (one of his brethren in enmity to Swift) in his Metamorphosis of Scriblerus, p. 7. 'accuses him of “ having boasted of « what he had not written, but others had revised and so done for him.” He was author of several dull and
If perseverance gain the Diver's prize,
Next plung'd a feeble, but a desperate pack, 305
310 Fast by, like Niobe (her children gone) Sits Mother Osborne, stupify'd to stone !
Ver. 303–314. Not in former Ed.
dead fcurrilities in the British and London Journals, and in a paper called the Speculatift. Ina pamphlet, called a Supplement to the Profound, he dealt very unfairly with our Poet, not only frequently imputing to him Mr. Broome's verses (for which he might indeed seem in some degree accountable, having corrected what that gentleman did) but those of the duke of Buckingham, and others : To this rare piece somebody humouroully caused him to take for his motto, “ De profundis cla“ mavi.” He was since a hired Scribler in the Daily Courant, where he poured forth much Billingsgate against the lord Bolingbroke, and others; after which this man was surprisingly promoted to administer Justice and Law in Jamaica.
Ver. 306, 307. With each a fickly brother at his back :--Sons of a day, &c.] These were daily Papers, a number of which, to lessen the expence, were printed one on the back of another,
And Monumental Brass this record bears,
Ver. 312. Osborne) A name afsumed by the eldest and gravest of these writers, who at last, being ashamed of his Pupils, gave his paper over, and in his age remained silent.
Ver. 314. Gazetteers) We ought not to suppose that a modern Critic here taxeth the Poet with an Anachronism, affirming these Gazetteers not to have lived within the time of his poem, and challenging us to produce any such paper of that date. But we may with equal assurance assert these Gazetteers not to have lived since, and challenge all the learned world to produce one such paper at this day. Surely therefore, where the point is so obfcure, our author ought not to be censured too rashly.
SCRIB. Notwithstanding this affected ignorance of the good Scriblerus, the Daily Gazetteer was a title given very properly to certain papers, each of which lasted but a day. Into this, as a common fink, was received all the trash, which had been before dispersed in several Journals, and circulated at the public expence of the nation. The authors were the same obfcure men: though sometimes relieved by occasional essays from Statesmen, Courtiers, Bishops, Deans, and Doctors. The meaner fort were rewarded with Money ; others with Places or Benefices, from an hundred to a thousand a year. It appears from the Report of the Secret Committee for inquiring into the Conduct of R. Earl of O. “ That no less than fifty « thousand feventy-seven pounds eighteen fhillings,
were paid to Authors and Printers of Newspapers, “ such as Free Britons, Daily Courants, Corn Cutter's “ Journals, Gazetteers, and other political papers, be“ tween Feb. 10, 1731, and Feb. 10, 1741.' Which shews'the Benevolence of one Minister, to have expended, for the current dulness of ten years in Britain, "double