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How little, mark! that portion of the ball,
Lo! Rome herself, proud mistress now no more
Ver. 81, 82. The Caliph, Omar I. having conquered Egypt, caused his General to burn the Ptolomæan Library, on the gates of which was this Inscription, VYXHE 14TPEION, the Physic of the Soul.
Ver. 96. (The foil that arts and infant letters bore) Phænicia, Syria, &c. where Letters are said to have been invented. In these countries Mahomet began his conquefts.
Ver. 102. thundering against heathen lore : ] A strong instance of this pious rage is placed to Pope
Her grey-hair'd Synods damning books unread,
Gregory's account. John of Salisbury gives a very odd encomium of this Pope, at the same time that he mentions one of the strangest effects of this excess of zeal in him : “ Doctor sanctissimus ille Gregorius, qui mel“ leo prædicationis imbre totam rigavit et inebriavit ec“ clefiam; non modo Mathesin juffit ab aula, fed, ut “ traditur a majoribus, incendio dedit probatæ lectionis “ scripta, Palatinus quæcunque tenebat Apollo.”. And in another place : “ Fertur beatus Gregorius bibliothe“ cam combusliffe gentilem ; quo divinæ paginæ gra« tior effet locus, et major authoritas, et diligentia ftu“ diofior.” Desiderius, Archbishop of Vienna, was Marply reproved by him for teaching Grammar and Literature, and explaining the Poets; because (says this Pope) “ In uno se ore cum Jovis laudibus Chrifti laudes “ non capiunt: Et quam grave nefandumque fit Episco“pis canere quod pec Laico religioso conveniat, ipse « confidera.” He is said, among the rest, to have burned Livy; “ Quia in superstitionibus et facris Roma
norum perpetuo versatur.” The same Pope is accused by Vossius, and others, of having caused the noble monuments of the old Roman magnificence to be destroyed, left those who came to Rome should give more attention to Triumphal Arches, &c. than to holy things. Bayle, Dict.
See graceless Venus to a Virgin turn'd,
Behold yon' Ile, by Palmers, Pilgrims trod,
And see, my son! the hour is on its way, That lifts our Goddess to imperial sway; This favourite Ine, long sever'd from her reign, 125 Dove-like she gathers to her wings again.
Ver. 109. Till Peter's keys some christen’d Jove adorn,] After the government of Rome devolved to the Popes, their zeal was for some time exerted in demolishing the heathen Temples and Statues, so that the Goths scarce destroyed more monuments of Antiquity out of rage, than these out of devotion. At length they fpared some of the Temples, by converting them to Churches ; and some of the Statues, by modifying them into images of Saints. In much later times, it was thought necessary to change the statues of Apollo and Pallas, on the tomb of Sannazarius, into David and Judith; the Lyre easily became a Harp, and the Gorgon's head turned to that of Holofernes.
Ver. 117, 118. Happy! had Easter never been!) Wars in England anciently, about the right time of celebrating Easter.
Now look through Fate! behold the scene the draws !
Mark Sirst that youth who takes the foremost place,
140 With all thy Father's virtues blest, be born! And a new Cibber shall the stage adorn.
A second fee, by meeker manners known,
Ver. 126. Dove-like, the gathers] This is fulfilled in the fourth book.
Ver. 128. What aids, what armies to assert her cause !] i. e. Of Poets, Antiquaries, Critics, Divines, Freethinkers. But as this Revolution is only here set on foot by the firft of these Classes, the Poets, they only are here particularly celebrated, and they only properly fall under the Care and Review of this Collegue of Dulness, the Laureat. The others, who finish the great work, are reserved for the fourth book, where the Goddess herfelf appears in full Glory.
Thee shall each Alehouse, thee each Gillhouse mourn,
Ver. 149. in the first Edit. it was,
Woolston, the scourge of Scripture, mark with awe!' And mighty Jacob, blunderbuss of Law!
REMARKS. Ver. 149. Jacob, the scourge of Grammar, mark with awe; ] “ This Gentleman is ton of a considerable Mar“ ter of Romsey in Southamptonshire, and bred to the “ Law under a very eminent Attorney : Who, between “ his more laborious studies, has diverted himself with “ Poetry. He is a great admirer of Poets and their " works, which has occasioned him to try his genius “ that way–He has writ in prose the Lives of the Poets, “ Efsays, and a great many Law books, The Accom“ plished Conveyancer, Modern Justice, &c. Giles JACOB of himself, Lives of Poets, vol. 1. grossly, and unprovoked, abused in that book the Author's Friend, Mr. Gay. Ver. 149, 150:
Jacob, the scourge of Grammar, mark with awe;
Nor less revere him, blunderbuss of Law.] There may seem fome error in these verses, Mr. Jacob having proved our Author to have a Respect for him, by this undeniable argument. “ Hc had once a Regard "s for my Judgment; otherwise he never would have “ subscribed two Guineas to me, for one small book in “ octavo.” Jacob's Letter to Dennis, printed in Dennis's Remarks on the Dunciad, p. 49. Therefore I should think the appellation of Blunderbuss to Mr. Jacob, like that of Thunderbolt to Scipio, was meant in his honour. N 4