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of his poetic world, whence every thing is to receive life and motion. For, this subject being found, he is immediately ordained, or rather acknowledged, an Hero, and put upon such action as befitteth the dignity of his character.

But the Muse ceaseth not here her Eagle-flight. For sometimes, fatiated with the contemplation of these Suns of glory, she turneth downward on her wing, and darts with Jove's lightning on the Goose and Serpent kind. For we may apply to the Mufe in her various moods, what an ancient mafter of Wisdom affirmeth of the Gods in general : “Si Dii non irafcuntur impiis et « injuftis, nec pios utique justofque diligunt. In rebus “ enim diverfis, aut in utramque partem moveri necesse < elt, aut in neutram. Itaque qui bonos diligit, et malos “ odit; et qui malos non odit, nec bonos diligit. Quia “ et diligere bonos ex odio malorum venit ; et malos « odiffe ex bonorum caritate descendit.” Which in our vernacular idiom may be thus interpreted : “ If the “ Gods be not provoked at evil men, neither are they. « delighted with the good and just. For contrary ob“ jects must either excite contrary affections, or no af“ fections at all. So that he who loveth good men, must " at the same time hate the bad; and he who hateth not “ bad men, cannot love the good ; because to love good “ men proceedeth from an aversion to evil, and to hate “ evil men from a tenderness to the good.” From this delicacy of the Muse arose the little Epic, (more lively and choleric than her elder sister, whose bulk and complexion incline her to the phlegmatick :) And for this,

some

fome notorious Vehicle of vice and folly was fought out, to make thereof an Example. An early instance of which (nor could it escape the accurate Scriblerus) the Father of Epic poem himself affordeth us. From him the practice descended to the Greek Dramatic Poets, his Offspring ; who, in the composition of their Tetralogy, or set of four pieces, were wont to make the last a Satiric Tragedy. Happily, one of these ancient Dunciads (as we may well term it) is come down unto us, amongst the Tragedies of the poet Euripides. And what doth the reader suppose may be the subject thereof? Why in truth, and it is worthy observation, the unequal Contest of an old, dull, debauched buffoon Cyclops, with the heaven-directed Favourite of Minerva; who, after having quietly borne all the monster's obscene and impious ribaldry, endeth the farce in punishing him with the mark of an indelible brand in his forehead. May we not then be excused, if for the future we confider the Epics of Homer, Virgil, and Milton, together with this our poem, as a complete Tetralogy; in which the last worthily holdeth the place or station of the satiric piece ?

Proceed we therefore in our subject. It hath been long, and alas for pity! ftill remaineth a question, whether the Hero of the greater Epic should be an honest Man; or, as the French Critics express it, un honnête

homme a : but it never admitted of a doubt, but that the Hero of the little Epic should be just the contrary.

a Si un Heros Poëtique doit être un honnête homme. Bossu, du Poême Epique, liv. v. ch. 5.

Hence,

Hence, to the advantage of our Dunciad, we may observe, how much justerthe Moral of that Poem must needs be, where so important a question is previously decided.

But then it is not every Knave, nor (let me add) every Fool, that is a fit subject for a Dunciad. There must still exist some Analogy, if not Resemblance of Qualities between the Heroes of the two Poems; and this in order to admit what Neoteric critics call the Parody, one of the liveliest graces of the little Epic. Thus it being agreed, that the constituent qualities of the greater Epic Hero, are Wisdom, Bravery, and Love, from whence springeth heroic Virtue ; it followeth, that those of the lefser Epic Hero should be Vanity, Assurance, and Debauchery, from which happy assemblage resulteth heroic Dulness, the never-dying subject of this our Poem.

This being settled, come we now to particulars. It is the character of true Wisdom, to seek its chief support and confidence within itself; and to place that support in the resources which proceed from a conscious rectitude of Will.–And are the advantages of Vanity, when arising to the heroic standard, at all short of this self-complacence ? Nay, are they not, in the opinion of the enamoured owner, far beyond it? “ Let the world “ (will such an one say) impute to me what folly or “ weakness they please; but till Wisdom can give me “ something that will make me more heartily happy, “ I am content to be GAZED AT b.” This, we see, is

b Ded. to the Life of C. C.

Vanity according to the heroic gage or measure; not that low and ignobie fpecies which pretendeth to Virtues we have not; but the laudable ambition of being gazed at for glorying in those Vices, which every body knows we have.

“ The world may ask (says he) why I make my follies public? Why not? I have passed my life

very pleasantly with them." In short, there is no sort of Vanity such a Hero would scruple, but that which might go near to degrade him from his high station in this our Dunciad ; namely, “ whether it would

not be Vanity in him, to take Mame to himself for “ not being a wise man d?"

Bravery, the second attribute of the true Hero, is Courage manifesting itself in every limb; while its correspondent Virtue in the inock Hero, is, that same Courage all collected into the Face.

And as Power, when drawn together, must needs have more force and fpirit than when dispersed, we generally find this kind of courage in so high and heroic a degree, that it insults not only Men, but Gods. Mezentius is, without doubt, the bravest character in all the Æneis : But how? His bravery, we know, was an high courage of blafphemy. And can we say less of this brave man's, who having told us that he placed “ his Summum bonum in “ those follies, which he was not content barely to “ possess, but would likewise glory in,” adds, “ If I "am misguided, 'TIS NATURE'S FAULT, and I follow HERC” Nor can we be mistaken in making this

c Life, p. 2. oct. edit.

d Ibid.

e Ibid. p. 23.

happy

happy quality a species of Courage, when we consider those illustrious marks of it, which made his FACE “ more known (as he justly boasteth) than most in the “ kingdom ;" and his Language to consist of what we must allow to be the most daring Figure of Speech, that which is taken from the Name of God.

Gentle Lo the next ingredient in the true Hero's composition, is a mere bird of passage, or (as Shakespeare calls it) summer-teerning Luft, and evaporates in the heat of Youth ; doubtless by that refinement it suffers in passing through those certain strainers which our Poet somewhere speaketh of. But when it is let alone to work upon the Lees, it acquireth strength by Old Age; and becometh a lasting ornament to the little Epic. It is true, indeed, there is one objection to its fitness for such an use : For not only the ignorant may think it common, but it is admitted to be so, even by Hii who best knoweth its value.

66 Don't

you

think (argueth he) to say 'only a man has his Whoref,' ought to go for little or nothing? Because defendis numerus ;

take the first ten thousand men you meet, " and, I believe, you would be no loser if you betted « ten to one, that every single sinner of them, one “ with another, had been guilty of the fame frailty.” But here he seemeth not to have done justice to himself : The man is sure enough a Hero, who hath his Lady at

1

{ Alluding to these lines in the Epist. to Dr. Arbuthnot;

“ And has not Colly still his Lord and Whore,

“ His Butchers Henley, his Free-Mafons Moore ? 1 Letter to Mr. P. p. 46.

four

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