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fourfcore. How doth his Modesty herein leffen the merit of a whole well-spent life: not taking to himfelf the commendation (which Horace accounted the greatest in a theatrical character) of continuing to the very dregs, the fame he was from the beginning,
Servetur ad IMUM “ Qualis ab incepto processerat." But here, in justice both to the Poet and the Hero, let us farther remark, that the calling her his whore, implieth she was his own, and not his neighbour's. Truly a commendable Continence ! and such as Scipio himself must have applauded. For how much Selfdenial was necessary not to covet his Neighbour's whore? and what disorders must the coveting her have occafioned in that Society, where (according to this Political Calculator) nine in ten of all ages have their concubines !
We have now, as briefly as we could devise, gone through the three con tituent Qualities of either Hero. But it is not in any, or in all of these, that Heroism properly or essentially resideth. It is a lucky result rather from the collision of these lively Qualities against one another. Thus, as from Wisdom, Bravery, and Love, ariseth Magnanimity, the object of Admiration, which is the aim of the greater Epic; so from Vanity, Assurance, and Debauchery, springeth Buffoonry, the fource of Ridicule, that “ laughing ornament,” as he well termeth ith, of the little Epic.
h Letter to Mr. P. P. 31.
He is not ashamed (God forbid he ever should be ashamed !) of this Character ; who deemeth, that not Reason but Risibility distinguisheth the human species from the brutal. “. As Nature (faith this profound « Philosopher) distinguished our species from the mute " creation by our Risibility, her design must have « been by that faculty as evidently to raise our HAP« PINESS, as by our Os ful lime (OUR BRECTED FA
ces) to lift the dignity of OUR FORM above them,” All this confidered, how complete a Hero must he be, as well as how happy a Man, whose Risibility lieth not barely in his Muscles, as in the common fort, but (as himself infcrmeth us) in his very fpirits ? and whole Os sublime is not fimply an erect face, but a Brazen Head; as should seem by his preferring it to one of Iron, said to belong to the late king of Sweden k ?
But whatever personal qualities a Hero may have, the examples of Achilles and Æneas shew us, that all, those are of small avail, without the constant assistance of the Gods: for the subversion and erection of Em'pires have never been adjudged the work of Man. How greatly foever then we may esteem of his high talents, we can hardly conceive his personal prowess alone fufficient to restore the decayed' empire of Dulnefs. So weighty an atchievement must require the particular favour and protection of the Great ; who being the natural patrons and supporters of Letters, as the ancient Gods were of Troy, must lirit be drawn
off and engaged in another Interest, before the total subversion of them can be accomplished. To surmount, therefore, this last and greatest difficulty, we have, in this excellent man, a professed Favourite and Intimado of the Great. And look, of what force ancient Piety was to draw the Gods into the party
of Æneas, that, and much stronger is modern Incense, to engage the Great in the party of Dulness.
Thus have we effayed to pourtray or shadow out this noble Imp of Fame. But now the impatient reader will be apt to say, If so many and various graces go to the making up a Hero, what mortal shall fuffice to bear his character ? Ill hath he read, who seeth not, in every trace of this picture, that individual, ALL-ACCOMPLISED PERSON, in whom these rare virtues and lucky circumstances have agreed to meet and concenter. with the strongest lustre and fullest harmony.
The good Scriblerus indeed, nay the World itself, might be imposed on, in the late fpurious editions, by I can't tell what Siam Hero, or Phantom : But it was not so easy to iinpose on him whom this egregious error most of all concerned. For no sooner had the fourth book laid open the high and swelling scene, but he recognized his own heroic Acts : And when he came to the words,
“ Soft on her lap her Laureat son reclines," (though Laureat imply no more than one crowned with laurel, as befitteth any Associate or Consort in Empire) he loudly resented this indignity to violated Majesty. Indeed not without cause, he being there represented
as fast alleep; so misbeseeming the Eye of Empire, which, like that of Providence, should never doze nor Slumber. “ Hah! (faith he) fast alleep, it seems! “ that's a little too strong. Pert and dull at least you “ might have allowed me, but as seldom asleep as any “ fool 1.” However, the injured Hero may comfort himself with this reflection, that though it be a sleep, yet is not the sleep of death, but of immortality. Here he will m live at least, though not awake ; and in no worse condition than many an enchanted Warrior before him. The famous Durandante, for instance, was, like him, cast into a long slumber by Merlin the British Bard and Necromancer; and his example for submitting to it with a good grace, might be of use to our Hero. For that disastrous knight being forely preffed or driven to make his answer by several persons of quality, only replied with a figh, Patience and shuffle the cards r.
But now, as nothing in this world, no not the most sacred and perfect things, either of Religion or Government, can escape the sting of Envy, methinks I already hear these carpers objecting to the clearness of our Hero's title.
It would never (say they) have been esteemed fufficient to make an Hero for the Iliad or Æneis, that Achilles was brave enough to overturn one Empire, or Æneas pious enough to raise another, had they not been Goddess-born, and Princes bred. What then did
1 Letter, P: 53•
m Letter, p. I.
n Don Quixote, Part ii. Book ii. ch. 22.
this Author mean, by erecting a Player instead of one of his Pations (a person, “ never a hero even on the “ stage o”), to this dignity of Collegue in the Empire of Dulness, and Atchiever of a work that neither old Omar, Attila, nor John of Leyden, could entirely bring to pass.
To all this we have, as we conceive, a sufficient anfwer from the Roman historian, “ Fabrum esse suæ quemque fortunæ :” That every man is the Smith of his own fortune. The politie Florentine, Nicholas Machiavel, goeth ftill further, and affirmeth that a man needeth but to believe himself a Hero to be one of the worthieft. “ Let him (faith he) but fancy himself capable of the “ highest things, and he will of course be able to at« chieve them.” From this principle it follows, that nothing can exceed our Hero's prowess ; as nothing ever equalled the greatness of his conceptions. Hear how he constantly paragons himself; at one time to Alexander the Great and Charles the XII. of Sweden for the excess and delicacy of his Ambition p; to Henry the IV. of France, for honest Poliey 9; to the first Brutus, for love of liberty * ; and to Sir Robert Walpole, for good Government while in powers ; At another time, to the godlike Socrates for his diversions and amusements* ; to Horace, Montaigne, and Sir William Temple, for an elegant Vanity that maketh them for ever read and