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Bays, formod by nature Stage and Town to bless,
And act, and be, a Coxcomb with success.

Dulness
VARIATIONS.
citing favours of him by letters, did wholly conceal his
design, till after its publication: (which he was fince
not ashamed to own, in a Daily Journal of Nov. 26,
1928.) And then an outcry was made in the prints,
that our author had joined with the Bookfeller to raise
an extravagant subscription; in which he had no share,
of which he had no knowledge, and against which he
had publicly advertised his own proposals for Homer.
Probably that proceeding elevated Tibbald to the dig-
nity he holds in this Poem, which he seems to deserve
no other way better than his brethren; unless we im-
pute

it to the share he had in the Journals, cited among the Testimonies of Authors prefixed to this work.

REMARKS. Ver. 106. And all the mighty Mad in Dennis rage.] Mr. Theobald, in the Censor, vol. ii. N. 33. calls Mr. Dennis by the name of Furius. " The modern Furius “ is to be looked upon more as an object of pity, than of that which he daily provokes, laughter and con" tempt. Did we really know how much this poor “ man" [I wish that reflection on poverty had been spared] “ suffers by being contradicted, or, which is si the same thing in effect, by hearing another praised; we should, in compassion, sometimes attend to him “ with a silent nod, and let him go away with the tri“ umphs of his ill-nature.- Poor Furius (again) when

any of his contemporaries are spoken well of, quit“ ting the ground of the present dispute, steps back a “ thousand years to call in the succour of the ancients, “ His very panegyric is spiteful, and he uses it for the “ same reason as fome Ladies do their commendations “ of a dead beauty, who would never have had their good word, but that a living one happened to be men.

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Dulness with transport eyes the lively Dunce,
Remembering the herfelf was Pertness once.

Now REMARKS. “ tioned in their company. His applause is not the tri“ bute of his Heart, but the sacrifice of his Revenge,” &c. Indeed his pieces against our poet are somewhat of an angry character, and as they are now scarce extant, a taste of his style may be satisfactory to the curi

“ A young, squab, short gentleman, whose out“ ward form, though it should be that of downright

monkey, would not differ so much from human shape as his unthinking immaterial part does from human

understanding. - He is as ftupid and as venomous as a “ hunch-back'd toad. A book through which Folly and

Ignorance, those brethren so lame and impotent, do “ ridiculoully look big and very dull, and strut and “ hobble, cheek by jowl, with their arms on kimbo, be

ing led and supported, and bully-back’d by that “blind Hector, Impudence.” Reflect. on the Essay on Criticism,

P.
26.

29, 30. It would be unjust not to add his reasons for this Fury, they are so strong and so coercive. “him (faith he) as an Enemy, not so much to me, as

to my King, to my Country, to my Religion, and “ to that Liberty which has been the fole felicity of my “ life. A vagary of Fortune, who is sometimes pleased “ to be frolickfome, and the epidemic Madness of the « times have given him Reputation, and Reputation (as “ Hobbes says) is Power, and that has made him dan

gerous. Therefore I look on it as my duty to King " George, whose faithful subject I am ; to my Country, " of which I have appeared a constant lover; to the Laws, under whose protection I have so long lived ; " and to the Liberty of my Country, more dear to me « than life, of, which I have now for forty years been da constant assertor, &c. I look upon it as my duty, “I"fay, to do-you shall see what=to pull the lion's

6 skin

“ I regard

Now (shame to Fortune!) an ill Run at Play
Blank'd his bold visage, and a thin Third day :

Swearing

REMARKS.

“ skin from this little Ass, which popular error has " thrown round him; and to show that this Author, “ who has been lately so much in vogue, has neither “ sense in his thoughts, nor Englih in his expressions." DENNIS, Rem. on Hom. Pref. p. 2.91, &c.

Besides these public-spirited reasons, Mr. D. had a private one; which, by his manner of expressing it in p. 92, appears to have been equally strong. He was even in bodily fear of his life from the machinations of the said Mr. P. “ The story (says he) is too long to be “ told, but who would be acquainted with it, may hear " it from Mr. Curll, my Bookseller.—However, what my

reason has suggested to me, that I have with a « just confidence faid, in defiance of his two clandestine weapons, his Slander and his Poison." Which last words of his book plainly discover Mr. D's fufpicion was that of being poisoned, in like manner as Mr. Curll had been before him : of which fact fee A full and true account of the horrid and barbarous revenge, by poison, on the body of Edmund Curll, printed in 1716, the year antecedent to that wherein these Remarks of Mr. Dennis were published. But what puts it beyond all question, is a passage in a very warm treatise, in which Mr. D. was also concerned, price two pence, called A true Character of Mr. Pope and his Writings, printed for S. Popping, 1716; in the tenth page whereof he is said “ to have insulted people on is those calamities and diseases which he himself gave them, by adminiftering Poison to them :” and is called (p. 4.) “a lurking waylaying coward, and a “ stabber in the dark.” Which (with many other things most lively set forth in that piece) must have rendered him a terror, not to Mr. Dennis only, but to all chri

Swearing and supperless the Hero fate,

115 Blasphem'd his Gods, the Dice, and damn'd his Fate.

Then REMARKS. ftian people. This charitable warning only provoked our incorrigible Poet to write the following Epigram :

Should Dennis publish, you had stabb'd your Brother,
Lampoon'd your Monarch,or debauch'd your Mother;
Say, what revenge on Dennis can be had ?
Too dull for laughter, for reply too mad :
On one so poor you cannot take the law;
On one fo old your sword you scorn to draw :
Uncag'd then let the harmless monster ragė,
Secure in dulness, madness, want, and age.

For the rest; Mr. John Dennis was the son of a Sadler in London, born in 1657. He paid court to Mr. Dryden ; and having obtained fome correspondence with Mr. Wycherley and Mr. Congreve, he immediately obliged the Public with their Letters. He made himself known to the Government hy many admirable schemes and projects; which the Ministry, for reasons best known to themselves, conftantly kept private. For his character, as a writer, it is given us as follows: “ Mr. Dennis is excellent at Pindaric writings, per“ fectly regular in all his performances, and a person of “ found Learning. That he is master of a great deal of « Penetration and Judgment, his criticisms (particu“ larly on Prince Arthur) do fufficiently demonstrate.” From the same account it also appears that he writ Plays more to get Reputation than Money." Dennis of himself. See Giles Jacob's Lives of Dram. Poets, p. 68, 69, compared with p. 286.

Ver. 109. Bays, form’d by nature, &c.]. It is hoped the poet here hath done full juftice to his Hero's character, which it were a great mistake to imagine was wholly funk in stupidity: he is allowed to have fup

ported

Then gnawid his Pen, then dash'd it on the ground,
Sinking from thought to thought, a vaft profound !

Plung'd

REMARKS.

ported it with a wonderful mixture of Vivacity. This character is heightened according to his own defire, in a Letter he wrote to our author. " Pert and dull at is least you might have allowed me.

What! am I " only to be dull, and dull still, and again, and for " ever?” He then solemnly appealed to his own conscience, that “ he could not think himself so, nor be“ lieve that our poet did; but that he fpake worse of “ him than he could possibly think; and concluded it “ must be merely to Thew his Wit, or for fome Profit

or Lucre to himself.” Life of C. C. chap. vii. and Letter to Mr. P. page 15. 40. 53. And to fhew his claim to what the Poet was so unwilling to allow him, of being pert as well as dull, he declares he will have the last word; which occasioned the following Epigram :

Quoth Cibber to Pope, “ Tho' in Verse you foreclose, " I'll have the last word: for, by G-, I'll write

Prose.” Poor Colly, thy Reasoning is none of the ftrongeft, For know, the last Word is the Word that laks longest,

Ver. 115. fupperless the Hero fate.] It is amazing how the fense of this hath been mistaken by all the former commentators, who most idly suppose it to imply that the Hero of the poem wanted a fupper. In truth a great absurdity! Not that we are ignorant that the Hero of Homer's Odyssey is frequently in that circumstance, and therefore it can no way derogate from the grandeur of Epic Poem to represent such Hero under a calamity, to which the greatest not only of Critics and Poets, but of Kings and Warriors, have been subject. But much more refined, I will venture to say, is the meaning of

our

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