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Plungod for his sense, but found no bottom there,
125 Fruits of dull Heat, and Sooterkins of Wit.
Ver. 121. Round him much Embryo, &c.] In the former Editions thus,
He rolld his eyes that witness’d huge dismay,
Or which fond authors were so good to gild. 3. Or where, by sculpture made for ever known,
The page admires new beauties not its own.
our author : It was to give us obliquely a curious precept, or what Bossu calls a disguised sentence, that « Temperance is the life of Study." The language of poefy brings all into action; and to represent a Critic encompassed with books but without a fupper, is a picture which lively expresseth how much the true Critic prefers the diet of the mind to that of the body, one of which he always caftigates, and often totally neglects for the
ter improvement of the other. SCRIBL. But since the discovery of the true Hero of the poem, may we not add, that nothing was so natural, after so great a loss of money at dice, or of Reputation by his Play, as that the Poet should have no great stomach to eat a supper? Besides, how well has the Poet consulted his Heroic Character, in adding that he swore all the time?
Next, o'er his Books his eyes began to roll,
Ver. 131. poor Fletcher's half-eat scenes.] A great number of them taken out to patch up his Plays.
Ver. 132. The Frippery] “ When I fitted up an old
play, it was as a good housewife will mend old linen, so when she has not better employment..” Life, p. 237, Otavo.
Ver. 133. hapless Shakespeare, &c.] It is not to be doubted but Bays was a subscriber to Tibbald's Shakefpeare. He was frequently liberal in this way; and, as he tells us, “ fubscribed to Mr. Pope's Homer, out of
pure Generosity and Civility; but when Mr. Pope “ did so to his Nonjuror, he concluded it could be no
thing but a joke." Letter to Mr. P. p. 24.
This Tibbald, or Theobald, published an edition of Shakespeare, of which he was so proud himself as to fay, in one of Milt's Journals, June 8, “ That to expose
any Errors in it was impracticable.” And in another, April 27
“ That whatever care might for the future be “ taken by any other Editor, he would still give above “ five hundred emendations, that shall escape them all."
Ver. 134. With'd he had blotted) It was a ridicu lous praise which the Players gave to Shakespeare, " that “ he never blotted a line.” Ben Jonson honestly wished he had blotted a thousand ; and Shakespeare would certainly have wished the same, if he had lived to see those alterations in his works, which, not the Actors only
The rest on Outside merit but prefume,
REMARKS. (and especially the daring Hero of this Poem) have made on the Stage, but the presumptuous Critics of our days in their Editions.
Ver. 135. The rest on Outside merit, &c.] This Library is divided into three parts: the first consists of thofe authors from whom he stole, and whose works he mangled; the fecond of such as fitted the thelves, or were gilded for show, or adorned with pi&tures: the third class our author calls folid learning, old bodies of Divinity, old Commentaries, old English Printers, or old English Translations: all very voluminous, and fit to erect altars to Dulness.
Ver. 141. Ogilby the great;] “ John Ogilby was
one, who from a late initiation into literature, made ss such a progress as might well style him the prodigy
of his time! fending into the world so many large « Volumes! His trandations of Homer and Virgil done “ to the life, and with such excellent sculptures : And “ (what added great grace to his works) he printed " them all on special good paper, and in a very good " letter.” WINSTANLY, Lives of Poets.
Ver. 142. There, itainp'd with arms, Newcastle fines complete :) “ The Duchess of Newcastle was one ! who buhed herself in the ravishing delights of Poetry; " leaving to Posterity in print three ample Volumes of
Here all his fuffering brotherhood retire,
Ver. 145. in the first Edit. it was
Well purg'd, and worthy W-y, W as and Bla, And in the following altered to Withers, Quarles, and Blome, on which was the following note.
It was printed in the furreptitious editions, W-ly, W-s, who were persons eminent for good life; the one writ the Life of Christ in verse, the other some valuable pieces in the lyric kind on pious subjects. The line is here restored according to its original.
“ George Withers was a great pretender to poetical “ zeal against the vices of the times, and abuses the “ greatest personages in power, which brought upon him “ frequent Correction. The Marshalsea and Newgate “ were no strangers to him.” WINSTANLY. Quarles was as dull a writer, but an honest dull man.
Blome's books are remarkable for their cuts.
“ her studious endeavours." WINSTANLY, ibid. Lange baine reckons up eight Folios of her Grace's ; which were usually adorned with gilded covers, and had her coat of arms upon
them. Ver. 146. Worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome.] The Pret has mentioned these three authors in particular, as théy are parallel to our Hero in his three capacities: 1. Settle was his Brother Laureate ; only indeed upon half-pay, for the City instead of the Court;
but equally famous for unintelligible flights in his poems on public occasions, such as shows, Birth-days, &c.
2. Banks VOL. III.
But, high above, more folid Learning shone, The Classics of an age that heard of none; There Caxton Dept, with Wynkyn at his fide, One clafp'd in wood, and one in strong cow-hide ; 150 There, fav’d by spice, like Mummies, many a year, Dry Bodies of Divinity appear :
Ver. 352. Old Bodies of Philosophy appear.
was his rival in Tragedy (though more successful) in one of his Tragedies, the Earl of Essex, which is yet alive : Anna Boleyn, the Queen of Scots, and Cyrus the Great, are dead and gone. These he drest in a sort of Beggar's Velvet, or a happy mixture of the thick Fustian and thin Prosaic; exactly imitated in Perolla, and Ifidora, Cæsar in Ægypt, and the Heroic Daughter. 3. Broome was a serving-man of Ben Jonson, who once picked up a Comedy from his Betters, or from some cast scenes of his Master, not entirely contemptible.
Ver. 147. More folid Learning] Some have objected, that books of this sort suit not so well the library of our Bays, which they imagined consisted of Novels, Plays, and obscene books; but they are to consider, that he furnished his shelves only for ornament, and read these books no more than the Dry bodies of Divinity, which, no doubt, were purchased by his Father when he designed him for the Gown. See the note on ver. 200.
Ver. 149. Caxton] A Printer in the time of Edw. IV. Rich. III. and Hen. VII; Wynkyn de Word, his fucceflor, in that of Hen. VII. and VIII. The former, translated into profe Virgil's. Æneis, as a history; of which he speaks, in his proeme, in a very singular manner, as of a book hardly known. Tibbald quotes a rare passage from him in Mift's Journal of March 16, 1728, concerning a Itraunge and marvayllouse beafte