תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

THE DUNCI A D.

BY AUTHORITY.

THE ARGUMENT.

By virtue of the Authority in Us vefted by the Ad for subjecting Poets to the power of a Licenser, we have revised this Piece; where finding the Byle and appellation of King to bave been given to a certain Pretender, Pseudo-Poet, or Phantom, of tbe name of TIBBALD; and apprebending the same may be deemod in some fort a Reflection on Majesty, or at least an insult on tbat Legal Authority wbicb bas beftored on anotber person tbe Crown of Poesy: We bave ordered tbe faid Pretender, Pseudo-Poet, or Phantom, utterly to vanish and evaporate out of tbis work. And do declare the said Throne of Poely from bencefertb to be abdicated and vacant, unless duly and lawfully supplied by tbe Laurcate bimself. And it is bereby enalled, tbat no oibor perfon do prefume to fill the fame.

OC. Ch.
TO DR. JONATHAN SWIFT.
BOOK I.

whether to betake himself to the church, or to
gaming, or to party writing, he raises an altar
of proper books, and (making first his solemn

prayer and declaration) pur poles thereon to faThe proposition, the invocation, and the inscrip crifice all his unsuccessful writings. As the pile

tion. Then the original of the great empire is kindled, the goddess beholding the flame from
of dulness, and cause of the continuance there her feat, fies and puts it out by cafting upon it
of. The college of the goddess in the city, the poem of Thulé. She forthwith reveals
with her private academy for pocts in particu herself to him, transports him to her temple,
lar ; the governors of it, and the four cardinal unfolds her arts, and initiates him into her myk-
virtues. Then the poem haftes into the midt teries; then announcing the death of Eusden
of things, presenting her, on the cvening of a the poet laureat, anoints him, carries him to
Lord Mayor's day, revolving the long succef court, and proclaims him fuccellor.
fion of her sons, and the glories past and to come.
She fixes her eyes on Bays to be the instru- The mighty mother, and her son, who brings
ment of that great event which is the subject The Smithfield muses to the ear of kings,
of the poem. He is described pensive among
his books, giving up the cause, and apprehend-
ing the period of her empire: After debating

VARIATION.
Ver. 1. The mighty mother, &c.] In the firk

edition it was thus,
VARIATION.

Books and the man I Ging, the first who brings In the first editions Tibbald was the hero of The Smithfield muses to the ear of kings, the poem, which will account for most of the sub- Say, great patricians! lince yourselves inspire Acquent variations.

These wondrous works (so Jove and Fate require)

I ling. Say you, her in ruments the great! You by whose care, in vain decry'd and curft,
Call'd to this work by Dulness, Jove, and Fate ; Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the first;

VARIATION.

REMARKS.

REMARKS.

“ Nor

Dotes.

Say, for what cause, in vain decry'd and curft, in this case is right, and two ee's wrong. Yet upStiil

on the whole I shall follow the manuscript, and print it without any e at all; moved thereto by

authority (at all times, with critics, equal, if nog The Donciad, fic MS. It may well be disputed superior to reason). In which method of prowhether this be a right reading : Ought it not ra cceding, I can never enough praise my good friend, ther to be spelled Dunceiad, as the etymology evi the exact of Mr. Thomas Hearne : who, if any dently demands Dunce with an e, therefore word occur, which to him and all mankind is eviDupceiad with an e. That accurate and punctual dently wrong, yet keeps he it in the text witla man of letters, the restorer of Shakespeare,constant due reverence, and only remarks in the margin, ly observes the preservation of this very letter , fic MS. In like manner we shall not amend this in spelling the name of his beloved author, and error in the title itself, but only note it obiter, to Dot like his common careless editors, with the o evince to the learned that it was not our fault, million of one, nay sumetimes of two ee's (as nor any effect of our ignorance or inattention. Skakspear), which is utterly unpardonable.

SCRIBL. " is the neglect of a single letter so trivial as to This poem was written in the year 1726. In * some it may appear; the alteration whereof in the next year an imperfect edition was published " a learned language is an atchievement that at Dublin, and reprinted at London in twelves ; " brings honour to the critic who advances it; another at Dublin, and another at London in odiac

and Dr. Bentley will be remembered to pofte vo: and three others in twelves the fame year. " rity for his performances of this fort, as long as But there was no perfect edition before that of " the world mall have any efteem for the remains London in quarto ; which was attended with ** of Menander and Philemon."

We are willing to acquaint posterity,

THEOBALD. that this poem was presented to King George II. This is surely a slip in the learned author of the and his Queen by the hands of Sir Robert Walforegoing note; there having been since produced ( pole, on the 12th of March, 1728-9. by an accurate antiquary, and autograph of Shake

SCHOL. VET. fpeare, whereby it appears that he spelled his own It was expressly confessed in the preface to the name without the first e. And upon this autho- first edition, that this poem was not published by rity it was, that those most critical curators of his the author himself. It was printed originally in monument in Westminster Abbey erased the for.

a foreign country. And what foreign country? mer wrong reading, and restored the new spelling Why, one notorious for blunders; where finding on a new piece of old Egyptian granite. Not for blanks only instead of proper names, these blunderthis only do they deserve our thanks, but for ex. ers filled them up at their pleasure. hibiting on the same monument the first specimen

The very hero of the poem hath been mistaken of an edition of an author in marble; where (as to this hour; so that we are obliged to open our may be seen on comparing the tomb with the book) notes with a discovery who he really was. We in the space of five lines, two words and a whole learn from the former editor, that this piece was verse are changed, and it is to he hoped will there presented by the hands of Sir Robert Walpole to fard, and outlait whatever hath been hitherto King George II. Now the author dircaly telle done in paper; as for the future, our learped fil- us, his hero is the man ter university (the other eye of England) is taking care to perpetrate a total new Shakespeare at the

" —who brings Clarendon press.

Bentl. « The Smithfield muses to the car of kings.” It is to be noted, that this great critic also has omitted one circumstance; which is, that the in-And it is notorious who was the person on whom fcription with the name of Shakespeare was in this prince conferred the honour of the laurel. tended to be placed on the marble fcroll to which It appears as plainly from the apostrophe to the he points with his band; instead of which it is great in the third verse, that Tibbald could not be now placed behind bis back, and that specimen of the person, who was never an author in fashion, an edition is put on the scroll, which indeed Shake or caressed by the great ; whereas this single chaspeare hath grcat reason to point at. Anon. racteristic is sufficient to point out the true hero :

Though I have as just a value for the letter E, who, above all other poets of his time, was the as any grammarian living, and the same affe&ion peculiar delight and chosen companion of the nofor the name of this poem as any critic for that of bility of England; and wrote, as he himself tells his authos; yet cannot it induce me to agree with us, certain of his works at the earnest detire oi those who would add yet another c to it, and call persons of quality. it the Dunceiade; which being a French and fo Lastly, the fixth verfe affords full proof: this reign termination, is no way proper to a word en poce being the only one who was universally pirety English, and vețnacular. " Onc c therefore I known'to have had a son so exactly like him, is

REMARKS.

VARIATION.

Say, how the goddess bade Britannia Neep,

Still her old empire to restore he tries, And pour'd her fpirit o'er the land and deep. For, born a goddess, Dulness never dies. In eldest cime, ere mortals writ or read,

Oh thou! whatever title please thine ear, Ere Pallas issu'd from the Thunderer's head, 10 Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver! Dulness o'er all pofsefs'd her ancient right, Whether thou choose Cervantes serious air, Daughter of Chaos and eternal Night:

Or laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair, Fate in their dotage this fair idiot gave,

Or praife the court, or magnify mankind. Gross as her fire, and as her mother grave, Or thy griev'd country's copper chains unbind; Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, and blind,

From thy Bæotia though her power retires, She rul'd, in native anarchy, the mind.

Mourn not, my Swift, at aught our rcalm acquires,
Here pleas'd bchold her mighty wings out-spread

To hatch a new Saturnian age of Lead. his poetical, theatrical, political, and moral capaci Close to those walls whore Folly holds her throne, ties, that it could justly be said of him,

And laughs to think Monroe would take her down,

30 * Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the “ first."

Where o'er the gates, by his fam'd father's hand, BENTL.

Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers ftand; Ver. 1. The mighty motherand her son,&c.] The reader ought here to be cautioned, that the mother, and not the son, is the principal agent of this poems the latter of them is only chosen as her col

Ver. 29–39. Close to those walls, &c.] In the Icague (as was apciently the custom in Rome be- former edition thus : fore fome great expedition), the main action of the poem being by no means the coronation of Where wave the catter'd enligns of Rag-fair, the laureate, which is performed in the very firtt A yawning ruin hangs and nods in air ; book, but the restoration of the empire of Dulness Keen hollow winds howl through the bleak recebe in Britain, which is not accomplished till the last.

Emblem of music caus'd by emptiness : Ver. 2. The Smithfield muses.] Smithfield is

Here in one bed two fhivering lifters lic, the place where Bartholomew fair was kept, The cave of poverty and poetry. whose shows, machines, and dramatical entertain. This, the great mother dearer held than all ments, formerly agreeable only to the taste of the The clubs of Quidouncs, or her uwn Guildhall; sabble, were by the hero of this pocm, and others Here ftood her opium, here the nurs'd her owls, of equal genius, brought to the theatres of Covent and deftind here th' imperial seat of fools. Garden, Lincoln's-inn-fields, and the Hay-market. Hence Spring each weekly muse the living boalt,

&c. to be the reigning pleasures of the court and town. This happened in the reigns of King George I.

Var. Where wave the catter'd enligns of Rag-fair. and Il. See Book üi. Ver. 4. By Dulness, Jove, and Fate :).. e. by where old clothes and frippery are fold.

Rag-fair is a placc near the Tower of London, their judgments, their interests, and their inclinations,

REMARKS. Ver. 15. Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, &c.) 1

Ver. 17. Still her old cmpire to restore) This wonder the learned Scribler us has omitted to advertise the reader, at the opening of this poem, Vide Book iv.

restoration makes the completion of the poem.that Dulness here is not to be taken contractedly for mere stupidity, but in the enlarged senfe of the chair.) The imagery is exquisite; and the egoie

Ver. 22.-laugh and shake in Rabelais' cafy word, for all downess of apprehension, thortness voque in the last words, gives a peculiar elegance of light, or imperfea sense of things. It includes (as to the whole expression. The caly chair suits his we see by the poet's own words) labour, induftry, age : Rabelais' caly chair marks his character; and some degrees of activity and boldness; a ruling

and he filled and possessed it as the right heir and principle not inert, but turning topsy-turvy the

fucceflor of that original genius. understanding, and inducing an anarchy or confufed ftate of mind. This remark ought to be car

Ver. 23. Or praise the court, or magnify man. ried along with the reader throughout the work; Lions of both. The next line relates to the papers

kind.] Ironicè, alluding to Gulliver's representaand without this caution he will be apt to mistake the importance of many of the characters, as well Copper coin in Iceland, which, upon the great dilo

of the Drapier against the currency of Wood's as of the design of the poet. Hence it is, that content of the people, his Majely was graciousy fome bave complained he chooses too mean a subject, and imagined he employs himself like Domi

pleased to recal. kian, in killing fies; whereas those who have the realm acquires.] Ironicè iterum. The politics of

Ver. 26. Mourn not, my Swift! at aught our true key will find he sports with a nobler quarry, and embraces a larger compass; or (as one laith, thought opposite, or interfering with cach other,

England and Ireland were at this time by fome on a like occasion)

Dr. Swift of course was in the interest of the lat. “ Will see his work, like Jacob's ladder rise, cer, our author of the former. * ! le foot in dirt, its head amid the kies." Ver. 31. By bis fam'd father's hand.] Mr. Caiur

BENTL. Gabril Cibber, father of the post-laurcate. The

One cell there is, conceald from vulgar eye, Fierce champion Fortitude, that knows no fears The cave of Poverty and Poetry.

Of hiffes, blows, or want, or loss of ears : Keen

, hollow winds howl through the bleak recess, Calm Temperance, whose blessings those partake Emblem of Music caus'a by Eniptiness.

Who hunger and who thirst for (cribbling fake: Heace bards, like Proteus song in vain ty'd down, Prudence, whose glass presents th' approaching Isape in monsters, and amaze the town.

jail ; Hence miscellanies spring, the weekly boast Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale, Of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric poft : Where, in nice balance, Truch with gold the weighs Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines, 41 And solid pudding against empty praise. Hence Journals, Medleys, Mercurics, Magazines : Here the beholds the Chaos dark and deep, Sepulchral lics, our holy walls to grace,

Where nameless Somethings in their causes deep, And New-year des, and all the Grub-street race, Till genial Jacob, or a warm third day, In clouded majesty here Dulness shone,

Call forth each mass, a poem, or a play ;
Pour guardian virtues, round, fupport her throne: How hints, like spawn, Icarce quick in embryo lieg

How new-born Nonsense firft is taught to cry, 60
Maggots, half-form'd, in rhyme exactly meet,

And learn to crawl upon poetic feet.
VARIATIONS.

Here one poor word an hundred clenches maker,

And ductile Dulness new meanders takes;
Ver. 41. in the former edit.

There motly images her fancy strike,
Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lay,

Figures ill-pair'd, and fimiles unlike. Hence the fost fing-fong on Cecilia's day.

She sees a mob of metaphors advance, Ver. 42. Aludes to the annual songs composed to Pleas'd with the madness of the mazy dance; inzulic on Sc. Cecilia's feast.

How Tragedy and Comedy embrace ;

How Farce and Epic get a jumbled race ;
REMARKS.

How Time himself stands till at her command, to ftatues of the lunatics over the gates of Bed. Realms faift their place, and ocean turns to land ; lam-hospital were done by him, and as the son Here gay Description Egypt glads with showers, jaftly says of them) are no ill monuments of his Or gives to Zembla fruits, to Barca flowers; fame as an artist.

Glittering with ice here hoary hills are seen, Ver. 34. Poverty and Poetry.) I cannot here o- There painted valleys of eternal green, mit a remark that will greatly endear our author in cold December fragrant chaplets blow, to every one, who fall attentively observe that And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow. humanity and candour, which every where ap

All these, and more, the cloud-compelling queen pears in him towards those unhappy objects of the

Beholds through fogs, that magnify the scene. 80 ridicule of all mankind, the bad poets. He here She, tinfelld o'er in robes of varying hues, imputes all scandalous rhymes, fcurrilous weekly With felf-applause her wild creation views; papers, base latteries, wretched elegies, fongs, Secs momentary monsters risc and fall, and verses (even from those sung ac court, to bala And with her own fools colours gilds them all. lads in the treets), pot so much to malice or ser 'Twas on the other day when * * rich and vility as dulness; and not so much to dulness as to grave, Decellity. And thus, at the very commencement Like Cimon triumph'd both on land and wave: of his latire, makes an apology for all that are to be faterized.

Ver. 40. Carll's chaste press, and Linton's ru. bric poft ] Two booksellers, of whom sec Book ii . The former was fined by the Court of King's pily drowned in the voices and instruments. The

every new-year's day, the words of which are hapBench for publishing obscene books ; the latter new-year odes of the hero of this work were of a Wally adorned his Mhop with titles in red letters.

caft diftinguished from all that preceded him, and Ver

. 41. Hence hymoing Tyburn's elegiac lines.] made a conspicuous part of his chara&er as a writer, It is an ancient English custom for the malefactors to which doubtless induced our author to mention fing a Pfalm at their exccution at Tyburn; and no them here so particularly. les customary to print elegies on their deatbs, at

Ver. 45. In clouded majesty here Dulness shone.] the same time, or before.

See this cloud removed, or rolled back, or gatherVer. 43. Sepulchral lies] is a just satire on the ed up to her head, book iv. ver. 17, 18. It is worth Aatteries and falsehoods admitted to be inscribed while to compare this description of the majesty of on the walls of churches, in epitaphs; which oc. Dulness in a face of peace and tranquillity, with cafioned the following epigram :

that more busy scene wbere she mounts the throne " Friend: in your epitaphs, I'm griev'd,

in triumph, and is not so much supported by her "So very much is said ;

own virtues, as by the princely consciousness of * Onc hall will dever be believ'd,

having destroyed all other. " The other never read."

Ver. 57. genial Jacob] Tonson. The famous

race of booksellers of that name. Ver. 44. New-year odes.] Made by the poet Ver. 85, 86. 'Twas on the day, when * * laureate for the time being, to be sung at court on rich and grave-Like Cimon triumph'd] Viz. a

REMARKS.

VARIATIONS.

[ocr errors]

(Pomps without guilt, of bloodlcfsswords and maces, She saw flow Philips creep like Tate's poor page Glad chains, warın furs, broad banners, and broad And all the mighty mad in Deanis' rage. faces)

In each she marks her image full expreft. Now night descending, the proud scene was o'er, But chief in Bays's monster-breeding breast; But liv'd in Settle's numbers one day more. 90 Now mayors and shrieves all hush'd and satiate lay, Yet eat, in dreams, the custard of the day; While pensive poets painful vigils keep,

Ver. 108. But chief in Bays's, &c.] In the former Sleepless themselves, to give their readers sleep. edition, thus, Much to the mindful qucen the feast recalls But chief in Tibbald's monster-breeding breast; What city swans once lung within the walls; Sees gods with dæmons in strange league engage, Much the revolves their arts, their ancient praise, And earth, and heaven, and hell her battles wage. And fure succession down from Heywood's days. She ey'd the bard, where supperless he fate; She saw, with joy, the line immortal run,

And pin'd, unconscious of his riling fate; Each fire imprest and glaring in his fon :

Studious he satc, with all his books around, So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care, Sinking from thought to thought, &c. Each growing lump, and brings it to a bear.

Var. Tibbald.] Author of a pamphlet intituled She saw old Pryn in restless Daniel shine, and Eusden eke out Blackmore's endless line;

Shakspeare restored. During two whole years, while Mr. Pope was preparing his edition of Shakspeare, he published advertisements, requesting as

listance, and promising fatisfa&ion to any who VARIATIONS.

could contribute to its greater perfection. But this Ver. 85. in the former editions.

restorer, who was at that time soliciting favours 'Twas on the day when Thorald rich and grave.] of him by letters, did wholly conceal his design, till Sir George Thorald, Lord Mayor of London, in after its publication (which he was fince not afhamthe year 1720.

ed to own, in a Daily Journal of Nov. 26. 1728): REMARKS.

And then an outcry was made in the prints, that Lord Mayor's day; his name the author had left our author has joined with the bonkleller to raise in blanks, but most certainly could never bc that

an extravagant subscription; in which he had no which the editor foifted in formerly, and which no share, of which he had no knowledge, and against way agreeswith the chronology of the poem.Bentl. which he had publicly advertised his own propo

The proceslion of a Lord Mayor is made partly fals for Homer. Probably that proceeding elevatby land, and partly by water-Cimon, the famous ed Tibbald to the dignity he now holds in this Athenian general, obtained a victory by sea, and

poem, which he feems to deserve no other way another by land, on the same day, over the Per. better than his brethren ; unless we impute it to Gans and Barbarians.

the share he had in the Journals, cited among the Ver. 90. But liv’d, in Settle's numbers, one day Testimonies of Authors prefixed to this work. more.] á beautiful manner of speaking, usual with poets in praise of poetry.

REMARKS. Ibid. But liv'd, in Settle's numbers, one day Ingue of some few oply of his works, which were more.] Settle was poet to the city of London. His very numerous. Mr. Cook, in his Battle of Poets, office was to compose yearly panegyrics upon the faith of him, Lord Mayors, and verses to be spoken in the pageants : But that part of the Mows being at length

“ Eusden, a Jaurell'd bard, by fortune rais'd, frugally abolished, the employment of city poet

“ By very few was read, by fewer prais’d." ceased; so that upon Settle's demise, there was no Mr. Oldmixon, in his Arts of Logic and Rhetoric, successor to that place.

p. 413, 414 affirms, " That of all the Galamatia's Ver. 98. John Heywood, whose interludes were “ he ever met with, pone comes up to some verses printed in the time of Henry VIII.

“ of this poet, which have as much of the ridi. Ver. 103. Old Pryn in restless Daniel] The firtt “ culum and the sustain in them as can well be edition had it.

“ jumbled together, and are of that sort of nonShe saw in Norton all his father shine :

" sense, which fo perfetly confounds all ideas,

“ that there is no diftin&t one left in the mind." a great mistake! for Daniel de Foe had parts, but further he says of him, That he hath propheNorton de Foe was a wretched writer, and never “ fied his own poetry shall be sweeter than Catulattempted poetry. Much more juftly is Daniel « Jas, Ovid, and Tibullus; but we have little himself made fucceffor to W. Pryo, both of whom " hopes of the accomplishment of it from what wrote verscs as well as politics; as appears by the " he hath lately published.” Upon which Mr, poem de Jure Divino, &c. of De Foe, and by fome Oldmixon has not fpared a reflection, " That the lines in Cowley's Miscellanies on the other. Apd “ puccing the laurel on the head of one who writfuch both these authors had a resemblance in their fates “ verses, will give futdrity a very lively idea of the as well as their writings, having been alike sen-“ judgment and justice of those who belowed tenced to the pillory.

“ it.” Ibid. p. 417. But the well known learning of Ver. 104. And Eusden eke out, &c.] Laurence that noble person, who was then Lord Chamberlain, Iusden, poet laurcate, Mr. Jacob gives a cata- | might have screened hiin from this usmannerly

« הקודםהמשך »