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Maggots half-form'd in rhyme exactly meet,
And learn to crawl upon poetic feet.

Here one poor word an hundred clenches makes,
And ductile Dulness new meanders takes 64 ;
There motley images her fancy strike,
Figures ill-pair'd, and similes unlike.
She sees a mob of metaphors advance,
Pleased with the madness of the mazy
How tragedy and comedy embrace;
How farce and epic get a jumbled race;


How Time himself stands still at her command,
Realms shift their place, and ocean turns to land.
Here gay description Egypt glads with showers,
Or gives to Zembla fruits, to Barca flowers;
Glittering with ice here hoary hills are seen,
There painted valleys of eternal green,
In cold December fragrant chaplets blow,
And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.
All these, and more, the cloud-compelling queen79
Beholds through fogs that magnify the scene.
She, tinsel'd o'er in robes of varying hues,
With self-applause her wild creation views;
Sees momentary monsters rise and fall,
And with her own fools-colours gilds them all.
'Twas on the day when ** rich and grave,
Like Cimon, triumph'd both on land and wave:
(Pomps without guilt, of bloodless swords and


[faces) Glad chains, warm furs, broad banners, and broad


64 And ductile dulness, &c.] A parody on a verse in Garth, canto i.


'How ductile matter new meanders takes.'

the cloud-compelling queen.] From Homer's epithet of Jupiter, νεφεληγερέτα Ζευς.

Now night descending, the proud scene was o'er,
But lived in Settle's numbers one day more9°.
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,
Sleepless themselves to give their readers sleep.
Much to the mindful queen the feast recalls
What city swans once sung within the walls:
Much she revolves their arts, their ancient praise,
And sure succession down from Heywood's days99.
She saw with joy the line immortal run,

Each sire impress'd and glaring in his son:
So watchful Bruin forms, with plastic care,
Each growing lump, and brings it to a bear.
She saw old Prynn in restless Daniel shine, 103
And Eusden eke out Blackmore's endless line,'



90 Settle was poet to the city of London. His office was to compose yearly panegyrics upon the Lord Mayors, and verses to be spoken in the pageants: but that part of the shows being at length frugally abolished, the employment of City-poet ceased; so that upon Settle's demise there was no successor to that place.

98 John Heywood.] Whose interludes were printed in the time of Henry VIII.

103 Daniel De Foe; a writer of considerable merit, who deserved to be placed in better company.

104 And Eusden, &c.] Laurence Eusden, Poet-laureate, Mr. Jacob gives a catalogue of some few only of his works, which are very numerous. Mr. Cooke, in his Battle of Poets, saith of him,

'Eusden, a laurel'd bard, by fortune raised,

By very few was read, by fewer praised.


104 Sir Richard Blackmore; a most voluminous author, both in prose and verse; who, as Dryden expresses it,' writ to the rumbling of his coach wheels."


She saw slow Philips creep like Tate's poor page,"
And all the mighty mad in Dennis rage.
In each she marks her image full express'd,
But chief in Bayes's monster-breeding breast;
Bayes, form'd by Nature stage and town to bless,
And act, and be, a coxcomb with success:
Dulness with transport eyes the lively dunce,
Remembering she herself was pertness once.
Now (shame to Fortune!) an ill run at play
Blank'd his bold visage, and a thin third day:
Swearing and supperless the hero sat, [fate;
Blasphemed his gods, the dice, and damn'd his
Then gnaw'd his pen, then dash'd it on the ground,
Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound!
Plunged for his sense, but found no bottom there,
Yet wrote and flounder'd on in mere despair.
Round him much embryo, much abortion lay,
Much future ode, and abdicated play;
Nonsense precipitate, like running lead,

That slipp'd through cracks and zigzags of the
All that on folly frenzy could beget,

Fruits of dull heat, and sooterkins of wit.
Next o'er his books his eyes began to roll,

In pleasing memory of all he stole ;


How here he sipp'd, how there he plunder'd snug, And suck'd all o'er like an industrious bug.


105 Like Tate's poor page.] Nahum Tate was Poet-laureate ; a cold writer, of no invention: but sometimes translated tolerably when befriended by Mr. Dryden. In his second part of Absalom and Achitophel are above two hundred admirable lines together of that great hand, which strongly shine through the insipidity of the rest. Something parallel may be observed of another author here mentioned.


Here lay poor Fletcher's half-eat scenes, and here
The frippery of crucified Moliere;

There hapless Shakspeare, yet of Tibbald sore,
Wish'd he had blotted for himself before.
The rest on outside merit but presume,
Or serve (like other fools) to fill a room;
Such with their shelves as due proportion hold,
Or their fond parents dress'd in red and gold;
Or where the pictures for the page atone,
And Quarles is saved by beauties not his own.
Here swells the shelf with Ogilby the great; '41
There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines com-
plete: '42

Here all his suffering brotherhood retire,
And scape the martyrdom of jakes and fire:
A gothic library! of Greece and Rome

Well purged, and worthy Settle, Banks, and
Broome. 146


141 John Ogilby was one who, from a late initiation into literature, made such a progress as might well style him the prodigy of his time! sending into the world so many large volumes! His translations 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.'-Winstanley, Lives of


142 The Duchess of Newcastle was one who busied herself in the ravishing delights of poetry; leaving to posterity in print, three ample volumes of her studious endeavours.' Winstanley, ibid. Langbaine reckons up eight folios of her grace's, which were usually adorned with gilded covers, and had her coat of arms upon them.

146 - worthy Settle, Banks, and Broome.] The poet has mentioned these three authors in particular, as they are parallel to our hero in his three capacities: 1. Settle was his brother laureat; only indeed upon half-pay, for the city instead of the court; but equally famous for unintelligible


But, high above, more solid learning shone,
The classics of an age that heard of none;
There Caxton slept, with Wynkyn at his side,"
One clasp'd in wood, and one in strong cow-hide;
There, saved by spice, like mummies, many a year,
Dry bodies of divinity appear:

De Lyra there a dreadful front extends,153
And here the groaning shelves Philemon bends.154
Of these, twelve volumes, twelve of ample size,
Redeem'd from tapers and defrauded pies,
Inspired he seizes: these an altar raise ;
An hecatomb of pure unsullied lays

That altar crowns; a folio common-place
Founds the whole pile, of all his works the base:
Quartos, octavos, shape the lessening pyre,
A twisted birth-day ode completes the spire.


flights in his poems on public occasions, such as shows, birthdays, &c. 2. Banks 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 dressed in a sort of beggar's velvet, or a happy mixture of the thick fustian and thin prosaic; exactly imitated in Perolla and Isidora, Cæsar in Egypt, and the Heroic Daughter. 3. Broome was a serving-man of Ben Johnson, who once picked up a comedy from his betters, or from some cast scenes of his master's, not entirely contemptible.


149 Caxton. A printer in the time of Henry VI. Rich. III. and Henry VII. Wynkyn de Worde, his successor, in that of Henry VII. and VIII.

153 Nich. de Lyra; or Harpsfield, a very voluminous commentator, whose works, in five vast folios, were printed in 1472.

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154 Philemon Holland, doctor in physic, He translated so many books, that a man would think he had done nothing else; insomuch that he might be called Translator General of his age. The books alone of his turning into English, are sufficient to make a country gentleman a complete library.'


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