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“ Kind Self-conceit to some her glass applies,
The poetical imagery in the following lines is exceedingly beautiful, and the sentiment juft.
« On others Int'rest her gay liv'ry Alings,
The rest are represented, with great fpirit and poignancy, in the display of their various offices, by which the sons of Dulness are prepared for the titles and degrees which the goddefs confers
Having thus distinguished them, she bestows her blessing on them; and, in a short speech, the recommends it to them to repair from theory to practice.
“ All my commands are easy, short, and
“ My Sons! be proud, be selfifh, and be
She then particularizes the services she expects from each, and concludes her speech with a yawn of such marvellous efficacy, that it luils and composes all orders of men throughout the
kingdom, and the poem ends with the restoration of Night and Chaos.
The following lines, which are prophetic of this restoration, are at once poetical, philofophical, and pious
• She comes ! she comes! the fable Throne
cc behold “ Of Night primaeval, and of Chaos old! “ Before her, Fancy's gilded clouds decay, “ And all its varying Kain-bows die away. “ Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires, “ The meteor drops, and in a flash expires. “ As one by one, at dread Medea's strain, “ The fick’ning stars fade off th' ethereal
" plain; " As Argus' eyes, by Hermes' wand opprest, u Clos'd one by one to everlasting rest; “ Thus at her felt approach, and secret might, “ Art after Art goes out, and all is Night. “ See skulking Truth, to her old cavern fled, " Mountains of Casuistry heap'd o’er her head !
Philofophy, that lean’d on Heav'n before, “ Shrinks to her focond Cause, and is no more. “ Physic of Metaphysic begs defence, “ And Metaphyfic calls for aid on Sense! " See Mystery to Mathematics fly! " In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and
Religion bluthing veils her facred fires, “ And unawares Morality expires.”
It is to be wished that the poem had concluded with these admirable lines, which convey fo keen and just a censure on the visionary raptures of the late noble author of the Characteristics. The fix fucceeding lines *, which close the piece, are little more than a repetition, or amplification of what was before more forcibly expressed.
But upon the whole, this book may be esteemed as one of the choicest of our author's compositions. The plan of it, as the Editor observes, was artfully contrived to shew that the defects of a fashionable education, naturally led to, and ended in, Free-thinking. This plan is conducted throughout with the true spirit of indignant satire, and with the most glorious and laudable design, which can animate a great geniusThat of advancing the ends of virtue and religion t.
“ Nor public Flame, nor private, dares to fine ;
" And universal Darkness buries All.” + Our author was apprehensive that this fatire on travelJing, virtuosolhip, and freethinking, would rai castorm against him, which he humorously prophecies in a letter to his friend Mr. Bethel.
« One of my amusements has been writing a poem, part " of which is to abuse Iravelling ; you have made me have a “ quarrel to it, even when it was for a good reason, and (! “ hope) will be attended with a good effect, which it rarely " is in the cases I have fatirized it for. I little thought three
It is to be regretted therefore, as has been observed, that the beauties of this book, should be lavished to adorn a poem, which has personal satire for its chief object.
The insignificant dunces and malevolent critics exposed in this piece, are falling into oblivion; and when their characters are wholly forgotten, the Dunciad will become in a great degree uninteresting.
Even the hero of the poem, who with matchless effrontery, affected to be insensible to just reproof, is now scarcely remembered ; fo tranfient is the memory of pertness and vanity.
It is to be wished, that our author had never descended to have bestowed so much attention on an object fo unworthy of his pen, and on phon the most pointed and just satire could produce so little good effcct.
Cibber was in his nature incorrigible. He was endued with so little nice sensibility and
“ months ago to have drawn the whole polite world upon “ me (as I formerly did the Dunces of a lower fpecies) as I “ certainly shall, whenever I publish this poenl. “ of Virtuofi, Medalists, Ciceroni, Roval Society.men, 66 Schools, Universities, even Florists, Free-thiokers, and “ Free-malons, will encompass me with fury : It will be " once more concurrere bellum atque virum. But a good con- fcience, a bold fpirit, a zeal for truth, at whatsoever ex. “ pence, of whatever pretenders to science, or of all impo“ fition, either literary, moral, or poetical, these aninitud o me, and there will support me."
moral delicacy, that so far from blushing at the detection of his vices and follies, the perfection of his abilities consisted in making them the instruments, by which he attracted the notice of mankind.
It is not to be wondered, that a man thus totally exempt from all sense of shame, and whose highest vanity was to divert the rabble, should gain a contemptible party of laugher's on his side.
This Cibber did. To the force of keen satire and poignant ridicule, he opposed licentious ribaldry, and pitiful buffoonery * But though
* The just contempt in which Mr. Pope held the author of this ribaldry, appears in one of his letters to Mr. Bethel, where, speaking of the Dunciad, he says
“ That poem has not done me, or my quiet, the leaft so harm, only it provoked Cibber to write a very foolish and " impudent letter ; which I have no cause to be forry for; so and perhaps next winter 1 fhall be thought to be glad of: “ but I lay in my claim to you, to testify for me, that if he “ should chance to die before a new and improved edition " of the Dunciad comes out, I have already actually written, “ (before, and not after his death) all I thall ever say about $i him."
He farther expresses his contempt of the Laureat, though in a more jocular manner, in another letter to the fame Gentleman, died from Bath, where a ce: tain princess at that time refided.
" Cibber,” says he, « is here to celebrate her; and he as writes his verses now, in fush a manner, that no body s can use them as they were wont to do; for no body will, son certain occasions, use a fine of glas."