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Foreign her air, her robe's discordant pride
"O Cara! Cara! silence all that train :
*And now had Fame's posterior trumpet blown, And all the nations summon'd to the throne.
Already Opera prepares the way,
The sure forerunner of her gentle sway.' Ver. 54. Let division reign:) Alluding to the false taste of playing tricks in music with numberless divisions, to the ne glect of that harmony which conforms to the sense, and applies to the passions. Mr. Handel had introduced a great number of hands, and more variety of instruments into the orchestra, and employed even drums and cannon to make a fuller chorus; which proved so much too manly for the fine gentlemen of his age, that he was obliged to reinove his mu. sic into Ireland. After which they were reduced, for want of composers, to practice the patch-work above-mentioned
The young, the old, who feel her inward sway,
Nor absent they, no members of her state,
REMARKS. Ver. 76 to 101. It ought to be observed that here are three classes in this asseinbly. The first, of men absolutely and avowedly dull, wbo naturally adhere to the goddess, and are imaged in the simile of the bees about their queen. Tbo second involuntarily drawn to her, though not caring to own ber influence; from ver. 81 to 90. The third, of such as, though not members of her state, yet advance her servico by flattering Dulness, cultivating mistaken talents, patronis. ing vile scribblers, discouraging living merit, or setting up for wits, and mon of taste in arts they understand not; from er. 91 to 101.
There march'd the bard and blockhead side by
side, Who rhym'd for hire, and patroniz'd for pride. Narcissus, prais'd with all a parson's power, Look'd a white lily sunk beneath a shower There mov'd Montalto with superior air; His stretch'd-out arm display'd a volume fair; Courtiers and patriots in two ranks divide, Through both he pass'd, and bow'd from side to side; But as in graceful act, with awful eye, Compos'd he stood, bold Benson thrust him by : 110 On two unequal crutches propt he came, Milton's on this, on that one Johnston's name The decent knight retir'd with sober rage, Withdrew his hand, and clos'd the pompous page; But (happy for him as the times went then) Appear'd Apollo's mayor and aldermen, On whom three hundred gold-capt youths await, To lug the ponderous volume off in state.
When Dulness, smiling— Thus revive the wits ! But murder first, and mince them all to bits ; 120
REMARKS. Ver. 108. --bow'd from side to side:] As being of no one party.
Ver. 110. Bold Benson.) This man endeavoured to raiso himself to fame by erecting monuments, striking coins, setting up heads, and procuring translations of Milton; and afterwards by as great a passion for Arthur Johnston, a Scotch physician's Version of the Psalms, of which he printed many fine editions. See more of him, Book iii. ver. 325.
Ver. 113. The decent knight.] An eminent person who was about to publish a very pompous edition of a great author at his own expense.
Ver. 115, &c.] These four lines were printed in a separate leaf by Mr. Pope in the last edition, which he himself gave, of the Dunciad, with directions to the printer, to put this leaf into its place as soon as Sir T. H.'s Shakspeare should be published.
Ver. 119. "Thus revive,' &c.] The goddess applauds the practice of tacking the obscure names of persons not eminent in any branch of learning, to those of the most distinguished writers; either by printing editions of their works
As erst Medea (cruel, so to save !)
Now crowds on crowds around the goddess press, Each eager to present the first address. Dunce scorning dunce behold the next advance, But fop shows fop superior complaisance.
REMARKS. with impertinent alterations of their text, as in former instances; or by setting up monuments disgraced with their own vile names and inscriptions, as in the latter.
Ver. 128. A page, a grave,] For what less than a grave can be granted to a dead author! or what less than a page can be allowed a living one?
Ibid. A page) Pagina, not pedissequus. A page of a book, not a servant, follower, or attendant; no poet having taa a page since the death of Mr. Thomas Durfey. Scribl.
Ver. 131. So by each bard an alderman, &c.] Vide the Tombs of the Poets, editio Westmonasteriensis.
Ibid. -an alderman shall sit,] Alluding to the monu ment erected for Butler by alderman Barber.
Ver. 132. A heavy lord shall hang at every wit,]. How unnatural an image, and how ill supported! saith Aristarchus. Had it been,
A heavy wit shall hang at every lord something might have been said, in an age soulistinguished for well-judging patrons. For lord, then, read load; that is, of debts here, and of commentaries hereafter. To this purpose, conspicuous is the case of the poor author of Hudibras, whose body, long since weighed down to the grave by a load of debts, has lately had a more unmerciful load of commen
When lo! a spectre rose, whose index-hand
REMARKS. taries laid upon his spirit; wherein the editor has achieved more than Virgil himself, when he turned critic, could boost of, which was only, that he had picked gold out of another man's dung; whereas the editor has picked it out of his own.
Scribl. Aristarchus thinks the common reading right: and that the author himself had been struggling, and but just shaken off his load, when he wrote the following epigram:
My lord complains, that Pope, stark mad with gardens,
But fop shows fop superior complaisance.] This is not to be ascribed so much to the different manner of a court and college, as to the different effects which a pretence to learning and a pretence to wit, have on blockheads. For as judgment consists in finding out the differences in things, and wit in finding out their likenesses, so the dunce is all discord and dissension, and constantly busied in reproving, examining, confuting, &c. while the fop Mourishes in peace, with songs and hymns of praise, addresses, characters, epithalamiums, &c.
Ver. 140. The dreadful wand;] A cane usually borne by schoolmasters, which drives the poor souls about like the wand of Mercury.
Scribl. Ver. 151. Like the Samian letter.1 The letter Y used