« PreviousContinue »
grees it should be brought to her Empire. Some of the persons he causes to pass in review before his eyes, describing each by his proper figure, character, and qualifications. On a sudden the Scene shifts, and a vaft number of miracles and prodigies appear, utterly surprizing and unknown to the King himself, 'till they are explained to be the wonders of his own reign now commencing. On this subject Settle breaks into a congratulation, yet not unmixed with concern, that his own times were but the types of these. He prophesies how first the nation shall be over-run with Farces, Operas, and Shows; how the Throne of Dulness shall be advanced over the Theatres, and set up even at Court: then how her Sons shall prefide in the seats of Arts and Sciences: giving a glympse, or Pisgah-light of the future Fulness of her Glory, thé accomplishment whereof is the subject of the fourth and last book.
BUT in her Temple’s last recess inclos’d,
On Dulness' lap th' Anointed head repos'd.
And now, on Fancy's easy wing convey’d, The King descending, views th’ Elysian Shade. A lip-shod Sibyl + led his steps along,
15 In lofty madness meditating fong;
R E M A R K S. * VER. 5, 6, etc.) Hereby is intimated that the following Vision is no more than the chimera of the dreamer's brain, and not a real or intended Latire on the present age, doubtless more learned, more eniightened, and more abounding wiih great Geniuses in Divinity, Politics, and whatever Arts and sciences, than all the preceding. For fear of any such mistake of our Port's honest meaning, he hath again, at the end of the Vision, repeated this monition, faying that it all passed through the It'ory gate, which (according 'o the Ancients) denoteth Fallity.
SCRIBL. How much the good Scriblerus was mistaken, may be seen from the fourth Book, which, it is plain from hence, he had never seen. BENTL.
+ This allegory is extremely jest, no conformation of the mind so much futjecting it to real Madress, as that which produces rcal Duiness. Hence we find the religious (as well as the pocrica!) Enthusiasts of all ages were
Her treffes staring from poetic dreams,
ever, in their natural state, most beavy and lumpish; but on the least application of beat, they ran like lead, which of all metals falls quickest icca fusion. Whereas fire in a Genius is truly Promethean, it hurts not its conRituent parts, but only fits it (as it does well tempered steel) for the necefsary impressions of art.
But the common people have been taught (I do not know on what foundation) to regard Lunacy as a mark of Wir, just as the Turks and our modern Methodills do of Holiness. But if the cause of Mado. ness assigned by a great Philosopher be true, it will unavoidably fall upon
the dunces. He fuppofes it to be the dwelling over long on one subject or idea. Now as this attention is occasioned either by grief or ftudy, it will be fixed by Dulness; which hath not quickness enough to comprehend what it seeks, nor force and vigour enough to divert the imagination from the object it laments.
* John Taylor the Water.poet, an honest man, who owns he learned not so much as the Accidence: A rare example of modesty in a poct !
" I must confess I do want eloquence,
“ I there was gravel'd, could no farther get. He wrote fourscore books in the reign of James 1. and Charles I. and aftere wards (like Edward Ward) kept an Alzhouse in Long Acre. He died in 1654.
+ A country gentleman, famous for his own bad poetry, and for patronizing bad poets, as may be seen from many Dedica'ions of Quarles and others to him. Some of these anagram'd his name Benlowes into beneuolus : tu verify which, he spent his whole estate upon them.
| Shadwell took opium for many years, and died of too large a dose, in the year 1692.
| Barius was an ancient poet, celebrated by Virgil for the like cause as Bays by our author, though not in so christian like a manner : for heathen. ishly it is declared by Virgil of Eavius, that he ought to be hared and detested for his evil works ; Qui Bavium non odit ; whereas we have often had occa. Sion to observe our post's great Good Nature and Mercifulne's thro' the whole course of this posm.