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They are driven off by a band of young gentlemen Tea turned from Travel with their Tutors; one of whom delivers to the Goddess, in a polite oration, an account of the whole Conduct and Fruits of their Tra els: presenting to her at the same time a young Nobleman perfectly accómplished. She receives him graciously, and indues him with the happy quality of Want of Shame. She sees loitering about her a number of Indolent Persons abandona ing all business and duty, and dying with laziness : To these approaches the Antiqúary Annius, intreating her to inake them Virtuosos, and assign them over to him : But Mummius, another Antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, she finds a method to reconcile their difference. Then enter'a Troop of people fantastically adorned, offering her strange and exotic presents : Amongst them, one stands forth and demands juftice on another, who had deprived him of one of the greatest Curiosities in nature : but he justifies himself so well, that the Goddess gives them both her approbation. She tecommends to them to find proper employment for the Indolents before-inentioned, in the study of Butterflies, Sbells, Birds-nells, Möss, etc. but with particular caution, not to proceed beyond Trifles, to any useful or extenfive views of Nature, or of the Author of Nature. Against the last of these apprehensions, she is secured by a hearty Address from the Minute Philosophers and Freethinkers, one of whom speaks in the name of the rest. The Youth thus instructed and principled, are delivered to her in a body, by the hands of Silenus; and then admitted to taste the Cup of the Magus her High Priest, which causes a total oblivion of all Obligations, divine, civil, moral, or rational. To these her Adepts she sends Priests, Attendants, and Comforters, of various kinds; confers on them Orders and Degrees; and then dismiffing them with a speech, confirming to each his Privileges, and telling what she expects from each, concludes with a Yawn of extraordinary virtue : The Progress and Effects whereof on all Orders of men, and the Confummation of all, in the Restoration of Night and Chaos, conclude the Poem.
Β Ο Ο Κ
YET, yet a moment, one dim Ray of Light
Indulge dread Chaos, and eternal Night + !
5 To whom Time bears me on his rapid wing ll VOL. II.
R E M A R K S.
This book may properly be distinguished from the former, by the Name of the GREATIR DUNCIAD, not so indeed in Size, but in subject; and fo far contrary to the distinction anciently made of the Greater and Leffer Iliad. But much are they mistaken who imagine this work in any wise inferior to the former, or of any other hand than of our Poet ; of which I am much more certain than that the Iliad itself was the Work of Solomon, or the Ba. frechomomachia of Homer, as Barxes hath affirmed.
Bent. * This is an Invocation of much Piery. The Poet willing to approve himself a genuine Son, beginneth by shewing (what is ever agreeable 10 Dulness) his high respect for Antiquity and a Great Family, how dead or dark foever : Next declareth his passion for explaining Mysteries; and lastly his Impatience to be re-united to her.
SCRIBL. + Invoked, as the Restoration of their Empire is the Action of the Poem.
# This is a great propriety, for a duli Poet can never express himself otherwise than by balves, or imperfectly.
SCRIBL. I understand it very differently; the Author in this work had indeed a deep Intent ; there were in it Mysteries or årröppure which he durst not fully reveal, and doubtless in divers verses (according to Milton) more is meant than meets the ear.
BENT. || Fair and softly, good Poet! (cries the gentle Scriblcrus on this place.) For sure, in spite of his unusual modetty, he hall not travel so fast toward Oblivion, as divers others of more Confidence have done: for when I re'volve in my mind the Catalogue of those who have most boldly promised to themselves Immortality, viz. Pirdar, Luis Gongora, Ronsard, Oldham, Lyrics ; Lycopbror, Statius, Cbapman, Blackmore, Heroics ; I find the one half to be
Suspend a while your Force inertly strong *
Now flam'd the Dog-star's unpropitious ray,
already dead, and the other in utter darkness. But it becometh pot us, who has taken up the office of his Commentator, to suffer our Poet thus prodigally to cart away his life ; contrariwise, the more hidden and abstruse is his work, and the more remote its beauties from common Understanding, the more is it our duty to draw forth and exalt the same, in the face of Men and Angels. Herein fhall we imitate the laudable Spirit of those, who have (for this very reason) delighted to comment on dark and uncouth Authors, and even on their darker Fragments; preferred Ennius, to Virgil, and chosen to turn ihe dark Lanthorn af LYCOPHRON, rather than to trim the everlafling Lamp of Homer.
SCRIBL.. Alluding to the Vis inertia of Matter, which, though it really be no Power, is yet the Foundation of all the Qualities and Attributes of that Huggish Substance.
+ The Poet introducesh this (as all great events are supposed by fage His. torians to be preceded) by an Eclipse of ibe Sun ; but with a peculiar propric. ty, as the Sun is the Emblem of that intellectual light which dies before the face of Dulness. Very apposite likewile is it to make this Eclipse, which is occasioned by the Moon's predominancy, the very time when Dulness and Mad. me's are in Conjunétion; whose relation and infuence on each other the poet hath fewn in many places, Book i, ver. 29. Bopk iii. ver. 5. & feq.
| The two great Ends of her Mission ; the one in quality of Daughter of Crays, the other as Daughter of Nigbt. Pider here is to be underhood exo tensively, bo:h as Ciyil and Moral; the distinctions between high and low in Society, and truc and false in ludividuals s Light as Intellectual only, Wit, Science, Arts.
ll The Allegory continued ; dull referring to the extinction of Light or Science; venal to the destruction of Order, and the Truth of Things.
$ In allusion to the Epicurean opinion, that from the Dissolution of the natural World into Night and Chaos a new one should arise; this the Poet alluding 1o, in the Production of a new moşal World, makes it partake of jis original Principles. 6. Dull and repal,
She mounts the Throne : her head a Cloud conceal'd, In broad Effulgence all below reveal'd *, ('Tis thus aspiring Dulness ever shines) Soft on her lap her Laureate son + reclines.
Beneath her footstool I, Science groans in Chains, . And Wit dreads Exile, Penalties and Pains.
M m 2
* It was the opinion of the Antients, that the Divinities manifested themselves to Men by their Back-parts. Virg. Æn. et avertens, rafea cervice reo fulfir. But this paffage may admit of another exposition. - Vet. Adag. the higher pou climb, the more you shew pour a
Verificd in no instance more than in Dulnels aspiring. Emblematize also hy an Ape climbing and exposing his posteriors.
SCRIBL. † With great judgment it is imagined by the Poet, that such a Colleague as Dulness had elected, should seep on the 'Throne, and have
little share in the Action of the Poem. Accordingly he hath done liitle or nothing from the day of his Anointing ; having past thro'the second book without taking part in any thing that was transacted about him; and through the third in profound Sleep. Nor ought this, well considered, co seem strange in our days, when so many King-conforts have done the like.
SCR'BL. This verse our excelient Laureate cook so to heart, that he appealed to all mankind, “ if he was not as feld.m afleep as any fool!” But it is hoped the Poet has not injured him, but rather verified his Prophecy (p. 143, of his own Life, 8vo. ch. ix.) where he says, "sobe reader will be as much pleased in find me a Dunce in my Old Age, as be was to prove me a brilk blockhead in my Youth.” Wherever there was any room for Briskness, or Alacrity of any fort, even in linking, he hath had it allowed; but here, where there is no:hing for him to do but to take his natural relt, he must permit his Historian to be Silent. It is from their a&tions only thit Princes have their character, and Poets from their works: And if in tbose he be as much ajleep as any.10.1, the Poet must leave him and them to sleep so all eternity.
BENTL Ibid. “When I find my Name in the satirical works of this Poet, I ne
ver look upon it as any malice meant to me, but ProFit to himself For " he considers that my Face is more known than most in the nation; and go therefore a Lick at obe Larreare will be a sure bait ad captandum vulgus, 10 os catch little readers." Life of Colley Cibber, ch. ii.
Now if it be certain, that the works of our Poet hare owed their success to this ingenious expedient, we hence derive an unanswerable Argument, that this Fourth DUNCIAD, as well as the former thrce, hath hai chie Author's last hand, and was by him intended for the Press : Or ille lo what
purpose hath he crown d it, as we see, by this finishing ftroke, the profitable Lick atebe Laureale?
BENT. # We are next presented with the pi&tures of those whom the Goddess leads in Captivity. Science is only depressed and confined !, as lo he rendered useless; but Wit or Genius, as a more dangerous and alive enimy, pun
There foam'd rebellious Logic, gagg’d and bound; There, stript, fair Rhet'ric languish'd on the ground; His blunted Arms by Sophistry are born,
25 And shameless Billingsgate her Robes adorn, Morality *, by her false Guardians drawn, Chicane in Furs, and Casuistry in Lawn, Gasps, as they ftraiten at each end the cord, And dies, when Dulness gives her Page + the word. 30 Mad Mathesis 1 alone was unconfin’d, Too mad for mere material chains to bind, Now to pure Space || lifts her extatic ftare, Now running round the Circle, finds it square ş. But held in tenfold bonds the Muses lie,
35 Watch'd both by Envy's and by Flatt'ry's ** eye ;
ilhed, or driven away: Dulness being often reconciled in some degree with Learning, but never upon any terms with Wit. And accordingly it will be seen that she admits something like cach Science, as Casuistry, Sophistry, etc. but nothing like Wit, Opera alone supplying its plaee.
* Morality is the Daughter of Afraa. This alludes to the Mythology of the ancient Pocts; who tells us that in the Gold and Silver ages, or in the State of Nature, the Gods cohabited with men here on earth ; but when by reason of human degeneracy men were forced to have recourse to a Magistrate, and that the Ages of Brass and Iron came on ; (that is, when Laws were wrote on bruzen tablets inforced by the Sword of Justice) the Celestials foon retired from Earth, and Astræa last of all; and then it was she left this her Orphan Daughter in the hands of the Guardians aforesaid. SCRIBL.
# There was a Judge of this name, always ready to hang any man that came before him, of which he was suffered to give a hundred miserable examples during a long life, even to his dotage --Tho' the candid Scriblerus imagined Page here to mean no more than a Page or Mule, and to allude to the custom of strangling State Criminals in Turkey by Mutes or Pages. A pracrice more decent than that of our Page, who before he hanged any one, loaded him with reproachful language.
SCRIBL. † Alluding to the strange Conclusions some Mathematicians have deduced from their principles, concerning the real Quantity of Matter, the Reality of Space, etc.
ol| 1. e. Pure and defæcated from Matter.- Extatic stare, the action of Mex who look about with full alsurance of seeing what does not exist, such as those who expect to find Space a real being. S Regards the wild and fruitless attempts of Squaring the Circle.
One of the misfortunes falling on Authors, from the set for subjecte ing Plays to the power of a Licenfer, being the fallę representations to which