« PreviousContinue »
HIS PROLEGOMENA AND ILLUSTRATIONS
DUNCI A D:
HYPERCRITICS OF ARISTARCHUS.
Dennis, Remarks on Pr. Arthur. I CANNOT but think it the most reasonable thing in the world, to distinguish good writers, by discouraging the bad. Nor is it an ill-natured thing, in relation even to the very persons upon whom the reflections are made. It is true, it may deprive them, a little the sooner, of a short profit and a transitory reputation ; but then it may have a good effect, and oblige them (before it be too late) to decline that for which they are so very unfit, and to have recourse to something in which they may be more successful.
Character of Mr. P. 1716. THE Persons whom Boileau has attacked in his writings, have been for the most part Authors, and most of those Authors, Poets : and the censures he hath passed upon them have been confirmed by all Europe.
Gildon, Pref. to his New Rehearsal. It is the common cry of the Poetasters of the town, and their fautors, that it is an ill-natured thing to expose the Pretenders to wit and poetry. The Judges and Magistrates may with full as good reason be reproached with Ill-nature for putting the laws in execution against a thief or impostor—The same will hold in the republic of Letters, if the Critics and Judges will let every ignorant pretender to scribbling pass on the world.
Theobald, Lett. to Mist, June 22, 1728. ATTACKS may
be levelled, either against Failures in Genius, or against the Pretensions of writing without one.
Concanen, Ded. to the Author of the Dunciad. A SATIRE upon Dulness is a thing that has been used and allowed in all
Out of thine own Mouth will I judge thee, wicked Scribbler!
TESTIMONIES OF AUTHORS
OUR POET AND HIS WORKS.
M. SCRIBLERUS Lectori S.
BEFORE we present thee with our exercitations on this most delectable poem (drawn from the many volumes of our Adversaria on modern authors) we shall here, according to the laudable usage of editors, collect the various judgments of the learned concerning our Poet : various indeed, not only of different authors, but of the same author at different seasons. Nor shall we gather only the testimonies of such eminent wits, as would of course descend to posterity, and consequently be read without our collection ; but we shall likewise with incredible labour seek out for divers others, which, but for this our diligence, could never at the distance of a few months appear to the eye of the most curious. Hereby thou mayest not only receive the delectation of variety, but also arrive at a more certain judgment, by a grave and circumspect comparison of the witnesses with each other, or of each with himself. Hence also thou wilt be enabled to draw reflections, not only of a critical but a moral nature, by being