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.« To Illes of fragrance, lilly-silver'd vales, “ Diffusing languor in the panting gales : “ To lands of singing, or of dancing slaves, “ Love-whisp'ring woods, and lute-resound
“ing waves. “ But chief her Ihrine where naked Venus
“ keeps, “ And Cupids ride the Lion of the Deeps ; " Where, eas'd of Fleets; the Adriatic main " Wafts the smooth Eunuch and enamour'd
« fwain. “Led by my hand, he faunter'd Europe round, “And gather'd ev'ry Vice on Christian
“ ground; “Saw ev'ry Court, heard ev'ry King declare “ His royal Sense, of Op'ra's or the Fair ; “The Stews and Palace equally explor'd, " Intrigu'd with glory, and with spirit
“whor'd; “ Try'd all hors-dæuvres, all liqueurs de
is fin'd, " Judicious drank, and greatly-daring din'd; .“ Dropt the dull lumber of the Latin store, "Spoil'd his own language, and acquir'd no
" more ; “ All Classic learning lost on Classic ground; “ And last turn'd Air, the Echo of a Sound !
“See, to my Country happy I restore “ This glorious Youth, and add one Venus “ more.”
To complete the satire, the goddess is made to receive them graciously, and to bestow on them one of her choicest blessings.
“ Pleas’d, she accepts the Hero, and the Dame, “ Wraps in her Veil, and frees from Sense of
Sense, satire, and poetry were never more happily combined, than in the foregoing defcription.
The goddess is then surrounded by a crowd of Indolents, who are tortured with too much ease, and endure all the pains and penalties of laziness.
To relieve these from their sufferings, an Antiquarian steps forth, intreating the goddess to make them Virtuosos.
Here our author exposes the impositions of the Virtuosi, and the credulity of those who are the dupes of their artifices, in feveral pages of exquisite humour, which are too long for abridgement.
The virtuosi being disposed of, a fantastic troop next present themselves before the Goddess, crowned with weeds of shells, and make offerings of strange whimsical presents, such as a fungus, a toad, a neft, or a flower.
To the care of these Naturalists, the Goddess recommends the lethargic Indolents above-mentioned; adding, that their sleepy brothers may be well employed in the study of Butterflies. Birds-nests, Shells, Moss, &c. "There is a great deal of pleasant ridicule in this recommendation from the Goddess.
“ The mind, in Metaphyfics at a loss,
Dulness, however, cautiously warns her fons still to bufy themselves about trifles, and to confine their researches to fecond causes. In her exclamatory speech to this effect, the poet takes occasion to satirize such trifling investigations of nature, with becoming dignity,
“O! would the fons of Men once think their
" Eyes “ And Reason giv’n them but to study Flies ! * See Nature in some partial narrow shape, “ And let the Author of the Whole escape : « Learn but to trifle; or, who molt observe, " To wonder at their Maker, not to serve."
* Wilkins was one of the firft projectors of the Royal Society, and entertained an extravagant notion of the pollibility of man's flying.
The Goddess has no sooner expressed this favourite wish, than she is addressed by a gloomy Sceptic, who undertakes to relieve Dulness from any apprehensions that her sons will ever apply their thoughts to any useful or extensive views of nature. In this address, the poet has admirably exposed the absurd principles, and deplorable condition, of minute philosophers and freethinkers.
Says the vain-glorious Sceptic“ Let others creep by timid steps, and flow, “ On plain Experience lay foundations low, “ By common sense to common knowledge
" bred, “ And last, to Nature's Cause thro’ Nature led. “ All-feeing in thy mists, we want no guide, “ Mother of Arrogance, and Source of Pride! “ We nobly take the high Priori Road, “ And reason downward, till we doubt of God: “ Make Nature still encroach upon his plan; “ And shove him off as far as e'er we can: “ Thrust some Mechanic Cause into his place; “ Or bind in Matter, or diffuse in Space. “ Or, at one bound o'er-leaping all his laws, “ Make God Man's Image, Man the final
“ Cause, " Find Virtue local, all Relation scorn, “ See all in Self, and but for Self be born: “ Of nought so certain as our Reafon still, “ Of nought so doubtful as of Soul and Will.”
In these excellent lines, which are animated with the most pointed satire, the poet has happily contrived to inculcate the principles of found philosophy and true piety.
The children of Dulness, thus tutored and accomplished, are presented to her in a body by Silenus the Epicurean philosopher, and are the allowed to taste of the cup, which is handed to them by Magus the minister to the Goddess, and which is no sooner tasted, than it occasions a total oblivion of all obligations divine, civil, moral, and rational.
The effects of this cup are described in a vein of exquisite raillery.
- One casts his eyes * Up to a Star, and like Endymion dies : “ A Feather, shooting from another's head, “ Extracts his brain; and Principle is filed; “ Lost is his God, his Country, ev'ry thing ; “ And nothing left but Homage to a King ! “ The vulgar herd turn off to roll with Hogs, “ To run with Horses, or to hunt with Dogs.".
These mysteries being over, Dulness, ever attentive to the welfare of her children, afsigns each to the guidance of a proper conductor. These attendants are humoroully described, under the characters of Impudence, Stupefaction, Self-conceit, Self-intere;t, Pleasure, Epicurism, &c. who apply themselves to the exercise of their several functions.