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One fell there is, cnnceal'd from vulgar eye,
The cave of poverty and poetry.
Keen, hollow winds howl through the bleak rccesa,
Emblem of music caused hy emptiness.
Heice bards, like Proteus, long in vain tied down,
Escape in monsters^and amaze the town
Hence Miscellanies spring, the weekly boast
Of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post: 4C
Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac jj^fs,
He ice journals, medleys, Mercuries, magazines,,
Sspulehral lies, our holy walls to grace,
And new-year odes, and all the Grub-street race.
Cibhor, father of the poet-laureate. The two statues of Jie lunatic* over the gites of Bedlam-hospital were done by him, miil (as the son justly myt of them) are no ill monuments of his fume its nn artist.
Ver. 3t. Poverty and powtry.] I cannot here omit a remark ttnit will gn-a'ly endear our author lo every one, who shall attentively observe thai humanity and cnulour, whi«:h every where appears in him lowards those unhappy ohjecta of ibe ridicule of all mankind, tlio bad poets. He there imputes all scandalous rhymes, scurrilous weekly papers, baa* flatteries, wretched elegies, songs, and verses (even from those xutig at court, to hallads in the street,) not so much to malice or servility as to dulness, and nut so much to dulness as to necessity. And thus, at the very commencement of Ins satire, makes an apology for all that are To he satirized.
Ver. 40. Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post:i Two booksellers, of whom see Book ii. The former waa flned by the Court of King's Bench for publishing obscene books; the latter usually adorned his shop with titles in raG letters.
Ver. 4I. Hence hymnicg Tyhurn'e elegiac lines.] It is an ancient English custom for the malefactors to sing a psalm at their elocution at Tyburn; and no less customary to print elegies in their deaths, at the same time, or before.
Ver. 43. S'pulehral lies,l is a just satire on the flatteries and falsehoods admitted to be inscribed on the walls of churches, in epitaphs; which occasioned the following epigram:
•Friend! in your epitaphs, I'm grieved
So very much is said:
The other never read.'
Tn clouded majesty here Dulness shone; Four guardian virtues, round, support her thinno. Fierce champion Fortitude, that knows no fears Of hisses, blows, or want, or loss of ears: Calm Temperance, whose blessings those partake. Who hunger and who thirst for scribbling' sake: 50 Prudence, whose glass presents the approaching jail: Poetic Justice, with her lifted scale, Where, in nice balance, truth with gold she weigh*, And solid pudding against empty praise^/
Here she beholds the chaos dark anodeep, Where nameless somethings in their causes sleep, Till genial Jacob, on a warm third day, Calls forth each mass, a poem or a play: How hints, like spawn, scarce quick in embryo lie; How new-born nonsense first is taught to cry. 60 Maggots, half-l'orm'd, in rhyme exactly meet. And learn to ciawl upon poetic feet: Here one pooi word a hundred clenches makes, And ductile Dulness new meanders takes, There motley images her fancy strike, Figures ill-pair'd, and similes unlike. She sees a mob of metaphors advance, Pleased with the madness of the mazy dance,
for the time being, to be sung ut court on every ne*v-y*ar*i day, the words of which are happily drowned in the voi,*et and instrument!. The new-year odes of the hero of this work were of a cast distinguished from all that preceoV-d him, and made n conspicuous part of his character as a writer, which doubtless induced our author to mention than bcre so particularly.
Vor. 45. In clouded majesty here Dulness shone.) Ses this cloud removed or rolled back, or gathered up to her heal, Book iv. ver. I7,IH. It is worth while to compare his description of the majesty of Dulness in a state of peace and tranquillity, with that more busy scene whew she mounts tliethrune in triumph, and is not so much supported by her own virtues, as by tho princely consciousness of harms, desiioyed all other.
Ver. 57. denial Jacob] Tonson. The tenons rise M tasfcssllwi of that name.
How tragedy and comedy embrace;
All these, and more, the cloud-compelling^ueen
'Twos on the day, when * * rich and grave, Like Cimon triumph'd both on land and wave: f Pomps without guilt, of bloodless swords and maces Glad chains, warm furs, broad banners, and broad faces,)
Now night descending, the proud scene was o'er,
Ver. 85, 86. 'Twai on the day, when * * rich and giav* —Like Cimon iriumph'dl Viz. a lord mayor's day; his name the author had left in blanks, but most certainly could □ever he that which the editor foistod in formerly, and which no way agrees with the chronology of the poem.
The procession of a lord mayor is made partly by land and partljrby water. Cimon, the famous Athenian general, eutained a victory by sea, and another by land on the same Bay, over the Perrans-and Barbarism.
Vor. 90. Hut lived, in Settle's numbers, one day more A beautiful mami*. of RBttluf, usual with pasts, in prut*
Much to the mindful queen the feast recalls
Ibid. But lived, in Settle's numbers, one Hay more.] Pottle wus poet to (he city of London. His office was to cum* nose yearly panegyries upon the lord mayors, and verses to bu spoken in the pageants: but that part of the shows being at length frugally abolished, the employment of City-poet ceased ; so that upon Settle's demise, there was Do successor to that place.
Ver. lld. Joha Hey wood, whoso inteiludes were printed In tho time of Henry VIH.
Ver. t03. Old t'ryn in restless Daniel.l The first odiiios had it,
* She saw in Norton all his father shine :* a great mistake! for Daniel de Foe had parts, but Norton de Foe was a wretched writer, and never attempted poetry. Much more justly is Daniel himself, made successor to VV. Pryn, both of whom wrote verses as well as I'olities; as uppears by the poem de Jure Oivmo, &c. of De Foe, and by some lines in Cowley's Miscellanies on (he other. And nth these authors had a resemblance in their fates as well as their writings, having been alike sentenced to the pillory Ver. I04. And Eusden eke out, ice.J Lawrence Kusdun, poet laureate. Mr. Jacob gives a catalogue of some few only of his works, which were very numerous. Mr. Cooko, in his Battle of Poets, saith of him,
'Eusden, a laurcl'd bard by fortune rais'd, By very few was read, by fewer praised.' Hr. Oldmixon, in his Arts of Logic and Rhetoric, p 4I3, 4t4, affirms,i That of all the Galimatias he ever nirt with. Bono comes up to some verses of this poet, which have at much of the ridiculum and the fustian in thern Iis can well bo jumblrd together, and are of that sort of nonsense, which so perfectly confounds all ideas, that there is no distinct ona left in the mind.' Farther he says of him, 'That he hath Vqpbosisd bis own poetry shall be sweetsr than Catullus She saw slow Phillips creep like Tate's poor page
And all :he rnighty mad in Dennis rage.
Or id, ami Tibullus: hut wo have little liope of the arenm plishiueui ul it, from what In- hath lately puhludied,* ('pun which Mi. Oulmixon has not spired a reflection, 'That tint patting the laurel on the head of one who wri; such rerses, wdl give futurity a very lively idea of the judgment Rod justice of those who bestowed ii.' Ibid. p. 4i*. But the well-known learning of that noble person, u liu wan then tot J chamberlain, inigbi have arreened him from this unmannerly n-flection. Nor ought Air. Oldinixon to romplain, '* long after, that the laurel would have bettor become Ins twn brow*,or any other's: il were iuore decent lo acquiesco in th« opinion of the duke of Buckingham Uimmi this inatler: '—In rush'd Fusden, and cried who s h nil have it, But I the true laureate, lo whom the king gave ill* A|ntllo b,-gg'd pardon, and granted liuenaim, But vuw'd that till then he ne'er heurd of hit- nnm«.'
Sesnion of Ports. The iam« pica might nlso serve for hut successor, Mr. Cibber: and U furthrr strengthened io the following epigram made on that occasion:
* In merry Old Knglnnd it once was a rule The king hud his poet, and alio his fuol; But now we're so frugal, I'd have you to know it, Tbut Cibber can seive both fur fool and for poct . Of Blackmore, see Book ii. Of Phillips, Book i. ver. 263, and Book III. prope Jin.
N.thum Tate was pnet laureate, n cold writer of no in* vention ; but sometimes translated tolerably when befriended r}y Mr. Dryden. In his second part of Abeotom and Achilophel lire nhove two hundred admirnhle lines together, of that great hand, which strongly shine through the tnxipidily of the rest. Something parallel may be obserred of anothof author h»rc mentioned.
Ver. I06. And nil the mighty mad in Dennis ntfe.l Mr Tlnobuld, in the Censor, vol. ii. Ne. 'Xi, calls Mr. [tennis by the name of Furiu*. * The modern Fur jus is to be looked upon more as nn object of pity, than of that which he daily provokes, Itiughtor and contempt. Did we roally know how iiyich tins pfior man' jI wish that reflection on poverty and been snaredl 'suffers by Iwing contradicted, or which ia the same tiling in effect, hy hearing another praised; w« ■Iiotild, in compassion sometimes aitend to him wi'h a silent and,and lei him go away* with the triumphs of his ill-csture — Poor Fcrius, (ngain) when any of his contemporaries ere *pokeo wvl l of, qu.uing the ground of the pieseut dispute)