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See, see, our own true Phæbus wears the bays ! 73
Our Midas sits Lord Chancellor of Plays !
On poet's tombs see Benson's titles writ!
Lo! Ambrose Philips is preferr'd for wit!
See under Ripley 74 rise a new White-hall,
While Jones' and Boyle's united labours fall : 75
While Wren with sorrow to the grave descends,76
Gay dies unpension'd with a hundred friends,
Hibernian politics, O Swift! thy fate;
And Pope's, ten years to comment and translate.77


73 [In the edit. of 1729, the passage following this verse stands as fol. lows:

Beneath his reign, shall Eusden wear the bays,
Cibber preside Lord Chancellor of plays,
B * * sole judge of architecture sit
And namby-pamby be preferr'd for wit!
While naked mourns the dormitory wall,
And Jones' and Boyle's united labours fall;

While Wren with sorrow,” &c.] 74 [Ripley the architect. See allusions to him in Moral Essays, iv. 18; and Imitations, Epist. ii. 1, 186.]

75 At the time when this poem was written, the banqueting-house at White-nall, the church and piazza of Covent-garden, and the palace and chapel of Somerset-house, the works of the famous Inigo Jones, had been for many years so neglected, as to be in danger of ruin. The portico of Coventgarden church had been just then restored and beautified at the expense of the Earl of Burlington ; who at the same time, by his publication of the designs of that great Master and Palladio, as well as by many noble buildings of his own, revived the true taste of architecture in this kingdom.

76 [Sir Christopher Wren, in 1718, when he was in his eighty-fifth year, was shamefully deprived of his office of Surveyor of the Royal Works, and other. wise thwarted and annoyed by the administration of the day. He died in 1723, and, as is well known, was buried under the dome of his own magnificent fabric of St. Paul's.] 77 "In the former editions thus:

“O Swift! thy doom, And Pope's, translating three whole years with Broome.” On which was the following Note : "He concludes his irony with a stroke upon himself: for whoever imagines this a sarcasm on the other ingenious person, is surely mistaken. The opinion our author had of him was sufficiently shown by his joining him in the undertaking of the Odyssey; in which Mr. Broome having engaged without any previous agreement, discharged his part so much to Mr. Pope's satisfaction, that he gratified him with the full sum of five hundred pounds, and a present of all those books for which his Proceed, great days !78 till Learning fly the shore, Till Birch shall blush with noble blood no more,

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Till Thames see Eton's sons for ever play,
Till Westminster's whole year be holiday,

own interest could procure him subscribers, to the value of one hundred more. The author only seems to lament, that he was employed in translation at all."

[Broome and Pope quarrelled, and had an angry correspondence on the subject of the translation. In the edition of 1743, the Note is as follows:

“The author here plainly laments that he was so long employed in translating and commenting. He began the Iliad in 1713, and finished it in 1719. The edition of Shakspeare (which he undertook merely because nobody else would) took up near two years more in the drudgery of comparing impressions, rectifying the scenery, &c., and the translation of half the Odyssey employed him from that time to 1725."]

78 It may perhaps seem incredible, that so great a revolution in learning as is here prophesied, should be brought about by such weak instruments as have been described in our poem : but do not thou, gentle reader, rest too secure in thy contempt of these instruments. Remember what the Dutch stories somewhere relate, that a great part of their provinces was once overflowed, by a small opening made in one of their dykes by a single water-rat. However, that such is not seriously the judgment of our poet, but that he conceiveth better hopes from the diligence of our schools, from the regularity of our universities, the discernment of our great men, the accomplishments

Till Isis' elders reel, their pupils sport,
And Alma Mater lie dissolved in port !

Enough! enough! the raptured monarch cries;
And through the Ivory Gate the vision flies.79


of our nobility, the encouragement of our patrons, and the genius of our writers in all kinds (notwithstanding some few exceptions in each), may plainly be seen from his conclusion; where, causing all this vision to pass through the Ivory Gate, he expressly, in the language of poesy, declares all such imaginations to be wild, ungrounded, and fictitious.-Scriblerus.

Another great prophet of dulness, on this side Styx, promiseth those days to be near at hand. “The devil (saith he), licensed bishop, to license masters of schools to instruct youth in the knowledge of the heathen gods, their religion, &c. The schools and universities will soon be tired and ashamed of classics, and such trumpery."Hutchinson's Use of Reason recovered.

79 “Sunt geminæ Somni portæ; quarum altera fertur

Cornea, quâ veris facilis datur exitus umbris;
Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto,
Sed falsa ad cælum mittunt insomnia manes.'


Virg. Æneid, vi.






The poet being, in this Book, to declare the completion of the prophecies

mentioned at the end of the former, makes a new invocation, as the greater poets are wont when some high and worthy matter is to be sung. He shows the goddess coming in her majesty, to destroy order and science, and to substitute the kingdom of the Dull upon earth; how she leads captive the sciences, and silenceth the Muses, and what they be who succeed in their stead; all her children, by a wonderful attraction, are drawn about her, and bear along with them divers others, who promote her empire by connivance, weak resistance, or discouragement of arts, such as half wits, tasteless admirers, vain pretenders, the flatterers of dunces, or the patrons of them ; all these crowd around her; one of them, offering to approach her, is driven back by a rival, but she commends and encourages both. The first who speak in form are the geniuses of the schools, who assure her of their care to advance her cause, by confining youth to words, and keeping them out of the way of real knowledge. Their address, and her gracious answer, with her charge to them and the Universities. The Universities appear by their proper deputies, and assure her that the same method is observed in the progress of education. The speech of Aristarchus on this subject. They are driven off by a band of young gentlemen returned from travel with their tutors: one of whom delivers to the goddess, in a polite oration, an account of the whole conduct and fruit of their travels, presenting to her at the same time a young nobleman perfectly accomplished. She receives him graciously, and endues him with the happy quality of want of shame. She sees loitering about her a number of indolent persons, abandoning all business and duty, and dying with laziness: to these approaches the antiquary Annius, intreating her to make them virtuosos, and assign them over to him. But Mummius another antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, she finds & 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 justice 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 recommends to them to find proper employment for the indolents before men. tioned, in the study of butterflies, shells, birds' nests, moss, &c., but with particular caution not to proceed beyond trifles, to any useful or extensive 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 free-thinkers, 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, dismissing 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 consummation of all, in the restoration of Night and Chaos, conclude the poem.


YET, yet a moment, one dim ray of light

Indulge, dread Chaos, and eternal Night!
Of darkness visible so much be lent,
As half to show, half veil the deep intent.
Ye powers ! whose mysteries restored I sing,
To whom Time bears me on his rapid wing,
Suspend awhile your force inertly strong,
Then take at once the poet and the song.

Now flamed the dog-star's unpropitious ray,
Smote every brain, and wither'd every bay ;
Sick was the sun, the owl forsook his bower,
The moon-struck prophet felt the madding hour :
Then rose the seed of Chaos, and of Night,
To blot out order, and extinguish light,
Of dull and venal a new world to mould,
And bring Saturnian days of lead and gold.



1 The two great ends of her mission; the one in quality of daughter of Chaos, the other as daughter of Night. Order here is to be understood extensively, both as civil and moral; the distinctions between high and low in society, and true and false in individuals: Light, as intellectual only; Wit, science, arts.

2 The Allegory continued; dull, referring to the extinction of light or science; venal, to the destruction of order, or the truth of things.

Ibid. [a new world). In reference 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 to, in the production of a moral world, makes it partake of its original principles.

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