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“Hic cæstus artemque repono." It appears from hence, that this is not the name of a real person, but fictitious. More from mūpos, stultus, uwpia, stultitia, to represent the folly of a plagiary. Thus Erasmus, Admonuit me Mori cognomen tibi, quod tam ad Moriæ vocabulum accedit quam es ipse a re, alienus. Dedication of Moriæ Encomium to Sir Tho. More, the farewell of which may be our author's to his plagiary, Vale, More! et moriam tuam graviter defende. Adieu, Moore ! and be sure strongly to defend thy own folly.—SCRIBLERUS.
[Curll states that Lintot gave a hundred guineas for the copyright of “ The Rival Modes,” published in 1727. James Moore was the son of Arthur Moore, Esq., M.P., of Fetcham, county of Surrey. There was a distinguished financier and political economist, Arthur Moore, one of the lords commissioners of trade, to which he was appointed in 1710. This Arthur Moore was a brother of the Earl of Drogheda. His son, probably the object of Pope's satire, was educated at Worcester College, Oxford, and held, jointly with his brother, the office of Paymaster to the band of Gentlemen Pensioners. Moore took the name of Smythe, as heir to his maternal uncle, a Mr. Smythe, of Gloucester-street, from whom he derived a considerable fortune. He had been early acquainted with the Blount family, at Maple-Durham, and was a favoured correspondent of the young ladies. This gave pungency to Pope's satire, and inveteracy to his hatred. Smythe had twice crossed his path, and stung him both as a lover and a poet. He had stolen both his mistress and his verses! Teresa probably retained her regard for her old correspondent, but Pope was triumphant with Martha. James Moore Smythe died October 18, 1734.]
CURLL AND THE COURT POEMS. Ver. 58. Dauntless Curll !] We come now to a character of much respect, that of Mr. Edmund Curll. As a plain repetition of great actions is the best praise of them, we shall only say of this eminent man, that he carried the trade many lengths beyond what it ever before had arrived at, and that he was the envy and admiration of all his profession. He possessed himself of a command over all authors whatever; he caused them to write what he pleased; they could not call their very names their own. He was not only famous among these : he was taken notice of by the state, the church, and the law, and received particular marks of distinction from each.
It will be owned that he is here introduced with all possible dignity: he speaks like the intrepid Diomed : he runs like the swift-footed Achilles : if he falls, 'tis like the beloved Nisus ; and (what Homer makes to be the chief of all praises) he is favoured of the gods; he says but three words, and his prayer is heard ; a goddess conveys it to the seat of Jupiter; though he loses the prize, he gains the victory; the great mother herself comforts him, she inspires him with expedients, she honours him with an immortal present (such as Achilles receives from Thetis, and Æneas from Venus) at once instructive and prophetical: after this he is unrivalled and triumphant.
The tribute our author here pays him is a grateful return for several
unmerited obligations. Many weighty animadversions on the public affairs and many excellent and diverting pieces on private persons, has he given to his name. If ever he owed two verses to any other, he owed Mr. Curll some thousands. He was every day extending his fame, and enlarging his writings: witness innumerable instances; but it shall suffice only to mention the Court Poems, which he meant to publish as the work of the true writer, a lady of quality; but being first threatened, and afterwards punished for it by Mr. Pope, he generously transferred it from her to him, and ever since printed it in his name. The single time that ever he spoke to Curll was on that affair, and to that happy incident he owed all the favours since received from him. So true is the saying of Dr. Sydenham," that any one shall be, at some time, or other, the better or the worse, for having but seen or spoken to a good or bad man."
[Curll made a characteristic reply to this charge :-"You very well know, sir, that in the year 1717, when the Court Poems (viz. the Basset Table, the Toilet, and the Drawing Room) were published, upon your sending for me to the Swan Tavern, in Fleet Street, in company with Mr. Lintot, and inquiring. into the publication of that pamphlet, I then frankly told you that those pieces were by Mr. Joseph Jacobs, a Dissenting teacher, given to Mr. John Oldmixon, who sent the same to be published by Mr. James Roberts, in Warwick Lane, and that my neighbour, Mr. Pemberton, and myself, had each of us a share with Mr. Oldmixon in the said pamphlet. For this you were pleased to treat me with half-a-pint of canary, antimonially prepared; for the emetic effects of which it has been the opinion of all mankind you deserved the stab. My purgation was soon over, but yours will last (without a timely repentance) till, as the ghost says in Hamlet, with all your imperfections on your head, you are called to your account, and your offences purged by fire.” Preface to second vol. of Pope's Correspondence. This ludicrous story of the prepared wine and purgation was exactly what the Scriblerus wits wanted, and Pope rned it to good account in his clever, but coarse satire, the Account of the Poisoning of Edmund Curll.” The Court Poems are now included in the works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.]
Ver. 70. Curll's Corinna.] This name, it seems, was taken by one Mrs. T-, who procured some private letters of Mr. Pope's, while almost a boy, to Mr. Cromwell, and sold them without the consent of either of those gentlemen to Curll, who printed them in 12mo, 1727. He discovered her to be the publisher, in his Key, p. 11. We only take this opportunity of mentioning the manner in which those letters got abroad, which the author was ashamed of as very trivial things, full, not only of levities, but of wrong judgments of men and books, and only excusable from the youth and inexperience of the writer.
[Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas was first styled Corinna by Dryden. Curll pub
lished some poems written by her, and two volumes of letters that passed between her and a Mr. Gwynnet. Pope, in his young and gay days, was intimate with this woman, who certainly possessed some literary talent, and was, at one time, much in favour with wits and nobles. Her history conveys the usual moral. Deserted by all her admirers, Corinna was thrown into prison for debt, and, after lingering there for some time, she obtained her release, and took a small lodging in Fleet Street, where she died Feb. 3, 1730, aged 56.]
POVERTY OF POETS-UNPAID TAILORS. Ver. 118. That suit an unpaid tailor snatch'd away.] This line has been loudly complained of in Mist, June 8, Dedic. to Sawney and others, as a most inhuman satire on the poverty of poets; but it is thought our author would be acquitted by a jury of tailors. To me this instance seems unluckily, chosen; if it be a satire on any body, it must be on a bad paymaster, since the person to whom they have here applied it was a man of fortune. Not but poets may well be jealous of so great a prerogative as non-payment, which Mr. Dennis so far asserts, as boldly to pronounce that “if Homer himself was not in debt, it was because nobody would trust him."--Pref. to Rem. on the Rape of the Lock, p. 15.
OBSCURE POETS AND PUBLISHERS.
Ver. 125. Mears, Warner, Wilkins run : delusive thought !1
Breval, Bond, Besaleel, the varlets caught.2
He grasped an empty Joseph for a John. These authors being such whose names will reach posterity, we shall not give any account of them, but proceed to those of whom it is necessary.-Besaleel Morris was author of some satires on the translators of Homer, with many other things printed in newspapers.-“Bond writ satire against Mr. P- Captain Breval was author of The Confederates, an ingenious dramatic performance to expose Mr. P., Mr. Gay, Dr. Arb., and some ladies of quality," says Curll, Key, p. 11.
1 Booksellers, and printers of much anonymous stuff.
? I foresee it will be objected from this line, that we were in an error in our assertion on ver. 50 of this book, that More was a fictitious name, since these persons are equally represented by the poet as phantoms. So at first sight it may seem! but be not deceived, reader, these also are not real persons. 'Tis true, Curll declares Breval, a captain, author of a piece called The Con. federates; but the same Curll first said it was written by Joseph Gay. Is his second assertion to be credited any more than his first? He likewise affirms Bond to be one who writ a satire on our poet : but where is such a satire to
be found ? where was such a writer ever heard of? As for Besaleel, it carries forgery in the very name; nor is it, as the others are, & surname. Thou mayest depend upon it, no such authors ever lived: all phantoms.—SCRIBLERUS.
8 Joseph Gay, a fictitious name, put by Curll before several pamphlets, which made them pass with many for Mr. Gay's. It was a common practice of this bookseller to publish vile pieces of obscure hands under the names of eminent authors.
[John Durant Breval, was son of Dr. Breval, prebendary of Westminster, and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He wrote a poetical epistle to Addison, a poem on Calpe, or Gibraltar, with several dramatic pieces, and two volumes of travels in folio. Breval had served in Flanders under Marlborough, who gave him his captain's commission, and employed him in several negotiations. He died in 1739. Curll was indignant at the question as to Bond's identity. “ Thou askest where was such a writer as Bond ever heard of? Take this answer : he hath published an additional (ninth) volume to the Spectator : a new version of Tasso hath he attempted: an original poem called Buckingham House (after the manner of Cooper's Hill) did he inscribe to the late Duke, who told him that the said poem would last much longer than the building it praised.” (Curliad, 1729.) Both house and poem have long since disappeared.]
COOKE AND CONCANEN.
Ver. 138. Cooke shall be Prior and Concanen Swift.] The man here specified (Cooke) writ a thing called The Battle of Poets, in which Phillips and Welsted were the heroes, and Swift and Pope utterly routed. He also published some malevolent things in the British, London, and Daily Journals; and at the same time wrote letters to Mr. Pope, protesting his innocence. His chief work was a translation of Hesiod, to which Theobald writ notes and half. notes, which he carefully owned. In the first edition of this poem there were only asterisks in this place, but the names were since inserted, merely to fill up the verse, and give ease to the ear of the reader.
(Theobald did not“ carefully own” the notes and half-notes which he contributed to Cooke's translation of Hesiod, 1728. Cooke, in his postscript to the work, says he, had distinguished the remarks of his friends from his own; “lest by a general acknowledgment only,” he adds, “such errors as I may have possibly committed should, by the wrong guess of some, be unjustly imputed to them.” In the early editions, Pope gave in a note this epigram on Theobald :
“ 'Tis generous, Tibbald, in thee and thy brothers,
To help us thus to read the works of others.
Cooke wrote several dramatic pieces, poems, and translations. He also conducted the weekly journal called the Craftsman, which had previously been under the charge of Amherst. He was a man of considerable talents and learning, much esteemed by his friends, but careless and irregular in his life. He seems, like many of his contemporaries, to have imputed Pope's enmity in part to the ill offices of Savage, whom he calls the “Spy.” To Matthew Concanen (who was appointed Attorney-General of Jamaica) Cooke was strongly attached, and honoured his memory with the following lines, which afford a favourable specimen of his versification. The influence of Pope on the poetry of his age is visible in these lines :
' Friendship, begun in unexperienced youth,
You've gained a fair-deserved a lasting name.” Cooke was born in 1702, at Braintree, in Essex; was some time in the family of the Earl of Pembroke; came to London in 1722; and followed a literary life till his death, in 1756.]
Ver. 140. And we too boast our Garth and Addison.] Nothing is more remarkable than our author's love of praising good writers. He has in this very poem celebrated Mr. Locke, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. Barrow, Dr. Atterbury, Mr. Dryden, Mr. Congreve, Dr. Garth, Mr. Addison-in a word, almost every man of his time that deserved it; even Cibber himself (presuming him to be the author of the Careless Husband). It was very difficult to have that pleasure in a poem on this subject, yet he has found means to insert their panegyric, and has made even Dulness out of her own mouth pronounce it. It must have been particularly agreeable to him to celebrate Dr. Garth, both as his constant friend, and as he was his predecessor in this kind of satire. The Dispensary attacked the whole body of apothecaries, a much more useful one undoubtedly than that of the bad poets; if in truth this can be a body, of which no two members ever agreed. It also did what Mr. Theobald says is unpardonable, drew in parts of private character, and introduced persons independent of his subject. Much more would Boileau have incurred his