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Glory, and gain, th’ industrious tribe provoke ;
And gentle Dulness ever loves a joke.
A poet's form she placed before their eyes,4
And bade the nimblest racer seize the prize ;


adust and thin,
In a dun night-gown of his own loose skin ;
But such a bulk as no twelve bards could raise, 5
Twelve starveling bards of these degenerate days.
All as a partridge plump, full-fed, and fair,
She form’d this image of well-bodied air ;
With pert flat eyes she window'd well its head;
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead;
And empty words she gave, and sounding strain,
But senseless, lifeless ! idol void and vain !
Never was dash'd out, at one lucky hit,
A fool, so just a copy of a wit ;
So like, that critics said, and courtiers swore,
A wit it was, and called the phantom More.?

All gaze with ardour : some a poet's name,
Others a sword-knot and laced suit inflame.



4 This is what Juno does to deceive Turnus, Æneid x.

“Tum Dea nube cava, tenuem sine viribus umbram

In faciem Æneæ (visu mirabile monstrum!)
Dardaniis ornat telis, clypeumque jubasque
Divini assimilat capitis-

-Dat inania verba

Dat sine mente sonum." The reader will observe how exactly some of these verses suit with their allegorical application here to a plagiary. There seems to me a great propriety in this episode, where such an one is imagined by a phantom that deludes the grasp of the expecting bookseller.

5 “ Vix illud lecti bis sex-
Quali nunc hominum producit corpora tellus.”

Virg. Æneid. xii. 6 Our author here seems willing to give some account of the possibility of Dulness making a Wit (which could be done no other way than by chance). The fiction is the more reconciled to probability, by the known story of Apelles, who being at a loss to express the form of Alexander's horse, dashed his pencil in despair at the picture, and happened to do it by that fortunate stroke.

7 [James Moore Smythe. See Life of Pope, prefixed to this edition, and Notes to Dunciad.]



But lofty Lintot in the circle rose : :8
“ This prize is mine ; who tempt it are my foes ;
With me began this genius, and shall end.”
He spoke : and who with Lintot shall contend ?

Fear held them mute. Alone, untaught to fear,
Stood dauntless Curll ; “Behold that rival here !
The race by vigour, not by vaunts, is won ;
So take the hindmost, Hell."9 He said, and run.
Swift as a bard the bailiff leaves behind, 10
He left huge Lintot, and outstripp’d the wind.
As when a dab-chick waddles through the copse
On feet and wings, and flies, and wades, and hops ;
So labouring on, with shoulders, hands, and head, 11
Wide as a windmill all his figure spread,
With arms expanded Bernard rows his state,
And left-legg'd Jacob seems to emulate.12



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8 We here enter upon the episode of the booksellers,-persons whose names, being more known and famous in the learned world than those of the authors in this poem, do therefore need less explanation. The action of Mr. Lintot here imitates that of Dares in Virgil, rising just in this manner to lay hold on a bull. This eminent bookseller printed the Rival Modes before mentioned. “Occupet extremum scabies; mihi turpe relinqui est.”

Hor. de Arte. 10 Something like this in Homer, Il. x. ver. 220, of Diomed. Two differ. ent manners of the same author in his similes, are also imitated in the two following: the first, of the bailiff, is short, unadorned, and (as the critics well know) from familiar life; the second, of the water-fowl, more extended' picturesque, and from rural life. The 59th verse is likewise a literal translation of one in Homer.

“So eagerly the fiend
O'er bog, o'er steep, through straight, rough, dense, or rare,
With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues


way, And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.”—Milton, book ii. 12 [That is, Jacob Tonson, to whom Dryden, on being refused the price asked for his Virgil, sent the following verses :

"With leering look, bull-faced, and freckled fair,
With two left legs, with Judas.coloured hair,

And frowzy pores, that taint the ambient air;" adding to the messenger, “Tell the dog, that he who wrote them can write more.” The money was paid accordingly. The couplet before us stood thus in a former edition,

“With legs expanded Bernard urged the race,
And seem'd to emulate great Jacob's pace.”—Wakefield.]




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Full in the middle way there stood a lake
Which Curll's Corinna 13 chanced that morn to make :
(Such was her wont, at early dawn to drop
Her evening cates before his neighbour's shop)
Here fortuned Curll to slide ; loud shout the band,
And Bernard ! Bernard ! rings through all the Strand.
Obscene with filth the miscreant lies bewray'd,14
Fallen in the plash his wickedness had laid :
Then first (if poets aught of truth declare)
The caitiff vaticide conceived a prayer.

Hear, Jove! whose name my bards and I adore.
As much at least as any god's, or more ;
And him and his, if more devotion warms,
Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's arms.15

A place there is, betwixt earth, air, and seas, 16
Where, from Ambrosia, Jove retires for ease.
There in his seat two spacious vents appear,
On this he sits, to that he leans his ear,
And hears the various vows of fond mankind ;
Some beg an eastern, some a western wind :
All vain petitions, mounting to the sky,
With reams abundant this abode supply;
Amused he reads, and then returns the bills
Sign'd with that ichor which from gods distils.17



18 (Mrs. Thomas. See Notes.]

14 Though this incident may seem too low and base for the dignity of an Epic poem, the learned very well know it to be but a copy of Homer and Virgil ; the very words óvôos and fimus are used by them, though our poet (in compliance with modern nicety) has remarkably enriched and coloured his language, as well as raised the versification, in this episode, and in the following one of Eliza.

15 The Bible, Curll's sign; the Cross Keys, Lintot's. 16 See Lucian's Icaro-Menippus; where this fiction is more extended :

“ Orbe locus medio est, inter terrasque, fretumque,

Cælestesqne plagas.”—Ovid, Met. xii. 17 Alludes to Homer, Iliad y.

ρέε δ' αμβροτον αίμα θέoιο,
Ιχώρ, οίος πέρ τε ρέει μακάρεσσι θεοίσιν.
A stream of nect'rous humour issuing flow'd,
Sanguine, such as celestial sp'rits may bleed."-Milton.

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In office here fair Cloacina 18 stands,
And ministers to Jove with purest hands.
Forth from the heap she pick'd her votary's prayer,
And placed it next him, a distinction rare!
Oft had the goddess heard her servant's call,
From her black grottos near the Temple-wall,
Listening delighted to the jest unclean
Of link-boys vile, and watermen obscene;
Where as he fish'd her nether realms for wit,
She oft had favour'd him, and favours yet.
Renewd by ordure's sympathetic force,
As oild by magic juices for the course, 19
Vigorous he rises; from the effluvia strong
Imbibes new life, and scours and stinks along;
Repasses Lintot, vindicates the race,
Nor heeds the brown dishonours of his face.20

And now the victor stretch'd his eager hand
Where the tall Nothing stood, or seem'd to stand ;
A shapeless shade, it melted from his sight,21
Like forms in clouds, or visions of the night.
To seize his papers, Curll, was next thy care;
His papers light, fly diverse, toss'd in air ;
Songs, sonnets, epigrams, the winds uplift,
And whisk them back to Evans, Young, and Swift.23
The embroider'd suit at least he deem'd his prey,
That suit an unpaid tailor snatch'd away.







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18 The Roman goddess of the common sewers.

19 Alluding to the opinion that there are ointments used by witches, to enable them to fly in the air, &c.

“ faciem ostentabat, et udo
Turpia membra fimo."-Virg. Æneid. v.

Effugit imago
Par levibus ventis, volucrique simillima somno.”—Virg. Æneid. vi.
“ Carmina-
turbata volent rapidis ludibria ventis.”—

Virg. Æneid. vi. of the Sibyl's leaves.
28 Some of those persons whose writings, epigrams, or jests he had owned.

[Dr. Evans was of St. John's College, Oxford; author of the Apparition, and of an Epistle to Bobart the botanist, entitled Vertumnus. He was a man of remarkable wit and vivacity, and many of his repartees were long remembered and repeated at Oxford. The Apparition was a satire on Tindal. -Warton.]

No rag, no scrap, of all the beau, or wit,
That once so flutter'd, and that once so writ.


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Heaven rings with laughter : of the laughter vain,
Dulness, good queen, repeats the jest again.
Three wicked imps,24 of her own Grub-street choir,
She deck'd like Congreve, Addison, and Prior;
Mears, Warner, Wilkins run : delusive thought!
Breval, Bond, Besaleel, the varlets caught.
Curll stretches after Gay, but Gay is gone,
He grasps an empty Joseph for a John :
So Proteus, hunted in a nobler shape,
Became, when seized, a puppy, or an ape.

To him the goddess : Son! thy grief lay down,
And turn this whole illusion on the town:


24 [For further notice of these Grub-street “imps," see Notes.]

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