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The plunging prelate, and his ponderous grace,
With holy envy gave one layman place.
When lo! a burst of thunder shook the flood,
Slow rose a form, in majesty of mud;
Shaking the horrors of his sable brows,
And each ferocious feature grim with ooze.
Greater he looks, and more than mortal stares :61
Then thus the wonders of the deep declares.

First he relates, how sinking to the chin,
Smit with his mien, the mud-nymphs suck'd him in :
How young Lutetia, softer than the down,
Nigrina black, and Merdamante brown,
Vied for his love in jetty bowers below,
As Hylas fair was ravish'd long ago.62
Then sung, how shown him by the nut-brown maids
A branch of Styx here rises from the shades,
That tinctured as it runs with Lethe's streams,
And wafting vapours from the land of dreams,
(As under seas Alpheus' secret sluice
Bears Pisa's offerings to his Arethuse)
Pours into Thames : and hence the mingled wave
Intoxicates the pert, and lulls the grave:




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61 Virgil, Æneid vi. of the Sibyl:

Majorque videri,

Nec mortale sonans.” 62 Who was ravished by the water-nymphs, and drawn into the river. The story is told at large by Valerius Flaccus, lib. iii. Argon. See Virgil, Ecl. vi.

63 “ οι τ’ άμθ' ομερτον Τιταρήσιον έργο ενέμοντο,

“Ος δ' ες Πηνειόν προίει καλλιρρόου ύδωρ,
Ουδ' όγε Πηνειώ συμμίσγεται αργυροδίνη,
'Αλλά τέ μιν καθυπερθεν επιρρέει εύτ' έλαιον,

"Ορκου λάρ δεινου Στυγος ύδατός έστιν άπορρώξ."-Hom. Π. ii. Catal. Of the Land of Dreams, in the same region, he makes mention Odyss. xxiv. See also Lucian's True History. Lethe and the Land of Dreams allegorically represent the stupefaction and visionary madness of poets, equally dull and extravagant. Of Alpheus's water gliding secretly under the sea of Pisa, to mix with those of the Arethuse in Sicily, see Moschus Idyll. viii., Virgil, Ecl. x.

“Sic tibi, cum fluctus subter labere Sicanos,

Doris amara suam non intermisceat undam."
And again, Æneid iii.--

" Alpheum sema est huc, Elidis amnem,
Occultas egisse vias subter mare, qui nunc
Ore, Arethusa, tuo Siculis confunditur undis.”

Here brisker vapours o'er the Temple creep,

345 There, all from Paul's to Aldgate drink and sleep. Thence to the banks where reverend bards repose,6

They led him soft; each reverend bard arose ;
And Milbourn chief, deputed by the rest,
Gave him the cassock, surcingle, and vest.

350 “ Receive (he said) these robes which once were mine, “Dulness is sacred in a sound divine."

He ceased, and spread the robe; the crowd confess
The reverend flamen in his lengthen'd dress.
Around him wide a sable army stand,

A low-born, cell-bred, selfish, servile band,
Prompt or to guard or stab, or saint or damn,
Heaven's Swiss, who fight for any god, or man.
Through Lud's famed gates, along the well-known Fleet 65
Rolls the black troop, and overshades the street, 360
Till showers of sermons, characters, essays,
In circling fleeces whiten all the ways:
So clouds replenish'd from some bog below,
Mount in dark volumes, and descend in snow.
Here stopp'd the goddess, and in pomp proclaims, 365
A gentler exercise to close the games.

6 Ye critics! in whose heads, as equal scales, I weigh what author's heaviness prevails ; Which most conduce to sooth the soul in slumbers, My H—ley's 66 periods, or my Blackmore's numbers ; 370

64 “ Tum canit errantem Permessi ad flumina Gallum,

Aonas in montes ut duxerit una sororum ;
Utque viro Phæbi chorus assurexerit omnis;
Ut Linus hæc illi divino carmine pastor,
Floribus atque apio crines ornatus, amaro,
Dixerit: Hos tibi dant calomos, en accipe, Musæ,

Ascraeo quos ante seni,” &c.-Virg. Ecl. vi. 65 "King Lud repairing the City, called it after his own name, Lud's Town; the strong gate which he built in the West part, he likewise, for his own honour, named Ludgate. In the year 1260, this gate was beautified with images of Lud and other kings. Those images, in the reign of Edward VI., had their heads smitten off, and were otherwise defaced by unadvised folks. Queen Mary did set new heads upon their old bodies again. The 28th of Queen Elizabeth the same gate was clean taken down, and newly and beautifully builded, with images of Lud and others, as afore.”—Stowe's Survey of London.

66 [Bishop Hoadley. See Notes ]


Attend the trial we propose to make:
If there be man, who o'er such works can wake,
Sleep's all-subduing charms who dares defy,
And boasts Ulysses' ear with Argus' eye ; 67
To him we grant our amplest powers to sit

Judge of all present, past, and future wit;
To cavil, censure, dictate, right or wrong,
Full and eternal privilege of tongue.”

Three college Sophs,68 and three pert Templars came, The same their talents, and their tastes the same; 380 Each prompt to query, answer, and debate,6 And smit with love of poesy and prate.70 The ponderous books two gentle readers bring : The heroes sit, the vulgar form a ring ;71 The clamorous crowd is hush'd with mugs of mum, 385 Till all tuned equal, send a general hum. Then mount the clerks, and in one lazy tone Through the long, heavy, painful page drawl on; Soft creeping, words on words, the sense compose, At every line they stretch, they yawn, they doze. 390 As to soft gales top-heavy pines bow low Their heads, and lift them as they cease to blow : Thus oft they rear, and oft the head decline, As breathe, or pause, by fits, the airs divine. And now to this side, now to that they nod,

395 As verse, or prose, infuse the drowsy god. Thrice Budgell72 aim'd to speak, but thrice suppress'd By potent Arthur,72 knock’d his chin and breast.

67 See Hom. Odyss. xii.; Ovid. Met. i.

68 [In the early editions, “Three Cambridge Sophs.After Oxford had refused the degree of D.D. to his friend Warburton, Pope was by no means disposed to claim any special favour or honour for that University. In the Fourth Book he satirises it under the designation of “Apollo's Mayor and Aldermen.”]

69 "Ambo florentes ætatibus, Arcades ambo,

Et certare pares, et respondere parati."-Virg. Ecl. vi. 70 “Smit with the love of sacred song.”—Milton.

71 “Consedere duces, et vulgi stante coronâ."-Ovid. Met. xiii. 72 (Eustace Budgell.See Notes. “Potent Arthur” was Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons.]


Toland and Tindal, prompt at priests to jeer,73
Yet silent bow'd to Christ's no kingdom here.
Who sate the nearest, by the words o'ercome,
Slept first; the distant nodded to the hum.
Then down are rolld the books; stretch'd o'er 'em lies
Each gentle clerk, and muttering seals his eyes.

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As what a Dutchman plumps into the lakes,
One circle first, and then a second makes ;
What Dulness dropp'd among her sons impress'd
Like motion from one circle to the rest :
So from the midmost the nutation spreads
Round and more round, o'er all the sea of heads.74


73 Two persons, not so happy as to be obscure, who wrote against the religion of their country. In the first edition it was :

“Collins and Tidal, prompt at priests to jeer.” 74 “A waving sea of heads was round me spread,

And still fresh streams the gazing deluge fed.”Blackm. Job.


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Boyer the state, and Law the stage gave o'er,
Morgan and Mandeville could prate no more;
Norton, from Daniel and Ostroea sprung,

Bless'd with his father's front, and mother's tongue,
Hung silent down his never-blushing head;
And all was hush'd, as Folly's self lay dead.76

Thus the soft gifts of sleep conclude the day,
And stretch'd on bulks, as usual, poets lay.
Why should I sing, what bards the nightly Muse
Did slumbering visit, and convey to stews;
Who prouder march'd, with magistrates in state,
To some famed round-house, ever open gate!
Now Henley lay inspired beside a sink,
And to mere mortals seem'd a priest in drink :77



75 Norton de Foe, offspring of the famous Daniel. Fortes creantur fortibus. One of the authors of the Flying Post, in which well-bred work Mr. P. had some time the honour to be abused with his betters; and of many hired scurrilities and daily papers, to which he never set his name. 76 Alludes to Dryden's verse in the Indian Emperor :

"All things are hush’d, as Nature's self lay dead.” 77 This line presents us with an excellent moral, that we are never to pass judgment merely by appearances; a lesson to all men who may happen to

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