Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

190

195

200

On parchment scraps y-fed, and Wormius hight?.
To future ages may thy dulness last,
As thou preserv'st the dulness of the past !

There, dim in clouds, the poring Scholiasts mark,
Wits, who, like owls”, see only in the dark,
A Lumber-house of books in ev'ry head,
For ever reading, never to be read!

“But, where each Science lifts its modern type,
Hist'ry her Pot, Divinity her Pipe,
While proud Philosophy repines to show,
Dishonest sight! his breeches rent below;
Embrown’d with native bronze, lo! Henley stands 3,
Turning his voice, and balancing his hands.
How fluent nonsense trickles from his tongue!
How sweet the periods, neither said, nor sung!
Still break the benches, Henley! with thy strain,
While Sherlock, Hare, and Gibsono preach in vain.
Oh great Restorer of the good old Stage,
Preacher at once, and Zany of thy age!
Oh worthy thou of Ægypt's wise abodes,
A decent priest, where monkeys were the gods!
But fate with butchers placed thy priestly stall,
Meek modern faith to murder, hack, and maul;
And bade thee live, to crown Britannia's praise,
In Toland's, Tindal's, and in Woolston's days 5.

“Yet oh, my sons, a father's words attend :
(So may the fates preserve the ears you lend)
'Tis yours a Bacon or a Locke to blame,

205

210

213

[ocr errors]

such myster wight' would be sense.] Niyster persons, and occasionally did our Author that wight] Uncouth mortal. F.

honour. After having stood some Prosecutions, he | Wormius hight.] Let not this name, purely turned his rhetoric to buffoonery upon all publick fictitious, be conceited to mean the learned Olaus and private occurrences. This man had an hun Wormius; much less (as it was unwarrantably dred pounds a year given him for the secret ser: foisted into the surreptitious editions) our own vice of a weekly paper of unintelligible non Antiquary Mr Thomas Hearne, who had no way sense, called the Hyp-Doctor. P. (Part om. aggrieved our Poet, but on the contrary published (John Henley, a native of Leicestershire, had many curious tracts which he hath to his great graduated at Cambridge; but set up a scheme of contentment perused. P. [Part om.]

Universology on his own account, establishing hight] În Cumberland they say to hight, his Oratory' in a wooden booth in Newport mar for to promise, or vow; but higit, usually sig- ket in 1726. Three years later he removed bis nifies was called; and so it does in the North pulpit to the corner of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and even to this day, notwithstanding what is done though subjected to a prosecution for profaning in Cumberland." Hearne. P. The old hâtan the clerical character, continued his extibitions means to call and to promise (German heissen, till the middle of the century. See Wright's verheissen.)]

Caric. Hist. of the Georges, and Jesse, George 2 Wits, who, like owls, &c.] These few lines Selwyn and his Contemporaries, Vol. 1., where exactly describe the right verbal critic: The Henley is said to have been a man of real leartdarker his author is, the better he is pleased; ing and of poetical talent. He died in 1756.), like the famous Quack Doctor, who put up in his 4 Sherlock, Hare, Gibson,) Bishops of Salisbills, he delighted in matters of difficulty: Some bury, Chichester, and London; whose Sermons body said well of these men, that their heads and Pastoral Letters did honour to their country were Libraries out of order. P.

as well as stations. P. 3 lo! Henley stands, &c.] J. Henley the 5 Of Toland and Tindal, see Book 11. (v. 399! Orator; he preached on the Sundays upon Theo- Tho. Woolston was an impious madman, who logical matters, and on the Wednesdays upon all wrote in a most insolent style against the Mira. other sciences. Each auditor paid one shilling. cles of the Gospel, in the years 1726, &c. P. He declaimed some years against the greatest

2

220

A Newton's genius, or a Milton's flame :
But oh! with One, immortal One dispense;
The source of Newton's Light, of Bacon's Sense.
Content, each Emanation of his fires
That beams on earth, each Virtue he inspires,
Each Art he prompts, each Charm he can create,
Whate'er he gives, are giv'n for you to hate.
Persist, by all divine in Man unaw'd,
But, Learn, ye DUNCES! not to scorn your God 1.!”
Thus he, for then a ray of Reason stole

225
Half thro' the solid darkness of his soul;
But soon the cloud return'd—and thus the Sire:
“ See now, what Dulness and her sons admire !
See what the charms, that smite the simple heart
Not touch'd by Nature, and not reach'd by Art.”

230 His never-blushing head he turn'd aside, (Not half so pleas'd when Goodman prophesy'd ?) And look'd, and saw a sable Sorc'rer 3 rise, Swift to whose hand a winged volume flies: All sudden, Gorgons hiss, and Dragons glare,

235
And ten-horn'd fiends and Giants rush to war.
Hell rises, Heav'n descends, and dance on Earth 4:
Gods, imps, and monsters, music, rage, and mirth,
A fire, a jig, a battle, and a ball,
'Till one wide conflagration swallows all.

240
Thence a new world to Nature's laws unknown,
Breaks out refulgent, with a heav'n its own :
Another Cynthia her new journey runs,
And other planets circle other suns.
The forests dance, the rivers upward rise,

245
Whales sport in woods, and dolphins in the skies ;
And last, to give the whole creation grace,
Lo! one vast Egg, produces human race.

Joy fills his soul, joy innocent of thought;
•What pow'r,' he cries, what pow'r these wonders wrought?' 250
Son, what thou seek'st is in thee! Look, and find

3

1 But, Learn, ye Dunces! not to scorn your the Twelfth of Sweden, when at the head of their God.') Virg. Æn. vi. (v. 619). The hardest first victorious armies, could feel a greater translesson a Dunce can learn. For being bred to port in their bosoms than I did in mine. P. scorn what he does not understand, that which a sable Sorc'rer] Dr Faustus, the subject he understands least he will be apt to scorn most. of a set of Farces, which lasted in vogue two or Of which, to the disgrace of all Government, and three seasons, in which both Play-houses strove (in the Poet's opinion) even of that of Dulness to outdo each other for some years., All the exherself, we have had a late example in a book travagances in the sixteen lines following were intitled, Philosophical Essays concerning human introduced on the Stage, and frequented by perUnderstanding. P.

sons of the first quality in England, to the twennot to scorn your God.') See this subject tieth and thirtieth time. P. [Probably revivals pursued in Book iv. P.

of Mountfort's harlequinade founded on Mar2 (Not half so pleas'd when Goodman prophe- lowe's tragedy.] sy'd)] Mr Cibber tells us, in his Life, p. 149, 4 Hell rises, Heav'n descends, and dance on that Goodman being at the rehearsal of a play, in Earth:) This monstrous absurdity was actually which he had a part, clapped him on the shoulder represented in Tibbald's Rape of Proserpine. P. and cried, “If he does not make a good actor, 5 Lo! one vast Egg] In another of these l'll be d-d.”—And (says Mr Cibber) I make it Farces, Harlequin is hatched upon the stage out a question, whether Alexander himself, or Charles of a large Egg. P.

[ocr errors]

Each monster meets his likeness in thy mind.
Yet would'st thou more? in yonder cloud behold,
Whose sars'net skirts are edg'd with flamy gold,
A matchless youth! his nod these worlds controls,

255
Wings the red lightning, and the thunder rolls.
Angel of Dulness, sent to scatter round
Her magic charms o'er all unclassic ground:
Yon stars, yon suns, he rears at pleasure higher,
Illumes their light, and sets their flames on fire.

260
Immortal Rich ?! how calm he sits at ease
'Mid snows of paper, and fierce hail of pease;
And proud his Mistress' orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
“But lo! to dark encounter in mid air ?

263
New wizards rise; I see my Cibber there!
Booth 3 in his cloudy tabernacle shrin'd“,
On grinning dragons thou shalt mount the wind 5.
Dire is the conflict, dismal is the din,
Here shouts all Drury, there all Lincoln's-inn 6;
Contending Theatres our empire raise,
Alike their labours, and alike their praise.

“ And are these wonders, Son, to thee unknown?
Unknown to thee? these wonders are thy own 7.
These Fate reserv'd to grace thy reign divine,

275
Foreseen by me, but ah! withheld from mine.
In Lud's old walls tho' long I ruld, renown'd
Far as loud Bow's stupendous bells resound;
Tho' my own Aldermen conferr'd the bays,
To me committing their eternal praise,
Their full-fed Heroes, their pacific May’rs
Their annual trophies ®, and their monthly wars ;
Tho'long my Party 9 built on me their hopes,

For writing Pamphlets, and for roasting Popes 10; 1 Immortal Rich !! Mr John Rich, Master called the Double Falsehood be (as he would have of the Theatre Royal in Covent-garden, was the it believed) Shakespear's. P. first that excelled this way.

P.

9 Annual trophies, on the Lord-mayor's day: 2 (Join their dark encounter in mid-air. Mil- and monthly wars in the Artillery-ground. P. ton, Par. Lost, 11. V; ,718.]

9 Tho' long my Party] Settle, like most 3 Booth and Cibber were joint managers of Party-writers, was very uncertain in his political the Theatre in Drury-lane. P.

principles. He was employed to hold the pen in 4 [as Harlequin.]

the Character of a popish successor, but after5 On grinning dragons thou shalt

mount the wards printed his Narrative on the other side. wind.) In his Letter to Mr P. Mr C. solemnly He had managed the ceremony of a famous Popedeclares this not to be literally true. We hope burning on Nov. 17, 1680; then became a trooper therefore the reader will understand it allegori- in King James's army, at Hounslow-heath. After cally only. P.

the Revolution he kept a booth at Bartholomew 6 [The Theatre called the Duke's was built in fair, where, in the droll called St George for Portugal Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, at the time England, he acted in his old age in a Dragon of of the Restoration. It was here Rich first brought green leather of his own invention; he was at out his harlequinades; but soon after his removal last taken into the Charter-house, and there it was closed (1737.)]

died, aged sixty years. P. (Carruthers observes ? After ver. 274 in the former Edd, followed: that Settle was really seventy-six at the time of For works like these let deathless Journals tell his death (1724).] “None but thyself can be thy parallel.”

10 After ver. 284 in the former Edd. followed:

Warburton. ‘Diff'rent our parties, but with equal grace Var. None but thyself can be thy parallel] The Goddess smiles on Whig and Tory race.' A marvellous line of Theobald; unless the Play

Warburtor.

280

9

a

285

290

295

300

Yet lo! in me what authors have to brag on!
Reduc'd at last to hiss in my own dragon.
Avert it, Heav'n! that thou, my Cibber, e'er
Should'st wag a serpent-tail in Smithfield fair!
Like the vile straw that's blown about the streets,
The needy Poet sticks to all he meets,
Coach'd, carted, trod upon, now loose, now fast,
And carry'd off in some Dog's tail at last.
Happier thy fortunes! like a rolling stone,
Thy giddy dulness still shall lumber on,
Safe in its heaviness, shall never stray,
But lick up ev'ry blockhead in the way.
Thee shall the Patriot, thee the Courtier taste,
And ev'ry year be duller than the last.
Till rais'd from booths, to Theatre, to Court,
Her seat imperial Dulness shall transport.
Already Opera prepares the way,
The sure fore-runner of her gentle sway:
Let her thy heart, next Drabs and Dice, engage,
The third mad passion of thy doting age.
Teach thou the warbling Polypheme to roar
And scream thyself as none e'er scream'd before!

To aid our cause, if Heav'n thou can’st not bend,
Hell thou shalt move; for Faustus is our friend :
Pluto 3 with Cato thou for this shalt join,
And link the Mourning Bride4 to Proserpine.
Grubstreet! thy fall should men and Gods conspire,
Thy stage shall stand, ensure it but from Fire 5.
Another Æschylus appears 6! prepare
For new abortions, all ye pregnant fair!
In flames, like Semele's?, be brought to bed,
While op'ning Hell spouts wild-fire at your head.

“Now, Bavius, take the poppy from thy brow,
And place it here! here all ye Heroes bow!
This, this is he, foretold by ancient rhymes :
Th’ Augustus born to bring Saturnian times.
Signs following signs lead on the mighty year!
See! the dull stars roll round and re-appear.
See, see, our own true Phoebus wears the bays 8!

305

310

315

320

1 Thee shall the Patriot, thee the Courtier 4 [Congreve's tragedy.] taste,] It stood in the first edition with blanks * * 5 ensure it but from Fire.] In Tibbald's and **

Concanen was sure “ they must needs farce of Proserpine, a corn-field was set on fire: mean no body but King, GEORGE and Queen whereupon the other play-house had a barn burnt CAROLINE ; and said he would insist it was down for the recreation of the spectators. They so, till the Poet cleared himself by filling up the also rival'd each other in showing the burnings of blanks otherwise, agreeably to the context, and hell-fire, in Dr Faustus. P. consistent with his allegiance." P.

6 Another Æschylus appears!! It is reported 2 Polypheme] He translated the Italian Opera of Æschylus, that when his Tragedy of the Furies of Polifemo; but unfortunately lost the whole was acted, the audience were so terrified that the jest of the story. P. [Part om.]

children fell into fits. P. 3 Faustus, Pluto, &c.] Names of miserable 7 like Semele's,] See Ovid, Met. III. P. Farces, which it was the custom to act at the end 8 Ver. 323. See, see, our own &c.] In the of the best Tragedies, to spoil the digestion of former Edd.: the audience, P.

*Beneath his reign shall Eusden wear the bays,

« AnteriorContinuar »