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Our Midas sits Lord Chancellor of Plays!
Cibber preside Lord Chancellor of plays, [As to Ripley, Sir Robert Walpole's architect Benson sole Judge of Architecture sit, who, according to Wakefield, was employed ia And Namby Pamby be preferr'd for Wit ! repairing Whitehall, cf. Moral Essays, Ép. iv. I see th' unfinish'd Dormitory wall,
v. 18 and note.] I see the Savoy totter to her fall;
4 [Sir Christopher Wren died in 1723, at the Hibernian Politics, O Swift ! thy doom,
age of gr. The length of his life enriched the And Pope's, translating three whole
with reigns of several princes, and disgraced the last Broome:
of them.' Horace Walpole, Anecdotes of PrixiProceed great days, &c.' Warburton. ing, quoted by Warton.)
| On Poets' Tombs see Benson's Titles writ!] Gay dies unpension'd &c.] See Mr Gay's W-m Benson (Surveyor of the Buildings to his fahle of the Hare and many Friends. This Majesty King George I.) gave in a report to the gentleman was early in the friendship of our Lords, that their House and the Painted-chamber Author, which continued to his death. He wrote adjoining were in immediate danger of falling several works of humour with great success, the Whereupon the Lords met in a committee to ap- Shepherd's Week, Trivia, the What-d'ye-call-, point some other place to sit in, while the House Fables; and, lastly, the celebrated Beggars should be taken down. But it being proposed to Opera; a piece of satire which hits all tastes and cause some other builders first to inspect it, they degrees of men, from those of the highest quality found it in very good condition. In favour of to the very rabble. That verse of Horace, this man, the famous Sir Christopher Wren, who Primores populi arripuit, populumque tributis, had been Architect to the Crown for above fifty could never be so justly applied as to this. The years, who built most of the churches in London, vast success of it was unprecedented, and almost laid the first stone of St Paul's, and lived to incredible: What is related of the wonderful e: finish it, had been displaced from his employ- fects of the ancient music or tragedy hardly capa ment at the age of near ninety years. P. (Part up to it: Sophocles and Euripides were less fal om.)
lowed and famous. It was acted in London Sixty? Ambrose Philips] “He was (saith Mr Ja- three days, uninterrupted; and renewed the per: COB) one of the wits at Button's and a justice of season with equal applauses. It spread into a the peace;”. But he hath since met with higher the great towns of England, was played in many preferment in Ireland. He endeavoured to create places to the thirtieth and fortieth time, at Bar some misunderstanding between our Author and and Bristol fifty, &c. It made its progress iat. Mr Addison, whom also soon after he abused as Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, where it was per much. His constant cry was, that Mr P. was formed twenty-four days together: It was las an Enemy to the government, and in particular acted in Minorca. The fame of it was not conhe was the avowed author of a report very indus- fined to the Author only; the ladies carried about triously spread, that he had a hand in a Party- with them the favourite songs of it in fans; a. paper called the Examiner: A falsehood well- houses were furnished with it in screens.
TE: known to those yet living, who had the direction person who acted Polly, till then obscure, became and publication of it. P. [As to the reasons for all at once the favourite of the town; her pictures Pope's aversion from A. P. see Introductory were engraved, and sold in great numbers; ber Memoir, pp. xv, xxviii.]
life written, books of letters and verses to her 3. While Jones' and Boyle's united Labours published; and pamphlets made even of her 21 fall;] At the time when this poem was written, ings and jests. the banqueting-house at White-hall, the church Furthermore, it drove out of England, five and piazza of Covent-garden, and the palace and that season, the Italian Opera, which had caricu chapel of Somerset-house, the works of the fa- all before it for ten years. That idol of the mous Inigo Jones, had been for many years so bility and people, which the great Critic II neglected, as to be in danger of ruin. The por- Dennis by the labours and outcries of a who tico of Covent-garden church had been just then life could not overthrow, was demolished by : restored and beautified at the expense of the earl single stroke of this gentleman's pen. of Burlington and (Richard Boyle]; who, at the pened in the year 1728. Yet so great was same time, by his publication of the designs of modesty, that he constantly prefixed to all the that great Master and Palladio, as well as by editions of it this motto, Nos hac novimMS 2582 many noble buildings of his own, revived the nihil. P. (See Epitaph No. xij. and Irinda true taste of Architecture in this kingdoin. P. tory Memoir, p. xxvi.]
Hibernian Politics, O Swift! thy fate?;
“Proceed, great days! till Learning fly the shore,
'Enough! enough!' the raptur'd Monarch cries;
BOOK THE FOURTH.
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 shews 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 round 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
Ver. 331, in the former Editions thus:
the value of One hundred more. The Author - Swift! thy doom,
only seems to lament, that he was employed in And Pope's, translating ten whole years with Translation at all.” P. Broome.
Hibernian Politics, O Swift! thy fate;] On which was the following Note, “He con- See Book 1. ver 26. P. cludes his iror
troke upon himself; for 2 And Pope's, ten years to comment and whoever im
rcasm on the other in- translate.] The Author here plainly laments that
taken. The opinion he was so long employed in translating and comtho fficiently shewn by menting. He began the Iliad in 1713,
and finishing of the Odyssey; ed it in 1719. The edition of Shakespear (which
engaged without he undertook merely because no body else would) arged
50 took up near two years more in the drudgery of that h
comparing impressions, rectifying the Scenery, lund
&c., and the translation of half the Odyssey emks for
ployed him from that time to 1725. P. Subs
3 [Cf. Book iv. v. 202.]
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 drawn 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 Fruits 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 then Virtuoso's, and assign them over to him. But Mummius, another Antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, she finds a 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 Goddes gives them both her approbation, She recommends to them to find proper emplo;ment for the Indolents before-mentioned, in the study of Butterflies, Shells, Birdsnests, 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 Freethinkers, 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 ho 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.
ET, yet a moment, one dim Ray of Light
Of darkness visible so much be lent,
Now flam'd the Dog-star's unpropitious ray,
1 This Book may properly be distinguished certain than that the Iliad itself was the work of from the former, by the Name of the GREATER Solomon, or the Batrachomuomachia of Homult, Dunciad, not so indeed in Size, but in Subject; as Barnes hath affirmed. 'BENTLEY.' P. and so far contrary to the distinction anciently ? Force inertly strong,] Alluding to the Ta made of the Greater and Lesser Iliad, But inertiæ of Matter, which, tho' it really be u much are they mistaken who imagine this Work Power, is yet the Foundation of all the qualities in any wise inferior to the former, or of any other and Attributes of that sluggish Substance. P. hand'than of our Poet: of which I am much more and Warburton.
Then rose the Seed of Chaos, and of Night,
She mounts the Throne: her head a Cloud conceal'de
Beneath her footstool?, Science groans in Chains,
1. a new World) In allusion to the Epicurean tity of Matter, the Reality of Space, &c. P. opinion, that from the Dissolution of the natural and Warburton. World into Night and Chaos a new one should 5 running round the Circle finds it square.] arise : this the Poet alluding to, in the Produc- Regards the wild and fruitless attempts of squartion of a new moral World, makes it partake of ing the Circle. P. and Warburton. its original Principles. P. and Warburton. 6 Watch'd both by Envy's and by Flatt'ry's
? Beneath her footstool, &c. We are next eye.) One of the misfortunes falling on Authors presented with the pictures of those whom the from the Act for subjecting Plays to the power Goddess leads in captivity. Science is only de- of a Licenser, being the false representations to pressed and confined so as to be rendered use- which they were exposed, from such as either less; but Wit or Genius, as a more dangerous gratify'd their Envy to Merit, or made their and active enemy, punished, or driven away: Court to Greatness, by perverting general ReDulness being often reconciled in some degree flections against Vice into Libels on particular with Learning, but never upon any terms with Persons. P. and Warburton. (A licensing Act Wit. And accordingly it will be seen that she had been introduced by Sir John Barnard in admits something like each Science, as Casuistry, 1735, but immediately abandoned; the Act of Sophistry, &c. but nothing like Wit, Opera alone 1737 was occasioned by the political strokes in supplying its place. P, and Warburton. Fielding's Pasquin and the scurrilities of other
gives her Page the word.) There was a plays. The bill was carried by Walpole, notwithJudge of this name, always ready to hang any standing the vigorous opposition of Lord ChesMan that came before him, of which he was terfield, who treated it as a first step towards a suffered to give a hundred miserable examples censorship of the press. Though the powers conduring a long life, even to his dotage. P. and ferred by this Act are still retained by the Lord Warburton. (Cf. Epilogue to Satires, Dial. II. Chamberlain, they are used so sparingly and v. 159.)
temperately (in 14 years, from 1852 to 1865, only • Mad Máthesis] Alluding to the strange 19 plays were rejected out of 2,816) that the Conclusions some Mathematicians have deduced restriction is practically little felt by managers, from their principles, concerning the real Quan- authors or public.]
Nor could'st thou, CHESTERFIELD?! a tear refuse,
When lo! a Harlot form soft sliding by,
“O Cara! Cara! silence all that train:
And now had Fame's posterior Trumpet? blown,
! (Chesterfield, cf. Epil. to Satires, Dial. 11. Chromatic tortures] That species of the v. 84.)
ancient music called the Chromatic was a varia* When lo! a Harlot form] The Attitude tion and embellishment, in odd irregularities, of given to this Phantom represents the nature and the Diatonic kind. They say it was invented genius of the Italian Opera; its affected airs, its about the time of Alexander, and that the Spareffeminate sounds, and the practice of patching tans forbad the use of it, as languid and effemiup these Operas with favourite Songs, incohe
Warburton. rently put together. These things were sup
5 thy own Phoebus reigns, ported by the subscriptions of the Nobility. This
"Tuus jam regnat Apollo.' circumstance that OPERA should prepare for the
Virg. [Ecl. v. 10). P. opening of the grand Sessions was prophesied of 6 (Handel, who came to England in 1710, was in Book 1. ver. 304. P. and Warburton. an inmate of Lord Burlington's house from 1715
3 let Division reign:] Alluding to the false to 1718, during which time Pope must have fretaste of playing tricks in Music with numberless quently met him. His Messiah was produced in divisions, to the neglect of that harmony which 1741.) It is remarkable, that in the earlier part conforms to the Sense, and applies to the Pas- of his life, Pope was so very insensible to the sions. Mr Handel had introduced a great num- charms of music, that he once asked his friend, ber of Hands, and more variety of Instruments Dr Arbuthnot, who had a fine ear, 'whether, at into the Orchestra, and employed even Drums and Lord Burlington's concerts, the rapture which Cannon to make a fuller Chorus; which proved the company expressed upon hearing the comso much too manly for the fine Gentlemen of his positions and performance of Handel did not age, that he was obliged to remove his music proceed wholly from affectation.' Warton. into Ireland. After which they were reduced, 7 Fame's posterior Trumpet] According to for want of Composers, to practise the patch: Hudibras: work above-mentioned. P. and Warburton.