Imágenes de páginas

Each maid cry'd, Charming! and each youth, Divine!
Did Nature's pencil ever blend such rays,


Such vary'd light in one promiscuous blaze?
Now prostrate! dead! behold that Caroline:

No maid cries, Charming! and no youth, Divine!

And lo the wretch! whose vile, whose insect lust
Laid this gay daughter of the Spring in dust.
Oh punish him, or to the Elysian shades
Dismiss my soul, where no Carnation fades!"


He ceas'd, and wept. With innocence of mien,

Th' Accus'd stood forth, and thus address'd the Queen.
'Of all th' enamell'd race, whose silv'ry wing
Waves to the tepid Zephyrs of the spring,
Or swims along the fluid atmosphere,


Once brightest shin'd this child of Heat and Air.

I saw, and started from its vernal bow'r,

The rising game, and chas'd from flow'r to flow'r.


I tell the naked fact without disguise,

It fled, I follow'd; now in hope, now pain;
It stopt, I stopt; it mov'd, I mov'd again.
At last it fix'd, 'twas on what plant it pleas'd,
And where it fix'd, the beauteous bird I seiz'd:
Rose or Carnation was below my care;
I meddle, Goddess! only in my sphere.


And, to excuse it, need but shew the prize;

Fair ev'n in death! this peerless Butterfly.'

Whose spoils this paper offers to your eye,


"My sons!" (she answer'd) "both have done your parts:

Live happy both, and long promote our arts!
But hear a Mother, when she recommends
To your fraternal care our sleeping friends1.


The common Soul, of Heav'n's more frugal make,
Serves but to keep fools pert, and knaves awake:
A drowsy Watchman, that just gives a knock,
And breaks our rest, to tell us what's a-clock.
Yet by some object ev'ry brain is stirr'd;
The dull may waken to a humming-bird;
The most recluse, discreetly open'd, find
Congenial matter in the Cockle-kind;
The mind, in Metaphysics at a loss,
May wander in a wilderness of Moss';
The head that turns at super-lunar things,
Pois'd with a tail, may steer on Wilkins' wings 3.

1 our sleeping friends.] Of whom see ver. 345 above. P.

2 a wilderness of Moss;] Of which the Naturalists count I can't tell how many hundred species. P. and Warburton.

3 Wilkins' wings] One of the first Projectors of the Royal Society, who, among many enlarged and useful notions, entertained the extravagant hope of a possibility to fly to the Moon; which has put some volatile Geniuses upon making wings for that purpose. P. and Warburton.



[Dr John Wilkins was successively Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, and master of Trinity, Cambridge. He married a sister of Oliver Cromwell. His first publication (written in 1638, many years before the foundation of the Royal Society) was the famous Discovery of a New World, or a Discourse to prove that it is probable there may be another habitable world in the moon; with a Discourse concerning the possibility of a passage thither. The Royal Society, in those early transactions which Butler

"O! would the Sons of Men once think their Eyes
And Reason giv'n them but to study Flies!
See Nature in some partial narrow shape,
And let the Author of the Whole escape:
Learn but to trifle; or, who most observe,
To wonder at their Maker,. not to serve!"

'Be that my task' (replies a gloomy Clerk,
Sworn foe to Myst'ry, yet divinely dark;
Whose pious hope aspires to see the day
When Moral Evidence shall quite decay1,
And damns implicit faith, and holy lies,
Prompt to impose, and fond to dogmatize :)
'Let others creep by timid steps, and slow,
On plain Experience lay foundations low,
By common sense to common knowledge bred,
And last, to Nature's Cause thro' Nature led.
All-seeing in thy mists, we want no guide,
Mother of Arrogance, and Source of Pride!
We nobly take the high Priori Road2,
And reason downward, till we doubt of God;
Make Nature still3 encroach upon his plan;
And shove him off as far as e'er we can:
Thrust some Mechanic Cause into his place4;
Or bind in Matter, or diffuse in Space.
Or, at one bound o'er-leaping all his laws,
Make God Man's Image, Man the final Cause,
Find Virtue local, all Relation scorn,

See all in Self, and but for self be born:
Of naught so certain as our Reason still,
Of naught so doubtful as of Soul and Will,

so copiously ridiculed, never seems to have taken up this subject in its original fulness.]

When Moral Evidence shall quite decay,] Alluding to a ridiculous and absurd way of some Mathematicians, in calculating the gradual decay of Moral Evidence by mathematical proportions: according to which calculation, in about fifty years it will be no longer probable that Julius Cæsar was in Gaul, or died in the Senate-house. See Craig's Theologia Christianæ Principia Mathematica. But as it seems evident, that facts of a thousand years old, for instance, are now as probable as they were five hundred years ago; it is plain that if in fifty more they quite disappear, it must be owing, not to their Arguments, but to the extraordinary Power of our Goddess; for whose help therefore they have reason to pray. P. and Warburton.

2 the high Priori Road,] Those who, from the effects in this Visible world, deduce the Eternal Power and Godhead of the First Cause, tho' they cannot attain to an adequate idea of the Deity, yet discover so much of him, as enables them to see the End of their Creation, and the Means of their Happiness: whereas they who take this high Priori Road (such as Hobbes,

[blocks in formation]

Spinoza, Des Cartes, and some better Reasoners for one that goes right, ten lose themselves in Mists, or ramble after Visions, which deprive them of all sight of their End, and mislead them in the choice of wrong means. P. and Warburton.

An oblique censure of Dr S. Clarke's cele brated demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God à priori. Wakefield.

3 Make Nature still] This relates to such as, being ashamed to assert a mere Mechanic Cause and yet unwilling to forsake it entirely, have bat recourse to a certain Plastic Nature, Elastic Fluid, Subtile Matter, &c. P. and Warburton 4 Thrust some Mechanic Cause into his place, Or bind in Matter, or diffuse in Space.] The first of these Follies is that of Des Cartes; the second of Hobbes; the third of some succeed. ing Philosophers. P. and Warburton. I am afraid that Pope suffered himself so far to be misled by the malignity of Warburton, as to aim a secret stab at Newton and Clarke, by associat ing their figurative, and not altogether unexcep tionable, language concerning space (which they called the sensorium of the Deity) with the opinion of Spinoza. Dugald Stewart, cited by Roscoe.

Oh hide the God still more! and make us see
Such as Lucretius drew1, a God like Thee:
Wrapt up in Self, a God without a Thought,
Regardless of our merit or default.

Or that bright Image2 to our fancy draw,
Which Theocles in raptur'd vision saw3,
While thro' Poetic scenes the GENIUS roves,
Or wanders wild in Academic Groves;
That NATURE our Society adores*,



Where Tindal dictates, and Silenus5 snores.'
Rous'd at his name, up rose the bousy Sire,
And shook from out his Pipe the seeds of fire";

Then snapt his box, and strok'd his belly down:
Rosy and rev'rend, tho' without a Gown.
Bland and familiar to the throne he came,


Led up the Youth, and call'd the Goddess Dame:
Then thus: From Priest-craft happily set free,
Lo! ev'ry finish'd Son returns to thee:


First slave to Words, then vassal to a Name,
Then dupe to Party; child and man the same;
Bounded by Nature, narrow'd still by Art,
A trifling head, and a contracted heart.

Thus bred, thus taught, how many have I seen,
Smiling on all, and smil'd on by a Queen??
Mark'd out for Honours, honour'd for their Birth,
To thee the most rebellious things on earth:
Now to thy gentle shadow all are shrunk,
All melted down, in Pension, or in Punk!
So K* so B** sneak'd into the grave 8,
A Monarch's half, and half a Harlot's slave.
Poor W**9 nipt in Folly's broadest bloom,
Who praises now? his Chaplain on his Tomb.
Then take them all, oh take them to thy breast!
Thy Magus, Goddess! shall perform the rest.'




With that, a WIZARD OLD his Cup extends;
Which whoso tastes, forgets his former friends,
Sire, Ancestors, Himself. One casts his eyes

1 Such as Lucretius drew,] Lib. i. vv. 57-60. SCRIBL. P. and Warburton [part om.].

2 Or that bright Image] Bright Image was the title given by the later Platonists to that Vision of Nature, which they had formed out of their own fancy, so bright, that they called it AŬтоTтоV Ayahua, or the Self-seen Image, i. e. seen by its own light. SCRIBL.

3 [Explained in P. and Warburton's note by quotations from The Moralists, a dialogue in Shaftesbury's Characteristics, in which Theocles is an interlocutor. Warton truly observes that an injustice is done by the insinuation to Shaftesbury, who was a consistent Deist.]

That Nature our Society adores,] See the Pantheisticon, with its liturgy and rubrics, composed by Toland. Warburton.

5 Silenus] Silenus was an Epicurean Philoso

[blocks in formation]


Up to a Star, and like Endymion dies1:
A Feather, shooting from another's head,
Extracts his brain; and Principle is fled;
Lost is his God, his Country, ev'ry thing;
And nothing left but Homage to a King2
The vulgar herd turn off to roll with Hogs,
To run with Horses, or to hunt with Dogs;
But, sad example! never to escape
Their Infamy, still keep the human shape.
But she, good Goddess, sent to ev'ry child
Firm Impudence, or Stupefaction mild;
And straight succeeded, leaving shame no room,
Cibberian forehead, or Cimmerian gloom.

Kind Self-conceit to some her glass applies,
Which no one looks in with another's eyes:
But as the Flatt'rer or Dependant paint,
Beholds himself a Patriot, Chief, or Saint.
On others' Int'rest her gay liv'ry flings,
Int'rest that waves on Party-colour'd wings:
Turn'd to the Sun, she casts a thousand dyes,
And, as she turns, the colours fall or rise.

Others the Syren Sisters warble round,
And empty heads console with empty sound.
No more, alas! the voice of Fame they hear,
The balm of Dulness trickling in their ear3.
Great C**, H**, P**, R**, K*,


Why all your Toils? your Sons have learn'd to sing.

How quick Ambition hastes to ridicule!

The Sire is made a Peer, the Son a Fool.

On some, a Priest succinct in amice white1
Attends; all flesh is nothing in his sight!
Beeves, at his touch, at once to jelly turn,
And the huge Boar is shrunk into an Urn:
The board with specious miracles he loads 5,
Turns Hares to Larks, and Pigeons into Toads.
Another (for in all what one can shine?)
Explains the Sève and Verdeur of the Vine.

1 [i. e. is immersed in perpetual slumber.] Lost is his God, his Country-And nothing left but Homage to a King.] So strange as this must seem to a mere English reader, the famous Mons. de la Bruyère declares it to be the character of every good Subject in a Monarchy: "Where (says he) there is no such thing as Love of our Country, the Interest, the Glory, and Service of the Prince supply its place." De la République, chap. x. P.

The balm of Dulness] The true Balm of Dulness, called by the Greek Physicians KoλaKela, is a Sovereign remedy against Inanity, and has its poetic name from the Goddess herself. Its ancient Dispensators were her Poets; and For that reason our Author, Book II. ver. 207, alls it, the Poet's healing balm: but now it is to as many hands as Goddard's Drops or



Daffy's Elixir. It is prepared by the Clergy, as appears from several places of this poem: And by ver. 534, 535, it seems as if the Nobility had it made up in their own houses. This, which Opera is here said to administer, is but a spurious sort. See my Dissertation on the Silphium of the Antients. 'BENTL.' Warburton.

4 [amice (amictus), a coat, is a word used by Spenser and Milton.]

5 This good Scholiast (Scriblerus), not being acquainted with modern Luxury, was ignorant that these were only the miracles of French Cookery, and that particularly Pigeons en crapeau were a common dish. P. and Warburton.

6 Sève and Verdeur] French Terms relating to Wines, which signify their flavour and por gnancy. P.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Wash Bladen white, and expiate Hays's stain1.


KNIGHT lifts the head, for what are crowds undone,

[blocks in formation]

1 Bladen-Hays] Names of Gamesters. Bladen is a black man. ROBERT KNIGHT, Cashier of the South-sea Company, who fled from England in 1720 (afterwards pardoned in 1742)— These lived with the utmost magnificence at Paris, and kept open Tables frequented by persons of the first Quality of England, and even by Princes of the Blood of France. P. and Warburton. Colonel Martin Bladen was a man of some literature and translated Cæsar's Commentaries. I never could learn that he had offended Pope. He was uncle to Wm. Collins, the poet, whom he left an estate. Warton.

2 Her Children first of more distinguish'd sort, Who study Shakespeare at the Inns of Court.] Mr THOMAS EDWARDS, a Gentleman, as he is pleased to call himself, of Lincoln's Inn; but, in reality, a Gentleman only of the Dunciad; or, to speak him better, in the plain language of our honest Ancestors to such Mushrooms, A Gentleman of the last Edition: who, nobly eluding the solicitude of his careful Father, very early retained himself in the cause of Dulness against Shakespear, and with the wit and learning of his Ancestor Tom Thimble in the Rehearsal, and with the air of good nature and politeness of Caliban in the Tempest, hath now happily finished the Dunce's progress in personal abuse. SCRIBL. [Part om.] P. This attack

on Mr Edwards is not of weight sufficient to weaken the effects of his excellent Canons of Criticism. Warton.

3 A line taken from Bramston's Men of Taste. Warton.

4 a Gregorian, one a Gormogon.] A sort of Lay-brothers, Slips from the Root of the FreeMasons. P. and Warburton. ['Gregorians' are mentioned as 'a convivial sect,' and 'a kind of Masons, but without their sign,' in Crabbe's Borough, Letter x.]

5 Pope refused this degree when offered to him on a visit undertaken to Oxford with Warburton, because the University would not confer the degree of D.D. upon Warburton, to whom some of its members had proposed it. Roscoe. 6 each Privilege your own, &c.] This speech of Dulness to her Sons at parting may possibly fall short of the Reader's expectation; who may imagine the Goddess might give them a charge of more consequence, and, from such a Theory as is before delivered, incite them to the practice of something more extraordinary, than to personate Running-Footmen, Jockeys, Stage Coachmen, &c.

But if it be well considered, that whatever inclination they might have to do mischief, her sons are generally rendered harmless by their Inability; and that it is the common effect of Dulness (even in her greatest efforts) to defeat

« AnteriorContinuar »