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Each maid cry'd, Charming! and each youth, Divine!
Such vary'd light in one promiscuous blaze?
No maid cries, Charming! and no youth, Divine!
And lo the wretch! whose vile, whose insect lust
He ceas'd, and wept. With innocence of mien,
Th' Accus'd stood forth, and thus address'd the Queen.
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;
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!
The common Soul, of Heav'n's more frugal make,
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
'Be that my task' (replies a gloomy Clerk,
See all in Self, and but for self be born:
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,
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
Or that bright Image2 to our fancy draw,
Where Tindal dictates, and Silenus5 snores.'
Then snapt his box, and strok'd his belly down:
Led up the Youth, and call'd the Goddess Dame:
First slave to Words, then vassal to a Name,
Thus bred, thus taught, how many have I seen,
With that, a WIZARD OLD his Cup extends;
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
Up to a Star, and like Endymion dies1:
Kind Self-conceit to some her glass applies,
Others the Syren Sisters warble round,
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
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.
Wash Bladen white, and expiate Hays's stain1.
KNIGHT lifts the head, for what are crowds undone,
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