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raving mad. Let's get away (1) as fast as we
Jack. A plague on his crazy head. If ever I put my nose within his doors again, may it be pinched off in good earnest. [Exeunt, running.]
Prologue to Cato.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart; (2) Courage. To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold; Teaching. For this the tragic muse first trod the stage, Commanding tears to stream through ev'ry age. Tyrants no more their savage nature kept, Wonder. And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept. Contempt. (3) Our author shuns by vulgar springs to move, The hero's glory, or the virgin's love.
In pitying love, we but our weakness show,-
Exciting. Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause,
He bids your breast with ancient ardors rise,
Veneration, What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was ;
(1) Separation of the Proteftants from the Romish church. (2) The words, mend the heart, may be expreffed with the right hand laid upon the breast.
(3) I queftion whether all readers of this line (Our author fhuns, -&c.) understand it as the Author meant it. The fenfe, in plain profe, would be, "Our author thinks it beneath him to endeavour to affect you by the common fubject of tragic diftrefs, as the fall of a prince or statesman, or the misfortunes occafioned by love."
What bosom (1) beats not in his country's cause? Earnestnefs
Our scene precariously subsists too long
Scene between DENNIS the Critic, (satyrically reperesented by Swift, as mad) and the DOCTOR.
SCENE. DENNIS'S Garret. DENNIS, DocTOR, NURSE, LINTOT the Bookseller, and another Author. DENNIS, looking wise, and bringing out his words slowly and formally.
Dennis. BEWARE, Doctor, that it fare not with you, as it did with your predecessor, the
(1) The words, What bosom beats not, may be spoken with the right hand preffed to the breast. (2) So may the word, virtue.
famous Hippocrates, whom the mistaken citizens of Abdera sent for in this very manner, to cure the philosopher Democritus. He returned full of admiration at the wisdom of the person, whom he had supposed a lunatic. Behold, Doctor, it was thus that Aristotle himself, and all the great ancients, spent their days and nights wrapped up in criticism, and beset all round with their own writings. As for me, be assured, I have no disease, besides a swelling in my legs, of which. I say nothing, since your art may farther certify
Doctor. Pray, Sir, how did you contract this swelling ?
Dennis. By Criticism.
Doctor. By Criticism! That's a distemper I have never heard nor read of.
Dennis. Death, Sir! A distemper! It is no distemper; but a noble art. I have sat fourteen Contempt. hours a day at it; and are you a doctor, and don't know that there is a communication between. the brain and the legs?
Question. Doctor. What made you sit so many hours,
Sir, I speak of your distemper.
Dennis. Cato, Cato, Cato. (1)
Nurse. For God's sake, Doctor, name not this evil spirit; it is the whole cause of his madness. Alas! poor master will have his fits again. [Almost crying.]
Lintot. Fits! with a pox; a man inay well have fits and swell'd legs, that sits writing fourteen hours in a day. The Remarks the Remarks, have brought all his complaints upon him.
Doctor. The Remarks! What are they?
Dennis. Death! have you never read my RePeevishness marks? I'll he hang'd if this niggardly bookseller (1) He published Remarks on Cato, in the year 1712.
has advertised the book as it should have been. Lintot. Not advertise it, quotha! Pox! I have laid out pounds after pounds in advertising. There has been as much done for the book, as could be done for any book in Christendom.
Doctor. We had better not talk of books, Cautioning. Sir: I am afraid they are the fuel that feed his delirium. Mention books no more. I desire a word in private with this gentleman. I suppose, Sir, you are his apothecary?
Gent. Sir, I am his friend.
Doctor. I doubt it not. What regimen have you observed, since he has been under your care? You remember, I suppose, the passage in Celsus, which says, "If the patient, on the third day, have an interval, suspend the medicaments at night." Let fumigations be used to corroborate Teaching. the brain. I hope, you have, upon no account, promoted sternutation by Hellebore?
Gent. Sir, you mistake the matter quite Doctor. What! An apothecary tell a physi- Pride and cian he mistakes! You pretend to dispute my pre- anger. scription! Pharmacopola componat. Medicus solus præscribat. Fumigate him, I say, this Authority. very evening, while he is relieved by an interval. Dennis. Death Sir! Do you take my friend for an apothecary! A man of genius and learning for an apothecary! Know, Sir, that this gentle- Authority. man professes, like myself, the two noblest sciences in the universe, Criticism, and Poetry. By the immortals, he himself is author of three whole paragraphs in my Remarks, had a hand in my Public Spirit, and assisted me in my description of the Furies and infernal regions in my Appius.
Lintot. He is an author. You mistake the
gentleman, Doctor. He has been an author these twenty years, to his bookseller's knowledge, if to no one's else.
Dennis. Is all the town in a combination! shall poetry fall to the ground! Must our reputation in foreign countries be quiie lost? Ọ
Destruction! Perdition! Cursed Opera! Confounded Opera! (1) As poetry once raised cities, so, when poetry fails, cities are overturned, and the world is no more.
Doctor. He raves, he raves. He must be pinioned, he must be strait-waistcoated, that he may do no mischief.
Dennis. O I am sick! I am sick to death! Doctor. That is a good symptom; a very good symptom. To be sick to death (says the modern theory) is symptom præclarum. When a patient is sensible of his pain, he is half cured. Pray, Question. Sir, of what are you sick? Dennis. Of every thing. Of every thing. I am sick of the sentiments, of the diction, of the protasis, of the epitasis, and the catastrophe. Alas, for the lost drama! The drama is no more. Obfequious Nurse. If you want a dram, Sir, I will bring you a couple of penn'orths of gin in a minute. Mr. Lintot has drank the last of the noggin.
Dennis. O scandalous want! O shameful omission! By all the immortals, here is not the shadow of a peripetia! No change of fortune in the tragedy.
Nurse. Pray, Sir, don't be uneasy about change. Give me the six-pence, and I'll get you change immediately at the gin-shop next door.
Doctor. Hold your peace, good woman. Directing. His fit increases. We must call for help. Mr. Lintot a-hold him, pray, [Doctor gets behind Lintot.
Lintot. Plague on the man! I am afraid, he is really mad. And, if he be, who, the devil will buy the Remarks? I wish [scratching his head] he had been whip'd rather than I had meddled with his Remarks.
Doctor. He must use the cold bath, and be cupped on the head. The symptoms seem des
(1) He wrote a Treatife to prove, that the decay of public fpirit proceeds from the Italian Opera.