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She ceased. Then swells the Chapel-royal throat; God save king Cibber!' mounts in every note. Familiar White's, God save king Colley!' cries; 'God save King Colley!' Drury-lane replies: To Needham's quick the voice triumphal rode, But pious Needham dropp'd the name of God; 324 Back to the Devil the last echoes roll, And Coll!' each butcher roars at Hockley-hole. So when Jove's block descended from on high, (As sings thy great forefather Ogilby)
Loud thunder to its bottom shook the bog,
324 pious Needham.] A matron of great fame and very religious in her way; whose constant prayer it was that she might get enough by her profession to leave it off in time, and make her peace with God.' But her fate was not so happy; for being convicted, and set in the pillory, she was (to the lasting shame of all her great friends and votaries) so ill used by the populace, that it put an end to her days. W.
325 The Devil Tavern in Fleet-street, where the court odes were usually rehearsed.
The King being proclaimed, the solemnity is graced with public games and sports of various kinds; not instituted by the hero, as by Æneas in Virgil, but for greater honour by the goddess in person (in like manner as the games Pythia, Isthmia, &c. were anciently said to be ordained by the gods, and as Thetis herself appearing, according to Homer, Odyssey XXIV. proposed the prizes in honour of her son Achilles). Hither flock the poets and critics, attended, as is but just, with their patrons and booksellers. The goddess is first pleased, for her disport, to propose games to the booksellers, and setteth up the phantom of a poet, which they contend to overtake. The races described, with their divers accidents. Next, the game for a poetess. Then follow the exercises for the poets, of tickling, vociferating, diving; the first holds forth the arts and practices of dedicators, the second of disputants and fustian poets, the third of profound, dark, and dirty party writers. Lastly, for the critics the goddess proposes (with great propriety) an exercise, not of their parts, but their patience, in bearing the works of two voluminous authors, the one in verse, and the other in prose, deliberately read, without sleeping the various effects of which, with the several degrees and manners of their operation, are here set forth, till the whole number, not of critics only, but of spectators, actors, and all present, fall fast asleep; which naturally and necessarily ends the games.
HIGH on a gorgeous seat, that far outshone1
2 Henley.] Orator Henley-See Book III. ver. 199.
2 Fleckno's Irish throne.] Richard Fleckno was an Irish priest, but had laid aside (as himself expressed it) the mechanic part of priesthood. He printed some plays, poems,
1 High on a gorgeous seat.] Parody of Milton, Book II. High on a throne of royal state, that far Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or that where on her Curls the public pours, 3
Not with more glee, by hands pontific crown'd, With scarlet hats wide-waving circled round, Rome in her Capitol saw Querno sit,
Throned on seven hills, the antichrist of wit.
letters, and travels. I doubt not our author took occasion to mention him in respect to the poem of Mr. Dryden, to which this bears some resemblance, though of a character more different from it than that of the Eneid from the Iliad, or the Lutrin of Boileau from the Defaite des Bouts rimés of Sarazin.
3 Edmund Curl, stood in the pillory at Charing Cross, March, 1727-8.
15 Camillo Querno was of Apulia, who, hearing the great encouragement which Leo X. gave to poets, travelled to Rome with a harp in his hand, and sung to it twenty thousand verses of a poem called Alexias. He was introduced as a buffoon to Leo, and promoted to the honour of the laurel; a jest which the court of Rome and the Pope himself entered into so far, as to cause him to ride on an elephant to the Capitol, and to hold a solemn festival on his coronation ; at which, it is recorded, the poet himself was so transported as to weep for joy*. He was ever after a constant fre
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
* See Life of C. C. chap. vi. p. 149.
And now the Queen, to glad her sons, proclaims
Glory and gain the industrious tribe provoke,
A poet's form she placed before their eyes, 35
quenter of the Pope's table, drank abundantly, and poured forth verses without number. Paulus Jovius, Elog. Vir. doct. cap. xxxii. Some idea of his poetry is given by Fam. Strada in his Prolusions.
35 A poet's form she placed before their eyes.] This is what Juno does to deceive Turnus, Æn. x.
'Tum Dea nube cava, tenuem sine viribus umbram
Divini assimilat capitis
-Dat inania verba,
Dat sine mente sonum
The reader will observe how exactly some of these verses suit with their allegorical application here to a plagiary. There seems to me a great propriety in this episode, where such an one is imaged by a phantom that eludes the grasp of the expecting bookseller.
No meagre, Muse-rid mope, adust and thin,
pert flat eyes she window'd well its head,
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead;
And empty words she gave, and sounding strain, But senseless, lifeless! idol void and vain! Never was dash'd out, at one lucky hit,
A fool, so just a copy of a wit;
So like, that critics said, and courtiers swore, A wit it was, and call'd the phantom Moore. 5° All gaze with ardour; some a poet's name, Others a sword-knot and laced suit inflame; But lofty Lintot in the circle rose, 53
This prize is mine, who tempt it are my foes; With me began this genius, and shall end.' He spoke; and who with Lintot shall contend? Fear held them mute. Alone untaught to fear, Stood dauntless Curl: Behold that rival here! 58
50 Moore] Curl, in his Key to the Dunciad, affirmed this to be James Moore Smith, Esq.
53 We enter here upon the Episode of the Booksellers; persons, whose names being more known and famous in the learned world than those of the authors in this poem, do therefore need less explanation. The action of Mr. Lintot here imitates that of Dares in Virgil, rising just in this manner to lay hold on a bull. This eminent bookseller printed the Rival Modes before mentioned.
58 Stood dauntless Curl.] We come now to a character
39 But such a bulk as no twelve bards could raise.]
• Vix illud lecti bis sex
Qualia nunc hominum producit corpora tellus.'
VIRG. En. XII.