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So Proteus, hunted in a nobler shape,
To him the goddess: 'Son! thy grief lay down,
Of wrongs from Duchesses and Lady Maries)
138 Cooke shall be Prior.] The man here specified writ a thing called the Battle of the Poets, in which Philips and Welsted were the heroes, and Swift and Pope utterly routed. He also published some malevolent things in the British, London, and Daily Journals; and, at the same time, wrote letters to Mr. Pope, protesting his innocence. His chief work was a translation of Hesiod, to which Theobald wrote notes, and half notes, which he carefully owned.
138 and Concanen, Swift.] In the first edition of this poem there were only asterisks in this place; but the names were since inserted, merely to fill up the verse, and give ease to the ear of the reader.
144 -Dunton's modern bed.] John Dunton was a broken bookseller, and abusive scribbler: he writ 'Neck or Nothing,'
-(piteous of his case,
Yet smiling at his rueful length of face)]
Me liceat casus miserari insontis amici.
Sic fatus, tergum Getuli immane leonis.' &c.
VIRG. Æn. V.
Instructive work! whose wry-mouth'd portraiture
And the fresh vomit run for ever green!' 156
a violent satire on some ministers of state; a libel on the Duke of Devonshire and the Bishop of Peterborough, &c. W.
148 John Tutchin, author of some vile verses, and of a weekly paper called The Observator.' He was sentenced to be whipped through several towns in the west of England, upon which he petitioned King James II. to be hanged.— When that prince died in exile, he wrote an invective against his memory, occasioned by some humane elegies on his death. He lived to the time of Queen Anne.
149 There Ridpath, Roper.] Authors of the Flying-Post, and Post-Boy, two scandalous papers on different sides, for which they equally and alternately deserved to be cudgelled, and
151 The history of Curl's being tossed in a blanket, and whipped by the scholars of Westminster, is well known. Of his purging and vomiting, see a full and true account of a horrid revenge on the body of Edmund Curl, &c. in Swift and Pope's Miscellanies.
151 Himself among the storied chiefs he spies.]
'Se quoque principibus permixtum agnovit AchivisConstitit, et lacrymans: Quis jam locus, inquit, Achate! Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena laboris ?'
VIRG. En. I.
156 And the fresh vomit run for ever green!] A parody of
these lines of a late noble author :
'His bleeding arm had furnish'd all their rooms,
And run for ever purple in the looms.'
See in the circle next Eliza placed, 157 Two babes of love close clinging to her waist; 158 Fair as before her works she stands confess'd, In flowers and pearls by bounteous Kirkall dress'd. 160
The goddess then: Who best can send on high The salient spout, far-streaming to the sky, His be yon Juno of majestic size, 163 With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes. This China jordan let the chief o'ercome 165 Replenish, not ingloriously, at home.'
Osborne and Curl accept the glorious strife; 167 (Though this his son dissuades, and that his wife)
157 Eliza Haywood: this woman was authoress of those most scandalous books called the Court of Carimania and the New Utopia. For the two Babes of Love, see Curl,
Key, p. 22.
160 Kirkall.] The name of an engraver. Some of this lady's works were printed in four volumes, in 12mo. with her picture thus dressed up before them.
167 Osborne, Thomas.] A bookseller in Gray's Inn, very well qualified by his impudence to act this part; therefore placed here instead of a less deserving predecessor. This man published advertisements for a year together, pretending to sell
158 Two babes of love close clinging to her waist.] Cressa genus, Pholoe, geminique sub ubere nati.'
VIRG. En. v.
With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes.] In allusion to Homer's Βοωπις πότνια Ήρη. 165 This China jordan.]
'Tertius Argolica hac galea contentus abito.'
VIRG. Æn. V.
In the games of Homer, Iliad XXIII. there are set together as prizes a lady and a kettle, as in this place Mrs. Haywood and a jordan. But there the preference in value is given to the kettle, at which Madame Dacier is justly displeased.Mrs. H. is here treated with distinction, and acknowledged to be the more valuable of the two.
One on his manly confidence relies, 169
First Osborne lean'd against his letter'd post ;
So Jove's bright bow displays its watery round 173
Mr. Pope's subscription-books of Homer's Iliad at half the price of which books he had none; but cut to the size of them (which was quarto) the common books in folio, without copper-plates, on a worse paper, and never above half the value. W.
The words of Homer, of the rainbow, in Iliad XI.
ας τε Κρονίων
Εν νέφει σηριξ ετερας μερόπων ανθρωων.
181 182 So (famed like thee for turbulence and horns)
Virgil mentions these two qualifications of Eridanus, Georg.
'Et gemina auratus taurino cornua vultu,
Eridanus, quo non alius per pinguia culta
The poets fabled of this river Eridanus, that it flowed through the skies. Denham, Cooper's Hill:
Through half the heavens he pours the'exalted urn; His rapid waters in their passage burn.
Swift as it mounts, all follow with their eyes; Still happy Impudence obtains the prize. Thou triumph'st, victor of the high-wrought day, And the pleased dame, soft-smiling, lead'st away. Osborne, through perfect modesty o'ercome, Crown'd with the jordan, walks contented home. But now for authors nobler palms remain ; Room for my Lord! three jockies in his train; Six huntsmen with a shout precede his chair: He grins, and looks broad nonsense with a stare. His honour's meaning Dulness thus express'd, 'He wins this patron who can tickle best.'
He chinks his purse, and takes his seat of state: With ready quills the dedicators wait; Now at his head the dexterous task commence, And, instant, fancy feels the' imputed sense; Now gentle touches wanton o'er his face, He struts Adonis, and affects grimace; Rolli the feather to his ear conveys; 203 Then his nice taste directs our operas : Bentley his mouth with classic flattery opes, And the puff'd orator bursts out in tropes.
203 Paolo Antonio Rolli, an Italian poet, and writer of many operas in that language, which, partly by the help of his genius, prevailed in England near twenty years. He taught Italian to some fine gentlemen, who affected to direct the operas. W. 205 Bentley his mouth, &c.] Not spoken of the famous Dr.
'Heaven her Eridanus no more shall boast,
Whose fame's in thine, like lesser currents lost;
To shine among the stars, and bathe the gods.'