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Three things another's modest wishes bound, My Friendship, and a Prologue, and ten pound. Pitholeon fends to me: "You know his Grace, "I want a Patron; afk him for a Place." Pitholeon libell'd me-" but here's a letter
"Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. "Dare you refuse him? Curl invites to dine, "He'll write a Journal, or he'll turn Divine." Bless me! a packet.-" "Tis a stranger fues, A Virgin Tragedy, an Orphan Muse." If I diflike it, "Furies, death and rage!" If I approve," Commend it to the Stage." There (thank my ftars) my whole commiffion ends, The Play'rs and I are, luckily, no friends.
VER. 53. in the MS.
If you refufe, he goes, as fates incline,
Cibber and I are, luckily, no friends.
VER. 49. Pitholeon] The name taken from a foolish Poet of Rhodes, who pretended much to Greek. Schol. in Horat. l. 1. Dr. Bentley pretends, that this Pitholeon libelled Cæfar alfo. See notes on Hor. Sat. 10. VER. 54. He'll write a Journal,] Meaning the London Jour; a paper in favour of Sir R. Walpole's miniftry. Bishop WARTON.
Hoadley wrote in it, as did Dr. Bland.
VER. 55. A packet.] Alludes to a tragedy called the Virgin Queen, by Mr. R. Barford, published 1729, who displeased Pope by daring to adopt the fine machinery of his Sylphs in an heroicomical poem called the Affembly. 1726.
Fir'd that the houfe reject him, "'Sdeath, I'll print it, "And fhame the Fools-Your int'reft, Sir, with "Lintot."
Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much : "Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch."
VER. 60. The Play'rs and I, &c.] On this paffage, Cibber, in his curious letter, printed in 1742, addreffed to Pope, has the following obfervation :
"I am glad to find in your fmaller Edition, that your con fcience has fince given this line fome correction; for there you have taken off a little of its edge: it there runs only thus:
The Players and I are luckily no friends.
This is fo uncommon an inftance of your checking your temper, and taking a little fhame to yourself, that I cannot in juítice omit my notice of it."
The cause of Pope's continued invective against Cibher, is thus given in the letter before mentioned :
"The play of the Rehearfal, which had laid fome few years dormant, being by his prefent Majefty (George II.), then Prince of Wales commanded to be revived, the part of Bays fell to my fhare. To this character there had always been allowed fuch ludicrous liberties of obfervation upon any thing new, or remarkable in the ftate of the stage, as Mr. Bays might think proper to make."
He then defcribes a fuccefsful fally in ridiculing the introduction of the Mummy and Crocodile, in an entertainment acted about that time without fuccefs, called "Three Hours after Marriage," and fuppofed to have been written by Pope
"This was the offence," he fays: "In this play (Three Hours after Marriage), two Coxcombs, being in love with a learned virtuofo's wife, to get unfufpected access to her, ingeniously fend themselves, as two prefented rarities, to the hufband; the one curiously fwathed up like an Egyptian Mummy, and the other flily covered in the pafte board skin of a Crocodile; upon which poetical expedient I, Mr. Bays, when the two Kings of Brentford came from the clouds again into the throne, inftead of what the part directed me to fay, made me use these words, viz.
All my demurs but double his attacks;
"Now, Sir, this revolution, I had fome thoughts of introducing "by a quite different contrivance; but my defign taking air, fome "of your sharp wits, I found, had made ufe of it before me; otherwise I intended to have fiolen one of them in the shape of a MUMMY, and the other, in that of a Crocodile.”
This fally of Cibber, it appears, was received with great applaufe; and Pope, very much irritated, came to Cibber after the play, to call him to account for the infult. This is the fum of Cibber's statement, refpecting the firft caufe of Pope's anger, in his letter, the publication of which, it is well known, gave Pope great uneafinefs and on account of which, he afterwards dethroned Theobald from his eminence as King of the Dunces, and placed Cibber, who cared very little about the matter, in his place.
"Ma bile alors s'echauffe, et je brûle d'ecrire ;
Et s'il ne m'eft permis de le dire au papier ;
VER. 69 'Tis fung, when Midas'] The abruptnefs with which this ftory from Perfius is introduced, occafions an obfcurity in the paffage; for there is no connection with the foregoing paragraph. Boileau fays, Sat. ix. v. 221. I have nothing to do with Chapelain's honour, or candour, or civility, or complaifance; but, if you hold him up as a model of good writing, and as the king of authors,
There is much humour in making the prying and watchful eyes of the minifter, instead of the barber, first discover the afs's ears; and the word perks has particular force and emphafis. Walpole and Queen Caroline were here pointed at.
His very Minister who fpy'd them first,
(Some fay his Queen,) was forc'd to speak, or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a forer case, When ev'ry coxcomb perks them in my face?
A. Good friend, forbear! you deal in dang'rous things.
I'd never name Queens, Ministers, or Kings;
You think this cruel? take it for a rule,
VER. 72. Queen,] The story is told, by fome, of his Barber, but by Chaucer, of his Queen. See Wife of Bath's Tale in Dryden's Fables. POPE.
VER. 80. That fecret to each fool, that he's an Afs:] i. e. that his ears (his marks of folly) are vifible. WARBURTON.
VER. 86. the mighty crack:] A parody on Addison's tranflation of Horace, Ode iii. b. 3.
"Should the whole frame of Nature round him break
She unconcern'd would hear the mighty crack,
And stand secure amidst a falling world."
On which lines he obferves, in the Bathos, "Sometimes a fingle word (as crack) will vulgarize a poetical idea."
Pit, box, and gall'ry in convulfions hurl'd,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
VER. 88. "Si fractus illabatur orbis,
"Critics on verfe, as fquibs on triumphs, wait,
Hot, envious, noify, proud, the fcribbling fry
Burn, hifs, and bounce, waste paper, stink, and die!
Impavidum ferient ruina." Hor.
VER. 90. He fpins the flight,] The metaphor in our Author is moft happily carried on through a variety of correfponding particulars, that exactly hit the nature of the two infects in queftion. It is not pursued too far, nor jaded out, so as to become quaint and affected; as is the case in many of Congreve's too witty comedies, particularly in the Way of the World, and in Young's Satires. For inftance:
The epithets envious and proud, have nothing to do with squibs. The laft line is brilliant and ingenious, but perhaps too much fo. WARTON.
He has given the "Parnaffian fneer," in the first editions of the Dunciad, to Theobald:
"The proud Parnaffian fneer,
"The conscious fimper, and the jealous leer,