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With that she gave him (piteous of his case, Yet smiling at his rueful length of face)
REMARKS. much more useful one undoubtedly than that of the bad Poets; if in truth this can be a body, of which no two members ever agreed. It also did, what Mr. Theobald says is unpardonable, draw in parts of private character, and introduced persons independent of his subject. Much more would Boileau have incurred his censure, who left all fubjects whatever, on all occasions, to fall upon the bad poets (which, it is to be feared, would have been more immediately his concern.) But certainly next to commending good writers, the greatest service to learning is zo expole the bad, who can only that way be made of any use to it. This truth is very well set forth in these lipes addressed to our author, “ The craven Rook, and pert Jackdaw,
“(Though neither birds of moral kind) " Yet serve, if hang'd, or stuff'd with straw,
“ To how us which way blows the wind. 6. Thus dirty knaves, or chattering fools,
« Stung up by dozens in thy lay, “ Teach more by half
than Dennis' rules, “ And point inftruction every way. With Ægypt's art thy pen may strive:
“ One potent drop let this but thed, « And every Rogue that stunk alive,
“ Becomes a precious Mummy dead." Ver. 142. rueful length of face) “ The decrepid per“ fon or figure or a man are no reflections upon his Ge“ nius : An honest mind will love and esteem a man of “ worth, though he be deformed or poor. Yet the au« thor of the Dunciad hath libelled a person for his rut “ ful length of face!" Mift's Journal, June 8. This
A shaggy Tapestry, worthy to be spread,
6 creature no
Genius and man of worth, whom an honest mind should love, is Mr. Curll. True it is, he stood on the pillory, an incident which will lengthen the face of any man, though it were ever so comely, therefore is no reflection on the natural beauty of Mr. Curll. But as to reflections on any man's face or figure, Mr. Dennis faith excellently; " Natural deformity comes not by our fault; “ it is often occasioned by calamities and diseases, which “ a man can no more help than a monster can his de« formity. There is no one misfortune, and no one “ disease, but what all the rest of mankind are subject “ to.—But the deformity of this Author is visible, pre« sent, lasting, unalterable, and peculiar to himself. 'Tis “ the mark of God and Nature upon him, to give us " warning that we Thould hold no society with him, as a
of our original, nor of our species : and “ they who have refused to take this warning which “ God and Nature has given them, and have, in spite “ of it, by a senseless presumption, ventured to be fami“ liar with him, have severely suffered, &c.' Tis certain “ his original is not from Adam, but from the Devil," &c. DENNIS, Character of Mr. P. octavo, 1716.
Admirably it is observed by Mr. Dennis against Mr. Law, p. 33.
“ That the language of Billingsgate can “ never be the language of charity, nor consequently of “ Christianity.” I should else be tempted to use the language of a Critic; for what is more provoking to a commentator, than to behold his author thus portrayed? Yet I consider it really hurts not him! whereas to call some others dull, might do them prejudice with a world too apt to believe it: Therefore, though Mr. D. may call another a little ass or a young toad, far be it from us to call him a toothless lion or an old serpent. Indeed, had I written these notes (as was once my intent) in
Instructive work! whose wry-mouth'd portraiture 145 Display'd the fates her confessors endure.
the learned language, I might have given him the appel
I lations of balatro, calceatum caput, fcurra in triviis, being phrases in good esteem and frequent usage among the best learned : But in our mother-tongue, were I to tax any gentleman of the Dunciad, surely it should be in words not to the vulgar intelligible ; whereby chriftian charity, decency, and good accord among authors, might be preserved.
SCRIBL. The good Scriblerus here, as on all occasions, eminently shews his humanity, But it was far otherwise with the gentlemen of the Dunciad, whose scurrilities were always personal, and of that nature which provoked every honest man but Mr. Pope; yet never to be lamented, since they occalioned the following amiable Verses:
“ While Malice, Pope, denies thy page
“ Its own celestial fire ;
Admiring, won't admire :
“ And envious tongues decry;
" These times bewail not I.
“ And spleen no more shall blame,
« In one establish'd fame :
« Devote a wreath to thee;
“ Shall I lament to see."
Earless on high, stood unabash'd De Foe,
Ver. 143. A faggy Tapestry.) A sorry kind of Tapestry frequent in old Inns, made of worsted or some coarfer stuff; like that which is spoken of by Donne – Faces as frightful as theirs who whip Christ in old hangings. This imagery woven in it alludes to the mantle of Cloanthus, in Æn. v.
Ver. 144. John Dunton was a broken bookseller, and abusive scribbler; he writ Neck or Nothing, a violent satire on some ministers of state ; a libel on the Duke of Devonshire and the Bishop of Peterborough, &c.
Ver. 148. And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge] 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 an exile, he wrote an invective against his memory, occafioned by some humane elegies on his death. He lived to the time of Queen Anne.
Ver. 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 were fo.
Ver. 151. Himself among the story'd chiefs he fpies,] The history of Curll'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 Edm. Curll, &c. in Swift and Pope's Miscellanies.
And oh! (he cry'd) what street, what lane, but knows
155 And the fresh vomit run for ever green!
See in the circle next, Eliza plac'd,
REMARKS. Ver. 157. See in the circle next Eliza plac'd,] In this game is exposed, in the most contemptuous manner, the profligate licentiousness of those shameless scriblers (for the most part of that sex, which ought least to be capable of such malice or impudence) who, in libellous Memoirs and Novels, reveal the faults or misfortunes of both fexes, to the ruin of public fame, or disturbance of private happiness. Our good poet (by the whole cast of his work being obliged not to take off the Irony) where he could not fnew his indignation, hath fhewn his contempt, as much as possible; having here drawn as vile a picture as could be represented in the colours of Epic poefy.
SCRIBL. Ibid. 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 CurlL, Key, p. 22. But whatever reflection he is pleased to throw upon this Lady, surely it was what from him the little deserved, who had celebrated Curll's undertakings for Reformation of manners, and declared herself " to be so perfectly acquainted with the sweet“ ness of his difpofition, and that tenderness with which “ he considered the errors of his fellow-creatures; that, “ though she should find the little inadvertencies of her “ own life recorded in his papers, she was certain it “ would be done in such a manner as she could not but
approve.” Mrs. HAYWOOD, Hift. of Clar. printed in the Female Dunciad, p. 18.