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While thus each hand promotes the pleasing pain,
Now turn to different sports (the Goddess cries)
230 Improve we these. Three Cat-calls be the bribe Of him, whose chattering thames the Monkey tribe :
Ver. 226. With Thunder rumbling from the mustard bowl,] The old way of making Thunder and Mustard were the fame ; but since, it is more advantageously performed by troughs of wood with ftops in them. Whether Mr. Dennis was the inventor of that improvement, I know not; but it is certain, that being once at a Tragedy of a new author, he fell into a great passion at hcaring some, and cried, “ 'Sdeath! that is my Thunder."
And his this Drum, whose hoarse heroic bass
Now thousand tongues are heard in one loud din :
As when the long-ear’d milky mothers wait At some fick miser's triple-bolted gate, For their defrauded, absent foals they make A moan so loud, that all the Guild awake; 250 Sore fighs Sir Gilbert, starting at the bray, From dreams of millions, and three groats to pay : So swells each wind-pipe: Ass intones to Ass, Harmonic twang! of leather, horn, and brass; Such as from labouring lungs th'Enthusiast blows, 255 High sounds, attemper'd to the vocal nose ;
Or such as bellow from the deep Divine ;
Ver. 257, 258. This couplet is an addition.
Ver. 258. Webster-and Whitefield] The one the writer of a News-paper called the Weekly Miscellany, the other a Field-preacher. This thought the only means of advancing Religion was by the New-birth of spiritual madness: That by the old death of fire and faggot: And therefore they agreed in this, though in no other earthly thing, to abuse all the sober Clergy. From the finall success of these two extraordinary perfons, we may learn how little hurtful Bigotry and Enthusiasm are, while the Civil Magistrate prudently forbears to lend his power to the one, in order to the employing it against the other.
Ver. 263. Long Chancery-lane] The place where the offices of Chancery are kept. The long detention of Clients in that Court, and the difficulty of getting out, is humorously allegorized in these lines.
This labour past, by Bridewell all descend, (As morning-prayers, and flagellation end)
Ver. 268. Who sings so loudly, and who sings so long:) A just charaéter of Sir Richard Blackmore, knight, who (as Mr. Dryden expresseth it)
“ Writ to the rumbling of his coach's wheels." and whose indefatigable Muse produced no less than fix Epic poems : : Prince and King Arthur, twenty books; Eliza ten ; Alfred twelve ; the Redeemer, fix; besides Job, in folio; the whole Book of Psalms; the Creation, seven books; Nature of Man, three books; and many
It is in this sense he is ftyled afterwards the everlasting Blackmore. Notwithstanding all which, Mr. Gildon seems assured, “ that this admirable author “ did not think himself upon the same foot with Ho“ mer." Comp. Art of Poetry, vol. i. p. 108.
But how different is the judgment of the author of Characters of the times? p. 25. who says, “ Sir Ri“ chard Blackmore is unfortunate in happening to mis“ take his proper talents ; and that he has not for many “ years been lo much as named, or even thought of among
writers.” Even Mr. Dennis differs greatly from his friend Mr. Gildon : “ Blackmore's Action “ (faith he) has neither unity, nor integrity, nor mora“ lity, nor univerfality; and consequently he can have “ no Fable, and no Heroic Poem : His Narration is “ neither probable, delightful, nor wonderful ; his cha“racters have none of the necessary qualifications; the “ things contained in his narration are neither in their os own nature delightful, nor numerous enough, nor “ rightly disposed, nor surprizing, nor pathetic.”-Nay he proceeds lo far as to say Sir Richard has no Genius; first laying down, that “Genius is caused by a furious “joy and pride and soul, on the conception of an extra
To where Fleet-ditch with disemboguing streams
« ordinary Hint. Many men (lays he) have their Hints, “ without those motions of fury and pride of soul, be“ cause they want fire enough io agitate their spirits; “ and there we call cold writers. Others who have a
great deal of fire, but have not excellent organs, feel " the fore-mentioned motions, without the extracr“ dinary hints; and these we call fuftian writers. But
he declares that Sir Richard had neither the Hints nor
the Motions." Remarks on Pr. Arth. octavo, 1656. Preface,
This gentleman in his first works abused the character of Mr. Dryden; and in his last, of Mr. Pope, accuiing him in very high and fober terms of profaneness and immorality (Essay on Polite Writing, vol. ii. p. 270.) on a mere report from Edm. Curll, that he was author of a Travestie on the first Pfalm. Mr. Dennis took up the same report, but with the addition of what Sir Richard had neglected, an Argument to prove it; which being very curious, we shall here transcribe. “ he who burlesqued the Psalms of David. It is apo
parent to me that Pfalm was burlesqued by a Popish “ rhymester. Let rhyming perfons who have been
brought up Protestants be otherwise what they will, “ let them be rakes, let them be scoundrels, let them “be Atheists, yet education has made an invincible im“pression on them in behalf of the facred writings. “ But a Popish rhymester has been brought up with a
contempt for those facred writings; now thew me " another Popish rhymester but he.” This manner of argumentation is usual with Mr. Dennis; he has einployed the same against Sir Richard himself, in a like charge of Impiety and Irreligion. “ All Mr. Blackmore's " celettial Machines, as they cannot be defended so
" It was