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Dulness whofe good old caufe I yet defend,
With whom my Mufe began, with whom fhall end,
E'er fince Sir Fopling's periwig* was praise,
To the laft honours of the butt and bays:
O thou! of business the directing foul !
To this our head like byafs to the bowl,
Which, as more pond'rous, made its aim more true,
Obliquely wadling to the mark in view:
O! ever gracious to perplex'd mankind,
Still spread a healing mift before the mind;
And, left we err by Wit's wild dancing light,
Secure us kindly in our native night.
Or, if to wit a coxcomb make pretence,
Guard the fure barrier between that and fenfe;
Or quite unravel + all the reas'ning thread,
And hang fome curious cobweb in its ftead!
As, forc'd from wind-guns, lead itself can fly,
And pond'rous flugs cut fwiftly thro' the sky ;


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*The firft vifible caufe of the paffion of the town for our hero, was a fair flaxen full-bottomed periwig, which, he tells us, he wore in his firft play of the Fool in fofhion. It attracted, in a particular manner, the friendhip of Col. Brett, who wanted to purchase it. "Whatever contempt {fays "he) philofophers may have for a fine periwig, my friend, who was not to "defpife the world but live in it, knew very well that fo material an article

of drefs upon the head of a man of fenfe, if it became him, could never "fail of drawing to him a more partial regard and benevolence, than could



poffibly be hoped for in an ill made one. This, perhaps, may soften the grave cenfure, which fo youthful a purchase might otherwife have laid him. In a word, he made his attack upon this periwig, as your young fellows generally do upon a lady of pleasure, firft by a few familiar "praises of her perfon, and then a civil enquiry into the price of it: and 86 we finished our bargain that night over a bottle." See Life, octavo, p. 303. This remarkable periwig ufually made its entrance upon the stage in a fedan, brought in by two chairmen, with infinite approbation of the audience.


For quit or reafoning are never greatly hurtful to Dulness, but when the first is founded in truth, and the other in usefulness.

The thought of these four verses is found in a poem of our author's of a very early date (namely written at fourteen years old, and foon after printed) to the author of a poem called Succeffio.


As clocks to weight their nimble motion owe,
The wheels above urg'd by the load below:
Me Emptiness, and Dulness could inspire,
And were my elafticity and fire.


Some Dæmon ftole my pen (forgive th' offence)
And once betray'd me into common sense:
Elfe all my profe and verse were much the fame
This, profe on ftilts; that, poetry fall'n lame:
Did on the stage my Fops appear confin'd?
My life gave ampler leffons to mankind.
Did the dead letter unsuccessful prove?
The brisk example never fail'd to move.
Yet fure, had Heav'n decreed to fave the ftate,
Heav'n had decreed thefe works a longer date.
Could Troy be fav'd by any fingle hand,
This grey-goofe weapon inuft have made her ftand.
What can I now? my Fletcher + caft afide,

Take up the Bible, once my better guide ?
Or tread the path by vent'rous heroes trod,
This box my thunder, this right hand my god?
Or chair'd at White's amidft | the doctors fit,
Teach oaths to gamefters, and to nobles wit?




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*Alluding to the old English weapon, the arrow of the long bow, which was fletched with the feathers of the grey goofe.

† A familiar manner of fpeaking, used by modern critics, of a favourite anthor. Bays might as jufly fpeak thus of Fletcher, as a French wit did of Tully, feeing his works in a library, Ah! mon cher Ciceron! je Ir con"nois bien; c'eft le même que Mare Tulle." But he had a better title to call Fletcher bis oren, having made fo frex with him.


When, according to his father's intention, he had been a clergyman, or (as he thinks himfelf) a bishop of the church of England. Hear his own words: "At the time that the fate of K. James, the Prince of Orange, and

myfelf were on the anvil, Providence thought fit to postpone mine, 'till theirs were determined: but had my father carried me a month fooner to the University, who knows but that purer fountain might have washed my imperfections, into a capacity of writing, inftead of Plays and annual Odes, "Sermons and Paftoral Letters?' Apology for his Life, chap. iii

Thefe doctors had a modest and upright appearance, no air of overbearing but, like true mafters of arts, were only habited in black and white


Or bidft thou rather party to embrace ?
(A friend to party thou, and all her race;
'Tis the fame rope at different ends they twift;
To Dulness Ridpath is as dear as Mift *.)
Shall I, like Curtius, defp'rate in my zeal,
O'er head and ears plunge for the commonweal?
Or rob Rome's ancient geefe of all their glories †,
And cackling fave the monarchy of Tories?
Hold-to the minifter I more incline;
To ferve his caufe, O queen! is ferving thine.


They were juftly tiled fubtiles and graves, but not always irrefragabiles, being fometimes examined, and, by a nice distinction, divided and laid open.



This learned critic is to be understood allegorically: the DOCTORS in this place mean no more than falfe dice, a cant phrase used among gamesters. So the meaning of these four fonorous lines is only this, "Shall I play fair,

"or foul?"

"Atque hic auratis volitans argenteus anfer
"Porticibus, Gallos in limine adeffe canebat."

* George Ridpath, author of a Whig-paper, called the Flying-poft ; Nathanael Mift, of a famous Tory Journal.

Relates to the well-known ftory of the geefe that faved the Capitol; of which Virgil, Æn. viii.

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A paffage I have always fuípected. Who fees not the antithefis of auratis and argenteus to be unworthy the Virgilian majesty? And what abfurdity to say a goofe fings? canebat. Virgil gives a contrary character of the voice of this filly bird, in Eccl. ix.


-argutos inter ftrepere anfer olores."

Read it, therefore, adeffe ftrepebat. And why auratis porticibus? does not the very verfe preceding this inform us,

"Romuleoque recens horrebat regia culmo."

Is this thatch in one line, and gold in another, confiftent? I fcruple not (repugnantibus omnibus manufcriptis) to correct it auritis. Horace ufes the fame epithet in the fame fenfe,


Auritas fidibus canoris
"Ducere quercus."

And to say that walls bave ears is common even to a proverb. SCRIBL. Not out of any preference or affection to the Tories. For what Hobbes fo ingenuously confeffes of himself, is true of all minifterial writers whatfo"That he defends the fupreme powers, as the geefe by their cackling "defended the Romans, who held the Capitol; for they favoured them no more than the Gau's, their enemies, but were as ready to have defended the Gauls if they had been poffeffed of the capital." Epilt. Dedic. to the Leviathan.



And fee! thy very Gazetteers * give o'er,
Ev'n Ralph repents, and Henley writes no more.
What then remains! Ourfelf. Still, ftill remain
Cibberian forehead †, and Cibberian brain.
This brazen brightnefs, to the 'Squire fo dear;
This polifh'd hardness, that reflects the peer:
This arch abfurd, that wit and fool delights;
This mess, tofs'd up of Hockley-hole and White's;
Where dukes and butchers join to wreathe my crown,
At once the bear and fiddle of the town.




O born in fin, and forth in folly brought! Works damn'd, or to be damn'd! (your father's fault) Go, purify'd by flames afcend the fky, My better and more chriftian progeny § ! Unftain'd, untouch'd, and yet in maiden fheets; While all your smutty fifters walk the streets. Ye fhall not beg, like gratis-given Bland ||, Sent with a pafs, and vagrant thro' the land;


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* A band of minifterial writers, hired at the price mentioned in the note on book i. ver. 316, who, on the very day their patron quitted his post, laid down their paper, and declared they would never more meddle in po litics.

So indeed all the MSS. read, but I make no fcruple to pronounce them all wrong, the Laureate being elfewhere celebrated by our poet for his great modefty-modeft Cibber-Read, therefore, at my peril, Cerberian forebead. This is perfly claffical, and, what is more, Homerical; the dog was the ancient, as the bitch is the modern, fymbol of Impudence: (Kuvo's opat exar fays Achilles to Agamemnon) which, when in a fuperlative degree, may well be denominated from Cerberus, the dog with three beads.-But as to the latter part of this verse, Cibberian brain, that is certainly the genuine reading.


This is a tender and passionate apoftrophe to his own works, which he is going to facrifice agreeable to the nature of man in great affliction `; and reflecting like a parent on the many miferable fates to which they would otherwife be fubject.

$ "It may be obfervable, that my mufe and my fpoufe were equally pro"lific; that the one was feldom the mother of a child, but in the fame " year the other made me the father of a play. I think we had a dozen of "each fort between us; of both which kinds fome died in their infancy," etc. Life of C C. p. 217, 8vo. edit.

It was a practice fo to give the Daily Gazetteer and ministerial pam


Nor fail with Ward *, to Ape-and-monkey climes,
Where vile Mundungus trucks for viler rhymes;
Not fulphur-tipt, emblaze an ale-house fire;
Not wrap up oranges, to pelt your fire!
O pafs more innocent, in infant ftate,
To the mild limbo of our father Tate:
Or peaceably forgot, at once be bleft
In Shadwell's + bofom with eternal reft!
Soon to that mafs of nonfenfe to return,
Where things destroy'd are swept to things unborn.
With that, a tear (portentous fign of grace)
Stole from the mafter of the fev'nfold face:
And thrice he lifted high the birth-day brand,
And thrice he dropt it from his quiv'ring hand;
Then lights the ftructure, with averted eyes:
The rolling fmokes involve the facrifice.
The op'ning clouds difclofe each work by turns,
Now flames the Cid §, and now Perolla burns ;
C c






phlets (in which this B. was a writer) and to fend them Post-free to all the towns in the kingdom.

Edward Ward, a very voluminous poet in Hudibraftic verfe, but best "known by the London Spy, in profe. He has of late years kept a pub"lic houfe in the city, (but in a genteel way) and with his wit, humour, "and good liquor (ale) afforded his guefts a pleasurable entertainment, efpecially thofe of the high-church party." JACOB, Lives of Poets vol. ii. p. 225. Great numbers of his works were yearly fold into the plantations. -Ward, in a book called Apollo's Maggot, declared this account to be a great falfity, protesting that his public houfe was not in the city, but in Moorfields.


Two of his predeceffors in the laurel.

It is to be observed that our poet hath made his hero, in imitation of Virgil's, obnoxious to the tender paffions. He was indeed fo given to weeping, that he tells us, when Goodman the player swore, if he did not make a good a&or, be'd be damn'd; "the furprife of being commended by one, who

had been himself fo eminent on the ftage, and in fe pofitive a manner, was "more than he could fupport. In a word (fays h) it almost took away my "breath, and (laugh if you please) fairly drew tears from my eyes." P. 149, of his Life, octavo.

In the first notes on the Dunciad, it was faid, that this author was particularly excellent at tragedy. "This (ays he) is as unjust as to fay I “ could dance on a rope." But certain it is that he had attempted to dance


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