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ing the works of two voluminous Authors, one in verse, and the other in profe, deliberately read, without fleeping: The various effects of which, with the feveral degrees and manners of their operation, are here fet forth; till the whole number, not of Critics only, but of spectators, actors, and all present, fall faft afleep; which naturally and neceffarily ends the games.
Two things there are, upon the fuppofition of which the very basis of all verbal criticism is founded and fupported: The firft, that an author could never fail to use the best word on every occasion; the second, that a Critic cannot chufe but know which that is. This being granted, whenever any word doth not fully content us, we take upon us to conclude, firft, that the author could never bave used it; and, fecondly, that he must have used that very one, which we conjecture, in its stead.
We cannot, therefore, enough admire the learned Scriblerus for his alteration of the text in the two last verses of the preceding book, which in ali the former editions stood thus:
Hoarfe thunder to its bottom shook the bog:
And the loud nation croak'd, God fave king Log.
He has, with great judgment, transposed these two epithets; putting boarfe to the nation, and loud to the thunder; and this being evidently the true reading, he vouchsafed not fo much as to mention the former; for which affertion of the just right of a Critic, he merits the acknowledgment of all found Commentators.
*The pulpit of a Diffenter is usually called a tub; but that of Mr. Orator Henley was covered with velvet, and adorned with gold. He had also a fair altar, and over it this extraordinary inscription, The Primitive Eucharist. See the history of this perfon, book iii.
+ Richard Fleckno was an Irish priest, but had laid afide (as himself expreffed it) the mechanic part of priesthood. He printed fome plays, poems, letters, and travels. I doubt not, our author took occafion to mention him in refpect to the poem of Mr. Dryden, to which this bears fome refemblance, though of a character more different from it than that of the Eneid from the Iliad, or the Lutrin of, Boileau from the Defait de Bouts rimées of Sarazin.
It may be just worth mentioning, that the eminence from whence the ancient Sophifts entertained their auditors, was called by the pompous name of a throne ; ~ἐπὶ θρόνῳ τινὸς ὑψηλές μαλα σοφισικῶς καὶ σοβαρῶς. Themiftius, Orat. i.
Or that where on her * Curls the public pours,
Not with more glee, by hands pontific crown'd,
Edmund Curl stood in the pillory at Charing-crofs, in March 1727-8, "This (faith Edmund Curl) is a false affertion-I had indeed the corporal "punishment of what the gentlemen of the long robe are pleafed jocofely to "call mounting the Roftrum for one hour; but that scene of action was not in "the month of March, but in February." [Curliad, 12mo, p. 19.] And of the Hiftory of bit being teft in a Blanket, he faith, "Here, Scriblerus! thou *leefeth in what thou afferteft concerning the blanket: it was not a blanket, "but a rug," p. 25. Much in the fame manner Mr. Cibber remonstrated, that bis brothers, at Bedlam, mentioned Book i. were not Brazen, but Blocks; yet our author let it pass unaltered, as a trifle that no way altered the rela tionship.
We fhould think (gentle Reader) that we but ill performed our part, if we corrected not as well our own errors now, as formerly those of the Printer. Since what moved us to this Work, was folely the love of Truth, not in the least any Vain-glory, or defire to contend with Great Authors. And further, our mistakes, we conceive, will the rather be pardoned, as scarce poffible to be avoided in writing of fuch Perfons and Works as do ever fhun the Light. However, that we may not any way foften or extenuate the fame, we give them thee in the very words of our Antagonists: not defending but retracting them from our heart, and craving excufe of the parties offended for furely in this Work, it hath been above all things our defire, to provoke no
+ Camillo Querno was of Apulia, who hearing the great encouragement which Leo X. gave to poets, travelled to Rome with a harp in his hand, and fung to it twenty thousand verses of a poem called Alexias. He was introduced as a Buffoon to Leo, and promoted to the honour of the laurel; a
And now the queen, to glad her fons, proclaims
Amid that area wide they took their stand,
With Authors, Stationers obey'd the call,
jest which the court of Rome and the Pope himself entered into so far, as to cause him to ride on an elephant to the Capitol, and to hold a folemn feftival on his coronation; on which it is recorded the Poet him felf was fo transported as to weep for joy. He was ever after a constant frequenter of the Pope's table, drank abundantly, and poured forth verfes without number, PAULUS Jovius, Elog. Vir. doćt. cap. lxxxiii. Some idea of his poetry is given by Fam. Strada, in his Prolusions.
* This fpecies of mirth called a joke, arising from a mal-entendu, may be well fuppofed to be the delight of Dulness.
I. e. A trifling head, and a contracted heart,
* See Life of C. C. chap. vi. p. 449.
And empty words fhe gave, and founding ftrain,
So like, that critics faid, and courtiers swore,
as the poet, book iv. defcribes the accomplished fons of Dulnefs; of whom this is only an Image, or Scarecrow, and so stuffed out with these correfponding materials. SCRIBL.
* Our author here feems willing to give fome account of the poffibility of Dulness making a Wit (which could be done no other way than by chance.) The fiction is the more reconciled to probability by the known story of Apelles, who being at a loss to exprefs the foam of Alexander's horse, dafh'd his pencil in despair at the picture, and happened to do it by that fortunate ftroke.
+ CURL, in his Key to to the Dunciad, affirmed this to be James-Moore Smith, Efq; and it is probable (confidering what is faid of him in the Teftimonies) that fome might fancy our author obliged to represent this gentleman as a plagiary, or to pafs for one himself. His cafe indeed was like that of a man I have heard of, who, as he was fitting in company, perceived his next neighbour had stolen his handkerchief. “Sir,” (said the thief, finding himself detected) "do not expofe me, I did it for mere want; be fo good "but to take it privately out of my pocket again, and say nothing." The honeft man did fo, but the other cry'd out, "See gentleman what a thief
we have among us! look, he is stealing my handkerchief!"
"Moore always fmiles whenever he recites;
"He fmiles (you think) approving what he writes,
"And yet in this no vanity is fhown;
"A modest man may like what's not his own.
Some time before, he had borrow'd of Dr. Arbuthnot a paper called an Hiftorico-physical Account of the South Sea; and of Mr. Pope the Memoirs of a Farish Clerk, which for two years he kept and read to the Rev. Dr. Young, F. Billers, Efq; and many others as his own. Being applied to for them, he pretended they were loft; but there happening to be another copy of the latter, it came out in Swift and Pope's Mifcellanies. Upon this, it feems, he was fo far mistaken as to confefs his proceeding by an endeavour to hide it: unguardedly printing (in the Daily Journal of April 3, 1728.)
That the contempt which he and others had for thofe pieces," (which only himself had shewn, and handed about as his own) "occasioned their "being loft, and for that caufe only not returned." A fact, of which as none but he could be confcious, none but he could be the publisher of it. The plagiarisms of this perfon gave occafion to the following Epigram;
This young gentleman's whole misfortune was too inordinate a passion to be