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Hibernian Politics, O Swift! thy fate *;
And Pope's, ten years to comment and tranflate +.
not confined to the author only; the ladies carried about with them the favourite fongs of it in fans; and houses were furnished with it in fcreens. The perfon who acted Polly, till then obfcure, became all at once the favourite of the town; her pictures were ingraved, and fold in great numbers; her life written, books of letters and verses to her, published; and pamphlets made even of her fayings and jests.
Furthermore, it drove out of England, for that feafon, the Italian Opera, which had carried all before it for ten years. That idol of the nobility and people, which the great Critic Mr. Dennis by the labours and outcries of a whole life could not overthrow, was demolished by a fingle stroke of this gentleman's pen. This happened in the year 1728. Yet fo great was his modefty, that he constantly prefixed to all the editions of it this motto, Nas bæc novimus effe nibil.
* See Book i. ver. 26.
The author here plainly laments that he was fo long employed in tranflating and commenting. He began the Iliad in 1713, and finished it in 1719, The edition of Shakespeare (which he undertook merely because nobody elfe would) took up near two years more in the drudgery of comparing impreffions, rectifying the Scenery, etc. and the tranflation of half the Odyssey employed him from that time to 1725.
It may perhaps feem incredible, that fo great a Revolution in Learning as is here prophefied, should be brought about by such weak instruments as have been [hitherto] described in our poem: But do not thou, gentle reader, rest too fecure in thy contempt of these Inftruments. Remember what the Dutch ftories fomewhere relate, that a great part of their provinces was once overflowed, by a fmall opening made in one of their dykes by a fingle Water-Rat.
However, that fuch is not seriously the judgment of our Poet, but that he conceiveth better hopes from the Diligence of our Schools, from the Regu larity of our Universities, the Discernment of our Great men, the Accom. plishments of our Nobility, the Encouragement of our Patrons, and the Genius of our Writers of all kinds (notwithstanding some few exceptions in cach) may plainly be feen from his conclufion; where caufing all this vision to pass through the Ivory gate, he exprefly, in the language of Poefy, declares all fuch imaginations to be wild, ungrounded, and fictitious. SCRIBL, Another great prophet of Dulness, on this fide Styx, promiseth those days to be near at hand. The Devil (faith he) licensed Bishops to license Masters of Schools to inftru&t youth in the knowledge of the beatben Gods, their religion, etc. The Schools and Universities will foon be tired and ashamed of Claffics and fuch trumpery. HUTCHINSON's Ufe of Reafon recovered. SCRIBL.
'Till Ifis' Elders reel, their pupils sport,
The END of the THIRD BOOK.
THE HE Poet being, in this Book, to declare the Comple tion of the Prophecies mentioned at the end of the former, makes a new Invocation; as the greater Poets are wont, when fome high and worthy matter is to be fung. He fhews the Goddess coming in her Majefty, to deftroy Order and Science, and to fubftitute the Kingdom of the Dull upon earth. How fhe leads captive the Sciences, and filences the Mufes; and what they be who fucceed in their ftead. All her Children, by a wonderful attrac tion, are drawn about her; and bear along with them divers others, who promote her Empire by connivance, weak refiftance, or difcouragement of Arts : fuch as Half wits, taftelefs Admirers, vain Pretenders, the Flatterers of Dunces, or the Patrons of them. All these crowd round her; one of them, offering to approach her, is driven back by a Rival, but the commends and encourages both The first who speak in form are the Geniuses of the Schools, who affure her of their care to advance her Cause by confining Youth to Words, and keeping them out of the way of real Knowledge. Their Addrefs, and her gracious Answer; with her Charge to them and the Universities. The Universities appear by their propor Deputies, and affure her that the fame method is obferv'd in the progress of Education. The fpeech of Ariftarchus on this fubject.