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There to her heart fad Tragedy addrest
they were expos'd, from fuch as either gratify'd their Envy to Merit, or made their Court to Greatness, by perverting general Reflections against Vice into Libels on particular Perfons.
* History attends on Tragedy, Satire on Comedy, as their fubftitutes in the discharge of their distinct functions; the one in high life, recording the crimes and punishments of the great; the other in low, expofing the vices or follies of the common people. But it may be asked, How came Hiftory and Satire to be admitted with impunity to minifter comfort to the Muses, even in the prefence of the Goddess, and in the midst of all her triumphs? A question, fays Scriblerus, which we thus refolve; History was brought up in her infancy by Dulness herself; but being afterwards efpoufed in:o a noble houfe, the forgot (as is ufual) the humility of her birth, and the cares of her early friends. This occafioned a long eltrangement between her and Dulness. At length, in procefs of time, they met together, in a Monk's Cell, were reconciled, and became better friends than ever. After this they had a fecond quarrel, but it held not long, and are now again on reafonable terms, and fo are like to continue. This accounts for the connivance fhewn to Hiftory on this occafion. But the boldness of SATIRE fprings from a very different caufe; for the reader ought to know, that the alone of all the fifters is unconquerable, never to be filenced, when truly infpired and animated (as fhould feem) from above, for this very purpofe, to oppofe the kingdom of Dulness to her last breath.
This noble Perfon in the year 1737, when the A&t aforefaid was brought into the House of Lords, opposed it in an excellent speech (fays Mr. Cibber) "with a lively fpirit, and uncommon eloquence." This fpeech had the honour to be answered by the faid Mr. Cibber, with a lively spirit alfo, and in a manner very uncommon, in the 8th Chapter of his Life and Manners. And here, gentle Reader, would I gladly infert the other speech, whereby thou mighteft judge between them: but 1 must defer it on account of fome differences not yet adjusted between the noble Author, and myself, concerning the True Reading of certain paffages
The Attitude given to this Phantom reprefents the nature and genius of
Foreign her air, her robe's discordant pride
O Cara! Cara! filence all that train ·
the Italian Opera; its affected airs, its effeminate founds and the practice of patching up these Operas with favourite Songs, incoherently put toge ther. Thefe things were fupported by the subscriptions of the Nobility. This circumstance that OPERA should prepare for the opening of the grand Seffions, was prophesied of in Book iii. ver. 304.
Already Opera prepares the way,
"The fure fore-runner of her gentle faay."
Alluding to the falfe taste of playing tricks in Music with numberless divifions, to the neglect of that harmony which conforms to the Senfe, and applies to the Paffions. Mr. Handel had introduced a great number of Hands, and more variety of Inftruments into the Orchestra, and employed even Drums and Cannon to make a fulir Chorus; which prov'd so much too manly for the fine Gentlemen of his age, that he was obliged to remove his Mufic into Ireland. After which they were reduc.d, for want of Compofers, to practise the patch work abovementioned.
†That fpecies of the antient mufic called the Chromatic was a variation and embellishment, in odd irregularities, of the Diatonic kind. They fay it was invented about the time of Ale and.r, and that the Spartans forbad the ufe of it as languid and effeminate.
1. e. Diffipate the devotion of the one by light and wanton airs; and fubdue the Pathos of the other by recitative and fing. fong.
§ Not the ancient Phœbus, the God of Harmony, but a modern Phœbus of French extraction, married to the princefs Galimatbia, one of the handmaids of Dulnefs, and an affiant to Opera. Of whom fee Boubours, and other Critics of that nation,
But foon, ah foon, Rebellion will commence,
None need a guide ‡, by fure Attraction led,
She blows not both with the fame Wind, "But one before and one behind;
• Pofterior, viz, her fecond or inore certain Report; unless we imagine this word pofterior to relate to the pofition of one of her Trumpets, according to Hudibras.
"And therefore modern Authors name
"One good, and t' other evil Fame "
In this new world of Dulness each of these three claffes hath its appoint. ed flation, as beft fuits its nature, and concurs to the harmony of the System. The firft, drawn only by the ftrong and fimple impulse of Attraction, are reprefented as falling directly down into her; as conglobed into her substance, and refting in her centre.
all their centre found,
"Hung to the Goddefs, and coher'd around."
The fecond, tho' within the sphere of her attraction, yet having at the fame
The third are properly excentrical, and no conftant members of her state or fyftem fometimes at an immense distance from her influence, and fometimes again almoft on the surface of her broad ffulgence. Their use in their Perihelion, or nearest approach to Dulness, is the fame in the moral World, as that of Comets in the natural, namely to refresh and recreate the drynefs and decays of the fyftem; in the manner marked out from ver. 91 to 98.
The fons of Duinefs want no inftructors in ftudy, nor guides in life : They are their own masters in all Sciences, and their own Heralds aud in troducers into all places.
None want a place, for all their Centre found,
Who gently drawn, and struggling less and less,
VER. 76 to 1or. It ought to be obferved that here are three claffes in this affembly. The first of men abfolutely and avowedly dull, who naturally adhere to the Goddess, and are imagined in the fimile of the Bees about their Queen. The fecond involuntarily drawn to her, though not caring to own her influence; from ver. 81 to 90. The third of fuch, as though not members of her ftate, yet advance her fervice by flattering Dulness, cultivating mistaken talents, patronizing vile scriblers, discouraging living merit, or fetting up for wits, and Men of taste in arts they underftand not; from ver. 91 to lor.
*Such as thofe, who affect to oppose her Government, by fetting up for patrons of Letters, without knowing how to judge of merit. The confequence of which is, that, as all true merit is modest and reserved; and the falfe, forward and prefuming; and the Judge easily imposed upon; Fools get the rewards due to genius. For as the Poet faid of one of these Patrons,
66 Dryden alone, (what wonder?) came not nigh,
And thus, as he rightly obferves, these weak Rebels unwittingly advance the caufe of her they would be thought most to oppose.
For while no rewards are given for the Encouragement of Letters, Genius will fupport itself on the footing of that reputation, which men of wit will always win from the Dunces. But an undue distribution of the rewards of Learning will entirely deprefs or difguft all true genius; which now not only finds itself robbed of the honours it might claim from others, but defeated of that very reputation it would otherwife have won for itself. For, as the courfe of things is ordered, general reputation, when it comes into rivalship, is rather attendant on favour and high station, than on the fimple endowments of Wit and Learning. Hence we conclude that unless the Province of encouraging Letters be wifely and faith'ul y adminiftred, it were better for them that there were no encouragement at all.
Nor abfent they, no members of her state,
There march'd the bard and blockhead fide by fide, Who rhym'd for hire, and patroniz'd for pride. Narciffus, prais'd with all a Parson's pow'r, Look'd a white lily funk beneath a show'r. There mov'd Montalto with fuperior air; His ftretch'd out arm display'd a Volume fair ; Courtiers and Patriots in two ranks divide, Thro' both he pass'd, and bow'd from fide to fide : But as in graceful act, with awful eye Compos'd he ftood, bold Benfon || thrust him by : On two unequal crutches propt he came, Milton's on this, on that one Johnfton's name, The decent Knight § retir'd with fober rage, Withdrew his hand, and clos'd the pompous page. N n
*Spoken of the antient and true Phœbus; not the French Phœbus, who hath no chofen Priefts or Poets, but equally infpires any man that pleaseth to fing or preach. SCRIBL.
In this divifion are reckoned up, 1. The Idolizers of Dulnefs in the Great,- -2. Ill Judges,-3. Ill Writers,-4. Il Patrons. But the last and worst, as he justly calls him, is the Mufe's Hypocrite, who is, as it were, the Epitome of them all. He who thinks the only end of poetry is to amufe, and the only business of the poet to be witty; and confequently who cultivates only fuch trifling talents in himself, and encourages only fuch in others,
As being of no one party.
This man endeavoured to raise himself to Fame by erecting monuments, striking coins, fetting up heads, and procuring tranflations, of Milton; and afterwards by as great a paffion for Arthur Johnsten, a Scoth physician's Version of the Pfalms, of which he printed many fine Editions. See more of him, Book iii.