« PreviousContinue »
him from his high station in this our Dunciad ; ; neighbour's. Truly a commendable continence ! namely," whether it would not be vanity in him, and such as Scipio himself must have applauded. to take shame to bimself for not being a wise For how much self-denial was necessary not to man?”
covet his neighbour's whore? and what disorders Bravery, the second attribute of the true hero, must the coveting her have occasioned in that is courage manifesting itself in every limb; while society, where (according to this political calcuits correspondent virtue, in the mock hero, is lator) nine in ten of all ages have their concu. that same courage all collected into the face. bines ! And as power, when drawn together, must needs We have now, as briefly as we could advise, have more force and spirit than when dispersed, gone through the three constituent qualities of we generally find this kind of courage in so high either hero. But it is not in any, or in all of and heroic a degree, that it insults not only men, these that heroism properly or essentially rebut gods. Mezentius is, without doubt, the sideth. It is a lucky result rather from the bravest character in all the Æneis : but how? collision of these lively qualities against one His bravery, we know, was an high courage of another. Thus, as from wisdom, bravery, and blasphemy." And can we say less of this brave love, ariseth magnanimity, the object of admira. man's, who having told us that he placed his tion, which is the aim of the greater epic; so “ summum bonum in those follies, which he was from vanity, assurance, and debauchery, springeth not content barely to possess, but would likewise buffoonry, the source of ridicule, that laughing glory in,” adds, “If I am misguided, 'tis nature's ornament," as he well termeth it', of the little fault, and I follow her 2.” Nor can we be mis- epic. taken in making this happy quality a species of He is not ashamed (God forbid he ever should courage, when we consider those illustrious marks be ashamed !) of this character ; who deemeth, of it, which made his face “more known (as he that not reason but risibility distinguisheth the justly boasteth) than most in the kingdom ;' and human species from the brutal. " As Nature" his language to consist of what we must allow to (saith this profound philosopher)" distinguished our be the most daring figure of speech, that which is species from the mute creation by our risibility, taken from the name of God,
her design must have been by that faculty as Gentle love, the next ingredient in the true evidently to raise our happiness, as by our os hero's composition, is a mere bird of passage, or sublime (our erected faces) to lift the dignity of (as Shakespeare calls it) symmer-teeming lust, our form above them?” All this considered, bow and evaporates in the heat of youth ; doubtless complete a hero must he be, as well as how by that refinement it suffers in passing through happy a man, whose risibility lieth, not barely those certain strainers which our poet somewhere in his muscles, as in the common sort, but (as speaketh of. But when it is let alone to work himself informeth us) in his very spirits and upon the lees, it acquireth strength by old age ; whose os sublime is not simply an erect face, but and becometh a lasting ornament to the little a brazen head; as should seem by his preferring epic. It is true, indeed, there is one objection it to one of iron, said to belong to the late king of to its fitness for such an use : for not only the Sweden ? ignorant may think it common, but it is admitted But whatever personal qualities a hero may to be so, even by him who best knoweth its have, the examples of Achilles and Æneas show value.“ Don't you think” (argueth he) “ to say us, that all those are of small avail, without the * only a man has his whores, ought to go for constant assistance of the gods : for the sublittle or nothing? Because defendit numerus ; version and erection of empires have never been take the first ten thousand men you meet, and, adjudged the work of man. How greatly soever I believe, you would be no loser if you betted then we may esteem of his high talents, we can ten to one, that every single sinner of them, harılly conceive his personal prowess alone one with another, had been guilty of the same sufficient to restore the decayed empire of Dul. frailty.” But here he seemeth not to have done So weighty an achievement must require justice to himself: the man is sure enough a the particular favour and protection of the great ; hero, who hath his lady at fourscore. How doth who being the natural patrous and supporters of his modesty herein lessen the merit of a whole letters, as the ancient gods were of Troy, must well-spent life : not taking to himself the com first be drawn off and engaged in another interest, mendation (which Horace accounted the greatest before the total subversion of them can be acin a theatrical character) of continuing to complished. To surmount, therefore, this last the very dregs the same he was from the and greatest difficulty, we have, in this excellent beginning,
man, a professed favourite and intimado of the -Servetur ad imum
great. And look, of what force ancient piety was Qualis ab incepto processerat.
to draw the gouls into the party of Æneas, that, But here, in justice both to the poet and the and much stronger, is modern incense, to engage hero, let us farther remark, that the calling her the great in the party of Dulness. his whore, implied she was his own, and not his
Thus have we essayed to pourtrap or shadow
out this noble imp of fame. But now the im· Life, p. 2. oct. edit.
patient reader will be apt to say, “ If so many and 2 Life of C. C. p. 23. oct. edit.
various graces go to the making up a hero, what • Alluding to these lines in the Epist. to Dr. mortal shall suffice to bear his character ?” I Arbuthnot:
hath he read, who seeth nat, in every trace of And has not Colly still his lord and whore, His butchers Henley, his free-masons Moore?
· Letter to Mr. P. p. 31. ? Life, p. 23, 24. Letter to Mr. P. p. 46,
: Letter, p. 8.
this picture, that individual, all-accomplished | that nothing can exceed our hero's prowess; as person, in whom these rare virtues and lucky nothing ever equalled the greatness of his concircumstances have agreed to meet and conceptions. Hear how he constantly paragons himcenter with the strongest lustre and fullest har- self; at one time to Alexander the Great and mony.
Charles the XII. of Sweden for the excess and The good Seriblerus indeed, nay the world delicacy of his ambition'; to Henry the IV. of itself, might be imposed on, in the late spurious France, for honest policy ?; to the first Brutus, editions, by I can't tell what sham hero or phan- for love of liberty', and to Sir Robert Walpole, tom: but it was not so easy to impose on him for good government while in power* : at another whoin this egregious errour most of all concerned. time, to the godlike Socrates for his diversions For no sooner had the fourth book laid open the and amusements : to Horace, Montaigne, and high and swelling scene, but he recognized his sir William Temple, for an elegant vanity that own heroic acts: and when he came to the maketh them for ever read and admired: to two words,
Lord Chancellors, for law, from whom, when Soft on her lap her laureat son reclines,
confederate against him at the bar, he carried
away the prize of eloquence'; and, to say all (though laureat imply no more than one crowned in a word, to the right reverend the lord bishop with laurel, as befitteth any associate or consort of London himself, in the art of writing pastoral in empire), he loudly resented this indignity to
letters 8. violated Majesty. Indeed, not without cause, he
Nor did his actions fall short of the sublimity being there represented as fast asleep; so mis- of his conceit. In his early youth he met the beseeming the eye of empire, which, like that of Revolution' face to face in Nottingham; at a Providence, should never doze nor slumber.“ Hah!” time when his betters contented themselves with (saith he) “ fast asleep, it seems ! that's a little following her. It was here he got acquainted with too strong. Pert and dull at least you might Old Battle-array, of whom he hath made so hohave allowed me, but as seldom asleep as any nourable mention in one of his immortal odes. fool"." However, the injured Hero may com
But he shone in courts as well as in camps : he fort himself with this reflection, that though it be
was called up when the nation fell in labour of a sleep, yet it is not the sleep of death, but of
this Revolution 10; and a gossip at her immortality Here he will’ live at least, though christening, with the bishop and the ladies!!! not awake; and in no worse condition than many
As to his birth, it is true he pretendeth no an enchanted warriour before him. The famous relation either to heathen god or goddess; but, Durandante, for instance, was, like him, cast
what is as good, he was descended from a maker into a long slumber by Merlin, the British bard of both'a.
And that he did not pass himself on and necromancer; and his example for sub- the world for a hero, as well by birth as educamitting to it with a good grace, might be of use tion, was his own fault': for his lineage he bringeth to our hero. For that disastrous knight being into his life as an anecdote, and is sensible he sorely pressed or driven to make his answer by had it in his power to be thought nobody's son several persons of quality, only replied with a
at all 13: and what is that but coming into the sigh, patience, and shuffle the cards ?.
world a hero? But now, as nothing in this world, no not the
But be it (the punctilious laws of epic poesy most sacred and perfect things, either of religion
so requiring) that a hero of more than or government, can escape the sting of envy, mortal birth 'must needs be had : even for this methinks I already hear these carpers objecting we have a remedy. We can easily derive our to the clearness of our hero's title. “It would never” (say they)“ have been esteemed and authority amongst men ; and legitimate and
heru's pedigree from a goddess of no small power sufficient to make an hero for the Iliad or Æneis, instal him after the right classical and authentic that Achilles was brave enough to overturn one
fashion : for, like as the ancient sages found a empire, or Æneas pious enough to raise another, son of Mars in a mighty warrior; a son of Neptune had they not been goddess-born, and Princes in a skilful seaman ; a son of Phoebus in & bred. What then did this author mean, by harmonious poet; so have we here, if need be, erecting a player instead of one of his patrons (a a son of Fortune in an artful gamester. And person, never a hero even on the stage*'), to
who fitter than the offspring of Chance, to this dignity of colleague in the empire of dul, assist in restoring the empire of Night and ness, and achiever of a work that neither old
Chaos? Omar, Attila, nor John of Leyden, could entirely There is in truth another objection of greater bring to pass.”
weight, namely, That this hero still existeth, To all this we have, as we conceive, a sufficient and hath not yet finished his earthly course. For answer from the Roman historian, fabrum esse
if Solon said well, suæ quemque fortunæ : that every man is the snith of his own fortune. The politic Floren.
ultima semper tine, Nicholas Machiavel, goeth still further, and
Expectanda dies homini : dicique beatus affirmeth that a man needeth but to believe hinn
Ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet! self a hero to be one of the worthiest. " Let if no man can be called happy till his death, surehim” (saith be) “ but fancy himself capable of the ly much less can any one, till then, be prohighest things, and he will of course be able to achieve them.” From this principle it follows, · Life, p. 149. 2 P. 494. 3 P. 366.
4 P. 457.
5 P. 18.
6 P. 425. · Letter, p. 53.
2 Letter, p. 1,
?P. 436, 437. 8 P. 52. 9 P. 47. Don Quixote, part ii, book ii, ch. 22.
10 P. 57.
" P. 58, 59. 12 A statuary. * See Life, p. 148.
13 Life, p. 6.
nounced a hero : this species of men being far more subject than others to the caprices of fortune
THE DUNCIAD. and humour." But to this also we have an
TO DR. JONATHAN Swin. answer, that will (we hope) be deemed decisive. It cometh from himself; who, to cut this matter
BOOK THE FIRST. short, hath solemnly protested that he will never change or amend. With regard to his vanity, he declareth that
ARGUMENT nothing shall ever part them. “ Nature” (said The proposition, the invocation, and the inscriphe) “hath amply supplied me in vanity; a pleasure tion. Then the original of the great empire which neither the pertness of wit, por the gravity of Dulness, and cause of the continuance thereof wisdom, will ever persuade me to part with'."
of. The college of the goddess in the city, with Our poet had charitably endeavoured to administer her private academy for poets in particular; a cure to it: but he telleth us plainly, “ My
the governors of it, and the four cardinal vir superiors perhaps may be mended by him ; but
tues. Then the poem hastes into the midst of for my part I own myself incorrigible. I look
things, presenting her, on the evening of a upon my follies as the best part of my fortune?.”
lord mayor's day, revolving the long succes. And with good reason; we see to what they have sion of her sons, and the glories past and to brought him!
come. She fixes her eyes on Bays to be the Secondly, as to buffoonry, “ Is it" (saith he) “a instrument of that great event which is the time of day for me to leave off these fooleries, subject of the poem.
He is described pensive and set up a new character? I can no more among his books, giving up the cause, and apput off my follies than my skin ; I have often
prehending the period of her empire: After tried, but ihey stick too close to me : nor am I debating whether to betake himself to the sure my friends are displeased with them, for in church, or to gaming, or to party-writing, he this light I afford them frequent matter of mirth, raises an altar of proper books, and (making &c. &c 3.1 Having then so publicly declared first his solemn prayer and declaration) purhimself incorrigible, he is become dead in law (I
poses thereon to sacrifice all his unsuccessful mean the law Epopæjan), and devolveth upon writings. As the pile is kindled, the goddess, the poet as his property; who may take him, beholding the flame from her seat, flies and and deal with him as if he had been dead as long
puts it out by casting upon it the poem of Thulé. as an old Egyptian hero ; that is to say, embowel She forth with reveals herself to him, transports and embalm him for posterity.
him to her temple, unfolds her arts, and iniNothing therefore (we conceive) remaineth to tiates himn into her mysteries; then anouncing hinder his own prophecy of himself from taking the death of Eusden, the poet laureat, anoints immediate effect. A rare felicity! and what few
him, carries him to court, and proclaims him prophets have had the satisfaction to see, alive!
successor. Nor can we conclude better than with that ex. traordinary one of his, which is conceived in these
BOOK I. oraculous words, “my dulness will find somebody to do it right.”
The mighty mother, and her son, who brings, Tandem Phæbus adest, morsusque inferre
The Smithfield Muses to the ear of kings, parantem
In the first editions Tibbald was the hero of Congelat, et patulos, ut erant, induat hiatus'.
the poem, which will account for most of the sube
sequent variations. BY AUTHORITY.
Ver. 1. The mighty mother, &c.] In the first By virtue of the anthority in iis vested by the edit. it was thus, act for subjecting poets to the power of a licenser, Books and the man I sing, the first who brings, we have revised this piece; where finding the The Smithfield Muses to the ear of kings, style and appellation of king to have been given Say, great patricians ! since yourselves inspire to a certain pretender, pseudo-poet, or phantom, These wondrous works (so Jove and Fate require) of the name of Tibbald ; and apprehending the Say, for what cause, in vain decry'd and curst, same may be deemed in some sort a reflection on Stillmajesty, or at least an insult on that legal authority which has bestowed on another person the The Dunciad, sic MS. It may well be discrowu of poesy: We have ordered the said pre-puted whether this be a right reading : Ought it tender, pseudo-poet, or phantom, utterly to
not rather to be spelled Dunceiail, as the etimo. vanish and evaporate out of this work: And do logy evidently demands ? Dunce with an e, theredeclare the said throne of poesy from henceforth fore Dunceiad with an e. That accurate and to be abdicated and vacant, unless duly and law- punctual man of letters, the restorer of Shakefully supplicd by the laureate himself. And it is speare, constantly observes the preservation of hereby enacted, that no other person do presume this very letter e, in spelling the name of his to fill the saine.
beloved author, and not like his cominon careless
editors, with the omission of one, nay sonr times * Life, p. 424. 2 P. 19. · P. 17.
of two ee's (as Shakspear), which is utterly un* Life, p. 243. octavo edit.
pardonable. “ Not is the neglect of a single let 5 Ovid, of the serpeut biting at Orpheus's head. ter so trivial as to some it may appear ; the at
I sing. Say you, her instruments, the great! You, by whose care, in vain decry'd and curst,
Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the first;
And pour'd her spirit o'er the land and deep. teration whereof in a learned language is an
In eldest time, ere mortals writ or read,
10 achievement that brings honour to the critic who Ere Pallas issued from the thunderer's head, advances it; and Dr. Bentley will be remembered to posterity for his performances of this sort, as long as the world shall bave any esteem for the second and his queen, by the hands of sir Robert remains of Menander and Philemon.”—THEOBALD. Walpole, on the 12th of March, 1728-9.
This is surely a slip in the learned author of the foregoing note; there having been since produced
It was expressly confessed in the preface to the by an accurate antiquary, an autograph of first edition, that this poem was not published by
the author himself. Shakespeare himself whereby it appears that he
It was printed originally in spelled his own name without the first e. And
a foreign country. And what foreign country? upon this authority it was, that those most criti- Why, one notorious for blunders; where finding cal curators of his monument in Westminster blanks only instead of proper names, these blunAbbey erased the former wrong reading, and re
derers filled them up at their pleasure. stored the new spelling on a new piece of old
The very hero of the poem hath been mistaken
to this hour; so that we are obliged to open our Ægyptian granite. Nor for this only do they de
notes with a discovery who he really was. We serve our thanks, but for exhibiting on the same monument the first specimen of an edition of an
learn from the former editor, that this piece was author in marble; where (as may be seen on
presented by the hands of sir Robert Walpole to comparing the tomb with the book) in the space king George II. Now the author directly tells us,
his hero is the man of five lines, two words and a whole verse are changed, and it is to be hoped will there stand,
who brings and outlast whatever hatb been hitherto done in The Smithfield Muscs to the ear of kings. paper ; as for the future, our learned sister uni- And it is notorious who was the person on whom versity (the other eye of England) is taking care this prince conferred the honour of the laurel. to perpetuate a total new Shakespeare at the It appears as plainly from the apostrophe to the Clarendon press.
great in the third verse, that Tibbald could not It is to be noted, that this great critic also has be the person, who was never an author in fashion, omitled one circumstance; which is, that the in or caressed by the great; whereas this single chascription with the name of Shakespeare was in- racteristic is sufficient to point out the true hero: tended to be placed on the marble scroll to which who, above all other poets of his time, was the he points with his hand; instead of which it is peculiar delight and chosen companion of the now placed behind his back, and that specimen of nobility of England ; and wrote, as he himself tells an edition is put on the scroll, which indeed us, certain of his works at the earnest desire of Shakespeare hath great reason to point at.
persons of quality. Though I have as just a value for the letter E, Lastly, the sixth verse affords full proof; this as any grammarian living, and the same aflection poet being the only one who was universally for the name of this poem as any critic for that known to have had a son so exactly like him, in of his author, yet cannot it induce me to agree his poetical, theatrical, political, and moral capawith those who would add yet another e to it, cities, that it could justly be said of him, and call it the Dunceiade; which being a French Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce tho and foreign termination, is no way proper to a
first. word entirely English, and vernacular. One e Ver. 1. The mighty mother and her son, &c.] therefore in this case is right, and two ee's wrong. The reader ought here to be cautioned, that the Yet upon the whole I shall follow the manuscript, mother, and not the son, is the principal agent and print it without any e at all; moved thereto of this poem ; the latter of them is only chosen by authority (at all tiines, with critics, eqnal, if as her colleague (as was anciently the custom in not superior to reason). In which method of pro Rome before some great expedition), the main ceeding, I can never enough praise my good friend, action of the poem being by no means the coronathe exact Mr. Tho. Hearne; who, if any word occur, tion of the laurcate, which is performed in the which to him and all mankind is evidently wrong, very first book, but the restoration of the empire yet kceps he it in the text with due reverence, and of Dulness in Britain, which is not accomplished oily rema ks in the margin, sic MS. In like till the last. manner we shall not amend this errour in the title Ver. 2. The Smithfield Muses.] Smithfield is itself, but only note it obiter, to evince to the the place where Bartholomeu-fair was kept, whose learned that it was not our fault, nor any effect of shows, machines, and dramatical entertainments, our ignorance or inattention.
formerly agrecable only to the taste of the rabble, This poem was written in the year 1726. In were, by the hero of this poem and others of the next year an imperfect edition was published equal genius, brought to the theatres of Coventat Dublin, and reprinted at London in twelves; garden, Lincoln's-inn-fields, and the Hay-market, another at Dublin, and another at London in to be the reigning pleasures of the court and actaso: and three others in twelves the saine This happened in the reigns of K. Gco. I. year. But there was no perfect edition before and II. See Look iji. that of London in quirto ; which was attended Ver. 4. By Dulness, Jove, and Fate :) i. e. by with notes. We are willing to acquaint posterity, their judgments, their interests, and their incli. that this poem was presented to king George the nations.
Dulness o'er all possess'd her ancient right,
Close to those walls where Folly holds her throne, Daughter of Chaos and eternal Night :
And laughs to think Monroe would take her down, 30 Fate in their dotage this fair idiot gave,
Where o'er the gates, by his fam'd father's hand, Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave, Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers stand; Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, and blind, One cell there is, conceal'd from vulgar eye, She rul'd, in native anarchy, the mind.
The cave of Poverty and Poetry. Still her old empire to restore she tries,
Keen, hollow winds howl through the bleak recess, For, born a goddess, Dulness never dies.
Emblem of music caus'd by emptiness. Oh thou ! whatever title please thine ear, Hence bards, like Proteus long in vain ty'd down, Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver ! 20 Escape in monsters, and amaze the town. Whether thou chuse Cervantes' serious air, Hence miscellanies spring, the weekly boast Or laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair, Of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post : 40 Or praise the court, or magnify mankind,
Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines, Or thy griev'd country's copper chains unbind ; Hence journals, medleys, mercuries, magazines ; From thy Bæotia though her power retires, Mourn not, my Swift, at ought our realm ac
Ver. 29-39. Close to those walls, &c.] In the Here pleas'd behold her mighty wings out-spread former edit. thus : To hatch a new saturnian age of lead.
Where wave the tatter'd ensigns of Rag-fair,
A yawning ruin hangs and nods in air ;
Keen hollow winds howl through the bleak recess,
Emblem of music caus'd by emptiness : Ver. 15. Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, &c.] Here in one bed two shivering sisters lie, I wonder the learned Scriblerus has omitted to
The cave of Poverty and Poetry. advertise the reader, at the opening of this poem, This, the great mother dearer held than all that Dulness here is not to be taken contractedly The clubs of Quidnuncs, or her own Guildhall; for mere stupidity, but in the enlarged sense of
Here stood her opium,'here she nurs'd her owls, the word, for all slowness of apprehension, short
And destin'd here th' imperial seat of fools. ness of sight, or imperfect sense of things. It in
Hence spring each weekly Muse the living boast, sludes (as we see by the poet's own words) labour,
&c. industry, and some degrees of activity and bold
Var. Where wave the tatter'd ensigtis of Rage ness; a ruling principle not inert, but turning fair.) Rag-fair is a place near the Tower of Lon• topsy-turvy the understanding, and inducing an don, where old cloaths and frippery are solu. anarchy or confused state of mind. This remark
Ver. 41. in the former edit. ought to be carried along with the reader throughout the work; and without this caution he will
Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lay, be apt to mistake the importance of many of the
Hence the soft sing song on Cecilia's day.
Ver. 42. Alludes to the annual songs composed characters, as well as of the design of the poet. Hence it is, that some have complained he chuses to music on St. Cecilia's feast. too mean a subject, and imagined he employs himself like Domitian, in killing flies; whereas Ver. 31. By his fam'd father's hand, ) Mr. those who have the true key will find he sports Caius-Gabriel Cibber, father of the poet-laureate. with nobler quarry, and embraces a larger com The two statues of the lunatics over the gates of pass; or (as one saith, on a like occasion)
Bedlamn-hospital were done by him, and (as the Will see his work, like Jacob's ladder rise,
son justly says of them) are no ill inonuments of Its foot in dirt, its head amid the skies. his fame as an artist.
Ver. 34. Poverty and Poetry.] I cannot bere Ver. 17. Still her old empire to restore] This omit a remark that will greatly endear onr author restoration makes the completion of the poem. to every one, who shall attentively observe that Vide Book iv.
humanity and candour, which every where apVer. 22.--laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy pears in him towards those unhappy objects of the chair,] The imagery is exquisite ; and the equi- ridicule of all mankind, the bad poets. He here voque in the last words, gives a peculiar elegance imputes all scandalous rhymes, scurrilous weekly to the whole expression. The easy chair suits his papers, base flatteries, wretched elegies, songs, age: Rabelais' easy chair marks his chracter ; and verses (even from those sung at court, to and he filled and possessed it as the right heir and ballads in the street), not so much to malice or successor of that original genius.
servility as to dulness; and not so much to dulVer. 23. Or praise the court, or magnify man ness as to necessity. And thus, at the very comkind,] Ironicè, alluding to Gulliver's representa- mencement of his satire, makes an apology for tions of both. The next line relates to the papers all that are to be satyrized. of the Drapier against the currency of Wood's cop Ver. 40. Cuell's chaste press, and Lintot's ruper coin in Ireland, which, upon the great discontent bric post :) Two booksellers, of whom see Book ii. of the people, lis majesty was graciously pleased the former was fined by the court of King's Bench to recal).
for publishing obscene books; the latter usually Ver. 26. Mourn not, my Swift! at ought our
adorned his shop with titles in red letters realm acquires.] Ironicè iterum. The politics of
Ver. 41. Hence hymning Tyburn's elegiac lines,] England and Ireland were at this time by some It is an ancient English custom for the malefactors thought to be opposite, or interfering with each to sing a psalm at their execution at Tyburn ; other. Dr. Swift of course was in the interest of and no less customary to print elegies on their the latter, our author of the former.
deaths, at the same time, or before.