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near to degrade him from his high station in this our Dunciad, namely, “ Whether it would not be “ vanity in him to take shame to himself for not “ being a wise man*?"
Bravery, the second attribute of the true hero, is courage manifesting itself in every limb; while its correspondent virtue in the mock hero is that same courage all collected into the face. And as power, when drawn together, must needs have more force and spirit than when dispersed, we generally find this kind of courage in so high and heroic a degree, that it insults not only men, but gods. Mezentius is, without doubt, the bravest character in all the Æneis: but how? His bravery, we know, was an high courage of blasphemy. And can we say less of this brave man's ? who having told us that he placed “his summum bonum in those follies which " he was not content barely to possess, but would “ likewise glory in,” adds, “ If I am misguided, 'tis “ Nature's fault, and I follow hert," Nor can we be mistaken in making this happy quality a species of courage, when we consider those illustrious marks of it which made his face “ more known (as he “ justly boasteth) than most in the kingdom ;" and his language to consist of what we must allow to be the most daring figure of speech, that which is taken from the name of God,
Gentle love, the next ingredient in the true hero's
Life of C. Cibber, p. 2. octavo. † Ibid. p. 23.
composition, is a mere bird of passage, or (as Shakespeare calls it) Summer-teening lust, and evaporates in the heat of youth; doubtless by that refinement it suffers in passing through those certain strainers, which our Poet somewhere speaketh of* ; but when it is let alone to work upon the lees, it acquireth strength by old age, and becometh a lasting ornament to the Little Epic. It is true, indeed, there is one objection to its fitness for such an use; for not only the ignorant may think it common, but it is admitted to be so even by him who best kroweth its value. “ Don't you think (argueth he) to say only “ a man has his whore t, ought to go for little, or “ nothing ? Because, defendit numeris, take the first “ ten thousand men you meet, and, I believe, you " would be no loser if you belted ten to one that “ every singie sinner of them, one with another, had “ been guilty of the same frailty I." But here he seemeth not to have done justice to himself: the man is sure enough a hero who hath his lady at fourscore. How doth his modesty herein lessen the merit of a whcle well-spent life? not taking to himself the commendation (which Horace accounted the greatest in a theatrical character) of continuing to the very dregs the same he was from the beginning,
* Lust, through some certain strainers well refin'd,
Is gentle love, and charms all womankind. + Alluding to these lines in the Epist.to Dr. Arbuthnot:
“ And has not Colly still his lord and whore, “ His butchers Henley, his free-masons Mcore?” I C. Cibber's Letter to Mr, P. p. 40,
".--Servetur ad imum
" Qualis ab incepto processerat.".. But here, in justice both to the Poet and the Hero, let us farther remark, that the calling her his whore, implie:h she was his own, and not his neighbour's. Truly, a commendable continence! and such as Scipio himself must have applauded: for how much self-denial was necessary not to ccvet his neighbour's whore! and what disorders must the vering her have occasiored in that society, where, (according to this political calculator) nine in ten of all ages have their concubines !
We have now, as briefly as we could devise, gore through the three constituent qualities of either Hero; but it is not in any, or in all of these, that heroism properly or essentially resideth. It is a lucky result rather from the collision of these lively qualities against one another. Thus, as from wisdom, bravery, and love, ariseth magnanimity, the object of adıniration, which is the aim of the Greater Epic; so from vanity, impudence, and debauchery, springeth butfoonery, the source of ridicule, tha: “ laughing or“ nament," as the owner weil termeth it* of the Little Epic.
He is not ashamed (God forbid he ever sirould be ashamed!) of this character, who deemeth that not reason, but risibility, distinguisheth the human species from the brutal. “ As Nature (saith this profound
* C. Cibber's Letter to Mr. P.p. 31, L'olume Ir.
philosopher) distinguished our species from the o mule creation by our risibility,' her design must “have been, by that faculty, as evidently to raise our
happiness, as by our os sublime (our erected faces) “to lift the dignity of our form above them*.” “All this considered, how complete a hero must he be, as well as how happy a man, whose risibility lieth not barely in his muscles, as in the common sort, but (as himself informeth us) in bis very spirits! and whose os sublime is not simply an erect face, but a brazen head; as should seem by his preferring it to one of iron, said to belong to the late King of Swederit.
But whatever personal qualities a hero may have, 1!1e examples of Achilles and Æneas shew us, that all those are of small avail without the constant assistance of the gods;, for the subversion and erection of empires have never been adjudged the work of man. How greatly soever then we may esteem of his high talents, we can hardly conceive his personal prowess alone sufficient to restore the decayed ėmpire of Dulness. Sq weighty an achievement must require the particular favour and protection of the great, who being the natural. patrons and supporters of leiters, as the ancient gods were of Troy, must first be drawn off, and engaged in another interest, before the total subversion of them can be accomplished. “To surmount, therefore, this last and greatest difficulty, we have, in this excellent man, a professed favourite and
C. Cibber's Life, F. 23, 24. + Letter, p. 8.
intimado of the great. And look of what force ancient piety was to draw the gods into the party of Æneas, that, and much stronger, is modern incense to engage the great in the party of Dulness.
Thus we have essayed to pourtray or shadow out this noble imp of Fame. But now the impatient reader will be apt to say, if so many and various graces go to the making up a Hero, what mortal shall suffice to bear his character ? Ill hath he read who seeth not, in every trace of this picture, that individual, all-accomplished person, in whom these rare virtues and lucky circumstances have agreed to meet and concentre, with the strongest lustre and fullest harmony.
The good Scriblerus, indeed, nay the world itself, might be imposed on in the late spurious editions, by I cannot tell what Sham-Hero or Phantom; but it was not so easy to impose on him whom this egregious error most of all concerned: for no sooner had the Fourth Book laid open the high and swelling scene, but he recognized his own heroic acts; and when he came to these words,
" Soft on her lap her Laureat son reclines," (though laureat imply no more than one crowned with laurel, as befitteth any associate or consort.in empire) he loudly resented this indignity to violated majesty. Indeed not without cause, he being' there represented as fast asleep; so misbeseeming the eye of Empire, which, like that of Providence, should never doze nor slumber, 66 Ha! (saith he) fast asleep it