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into the grounds of this clamour, or a better opinion of Mr. Pope's integrity, joined with a greater personal love for him than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Further, that he was in his peculiar intimacy, appears from the knowledge he manifests of the most private authors of all the anonymous pieces against him, and from his having in this Poem* attacked no man living who had not beofre printed or published some scandal against this gentleman.
How I came possessed of it is no concern to the reader; but it would have been a wrong to him had I detained the publication; since those names which are its chief ornaments die off daily so fast, as must render it too soon unintelligible. If it provoke the author to give us a more perfect edition, I have my end.
Who he is, I cannot say, and (which is a great pity) there is certainly nothing in his sivle and manner of writing which can distinguish or discover him; for if it bears any resemblance to that of Mr. Pope. it is not improbable but it might be done on purpose, with a view to have it pass for his. But by the fre
The Publisher, in these words, went a little 100 far; but it is certain whatever names the reader finds that are unknown to hiin, are of such; and the excep. tion is only of two or three, whose dulness, impudent scurrility, or self-conceit, all mankind agreed to have jestly entitled them to a place in the Dunciad.
There is certainly nothing in bis style, &c.] This irony had small effect in concealing the author. The Dunciac, imperfect as it was, had not been published t.: 0 dars, but the whole town gave it to Mr. Pope.
quency of his allusions to Virgil, and a laboured (not to say affected) shortness in imitation of him, I should think him more an admirer of the Roman poet than of the Grecian, and in that not of the same taste with his friend.
I have been well informed, that this work was the labour of full six years of his life, and that he wholly retired himself from all the avocations and pleasures of the world to attend diligently to its correction and perfection; and six years more he intended to bestow upon it, as would seem by this verse of Statius, which was cited at the head of his manuscript:-
« On mibi bissenos multum vigilata per annos,
The labour of full sir years, &c.] This also was honestly and seriously believed by divers gentlemen of the Dunciad. J. Ralph, preface to Sawney: “ We are told “ it was the labour ot six years, with the utmost assi“ duity and application: it is no great compliment to “ the Author's sense to have employed! so large a part " of his life;" &c. So also Ward, preface to Durgen: “ The Dunciad, as the publisher very irisely confesses,
cost the Author six years' retirement from all the “ pleasures of life; though it is somewhat diificult to " conceive, from either its bulk or beauty, that it couid “ be so long in hatching,” &c. But the length of time and closeness of application were mentioned to prepossess the reader with a good opinion of it.
They just as well understood what Scribierus said of the Poem.
* The prefacer to Curl's Key', p. 3. took this word to be really in Statius : " By a quinble on the word “ Duncia, the Dunciad, is formed.” Mr. Ward also follows him in the same opinion.
Hence also we learn the true title of the Poem ; which, with the same certainty as we call that of Homer the Iliad, of Virgil the Æneid, of Camoens the Lusiad, we may pronounce could have been, and can be, no other than
THE DUNCIAD. It is styled Heroic, as being doubly so; not only with respect to its nature, which, according to the best rules of the Ancients, and strictest ideas of the Moderns, is critically such; but also with regard to the heroical disposition and high courage of the writer, who dared to stir up such a formidable, irritable, and implacable race of mortals.
There may arise some obscurity in chronology from the names in the Poem, by the inevitable removal of some authors, and insertion of others in their niches: for, whoever will consider the unity of the whole design, will be sensible that the Poem was not made for these authors, but these authors for the Poem. I should judge that they were clapped in as they rose, fresh and fresh, and changed from day to day; in like manner, as when the old boughs wither we thrust new ones into a chimney.
I would not have the reader too much troubled, or anxious, if he cannot decypher them; since, when he s'all have found them out, he will probably know no more of the persons than before.
Yet we judged it better to preserve them as they are, than to change them for fictious names; by which the satire would only be multiplied, and
applied to many instead of one. Had the Hero, for instance, been called Codrus, how many would have affirmed him to have been Mr.T. Mr.E. Sir R.B.? &c. but now all that unjust scandal is saved, by calling him by name which, by good luck, happens to be that of a real person.
A LIST OF
BOOKS, PAPERS, AND VERSES, In which our Author was abused before the publication of the
Dunciad, with the true names of the authors. Reflections, Critical and Satirical, on a-la:e Rhapsody, called an Essay on Criticism. By Mr. Dennis. Printed by B. Lintot, price 6d.
A New Rehearsal ; or, Bayes the Younger; containing an Examen of Mr. Rowe's plays, and a word or two on Mr. Pope's Rape of the Lock.--Anon. By Charles Gildon. Printed for J. Roberts, 1714, price is
Homerides; or, A Letter to Mr. Pope, occasioned by his intended translation of Homer. By Sir Iliad Dogrel, Tho. Burnet and G. Ducket, Esquires. Printed for W. Wilkins, 1715, price 9d.
Æsop at the Bear-garden ; a vision, in imitation of the Temple of Fame, by Mr. Preston. Sold by John Morphew, 1715, price 6d.
The Catholic Poet; or, Protestant Barnaby's sorrowful lamentation; a Ballad about Homer's Iliad. By Mrs. Centlivre and others, 1715, price id.
An Epilogue to a Puppet show at Bath, concerning the said Iliad. By George Ducket, Esq. Printed by E. Curl.
A complete Key to the What-d'ye-call-it. Anon. By Griffin, a player; supervised by Mr. Tb---Printed by J. Roberts, 1715.
A true character of Mr. P. and his writings, in a letter to a friend. Anon. Dennis. Printed for S. Popping, 1716, price 3d.
The Confederates, a farce. By Joseph Gay.--J. D. Breval. Printed for R. Burleigh, 1717, price is.
Remarks upon Mr. Pope's Translation of Homer; with two Letters concerning the Windsor Forest, and the Temple of Fame. By Mr. Dennis. Printed for E. Curl, 1717, price is. 6d.
Satires on the Translators of Homer, Mr. P. and Mr. T. Anon. Bez. Morris. 1717, price 6d.
The Triumvirate ; or, A Letter from Palæmon to Celia, at Bath. Anon. Leonard Welsted, 171, folio, price 13.
The Battle of Poets, an heroic poem. By Tbo. Cooke. Printed for J. Roberts, folio, 1725.
Memoirs of Lilliput. Anon. Eliza Haywoad, octavo. Printed in 1727.
An Essay on Criticism, in prose. By the author