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And looked, and saw a sable sorcerer' rise,
Thence a new world to nature's laws unknown,
Joy fils his soul, joy innocent of thought ! “What power,” he cries, “what power these won
ders wrought? Son, what thou seek'st is in thee! look, and find Each monster meets his likeness in thy mind. Yet wouldst thou more? in yonder cloud behold, Whose sarsnet skirts are edged with flamy gold, A matchless youth! his nod these worlds controls, Wings the red lightning, and the thunder rolls. Angel of Dulness, sent to scatter round Her magic charms o'er all unclassic ground: Yon stars, yon sons, he rears at pleasure higher, Illumines their light, and sets their flames on fire. Immortal Rich !* how calm he sits at ease 'Midst snows of paper, and fierce hail of pease; And proud his mistress' orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
“But lo! to dark encounter in mid air New wizards rise; I see my Cibber there!
1 Dr. Faustus, the subject of a set of farces, which lasted in vogue two or three seasons, in which both play-houses strove to outdo each other for some years. All the extravagances in the sixteen lines fol. lowing were introduced on the stage, and frequented by persons of the first quality in England, to the twentieth and thirtieth time.Warburton.
% This monstrous absurdity was actually represented in Tibbald's “Rape of Proserpine.”- Warburton.
3 In another of these farces, Harlequin is hatched upon the stage out of a large egg.- Warburton.
4 Mr John Rich, master of the Theatre Royal in Coveut Garden, was the tirst that excelled this way, Warburton.
Booth' in his cloudy tabernacle shrined,
“And are these wonders, son, to thee unknown?
1 Booth was joint manager of Drury Lane with Cibber.
2 Annual trophies, on the Lord Mayor's day; and monthly wars in the artillery ground.- Warburton.
3 In his “ Letter" to Mr. P., Mr. C. solemnly declares this not to bo literally true. We hope therefore the reader will understand it allegorically only.-Pope.
4 A marvellous line of Theobald ; unless the play called the “ Double Falsehood " be (as he would have it believed) Shakespeare's.
5 Settle, like most party-writers, was very uncertain in his political principles. He was employed to hold the pen in the character of a popisb successor, but afterwards printed his narrative on the other side. He had managed the ceremony of a famous pope-burning on Nov. 17. 1680 ; then became a trooper in King James's armv, at Houns. low Heath. After the revolution he kept a booth at Bartholomew Fair, where, in the droll called "St. George for England.” he acted in his old age in a dragon of green leather of his own invention; he was at last taken into the Charter House, and there died, aged sixty years, Warburton.
Thee shall the patriot, thee the courtier taste,
“Now, Bavius, take the poppy from thy brow,
i It stood in the first edition with blanks * * and * *. Concanen was sure “they must needs mean nobody but King George and Queen Caroline; and said he would insist it was so till the poet cleared himself by filling up the blanks otherwise, agreeably to the context and consistent with his allegiance.
2 He translated the Italian opera of Polifemo; but unfortunately lost the whole jest of the story. The Cyclops asks Ulysses his name, who tells him bis name is Noman. After his eye is put out, he roars and calls the brother Cyclops to his aid: They inquire who has hurt him! he answers Noman; whereupon they all go away again. Our ingenious translator, made Ulysses answer, 'I take no name,' whereby all that followed became unintelligible.-Pope.
3 Names of miserable farces which it was the custom to act at the end of the best tragedies, to spoil the digestion of the audience.
4 In the farce of “Proserpino” a corn-field was set on fire; where. upon the other play.house had a barn burnt down for the recreation of the spectators. They also rivalled each other in showing the burnings of hell-fire, in “Dr. Faustus."-Pope.
5 It is reported of Æschylus, that when his tragedy of the “Furies” was acted, the audience were so terrified that the children fell into fits.
6. See Ovid, Met. iii.
On poets' tombs see Benson's titles writ!"
“Proceed, great days! till learning fly the shore,
1 Benson (surveyor of the buildings to his Majesty King George I.1 gave in a report to the lords, that their house and the painted chamber adjoining were in immediate danger of falling. Whereupon the lorils met in a committee to appoint some other place to sit in, while the house should be taken down. But it being proposed to cause some other builder's first to inspect it, they found it in very good condition. In favour of this man, the famous Sir Christopher Wren, who had been archirect to the crown for above fifty years, who built most of the churches in London, laid the first stone of St. Paul's, and lived to finish it, had been displaced from his employment at the age of near ninety years.- Warburton. But the allusion is to Benson's erecting a mouii. ment to Milton in Westminster Abbey, in which his own name is prominent as the founder.
2 "He was (saith Mr. Jacob) one of the wits at Button's and a justice of the peace;" but he hath since met with higher preferment in Ireland. * * * He endeavoured to create some misunderstanding between our author and Mr. Addison, whom also soon after he abused ay much. His constant cry was, that Mr. Pope was an enemy to the government; and in particular he was the avowed author of a report very industriously spread, that he had a hand in a party-paper called the Examine;" a falsehood well known to those yet living, who had the direction and publication of it. He proceeded to grosser insults, and hung up a rod at Button's with which he threatened to chastise Pope.-Johnson.
3 At the time when this poem was written, the banqueting house at Whitehallythe Church and piazza of Covent Garden, and the palace and chapel of Somerst House, the works of the famous Inigo Jones, had been for many years so neglected, as to be in danger of ruin. The portico of Covent Garden church had been just then restored and beau. tified at the expense of the Earl of Burlington (Richard Boyle); who, at the same time, by his publication of the designs of that great master and Palladio, as well as by many noble buildings of his own, revived the true taste of architecture in this kingdom--Warburton. Seo Epistle to Lord Burlington.
4 Sir Christopher Wren who built St. Paul's; he died at the age of ninety-one.
5 See his “Fable of the Hare and Many Friends :" but he had one true friend in the Duchess of Queensbury.
6 The author here plainly laments that he was so long employed in translating and commenting. He began the “Iliad” in 1713, and finished it in 1719. The edition of "Shakespeare" (which he undertook merely because nobody else would) took up near two years more in the drudgery of comparing impressions, rectifying the scenery, &c., and the translation of half the Odyssey” employed him from that time to 1725.- Warburton,
“Enough! enough!" the raptured monarch cries; And through the iv'ry gate the vision flies.
BOOK THE FOURTH.
The poet being, in this book, to declare the completion of the prophe
cies mentioned at the end of the former, makes a new invocation; as the greater poets are wont, when some high and worthy matter is to be sung. He shows the goddess coming in her majesty, to destroy order and science, and to substitue the kingdom of the dull upon earth. How she leads captive thosciences, and silenceth the muses, and what they be who succeed in their stead. All her children, by a wonderful attraction, are drawn about her, and bear along with them divers others, who promoto her empire by connivance, weak resistance, or discouragement of arts; such as half-wits, tasteless admirers, vain pretenders, tho 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 she commends and encourages both. The first who speak in form are the geniuses of the schools, who assure her of their care to advance her cause, by confining youth to words, and keeping them out of the way of real knowledge, Their address, and her gracious answer; with her charge to them and the universities. The universities appear by their proper deputies, and assure her that the same method is observed in the progress of education. The speech of Aristarchus on this subject. They are drawn off by a band of young gentlemen returned from travel with their tutors; one of whom delivers to the goddess, in a polite oration, an account of the whole conduct and fruits of their travels : presenting to her at the same time a young nobleman perfectly accomplished. She receives him graciously, and endues him with the happy quality of want of shame. She sees loitering about her a number oť in. dolent persons abandoning all business and duty, and dying with laziness. To these approaches the antiquary Annius, ontreating her to make them Virtuosos, and assign them over to him; but Mummius, another antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, she finds a method to reconcile their difference. Then enter a troop of people fantastically adorned, offering her strange and exotic presents. Amongst them one stands forth and demands justice on another, who had deprived him of one of the greatest curiosities in nature; but he justifies himself so well, that the goddess gives them both her approbation. She recommends to them to find proper employment for the indolents before mentioned, in the study of butterflies, shells, birds' nests, moss, &c., but with particular caution, not to proceed beyond trifles, to any useful or extensive views of nature, or of the Author of nature. Against the last of these apprehensions, she is secured by a hearty address from the minute philosophers and freethinkers, one of whom speaks in the name of the rest. The youth, thus instructed and principled, are delivered to her in a body, by the hands of Silenus, and then admitted to taste the cup of the Magus her high priest, which causes a total oblivion of all obligations, divine, civil, moral, or rational. To these her adepts she sends priests, attendants and comforters, of various kinds; confers on them orders and degrees; and then dismissing them with a speech, confirming to each his privileges, and telling what she expects from each, concludes with a yawn of extraordinary virtue: the progress and effects whereof on all orders of men, and the consummation of all, in the restoration of night and chaos, conclude the poem.