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On whom three hundred gold-capt youths await,
When Dulness, smiling--“ Thus revive the Wits !
Leave not a foot of verse, a foot of stone,
« Thus revive, etc.] The Goddess applauds the practice of tacking the obscure names of Persons not eminent in any branch of learning, to those of the most distinguished Writers; either by printing Editions of their works with impertinent alterations of their Text, as in the former instances ; or by letting up Monuments disgraced with their own vile names and infcriptions, as in the latter.
VER. 122. old. Æron] Of whom Ovid (very applicable to these restored authors)
The Soul's dark cottage, batter'd and decay'd,
But spread, my fons, your glory thin or thick,
130 So by each Bard an Alderman shall sit, A heavy Lord shall hang at every Wit,
REMARKS. Ver. 128. A Page,] Pagina, not Pedisequus. A Page of a Book, not a Servant, Follower, or Attendant: no Poet having had a Page since the death of Mr. Thomas Durfey.
SCRIBL. VER: 131. So by each Bard an Alderman, &c.] Vide the Tombs of the Poets, Éditio Westmonasterienfis.
Ibid. :- an Alderman pall fit,] Alluding to the Monument erected for Butler by Alderman Barber.
Ver. 132. A beavy Lord fall bang at ev'ry Wit, ] How un. natural an Image! and how ill supported, faith Aristarchus, Had it been,
A beavy Wit Mall bang at ev'ry Lord, something might have been said, in an Age so diftingushed for well-judging Patrons. For LORD, then, read, LOAD; that is, of Debts here, and of Commentaries hereafter. To this purpose, conspicuous is the case of the poor Author of Hudibras, whose body,' long since weighed down to the Grave by a load of debts, has lately had a more unmerciful load of Commentaries laid upon his Spirit ; wherein the Editor has atchieved more than Virgil himself, when he turned Critic, could boast of, which was only, that be had pick'd gold out of another man's dung ; whereas the Editor has pick'd it out of his own.
SCRIBL. Aristarchus thinks the common reading right: and that the author himself had been struggling: and has but just thaken off his Load when he wrote the following Epigram.
“ My Lord complains, that Pope, stark mad with gardens, “ Has lopt three trees the value of three farthings : “ But he's my neighbour cries the peer polite, " And if he'll visit me, I'll wave my right. “ What? on Compulfion ? and against my Will, " A Lord's acquaintance ? Let him file his Bill.
And while on Fame's triumphal Car they ride,
Now crowds on crowds around the Goddess press,
136 Dunce (corning Dunce beholds the next advance, But Fop shews Fop superior complaisance. When lo! a spectre rose, whose index hand Held forth the Virtue of the dreadful wand; 140 His beaver'd brow a birchin garland wears, Dropping with Infant's Blood, and Mother's tears. O’er ev'ry vein a fhudd'ring horror runs ; Eton and Winton shake thro' all their Sons.
Dunce scorning Dunce bebolds the next advance,
But Fop hews Fop superior complaisance.] This is not to be ascribed so much to the different manners of a Court and College, as to the different effects which a pretence to Learning, and a pretence to Wit have on Block. heads. For as judgment confifts in finding out the differences in things, and Wit in finding out their likeneses, so the Dunce is all discord and diffenfion, and constantly bufied in reproving, examining, confuting, & c. while the Fop Aourishes in peace, with Songs and Hymns of praise, Addresses, Cha. racters, Epithalamiums, &c.
VER. 140. the dreadful wand ;] A cane usually born by Schoolmasters, which drives the poor Souls about like the wand of Mercury.
Firf Moloch, borrid King, besmear'd with blood
All flesh is humbled, Westminster's bold race
145 Shrink, and confess the Genius of the place : The pale Boy-Senator yet tingling stands, And holds his breeches close with both his hands. Then thus. Since Man from beaft by Words is known,
149 Words are Man’s province, Words we teach alone. When Reason doubtful, like the Samian letter, Points him two ways, the narrower is the better. Plac'd at the door of Learning, youth to guide, We never suffer it to stand too wide.
REMARKS. Ver. 148. And holds his breeches] An effect of Fear somewhat like this, is described in the viith Æneid,
Et trepide matres preffere ad pectora natos. nothing being so natural in any apprehension, as to lay close hold on whatever is supposed to be most in danger. Bụt let it not be imagined the author would infinuate these youthful senators (tho' so lately come from school) to be under the undue influence of any Mafler. SCRIBL.
VER. 151. like the Samian letter, ] The letter Y used by Pythagoras as an emblem of the different roads of Virtue and Vice. Et tibi quæ Samios diduxit litera ramos.
Pers. VER. 153. Plac'd at the door, &c.] This circumstance of the Genius Loci (with that of the Index-hand before) seems to be an allufion to the Table of Cebes, where the Genius of human nature points out the road to be pursued by those entering into life. “Ο δε γέρων και άνω έσηκως, έχων χάριην τινα εν τη χειρί, και τη ετέρα ώσπες δεικνύων τι, έτος Δαίμων K&AETTAV, &C
To ask, to guess, to know, as they commence, 155
VER, 154,- 10 hand too wide) A pleasant Allufion to the description of the door of Wifdom in the Table of Cebes, Gúgcer Toya lebipoen.
VER, 159. to exercise the brsatb ;] By obliging them to get the classic poets by heart, which furnishes them with endless
matter for Conversation, and Verbal amusement for their is wholes lives.
Ver. 162. We bang one j'ngling padlock, &*c.] For youth being used like Pack-horses and beaten under a heavy load of Words, leit they should tire, their instructors contrive to make the Words jingle in rhyme or metre.
VER. 165. in yonder House of Hall.] Westminster-hall and the House of Commons.