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Else sure some Bard, to our eternal praise,
Oh (cry'd the Goddess) for some pedant Reign! Some gentle James, to bless the land again ; 176
REMARKS. VER. 174. tbat Mafter-piece of Man.] Viz. an Epigram. The famous Dr. Soutb declared a perfect Epigram to be as difficult a performance as an Epic Poem. And the Critics say, “ an Epic poem is the greatest work human nature is
VER, 175. Ob (cry'd the Goddess) &c.] The matter under debate is how to confine men to Words for life. The instruction of youth few how well they do their parts; but complain that when men come into the world they are apo to forget their Learning, and turn themselves to useful Knowledge. This was an evil that wanted to be redressed. And this the Goddess assures them will need a more extenfive Tyranny than that of Grammar schools. She therefore points out to them the remedy, in her wishes for arbitrary power; whose interest it being to keep men from the study of things, will encourage the propagation of words and sounds : and, to make all sure, the wishes for another Pedant Monarch. The sooner to obtain fo great a blessing, she is willing even for once to violate the fundamental principle of her politics, in having her sons taught at least one thing ; but that sufficient, the Doctrine of Divine right.
Nothing can be juster than the observation here insinuated, that no branch of Learning thrives well under Arbitrary government but the Verbal. The reasons are evident. It is unsafe under such Governments to cultivate the study of things, especially things of importance. Besides, when men have loft their public virtue, they naturally delight in trifles, if their private morals secure them from being vicious, Hence so great a Cloud of Scholiasts and Grammarians ro
To stick the Doctor's Chair into the Throne,
REMARKS. foon overspread the Light of Greece and Rome, when once those famous Communities had lost their Liberties. Another reason is the encouragement which arbitrary governments give to the study of words, in order to bury and amuse active genius's, who might otherwise prove troublesome and inqui. sitive. So when Cardinal Richelieu had destroyed the poor remains of his country's liberties, and made the supreme Court of Parliament merely minifterial, he instituted the French Academy, for the perfecting their language. What was fajd upon that occasion, by a brave Magistrate, when the letters-patent of its erection came to be verified in the Parliament of Paris, deserves to be remembered : He told the assembly, that it put bim in mind bow an Emperor of Rome once treated bis Senate; who when be bad deprived them of the cognizance of Public matters, sent a mesage to them in form for ibeir opinion about the best Sauce for a Turbot.
Ver. 176. Some gentle James, &c.] Wilson tells us that this King, James the first, took upon himself to teach the Latin tongue to Car, Earl of Somerset; and that Gondomar the Spanish Ambassador would speak false Latin to him, on purpose to give him the pleasure of correcting it, whereby he wrought himself into his good graces.
This great prince was the first who assumed the title of Sacred Majesty, which his loyal Clergy transferred from God to Him. The principles of Passive Obedience and Non-re“ fistance (says the Author of the Dissertation on Parties, “ Letter 8.) which before his time had skulked perhaps in “ some old Homily, were talked, written, and preached into
vogue in that inglorious reign."
Nor wert thou, Ifis ! wanting to the day,
REMARKS: Ibid. A bundred bead, &c.] It appears by this the Goddess had been careful of keeping up a Succession, according to the rule,
Semper enim refice : ac, ne post amisa requiras,
Anteveni ; & fobolem armento fortire quotannis It is remarkable with what dignity the Poet here describes the friends of this ancient Philofopher. Horace does not observe the same decorum with regard to those of another sect, when he says, Cum ridere voles Epicuri de grege Porcum. But the word Drove, Armentum, here understood, is a word of honour, as the most noble Fcftus the Grammarian affures us, Armentum id genus pecoris appellatur, quod eft idoneum opus ar
And alluding to the temper of this warlike breed, our poet very appositely calls them a bundred bead, Scribl.
VER, 194. (Tho' Cbrifl-church] This line is doubtless spurious, and foisted in by the impertinence of the Editor; and accordingly we have put it in between Hooks. For I affirm this College came as early as any other, by its proper Deputies; nor did any College pay homage to Dulness in its whole body.
Ver. 196. Fill expelling Locke] In the year 1703 there was a meeting of the heads of the University of Oxford to censure Mr. Locke's Essay on Human Understanding, and to forbid the reading it. See his Letters in the last Edit.
Ver. 198. On German Crouzaz and Dutch Burgersdyck.] There seems to be an improbability that the Doctors and Heads of Houses Mould ride on horseback, who of late days, being gouty or unwieldy, have kept their coaches. But these are horses of great strength, and fit to carry any
As many quit the streams that murm'ring fall
REMARKS. weight, as their German and Dutch extraction may manifeft; and very famous we may conclude, being honoured with Names, as were the horses Pegasus and Bucephalus. Scribl.
Tho' I have the greatest deference to the penetration of this eminent scholiast, and must own that nothing can be more natural than his interpretation, or juster than that rule of criticism, which directs us to keep to the literal sense, when no apparent absurdity accompanies, it (and sure there is no absurdity in supposing a Logician on horseback) yet still I must needs think the Hackneys here celebrated were not real Horses, nor even Centaurs, which, for the sake of the learned Chiron, I fhould rather be inclined to think, if I were forced to find them four legs, but downright plain men, tho' Logicians : and only thus metamorphosad by a rule of rhetoric, of which Cardinal Perron gives us an example, where he calls Clavius, Un Esprit pesant, lourd, sans subtilité, ni gentillesse UN GROSS CHEVAL D'ALLEMAGNE.” Here ) profess to go opposite to the whole stream of com
I think the poet only aimed, tho' aukwardly, at an elegant Grecism in this representation ; for in that language the word iTTIOS (Horse] was often prefixed to others, to denote greatnefs or trength; as ίππολαπαθoν, ιππόλωσσου, ίππομαραθρο and particularly :ΠΠΟΓΝΩΜΩΝ , 4 great connoisseur, which comes nearest to the case in hand.
SCIP. Maff. VER. 199. the freams,] The River Cam, running by the walls of these Colleges, which are particularly famous for their skill in Disputation.
VER. 2: 2. Seeps in Port.) viz." Now retired into harbour, " after the tempests that had long agitated his society.” So Scriblerus. But the learned Scipio Maffei understands it of a certain Wine called Port, from Oporto a city of Portugal, of
Before them march'd that awful Ariftarch ;
RÉM A R K S. which this Professor invited him to drink abundantly. Scip, MAFF. De Compotationibus Academicis.
VER, 205. His Hat, & c. - So upright Quakers please borb Man and God,) The Hat-worship, as the Quakers call it, is an abomination to that sect : yet, where it is necessary to pay that respect to man (as in the Courts of Justice and Houses of Parliament) they have, to avoid offence, and yet not violate their conscience, permitted other people to uncover them.
VER. 250. Ariftarcbus. ] A famous Commentator and Corrector of Homer, whose name has been frequently used to signify a complete Critic. . The Compliment paid by our author to this eminent Professor, in applying to him so great à Name, was the reason that he hath omitted to comment on this part which contains his own praises. We shall therefore Tupply that loss to our best ability.
SCRTBL, IMITATION 8. VER, 207. He, kingly, did but nod;] Milton.
- He, kingly, from bis State Declin'd not -Ver. 210.-is Ariftarchus yet unknown? - Sic notus Ulysses ?
VIRG. Doft tbou not feel me, Romo?