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fight into the grounds of this clamour, or a better opinion of Mr. Pope's integrity, join'd with a greater personal love for him, than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Farther, 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 e no man living, who had not before printed, or publifhed, fome scandal against this gentleman.
How I came posseft of it, is no concern to the reader ; but it would have been a wrong to him had I detained the publication ; fince 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 style and manner of writing, which can diftinguish or difcover him : For if it bears any resemblance to that of
e The publisher in these words went a little too far; but it is certain, whatever names the reader finds that are unknown to him, are of such ; and the exception is only of two or three, whose dulness, impudent scurrility or felf-conceit, all mankind agreed to have jusly entitled them to a place in the Dunciad.
f There is certainly notbing in bis Style, etc.) This irony had small effect in concealing the author. The Dunciad, imperfect as it was, had not been publiched two days, but the whole Town gave it to Mr. Pope.
Mr. Pope, 'tis not improbable but it might be done en purpose, with a view to have it pass for his. But by the frequency of his allusions to Virgil, and a laboured (not to say affected) fortness 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 s fix 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 fix years more he intended to bestow upon it, as should seem by this verse of Statius, which was cited at the head of his manuscript.
O mibi bilinos multum vigilata per annos,
Dunciah! & tbe labour of full fix years, etc.] This also was honestly and seriously believed by divers gentlemen of the Dunciad. J. Ralph, pref, to Sawney. “ We are told it was the labour of “ fix years, with the utmok adiduity and application : It is
no great compliment to the author's sense, to have em, " ployed so large a part of his life," etc. So allo Ward, pref. to Durgen, “ The Dunciad, as the publisher very wisely con
felles, cost the author fix years retirement from all the
pleasures of life; though it is somewhat difficult to con. “ ceive, from either its bulk or beauty, that it could be so
long in hatching, etc. But the length of time and closeness “ of application were mentioned to prepoffess the reader it with a good opinion of it." They just as well understood what Şcriblerus said of the pjem. h The prefacer to Curl's key, p: 3. took this word to be really
Hence also we learn the true title of the poem ; which with the fame 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 D UN CI A D. It is styled Heroic, as being doubly fo; 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 dar'd to ftir up such a formidable, irritable, and implacable race of mortals.
There may arise fome 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 710t made for these authors, but these authors for the poem. I should judge that they were clapp'd in as they rose, fresh and fresh, and chang'd 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 ; fince when
in Statius : “ By a quibble on the word Duncia, the Dunciad is “ formed.” Mr. Ward also follows him in the same opinion,
he shall have found them out, he will probably know no more of the persons than before.
Yet we judg'd it better to preserve them as they are, than to change them for fictitious names ; by which the fatire 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 a name, which by good luck happens to be that of a real perfon.
A LIST of
BOOKS, PAPERS, and VERSES,
In which our Author was abused, before the Pub.
lication of the DUNCIAD; with the true Names of the Authors.
EFLECTIONS critical and satirical on
a late Rhapsody, called, An Essay on Criticism. By Mr. Dennis, printed by B. Lintot, price 6d. A New Rehearsal, or Bays the
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, 57149 price is.
Homerides, or a Letter to Mr. Pope, occasioned by his intended translation of Homer. By Sir Diad Dogrel. [Tho. Burnet and G. Ducket esquires) printed for W. Wilkins, 1715, price gd.
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 Pupper-fhew 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. Th-] 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.