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Great Cibber sate : The proud Parnassian sneer, 5
shine round him with reflected grace, New edge their dulness, and new bronze their face, So from the sun's broad beam, in shallow urns : Heav'n's twinkling sparks draw-light, and point their
horns. Not with more glee, with hands pontific crown'd, With scarlet hats wide-waving circled round,
velvet, and adorned with gold. He had also a fair altar, and over it this extra inscription, The Primitive Eucharist. See the history of this person, book iii,
WARBURTON. Ibid. or Fleckno's Irish throne,] Richard Fleckno was an Irish priest, but had laid aside (as himself expressed it) the mechanic part of priesthood. He printed some plays, poems, letters, and iravels. I doubt not, our Author took occasion to mention him in respect to the poem of Mr. Dryden, to which this bears some resemblance, though of a character more different from it than that of the Æneid from the Iliad, or the Lutrin of Boileau from the Defait de Bouts rimées of Sarazin.
WARBURTON Ver. 3. Or that where on ber Curls the public pours,) Edmund Curl stood in the pillory at Charing-Cross, in March 1927-8. “ This (saith Edmund Curl) is a false assertion I had indeed the corporal punislıment of what the gentlemen of the long robe are pleased jocosely to call mounting the rostrum for one hour, but that scene of action was not in the month of March, but in February." [Curliad, 12mo, p. 19.) And of the history of bis being tost in a blanket, he saith, “ Here Scriblerus ! thou leeseth in what thou assertech concerning the blanket : it was not a blanket, but a rug,” p. 25. Much in the same manner Mr. Çibber remonstrated, that his brothers, at Bedlam, mentioned Book i. were not brazen, but blocks; yet our Author let it pass unaltered, as a trifle that no way altered the relationship.
Rome in her Capitol saw Querno sit,
And now the queen, to glad her sons, proclaims
Amid that area wide they took their stand, Where the tall may-pole once o’erlook'd the Strand, But now (so ANNE and piety ordain) A church collects the saints of Drury-lane. 30
With authors, stationers obey'd the call (The field of glory is a field for all).
Glory, Ver. 15. Rome in ber Capitol saw Querno sit,] Camillo Querno was of Apulia, who hearing the great encouragement which Leo X. gave to poets, travelled to Rome with a harp in his hand, and sung to it twenty thousand verses of a poem called Alexias. He was introduced as a buffoon to Leo, and promoted to the honour of the laurel; a jest which the court of Rome and the Pope himself entered into su far, as to cause him to ride on an elephant to the Capitol, and to hold a solemu festival on his coronation; at which, it is recorded, the poet himself was so transported as to weep for joy". He was ever after a constant frequenter of the Pope's table, drank abundantly, and poured forth verses without number. Paulus Jovius, Elog. Vir. doct. cap. lxxxii. Some idea of his poetry is given by Fam. Strada, in his Prolusions. WARBURTON.
* See Life of C. C. chap. vi. p. 149.
Glory, and gain, th' industrious tribe provoke ;
adust and thin,
41 She form'd this image of well-body'd air ; With
she window'd well its head; A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead; And empty words she gave, and sounding strain, 45 But senseless, lifeless ! idol void and vain ! Never was dash'd out, at one lucky hit, A fool, so just a copy of a wit ; So like, that critics said, and courtiers swore, A wit it was, and call'd the phantom More. 50
VER. 47. Never was dasb'd out, at one lucky bit,] Our Author here seems willing to give some account of the possibility of dulness making a wit (which could be done no other way than by chance). The fiction is the more reconciled to probability, by the known story of Apelles, who being at a loss to express the form of Alexander's horse, dalhed his pencil in despair at the picture, and happened to do it by that fortunate stroke.
WARBURTON, VER. 50. and calls the phantom More.] CURL, in his Key to the Dunciad, affirm'd this to be James-Moore Smith, Esq. and it is probable (considering what is said of him in the Testimonies) that some might fancy our Author obliged to represent this gentleman as a plagiary, or to pass for one himself. His case indeed was like AI gaze
that Hic cæstus, artemque repono. The smaller pieces which we have heard attributed to this author, are, An Epigram on the Bridge at Blenbein, by Dr. Evans: Cose
with ardour : Some a poet's name, Others a sword-knot and lac'd suit inflame.
that of a man I have heard of, who, as he was sitting in company, perceived his next neighbour had stulen his handkerchief. “Sir, (said the thief, finding himself detected), do not expose me, I did it for mere want; be so good but to take it privately out of my pocket again, and say nothing." The honest man did so, but the other cry'd
out, “ See, gentlemen, whai a thief we have among us! look, he is stealing my handkerchief !”
Some time before he had borrowed of Dr. Arbuthnot a paper called an Historico-physical account of the South-Sea; and of Mr. Pope the Memoirs of a Parish Clerk, which for two years he kept, and read to the Rev. Dr. Young,-F. Billers, Esq. and many others, as his own. Being applied to for them, he pretended they were
but there happening to be another copy of the latter, it came out in Swift and Pope's Miscellanies. Upon this, it seems, he was so far mistaken as to confess his proceeding by an endeavour to hide ir:
unguardedly printing (in the Daily Journal of April 3, 1728), " That the contempt which he and others had for those pieces, (which only himself had shown, and handed about as his own) « occasioned their being lost, and for that cause only not returned." A fact, of which as none but he could be conscious, none but he could be the publisher of it. The plagiarisms of this person gave occasion to the following Epigram:
“ More always smiles whenever he recites;
He smiles (you think) approving what he writes.
A modest man may like what's not his own.” This young gentleman's whole misfortune was too inordinate a passion to be thought a wit. Here is a very strong instance attested by Mr. Savage, son of the late Earl Rivers; who having shewn some verses of his in manuscript to Mr. Moore, wherein Mr. Pope was called first of the tuneful train, Mr. Moore the next morning sent to Mr. Savage to desire him to give those verses another turn, to wit, “ That Pope might now be the first, because Moure had left him unrival'd in turning his stile to comedy." This was during the Rehearsal of the Rival Modes, his first and only work; the town condemned it in the action, but he printed it in 1726-7, with this modest motto,
But lofty Lintot in the circle rose : “ This prize is mine ; who tempt it are my foes ; “ With me began this genius, and shall end." 55 He spoke: and who with Lintot shall contend?
Fear held them mute. Alone, untaught to fear, Stood dauntless Curl ; 66 Behold that rival here !
melia, by Mr. Pitt, Mr. Jones, &c. The Mock-marriage of a mad Divine, with a Cl- for a Parson, by Dr. W. The Saw-pit, a Simile, by a Friend. Certain Physical works on Sir James Baker; and some unown'd Letters, Advertisements, and Epigrams against our Author in the Daily Journal. WARBURTON.
VER. 50. the phantom More.] It appears from hence, that this is not the name of a real person, but fictitious. More from pūpo, stultus, fwgías, stultitia, to represent the folly of a plagiary. Thus Erasmus, Admonuit me Mori cognomen tibi, quod tam ad Moria vocabulum accedit quam es ipse e re alienus. Dedication of Moria Encomium to Sir Tho. More; the farewell of which may be our Author's to his plagiary, Vale, More! et moriam tuam gnaviter defende. Adieu, More! and be sure strongly to defend thy own folly.
SCRIBLERUS. Ver. 53. But lofty Lintot] We enter here upon the Episode of the Booksellers ; persons, whose names being more known and famous in the learned world than those of the Authors in this Poem, do therefore need less explanation. The action of Mr. Lintot here imitates that of Dares in Virgil, rising just in this manner to lay hold on a bull. This eminent bookseller printed the Rival Modes before mentioned.
WARBURTON. VER. 58. Stood dauntless Curl;] We come now to a character of much respect, that of Mr. Edmund Curl. As a plain repetition of great actions is the best praise of them, we shall only say of this eminent man, that he carried the trade many lengths beyond what it ever before had arrived at; and that he was the envy and admiration of all his profession. He possessed bimself of a command over all authors whatever: he caused them to write what he pleased; they could not call their very names their own. not only famous among these ; he was taken notice of by the state, the church, and the law, and received particular marks of distinction from each.