ePub 版

But as the flatt'rer or dependent paint,

535 Beholds himself a patriot, chief, or saint.

On other's int’rest her gay liv'ry flings, Int'rest, that waves on party-colour'd wings: Turn’d to the sun, she casts a thousand dyes, And, as she turns, the colours fall or rise.

540 Others the syren sisters warble round, And empty heads console with empty sound. No more, alas ! the voice of fame they hear, The balm of dulness trickling in their ear. Great C**, H**, P**, R**, K*,

545 Why all your toils ? your sons have learn'd to sing. How quick ambition hastes to ridicule ! The sire is made a peer, the son a fool.

On some, a priest succinct in amice white Attends; all flesh is nothing in his sight! 550 Beeves, at his touch, at once to jelly turn, And the huge boar is shrunk into an urn: The board with specious miracles he loads, Turns hares to larks, and pigeons into toads. Another (for in all what one can shine ?) 555 Explains the seve and verdeur of the vine.


Ver. 556. Seve and verdeur] French terms relating to wines, which signify their flavour and poignancy.

“ Et je gagerois que chez le commandeur

Villandri priseroit sa seve & sa verdeur." DEPREAUX. St. Evremont has a very pathetic letter to a nobleman in disgrace, advising him to seek comfort in a good table ; and particularly to be attentive to these qualities in his champaigne.


What cannot copious sacrifice atone ?
Thy treufies, Perigord ! thy hams, Bayonne !
With French libation, and Italian strain,
Wash Bladen white, and expiate Hays's stain. 560
Knight lifts the head, for what are crouds undone,
To three essential partridges in one

Gone ev'ry blush, and silent all reproach,
Contending princes mount them in their coach.

Next bidding all draw near on bended knees, 565 The Queen confers her titles and degrees. Her children first of more distinguish'd sort, Who study Shakespear at the inns of court,


Ver. 560. Bladen Hays] Names of gamesters. Bladen is. a black man. ROBERT KNIGHT, cashier of the South-Sea Com. pany, who fled from England in 1720 (afterwards pardoned in 1742.)—These lived with the utmost magnificence at Paris, and kept ope« tables frequented by persons of the first quality of England, and even by princes of the blood of France.

Pope. The former note of - Bladen is a black man, is very absurd. The manuscript text is here partly obliterated, and doubtless could only have been-" Wash Blackmoors wbite,” alluding to a known proverb.

SCRIBLERUS. Pope. VER. 567. Her children first of more distinguish'd sort,

W bo study Shakespear at the inns of court,] Jll would that scholiast discharge his duty, who should neglect to honour those whom Dulness. has distinguished: or suffer them to lie forgotten, when their rare modesty would have left them name, less. Let us not, therefore, overlook the services which have been done her cause, by one Mr. Thomas Edwards, a gentleman, as he is pleased to call himself, of Lincoln's Inn ; but, in reality, a gentleman only of the Dunciad; or, to speak him betier, in the plain language of our honest ancestors to such mushrooms, A gentleman of the last edition : who nobly eluding che solicitude of his careful father, very early retained himself in the cause of Dulness against Shakespear; and with the wit and learning of his ancestor Tom




Impale a glow-worm, or vertú profess,
Shine in the dignity of F. R. S.
Some, deep free-masons, join the silent race
Worthy to fill Pythagoras's place :
Some botanists, or florists at the least,
Or issue members of an annual feast.

pass the meanest unregarded, one
Rose a Gregorian, one a Gormogon.
The last, not least in honour or applause,
Isis and Cam made Doctors of her LAWS.

Then, blessing all, Go, children of my care !
To practice now from theory repair.

commands are easy, short, and full:
My Sons ! be proud, be selfish, and be dull.
Guard my prerogative, assert my throne :
This nod confirms each privilege your own.



Thimble in the Rehearsal, and with the air of good nature and politeness of Caliban in the Tempest, hath now happily finished the Dunce's Progress, in personal abuse. For a libeller is nothing but a Grub-street critic run to seed.

SCRIBLERUS. Ver. 571. Some, deep free-masons, join the silent race] The poet all along expresses a very particular concern for this silent race: he has here provided, that in case they will not waken or open (as was before proposed) to a bumming-bird, or a cockle, yet at worst they may be made free-masons; where taciturnity is the only essential qualification, as it was the chief of the disciples of Pythagoras.

Pope. Ver. 576. a Gregorian, one a Gormogon.] A sort of laybrothers, two of the innumerable slips from the root of the free

Pope. VER. 584. each privilege your own, &c.] This speech of Dulness to her sons at parting may possibly fall short of the reader's



The cap

and switch be sacred to his grace ; 585 With staff and pumps the marquis lead the race ; From stage to stage the licens'd earl may run, Pair'd with his fellow-charioteer the sun; The learned baron butterflies design, Or draw to silk Arachne's subtile line ;

590 The judge to dance his brother sergeant call ; The senator at cricket


the ball; The bishop stow (pontific luxury!) An hundred souls of turkeys in a pie ; The sturdy squire to Gallic masters stoop, 595 And drown his lands and manors in a soupe.


expectation; who may imagine the Goddess might give them a charge of more consequence; and, from such a theory as is before delivered, incite them to the practice of something more extraordinary, than to personate running footmen, jockeys, stagecoachmen, &c.

But if it be well considered, that whatever inclination her sons might have to do mischief, they are generally rendered harmless by their inability; and that it is the common effect of Dulness (even in her greatest efforts) to defeat her own design; the poet, 1 am pei suaded, will be justified, and it will be allowed, that these worthy persons, in their several ranks, do as much as can be well expected from them.

POPE. Ver. 590. Arachne's subtile line ;] This is one of the most ingenious employments assigned, and therefore recommended only to peers of learning. Of weaving gray-silk stockings of the webs of spiders, see the Philosoph. Transact.

POPE. Ver. 591. The judge to dance his brother sergecnt call:] Alluding per haps to that ancient and solemn dance intitled, A Call of Sergeants.

POPE. VER. 598. Teach kings to fiddle,] An ancient amusement of sovereign princes, (viz.) Achilles, Alexander, Nero; though despised by Themistocles, who was a republican-Make senates dance, either after their prince, or to Pontoise, or Siberia.


Others import yet nobler arts from France,
Teach kings to fiddle, and make senates dance.
Perhaps more high some daring son may soar,
Proud to my list to add one monarch more ; 600
And nobly conscious, princes are but things
Born for first ministers, as slaves for kings,
Tyrant supreme! shall three estates command,

More she had spoke, but yawn'd-All nature nods : What mortal can resist the


of gods? Churches and chapels instantly it reach'd; (St. James's first, for leaden G-preach'd)



Ver. 636. What mortal can resist the yawn of gods ? 1 This verse is truly Homerical; as is the conclusion of the action, where the great mother composes all, in the same manner as Minerva at the period of the Odyssey-It may indeed seem a very singular epitasis of a poem, to end as this does, with a GREAT YAwN; but we must consider it as the yawn of a god, and of powerful effects. Nor is it out of nature ; most long and grave counsels concluding in this very manner : nor yet without authority, the incomparable Spencer havmg ended one of the most considerable of his works with a ROAR; but then it is the roar of a lion, the effects whereof (as here of the yawn) are described as the catastrophe of the poem.

PoPE. VER. 607. Churches and chapels, &c.] The progress of this yawn is judicious, natural, and worthy to be noted. First it seizeth the churches and chapels; then catcheth the schools, where, though the boys be unwilling to sleep, the masters are not : next Westminster-hall

, much more hard indeed to subdue, and not totally put to silence even by the Goddess: then the convocation, which though extremely desirous to speak, yet cannot: even the House of Commons, justly called the sense of the nation, is lost (that is to say, suspended) during the yawn (far be it from our author to suggest it could be lost any longer!) but it spreadeth at large over all the rest of the kingdom, to such a degree, that


« 上一頁繼續 »