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ARGUMENT TO BOOK THE THIRD.
AFTER the other persons are disposed in their proper places of
rest, the Goddess transports the King to ber Temple, and tbere lays bim to slumber with bis bead on ber lap: a position of marvellous virtue, wbicb causes all tbe Visions of wild enthusiasts, projectors, politicians, inamoratos, castle-builders, cbymists, and poets. He is immediately carried on the wings of Fancy to the Elyzian sbade, wbere, on tbe banks of Lethe, the souls of the dull are dipped by Bavius, before their entrance into this world. There be is met by the ghost of Settle, and by bim made acquainted with the wonders of tbe place, and with those which be is bimself destined to perform. He takes bim to a Mount of Vision, from wbence be sbews bim ibe past triumphs of the empire of Dulness, then the present, and lastly the future: bow small a part of the world was ever conquered by Science, bow soon those conguests were stopped, and tbose very nations again rem duced to ber dominion. Tben distinguishing the Island of Great Britain, sbews by wbat aids, and by what persons, it shall be fortbwith brought to ber empire. Tbese be causes to pass in review before bis eyes, describing cacb by bis proper figure, cbaracter, and qualifications. On a sudden tbc scene shifts, and a vest number of miracles and prodigies appear, utterly surprizing and unknown to the King bimself, till they are explained to be the wonders of bis own reign now commencing. On this subject Settle breuks into a congratulation, yet not unmixed with concern, tbat bis own times were but the types of these. He prophecies bow first the nation shall be over-run with Farces, Operas, and Shows; and the throne of Dulness advanced over both the Tbeatres ; tben bor ber Sons sball preside in the seats of Arts and Sciences, till in conclusion all sball return to their original Chaos: A scene, of which the present action of the Dunciad is but a type or foretaste, giving a glympse, or Pisgah-sight of the promised Fulness of ber Glory; the accomplishment wbereof will, in all probability, bereafter be the theme of many other and greater Dunciads.
BUT in her temple's last recess inclos'd,
On Dulness' lap th' anointed head repos’d, Him close she curtain'd round with vapours blue, And soft besprinkled with Cimmerian dew. Then raptures high the seat of sense o’erflow, 5 Which only heads refin'd from reason know. Hence, from the straw where Bedlam's prophet nods, He hears loud oracles, and talks with gods : Hence the fool's paradise, the statesman's scheme, The air-built castle, and the golden dream, The maid's romantic wish, the chymist's flame, And poet's vision of eternal fame.
And now, on Fancy's easy wing convey'd, The King descended to th' Elyzian shade. There, in a dusky vale where Lethe rolls,
15 Old Bavius sits, to dip poetic souls, And blunt the sense, and fit it for a skull Of solid proof, impenetrably dull: Instant when dipt, away they wing their flight, Where Brown and Mears unbar the gates of light, VOL. IV.
Demand new bodies, and in calf's array,
25 As thick as eggs at Ward in pillory.
Wond’ring he gaz’d: when lo! a sage appears, By his broad shoulders known, and length of ears, Known by the band and suit which Settle wore, (His only suit) for twice three years before :
30 All as the vest, appear'd the wearer's frame, Old in new state, another yet the same. Bland and familiar as in life, begun Thus the great father to the greater son: Oh born to see what none can see awake'!
35 Behold the wonders of th' oblivious lake. Thou, yet unborn, hast touch'd this sacred shore; The hand of Bavius drench'd thee o'er and o'er. But blind to former, as to future fate, What mortal knows his pre-existent state? Who knows how long, thy transmigrating soul Might from Bæotian to Bæotian roll! How many
Dutchmen she vouchsaf'd to thrid? How many stages thro' old Monks she rid? And all who since, in mild benighted days, 45 Mix'd the owl's ivy with the poet's bays ? As man's mæanders to the vital spring Roll all their tydes, then back their circles bring ;
Or whirligigs, twirl'd round by skilful swain,
Ascend this hill, whose cloudy point compands Her boundless empire over seas and lands. 60 See, round the poles where keener span.gles shine, Where spices smoke beneath the burning line, (Earth's wide extreams) her sa'ble flag display'd; And all the nations cover'd in her shade!
Far eastward cast thine eye, from whence the sun And orient science at a birth begun.
66 One god-like monarch all that pride confounds, He, whose long wall the wand'ring Tartar bounds. Heav'ns! what a pile ? whole ages perish there : And one bright blaze turns learning into air. 70
Thence to the south extend thy gladden'd eyes; There rival flames with equal glory rise, From shelves to shelves see greedy Vulcan roll, And lick up all their physic of the soul.
How little, mark! that portion of the ball, Where, faint at best, the beams of science fall; CC 2