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There is in truth another objection of greater weight, namely, "That this hero still existeth, and hath not yet finished his earthly course. For if Solon said well, that no man could be called happy till his death, surely much less can any one, till then, be pronounced a hero: the species of men being far more subject than others to the caprices of fortune and humour." But to this also we have an answer, which will (we hope) be deemed decisive. It cometh from himself; who, to cut this matter short, hath solemnly protested that He will never CHANGE OR AMEnd.
With regard to his vanity, he declareth that nothing shall ever part them. "Nature (saith he) hath amply supplied me in vanity; a pleasure which neither the pertness of wit, nor the gravity of wisdom, will ever persuade me to part with ." Our poet had charitably endeavoured to administer a cure to it: but he telleth us plainly, "My superiors perhaps may be mended by him; but for my part I own myself incorrigible. I look upon my follies as the best part of my fortune f." And with good reason: we see to what they have brought him!
Secondly, as to buffoonry," Is it (saith he) a time. of day for me to leave off these fooleries, and set up a new character? I can no more put off my follies than my skin; I have often tried, but they stick too close to me; nor am I sure my friends are displeased with them, for in this light I afford them frequent matter of mirth, &c. &c. " Having then so publickly declared himself INCORRIGIBLE, he is become dead in law, (I mean the law Epopæian) and devolveth upon the poet; is now his property; and may be taken and dealt with like an old Egyptian hero; that is to say, emboweled and embalmed for posterity.
Nothing therefore (we conceive) remaineth to hinder his own prophecy of himself from taking imme
e Cibber's Life, p. 424.
f Ibid. p. 19.
8 Ibid. p. 17.
diate effect. A rare felicity! and what few prophets have had the satisfaction to see, alive! Nor can we conclude better than with that extraordinary one of his, which is conceived in these oraculous words, My DULNESS WILL FIND SOMEBODY TO DO IT RIGHT".
Tandem PHOEBUS adest, morsusque inferre parentem Congelat, et patulos, ut erant, INDURAT hiatus'. WARBURTON,
h Cibber's Life, p. 243. octavo edition.
By virtue of the Authority in Us bested by the Act for subjecting Poets to the Power of a Licenser, we habe revised this Piece; where finding the style and appellation of KING to have been given to a certain Pretender, Pseudo-Poet, or Phantom, of the name of TIBBALD; and apprehending the same may be deemed in some sort a Reflection on Majesty, or at least an insult on that Legal Authority which has bestowed on another Person the Crown of Poesy: We have ordered the said Pretender, Pseudo-Poet, or Phantom, utterly to vanish and evaporate out of this work: And do declare the said Throne of Poesy from henceforth to be abdicated and bacant, unless duly and lawfully supplied by the LAUREATE himself. And it is hereby enacted, that no other person do presume to fill the same.