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So from the Sun's broad beam, in shallow urns 11 Heav'n's twinkling Sparks draw light, and point their
horns. Not with more glee, by hands Pontific crown'd, With scarlet hats wide-waving circled round, Rome in her Capitol saw Querno sit,
15 Thron'd on seven hills, the Antichrist of wit.
And now the Queen, to glad her sons, proclaims By herald Hawkers, high heroic Games. They summon all her Race: an endless band Pours forth, and leaves unpeopled half the land. 20
Ver. 15. Rome in her 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 so far, as to cause him to ride on an elephant to the Capitol, and to hold a solemn festival on his coronation; at which, it is recorded, the Poet himself was so tran. sported 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. W.
Ver. 16. Antichrist of wit.] Chaucer, as well as Dante, asserted that the church of Rome was Antichrist, a notion Bossuet has taken so much pains to refute.
Ver. 18. High heroic games.] It is impossible to read without smiling, the gravity with which Dennis attacks these games, and the reasons he gives for their impropriety.” “Is it not monstrous to imagine they could take place in the master street of a great city; a street eternally crowded with carriages, carts, coaches, chairs, and men, passing in the greatest hurry about private and public affairs?" Remarks on Dunciad, p. 19. 1729.
* See Life of C. C. chap. vi. p, 149..
A motley mixture ! in long wigs, in bags,
25 And all who knew those Dunces to reward.
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, and gain, th' industrious tribe provoke; And gentle Dulness ever loves a joke. A Poet's form she plac'd before their eyes, 35 And bade the nimblest racer seize the prize ;
Ver. 35. A Poet's form] A clear, energetic, and lively description ! especially line 41, and the three succeeding ones, of this truly ridiculous Phantom. Dr. Young, who was well acquainted with More, told me the portrait was not overcharged. More was an egregious and insufferable coxcomb.
“Tum Dea nube cava, tenuem sine viribus umbram
-Dat inania verba Dat sine mente sonum”. The reader will observe how exactly some of these verses suit with their allegorical application here to a Plagiary. There seems to me a great propriety in this Episode, where such a one is imagined by a phantom that deludes the grasp of the expecting Bookseller. W.;
adust and thin, In a dun night-gown of his own loose skin; But such a bulk as no twelve bards could raise, Twelve starv'ling bards of these degen’rate days. All as a partridge plump, full fed, and fair, 41 She form'd this image of well-body'd air; With pert flat eyes she window'd well its head; A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead;
Ver. 39. But such a bulk] Parodies are the chief and constant ornaments of a mock-heroic poem. The many introduced by our author are made with singular pleasantry, happiness, and judgment. The ancients, particularly the Athenians, were fond of parodies; especially such as were made on passages of Homer, with whose works they were so familiarly acquainted. In the fourth book of Athenæus, page 134, of Casaubon's excellent edition, is a parody, consisting of more than one hundred verses, of Matron, whom Eustathius frequently quotes and praises. It is a ridiculous description of a supper. See Fabricius, Bib. Græc. p. 354. B. i. It is well known how many parodies Aristophanes has given us on Euripides, and other tragedians. Hegemon, says Athenæus, in his ninth book, p. 406, was the first author very famous for parodies; he was called, parñ, Lenticula. He was also an excellent actor; and the Athenians were so fond of him, that one day when news was brought of their defeat in Sicily, they would not quit the theatre, but insisted that Hegemon should finish the piece. He was a great favourite of Alcibiades ; of whom and Hegemon, Athenæus relates a story worth the Reader's perusal, p. 407, of Casaubon's edition. There are some excellent parodies in the Rehearsal, in Bramston's Art of Politics, in the Scribleriad, in the Battle of the Wigs, in the Tale of a Tub, and in the works of Fielding; whom it is surprising Dr, Johnson should call, a barren rascal.
sigrum aner to a IMITATIONS,
man irl T Ver. 39. But such a bulk as no twelte bards could raise,
“Vix illud lecti bis sex 13744 Rualia nunc bominum producit corpora tellus." hare e mi
Virg. Æneid. xii. W
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And empty words she gave, and sounding strain,
Ver. 47. Neter was dash'd out, at one lucky hit,] 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 hy chance). The fiction is the more reconciled to probability, by the known story of Apelles, who being at a loss to express
the foam of Alexander's horse, dashed his pencil in despair at the picture, and happened to do it by that fortunate stroke. W.
Ver. 50. and callid the phantom More.] Curl, in his Key to the Dunciad, affirmed 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 that of a man I have heard of, who, as he was sitting in company, perceived his next neighbour had stolen 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 cried out, “See, gentlemen, what 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 lost; but there bappening 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 it: 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 shewn, and
with ardour: Some a poet's name, Others a sword-knot and lac'd suit inflame.
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 ;
A modest man may like what's not his own.”
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 Moore had left him unrivalled in turning his style 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,
Hic cæstus, artemque repono. The smaller pieces which we have heard attributed to this author, are, An Epigram on the Bridge at Blenheim, by Dr. Evans: Cosmelia, by Mr. Pitt, Mr. Jones, &c. The Mock-marriage of a mad Divine, with a Cl— for a Parson, by Dr. W. The Sawpit, a Simile, by a friend. Certain Physical works on Sir James Baker; and some unown'd Letters, Advertisements, and Epi. grams against our author in the Daily Journal, 1. Notwithstanding what is here collected of the Person imagined by Curl to be meant in this place, we cannot be of that opinion: since our Poet had certainly no need of vindicating half a dozen verses to himself, which every reader had done for him since the name itself is not spelled Moore, but Mores and lastly, since the learned Scriblerus bas so well proved the contrary. We bnVer! 60. the phantom Mote:J"It appears from hence, that this is not the name of a real person, But fictitious. More from pôpos, VOL. V.