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For this, dread Dennis (* and who can forbear, Dunce or not Dunce, relating it, to stare?) 90 His head though jealous, and his years
fourscore, Ev’n Dennis praises, who ne'er prais'd before ! For this, the Scholiaft claims his share of fame, And, modest, prints his own with Shakespeare's name: How justly, Pope, in this Ahort story view;
95 Which may
be dull, and therefore Tould be true.
In this the Critic's folly most is shown :
*" Quis talia fando Myrmidonum, Dolopumve," &c.- VIRG. V.92. See the Dedication of his Remarks on the Dunciad to Mr. Lewis Theobald.
That Writer he selects, with aukward aim
115 His sense, at once, to mimic and to maim. So Florio is a sop, with half a nose: So fat West Indian Planters dress at Beaux. Thus, gay Petronius was a Dutchman's choice, 119 And Horace, strange to say, tun'd Bentley's voice.
Horace, whom all the Graces taught to please, Mix'd mirth with morals, eloquence with ease; His genius social, as his judgement clear; When frolic, prudent; smiling when severe; Secure, each temper, and each taste to hit, 125 His was the curious happiness of wit. Skill'd in that noblest Science, How to live; Which Learning may direct, but Heaven must give : Grave with Agrippa, with Mæcenas gay ; Among the Fair, but just as wise as they : 130 First in the friendships of the Great enroll’d, The St. Johns, Boyles, and Lytteltons, of old.
While Bentley, long to wrangling schools confin'd, And, but by books, acquainted with mankind, Dares, in the fulness of the pedant's pride, 135 Rhyme, though no genius ; though no judge, decide. Yet he, prime pattern of the captious art, Out-tibbalding poor Tibbald, tops his part: Holds high the scourge o’er each fam'd author's head; Nor are their graves a refuge for the dead. 140 To Milton lending sense, to Horace wit, He makes them write what never Poet writ;
The Roman Muse arraigns his mangling pen ;
150 Who, to his iron-bed, by torture, fits, Their nobler part, the souls of suffering Wits.
Such is the Man, who heaps his head with bays, And calls on human kind to found his praise, For points transplac'd with curious want of skill, 155 For flatten’d sounds, and sense amended ill. So wife Caligula, in days of yore, His helmet fill'd with pebbles on the More, Swore he had rifed ocean's richest spoils, And claim'd a trophy for his martial toils. 360
Yet be his merits, with his faults, confeft: Fair-dealing, as the plainest, is the best.
Long V. 144. This fagacious Scholiaft is pleased to create an imaginary editor of Milton; who, he says, by his blunders, interpolations, and vile alierations, lott Paradise a second time. This is a postulatum which surely none of his readers can have the heart to deny him; because otherwise he would have wanted a fair opportuniiy of calling Milton himself, in the person of this phantom, fool, ignorant, ideot, and the like critical compellations, which he plentifully bestows on him. But, though he had no taste in poetry, he was otherwise a man of very confiderable abilities, and of great erudition,
Long lay the Critic's work, with trifles stor'd,
But what can cure our vanity of mind,
Yet those, whom pride and dulness join to blind, 185 To narrow cares in narrow space confin’d,
Though with big titles each his fellow greets,
190 Or, if not trivial, harmful is their art; Fume to the head, or poison to the heart.
Where ancient Authors hint at things obscene,
But who their various follies can explain? 205 The tale is infinite, the task were vain. 'Twere to read new-year odes in search of thought; To sum the libels Pryn or Withers wrote ; To guess, ere one epistle saw the light, How many
dunces met, and club'd their mite; To vouch for truth what Welsted prints of Pope, Or from the brother-boobies steal a trope. That be the part of persevering Wasse, of lead ; or, Arnall, thine of brass;
V. 209. See a Poem published some time
under that title, said to be the production of several ingenious and prolific heads; one contributing a similé, another a character, and a certain gentleman four shrewd lines wholly made up of asterisks.
V. 213. See the Preface to his edition of Sallust; and read, if you are able, the Scholia of sixteen annotators by him collected, besides his own.