Page images
PDF
EPUB

Which Curl's Corinna1 chanc'd that morn to make:
(Such was her wont, at early dawn to drop
Her evening cates before his neighbour's shop,)
Here fortun'd Curl to slide; loud shout the band,

70

And "Bernard! Bernard!" rings thro' all the Strand.
Obscene with filth the miscreant lies bewray'd,
Fall'n in the plash his wickedness had laid:
Then first (if Poets aught of truth declare)
The caitiff Vaticide conceiv'd a pray'r.

75

"Hear, Jove! whose name my bards and I adore,
As much at least as any God's, or more;
And him and his if more devotion warms,
Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's Arms "."

30

A place there is, betwixt earth, air, and seas3,
Where, from Ambrosia, Jove retires for ease.
There in his seat two spacious vents appear,
On this he sits, to that he leans his ear,
And hears the various vows of fond mankind;
Some beg an eastern, some a western wind:
All vain petitions, mounting to the sky,
With reams abundant this abode supply;
Amus'd he reads, and then returns the bills

85

90

And ministers to Jove with purest hands.

Sign'd with that Ichor which from Gods distils 4.
In office here fair Cloacina 5 stands,

95

Forth from the heap she pick'd her Vot'ry's pray'r,
And plac'd it next him, a distinction rare!
Oft had the Goddess heard her servants call,
From her black grottos near the Temple-wall,
List'ning delighted to the jest unclean

Of link-boys vile, and watermen obscene;
Where as he fish'd her nether realms for Wit,
She oft had favour'd him, and favours yet.
Renew'd by ordure's sympathetic force,
As oil'd with magic juices for the course,
Vig'rous he rises; from th' effluvia strong

100

105

1 Curl's Corinna] This name, it seems, was taken by one Mrs T who procured some private letters of Mr Pope, while almost a boy, to Mr Cromwell, and sold them without the consent of either of those Gentlemen to Curl, who printed them in 12m0, 1727. We only take this opportunity of mentioning the manner in which those letters got abroad, which the author was ashamed of as very trivial things, full not only of levities, but of wrong judgments of men and books, and only excusable from the youth and inexperience of the writer. P. Mrs Elizabeth Thomas was first styled Corinna by Dryden, to whom she sent a copy of verses. She died, in want, in 1730. Carruthers. [On the subject of this unwarranted publication' see Introductory Memoir, p. xxxiii.]

2 Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's

Arms.] The Bible, Curl's sign; the Cross-key's,
Lintot's. P.

3 See Lucian's Icaro-Menippus, where this fiction is more extended. P.

4 Ver. 92. Alludes to Homer, Iliad v. [v. 339]. ῥέε δ' ἄμβροτον αἷμα Θέοιο, Ιχώρ οἷος πέρ τε ῥέει μακάρεσσι Θεοῖσιν. A stream of nect rous humour issuing flow'd, Sanguine, such as celestial sprits may bleed. Milton [Par. Lost, Bk. vI. v. 332).

5 Cloacina] The Roman Goddess of the common-sewers. P.

6 Where as he fish'd &c.] See the preface to Swift's and Pope's Miscellanies.

P.

7 As oild with magic juices] Alluding to the opinion that there are ointments used by witches to enable them to fly in the air, &c. P.

Imbibes new life, and scours and stinks along;
Re-passes Lintot, vindicates the race,

Nor heeds the brown dishonours of his face.

And now the victor stretch'd his eager hand,
Where the tall Nothing stood, or seem'd to stand;
A shapeless shade, it melted from his sight,
Like forms in clouds, or visions of the night.
To seize his papers, Curl, was next thy care;
His papers light fly diverse, tost in air;
Songs, sonnets, epigrams the winds uplift,

And whisk 'em back to Evans, Young, and Swift 1.
Th' embroider'd suit at least he deem'd his prey;
That suit an unpaid tailor2 snatch'd away.
No rag, no scrap, of all the beau, or wit,
That once so flutter'd, and that once so writ.
Heav'n rings with laughter. Of the laughter vain,
Dulness, good Queen, repeats the jest again.
Three wicked imps of her own Grubstreet choir,
She deck'd like Congreve, Addison, and Prior3;
Mears, Warner, Wilkins run: delusive thought!
Breval, Bond, Besaleel, the varlets caught.
Curl stretches after Gay, but Gay is gone :
He grasps an empty Joseph for a John;
So Proteus, hunted in a nobler shape,
Became, when seiz'd, a puppy, or an ape.

To him the Goddess: "Son! thy grief lay down,
And turn this whole illusion on the town":
As the sage dame, experienc'd in her trade,
By names of Toasts retails each batter'd jade;
(Whence hapless Monsieur much complains at Paris
Of wrongs from Duchesses and Lady Maries 7 ;)

Evans, Young, and Swift.] Some of those persons, whose writings, epigrams, or jests he had owned. See Note on v. 50. Dr Evans, of St John's College, Oxford, author of the Apparition, a Satire on Tindal. Warton.

2

an unpaid tailor] This line has been loudly complained of in Mist, June 8, Dedic. to Sawney, and others, as a most inhuman satire on the poverty of Poets: But it is thought our Author would be acquitted by a jury of Tailors. To me this instance seems unluckily chosen; if it be a satire on any body, it must be on a bad paymaster, since the person to whom they have here applied it was a man of fortune. Not but poets may well be jealous of so great a prerogative as non-payment; which Mr Dennis so far asserts, as boldly to pronounce, that "if Homer himself was not in debt, it was because nobody would trust him." P.

3 Like Congreve, Addison, and Prior;] These authors being such whose names will reach posterity, we shall not give any account of them, but proceed to those of whom it is necessary.-— Besaleel Morris was author of some satires on the translators of Homer, with many other things

110

115

120

125

30

135

printed in news-papers." Bond writ a satire against Mr P.-Capt. Breval was author of "the Confederates, an ingenious dramatic per"formance, to expose Mr P., Mr Gay, Dr Arb. "and some ladies of quality," says Curl. P.

4 Mears, Warner, Wilkins] Booksellers, and Printers of much anonymous stuff. P. [As to Breval, see v. 237: Bond's and Besaleel Morris's works seem according to Carruthers to have disappeared.]

5 Joseph Gay, a fictitious name put by Curl before several pamphlets, which made them pass with many for Mr Gay's. P. The antiquity of the word Joseph, which likewise signifies a loose upper-coat, gives much pleasantry to the idea. Warburton. [Wakefield also points out the allusion to Iliad 111. 376, and to the story of Ixion embracing a cloud instead of Juno.]

6 And turn this whole illusion on the town:] It was a common practice of this bookseller to publish vile pieces of obscure hands under the names of eminent authors. P.

7 [See note to Epilogue to Satires, Dial. 1. V. 112.]

Be thine, my stationer! this magic gift;
Cook shall be Prior1, and Concanen 2, Swift:
So shall each hostile name become our own,
And we too boast our Garth and Addison 3."
With that she gave him (piteous of his case,
Yet smiling at his rueful length of face)
A shaggy Tap'stry, worthy to be spread
On Codrus' old, or Dunton's modern bed5;
Instructive work! whose wry-mouth'd portraiture
Display'd the fates her confessors endure.
Earless on high, stood unabash'd De Foe,
And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge below.
There Ridpath, Roper, cudgell'd might ye view;
The very worsted still look black and blue.

7

Himself among the story'd chiefs he spies9,

As, from the blanket, high in air he flies;

And "Oh!" (he cry'd) "what street, what lane but knows
Our purgings, pumpings, blankettings, and blows?
In ev'ry loom our labours shall be seen,
And the fresh vomit run for ever green!"
See in the circle next, Eliza 10 plac'd,

1 Cook shall be Prior,] The man here specified writ a thing called The Battle of Poets, in which Philips and Welsted were the Heroes, and Swift and Pope utterly routed. He also published some malevolent things in the British, London, and Daily Journals; and at the same time wrote letters to Mr Pope, protesting his innocence. His chief work was a translation of Hesiod, to which Theobald writ notes and half notes, which he carefully owned. P.

2 [See Pope's note to v. 299.]

3 And we too boast our Garth and Addison.] Nothing is more remarkable than our author's love of praising good writers. He has in this very poem celebrated Mr Locke, Sir Isaac Newton, Dr Barrow, Dr Atterbury, Mr Dryden, Mr Congreve, Dr Garth, Mr Addison; in a word, almost every man of his time that deserved it; even Cibber himself (presuming him to be author of the Careless Husband). It was very difficult to have that pleasure in a poem on this subject, yet he has found means to insert their panegyric, and has made even Dulness out of her own mouth pronounce it. It must have been particularly agreeable to him to celebrate Dr Garth; both as his constant friend, and as he was his predecessor in this kind of satire. P. [Part om.]

4A shaggy Tap'stry] A sorry kind of Tapestry frequent in old inns, made of worsted or some coarser stuff, like that which is spoken of by Donne-Faces as frightful as theirs who whip Christ in old hangings. The imagery woven in it alludes to the mantle of Cloanthus, in Æn. v. [v. 250, ff.] P.

5 On Codrus' old, or Dunton's modern bed;] Of Codrus the poet's bed, see Juvenal, describing his poverty very copiously, Sat. III. 103, &c.

140

145

150

155

But Mr. Concanen, in his dedication of the letters, advertisements, &c. to the author of the Dunciad, assures us, "that Juvenal never satirized the Poverty of Codrus.' P.

John Dunton was a broken bookseller, and abusive scribbler; he writ Neck or Nothing, a violent satire on some ministers of state; a libel on the Duke of Devonshire and the Bishop of Peterborough, &c. P.

6 [Cf. ante, note to Bk. I. v. 103.]

7 And Tutchin flagrant from the scourge] John Tutchin, author of some vile verses, and of a weekly paper called the Observator: He was sentenced to be whipped through several towns in the west of England, upon which he petitioned King James II. to be hanged. When that prince died in exile, he wrote an invective against his memory, occasioned by some humane elegies on his death. He lived to the time of Queen Anne. P. [He was the author of The Foreigner, the Satire on William III. which provoked De Foe's True-born Englishman. The sentence to which Pope refers was pronounced by Judge Jeffreys, but remitted in return for a bribe which reduced the prisoner to poverty. See Macaulay's History of England, chap. 5.1

8 There Ridpath, Roper,] Authors of the Flying-post and Post-boy, two scandalous papers on different sides, for which they equally and alternately deserved to be cudgelled, and were so. P.

9 Himself among the story'd chiefs he spies,] The history of Curl's being tossed in a blanket, and whipped by the scholars of Westminster, is well known. P. [Part om.]

10 Eliza Haywood ] This woman was authoress of those most scandalous books called the Court of Carimania, and the new Utopia. P. [Part om.]

Two babes of love close clinging to her waist;
Fair as before her works she stands confess'd,
In flow'rs and pearls by bounteous Kirkall1 dress'd.
The Goddess then: "Who best can send on high
"The salient spout, far-streaming to the sky;
"His be yon Juno of majestic size,
"With cow-like udders, and with ox-like eyes.
"This China Jordan let the chief o'ercome
"Replenish, not ingloriously, at home."

Osborne and Curl accept the glorious strife,

160

165

(Tho' this his Son dissuades, and that his Wife).
One on his manly confidence relies;
One on his vigour and superior size.

170

First Osborne lean'd against his letter'd post;
It rose, and labour'd to a curve at most.

So Jove's bright bow displays its wat'ry round,
(Sure sign that no spectator shall be drown'd).
A second effort brought but new disgrace:
The wild Mæander wash'd the Artist's face;
Thus the small jet, which hasty hands unlock,
Spirts in the gard'ner's eyes who turns the cock.
Not so from shameless Curl; impetuous spread
The stream, and smoking flourish'd o'er his head.
So (fam'd like thee for turbulence and horns)
Eridanus his humble fountain scorns;
Thro' half the heav'ns he pours th' exalted urn;
His rapid waters in their passage burn.

Swift as it mounts, all follow with their eyes:

Still happy Impudence obtains the prize.
Thou triumph'st, Victor of the high-wrought day,
And the pleas'd dame, soft smiling, lead'st away.
Osborne, thro' perfect modesty o'ercome,
Crown'd with the Jordan, walks contented home.
But now for Authors nobler palms remain;
"Room for my Lord!" three jockeys in his train;
Six huntsmen with a shout precede his chair:
He grins, and looks broad nonsense with a stare,
His Honour's meaning Dulness thus exprest,
"He wins this Patron, who can tickle best."

He chinks his purse, and takes his seat of state:
With ready quills the Dedicators wait;
Now at his head the dext'rous task commence,
And, instant, fancy feels th' imputed sense;

Kirkall, the name of an Engraver. Some of this Lady's works were printed in four volumes in 12m0, with her picture thus dressed up before them. P.

2 Osborne, Thomas] A bookseller in Gray'sinn, very well qualified by his impudence to act this part; and therefore placed here instead of a less deserving Predecessor. This man published advertisements for a year together, pretending to sell Mr Pope's subscription books of Homer's

175

180

185

190

195

200

Iliad at half the price: Of which books he had none, but cut to the size of them (which was Quarto) the common books in folio, without Copper-plates, on a worse paper, and never above half the value. P. [Part om.] Of Osborne Johnson used to say, that he had no sense of any shame, but that of being poor. Bannister [quoted by Bowles, who refers to the well-known episode in Boswell, concerning J.'s summary chastisement of O. See Boswell ad ann. 1742.]

Now gentle touches wanton o'er his face,
He struts Adonis, and affects grimace:
Rolli1 the feather to his ear conveys,
Then his nice taste directs our Operas:
Bentley 2 his mouth with classic flatt'ry opes,
And the puff'd orator bursts out in tropes.
But Welsted most the Poet's healing balm
Strives to extract from his soft, giving palm;
Unlucky Welsted! thy unfeeling master,
The more thou ticklest, gripes his fist the faster.
While thus each hand promotes the pleasing pain,
And quick sensations skip from vein to vein;
A youth unknown to Phoebus, in despair,
Puts his last refuge all in heav'n and pray'r.
What force have pious vows! The Queen of Love
His sister sends, her vot'ress, from above.
As, taught by Venus, Paris learnt the art
To touch Achilles' only tender part;

Secure, thro' her, the noble prize to carry,
He marches off his Grace's Secretary.

"Now turn to diff'rent sports," (the Goddess cries)
“And learn, my sons, the wond'rous pow'r of Noise.
To move, to raise, to ravish ev'ry heart,
With Shakespear's nature, or with Jonson's art,
Let others aim: 'tis yours to shake the soul
With Thunder rumbling from the mustard-bowl5,
With horns and trumpets now to madness swell,
Now sink in sorrows with a tolling bell";
Such happy arts attention can command,
When fancy flags, and sense is at a stand.
Improve we these. Three Cat-calls be the bribe

Paolo Antonio Rolli, an Italian Poet, and writer of many Operas in that language, which, partly by the help of his genius, prevailed in England near twenty years. He taught Italian to some fine Gentlemen, who affected to direct the Operas. P.

2 Bentley his mouth &c.] Not spoken of the famous Dr Richard Bentley, but of one Tho. Bentley, a small critic, who aped his uncle in a little Horace. The great one who was intended to be dedicated to the Lord Halifax, but (on a change of the Ministry) was given to the Earl of Oxford; for which reason the little one was dedicated to his son the Lord Harley. P. [Part om.]

3 Welsted] Leonard Welsted, author of the Triumvirate, or a Letter in verse from Palæmon to Cælia at Bath, which was meant for a satire on Mr P. and some of his friends about the year 1718. He writ other things which we cannot remember. You have him again in Book III. 169. P. [Part om.] [He was a hanger-on of the Whigs, and a copious writer.]

4 A youth unknown to Phabus, &c.] The satire of this Episode, being levelled at the base flatteries of authors to worthless wealth or greatness, concludes here with an excellent lesson to

205

210

215

220

225

230

such men: That altho' their pens and praises were as exquisite as they conceit of themselves, yet (even in their own mercenary views) a creature unlettered, who serveth the passions, or pimpeth to the pleasures of such vain, braggart, puft Nobility, shall with those patrons be much more inward, and of them much higher rewarded. SCRIBL.

5 With Thunder rumbling from the mustardbowl.] The old way of making Thunder and Mustard were the same; but since, it is more advantageously performed by troughs of wood with stops in them. Whether Mr Dennis was the inventor of that improvement, I know not; but it is certain, that being once at a Tragedy of a new author, he fell into a great passion at hearing some, and cried, "Sdeath! that is my "Thunder." P. [Dennis' tragedy was Appius and Virginia; and his thunder' was used in Macbeth. See note to Essay on Criticism, v. 586.]

[ocr errors]

7-with a tolling bell;] A mechanical help to the Pathetic, not unuseful to the modern writers of Tragedy. P.

6 Three Cat-calls ] Certain musical instruments used by one sort of Critics to confound the Poets of the Theatre. P.

« EelmineJätka »