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VERBATIM FROM BOILEAU.
UN JOUR DIT UN AUTEUR, etc.
ONCE (says an Author, where I need not say) Two Trav❜lers found an Oyster in their way; Both fierce, both hungry; the dispute grew strong, While Scale in hand Dame Justice past along. Before her each with clamour pleads the Laws, Explain'd the matter, and would win the cause. Dame Justice weighing long the doubtful Right, Takes, opens, swallows it, before their sight. The cause of strife remov'd so rarely well, There take (says Justice) take ye each a Shell. We thrive at Westminster on Fools like
'Twas a fat Oyster-Live in peace-Adieu.
It will be no unuseful or unpleasing amusement to compare this translation with the original :
"Un jour, dit un Auteur, n'importe en quel chapitre,
Devant elle à grand bruit ils expliquent la chose.
La justice pesant ce droit litigieux,
Demande l'huître, l'ouvre, et l'avale à leurs yeux,
Et par ce bel arrest terminant la bataille :
Tenez voilà, dit elle, à chacun une écaille.
Des sottises d'autrui nous vivons au palais;
Messieurs, l'huître étoit bonne. Adieu, Vivez en paix."
In the fifth, sixth, seventh, ninth, and twelfth, verses, Pope is inferior to the original.
ANSWER TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION OF
WHAT IS PRUDERY?
'Tis a Beldam,
Seen with Wit and beauty seldom.
AMONG these smaller poems of our author, the following couplet used to be printed, on a dog's collar, which he gave to
the Prince of Wales :
"I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, Sir, whose dog are you?"
Which was taken from Sir William Temple's Miscellanies, vol. iii. p. 323. said to be the answer of Mr. Grantham's Fool to one who asked him whose fool he was.
OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
MUSE, 'tis enough: at length thy labour ends, And thou shalt live, for Buckingham commends. Let Crowds of Critics now my Verse assail, Let Dennis write, and nameless numbers rail : This more than pays whole years of thankless pain, Time, health, and fortune, are not lost in vain. Sheffield approves, consenting Phœbus bends, And I and Malice from this hour are friends.
Ver. 2. Buckingham commends.] It would be difficult to add thing to the finished portrait of this nobleman, given by Mr. Walpole in his Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 118.
Ver. 5 and 6. This more] A very groundless complaint! Few authors, during their lives, were more respected and revered than himself by persons of rank and judges of merit.
BY MR. POPE,
To a Play for MR. DENNIS'S Benefit, in 1733, when he was old, blind, and in great Distress, a little before his Death.
As when that Hero, who in each Campaign,
Was there a Chief but melted at the Sight?
A common soldier, but who clubb'd his Mite?
Ver. 6. But pitied Belisarius, &c.] Nothing could be more happily imagined than this allusion, nor more finely conducted. The continued pleasantry is so delicately touched, that it took nothing from the self-satisfaction which the critic who heard it, had in his own merit, or the audience in their charity. In a word, this benevolent irony is prosecuted with so masterly a hand, that the Poet supposed, had Dennis himself the wit to see it, he would have had the ingenuity to approve of it.
"This dreaded Sat'rist, Dennis will confess,
Ver. 7. Was there a Chief, &c.] The fine figure of the Commander in that capital picture of Belisarius at Chiswick, supplied the Poet with this beautiful idea. W.
Dennis, who long had warr'd with modern Huns,
How chang'd from him who made the boxes groan,
If there's a Senior, who contemns this age;
And be the Critic's, Briton's, Old Man's Friend.
Ver. 12. Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns ;] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B. I.
An old gentleman of the last century, who used to frequent Button's coffee-house, told me they had many pleasant scenes of Dennis's indignation and resentment, when Steele and Rowe, in particular, teized him with a pun.
Ver. 13. A desprate Bulwark, &c.] Alluding to his hatred of rhyme.
Ver. 16. And shook the stage with Thunders all his own!] See Dunciad, Note on v. 226. B. II.
Ver. 17. Stood up to dash, &c.] See Dunciad, Note on v. 173. B. III.
Ver. 18. Maul the French Tyrant,-] See Dunciad, Note on v. 413. B. II.
Ibid. or pull down the POPE!] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B. I. Ver. 21. If there's a Critic of distinguish'd rage ;] See Dunciad, Notes on v. 106. B. I.
Bitter satire is concealed under the appearance of these topics of pity and commiseration. It is said that poor Dennis did not perceive the force of these sarcasms, and heard the prologue spoke with great complacency. Mallet and Thomson also interested themselves much in procuring the old man a good benefit.