« EelmineJätka »
Beneath her foot-stool, Science groans in Chains, And Wit dreads Exile, Penalties and Pains. There foam'd rebellious Logic, gagg'd and bound; There, stript, fair Rbetric languish'd on the ground; His blunted Arms by Sophiftry are born, 25 And shameless Billingsgate her Robes adorn. Morality, by, her falfe Guardians drawn, Chicane in Furs, and Cafuiftry in Lawn,
Now if it be certain, that the works of our Poet have owed their success to this ingenious expedient, we hence derive an unanswerable Argument, that this Fourth DUNCIAD, as well as the former three, hath had the Author's last hand, and was by him intended for the Press: Or else to what purpose hath he crown'd it, as we see, by this finishing stroke, the profitable Lick at the Laureate ?
BENT, VER, 21, 22. Beneath her foot-ftool, &c.] We are next pre. sented with the pictures of those whom the Goddess leads in Captivity. Science is only depressed and confined fo as to be ren. dered useless; but Wit or Genius, as a more dangerous and active enemy, punished, or driven away: Dulness being often reconciled in some degree with Learning, but never upon any terms with Wit. And accordingly it will be seen that the admits something like each Science, as Casuistry, Sophiftry, & c. but nothing like Wit, Opera alone supplying its place.
VER, 27. by her falfe Guardians drawn,] Morality is the Daughter of Afræa. This alludes to the Mythology of the ancient Poets; who tell us that in the Gold and Silver ages, or in the State of Nature, the Gods cohabited with men here on Earth; but when by reason of human degeneracy men were forced to have recourse to a Magistrate, and that the Ages of Brass and Iron came on (that is, when Laws were wrote on brazen tablets inforced by the Sword of Justice) the Celestials foon retired from Earth, and Aftræa last of all; and then it was
Gasps, as they ftiaiten at each end the cord,
29 And dies, when Dulness gives her Page the word. Mad Máthesis alone was unconfin'd, Too mad for meer material chains to bind, Now to pure Space lifts her extatic ftare, Now running round the Circle, finds it square. But held in ten-fold bonds the Muses lie,
35 Watch'd both by Envy's and by Flatt'ry's eye ;
REMARKS. the left this her Orphan Daughter in the hands of the Guardians aforesaid.
SCRIBL. VIR. 30. gives ber Page the word] There was a Judge of this name, always ready to hang any man that came before him, of which he was suffered to give a hundred miserable examples during a long lise, even to his dotage.-Tho' the candid Scriblerus imagined Page ísere to mean no more than a Page or Mute, and to allude to the custom of strangling State Criminals in Turkey by Mutes or Pages. A practice more decent than that of our Page, who, before he hanged any one, Joaded him with reproachful language.
SCRIBL. Ver. 31. Mad Máthesis] Alluding to the strange Conclufior:s fome Mathematicians have deduced from their principles, concerning the real Quantity of Matter, the Reality of Space,
Ver. 33. pure Space) i. e. pure and defæcated from Matter. - extatic Stare, the action of men who look about with full assurance of seeing what does not exist, such as those who expect to find Space a real being.
Ver. 34. running round the Circle, finds it square.] Regards the wild and fruitless attempts of Squaring the Circle.
VER 36. Watch'll both by Envy's and by Flatt'ry's eye] One of the misfortunes falling on Authors, from the Act for subjecting Pla;'s to the power of a Licerser, being the false representations to which they were expos d, from such as either gratify'd their Envy to' Merit, or made their Court to Greatnefs, by
There to her heart fad Tragedy addrest
d her rage,
REMARK S. perverting general Reflections against Vice into Libels on particu. lar Persons.
VIR. 39. But sober History] History attends on Tragedy, Satire on Comedy, as their substitutes in the discharge of their distinct functions; the one in high life, recording the crimes and punishments of the great; the other in low, exposing the vices or follies of the common people. But it may be asked, How came History and Satire to be admitted with impunity to minister comfort to the Muses, even in the presence of the God. dess, and in the midst of all her triumphs ? A question, says Scriblerus, which we thus resolve: History was brought up in her infancy by Dulness herself; but being afterwards espoused into a noble house, she forgot (as is usual) the humility of her birth, and the cares of her early friends. This occafioned a long estrangement between her and Dulness. At length, in process of time, they met together in a Monk's Cell, were reconciled, and became better friends than ever. After this they had a second quarrel, but it held not long, and are now again on reasonable terms, and so are like to continue. This accounts for the connivance thewn to History on this occasion. But the boldness of SATIRE springs from a very different cause ; for the reader ought to know, that the alone of all the fifters is unconquerable, never to be filenced, when truly inspired and animated (as should seem) from above, for this very purpose, to oppose the kingdom of Dulness to her last breath.
VIB. 43. Nor could’x thou, &c.] This Noble Person in the
When lo! a Harlot form soft fliding by,
45 With mincing step, small voice, and languid eye: Foreign her air, her robe's discordant pride In patch-work flutt'ring, and her head aside: By finging Peers up-held on either hand, She tripp'd and laugh'd, too pretty much to stand: Cast on the proftrate Nine a scornful look,
SI Then thus in quaint Recitativo spoke,
O Cara! Cara! silence all that train : Joy to great Chaos ! let Division reign:
RIMARK S. year 1737. when the Act aforesaid was brought into the House of Lords, opposed it in an excellent speech (lays Mr. Cibber “ with a lively spirit, and uncommon eloquence.' This speech had the honour to be answered by the said Mr. Cibber, with a lively spirit also, and in a manner very uncommon, in the 8the Chapter of his Life ard Manners. And here, gentle Reader, would I gladly insert the other speech, whereby thou mighteft judge between them: but I must defer it on account of some differences not yet adjusted between the noble Author, and my. felf, concerning the True Reading of certain passages. BENTI
Ver. 45. W ben lo! a Harlot form] The Attitude given to this Phantom represents the nature and genius of the Italian Opera; its affected airs, its effeminate sounds, and the practice of pau hing up these Operas with favourite Songs, incoherently put together. These things were supported by the subscriptions of the Nobility. This circumstance that OPERA should prepare for the opening of the grand Sessions, was prophesied of in Book ji. ver. 304. Already Opere prepares
Chromatic tortures foon shall drive them hence, 55
REMARK S. VÊR. 54. let Division reign:] Alluding to the false taste of playing tricks in Music with numberless divifions, to the negject of that harmony which conforms to the Sense and applies to the Pasions. Mr. Handel had introduced a great number of Hands, and more variety of Inftruments into the Orchefra
, and employed even Drums and Cannon to make a fuller Choć rus; which prov'd so much too manly for the fine Gentlemen of his age, that he was obliged to remove his Music into Treo land. After which they were reduced, for want of Composers, to practise the patch-work above-mentioned
VER. 55. Chromatic tortures] That 'species of the antient" mufic called the Chromatic was a variatiòn 'and embellishment, in odd irregularities, of the Diatonic kind. They say it was invented about the time of Alexander, and that the Spartans for bad the use of it, 'as languid and effeminate.
'Ver. 58. Wakė the dull Church, and lull the rantirg Stage;] i. e. Dilipate the devotion of the one by light and wanton airs; and subdue the Pathos of the other by recitative and fing fong. VER. 59. Tby own Phæbus reigns,] Tuus jam regnat Apollo.
Virg. Not the ancient Pbæbris, the God of Harmony, but a modera