« 前へ次へ »
From Stage to Stage the licens'd Earl may run,
590 The Judge to dance his brother Sergeant call ; The Senator at Cricket
REMARK S. talents of the Candidates. And thus her great Fore-runner, John of Leiden, King of Munster, entered on his Government, by making his ancient friend and companion, Knipperdolling, General of his Horse and Hangman. And had but Fortune seconded his great schemes of Reformation, it is said, he would have established his whole Houshold on the same reasonable footing.
VER, 590. Arachne's fubtile line ;] This is one of the most ingenious employments alligned, and therefore recommended only to Peers of Learning. Of weaving Stockings of the Webs of Spiders, see the Phil. Tranr.
Ver. 591. The Judge to dance' bis brother Sergeant call ;] Alluding perhaps to that ancient and folemn Dance, intitled A call of Sergeants.
VER. 598. Teach Kings to fiddle.] An ancient amusement of Sovereign Princes, (viz.) Achilles, Alexander, Nero; though despised by Themiftocles, who was a Republican -Make Senates dance, either after their Prince, or to Pontoise, or Siberia,
Perhaps more high some daring fon may foar,
More she had spoke, but yawn'd--All Nature nods:
REMARKS. VER, 696. What Mortal can refix the rawn of Gods?] This verse is truly Homerical ; as is the conclusion of the Action, where the great Mother composes all, in the same manner as Minerva at the period of the Odyssey.-- It may indeed seem a very singular Epitafis of a Poem, to end as this does, with a Great Yawn; but we must consider it the Yarun of a God, and of powerful effects. It is not out of Nature, most long and grave counsels concluding in this very manner : Nor without Authority, the incomparable Spencer having ended one of the most considerable of his works with a Roar ; but then it is the Roar af a Lion, the effects whereof are described as the Catastrophe of the Poem.
VER. 607. Churches and Chapels, &c.] The Progress of this Yawn is judicious, natural, and worthy to be noted. First it seizeth the Churches and Chapels ; then catcheth the Schools, where, tho' the boys be unwilling to fleep, the Masters are not : Next Westminster-hall, much more hard indeed to subdue, and not totally put to silence even by the Goddess : Then the Convocation, which tho' extremely destrous to speak, yet cannot: Even the House of Commons, justly called the Sense of the Nation, is loft (that is to say suspended) during the Yawn (far be it from our Author to suggest it could be lost any longer!) but it spreadeth at large
Then catch'd the Schools; the Hall scarce kept
awake; The convocation gap’d, but could not speak : 610 Loft was the Nation's Sense, nor could be found, While the long folemn Unifon went round: Wide, and more wide, it spread o'er all the realm ; Ev'n Palinurus nodded at the Helm : The Vapour mild o'er each Committee crept; 615 Unfinish'd Treaties in each Office slept ; And Chicfcfs Armies coz’d out the Campaign; And Navies yawn'd for Orders on the Main.
REMARKS. over all the rest of the Kingdom, to such a degree, that Palinurus himfelf (though as incapable of sleeping as Jupiter) yet noddeth for a moment: the effect of which, though ever ro momentary, could not but cause some Relaxation, for the time, in all public affairs.
SCRIBI.. Ver. 610. The Convocation gap'd, but could not speak :) Implying a great defire so to do, as the learned Scholiaft on the place rightly observes. . Therefore, beware Reader, left thou take this Gape for a Yawn, which is attended with no defire but to go to rest: by no means the difpofition of the Cona vocation ; whose melancholy case in mort is this : She was, as is reported, infected with the general influence of the Goddess; and while she was yawning carelesly ar her ease, a wanton Courtier took her ar advantage, and in the very nick clap'd a Gag into her chops. Well therefore may we know her meaning by her gaping ; and this distressful pofture our poet here describes, just as Me stands at this day, a sad example of the effecis of Dulness and Malice uncheck'd and defpifed.
BENTL. VER. 615, 618.] These Verses were written many years ago, and may be found in the State Poems of that time. So that Scriblerus is mistaken, or whoever else kave imagined this Poem of a fresher date.
O Muse! relate (for you can tell alone, Wits have short Memories, and Dunces none) 620 Relate, who first, who last resign'd to reft ; Whose heads the partly, whose completely bleft ; What charms could Faction, what Ambition lull, The Venal quiet, and intrance the Dull; Till drown'd was Sense, and Shame, and Right, and Wrong
625 O fing, and hush the Nations with thy Song!
REMARKS. VIR. 620. Wits have short Memories, ) This seems to be the reason why the Poets, when they give us a Catalogue, constantly call for help on the Muses, who, as the Daughters of Memory, are obliged not to forget any thing. So Homer, Iliad ii.
Πληθυν δ' εκ αν εγώ μυθήσομαι εδ' όνομήνω,
Θυγαλέρες, μ: ησαια --
Et meminiftis enim, Divæ, & memorare poteflis :
Ad nos vix tenuis fame perlabitur aura. But our Poet had yet another reason for putting this Task upon the Muse, that, all besides being asleep, the only could relate what passed.
SCRJEL. Ver. 624. The Venal quiet, and &c.] It were a Problem
Ver, 621. Relate wbo first, who last refign'd to rest;
Whose beads pe partly, wbofe completely blef.]
In vain, in vain,--the all-composing Hour Refiftless falls: the Muse obeys the Pow'r. She comes ! The comes ! the fable Throne behold Of Night Primæval, and of Chaos old! 630 Before her, Fancy's gilded clouds decay, And all its varying Rain-bows die away. Wit Thoots in vain its momentary fires, The meteor drops, and in a flash expires.
REMARKS. worthy the solution of that profound Scholiast, Mr. Upton himself (and perhaps not of less importance than some of those so long disputed amongst Homer's) to inform us, which required the greatest effort of our Goddess's power, to intrance the Dull, or to quiet tbe Venal. For though the Venal may be more unruly than the Dull, yet, on the other hand, it demands a much greater expence of her Virtue to intrance than barely to quiet.
SCRÍBL. VER. 629. She comes ! she comes ! &c.] Here the Muse, like Jove's Eagle, after a sudden stoop at ignoble game, soareth again to the skies. As Prophesy hath ever been one of the chief provinces of Poesy, our poet here foretells from what we feel, what we are to fear; and in the style of other prophets, hath used the future tense for the preterit : since what he says shall be, is already to be seen, in the writings of some even of our most adored authors, in Divinity, Philofophy, Physics, Metaphysics, & c. who are too good indeed to be named in such company.
Ibid. The fable Throne bebold] The fable Thrones of Night and Chaos, here represented as advancing to extinguish the light of the Sciences, in the first place blot out the Colours of Fancy and damp the Fire of Wit, before they proceed to their work,