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Then lefning all, Go Children of my Care
To Practice now from Theory Repair.
All my
Commando

are eazy vhort and fullo My Fomo be proud, be selfish and bre dullo.

Duncurd Brok M.

BOOK IV.

YE

ET, yet a moment, one dim Ray of Light

Indulge, dread Chaos, and eternal Night!
Of darkness visible so much be lent,
As half to shew, half veil the deep Intent.

REMARKS. The DUNCIÁD, Book IV.]. This Book may properly be distinguished from the former, by the Name of the GREATER DUNCIAD, not fo indeed in Size, but in subject ; and so far contrary to the distinction anciently made of the Greater and Leller lliad. But much are they mistaken who imagine this Work in any wife inferior to the former, or of any other hand than of our Poet ; of which I am much more certain than that the Iliad itself was the work of Solomon, or the Batrachomaomacbia of Homer, as Barnes hath affirmed. BENT.

VER, 1, &c.] This is an Invocation of much Piety. The Poet willing to approve himself a genuine Son, beginneth by Thewing (what is ever agreeable' to Dulness) his high respect for Antiquiry and a Great Family, how dead or dark soever : Next declareth his passion for explaining Mysteries ; and lastly his Impatience to be re-united to her.

SCRIBL. VER. 2. dread Cbaos, and eternal Night !] Invoked, as the Restoration of their Empire is the Action of the Poem.

VER. 4. balf to fhew, half veil the deep Intent] This is a great propriety, for a dull Poet can never express himself otherwise than by halves, or imperfectly.

SCRIBL. I understand it very differently; the Author in this work had indeed a deep Intent; there were in it Mysteries or áréperla which he durft not fully reveal, and doubtless in divers verses (according to Milton) more is meant tban meets the car.

BENT,

Ye Pow'rs! whose Mysteries restor'd I fing, 5
To whom Time bears me on his rapid wing,
Suspend a while your Force inertly strong,
Then take at once the Poet and the Song.

Now Aam'd the Dog-star's unpropitious ray,
Smete ev'ry Brain, and wither'd ev'ry Bay ; 10
Sick was the Sun, the Owl forsook his bcw'r,
The moon-struck Prophet felt the madding hour :

REMARKS. Ver. 6. To wbom Time bears me an bis rapid wing, ] Fair and softly, good Poet! (cries the gentle Scriblerus on this place.) For sure, in spite of his unusual modesty, he shall not travel fo fait toward Oblivion, as divers others of more Confidence' have done : For when I revolve in my mind the Catalogue wf those who have most boldly promised to themselves Immortality, viz. Pindar, Luis Gongora, Ronsard Oldham, Lyrics'; Lycopbron, Statius, Chapman, Blackmore, Heroics; I find the one half to be already dead, and the other in utter darkness. But it becometh not us, who have taken up the office of his Commentator, to suffer our Poet thus prodigally to caft away his Life ; contrariwise, the more hidden and abstruse is his work, and the more remote its beauties from common Understand. ing, the more is it our duty to draw forth and exalt the same, in the face of Men and Angels. Herein Thall we imitate the laudable Spirit of those, who have (for this very reason) delighted to comment on dark and uncoutb Authors, and even on their darker Fragments; preferred Ennius to Virgil, and chosen to turn the dark Lanthorn of LYCOPHRON, rather than to tiim the everlasting Lamp of Homer.

SCRIBL. VER, 7. Force inertly strong, ] Alluding to the Vis inertiæ of Matter, which, though it really be no Power, is yet the Foundation of all the Qualities and Attributes of that sluggish Substance.

Ver. 11, 12. Sick was the Sun,-The moon-struck Propbet) The Poet introduceth this (as all great events are supposed by

Then rose the Seed of Chaos, and of Night,
To blot out Order, and extinguish Light,
Of dull and venal a new World to mold, 15
And bring Saturnian days of Lead and Gold.
She mounts the Throne: her head a Cloud con..

ceal'd,
In broad Effulgence all te!ow reveald,

REMARKS. sage Historians to be preceded) by an Eclipse of the Sun; but with a peculiar propriety, as the Sun is the Emblem of that intellectual light which dies before the face of Dulness. Very appolite likewise is it to make this Eclipse, which is occasioned by the Moon's predominancy, the very time when Duiness and Madness are in conjunction ; whose relation and influence on each other the poet hath Mewn in many places, Book i. V. 29. Book iii. v. 5. & feq.

VER, 14. To blot out Order, and extinguish Light] The two gieat Ends of her Mission ; the one in quality of Daughter of Cbaos, the other as Daughter of Night. Order here is to be un. derstood extensively, both as Civil and Moral; the distinctions between high and low in Society, and true and false in Individuals : Light as Intellectual only, Wit, Science, Arts.

VER. 15. Of dull and venal] The Allegory continued ; dull referring to the extinction of Light or Science ; venal to the destruction of Order, and the Truth of Things.

Ibid. a new World) In allufion to the Epicurean opinion, that from the Dissolution of the natural World into Night and Ehaos a new one should arise ; this the Poet alluding to, in the Production of a new moral World, makes it partake of its original Principles.

VER. 16. Lead and Gold,] i. e. dull and venal.

VER, 18. all below reveald, ] It was the opinion of the Antie' ents, that the Divinities manifested themselves to Men by their Back-parts Virg. Æn. i, et avertens, rosea cervice refulfit. But this passage may admit of another expofition, -Vel. Adag.

('Tis thus aspiring Dulness ever shines) Soft on her Lap her Laureate son reclines,

20

SCRIBL,

REMARKS. The yigher yott climb, the more you thew pour ...-. Verified in no instance more than in Dulness aspiring. Em. blematized also by an Ape climbing and expofing his posteriors,

SCRIBL, Ver. 20. ber Laureate son reclines] With great judgment it is imagined by the Poet, that fuch a Coļlegue as Dulness had elected, should Neep on the Throne, and have very little share in the Action of the Poem. Accordingly he hath done little or nothing from the day of his Anointing; having past thro' the second book without taking part in any thing that was transacted about him; and through the third in profound Sleep. Nor ought this, well considered, to seem strange in our days, when so many King-consorts have done the like.

This verse our excellent Laureate took so to heart, that he appealed to all mankind,“ if he was not as seldom asleep as any

fool ?” But it is hoped the Poet hạth not injured him, but rather verified his Prophecy (p. 243. of his own Life, 8vo. ch. ix.) where he says “ the reader will be as much pleased to

find me a Dunce in my Old Age, as be was to prove me a brisk « blockhead in my Youth.” Wherever there was any room for Briskness, or Alacrity of any fort, even in sinking, he hath þad it allowed ; but here, where there is nothing for him to do but to take his natural reft, he must permit his Historian, to be filent. It is from their actions only that Princes have their character, and Poets from their works : And if in those he be as much asleep as any fool, the Poet must leave him, and them to seep to all eternity.

BENT, {bid. ber Laureat] “When I find my Name in the fatirical “ works of this poet, I never look upon it as any malice

meant to me, but PROFIT to himself. For he confiders that

my Face is more known than most in the nation; and therefore a Lick at the Laureat will be a fure bait ad captandum

vulgus, to catch little readers.” Life of Colley Cibber, ch. ii.

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