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DENNIS REMARKS

ON PRINCE ARTHUR.

I cannot but think it the most reasonable thing in town, and their fautors, that it is an ill-natured the world, to distinguish good writers, by discou- thing to expose the pretenders to wit and poetry. raging the bad. Nor is it an ill-natured thing, in The judges and magiftrates may with full as good relation even to the very persons upon whom the reason be reproached with ill-nature for purting reficctions are made. It is true, it may deprive the laws in execution against a thief or impostor. them, a little the sooner, of a short profit and a The same will hold in the republic of letters, if the trangtory reputation ; but then it may have a good critics and judges will let every ignorant pretendeffect, and oblige them (before it be late) to er to fcribbling pass on the world. decline that for which they are so very unfit, and to have recourse to something in which they may Theobald, Letter to Mift, June 22, 1728. be more successful.

Attacks may be levelled, either against failures CHARACTER OF MR. P. 1716. in genius, or against the pretensions of writing The persons whom 'Boileau has attacked in his without one. writings, have been for the most part authors, and most of chose authors, pocts: and the censures he CONCANEN, Ded. to the Author of the DunciaD. hath passed upon them have been confirmed by all, A Satire upon dulness is a thing that has been Europe.

used and allowed in all ages. Gilson, Pref. to his New REHEARSAL. Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, It is the common cry of the poetasters of the wicked scribbler!

TESTIMONİES OF AUTHORS CONCERNING OUR POET AND HIS WORKS.

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M. SCRIBLERUS LECTOŘI S.

bred at St. Omer's, by Jesuits; a third (c) not at

St. Omer's, but at Oxford! a fourth (d) that he Berore we present thee with our exercitations had no univerlicy education at all. Those who on this most delectable poem (drawn from the allow him to be bred at home, differ as truch conmany volumes of our adversaria on modern au- cerning his tutor : onc faith (e) he was kept by thots) we shall here, according to the laudable his father on purpose ; a second(s), that he was an usage of editors, colled the varions judgments of itinerant priest ; a third (8), that he was a parson; the learned concerning our poet : various indeed, one(b) calleth him a secular clergyman of the not only of different authors, but of the fathe au. church of Rome ; another (i), a monk. As little thor at different seasons. Nor Thall we gather on. do they agree about his father, whom one (1) fupe ly the testimonies of such eminent wits, as would poseth, like the father of Heliod, a tradesman or of course descend to pofterity, and consequently merchant; another (1), a husbandman; another (m,) be read without our collection; but we shall like a hatter, &c. Nor has an author been wanting to wise with incredible lahour seek oue for divers give our poet {uch a father as Apuleius hath to others, which, but for this our diligence, could Plato, Jamblichus to Pythagoras, and divers to HoDever, at the distance of a few months, appear to mer, namely a dæmon : for thus Mr. Gildon (x): the eye of the most curious. Hereby thou mayest" Certain it is, that his original is not from Adam, not only receive the delectation of variety, but al." but the devil; and that he wanteth nothing but to arrive at a more certain judgment, by a grave“ horns and tail to be the exact resemblance of his and circumspect comparison of the witnesses with “ infernal father.” Finding, therefore, such coneach other, or of cach with himself. Hence also trariety of opinions, and (whatever be ours of this thou wilt be enabled to draw reflections, not only fort of generation) not being fond to enter into of a critical, but a moral nature, by being let into controversy, we hall defer writing the life of our many particulars of the person as well as genius, poet, till authors can determine among themselves and of the fortune as well as merit, of our author: what parents or education he had, or whether he in which, if I relate fome things of little concern had any education or parents at all. peradventure to thee, and some of as little even to Proceed we to what is more certain, his works, him; I entreat thee to consider how minutely all though not less uncertain the judgments concerntrue critics and commentators are wont to infit ing them; beginning with his Essay on Criticism, upon such, and how material they seem to them- of which hear first the most ancient of critics, felves, if to none other. Forgive me, gentle reader, if (following learned example) I ever and anon (c) Dunciad dissecled, p. 4. (d) Guardian, No. 40. become tedious: allow me to take the same pains (e) Jacob's Lives, &c. vol. ii. to find whether my author were good or bad, well (f) Dunciad diffelled, p. 4. (?) Former P. and his for. or ill-natured, modeft or arrogant ; as another, (b) Dunciad diljected. (1) Charaders of the Times, p. 45. whether bis author was fair or brown, short or (4) Female Dunciad, p. ult. (1) Dunciad diffected. tall, or whether he wore a coat or a caffock. (17) Roome, Paraphrafe on the ivtb of Genesis. printed

We proposed to begin with his life, parentage, 1729. (n) Characıer of Mr. P. and bis Writings, in and education : but as to these, even his contem. a letter to a friend, printed for S. Popping, 1716, p. 1o. poraries do exceedingly differ. One faith, (a) he Curll, in his Key to the Dunciad (forf edit. faia so be was educated at home; another b) that he was printed for A. Dodd) in the rotb page, declared Gildor to

be tbeauther of tbat libel; though, in the subsequent editions (a) Giles Jacob's Lives of the Peets, vol. ii. in bio of bis key, be left out this affertion, and affirmed in the Life. (6) Dennis's Reflections on the Eray on Crit. Curliad, p. 4. und 8). that it was written by Dennis only.

MR. JOHN DENNIS.

u most known and the most received, they are * His precepts are false or trivial, or both ; his “ placed in so beautiful a light, and illustrated " thoughts are crude and abortive, his expressions “ with such apt illusions, that they have in them « absurd, his numbers harsh and unmusical, his “ all the graces of novelty; and make the reader, " rhymes trivial and common--instead of majesty, “ who was before acquainted with them, still " we have something that is very mean; instead of “ more convinced of their truth and solidity. " gravity, something that is very boyish ; and in. “ And here give me leave to mention what Mon" Itead of perspicuity and lucid order, we have but “ fieur Boileau has so well enlarged upon in the " too often obscurity and confusion.” And in an “ preface to his works: that wit and fine writing other place : '“ What rare numbers are here! “ doth not confft so much in advancing things that « Would not one' fwear that this youngster had are new, as in giving things that are known an a« espoused some antiquated muse, who had sued agreeable turn. It is impollibe for'us, who live in " out a divorce from some superannuated sinner, " the latter ages of the world, to make observations “ upon account of impotence; and who, being“ in criticism, morality, or any art or science, " pored by the former spouse, has got the gout in “ which have not been touched upon by others; " her decrepid age, which makes her hobble so we have little else left us, but to represent the * damnably(o)."

« common sense of mankind in more strong, No less peremptory is the censure of our hyper more beautiful, or more uncommon lights. If a critical historian

“ reader examines Horace's Art of Poctry, he will MR. OLDMIXON.

“ find but few precepts in it which he may not " I dare not say any thing of the Essay on Criti “ meet with in Aristotle, and which were not

cism in verse; but if any more curious reader commonly known by all the poets of the Augus" has discovered in it something rew, which is not tan age. His way of expressing, and applying " in Dryden's prefaces, dedications, and his Efay “ them, not his invention of them, is what we * on Dramatic Poetry, not to mention the French are chiefly to admire. * critics, I should be very glad to have the bene “ Longinus, in his Reflections,' has given us " fit of the discovery (P)."

" the same kind of fublime, which he observes in He is followed (as in fame, so in udgmeat) by “ the several passages that occasioned them : i the modest and simple-minded

cannot but take notice that our English author MR. LEONARD WELSTED.

has, after the same manner, exemplified several Who, out of great respect to our poet, not naming “ of the precepts in the very precepts themselves." him, dóch yet glance at his essay, together with He then produces some instances of a particular the Duke of Buckingham's, and the criticisms of beauty in the numbers, and concludes with saying, Dryden, and of Horace, which he more openly that “there are three poems in our tongue of the tareth : (9) “ As to the numerous treatises, essays, “ fame' nature, and each a master-piece in its * arrs, &c. both in verse and profe, that have been “ kind : The Essay on Translated Verse; the " written by the moderns on this ground-work; “ Effay on the Art of Poetry; and the Essay on " they do but hackney the same thoughts over 66 Criticism."

again, making them ftill more trite. Most of Of Windsor Forest, positive is the judgment "their pieces are nothing but a pert, insipid heap of the affirmative " of common-place. 'Horace has, even in his

MR. JOHN DENNIS, « Art of Poetry, thrown out several things which « (6) That it is a wretched rhapsody, impudent

plainly few, he thought an Art of Poetry was “ ly writ in emulation of the Cooper's Hill of Sir " of no use, even while he was writing one." “ John Denham : the author of it is obscure, is

To all wbich great authorities, we can only op “ ambiguous, is affected, is temerarious, is barbaposé chat of MR. ADDISON,

But the author of the Difpenfary (1), "(c) The Art of Criticism (faith he) which

DR. GARTH, " was published some months since, is a master in the preface to his poem of Claremont, differs " piece in its kind. The observations follow one from this opinion : "Those who have seen these " another like those in Horace's Art of Poetry, “ two excellent poems of Cooper's Hill, and 4 without that methodical regularity which would " Windsor Forest, the one written by Sir John " have been requisite in a prose writer. They “ Denham, the other by Mr. Pope, will fhew a

are some of them uncommon, but such as the “ great deal of candor if they approve of this." * reader muft afsent to, when he sees them ex Of the epistle to Eloisa, we are told by the ob" plained with that case and perspicuity in which scure writer of a poem called Sawney, “ That " they are delivered. As for those which are the “ because Prior's Henry and Emma charmed the

“ finest tastes, our author writ his Eloisa in op(6) Refleflions critical and fatirical on a Rbapsody,“ position to it : but forgot innocence and virtue : called, An Eloy on Criticism. ' Printed for Bernard “ if you take away her tender thoughts, and her Lintot, celavo.

“ ficrce defires, all the rest is of no value." In () Ejay on Criticism in profe, o&avo, 1728, by the autber of tbe Critical Hiftory of England.

(6) Letter to B. B. at the end of the Remarks on (9) Preface to bis Poems, p. 18. 53.

Popes Homer, 1717. 6) Speciater, No. 253.

() Printed 1728, p. Iar

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which, methinks, his judgment resembleth that of MR ADDISON'S FREEHOLDER, N 46.
a French taylor on a villa and gardens by the “ When I consider myself as a British freeholder,
the Thames : “ All this is very fine; but take “ I am in a particular manner pleased with the la-
“ away the river, and it is good for nothing." « bours of those who have improved our language
But very contrary hereunto was the opinion of “with the translations of old Greek and Latin
MR. PRIOR

“ authors. We have already most of their histohimself, saying in his Alma (w),

rians in our own tongue, and, what is more for o Abelard ? ill-fated youth,

" the honour of our language, it has been taught Thy tale will justify this truth :

“ to express with elegance the greatest of their But well I weet, thy cruel wrong

poets in each nation. The illiterate among our
Adorns a nobler poet's song :

own countrymen may learn to judge from Dry-
Dan Pope, for thy misfortune griev'd, “ den's Virgil of the most perfect epic performance,
With kind concern and skill has wear'd “ And those parts of Homer which have been pub-
A ülken web; and ne'er shall fade “ lished already by Mr. Pope, give us reason to
Its colours : gently has he laid

" think that the Iliad will appear in English with
The mantle o'er thy fad distress,

“ as little disadvantage to that immortal poem.". And Venus shall the texture bleis, &c. As to the rest there is a light mistake, for this Come we now to his trandation of the Iliad, younger muse was an elder: nor was the gentlecelebrated by numerous pens, yet shall it suffice, to man (who is a friend of our author) employed mention the indefatigable

by Mr. Addison to cranflate it after him, fince he SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE, Knight, faith himself that he did it before(y). ContrariWho (though otherwise a severe censurer of our wise, that Mr. Addison engaged our author in author) yet Ayleth this a " laudable tranda. this work appeareth by declaration thereof in the tion ()."

preface to the Iliad, printed some time before his That ready writer

death, and by his own letters of O&ober 26, and MR. OLDMIXON,

November 2, 1713, where he declares it is his opi-
in his forementioned eslay, frequently commends nion that no other person was equal to it.
the same. And the painful

Next comes his Shakspeare on the stage : "Lec
MR. LEWIS THEOBALD

" him" (quoth one, whom I take to be
thus extolls it (x), “ The spirit of Homer breathes MR.THEOBALD, Mift's Journal, June 8,1728).
“ all through this translation. I am in doubt,“ publifh such an author as he has lealt audied,
« whether I should not admire the justness to the " and forget to discharge even the dull duty of an
“ original, or the force and beauty of the language, "editor. lo this project let him lend the booksel-

or the founding variety of the numbers : but " ler his name (for a competent sum of money) to
“ when I find all these meet, it puts me in mind “promote the credit of an exorbitant subscription.”
“ of what the poet says of one of his heroes, Gentle reader, be pleased to cast thine eye on the
" That he alone raised and flung with ease a proposal below quoted, and on what follows some
" weighty stone, that two common men could months after the former assertion) in the same
" to lift from the ground; just so, one Gingle per- Journalist of June 8, “ The bookfeller proposed
" son has performed in this translation, what I * the book by subscription, and raised some thou-
" once despaired to have seen done by the force “ fand of pounds for the same : 1 believe the gen-
" of several masterly hands." Indeed the same * eleman did not share in the profits of this extra-
gendleman appears to have changed his sentiments vagant subscription."
in his Essay on the Art of Sinking in Reputation “ After the Iliad, he undertook" (faith
(printed in Milt's Journal, March 30, 1728), MIST'S JOURNAL, June 8, 1728.)
where he says thus : “ In order to link in repu. “ the sequel oi that work, the Odyssey; and having
" tation, let him take it into his head to descend “ secured che success by a numerous subscription,
“inco Homer (let the world wonder, as it will," he employed fome underlings to perform what,
“ how the devil he got there), and pretend to do according to his proposals, should come from his
" him into English, so his version denote his ne own hands." To which heavy charge we can
"glect of the manner how." Strange variation! in truth oppose nothing but the words of
We are told in

MR. POPE'SPROPOSAL FOR THE ODYSSEY
MIST'S JOURNAL, June 8.

(printed by J. Watts, Jan, 10, 1724.),
" That this tranflation of the Iliad was not in all " I take this occafion to declare that the Gibscrip,
“ respects conformable to the fine lade of his friend

" tion for Shakspeare belongs wholly to Mr. Ton, “ Mr. Addison ; infomuch that he employed a “ fon : and that the benefit of this propofal is not

younger muse in an undertaking of this kind, “ solely for my own use, but for that of two of my " which he supervised himself." Whether Mr. friends, who have alilled me in this work." But Addison did find it conformable to his talte, or these very gentlenien are extolled above our Poet not, best appears from his own testimony the year himself in another of Milt's jo'rnals, March 30, following iis publication, in these words: 1728. saying, " That he would not advise Mr.

Pope to try the experiment again of getting a (") Alma, Cant. 2. () In bis ElJays, vol. 1. printed for E. Curll. (y) Vid. pref. 10 Mr. Tickeli's tranfusion of the (1) Cenfor, vol. ii. 0. 33.

for book of ibe iliad, 440.

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great part of a book done by allistants, left those “plagiaries, thae pretend to make a reputation by extrarieous parts should unhappily afcend to the “ Itealing from a man's works in his own life-time, " sublime, and retard the declension of the whole." “ and out of a public print." Let us join to this Behold! these underlings are become good writers! what is written by the author of the Rival Modes,

If any say, that before the said proposals were the said Mr. James-Moore Smith, in a letter to our printed, the subscription was begun without de author himself, who had informed him a month claration of such assistance ; verily those who set it before that play was acted, Jan. 27, 1726-7, that on foot, or (as the term is) secured it, to wit, the “ These verses, which he had before given him right honourable the Lord Viscount Harcourt,“ leave to insert in it, would be known for his, were he living, would testify; and the right ho “ some copies being got abroad. He desires, ncDourable the Lord Bathurst, now living, doch “ vertheless, that since the lines had been read in teftify, the same is a falsehood.

“ his comedy to several, Mr. P. would not deprive Sorry I am, that persons profesling to be learned, it of them,” &c. Surely, if we add the testier of whatever rank of authors, should either falsely monies of the Lord Bolingbroke, of the Lady to tax, or be falsely taxed. Yet let us, who are only whom the said verses were originally addressed, of Teporters, be impartial in our citations, and proceed. Hugh Bethel, Erq; and others, who knew them as

MISS'S JOURNAL, June 8, 1728. our author's, long before the said gentleman com"Mr. Addison raised this author from obscu- posed his play; it is hoped, the ingenious, that *rity, obtained him the acquaintance and friend- affect not error, will rectify their opinion by the

ship of the whole body of our nobility, and trans- | suffrage of so honourable personages. " ferred his powerful interests with those great And yet followeth another charge, insinuatingno " men to this rising bard, who frequently levied less than hisfenmity both to church and state, which " by that means unusual contributions on the could come from no other informer than the faid "public." Which surely cannot be, if, as the MR. JAMES-MOORE SHITH. author of the Dunciad Dissected reporteth, Mr. “(a) The Memoirs of a Parish Clerk was a very Wycherly had before “ introduced him into a “ dull and unjust abuse of a person who wrote in " familiar acquaintance with the greatelt peers and “ defence of our religion and constitution, and “ brightest wits then living."

" who has been dead many years.” This seemeth "No sooner (faith the same journalist) was his also moit untrue ; it being known to divers that "body lifeless, but this author, reviving his resent these memoirs were written at the seat of the Lord

ment, libelled the memory of his departed friend; | Harcourt in Oxfordshire, before that excellent per" and what was ftill more heinous, made the scan- fon (Bishop Burnet's) death, and many years before dal public." Grievous the accusation: unknown the appearance of that history, of which they are the accuser ! the person accused, no witness in his pretended to be an abuse. Most true it is, that own cause; the person, in whose regard accused, Mr. Moore had such a design, and was himself the dead! But if there be living any one nobleman man who preft Dr. Arbuthnot and Mr. Pope to whose friendship, yea any one gentleman whose aflift him therein ; and that he borrowed those subscription Mr. Addison procured to our author, memoirs of our author, when that history came let him stand forth, that truth may appear! Ami- forth, with intent to turn them to such abuse. cas Plato, amicus Socrates, fed magis amica veritas. But being able to obtain from our author but la verity, the whole story of the libel is a lie ; wit one single hint, and either changing his mind, or sess those persons of integrity, who, several years having more mind than ability, he contented himbefore Mr. Addison's decease, did see and approve self to keep the faid memoirs, and read them as his of the said verses, in no wise a libel, but a friendly own to all his acquaintance. A noble person there rebuke sent privately in our author's own hand is, into whose company Mr. Pope once chanced to to Mr. Addiion himself, and never made public, introduce him, who well remembereth the con. till after their own journals, and Curll had printed versation of Mr. Moore to have turned upon the the fame. One name alone, which I am here au contempt he had for the work of that reverend thorised to declare, will sufficiently evince this “ prelate, and how full he was of a design he detruth, that of the right honourable the Earl of “ clared himself to have of expoling it." This Burlington

noble person is the Earl of Peterborough. Next is he taxed with a crime (in the opinion of Here in truth should we crave pardon of all the some authors, I doubi, more heinous than any in foresaid right honourable and worthy personages, morality), to wit. Plagiarism, from the inventive for having mentioned them in the same page with and quaint-conceited

such weekly riff-raff railers and rhymers ; but that JAMES-MOORE SMITH, Gent. we had their ever-honoured commands for the

(2) Upon reading the third volume of Pope's fame; and that they are introduced not as witnesses "miscellanies, I found five lines which I thought in the controversy, but as witnesses that cannot be

excellent; and happening to praise them, a gen. controverted : not to dispute, but to decide. htleman produced a modern comedy (the Rival Certain it is, that dividing our writers into two "Modes) published last year, where were the same classes, of such who were acquaintance, and of such verses to a tittie.

who were ftrangers to our author; the former are " These gentlemen are undoubtedly the first those who speaš well, and the other those who 2) Daily Journal, March 19, 1728.

(a) Daily Journal, April 3, 1728.

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