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ultima semper

Expectanda dies homini: dicique beatus Ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet: if no man can be called happy till his death, surely much less can any one, till then, be pronounced a hero this species of men being far more subject than others to the caprices of fortune and humour.' But to this also we have an answer, that will (we hope) be deemed decisive. It cometh from himself; who, to cut this matter short, hath solemnly protested that he will never change or amend.

With regard to his vanity, he declareth that nothing shall ever part them. Nature,' said he, 'hath amply supplied me in vanity; a pleasure which neither the pertness of wit, nor the gravity of wisdom, will ever persuade me to part with*.' Our poet had charitably endeavoured to administer a cure to it: but he telleth us plainly, My superiors perhaps may be mended by him; but for my part I own myself incorrigible. I look upon my follies as the best part of my fortunet.' And with good reason; we see to what they have brought him!

Secondly, as to buffoonery, 'Is it,' saith he,' a time of day for me to leave off these fooleries, and set up a new character? I can no more put off my follies than my skin; I have often tried, but they stick too close to me: nor am I sure my friends are displeased with them, for in this light I afford them frequent matter of mirth, &c. &c.' Having then so publicly declared himself incorrigible, he is become dead in law (I mean the law Epopœian), and devolveth upon the poet as his property; who may take him, and deal with him as if he had been dead as long as an old Egyptian hero; that is to say, em bowel and embalm him for pósterity.

Nothing, therefore (we conceive), remaineth to

See Life, p. 424.

+ P. 19.

P. 17.

hinder his own prophecy of himself from taking immediate effect. A rare felicity! and what few prophets have had the satisfaction to see, alive! Nor can we conclude better than with that extraordinary one of his, which is conceived in these oraculous words, my dulness will find somebody to do it right*.'

Tandem Phœbus adest, morsusque inferre parantem Congelat, et patulos, ut erant, induat hiatust.


By virtue of the authority in us vested by the act for subjecting poets to the power of a licenser, we have revised this piece; where, finding the style and appellation of king to have been given to a certain pretender, pseudo-poet, or phantom, of the name of Tibbald; and apprehending the same may be deemed in some sort a reflection on majesty, or at least an insult on that legal authority which has bestowed on another person the crown of poesy: We have ordered the said pretender, pseudo-poet, or phantom, utterly to vanish and evaporate out of this work; and do declare the said throne of poesy from henceforth to be abdicated and vacant, unless duly and lawfully supplied by the laureat himself. And it is hereby enacted, that no other person do presume to fill the same.


*See Life, p. 243, octavo edit.

Ovid, of the serpent biting at Orpheus's head.





The proposition, the invocation, and the inscrip tion. Then the original of the great empire of Dulness, and cause of the continuance thereof. The college of the goddess in the city, with her private academy for poets in particular; the governors of it, and the four cardinal virtues. Then the poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting her, on the evening of a lord mayor's day, revolving the long succession of her sons, and the glories past and to come. She fixes her eyes on Bays to be the instrument of that great event which is the subject of the poem. He is described pensive among his books, giving up the cause, and apprehending the period of her empire. After debating whether to betake himself to the church, or to gaming, or to party-writing, he raises an altar of proper books, and (making first his solemn prayer and declaration) purposes thereon to sacrifice all his unsuccessful writings. As the pile is kindled, the goddess, beholding the flame from her seat, flies and puts it out by casting upon it the poem of Thulé. She forth with reveals herself

to him, transports him to her temple, unfolds her arts, and initiates him into her mysteries; then announcing the death of Eusden, the poet laureate, anoints him, carries him to court, and proclaims him successor.


THE mighty mother, and her son, who brings

The Smithfield muses to the ear of kings,

I sing. Say you, her instruments, the great!
Call'd to this work by Dulness, Jove, and Fate;


The Dunciad, sic MS.] It may well be disputed whether this be a right reading: Ought it not rather to be spelled Dunceiad, as the etymology evidently demands? Dunce with an e, therefore Dunceiad with an e. That accurate and punctual man of letters, the restorer of Shakespeare, constantly observes the preservation of this very letter e, in spelling the name of his beloved author, and not like his common careless editors, with the omission of one, nay, sometimes of two ee's (as Shakspear), which is utterly unpardonable. Nor is the neglect of a single letter so trivial as to some it may appear; the alteration whereof in a learned language is an achievement that brings honour to the critic who advances it; and Dr. Bentley will be remembered to posterity for his performances of this sort, as long as the world shall have any esteem for the remains of Menander and Philemon.' THEOBALD.

This is surely a slip in the learned author of the foregoing note; there having been since produced by an accurate antiquary, an autograph of Shakespeare himself, whereby it appears that he spelled his

You, by whose care, in vain decried and curst,
Still Dunce the second reigns like Dunce the first;
Say, how the goddess bade Britannia sleep,
And pour'd her spirit o'er the land and deep.


own name without the first e. And upon this authority it was, that those most critical curators of his monument in Westminster Abbey erased the former wrong reading, and restored the new spelling on a new piece of old Egyptian granite. Nor for this only do they deserve our thanks, but for exhibiting on the same monument the first specimen of an edition of an author in marble; where (as may be seen on comparing the tomb with the book) in the space of five lines, two words and a whole verse are changed, and it is to be hoped will there stand, and butlast whatever hath been hitherto done in paper; as for the future, our learned sister university (the other eye of England) is taking care to perpetuate s total new Shakespeare at the Clarendon press. BENTL

It is to be noted, that this great critic also has omitted one circumstance; which is, that the inscription with the name of Shakespeare was intended to be placed on the marble scroll to which he points with his hand; instead of which it is now placed behind his back, and that specimen of an edition is put on the scroll, which indeed Shakespeare hath great reason to point at. ANON.

Though I have as just a value for the letter E, as any grammarian living, and the same affection for the name of this poem as any critic for that of his author, yet cannot it induce me to agree with those who would add yet another e to it, and call it the Dunceiade; which being a French and foreign ternination, is no way proper to a word entirely English, and vernacular. One e therefore in this case is right, and two ee's wrong. Yet, upon the whole, I

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