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'Tis yours, a Bacon or a Locke to blame, A Newton's genius, or a Milton's flame:


Tho. Woolston was an impious madman, who wrote in a most insolent style against the miracles of the Gospel, in the year 1726, &c.

Ver. 213. Yet oh, my sons, &c.] The caution against blasphemy here given by a departed son of Dulness to his yet existing brethren, is, as the poet rightly intimates, not out of tenderness to the ears of others, but their own. And so we see that when that danger is removed, on the open establishment of the goddess in the fourth book, she encourages her sons, and they beg assistance to pollute the source of light itself, with the same virulence they had before done the purest emanations from it.

Ver. 215. 'Tis yours, a Bacon or a Locke to blame,

A Newton's genius, or a Milton's flame :] Thankfully received, and freely used, is this gracious licence by the beloved disciple of that prince of cabalistic dunces, the tremendous Hutchinson.-Hear with what honest plainness he treateth our great geometer. As to mathematical demonstration,' saith he, founded upon the proportions of lines and circles to each other, and the ringing of changes upon figures, these have no more to do with the greatest part of philosophy, than they have with the man in the moon. Indeed, the zeal for this sort of gibberish [mathematical principles] is greatly abated of late: and though it is now upwards of twenty years that the Dagon of modern philosophers, sir Isaac Newton, has lain with his face upon the ground before the ark of God, Scripture philosophy; for so long Moses's Principia have been published; and the Treatise of Power Essential and Mechanical, in which sir Isaac Newton's philosophy is treated with the utmost contempt, has been published a dozen years; yet is there not one of the

But, oh! with One, immortal One, dispense,

The source of Newton's light, of Bacon's sense.
Content each emanation of his fires

That beams on earth, each virtue he inspires, 220
Each art he prompts, each charm he can create,
Whate'er he gives, are giv'n for you to hate.
Persist, by all divine in man unaw'd,

But, Learn, ye Dunces! not to scorn your God.'
Thus he, for then a ray of reason stole
Half through the solid darkness of his soul;
But soon the cloud return'd-and thus the sire:
See now, what Dulness and her sons admire!
See what the charms, that smite the simple heart
Not touch'd by nature, and not reach'd by art. 230
His never-blushing head he turn'd aside

(Not half so pleas'd when Goodman prophesied);


whole society who hath had the courage to attempt to raise him up. And so let him lie.'-The Philosophical Principles of Moses asserted, &c. p. 2. by Julius Bate, A. M. chaplain to the right honourable the earl of Harrington. London, 1744, octavo.


Ver. 224. But, Learn, ye Dunces! not to scorn your God.'] The hardest lesson a dunce can learn. For being bred to scorn what he does not understand, that which he understands least he will be apt to scorn most. Of which, to the disgrace of all government, and, in the poet's opinion, even of that of Dulness herself, we have had a late example, in a book, entitled Philosophical Essays concerning Human Understanding.

Ver. 224.-not to scorn your God.'] See this subject pursued in Book iv.

Ver. 232. (Not half so pleas'd, when Goodman prophesied.] Mr. Cibber tells us, in his Life, p. 149. that Goodman being at the rehearsal of a play, in which he had a part, clapped him on the shoulder,

And look'd, and saw a sable sorc'rer rise,
Swift to whose hand a winged volume flies:
All sudden, gorgons hiss, and dragons glare,
And ten-horn'd fiends and giants rush to war.
Hell rises, heaven descends, and dance on earth:
Gods, imps, and monsters, music, rage, and mirth,
A fire, a jig, a battle, and a ball,

Till one wide conflagration swallows all.


Thence a new world, to nature's laws unknown,
Breaks out refulgent, with a heaven its own;
Another Cynthia her new journey runs,
And other planets circle other suns.

The forests dance, the rivers upward rise,
Whales sport in woods, and dolphins in the skies;
And last, to give the whole creation grace,
Lo! one vast egg produces human race.


and cried, If he does not make a good actor I'll be d-d.' And,' says Mr. Cibber, I make it a question, whether Alexander himself, or Charles the twelfth of Sweden, when at the head of their first victorious armies, could feel a greater transport in their bosoms than I did in mine.'

Ver. 233. a sable sorc'rer] Dr. Faustus, the subject of a set of farces, which lasted in vogue two or three seasons, in which both playhouses strove to outdo each other for some years. All the extravagancies in the sixteen lines following, were introduced on the stage, and frequented by persons of the first quality in England, to the twentieth and thirtieth time.

Ver. 237. Hell rises, heaven descends, and dance on earth:] This monstrous absurdity was actually represented in Tibbald's Rape of Proserpine.

Ver. 248. Lo! one vast egg] In another of these farces Harlequin is hatched upon the stage, out of a large egg.

Joy fills his soul, joy innocent of thought;

• What pow'r,' he cries, 'what pow'r these wonders wrought?'

Son; what thou seek'st is in thee! Look, and find
Each monster meets his likeness in thy mind.
Yet wouldst thou more? in yonder cloud behold,
Whose sarsenet skirts are edg'd with flaming gold,
A matchless youth! his nod these worlds controls,
Wings the red lightning, and the thunder rolls.
Angel of Dulness sent to scatter round

Her magic charms o'er all unclassic ground:
Yon stars, yon sons, he rears at pleasure higher,
Illumes their light, and sets their flames on fire. 260
Immortal Rich! how calm he sits at ease
'Midst snows of paper, and fierce hail of pease;
And, proud his mistress' orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
But lo! to dark encounter in mid air,
New wizards rise; I see my Cibber there!


Ver. 261. Immortal Rich!] Mr. John Rich, master of the theatre royal in Covent-garden, was the first that excelled this way.

Ver. 266. I see my Cibber there!] The history of the foregoing absurdities is verified by himself, in these words (Life, chap. xv.) Then sprung forth that succession of monstrous medleys that have so long infested the stage, which arose upon one another alternately at both houses, out-vying each other in expense.' He then proceeds to excuse his own part in them, as follows: If I am asked why I as sented? I have no better excuse for my error than to confess I did it against my conscience, and had not virtue enough to starve. Had Henry IV. of France a better for changing his religion? I was still in my heart as much as he could be, on the side of truth and sense: but with this difference, that I had their leave to quit them when they could

Booth in his cloudy tabernacle shrin'd

On grinning dragons thou shalt mount the wind.
Dire is the conflict, dismal is the din,

Here shouts all Drury, there all Lincoln's-inn; 270
Contending theatres our empire raise,

Alike their labours, and alike their praise.

And are these wonders, son, to thee unknown? Unknown to thee? These wonders are thy own. These fate reserv'd to grace thy reign divine, Foreseen by me, but, ah! withheld from mine. In Lud's old walls though long I rul'd, renown'd Far as loud Bow's stupendous bells resound: Though my own aldermen conferr'd the bays, To me committing their eternal praise, Their full-fed heroes, their pacific may❜rs, Their annual trophies, and their monthly wars: Though long my party built on me their hopes, For writing pamphlets, and for roasting popes!



not support me. But let the question go which way it will, Harry IVth has always been allowed a great man.' This must be confessed a full answer; only the question still seems to be, 1. How the doing a thing against one's conscience is an excuse for it? and, 2dly, It will be hard to prove how he got the leave of truth and sense to quit their service, unless he can produce a certificate that he ever was in it. Ver. 266, 267. Booth and Cibber were joint ma. nagers of the theatre in Drury-lane.

Ver. 268. On grinning dragons thou shalt mount the wind.] In his letter to Mr. P. Mr. C. solemnly declares this not to be literally true. We hope, therefore, the reader will understand it allegorically only.

Ver. 282. Annual trophies on the lord-mayor's day; and monthly wars in the artillery ground.

Ver. 263. Though long my party] Settle, like most party-writers, was very uncertain in his po

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