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*Enough! enough! the raptur'd monarch cries ! And through the ivory gate the vision flies. 340
the encouragement of our patrons, and the genius of our writers of all kinds (notwithstanding some few exceptions in each), may plainly be seen from his conclusion; where, causing all this vision to pass through the ivory gate, he expressly, in the language of poesy, declares all such imaginations to be wild, ungrounded, and fictitious. SCRIBL.
BOOK THE FOURTH.
The poet being, in this book, to declare the com
pletion of the prophecies mentioned at the end of the former, makes a new invocation; as the greater poets are wont, when some high and wor. thy matter is to be sung. He shows the goddess coming in her majesty, to destroy order and science, and to substitute the kingdom of the dull upon earth. How she leads captive the sciences, and silences the muses ; and what they be who succeed in their stead. All her children, by a wonderful attraction, are drawn about her; and bear along with them divers others, who promote her empire by connivance, weak resistance, or discouragement of arts; such as half wits, tasteless admirers, vain pretenders, the flatterers of dunces, or the patrons of them. All these crowd round her; one of them, offering to approach her, is driven back by a rival, but she commends and encourages both. The first who speak in form are the geniuses of the schools, who assure her of their care to advance her cause by confining youth to words, and keeping them out of the way of real knowledge. Their address, and her gracious an swer; with her charge to them and the universities. The universities appear by their proper de puties, and assure her that the same method is
observed in the progress of education. The speech of Aristarchus on this subject. They are driven off by a band of young gentlemen returned from travel with their tutors ; one of whom delivers to the goddess, in a polite oration, an account of the whole conduct and fruits of their travels : presenting to her at the same time a young nobleman perfectly accomplished. She receives him graciously, and endues him with the happy quality of want of shame. She sees loitering about her a number of indolent persons abandoning all business and duty, and dying with laziness : to these approaches the antiquary Annius, entreating her to make them virtuosos, and assign them over to him: but Mummius, another antiquary, complaining of his fraudulent proceeding, she finds a method to reconcile their difference. Then enter a troop of people fantastically adorned, offering her strange and exotic presents: amongst them, one stands forth and demands justice on another, who had deprived him of one of the greatest curiosi. ties in nature; but he justifies himself so well, that the goddess gives them both her approbation. She recommends to them to find proper employment for the indolents before mentioned, in the study of butterflies, shells, birds-nests, moss, &c. but with particular caution, not to proceed be. yond trifles, to any useful or extensive views of nature, or of the Author of nature. Against the last of these apprehensions, she is secured by a hearty address from the minute philosophers and free-thinkers, one of whom speaks in the name of the rest. The youth, thus instructed and prin. cipled, are delivered to her in a body, by the hands of Silenus; and then admitted to taste the cup of the Magus, her high priest, which causes a total oblivion of all obligations, divine, civil, mo. ral, or rational. To these, her adepts, she sends priests, attendants, and comforters, of various kinds ; confers on them orders and degrees; and then dismissing them with a speech, confirming to each his privileges, and telling what she expects from each, concludes with a yawn of extraordinary virtue : the progress and effects whereof op all orders of men, and the consummation of all, in the restoration of night and chaos, conclude the poem.
Indulge, dread Chaos, and eternal Nigbt!
REMARKS. This Book may properly be distinguished from the former, by the name of the Greater Dunciad, not so, indeed, in size, but in subject; and so far contrary to the distinction anciently made of the Greater and Lesser Iliad. But much are they mistaken who imagine this work in anywise 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 Batrachomuomachia of Homer, as Barnes hath affirmed.
BENTL. Ver. 1, &c.] This is an invocation of much piety. The poet, willing to approve himself a genuine son, beginneth by showing (what is ever agreeable to Dulness) bis high respect for antiquity and a great family, how dead or dark soever: next declareth his passion for explaining mysteries; and lastly his impatience to be reunited to her. SCRIBL.
Ver. 2. dread Chaos, and eternal Night!) Invoked, as the restoration of their empire is the action of
Ye pow'rs! whose mysteries restor'd I sing.
Now Aam'd the dog-star's unpropitious ray,
She mounts the throne: her head a cloud conceal'd, In broad effulgence all below reveal'd (Tis thus aspiring Dulness ever shines), Soft on her lap her laureate son reclines.
REMARKS. Ver. 14. To blot out order, and extinguish light,] The two great ends of her mission; the one in quality of daughter of Chaos, the other as daughter of Night. Order here is to be understood extensively, both as civil and moral; the distinction be. tween high and low in society, and true and false in individuals : light as intellectual only, wit, sci
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 allusion to the Epicurean opinion, that from the dissolution of the natural world into Night and Chaos, a new one should arise; this the poet alluding to, in the production of a new moral world, makes it partake of its original priaci. ples.
Ver. 16. Lead and gold.) i. e. dull and venal.
Ver. 20. her laureate son reclines.] With great judgement it is imagined by the poet, that such a