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been highly intelligent, but he was affected and foppish in his manner, probably a homosexual. Before 1725 he had been on friendly terms with Pope. The enmity which afterwards ensued is linked to Pope's breach with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Hervey had collaborated with the latter in a scurrillous attack, Verses addressed to the Imitator of Horace (1733).
1.363. Japhet: Japhet Crook (1662-1734) pilloried and sentenced to life imprisonment for forgery in 1731.
1.375. Wellsted: Leonard Wellsted (1688-1747). In Epistle to Mr. Pope, written in collaboration with Moore-Smythe, he had accused Pope of libelling the Duke of Chandos as Timon, and furthermore stated that Pope had received a present of £500 from the latter.
1.378. Budgell: Eustace Budgell (1686–1737). A Cousin of Addison and contributor to the Spectator. He had attacked Pope in his periodical The Bell. 1.380. The Two Curls, i.e. Curl himself and Lord Hervey. 1.391. Bestia: Bestia is probably the Duke of Marlborough.
89. Extracts from THE DUNCIAD, Books I and II
The first three books of The Dunciad were published anonymously in 1728. In the earlier versions of the poem the hero was Lewis Theobald (16881744), a minor poet and dramatist, but better remembered for his Shakespeare Restored (1726) and his edition of Shakespeare of 1734. These were in fact a valuable contribution to the science of Shakespearean textual criticism, but the former contained some severe strictures on Pope's own edition of Shakespeare (1725). This prompted Pope to make Theobald king of the Dunces, but as in other cases, it is an over-simplification to see the poet as inspired merely by a desire for personal revenge. The issue between Pope and Theobald, as also that between Pope and Swift as against Bentley, was perhaps at bottom concerned with two different approaches to literatureon the one hand a humanistic and imaginative one, and on the other a mechanical and verbalistic attitude to the text, which however valuable its fruits have been, can easily degenerate into lifeless and soulless pedantry.
Pope acknowledged his authorship of the poem in 1735, and in 1742 published The New Dunciad forming the Fourth Book of the completed poem which appeared in 1743. In this version Pope made a major change by substituting Colley Cibber as hero instead of Theobald. Cibber (1671–1757) was a more than competent dramatist, and an engaging and good-natured personality, as his autobiography An Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber, a very readable account of the eighteenth-century stage, shows. He had offended Pope by caricaturing him on the stage in a revival of The Rehearsal. But the main cause of offence was his appointment as Poet Laureate in 1730. This really was an insult to poetry itself. Cibber could not even write tolerable verse, and his appointment was in fact due to his loyalty to the Whig cause. It was a flagrant example of the failure of the Hanoverian court to accord
adequate patronage to the arts, and its preference for ambitious and politically safe second-raters.
The Dunciad is significantly dedicated to Swift. Its themes are closely related to those of The Tale of a Tub, The Battle of the Books and the Third Book of Gulliver's Travels. Modelled on Dryden's Macflecknoe, but much more ambitious in scope, it is a mock heroic poem, or more properly, an anti-epic on the grand scale, whose theme is the breakdown of values through the debasement of language, the commercialization of the arts, and the abandonment of humanistic standards.
1.30. Monroe: James Monroe (1680–1752) was physician to Bedlam Hospital, the insane asylum 'where Folly holds her throne'.
1.32. Great Cibber's brazen, brainless brothers: Cibber's father, the sculptor Caius Cibber, had cast the two bronze figures of Melancholy and Raving Madness which stood above the gates of Bedlam Hospital.
1.40. Curl's chaste press and Lintot's rubric post: see the Notes to The Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot.
1.41. Tyburn's elegiac lines: this refers to the broadsheet verses, in the form of the criminal's confession and account of his misspent life, which were sold to the crowd at public executions.
1.57. Jacob: Jacob Tonson (1656–1736). One of the most notable of the Augustan publishers. He printed Dryden and some of Pope's own poems. 1.270. Bridewell: the house of correction for prostitutes and other female moral offenders.
1.271. Fleet-ditch: the ancient River Fleet, a tributary of the Thames, whose course followed that of Fleet Street, had in Pope's day become an open
1.275. 'Here strip, my children': the Goddess of Dullness is speaking. This episode describes one of the series of heroic games which she organizes to celebrate Cibber's coronation as King of the Dunces. The mud-diving, of course, symbolizes the activities of sensational journalistic writers. 1.283. Oldmixon: see the notes to the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot.
1.284. Milo-like: Milo was a celebrated athlete of antiquity.
1.291. Smedley: Jonathan Smedley (1671-1721), Dean of Clogher, who also engaged in hack journalism for Walpole's government, and scurrillously attacked Pope and Swift in Gulliveriana and the Metamorphosis.
1.299. Concanen: Matthew Concanen, (1701–1749), Irish poet and journalist; he was associated with Theobald in the latter's attacks on Pope's Shakespeare. 1.302. Blackmore: Sir Richard Blackmore (d. 1729), Physician to Queen Anne, he produced several long and dull epic poems.
1.312. Mother Osborne: Thomas Osborne (d. 1756), bookseller and publisher. His impudence was notorious, and he was later to be knocked down for it by Dr. Johnson.
1.314. Gazetteer: the sensational daily papers of the time.
1.315. Arnall: Arnall or Arnold (? 1709–1736), a political journalist in Walpole's pay.
1.349. Milburne: the Rev. Luke Milburne (1649–1736), poet and divine. He had attacked Dryden.
1.358. Heav'n's Swiss: the Swiss formerly acted as mercenaries, fighting under any commander for pay.
1.359. Lud's fam'd gates: Ludgate is said to have been named after King Lud, the legendary founder of London.
THE DUNCIAD, Book IV
First published as The New Dunciad in 1742, this became the Fourth Book of the complete Dunciad in the following year. The satire of the first three books is mainly directed against the commercial hack-writers and journalists of Grub Street. The Fourth Book is wider in scope, envisaging this corruption as now extending over the whole world of learning. Targets include the fashionable Italian Opera, the Universities and Public schools, and the virtuosi amateur scientists and collectors. The whole culminates in the deeply serious vision of the return of Chaos, which Pope is reported never to have recited without tears coming into his eyes. It is sometimes maintained that by thus widening the scope and altering the tone of his poem, Pope destroyed its unity. This does not seem to me to be the case. He is rather following up the deeper implications of the Grub-Street debasement of values for the culture of the nation at large. Perhaps none of Pope's poetry has greater topical significance for us to-day than this book.
1.16. Saturnian days of Lead and Gold: according to mythology, the reign of Saturn, preceding that of Jupiter, coincided with the Golden Age. Lead was the metal assigned by alchemists to the planet Saturn. The age of the restored empire of Dullness is to be both leaden-heavy, and ironically golden, because of its venality.
1.20. Her Laureate son: Cibber (see the introductory note to the Extracts from The Dunciad, Books I and II).
1.28. Chicane in Furs, and Casuistry in Lawn: the ermine of the judges and the lawn of the bishops.
1.31. Mathesis: mathematics.
1.43. Chesterfield: Philip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773), later famous for his Letters to his Son. In 1737 he had made a speech in the House of Lords opposing Walpole's Act for the licensing of stage plays.
1.45. A Harlot Form: the Italian opera was at this time a highly fashionable entertainment, but resented by Pope among others as a foreign importation, and for its irrationality in sacrificing sense to sound and spectacle.
1.54. Division: in music, the breaking up of each of a succession of long notes into a number of shorter ones.
1.65. Giant Handel: Handel's Oratorios with their serious religious content are set against the Italian opera. Pope was probably the author of the book of Handel's first English oratorio, Esther. His praise of this great composer is noteworthy, since Handel was a protégé of George II, while Pope's friend, Frederick, Prince of Wales, supported his rival Buononcini.
1.66. Briareus: In Greek mythology, one of the hundred-handed giants who came to the aid of Zeus in his struggle against the Titans. Pope compares Handel to Briareus because of the greater number of hands, or players, he introduced into his orchestra, but the image of the giant coming to the aid of Olympian order against the powers of Chaos adds further force. 1.68. Jove's own Thunders follow Mars's drums: Handel reinforced his orchestra with drums and canon.
1.70. The Hibernian shore: in 1737 Handel had become bankrupt and despairing of further success in London, removed to Dublin, where the Messiah was first performed in 1741.
1.88. Toupee or Gown: i.e. the men of fashion in their curled periwigs as well as the scholars.
1.103. Narcissus praised with all a Parson's Power: Lord Hervey (see the notes to the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot) had received the Dedication of Dr. Conyers Middleton's Life of Cicero. He was pale-faced and an epileptic.
1.105. Montalto: Sir Thomas Hanmer (1677-1746), Speaker of the House of Commons and editor of Shakespeare. Noted for his pompous manners. 1.110. Benson: William Benson (1682-1754), Whig politician. As Surveyor General he erected a monument to Milton in Westminster Abbey, and had a medal struck to commemorate this poet. He also had a bust erected to Arthur Johnson (1587–1641), the Scottish author of a Latin paraphrase of the Psalms, of which Benson printed many fine editions.
1.116. Apollo's Mayor and Aldermen: the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford with the Heads of Houses.
1.117. Gold-Capt youths: the Gentleman-Commoners of Oxford, who wore a gold tassel on their caps.
lisi. The Samian letter: the letter Y, which Pythagoras, who was a native of Samos, used as an emblem of the divided paths of virtue and vice. 1.167. Wyndham: Sir William Wyndham (1687-1740), Tory politician and ally of Bolingbroke.
1.169. Murray: William Murray, Earl of Mansfield (1705-1783). A leading member of the Government under Newcastle's administration, he became Lord Chief Justice in 1758. He was noted for his oratory.
1.170. Pulteney: William Pulteney, Earl of Bath (1684-1764). Politician. At one time a supporter of Walpole, after 1721 he joined the Opposition and contributed to Bolingbroke's Journal The Craftsman.
1174. South: Dr. Robert South (1634-1716), a famous preacher at the court of Charles II, declared a perfect epigram to be as difficult a performance as an epic poem.
1.176. Gentle James: James I.
1.194. Christchurch: Christchurch was the college of Atterbury and others who opposed Bentley.
1.168. Talbot: Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewsbury (1660-1718), politician and friend of Pope. He held several important offices under William and Mary and Queen Anne, but retired after the accession of George I.
1.198. On German Crousaz and Dutch Burgersdyck: Pope represents the portly College dons as riding on heavy German and Dutch horses named after the minor and reactionary philosophers they admire. Jean Pierre de Crousaz (1663-1748) was a Swiss philosopher who opposed Bayle and Leibnitz and also criticized the Essay on Man. Francis Burgersdyck (1590–1639) was Professor of Logic and Philosophy at Leyden.
1.201. Bentley: Richard Bentley (1662–1742), the great classical scholar and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. His essay on the Epistles of Phalaris, which he showed to be spurious, led to a famous quarrel with Swift, Atterbury and their circle, hinging on the relative merits of ancient and modern learning, which was the occasion of The Battle of the Books. As Master of Trinity he was extremely high-handed and perpetually at odds with the Fellows. Bentley's work on the texts of Greek and Latin authors is still held by scholars to be of the highest order, but his edition of Milton, into which he introduced many arbitrary emendations, was deservedly ridiculed.
1.206. Walker: Dr. Richard Walker (1679–1764), Vice-Master of Trinity and a friend of Bentley.
1.210. Aristarchus: the name here applied to Bentley is that of a grammarian of the second century B.C., noted for the strictness with which he edited the text of Homer.
1.218. Digamma: one of Bentley's greatest achievements was the restoration of the lost letter Digamma to the text of Homer.
1.223. Freind: Dr. Robert Freind (1667–1751), Headmaster of Westminster and one of Bentley's Christchurch opponents.
1.224. Alsop: Anthony Alsop (d. 1726), Latin scholar and poet, and collaborator of Bentley.
1.237. Kuster, Burman, Wasse: Three scholars. Ludolph Kuster (1670–1716), a German, whom Bentley assisted; Peter Burman (1668–1741), a Dutchman, who published some of Bentley's work; and Joseph Wasse (1672-1738), of whom Bentley declared ‘after I am dead, Wasse will be the most learned man in England'.
1.245. Barrow: Isaac Barrow (1630-1677), preacher, scholar and mathematician.