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weekly essays, not only against the wit and writings, but against the character and person of Mr. Pope ; and that of all those nien who have received pleasure from his works, (which by modest computation may be about a hundred thousand 3 in these kingdoms of England and Ireland, not to mention Jersey, Guernsey, the Orcades, those in the New World, and foreigners who have translated him into their languages) of all this number not a man bath stood up to say one word in his defence. · The only exception is the author 4 of the following poem, who donbtless had either a better insight into the grounds of this clamour, or a better opi. nion of Mr. Pope's integrity, joined with a greater personal love for him than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Further, that he was in his peculiar intimacy, appears from the knowledge he manifests of the most private authors of all the anonymous pieces against him, and from his having in this poems attacked no mar living who had not before printed or published some scandal against this geutleman.
9 It is sarprising with what stupidity this Preface, which is almost a continued irony, was taken by those authors. All sach passages as these were understood by Curl, Cooke, Cibber, and others, to he serious. Hear the Laureat (Let., ter to Mr. Pope, p. 9.) 'Though I grant the Dunciad a better puem of its kind than ever was writ, yet, when I read it with those vain-glorious incumbrances of notes and remarks upon it, &c.-it is amazing that you, who have writ with such masterly spirit upon the roling passion, should be so blind a slave to your own, as not to see how far a low avarice of praise,' &c. (taking it for granted that the notes of Scribierus and others were the author's own.) w.
* A very plain irony, speaking of Mr. Pope himself.
5 The publisher, in these words, went a little too far; but it is certain whatever names the reader finds that are unknown to him are of such ; and the exception is only o
How I came possessed of it, is no concern to the reader; but it would have been a wrong to him had I detained the publication; since those names which are its chief ornaments die off daily 80 fast, as must render it too soon unintelligible. If it provoke the author to give us a more perfect edition, I have my end.
Who he is, I cannot say (which is a great pity) there is certainly nothing in his style and manner of writing which can distinguish or discover him; for if it bears any resemblance to that of Mr. Pope, it is not improbable but it might be done on purpose, with a view to have it pass for his. But by the frequency of his allusions to Virgil, and a laboured (not to say affected) shortness in imitation of him, I should think him more an admirer of the Roman poet than of the Grecian, and in that not of the same taste with his friend.
, I have been well informed that this work was the labour of full six years of his life ?, and that
two or three, whose dulness, impudent scurrilities, or selfconceit, all mankind agreed to bave jastly entitled them to 1 place in the Dunciad.
W. 0 This irony bad small effect in concealing the author. Tbe Dunciad, imperfect as it was, had not been published two days, but the whole town gave it to Mr. Pope. W.
7 This also was honestly and seriously believed by divers gentlemen of the Dunciad. J. Ralph, preface to Sawney; • We are told it was the labour of six years, with the utmost assiduity and application : it is to great compliment to the author's sense to have employed so large a part of bis life,' &c. So also Ward, preface to Durgen: 'The Dunciad, as the publisher very wisely confesses, cost the author six years' retirement from all the pleasures of life; though it is somewhat difficult to conceive, from either its bulk
he wholly retired himself from all the avocations and pleasures of the world to attend diligently to its correction and perfection; and six years more he intented to bestow upon it, as it should seem by this verse of Statius, which was cited at the head of his manuscript:
“Oh mibi bissenos multum vigilata per annos,
Duncia 8!! Hence also we learn the true title of the poem ; which, with the same certainty as we call that of Homer the Iliad, of Virgil the Æneid, of Camoëns the Lusiad, we may pronounce could have been, and can be, no other than
It is styled heroic, as being doubly so; not only with respect to its nature, which, according to the best rules of the ancients, and strictest ideas of the moderns, is critically such ; but also with re. gard to the heroical disposition and high courage of the witer, who dared to stir up such a formidable, irritable, and implacable race of mortals.
There may arise some obscurity in chronology from the names in the poem, by the inevitable removal of some authors, and insertion of others in
or beauty, that it could be so long in hatching,' &c. But the length of time and closeness of application were men. tioned to prepossess the reader with a good opinion of it.
They just as well understood what Scriblerus said of the poem.
8 The prefacer to Curl's Key, p. 3, took this word to be really in Statius: By a quibble on the word Duncia, the Dunciad is formed, Mr. Ward also follows him in the same opinion.
their nitches : for, whoever will consider the unity of the whole design, will be sensible that the poem was not made for these authors, but these authors for the poem. I should judge that they were clapped in as they rose, fresh and fresh, and changed from day to day; in like manner as when the old boughs wither, we thrust new ones into a chimney.
I would not have the reader too much troubled or anxious, if he cannot decipher them; since, when he sball have found them out, he will probably know no more of the persons than before.
Yet we judged it better to preserve them as they are, than to change them for fictitious names; by which the satire would only be multiplied, and applied to many instead of one. Had the hero, for instance, been called Codrus, how many would have affirmed him to have been Mr: T. Mr. E. Sir R. B.? &c. but now all that unjust scandal is saved, by calling him by a name which, by good luck, happens to be that of a real person.
KI SO *** BOOKS, PAPERS, AND VERSES, In which our Author was abused before the Publication of
the Dunciad ; with the true names of the Authors.
REFLECTIONS Critical and Satirical on a late Rhapsody, called An Essay on Criticism. By Mr. Dennis. Printed by B. Lintot, price 6d.
A New Rehearsal; or Bayes the Younger ; containing an Examen of Mr. Rowe's plays, and a Word or two on Mr. Pope's Rape of the Lock. Anon. [By Charles Gildon.] Printed for J. Roberts, 1714, price 1s.
Homerides; or a Letter to Mr. Pope, occasioned by his intended Translation of Homer. By Sir Iliad, Dogrel, [Tho. Burnet and G. Ducket, Esquires.] Printed for W, Wilkins, 1715, price 9d.
Æsop at the Bear-Garden ; a Vision, in imitation of the Temple of Fame, by Mr. Preston. Sold by John Morphew, 1715, price 6d.
The Catholic Poet; or, Protestant Barnaby's sorrowful Lamentation ; a Ballad about Homer's Iliad. By Mrs. Centlivre and others, 1715, price . 1 d.
An Epilogue to a Puppet Show at Bath, concerning the said Iliad. By George Ducket, Esq. Printed by E, Curl.
A complete Key to the What-d'ye-call it. Anon. [By Griffin, a player, supervised by Mr. Th- ] Printed by J. Roberts, 1715.
A true Character of Mr. P. and his Writings, in a Letter to a Friend. Anon. (Dennis.] Printed for S. Popping, 1716, price 3d. · The Confederates, a farce. By Joseph Gay. [J. D. Breval.) Printed for R. Burleigh, 1717, price 1s.
Remarks upon Mr. Pope's Translation of Homer; with two Letters concerning the Windsor Forest, and the Temple of Fame. By Mr. Dennis. Printed for E. Curl, 1717, price is. 60.
Satires on the Translators of Homer, Mr. P. and Mr.T. Anon. [Bez. Morris,] 1717, price 6d.
The Triumvirate; or, a Letter from Palæmon to