Obscene with filth the miscreant lies bewray'd, 75 Fall'n in the plash his wickedness had laid:


Ver. 75. Obscene with filth, &c.] Though this incident may seem too low and base for the dignity of an Epic poem, the learned

very well know it to be but a copy of Homer and Virgil : the very words övQ@ and fimus are used by them, though our poet, in compliance to modern nicety, has remarkably enriched and coloured his language, as well as raised the versification, in this Episode, and in the following one of Eliza.

P. Ver. 75. Obscene] All this, and the following, is as nauseous as it is stupid. Warburton defends it by a note still more nauseous, if possible.

Bowles. The note referred to by Mr. Bowles is not Warburton's, but Pope's, who defends the passage by comparing it with the grosser language of Dryden ; to which he adds, “ but our author is more grave; and, (as a fine writer says of Virgil in his Georgics) tosses about his dung with an air of majesty. If we consider that the exercises of his authors could with justice be no higher than tickling, chattering, braying, or diving, it was no easy matter to invent such games as were proportioned to the meaner degree of booksellers. In Homer and Virgil, Ajax and Nisus, the persons drawn in this plight, are Heroes; whereas here they are such with whom it had been great impropriety to have joined any but vile ideas; besides the natural connection there is between libellers and common nui

Nevertheless, I have heard our author own, that this part of his poem was (as it frequently happens) what cost him most trouble, and pleased him least ; but that he hoped it was excusable, since levelled at such as understood no delicate satire. Thus




Ver. 73. Here fortun'd Curl to slide ;]
“ Labitur infelix, cæsis ut forte juvencis

Fusus humum viridesque super madefecerat herbas
Concidit, immundoque fimo, sacroque cruore."
Virgil, Æneid. v. of Nisus.

P. Ver. 74. And Bernard ! Bernard !] “ Ut littus, Hyla, Hyla, omne sonaret.

Virgil, Ecl. vi. P.

Then first, if poets aught of truth declare,
The caitiff Vaticide conceiv'd a pray’r.

Hear, Jove! whose name my bards and I adore, As much at least as any God's, or more;

80 And him and his, if more devotion warms, Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's Arms.

A place there is, betwixt earth, air, and seas, Where, from Ambrosia, Jove retires for ease. There in his seat two spacious vents appear;

85 On this he sits, to that he leans his ear, And hears the various vows of fond mankind; Some beg an eastern, some a western wind : All vain petitions, mounting to the sky, With reams abundant this abode supply; 90 Amus'd he reads, and then returns the bills Sign'd with that ichor which from Gods distils.


the politest men are obliged sometimes to swear, when they happen to have to do with porters and oyster-wenches."

Ver. 82. Down with the Bible, up with the Pope's Arms.] The Bible, Curl's sign; the Cross-keys, Lintot's.

P. Ver. 83. See Lucian's Icaro-Menippus; where this fiction is more extended.

P. Ver. 92. Alludes to Homer, Iliad v.

ρέε δ' άμβροιον αίμα Θέoιο,
Ιχωρ, οίος σέρ τε ρέει μακάρεσσι Θεοίσιν.
“ A stream of nect'rous humour issuing flow'd,
Sanguine, such as celestial sprits may bleed."

Milton. P.


Ver. 83. A place there is, betwixt earth, air, and seas,]

“ Orbe locus medio est, inter terrasque, frétumque,
Coelestesque plagas".

Ovid. Met. xii. P.

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In office here fair Cloacina stands, And ministers to Jove with purest hands. Forth from the heaps he pick'd her votry's pray'r, And plac'd it next him, a distinction rare ! Oft had the Goddess heard her servant's call,

. From her black grottos near the Temple-wall, List’ning delighted to the jest unclean Of link-boys vile, and watermen obscene;

100 Where, as he fish'd her nether realms for wit, She oft had favour'd him, and favours yet. Renew'd by ordure's sympathetic force, As oild by magic juices for the course, Vig’rous he rises; from th' effluvia strong 105 Imbibes new life, and scours and stinks along; Re-passes Lintot, vindicates the race, Nor heeds the brown dishonours of his face.

) And now the victor stretch'd his eager hand Where the tall Nothing stood, or seem'd to stand; A shapeless shade, it melted from his sight, Like forms in clouds, or visions of the night. To seize his papers, Curl, was next thy care ; His papers light, fly diverse, toss'd in air ;



Ver. 93. Cloacina] The Roman Goddess of the common

P. Ver. 101. Where, as he fish'd, &c.] See the preface to Swift's and Pope's Miscellanies.

P. Ver. 104, As oild with magic juices] Alluding to the opinion that there are ointments used by witches to enable them to fly in the air, &c.



Ver. 108. Nor heeds the brown dishonours of his face.)

“ faciem ostentabat, et udo. Turpia membra fimo”

Virg. Æneid. v.


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Songs, sonnets, epigrams, the winds uplift, 115 And whisk them back to Evans, Young, and Swift. Th' embroider'd suit at least he deem'd his

prey; That suit an unpaid tailor snatch'd away; No rag, no scrap, of all the beau, or wit, That once so flutter'd, and that once so writ. 120

Heav'n rings with laughter. Of the laughter vain, Dulness, good Queen, repeats the jest again.


Ver. 116. Evans, Young, and Swift.] Some of those persons whose writings, epigrams, or jests he had owned.

P. Dr. Evans was of St. John's College, Oxford ; author of the Apparition, and of an Epistle to Bobart the Botanist, entitled, Vertumnus. He was a man of remarkable wit and vivacity, and many of his repartees were long remembered and repeated at Oxford. The Apparition was a satire on Tindal. Warton.

Ver. 118. an unpaid tailor] This line has been loudly complained of in Mist, June 8, Dedic. to Sawney, and others, as a most inhuman satire on the poverty of poets. But it is thought our author will be acquitted by a jury of tailors. To me this instance seems unluckily chosen ; if it be a satire on any body, it must be on a bad pay-master, since the person to whom they have here applied it was a man of fortune.' Not but poets may well be jealous of so great a prerogative as non-payment; which Mr. Dennis so far asserts, as boldly to pronounce that, “If Homer himself was not in debt, it was because nobody would trust him.” Pref. to Rem. on the Rape of the Lock, p. 15.



Ver. 111. A shapeless shade, &c.]

"Effugit imago
Par levibus ventis, volucrique simillima somno.”

Virg. Æneid. vi. P. Ver. 114. His papers light, fly diverse, toss'd in air;] “ Carmina

turbata volent rapidis ludibria ventis.”
Virg. Æneid. vi. of the Sibyl's leaves. P.


Three wicked imps, of her own Grub-street choir,
She deck'd like Congreve, Addison, and Prior;
Mears, Warner, Wilkins run: delusive thought!
Breval, Bond, Besaleel, the varlets caught.


Ver. 124. like Congrede, Addison, and Prior;] These authors being such whose names will reach posterity, we shall not give any account of them, but proceed to those of whom it is necessary. Besaleel Morris was author of some satires on the translators of Homer, with many other things printed in newspapers.

“Bond writ a satire against Mr. P- Capt. Breval was author of The Confederates, an ingenious dramatic performance to expose Mr. P., Mr. Gay, Dr. Arb., and some ladies of quality," says Curl, Key, p. 11.

P. This is the passage in which our author has mentioned Prior with rather more honor than in any other part of his works. Prior was mortified that Pope did not commend his Solomon so highly as he wished.

Warton. Ver. 125. Mears, Warner, Wilkins,] Booksellers, and printers of much anonymous stuff.

P. Ver. 126. Bredal, Bond, Besaleel,] I foresee it will be objected from this line, that we were in an error in our assertion on ver. 50 of this book, that More was a fictitious name, since these persons are equally represented by the poet as phantoms. So at first sight it may seem; but be not deceived, reader ; these also are not real persons. It is true, Curl declares Breval, a captain, author of a piece called the Confederates; but the same Curl first said it was written by Joseph Gay. Is his second assertion to be credited any more than his first? He likewise affirms Bond to be one who writ a satire on our poet. But where is such a satire to be found? Where was such a writer ever heard of? As for Besaleel, it carries forgery in the very name; nor is it, as the others are, a surname. Thou may'st depend upon it, no such authors ever lived; all phantoms. SCRIBLERUS.

P. Ver. 126. Breval,] See an account of him and his works, and the cause of Pope's resentment, in the List of Dramatic Authors, subjoined to Cibber's Life of himself, 4th edition. Wakefield.


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