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that the subject of this fourth book was foreign and heterogeneous; and the addition of it as injudicious, ill-placed, and incongruous, as any of those dissimilar images we meet with in Pulci or Ariosto. It is like introducing a crucifix into one of Teniers's burlesque conversation-pieces. Some of his most splendid and striking lines are, indeed, here to be found ; but I must beg leave to insist that they want propriety and decorum;
and must wish they had adorned some separate work against irreligion, which would have been wor
of our bitter and immortal satirist.
But neither was this the only alteration the Dunciad was destined to undergo. For in the year 1743, our author, enraged with Cibber, (whom he had usually treated with contempt ever since the affair of Three Hours after Marriage,) for publishing a ridiculous pamphlet against him, dethroned Tibbald, and made the Laureate the hero of his poem. Cibber, with a great stock of levity, vanity, and affectation, had sense, and wit, and humour; and the author of the Careless Husband was by no means a proper king of the dunces.
** His Treatise on the Stage
(says Mr. Walpole) is inimitable. Where an author writes on his own profession, feels it profoundly, and is sensible his readers do not, he is not only excusable, but meritorious, for illuminating the subject by new metaphors, or bolder figures than ordinary. He is the coxcomb that sneers, not he that instructs by appropriated diction.” The consequence of this alteration was, that many lines, which exactly suited the heavy character of Tibbald, lost all their grace
propriety when applied * to Cibber. Such as,
Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound !
Such also is the description of his gothic library; for Cibber troubled not himself with Carton, Wynkyn, and De Lyra. Tibbald, who was an anBb 2
* 'Tis dangerous to disoblige a great poet or painter. Dante placed his master Brunetto in his Inferno. Brunetto was a man of sense and learning, and wrote an abridgment of Aristotle's Ethics. It is remarkable that he used to say, the French language will, one day, become the most universal and common of all the languages in Europe. And Michael Angelo placed the Pope's master of the ceremonies, Biaggio, in hell, in his Last Judgment.
tiquarian, had collected these curious old writers. And to slumber in the Goddess's lap, was adapted to his stupidity, not to the vivacity of his suc
If we now descend from these remarks on the general design and constitution of the Dunciad, to particular passages, the following must be mentioned as highly finished, and worked up with peculiar elegance and force. In book i. the Chaos of Absurd Writings, v. 55, to v. 78. In book ii. v. 35, the Phantom of a Poet, to v. 50. The Description of the Tapestry, v. 143, to v. 156. The Adventures of Smedley, and what he saw in the shades below, v. 331, to v. 350. The Effects .of hearing two dull Authors read, v. 387, to the end of that book. In book iïi. the Ghost of Settle, v. 35, to v. 66. View of Learning, v. 83, to v. 102. The Description of Pantomimes, Farces, and their monstrous Absurdities, v. 235, to v. 264. In book iv. v. 1, to v. 16. The Modern Traveller, v. 295, to v. 330. The Florist, v. 403, to v. 420. The Butterfly-hunter, v: 421, to v. 436. The Effects of the Yawn, from v. 627, to the end. The fre
quent * parodies introduced on Homer, Virgil, Milton, and other great poets, than which nothing has a stronger effect in heroi-comic poems, are made with singular pleasantry, happiness, and judgment.
But just criticism calls on us also to point out some of those passages that appear exceptionable in the Dunciad. Such, in book i. v. 163, is the hero's first speech ; in which, contrary to all decorum and probability, he addresses the Goddess Dulness, without disguising her, as a despicable being; and even calls himself fool and blockhead:
* Many of the ancients were fond of parodies. It is well known how many Aristophanes has given us on Euripides, and other tragedians. Athenæus, in the 9th book of his Deipnos. p. 406, informs us, that Chamæleon of Pontus said, that Hegemon was the first author very famous for parodies. He was called, Jann, (Lenticula.) He was also an excellent actor ; and the Athenians were so fond of him, that one day, when news was brought of their defeat in Sicily, they would not quit the theatre, but insisted that Hegemon should finish the piece. He was a great favourite of Alcibiades; of whom, and Hegemon, Athenæus relates a story worth the reader's perusal, p. 407. edit. Casaubon. Lugduni, 1612. There are some excellent parodies in the Rehearsal, in Bramston's Art of Politics, in the Scribleriad, and the works of Fielding.'
Me emptiness and dulness could inspire,
For a person to be introduced, speaking thus of himself, is in truth outrageously unnatural, and out of character.
At v. 300, in this book, also, is a stroke of profaneness that cannot pass unblamed :
Lift up your gates, ye princes, see him come!
So also, book iii. v. 126, (and book iv. v. 562,)
Dove-like, she gathers to her wings again.
And in the arguments he talks of giving a Pisgahsight of the future fulness of her glory, and of sending priests and comforters. In book ii. the filthiness of the images, v. 93, and v. 160, is extremely offensive and disgusting. In book iii. the ridicule on the useful and curious publica