« ForrigeFortsett »
And his this Drum, whose hoarse heroic bass
Now thousand tongues are heard in one loud din :
merits ! equal is your din ! But that this well-disputed game may end,
245 Sound forth, my Brayers, and the welkin rend.
As when the long-ear'd milky mothers wait At some fick miser's triple-bolted gate, For their defrauded, absent foals they make A moan so loud, that all the Guild awake ; 250 Sore sighs Sir Gilbert, starting at the bray, From dreams of millions, and three groats to pay : So swells each wind-pipe: Ass intones to Ass, Harmonic twang! of leather, horn, and brass ; Such as from labouring lungs th' Enthusiast blows, 255 High sounds, attemper'd to the vocal nofe;
Ver. 241, 242. added since the first Edition.
REMARKS. Ver. 238. Norton, ] See ver. 417.-J. Durant Breval, Author of a very extraordinary Book of Travels, and Come Poems. See before, Note on ver. 126.
Or such as bellow from the deep Divine;
Ver. 257, 258. This couplet is an addition.
Ver. 258. Webster-and Whitefield] The one the writer of a News-paper called the Weekly Miscellany, the other a Field-preacher. This thought the only means of advancing Religion was by the New-birth of spiritual madness: That by the old death of fire and faggot: And therefore they agreed in this, though in no other earthly thing, to abuse all the sober Clergy. From the small success of these two extraordinary perfons, we may learn how little hurtful Bigotry and Enthusiasm are, while the Civil Magistrate prudently forbears to lend his power to the one, in order to the employing it against the other.
Ver. 263. Long Chancery-lane] The place where the offices of Chancery are kept. The long detention of Clients in that Court, and the difficulty of getting out, is humorously allegorized in these lines.
This labour past, by Bridewell all descend, (As morning-prayers, and Aagellation end)
Ver. 268. Who sings so loudly, and who fings so long.) A just character of Sir Richard Blackmore, knight, who (as Mr. Dryden expresseth it)
“ Writ to the rumbling of his coach's wheels.” and whose indefatigable Mufe produced no less than fix Epic poems : Prince and King Arthur, twenty books; Eliza Alfred twelve ; the Redeemer, fix; besides Job, in folio; the whole Book of Psalms; the Creation, seven books; Nature of Man, three books; and many
It is in this sense he is styled afterwards the everlasting Blackmore. Notwithstanding all which, Mr. Gildon seems assured, “ that this admirable author “ did not think himself upon the same foot with Ho“ mer.” Comp. Art of Poetry, vol. i. p. 108.
But how different is the judgment of the author of Characters of the times? p. 25. who says, “ Sir Ri“ chard Blackmore is unfortunate in happening to mis“ take his proper talents; and that he has not for many “ years been so much as named, or even thought of
among writers.” Even Mr. Dennis differs greatly from his friend Mr. Gildon : « Blackmore's Action “ (faith he) has neither unity, nor integrity, nor mora“ lity, nor universality; and consequently he can have “ no Fable, and no Heroic Poem: His Narration is “ neither probable, delightful, nor wonderful ; his cha“racters have none of the necessary qualifications; the “ things contained in his narration are neither in their « own nature delightful, nor numerous enough, nor “ rightly disposed, nor surprizing, nor pathetic.”-Nay he proceeds to far as to say Sir Richard has no Genius; first laying down, that “Genius is caused by a furious “joy and pride and soul, on the conception of an extraL 4
To where Fleet-ditch with disemboguing streams
“ ordinary Hint. Many men (says he) have their Hints, “ without those motions of fury and pride of foul, be“ cause they want fire enough to agitate their spirits; “ and there we call cold writers. Others who have a
great deal of fire, but have not excellent organs, feel " the fore-mentioned motions, without the extracr“ dinary hints; and these we call fuftian writers. But $6 he declares that Sir Richard had neither the Hints nor “ the Motions." Remarks on Pr. Arth. octavo, 1656. Preface,
This gentieman in his first works abused the character of Mr. Dryden; and in his last, of Mr. Pope, accusing him in very high and sober terms of profaneness and immorality (Essay on Polite Writing, vol. ii. p. 270.) on a mere report from Edm. Curll, that he was author of a Travestie on the first Pfalm. Mr. Dennis took up the same report, but with the addition of what Sir Richard had neglected, an Argument to prove it; which being very curious, we shall here transcribe. « he who burlesqued the Psalms of David. It is ap
parent to me that Psalm was burlesqued by a Popish " rhymester. Let rhyming perfons who have been
brought up Protestants be otherwise what they will, “ let them be rakes, let them be scoundrels, let them “ be Atheiits, yet education has made an invincible im« pression on them in behalf of the facred writings. “ But a Popish rhymester has been brought up with a “ contempt for those facred writings; now thew me * another Popish rhymeiter but he.'
This manner of argumentation is usual with Mr. Dennis; he has employed the same against Sir Richard himself, in a like charge of Impiety and Irreligion. “ All Mr. Blackmore's " celeftial Machines, as they cannot be defended fo
" It was
The King of dykes! than whom no sluice of mud With deeper sable blots the silver ficod. “ Here strip, my children! here at once leap in, 275 “ Here prove who best can dash through thick and thin, " And who the most in love of dirt excel, “ Or dark dexterity of groping well.
“ much as by common received opinion, so are they di“ rectly contrary to the doctrine of the church of Eng“ land; for the visible descent of an Angel must be a 16 miracle. Now it is the doctrine of the Church of “ England that miracles had ceased a long time before « Prince Arthur came into the world. Now if the doc“ trine of the Church of England be true, as we are "S obliged to believe, then are all the celestial machines « in Prince Arthur unsufferable, as wanting not only “ human, but divine probability. But if the machines "s are sufferable, that is, if they have so much as divine "s probability, then it follows of necessity that the doc“ trine of the Church is false. So I leave it to every
impartial Clergyman to consider,” &c. Preface to the Remarks on Prince Arthur.
Ver. 270. (As morning prayer and Aagellation end)] It is between eleven and twelve in the morning, after church service, that the criminals are whipt in Bridewell. -- This is to mark punctually the time of the day: Homer does it by the circumstance of the Judges rising from court, or of the Labourers dinner : our author by one very proper both to the Persons and the Scene of his poem, which we may remeinber commenced in the evening of the Lord mayor's day: The firit hook passed in that night; the next morning the games begin in the Strand, the:ice along Fleet-ftreet (places inhabited by Bookfellers) then they proceed by Bridewell toward Fleet-ditch, and lastly through Ludgate to the City and the Temple of the Goddess,