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ARGUMENT TO BOOK THE THIRD.
AFTER the other persons are disposed in their proper places of
rest, the Goddess transports the King to ber Temple, and tbere lays bim to slumber with bis bead on ber lap: a position of marvellous virtue, wbicb causes all the Visions of wild entbusiasts, projectors, politicians, inamoratos, castle-builders, chymists, and poets. He is immediately carried on the wings of Fancy to the Elyzian sbade, were, on the banks of Lethe, the souls of the dull are dipped by Bavius, before their entrance into this world. There be is met by the gbost of Settle, and by bim made acquainted with the wonders of tbe place, and with those wbich be is bimself destined to perform. He takes bim to a Mount of Vision, from wbence be sbews bim ibe past triumpbs of the eme pire of Dulness, then the present, and lastly the future: bow small a part of the world was ever conquered by Science, bow soon those conguests were stopped, and those very nations again rem duced to ber dominion. Then distinguishing the Island of Great Britain, sbews by wbat aids, and by what persons, it shall be fortbwith brought to ber empire. These be causes to pass in review before bis eyes, describing cacb by bis proper figure, character, and qualifications. On a sudden tbe scene sbifts, and a vast number of miracles and prodigies appear, utterly surprizing and unknown to the King bimself, till they are explained to be the wonders of bis own reign now commencing. On this subject Settle breuks into a congratulation, yet not unmixed with concern, that his own times were but the types of these. He propbecies bow first the nation shall be over-run with Farces, Operas, and Shows; and the tbrone of Dulness advanced over both tbe Tbeatres ; tben bow ber Sons sball preside in the seats of Arts and Sciences, till in conclusion all sball return to their original Chaos : A scene, of which the present action of the Dunciad is but a type or foretaste, giving a glympse, or Pisgah-sight of the promised Fulness of ber Glory; the accomplishment wbereof will, in all probability, bereafter be the theme of many otber and greater Dunciads.
BUT in her temple's last recess inclos'd,
On Dulness' lap th' anointed head repos’d. Him close she curtain'd round with vapours blue, And soft besprinkled with Cimmerian dew. Then raptures high the seat of sense o'erflow, 5 Which only heads refin'd from reason know. Hence, from the straw where Bedlam's prophet nods, He hears loud oracles, and talks with gods : Hence the fool's paradise, the statesman's scheme, The air-built castle, and the golden dream, 10 The maid's romantic wish, the chymist's fame, And poet's vision of eternal fame.
And now, on Fancy's easy wing convey'd, The King descended to th’Elyzian shade. There, in a dusky vale where Lethe rolls, 15 Old Bavius sits, to dip poetic souls, And blunt the sense, and fit it for a skull Of solid proof, impenetrably dull: Instant when dipt, away they wing their flight, Where Brown and Mears unbar the gates of light, VOL. IV.
Demand new bodies, and in calf's array,
Wond'ring he gaz’d: when lo! a sage appears,
Or whirligigs, twirl'd round by skilful swain,,
Ascend this hill, whose cloudy point comprands
Far eastward cast thine eye, from whence the sun And orient science at a birth begun.
66 One god-like monarch all that pride confounds, He, whose long wall the wand'ring Tartar bounds. Heav'ns ! what a pile ? whole ages perish there : And one bright blaze turns learning into air. 70
Thence to the south, extend thy gladden'd eyes ; There rival fames with equal glory rise, From shelves to shelves see greedy Vulcan roll, And lick up all their physic of the soul.
How little, mark! that portion of the ball, 75 Where, faint at best, the beams of science fall; CC 2