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Of Mifs Meadows, mentioned in this little jeu d'efprit, I find the following notice in a MS. poem of Lord Melcomb, the celebrated Bubb Dodington:
As chafte as "Hervey or Mifs Meadows!"
AMONG these smaller poems of our Author, the following couplet was expofed, on a dog's collar, which he gave to the Prince of Wales:
"I am his Highness's dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, Sir, whofe dog are you?"
which was taken from Sir William Temple's Mifcellanies, vol. iii. p. 323. faid to be the answer of Mr. Grantham's Fool to one who afked him whofe fool he was, WARTON.
OCCASIONED BY SOME VERSES OF HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
Let Dennis write, and nameless numbers rail:
VER. 2. Buckingham commends,] It would be difficult to add any thing to the finished portrait of this nobleman, given by Mr. Walpole in his Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 118. WARTON.
VER. 5 and 6. This more] A very groundless complaint! Few authors, during their lives, were more respected and revered than himself by perfons of rank and judges of merit. WARTON.
BY MR. POPE,
To a Play for Mr. DENNIS's Benefit in 1733, when he was old, blind, and in great Diftrefs, a little before his Death.
VER. 6. But pitied Belifarius, &c.] Nothing could be more happily imagined than this allufion, nor more finely conducted. The continued pleafantry is fo delicately touched, that it took nothing from the self-fatisfaction which the critic who heard it, had in his own merit, or the audience in their charity. In a word, this benevolent irony is profecuted with fo masterly a hand, that the Poet fuppofed, had Dennis himself the wit to fee it, he would have had the ingenuity to approve of it.
"This dreaded Sat'rift, Dennis will confefs,
VER. 7. Was there a Chief, &c.] The fine figure of the Commander in that capital picture of Belifarius at Chifwick, fupplied the Poet with this beautiful idea.
Such, fuch emotions fhould in Britons rise,
If there's a Senior, who contemns this age;
VBR. 12. Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns ;] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B. I.
An old gentleman of the laft century, who used to frequent Button's coffee-house, told me they had many pleasant scenes of Dennis's indignation and refentment, when Steele and Rowe, in particular, teized him with a pun. WARTON. VER. 13. A defprate Bulwark, &c.] Alluding to his hatred of rhime. WARTON.
VER. 16 And book the Stage with Thunders all his own!] See Dunciad, Note on v. 226. B. II.
VER. 17. Stood up to dab, &c.] See Dunciad, Note on v. 173. B. III.
VER. 18. Maul the French Tyrant,-] See Dunciad, Note on V. 413. B. II.
Ibid. or pull down the POPE!] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B. I.
VER. 21. If there's a Critic of diftinguish'd rage;] See Dunciad, Notes on v.106. B. I.
Let him to-night his just affistance lend,
And be the Critic's, Briton's, Old Man's Friend.
Dr. WARTON thinks that much "bitter fatire is concealed under these topics of commiferation." If farcafms were intended upon fuch an occafion, they were as ill-timed as they were cruel. I perceive nothing bitter, but a good humoured fmile, on poor Dennis's favourite topics. Hard, indeed, must be the heart, that could ftrike a blow at a fallen enemy, difarmed and poor, under the fhew of pity and generofity. I dare fay, the old man heard the Prologue, not only with complacency but with delight. It is added, that Mallet and Thomson interested themselves much in procuring him a good benefit.