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Such, fuch emotions fhould in Britons rise,
How chang'd from him who made the boxes groan,
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 last century, who used to frequent Button's coffee-houfe, 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 defp'rate 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 dafb, &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 diftinguifb'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 thefe 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.
WHEN fimple Macer, now of high renown,
MACER:] Dr. Warton thinks this character was intended for J. Moore Smith; but it seems to me more likely that Phillips, Pope's redoubted rival in Pastoral, was intended. My reasons for thinking fo are, he is elsewhere called lean Phillips,
"Lean Phillips and fat Johnson."
"Macer" certainly alludes to this. He began his literary career with worshipping Steel" and Addifon. He "borrow'd" a play from Voltaire, the Diftreft Mother; "Simplicity," is ap. plied to the "Paftorals," and "Tranflated Suit," to the transla tion of the Perfian Tales:
"And turns a Perfian tale for half-a crown!"
I will give the reader, however, Warton's opinion.
VER. 1. When fimple Macer,] Said to be the character of James Moore Smith, author of the Rival Modes, a comedy, in 1726. He pilfered verses from Pope. He joined in a political paper with the Duke of Wharton, called The Inquifitor, written with such violence against government, that he was foon obliged to drop it. This character was first printed in the Mifcellanies of Swift and Pope 1727, concerning which the following anecdote is tranfcribed from Dr. Birch's manuscripts in the British Museum :
"Auguft 17, 1749. Mr. George Faulkner, of Dublin, told me, that Dr. Swift had long conceived a mean opinion of Mr. Pope, on account of his jealous, peevish, avaricious temper. The Doctor gave Mr. Pope the property of his Gulliver, which he fold the copy of for three hundred pounds; and gave up to him, in 1727, his fhare of the copy of the three volumes of their Mifcellanies, which came to one hundred and fifty pounds. The Doctor was
'Twas all th' Ambition his high foul could feel,
Now he begs Verse, and what he gets commends,
So fome coarse Country Wench, almost decay'd, Trudges to town, and first turns Chambermaid;
angry with Mr. Pope for his fatire upon Mr. Addison, whom the former efteemed as an honeft, generous, and friendly man. Worfdale the painter was employed by Mr. Pope to go to Curl in the habit of a clergyman, and fell him the printed copies of his Letters. Mr. Pope fent to Ireland to Dr. Swift, by Mr. Gerrard, an Irish gentleman, then at Bath, a printed copy of their letters, with an anonymous letter, which occafioned Dr. Swift to give Mr. Faulkner leave to reprint them at Dublin, though Mr. Pope's Edition was published firit."
I would obferve, on this anecdote, that it is not very probable that Swift fhould condemn Pope's Verfes on Addison, as they were firft printed in the Mifcellanies, which publication was their joint work; and the verfes themselves are mentioned in the preface to these Miscellanies. WARTON.
VER. 4. To wear red Stockings,] I remember old Demoivre told me, about fifty years ago, that all he remembered of Corneille was, that he had feen him in red flockings at the theatre.
Aukward and fupple, each devoir to pay ;
In a tranflated Suit, then tries the Town,
And in four months a batter'd Harridan.