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By the AUTHOR
WHEREAS certain Haberdashers of Points and Particles, being instigated by the spirit of Pride, and alsuming to themselves the name of Critics and Restorers, have taken upon them to adulterate the common and curzent sense of our Glorious Ancestors, Puets of this Realm, by clipping, coining, defacing the images, miring their ow it base allay, 02 otherwise fallifying the same ; which they publish, utter, and vend as genuine: The said Haberdashers having no right thereto, as neither heirs, erecutops, adininiftratops, alligng, or in any fort related to such poets, to all or any of them: Now We, having carefully reviled this our Dunciad, * beginning with the words
* Read thus confidently, instead of “ beginning with the word “ Books, and ending with the word flies," as formerly it stood; Read also, “ containing the entire sum of one thousand, seven " bundred, and fifty-fix verses," instead of “ one thousand and
The Mighty Mother, and ending with the words buries All, containing the entire suin of One thousand seven hundred and fifty-four verses, declare evezy word, figure, point, and comma of this imprellion to be authentic: And do týcrefore (trixly enjoin and fożbid any person of persons whatsoever,, to erase, reverse, put between hooks, op by any other means, direxly or indirexly, change oz mangle any of thein. And we do hereby earnestly erhozt all out bjethren to follow this our example, which we heartily wish our great predecessops had heretofore let, as a remedy and prevention of all such abuses. Provided always, that nothing in this Declaration shall be construed to liinit the lawful and undoubted right of every lubject of this Realm,,to jildge, censure, or condemn, in the lumore. or in part, any Poem 02 Poet whatsoever.
Given under our hand at London, this third day
of January, in the year of our Lord One thousand, seven hundred, thirty and two.
Declarat' cor' me, JOHN BARBER, Mayor.
“ twelve lines;” such being the initial" and final words, and such the true and entire contents, of this poem.
Thou art to know, Reader! that the first Edition thereof, like that of Milton,' was never seen by the Author, (though living and not blind :) The Editor himself confessed as much in his Preface: And no two poems were ever published in so arbitrary a manner. The Editor of this, had as boldly suppressed whole Passages, yea the entire last book, as the Editor of Faradise lost, added and augmented. Milton himself gave. but ten books, his Editor twelve; this Author gave four books, his Editor only three. But we have happily done justice to
and presume we shall live, in this our last labour, as long, as in any
A P P E N D I X.
Prefixed to the five first imperfect Editions of the
DUNC I A D, in three Books, printed at DUBLIN and LONDON, in octavo and duodecimo, 1727
The PUBLISHER *
to the READER.
T will be found a true observation, tho' somewhat
surprizing, that when any scandal is vented against a man of the highest distinction and character, either in the state or in literature, the public in general afford it a most quiet reception ; and the larger part accept it as favourably as if it were fome kindness done to
* The Publisher] Who he was is uncertain ; but Edward Ward tells us, in his preface to Durgen, “ that most judges are " of opinion this pri face is not of English extraction, but
Hibernian,” 6c. He means it was written by Dr. Swift, who, whether publisher or not, may be said in a fort to be author of the poem For when bie, together with Mr. Pope (for reasons specified in the preface to their Miscellanies) determined to own the most triling pieces in which they had any hand, and to destroy all that remained in their power ;
the firft sketch of this poem was snatched from the fire by Dr. Swift, who persuaded his friend to proceed in it, and to him it was therefore inscribed. But the occasion of printing it was as follows:
themselves : whereas if a known scoundrel or blockhead but chance to be touched upon, a whole legion is up
and it becomes the common cause of all fcriblers, booksellers, and printers whatsoever.
Not to search too deeply into the reason hereof, I will only observe as a fact, that every week for thele two months past, the town has been perfecuted with † pamphlets, advertisements, letters, and weekly
There was published in those Miscellanies, a Treatise of the Bathos, or Art of Sinking in Poetry, in which was a chapter, where the species of bad writers were ranged in classes, and initial letters of names prefixed, for the most part at random. But such was the Number of Poets eminent in that art, that some one or other took every letter to himself. All fell into so violent a fury, that for half a year, or more, the common News papers (in most of which they had fome property, as being hired writers) were filled with the most abusive falsehoods and scurrilities they could possibly devise; a liberty no ways to be wondered at in the people, and in those papers, that, for many years, during the uncontrolled Licence of the press, had aspersed almost all the great characters of the age ; and this with impunity, their own persons and names being utterly secret and obscure. This gave Mr. Pope the thought, that he had now some opportunity of doing good. by detecting and dragoing into light thefe common Enemies of mankind; since, to invalidate this universal Nander, it sufficed so thew what contemp ible men were the authors of it. He was not without hopes, that, by manifesting the dulness of those who had only malice to recommend them; either the booksellers would not find their account in employing !hem, or the men themselves, when discovered, want courage to proceed in so uriawful an occupation. This it was that gave birth to the Dunciad; and he thought it an happin ss, that, hy the late Aood of slander on himself, he had a quired such a peculiar right over their Names as was necessary to bis definn. † pamphlets, advertisements
, &c.} See the List of those ano. nymous paprs, with their dates and authors, annexed, inserted before the Poem.
effays, not only against the wit and writings, but against the character and person of Mr Pope. And that of all those men who have received pleasure from his works, which by modest computation may be about a I hundred thousand in these kingdoms of England and Ireland ; (not to mention Jersey, Guernsey, the Orcades, those in the new world, and foreigners who have translated him into their languages); of all this number not a man hath stood up to say one word in his defence.
The only exception is, the || author of the following poem, who doubtless had either a better insight into the grounds of this clamour, or a better opinion of Mr Pope's integrity, join'd with a greater personal love for him, than any other of his numerous friends and admirers.
Farther, that he was in his peculiar intimacy, appears from the knowledge he manifests of the most
#about a hundred thousand] It is surprising with what stupidity this preface, which is almost a continued irony, was taken by those authors. All such passages as these were understood by Curl, Cook, Cibber, and others, to be serious. Hear the Lau. teate (Letter to Mr Pope, p 9.) “ Tho' I grant the Dunciad a “ better piem of its kind than ever was writ; yet, when I read " it with those vain glorious incumbrances of Notes and Re" marks upon it, &c. -it is amazing, that you, who have writ “ with such malterly spirit upon the ruling Palliin, lhould be fo “ blind a Nave to your own, as not to see how far a low avarice * of Praise," bc. (taking it for granted that the notes of Scribe lerus and others, were the author's own.)
# The author of the following poem, &c.} A very plain irony, fpeaking of Mr. Pope bimself.