Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II
Alexander Pope

Part 8 out of 8

procure others to be made in their stead,' by which it should seem
(whatever may be pretended) that Mummius was no virtuoso.-P. W.

[422] 'Cheops:' a king of Egypt, whose body was certainly to be known,
as being buried alone in his pyramid, and is therefore more genuine than
any of the Cleopatras. This royal mummy, being stolen by a wild Arab,
was purchased by the consul of Alexandria, and transmitted to the Museum
of Mummius; for proof of which he brings a passage in Sandys's Travels,
where that accurate and learned voyager assures us that he saw the
sepulchre empty, which agrees exactly (saith he) with the time of the
theft above mentioned. But he omits to observe that Herodotus tells the
same thing of it in his time.--P. W.

[423] 'Speak'st thou of Syrian princes:' the strange story following,
which may be taken for a fiction of the poet, is justified by a true
relation in Spon's Voyages. Vaillant (who wrote the History of the
Syrian Kings as it is to be found on medals) coming from the Levant,
where he had been collecting various coins, and being pursued by a
corsair of Sallee, swallowed down twenty gold medals. A sudden bourasque
freed him from the rover, and he got to land with them in his belly. On
his road to Avignon, he met two physicians, of whom he demanded
assistance. One advised purgations, the other vomits. In this
uncertainty he took neither, but pursued his way to Lyons, where he
found his ancient friend, the famous physician and antiquary Dufour, to
whom he related his adventure. Dufour first asked him whether the medals
were of the higher empire? He assured him they were. Dufour was ravished
with the hope of possessing such a treasure--he bargained with him on
the spot for the most curious of them, and was to recover them at his
own expense.--P. W.

[424] 'Witness, great Ammon:' Jupiter Ammon is called to witness, as the
father of Alexander, to whom those kings succeeded in the division of
the Macedonian Empire, and whose horns they wore on their medals.--P. W.

[425] 'Douglas:' a physician of great learning and no less taste; above
all, curious in what related to Horace, of whom he collected every
edition, translation, and comment, to the number of several hundred
volumes.--P. W.

[426] 'And named it Caroline:' it is a compliment which the florists
usually pay to princes and great persons, to give their names to the
most curious flowers of their raising. Some have been very jealous of
vindicating this honour, but none more than that ambitions gardener, at
Hammersmith, who caused his favourite to be painted on his sign, with
this inscription--'This is _my_ Queen Caroline.'--P. W.

[427] 'Moss:' of which the naturalists count I can't tell how many
hundred species.--P. W.

[428] 'Wilkins' wings:' one of the first projectors of the Royal
Society, who, among many enlarged and useful notions, entertained the
extravagant hope of a possibility to fly to the moon; which has put some
volatile geniuses upon making wings for that purpose.--P. W.

[429] 'Moral evidence:' alluding to a ridiculous and absurd way of some
mathematicians in calculating the gradual decay of moral evidence by
mathematical proportions; according to which calculation, in about fifty
years it will be no longer probable that Julius Caesar was in Gaul, or
died in the senate-house.--P. W.

[430] 'The high priori road:' those who, from the effects in this
visible world, deduce the eternal power and Godhead of the First Cause,
though they cannot attain to an adequate idea of the Deity, yet discover
so much of him as enables them to see the end of their creation, and the
means of their happiness; whereas they who take this high priori road
(such as Hobbes, Spinoza, Descartes, and some better reasoners) for one
that goes right, ten lose themselves in mists, or ramble after visions,
which deprive them of all right of their end, and mislead them in the
choice of the means.--P. W.

[431] 'Make Nature still:' this relates to such as, being ashamed to
assert a mere mechanic cause, and yet unwilling to forsake it entirely,
have had recourse to a certain plastic nature, elastic fluid, subtile
matter, &c.--P. W.


'Thrust some mechanic cause into his place,
Or bind in matter, or diffuse in space:'

The first of these follies is that of Descartes; the second, of Hobbes;
the third, of some succeeding philosophers.--P. W.

[433] 'Bright image:' bright image was the title given by the later
Platonists to that vision of nature which they had formed out of their
own fancy, so bright that they called it [Greek: Autopton Agalma], or
the self-seen image, i. e., seen by its own light. This _ignis fatuus_
has in these our times appeared again in the north; and the writings of
Hutcheson, Geddes, and their followers, are full of its wonders. For in
this _lux borealis_, this self-seen image, these second-sighted
philosophers see everything else.--Scribl. W. Let it be either the
Chance god of Epicurus, or the Fate of this goddess.--W.

[434] 'Theocles:' thus this philosopher calls upon his friend, to
partake with him in these visions:

'To-morrow, when the eastern sun
With his first beams adorns the front
Of yonder hill, if you're content
To wander with me in the woods you see,
We will pursue those loves of ours,
By favour of the sylvan nymphs:

and invoking, first, the genius of the place, we'll try to obtain at
least some faint and distant view of the sovereign genius and first
beauty.' Charact. vol. ii. p. 245.--P. W.

[435] 'Society adores:' see the Pantheisticon, with its liturgy and
rubrics, composed by Toland.--W.

[436] 'Silenus:' Silenus was an Epicurean philosopher, as appears from
Virgil, Eclog. vi., where he sings the principles of that philosophy in
his drink. He is meant for one Thomas Gordon.--P. W.

[437] 'First, slave to words:' a recapitulation of the whole course of
modern education described in this book, which confines youth to the
study of words only in schools, subjects them to the authority of
systems in the universities, and deludes them with the names of party
distinctions in the world,--all equally concurring to narrow the
understanding, and establish slavery and error in literature,
philosophy, and politics. The whole finished in modern free-thinking;
the completion of whatever is vain, wrong, and destructive to the
happiness of mankind, as it establishes self-love for the sole principle
of action.--P. W.

[438] 'Smiled on by a queen:' i.e. this queen or goddess of Dulness.--P.

[439] 'Mr Philip Wharton, who died abroad and outlawed in 1791.

[440] 'Nothing left but homage to a king:' so strange as this must seem
to a mere English reader, the famous Mons. de la Bruyère declares it to
be the character of every good subject in a monarchy; 'where,' says he,
'there is no such thing as love of our country; the interest, the glory,
and service of the prince, supply its place.'--De la République, chap.

[441] 'The balm of Dulness:' the true balm of Dulness, called by the
Greek physicians [Greek: Kolakeia], is a sovereign remedy against
inanity, and has its poetic name from the goddess herself. Its ancient
dispensators were her poets; and for that reason our author, book ii. v.
207, calls it the poet's healing balm; but it is now got into as many
hands as Goddard's Drops or Daffy's Elixir.--W.

[442] 'The board with specious miracles he loads:' these were only the
miracles of French cookery, and particularly pigeons _en crapeau_ were a
common dish.--P. W.

[443] '_Séve_ and _verdeur_:' French terms relating to wines, which
signify their flavour and poignancy.--P. W.

[444] 'Bladen--Hays:' names of gamesters. Bladen is a black man. Robert
Knight, cashier of the South Sea Company, who fled from England in 1720
(afterwards pardoned in 1742). These lived with the utmost magnificence
at Paris, and kept open tables frequented by persons of the first
quality of England, and even by princes of the blood of France.--P. W.
The former note of 'Bladen is a black man,' is very absurd. The
manuscript here is partly obliterated, and doubtless could only have
been, Wash blackmoors white, alluding to a known proverb.--Scribl. P. W.
Bladen was uncle to Collins the poet. See our edition of 'Collins.'

[445] 'Gregorian, Gormogon:' a sort of lay-brothers, slips from the root
of the freemasons.--P. W.

[446] 'Arachne's subtile line:' this is one of the most ingenious
employments assigned, and therefore recommended only to peers of
learning. Of weaving stockings of the webs of spiders, see the Phil.
Trans.--P. W.

[447] 'Sergeant call:' alluding perhaps to that ancient and solemn
dance, entitled, A Call of Sergeants.--P. W.

[448] 'Teach kings to fiddle:' an ancient amusement of sovereign
princes, viz. Achilles, Alexander, Nero; though despised by
Themistocles, who was a republican. 'Make senates dance:' either after
their prince, or to Pontoise, or Siberia.--P. W.

[449] 'Gilbert:' Archbishop of York, who had attacked Dr King, of
Oxford, a friend of Pope's.

[450] Verses 615-618 were written many years ago, and may be found in
the state poems of that time. So that Scriblerus is mistaken, or whoever
else have imagined this poem of a fresher date.--P. W.

[451] 'Truth to her old cavern fled:' alluding to the saying of
Democritus, that Truth lay at the bottom of a deep well, from whence he
had drawn her; though Butler says, he first put her in, before he drew
her out.--W.

[452] 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 hundred and fifty-four
verses,' instead of 'one thousand and 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 Paradise 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 both; and presume we
shall live, in this our last labour, as long as in any of our

[453] Milbourn on Dryden's Virgil, 8vo, 1698, p. 6.

[454] Ibid. p. 38.

[455] Ibid. p. 192.

[456] Ibid. p. 8.

[457] Whip and Key, 4to, printed for R. Janeway, 1682, preface.

[458] Ibid.

[459] Milbourn, p. 9.

[460] Ibid. p. 176.

[461] Ibid. p. 39.

[462] Whip and Key, preface.

[463] Oldmixon, Essay on Criticism, p. 84.

[464] Milbourn, p. 2.

[465] Ibid. p. 35.

[466] Ibid. pp. 22, 192.

[467] Ibid. p. 72.

[468] Ibid. p. 203.

[469] Ibid, p. 78.

[470] Ibid, p. 206.

[471] Ibid. p. 19.

[472] Ibid. p. 144, 190.

[473] Ibid. p. 67.

[474] Milbourn, p. 192.

[475] Ibid. p. 125.

[476] Whip and Key, preface.

[477] Milbourn, p. 105.

[478] Ibid. p. 11.

[479] Ibid. p. 176.

[480] Ibid. p. 57.

[481] Whip and Key, preface.

[482] Milbourn, p. 34.

[483] Ibid. p. 35.

[484] Dennis's Remarks on the Rape of the Lock, preface, p. xii.

[485] Dunciad Dissected.

[486] Preface to Gulliveriana.

[487] Dennis, Character of Mr P.

[488] Theobald, Letter in Mist's Journal, June 22, 1728.

[489] List at the end of a Collection of Verses, Letters,
Advertisements, 8vo, printed for A. Moore, 1728, and the preface to it,
p. 6.

[490] Dennis's Remarks on Homer, p. 27.

[491] Preface to Gulliveriana, p. 11.

[492] Dedication to the Collection of Verses, Letters, &c., p. 9.

[493] Mist's Journal of June 8, 1728.

[494] Character of Mr P. and Dennis on Homer.

[495] Dennis's Remarks on Pope's Homer, p. 12.

[496] Ibid. p. 14.

[497] Character of Mr P., p. 17, and Remarks on Homer, p. 91.

[498] Dennis's Remarks on Homer, p. 12.

[499] Daily Journal, April 23, 1728.

[500] Supplement to the Profund, preface.

[501] Oldmixon, Essay on Criticism, p. 66.

[502] Dennis's Remarks, p. 28.

[503] Homerides, p. 1, &c.

[504] British Journal, Nov. 25, 1727.

[505] Dennis, Daily Journal, May 11, 1728.

[506] Dennis, Remarks on Homer, Preface.

[507] Dennis's Remarks on the Rape of the Lock, preface, p. 9.

[508] Character of Mr P., p. 3.

[509] Ibid.

[510] Dennis, Remarks on Homer, p. 37.

[511] Ibid, p. 8.



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