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tions of Hearne, was very undeserved. In book iv. the Genius of the schools is made to declare, v. 148, that,
Words are man's province; words we teach alone ;
Surely our author, when he passed this censure, was ill-informed of what was taught and expected in our great schools ; namely, besides reading, interpreting, and translating the best poets, orators, and historians, of the best ages, to be able to compose essays, declamations, and verses, in
, Greek, in Latin, and in English ; and in some of these schools, to write critical remarks on Homer, Sophocles, Demosthenes, Aristotle's Poetics, or Longinus ; an exercise not of the memory, but judgment. And as to plying the memory, and loading the brain, (see verse 157,) it was the opinion of Milton, and is a practice in our great seminaries, * that if passages from the heroic B b 4
* What is said on this subject by Quintilian, b. i. and ii. is as much superior to Locke's Treatise on Education, in strength of reasoning, as it is in elegance of style.
poems, orations, and tragedies, of the ancients, were solemnly pronounced, with right accent and grace, as might be taught, (and is,) they would endue the scholars even with the spirit and vigour of Demosthenes or Cicero, Euripides or Sophocles.” The illustrious names of Wyndham, Talbot, Murray, and Pulteney, which our author himself immediately adds, and which catalogue might be much enlarged, with the names of many great statesmen, lawyers, and divines, are a strong confutation of this opprobrious opinion. In book iv. v. 210, is just such another breach of truth and decorum as was remarked above, in making Aristarchus (Bentley) abuse himself, and laugh at his own labours :
Thy mighty scholiast, whose unweary'd pains
Lastly, in this 4th book, the sudden appearance of Annius, v. 347, of Mummius, 371, and of a gloomy clerk, v. 459, make this part of the poem obscure, as we know not who these personages are, nor whence they came.
After all, the chief fault of the Dunciad is the * violence and vehemence of its satire, and the excessive heighth to which it is carried; and which, therefore, I have heard compared to that marvellous
* Which sour the temper of the reader; insomuch that I know a person, whose name would be an ornament to these papers,
if I was suffered to insert it, who, after reading a book of the Dunciad, always sooths himself, as he calls it, by turning to a canto in the Faery Queen. This is not the case in that very delightful and beautiful poem, Mac Flecnoe, from which Pope has borrowed so many hints, and images, and ideas. But Dryden's poem was the offspring of contempt, and Pope's of indignation : one is full of mirth, and the other of malignity. A vein of pleasantry is uniformly preserved through the whole of Mac Flecnoe, and the piece begins and ends in the same key. It is natural and obvious to borrow a metaphor from music, when we are speaking of a poem whose versification is particularly and exquisitely sweet and harmonious. The numbers of the Dunciad, by being much laboured, and encumbered with epithets, have something in them of stiffness and harshness. Since the total decay of learning and genius was foretold in the Dunciad, how many very excellent pieces of Criticism, Poetry, History, Philosophy, and Divinity, have appeared in this country! and to what a degree of perfection has almost every art, either useful or elegant, been carried !
column of boiling water, near mount Hecla, thrown upwards, above ninety feet, by the force of a subterraneous fire.*
* It is in a valley in Iceland, about sixty miles from the sea; it is called the fountain of Geiser. Sir Joseph Banks, our great philosophical traveller, had the satisfaction of seeing this wonderful phænomenon,
SECTION XIV. AND LAST.
OF SOME IMITATIONS OF HORACE, THE
MISCELLANIES, EPITAPHS, AND
THE seventh epistle of the first book of Horace, and the sixth satire of the second, are here imitated in a style and manner different from the former imitations, in the burlesque and colloquial style and measure of Swift ;* in which our au
* The following is written in the first leaf of a copy of Stevens's Herodotus, now in the library of Winchester College, in Swift's own hand-writing, and is a literary curiosity, being a specimen of his Latin.--" Judicium de Herodoto post longum tempus relecto. Ctesias mendacissimus Herodotum mendaciorum arguit, exceptis paucissimis, (ut mea fert sententia,) omni modo excusandum. Cæterum diverticulis abundans hic pater historicorum, filum narrationis ad tædium abrumpit. Unde oritur (ut par est) legentibus confusio, et exinde oblivio. Quin et forsan ipsæ narrationes, circumstantiis nimium pro re scatent. Quod ad cætera, hunc scriptorem inter apprimè laudandos censeo, neque Græcis neque barbaris plus æquo faventem aut