In eldest time, e’er mortals writ or read, E’re Pallas issu’d from the Thund’rer’s head, Dulness o’er all possess’d her antient right, Daughter of Chaos and eternal Night: Fate in their dotage this fair ideot gave, Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave, Laborious, heavy, busy, bold, and blind, She rul’d in native Anarchy, the mind. Still her old empire to confirm, she tries, For born a Goddess, Dulness never dies. O thou, whatever Title please thine ear, Dean, Drapier, Bickerstaff, or Gulliver! Whether thou chuse Cervantes’ serious air, Or laugh and shake in Rab’lais easy Chair, Or praise the Court, or magnify Mankind, Or thy griev’d Country’s copper chains unbind; From thy Baeotia tho’ Her Pow’r retires, Grieve not, my Swift! at ought our realm acquires:


V. 10. Daughter of Chaos, &c.] The beauty of this whole Allegory being purely of the Poetical kind, we think it not our proper business as a Scholiast to meddle with it; but leave it (as we shall in general all such) to the reader: remarking only, that Chaos (according to Hesiod’s ) was the Progenitor of all the Gods. Scribl.

V. 21. Or praise the Court, or magnify Mankind.] Ironicè, alluding to Gulliver’s representations of both — The next line relates to the papers of the Drapier against the currency of Wood’s Copper Coin in Ireland, which upon the great discontent of the people, his Majesty was graciously pleased to recal.

V. 23. From thy Baeotia.] Baeotia of old lay un­der the raillery of the neighbouring Wits, as Ireland does now; tho’ each of those nations produced one

Here pleas’d behold her mighty wings out-spread, To hatch a new Saturnian age, of Lead. Where wave the tatter’d ensigns of Rag-Fair, A yawning ruin hangs and nods in air;


of the greatest Wits, and greatest Generals, of their age.

V. 24. Grieve not, my Swift! at ought our realm ac­quires.] Ironicè iterum. The Politicks of England and Ireland were at this time by some thought to be opposite, or interfering with each other: Dr. Swift of course was of the interest of the latter, our Author of the former.

V. 26. A new Saturnian Age, of Lead.] The an­cient golden Age is by Poets stiled Saturnian; but in the chymical language, Saturn is Lead.

V. 27. Where wave the tatter’d Ensigns of Rag-Fair.] Rag-Fair is a place near the Tower of London, where old cloaths and frippery are sold.

V. 28, 31. A yawning ruin hangs and nods in air.— Here in one Bed two shiv’ring Sisters lie, The Cave of Poverty and Poetry.]

Hear upon this place the forecited Critick on the Dun­ciad. These lines (saith he) have no construction, or are nonsense. The two shivering Sisters must be the sister caves of Poverty and Poetry, or the bed and cave of Poverty and Poetry must be the same, (questionless, if they lie in one bed) and the two Sisters the lord knows who? O the Construc­tion of grammatical heads! Virgil writeth thus: Aen. 1.

Fronte sub adversa scopulis pendentibus antrum: Intus aquae dulces, vivoq; sedilia saxo; Nympharum domus.――――

May we not say in like manner, The Nymphs must be the waters and the stones, or the waters and the stones must be the houses of the Nymphs? In­sulse! The second line, Intus aquae, &c. is in a pa­renthesis (as are the two lines of our Author, Keen