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here, to spend their present vigour, and opportunity of this day? Away, let us haste to the generals, and advise to give the onset immediately. Having spoke thus, she took the ugliest of her monsters, full glutted from her spleen, and flung it invisibly into his mouth, which, flying straight up into his head, squeezed out his eye-balls, gave him a distorted look, and half overturned his brain. Then she privately ordered two of her beloved children, Dulness and Ill-Manners, closely to attend his person in all encounters. Having thus accoutred him, she vanished in a mist, and the hero perceived it was the goddess his mother.
The destined hour of fate being now arrived, the fight began; whereof, before I dare adventure to make a particular description, I must, after the example of other authors, petition for a hundred tongues, and mouths, and hands, and pens, which would all be too little to perform so immense a work. Say, goddess, that presidest over history, who it was that first advanced in the field of battle! Paracelsus, at the head of his dragoons, observing Galen in the adverse wing, darted his javelin with a mighty force, which the brave ancient received upon his shield, the point breaking in the second fold.
* Hic pauca
They bore the wounded aga* on their shields to his chariot
* Doctor Harvey. It was not thought proper to name his an. tagonist, but only to intimate that he was wounded : other moderns are spared by the hiatus that follows, probably for similar Tcasons
Then Aristotle, observing Bacon * advance with a furious mien, drew his bow to the head, and let fly his arrow, which missed the valiant modern, and went whizzing over his head; but Des Cartes it hit; the steel point quickly found a defect in his head-piece; it pierced the leather and the pasteboard, and went in at his right eye. The torture of the pain whirled the valiant bowman round, till death, like a star of superior influence, drew him into his own vortex. + Ingens hiatus hic in MS. * *
when Homer appeared at the head of the cavalry, mounted on a furious horse, with difficulty managed by the rider himself, but which no other mortal durst approach; he rode among the enemy's ranks, and bore down all before him. Say, goddess, whom he slew first, and whom he slew last. First, Gondibert I advanced against him, clad in heavy armour, and mounted on a staid, sober gelding, not so famed for his speed as his docility in kneeling, whenever his rider would
* The author, in naming Bacon, does a piece of justice to modern philosophy which Temple had omitted. “I know of no new philosophers that have made entries on that noble stage for fifteen hundred years past, unless Des Cartes and Hobbes should pretend to it; of whom I shall make no critique here, but only say, that, by what appears of learned men's opinions in this age, they have by no means eclipsed the lustre of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, or others of the ancients.”—Essay on Ancient and Modern Learning, -Neither Swift nor Temple mention the discoveries of Newton, though the Principia were published in 1657.
+ Alluding to his absurd system.
1 An heroic poem by Sir William Davenant, in stanzas of four mount or alight. He had made a vow to Pallas, that he would never leave the field till he had spoiled Homer of his armour: madman, who had never once seen the wearer, nor understood his strength! Him Homer overthrew, horse and man, to the ground, there to be trampled and choked in the dirt. Then, with a long spear, he slew Denham, a stout modern, who, from his father's * side, derived his lineage from Apollo, but his mother was of mortal race. He fell, and bit the earth. The celestial part Apollo took, and made it a star; but the terrestrial lay wallowing upon the ground. Then Homer slew Wesley, t with a kick of his horse's heel; he took Perrault by mighty force out of his saddle, then hurled him at Fontenelle, with the same blow dashing out both their brains,
On the left wing of the horse, Virgil appeared in shining armour, completely fitted to his body : he was mounted on a dapple-gray steed, the slowness of whose pace was an effect of the highest mettle and vigour. He cast his eye on the adverse wing, with a desire to find an object worthy of his valour, when, behold, upon a sorrel gelding of a monstrous size, appeared a foe, issuing from among the thickest of the enemy's 'squadrons ; but his speed was less than his noise ; for his horse, old and lean, spent the dregs of his strength in a high trot, which, though it made slow advances, yet caused a loud clashing of his armour, terrible to hear. The two cavaliers had now ap
* Sir John Denham's poems are very unequal, extremely good, and very indifferent; so that his detractors said he was not the real author of Cooper's Hill. See “ Session of the Poets,” in Dryden's Micellanies.
† Mr Wesley, who wrote the Life of Christ, in verse, &c. A wretched scribbler.
proached within the throw of a lance, when the stranger desired a parley, and, lifting up the vizor of his helmet, a face hardly appeared from within, which, after a pause, was known for that of the renowned Dryden. The brave ancient suddenly started, as one possessed with surprise and disappointment together; for the helmet was nine times too large for the head, which appeared situate far in the hinder part, even like the lady in a lobster, or like a mouse under a canopy of state, or like a shrivelled beau, from within the penthouse of a modern periwig; and the voice was suited to the visage, sounding weak and remote. Dryden, in a long harangue, soothed up the good ancient, called him father; and, by a large deduction of genealogies, made it plainly appear, that they were nearly related. * Then he humbly proposed an exchange of armour, as a lasting mark of hospitality between them. Virgil consented, (for the goddess Diffidence came unseen, and cast a mist before his eyes) though his was of gold, † and cost a hundred Þeeves, the other's but of rusty iron. However, this glittering armour became the modern yet worse than his own. Then they agreed to exchange horses ; but, when it came to the trial, Dryden was afraid, and utterly unable to mount..
* '* * . · * ..
Alter hiatu, in MS. '
Lucan appeared upon a fiery horse of admirable
* Alluding to the Preliminary Dissertations in Dryden's Vir
+ Vid. Homer.
shape, but head-strong, bearing the rider where he list over the field; he made a mighty slaughter among the enemy's horse; which destruction to stop, Blackinore, a famous modern, (but one of the mercenaries) strenuously opposed himself, and darted his javelin with a strong hand, which, falling short of its mark, struck deep in the earth. Then Lucan threw a lance; but Æsculapius came unseen, and turned off the point. Brave modern, said Lucan, I perceive some god protects you, * for never did my arm so deceive me before ; but what mortal can contend with a god? Therefore, let us fight no longer, but present gifts to each other. Lucan then bestowed the modern a pair of spurs, and Blackmore gave Lucan a bridle.
Creech: but the goddess Dulness took a cloud, formed into the shape of Horace, armed and mounted, and placed in a flying posture before him. Glad was the cavalier to begin a combat with a flying foe, and pursued the image, threatening loud ; till at last it led him to the peaceful bower of his father, Ogleby, by whom he was disarmed, and assigned to his repose.
Then Pindar slew -, and , Oldham, and , and Afra † the Amazon, light of foot; never ad
* His skill as a physician atoned for his dulness as a poet.
+ The respect with which Swift treats Blackmore, in comparison to his usage of Dryden, shows as plainly, as his own Odes to the Athenian Society, that he was at this period iucapable of esti; mating the higher kinds of poetry.
| Mrs Afra Behn, author of many plays, novels, and poems.