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_Introduction by_



George Robert Guffey, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Earl Miner, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Robert Vosper, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_
James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_
Ralph Cohen, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_
Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_
Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_
Everett T. Moore, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Lawrence Clark Powell, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_
James Sutherland, _University College, London_
H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_


Edna C. Davis, _William Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


Though they are never particularly edifying, literary quarrels may at
times be educative. Always savage, attacks on Pope reached their lowest
depths of scurrility in 1742, when, in addition to the usual prose and
doggerel verse pamphlets, engravings were being circulated portraying Pope
in a brothel - this on the basis of the story told in the notorious _Letter
from Mr. Cibber to Mr. Pope_, dated 7 July 1742.[1] The Augustan Reprint
Society has already reissued three of the anonymous Grub Street attacks
made upon Pope in this busy year,[2] but the present volume is intended to
complete the picture of the battle-lines by reprinting a verse attack
launched from the court - by Hervey presenting himself as Cibber's
ally - and a verse defence that comes, in point of artistry, clearly from
or near Grub Street itself.

Lord Hervey's verses, _The Difference between Verbal and Practical
Virtue_, were published between 21 and 24 August 1742, less than a week
after the same author's prose pamphlet (_A Letter to Mr. C - b - r, On his
Letter to Mr. P - - ._) which had compared the art of Pope and Cibber to
Cibber's advantage, and had roundly concluded that Pope was "_a
second-rate Poet_, a _bad Companion_, a _dangerous Acquaintance_, an
_inveterate, implacable Enemy_, _nobody's Friend_, a _noxious Member of
Society_, and _a thorough bad Man_." In the course of the prose pamphlet
Hervey had suggested that there was a certain incongruity between Pope's
true character and his assumed _persona_ of the "virtuous man," and this
incongruity forms the main subject of his verse attack. Here Hervey finds
examples of "the difference between verbal and practical virtue" in the
lives of Horace, Seneca, and Sallust, before turning to lampoon Pope
crossly and ineptly. The attack on Horace is well conceived for Hervey's
purpose and calculated to damage Pope who was in so many eyes, including
his own, the modern heir of that ancient poet, but the straight abuse
directed against Pope's person is sad stuff. Such lines as those on the
"yelping Mungril" (p. 6) serve only to show how squarely the "well-bred
Spaniels" taunt in the _Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot_ had hit its target.
Hervey's poem carried a prefatory letter headed "Mr. C - b - er to Mr. P.,"
making out that Cibber had a hand in writing the poem itself. Coming so
soon after Hervey's _Letter to Cibber_, which had carried the markedly
intimate subscription "With the greatest Gratitude and Truth, most
affectionately yours," this prefatory letter to the poem further
emphasized Hervey's firm and deliberate alliance with Cibber.

Evidently it was the strangeness of this alliance between the two
opponents of Pope that struck the fancy of that unidentified "Scriblerus"
whose "Epistle to the Dunces," _The Scribleriad_, was published between 30
September and 2 October 1742. When Hervey was "affectionately yours" to
Cibber, the two stood shoulder to shoulder so temptingly open to a single
volley that the author of _The Scribleriad_ could fairly claim, as Pope
had claimed in the appendix to _The Dunciad Variorum_ of 1729, that "the
_Poem was not made for these Authors, but these Authors for the Poem_."
Hervey appears as "Narcissus," the nickname Pope had used for him in _The
New Dunciad_. A "late Vice-Chamberlain" (because he had been dismissed
from that post in July 1742) still gorged with the fulsome dedication of
Conyers Middleton's _Life of Cicero_ (1741), he is shown (pp. 11-13)
rousing Cibber. Cibber's situation, reclining on the lap of Dulness where
he is found by Hervey, is taken from _The New Dunciad_, while his general
Satanic role parallels Theobald's in _The Dunciad Variorum_. This may
reflect common knowledge that Pope was at work on revisions that would
raise Cibber to the Dunces' throne, but the belief that Cibber was King of
the Dunces had been widespread from the date of his appointment as Poet
Laureate.[3] _The Scribleriad_ follows the general run of satires against
Cibber - attacking his senile infatuation for Peg Woffington, his violently
demagogic and chauvinistic _Nonjuror_ (first acted in 1717 but still
drawing an audience in 1741), his laureate odes and his frank
commercialization of art.

Although the writer of _The Scribleriad_ was obviously prompted by the
example of _The Dunciad_ and borrows many details from Pope, his poem has
very little of that mock-epic quality its title might lead a reader to
expect. There are slight traces of parody of Virgil when, on page 16,
Cibber appears as Aeneas (the character he was soon to assume in _The
Dunciad in Four Books_) and the epicene Hervey is portrayed as a
rejuvenated Sybil guiding the hero through a hell of duncery. There are
hints of _Paradise Lost_ too, when Cibber, Satan-like, undertakes his
mission (p. 17) and the dunces, Belial-like, agree "they're better in a
cursed State,/Than to be totally annihilate" (p. 5). But "Scriblerus'" use
of Virgil and Milton, unlike Pope's, does not import some graver meaning
into his poem; it provides him with neither a framework of moral symbols
nor a continuous narrative thread.

The action is slight and its setting vague. Sometimes we are in a brothel,
crowded with bullies, punks, lords, draymen and linkboys, and managed by
Cibber (pp. 11-12) or by Dulness (p. 10). This setting, together with the
claim that Cibber's own muse is a prostitute (p. 8), serves as a retort to
the Tom-Tit in the brothel story in Cibber's _Letter to Pope_ and to
emphasize the element of literary prostitution in the activities of Cibber
and his like. At other times the setting is a regular dunces' club (pp. 9,
16) of the type chronicled in the pages of _The Grub Street Journal_.
Towards the end of the poem it is an Assembly Room (p. 19) presided over
by the Goddess of Puffs (a happy development of that more commonplace
mythical figure "Fame," Dulness' handmaiden in _The New Dunciad_) who sets
a test for the dunces and judges their performance. Only in this
concluding episode can this rather shapeless poem (which certainly is
neither the mock epic nor the epistle that its title-page promises) be
assigned to any regular literary "kind." This "kind" is that favorite of
the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the "Sessions Poem."[4]

"Scriblerus'" account of the sessions of the dunces is more allusive and
particularized than the rest of the poem and consequently calls for
somewhat more detailed comment. The chief cases at the sessions embrace
the pamphlet battle of summer 1742 and theatrical rivalry in the 1741-42
London season. Cibber's contribution to the paper-war, the _Letter to
Pope_ (written according to Cibber "At the Desire of several Persons of
Quality"), is introduced at page 17 and consigned on page 19 to William
Lewis its printer. Hervey stalks in "under VIRTUE's Name" in a "borrow'd
Shape" (p. 24), an allusion to the suggestion in the prefatory epistle to
_The Difference between Verbal and Practical Virtue_ that the poem was
Cibber's work. (The "horse him" on 25 of _The Scribleriad_ refers to
Cibber's adaptation of Shakespeare's _Richard III._) Other pamphlets
issued in August 1742 are mentioned on page 24 - _Sawney and Colley_,[5]
which "Scriblerus" calls "CLODDY's Dialogue," and _A Blast upon Bays_.[6]

Turning to the theatre, "Scriblerus" attacks all three major companies of
the 1741-42 London season. He first introduces the two patented theatres,
Drury Lane and Covent Garden, as rivals only in that debased dramatic form
the pantomime. "The angry _Quack_" (p. 25) is John Weaver, dancing master
at Drury Lane and author of _Anatomical and Mechanical Lectures upon
Dancing_ (1721), who claimed for himself[7] the credit of having
originated pantomime upon the English stage. Weaver's _Orpheus and
Eurydice_ at Drury Lane (1718) was hardly noticed, whereas John Rich had
more recently bestowed "an ORPHEUS on the Town" (p. 25) to very different
effect. Rich's _Orpheus and Eurydice: With the Metamorphoses of Harlequin_
had opened on 12 February 1740 at Covent Garden, where he was manager.
With Rich himself as Harlequin, it was a wild success that
season - remaining a regular and highly popular afterpiece through the
1741-42 season and later.

What _The Scribleriad_ tells us of "_Ambivius Turpio_, the Stage 'Squire"
(p. 26) suggests that he is to be identified with Charles Fleetwood,
Esq.,[8] the wealthy, inexperienced amateur who managed Drury Lane (this
even though the original Ambivius Turpio was an actor, while Fleetwood,
apparently, was not). All managers were frequently involved in disputes
over actors' pay, but Fleetwood's were the most notorious. It was the
Drury Lane company that included "the contending POLLYS" (p. 27) - Mrs.
Cibber and Mrs. Clive who had bitterly quarrelled in 1736 over who should
play that role in _The Beggar's Opera_. Fleetwood, like Rich, gave a play
for the benefit of Shakespeare's monument in Westminster Abbey.[9] What
little that Fleetwood knew of management he might well have learned from
his one-time under-manager Theophilus Cibber, the "young PTOLOMY" (p. 27)
who, of course, had derived his knowledge from his "great Sire alone."

The third theatre attacked in _The Scribleriad_ is Goodman's Fields. Its
manager, Henry Giffard, had no patent, but contrived to evade the
Licensing Act by the subterfuge of charging admission to a concert in two
parts and then offering, "gratis" in the interval, a regular full-length
play and afterpiece. The "City Wrath" (p. 26) arose from the fact that the
theatre was inside the City boundaries and was thought to encourage vice;
indeed, Sir John Barnard and his fellow aldermen managed to prevent it
opening for the 1742-43 season and thereafter. Allusions in the poem are
to the theatre's highly successful 1741-42 season when Garrick sprang to
fame as Cibber's Richard III and also played Tate's King Lear. On page 26
"Scriblerus" sneers at Garrick's small stature,[10] and refers to the
impropriety of including the figure of Cato in the d├ęcor at Goodman's

Targets outside the three theatrical companies are chosen from among the
obvious ones already attacked by Pope. Mrs. Haywood, who in 1742 had
turned publisher under the sign of "Fame," is shown (p. 21) appropriately
enough as the first dunce to recognize the Goddess of Puffs. "The Chief of
the translating Bards" (p. 23) is the aged and industrious Ozell, and his
fellows include Theobald and Thomas Cooke (p. 24).[11] The satire extends
to touch the Administration and the City, with references to Britain's
hitherto inactive part in the War of the Austrian Succession (p. 9) and to
the manner in which stock-jobbers used false war news to aid their
financial speculations (p. 4). It alludes to the "grand Debate" (p. 8) of
the committee set up in March 1742 to consider charges of corruption
against the deposed Walpole (created Lord Orford in February), which by
the end of the summer had fizzled out, doubtless because so many members
of the new government, including the numerous "Peers new-made" (p. 9), had
shared Walpole's peculations and wished to cover their tracks. When it
hits at the King for his patronage of Cibber (p. 13), at the Queen for her
ridiculous Merlin's Cave and waxworks in Richmond Gardens (p. 16),[12] and
at the _Daily Gazeteer_ which, until Walpole's fall, had been expensively
subsidized from the government secret service fund and had numbered among
its journalists such highly placed statesmen as Walpole's brother
Horatio - then, _The Scribleriad_ suggests, there is a general conspiracy
between high ranks and low to encourage Dulness. The Hervey-Cibber
alliance is merely the most recent manifestation of this conspiracy.

Although it so obviously arises immediately out of the pamphlet battle of
summer 1742, _The Scribleriad_ manages to range more widely in its satire
than the anti-Pope lampoons it replies to. Further, it contrives to bring
in Pope himself without degrading him to the level of his antagonists.
This is done by mounting him on Pegasus and likening the dunces to curs
(pp. 13-14), or comparing him to the sun whose warmth hatches out maggots
(pp. 6, 29):

How many, who have Reams of Paper spoil'd,
Have often sleepless Nights obscurely toil'd,
And buried in their Eggs, like Silkworms, lay
'Till his warm Satire shew'd them Life and Day?
Here then, my Sons, is all your living Hope,
To be immortal Scriblers, rail at POPE.

The image, the attitude and the phrasing alike are borrowed from Pope, for
_The Scribleriad_ is highly derivative throughout. Only two or three times
does "Scriblerus" improve at all upon the many hints he steals from Pope.
I have already mentioned the Goddess Puffs, but other happy touches are to
be found in a spirited travesty (pp. 16-17) of the opening lines from
Ovid's _Metamorphoses_, Book XIII:[13]

The Chiefs were sate, the Scriblers waited round

* * * * *

When he, the Master of the Seven-fold Face,
Rose gleaming thro' his own _Corinthian_ Brass.

Pope had written in _The Dunciad Variorum_, "The heroes sit; the vulgar
form a ring" (II, 352), but one of the most memorable phrases in _The
Dunciad in Four Books_ of 1743 - the ingeniously insolent "sev'nfold Face"
(I, 244) - may well have been borrowed from _The Scribleriad_. "Corinthian
Brass" is good also, economically combining as it does a hit against
Cibber's effrontery and a hint of his sexual irregularities. Such strokes
of wit are rare; _The Scribleriad_ is the work of a writer who in skill is
far closer to Grub Street than to Pope, but it may serve as "a voice from
the crowd" to remind us that Pope had his humbler literary supporters.

The University


1. The engravings are numbered 2571-2573 in F. G. Stephens, _Catalogue of
Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Division 1 - Satires_ (London,
1877), Vol. III, Part I. For lists of pamphlets attacking, and in some
cases defending, Pope in 1742, see R. W. Rogers, _The Major Satires of
Alexander Pope_ (Urbana, 1955), pp. 150, 151 and C. D. Peavy, "The
Pope-Cibber Controversy: A Bibliography," in _Restoration and Eighteenth
Century Theatre Research_, III (1964), 53, 54. For accounts of the
Pope-Cibber quarrel see R. H. Barker, _Mr. Cibber of Drury Lane_ (New
York, 1939), pp. 204-220, and N. Ault, _New Light on Pope_ (London, 1949),
pp. 298-324.

2. _Sawney and Colley_ and _Blast upon Blast_ in Number 83 (1960), and
_The Blatant Beast_ in Number 114 (1965).

3. E.g., in _The New Session of the Poets_ (_The Universal Spectator_, 6
Feb. 1731) the Goddess Dulness calls a session and awards the crown to

4. See Hugh Macdonald, "Introduction," _A Journal from Parnassus_ (London,
1937) and A. L. Williams, "Literary Backgrounds to Book Four of the
_Dunciad_," _PMLA_, LXVIII (1953), 806-813.

5. See note 2 above.

6. An anti-Cibber work in prose. It is doubtful that "Scriblerus," who
thought this work did more harm than good to Pope's cause, would have
endorsed the British Museum catalogue's attribution of it to Pope himself.

7. In _The History of the Mimes and Pantomimes_ (1728).

8. Some account of Fleetwood may be found in R. W. Buss, _Charles
Fleetwood, Holder of the Drury Lane Theatre Patent_ (privately printed,
1915). There are hostile contemporary accounts of Fleetwood in Henry
Carey's epistle _Of Stage Tyrants_ [(1735) reprinted in _The Poems of
Henry Carey_, ed. F. T. Wood (1930)], in Charlotte Charke's _The Art of
Management_ (1735), and in _A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte
Charke, Youngest Daughter of Colley Cibber, Written by Herself_ (1735).

9. _Julius Caesar_, on 28 April 1738. Rich offered _Hamlet_ on 10 April

10. A lady once asked Foote, "Pray, Sir, are your puppets to be as large
as life?" "Oh dear, Madam, no: not much above the size of Garrick." See
William Cooke, _Memoirs of Samuel Foote_ (1805), II, 58.

11. Theobald never published his long promised translation of Aeschylus;
but, by bracketing it with Cooke's musical farce from Terence, _The
Eunuch_, which _was_ performed (Drury Lane, 17 May 1737), "Scriblerus"
seems to imply that he did complete it.

12. The immediate target of this shaft was the waxwork show kept by Mrs.
Salmon near St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet Street, but the original
"Merlin's Cave" built for Queen Caroline in 1735 remained a standing jest
into the 1740's.

13. "Consedere duces et vulgi stante corona surgit ad hos clipei dominus
septemplicis" (_Met._, XIII, 1-2). Dryden translates:

The Chiefs were set; the Soldiers crown'd the Field:
To these the Master of the seven-fold Shield
Upstarted fierce.


The text of this edition of _The Scribleriad_ is reproduced from a copy in
the Library of St. David's College, Lampeter, and that of _The Difference
between Verbal and Practical Virtue_ from a copy in the British Museum.



ATTACK upon Mr. _POPE_,


_No Author ever spares a Brother;
Wits are_ Game Cocks _to one another._ GAY.

Printed for W. WEBB, near St. _Paul_'s. 1742.
[Price Six-pence.]



The Wits are jarring, and the Witlings strive,
To keep the _dying_ Quarrel still _alive_;
So shallow Gamesters, tho' they nothing get,
All blind the _Dupe_, and aid the _sly Deceit_.
Attend, ye SCRIBLERS! to your Leader's Call,
Good Sense condemn, and pointed Satire maul;
Ye DUNCES too! for ye not differ more
Than _Bluff_ and _Wittol_, or than _Bawd_ and _Whore_:
High on the Pedestal of Rank and State,
Mounts rich _Sir Dunce_, and seems to ape the Great;
Whilst low beneath the wretched Scribler lies,
And his Inscription unrewarded eyes;
Equal are they, whom _blund'ring Measures_ raise,
And Bards who sasly censure, as they praise;
The _Statesman_, well examin'd, will appear
But Counterpart of his dear _Gazetteer_:
Tho' One in his gilt Chariot proudly rolls,
Or heads in _D - - g-Room_ his Brother Tools -
And Th' other labours hard whate'er he says,
Shining in Coffee-house with doubtful Phrase;
Still restless in all Stations, pleas'd with none;
For ever climbing, yet for ever down:
Oft have we seen, that _Noblemen_ have wrote,
And _Authors_ sometimes, strutting in _lac'd Coat_;
But widely then from Nature's Ends they err,
And play the Farce quite out of Character.
As well may pious Jobbers of the Alley
Pretend the _flying_ Troops of _France_ to rally.
To proper Spheres, my Friends! yourselves confine!
When COLLEY writes, a _Dunce_ may praise each Line;
Whether _my Lord at Length_, he views the Plan,
Or sculks beneath a _certain Gentleman_;
But if that Lord the _Pen_ or _Press_ invade,
Rouse, rouse, ye Tribe! he'll undermine your Trade,
Tho' not one brilliant Thought should hurt the whole,
And ev'ry Verse be bad, or lame, or stole,
Still, like a _mad Dog_, hunt th' Usurper dead, }
Tho' he _for Fame_, ye scribble to _be fed_; }
He stands condemn'd, who robs ye of your _Bread_. }
But if a Genius rise, whose pointed Wit
Corrects your Morals, and all Tastes shall fit,
Claim then the Privilege to be his Foes,
Ye cannot shine, but when ye Worth oppose.
When ye _deny_ him _Fame_, ye _fix_ your _own_,
And to be satirized, is to be known.
Some hold, they're better in a cursed State,
Than to be totally annihilate;
Thrice happy then, ye deathless, duncely Train!
The Subjects of the higher DUNCIAD's Strain.
How many, who have Reams of Paper spoil'd,
Have often sleepless Nights obscurely toil'd,
And buried in their Eggs, like Silkworms, lay
'Till his warm Satire shew'd them Life and Day?
Here then, my Sons, is all your living Hope,
To be immortal Scriblers, rail at POPE.
Snatch'd from Oblivion, there the _Dunces_ soar,
TIBBALD their Monarch dubb'd, can ask no more,
Nor less shall ye - - now COLLEY gives the Word,
Rouse up! and crowd into the next Record,
Or, lost to Memory, no other Page
Can possibly retrieve ye half an Age;
And now the glad Occasion aptly calls,
To _break_ more _Printers_, and to _spread_ more _Stalls_;
To save your _Names_ from _Lethe_, tho' your Books
Are doom'd the Prize of _Fruiterers_ and _Cooks_.
The Streams of _Helicon_ once clearly flow'd,
And Heav'n in their resplendent Bosom shew'd,
Whilst verdant Groves the sacred Mountain spread;
Then _Pegasus_ on Balms and Myrtles fed:
Now blighted _Thistles_ only crown the Top,
Which Herds of young _poetic Asses_ crop;
And, choak'd with common Sew'rs, like _Fleet-ditch_ Flood,
Its sable Waters writhe along the Mud;
Nor murm'ring wake, nor seem they quite asleep,
Whilst _Wits_, like _Water-rats_, around them creep.
If any shou'd attempt to cleanse your Streams,
Or wake ye from your kind lethargic Dreams,
Assert your Right, and render vain their Toil;
Yours is the Filth, then join and guard your Soil!
And lest ye're diffident to aid the Cause,
Not wholly yet broke loose from Reason's Laws,
View the strange Wonders of the present Times,
Let Empires sleep, but hear the Fate of Rhimes.
Let POPE lull all his _Dunces_ with a Yawn,
Wrapt in their Robes of _P - ple_ or of _L - wn_,
Whilst he shall leave one tatter'd _Muse_ awake;
That _Muse_ his own and others Rest shall break.
A Prostitute, her Charms their Vigour lose,
Now COLLEY keeps her, and she sups on Prose;
But free and common, hack'd about the Town,
Each of ye claim her! for she's all your own.
With him, unmov'd by Salary or Sack,
She d - - ns his Impotence of _Brain_ and _Back_;
That thus in Age he strains at Wit's Embrace,
And follows W - FF - N from Place to Place;
But tho' _cold Prose_ to him she'll only give,
Ye, my pert Sons! who with more Ardour strive,
May raise the bastard Issue of a Verse,
To wear the wither'd _Bays_, or deck his _Hearse_.
Now for six Months had O - - D shook the State
With _grand Removals_, and _a grand Debate_:
_Dunce_ elbow'd _Dunce_, each foremost wou'd advance,
But backward fell, as in old _Bayes_'s Dance:
When _Dulness_ spread her pow'rful YAWN around,
"And Sense and Shame, and Right and Wrong were drown'd,
_Enquiry_ ceas'd, and, touch'd by magic Wand,
Ev'n _Opposition's_ self was at a Stand;
On well-oil'd Hinges creaks the Prison Gate,
And _Pains and Penalties_ will come too late.
'Twas Night's high Noon at _P - is_ and the _H - ge_,
And _Politics_ had died, but for poor _P - gue_;
For why, "The Goddess bade BRITANNIA sleep,
"And pour'd her Spirit o'er the Land and Deep."
And now the _Scriblers_, motionless and mute,
Sit down to count their Gains by the Dispute,
To see on which Side Victory hath run; }
Like _Mackbeth's Witches_, when the Mischief's done, }
They tell ye, that the Battle's _lost_ and _won_: }
Contriving whom to _greet_, or whom _disgrace_,
As _Gazettes_ speak them _in_ or _out_ of _Place_;
For _Panegyrics_ drein their tilted Wit

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