1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Upton

William Warburton, Note in The Dunciad, complete in Four Books (1749) 28-29 &n.



The critic Eye, that microscope of Wit,
Sees hairs and pores, examines bit by bit:
How parts relate to parts, or they to whole,
The body's harmony, the beaming soul,
Are things which Kuster, Burman, Wasse shall see,
When Man's whole frame is obvious to a Flea.

VER. 237. — Kuster, Burman.] Much wiser Critics than Dennis and Gildon; celebrated in the foregoing Book, who became the public Scorn by a mere mistake of their talents. They would needs turn Critics of their own Countrymen (just as Aristotle and Longinus did of theirs) and discourse upon the beauties and defects of composition: "How parts relate to parts, and they to whole; The Body's harmony, the beaming Soul." Whereas had they followed the Example of these Microscopes of wit, Kuster, Burman, and their followers, in verbal Criticism on the learned Languages, their acuteness and industry might have raised them a name equal to the most famous of the Scholiasts. We can therefore but lament the late Apostasy of the Prebendary of Rochester, who beginning in so good a train, has now turned short to write Comments on the FIRE-SIDE and DREAMS upon Shakespear; where we find the Spirit of Oldmixon, Gildon, and Dennis, all revived in his belaboured Observations. SCRIBL.

Here, Scriblerus! in this affair of the FIRE-SIDE, I want thy usual candour. It is true Mr. Upton did write notes upon it; but with all honour and good faith. This it is to have to do with Wits; a commerce unworthy a Scholiast of so solid learning. ARIST.