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“ of my Church History, if his flux be over—you “may also speak to the gentleman, who lies by him “ in the flock bed, my index-maker.
“The cook's wife" in Buckingham court; bid “ her bring along with her the similes, that were lent “ her for her next new play.
“Call at Budge row for the gentleman, you used “to go to in the cockloft; I have taken away the “ladder, but his landlady has it in keeping.
“I don't much care if you ask at the Mint for the “old beetlebrowed critick, and the purblind poet at “ the alley over against St. Andrew's, Holborn. But “ this as you have time.”
All these gentlemen appeared at the hour appointed in Mr. Curll's dining-room, two excepted; one of whom was the gentleman in the cockloft, his landlady being out of the way, and the Gradus ad Parmassum taken down; the other happened to be too closely watched by the bailiffs.
They no sooner entered the room, but all of them showed in their behaviour some suspicion of each other ; some turning away their heads with an air of contempt: others squinting with a leer, that showed at once fear and indignation, each with a haggard abstracted mien, the lively picture of scorn, solitude, and short commons. So when a keeper feeds his hungry charge of vultures, panthers, and of Libyan leopards, each eyes his fellow with a fiery glare : high hung, the bloody liver tempts their maw. Or as a housewife stands before her pales, surrounded by her geese; they fight, they hiss, they cackle, beat their wings, and down is scattered as the winter's snow, for a poor grain of oat, or tale, or barley. Such looks shot through the room transverse, oblique, direct; such was the stir and d n, till Curll thus spoke (but without rising from his closestool :) “Whores and authors must be paid beforehand to “put them in good humour; therefore here is half a “crown apiece for you to drink your own healths, “ and confusion to Mr. Addison, and all other success“ ful writers. “Ah gentlemen what have I not done, what “ have 1 not suffered, rather than the world should “ be deprived of your lucubrations; I have taken “involuntary purges, I have been vomited, three “ times have I been caned, once was I hunted, twice “ was my head broke by a grenadier, twice was I “ tossed in a blanket; I have had boxes on the ear, “ siaps on the chops; I have been frighted, pumped, “ kicked, slandered, and beshitten. I hope, gen“ themen, you are all convinced, that this author of “Mr. Lintot's could mean nothing else but starving “ you, by poisoning me. It remains for us to con“sult the best and speediest method of revenge.” He had scarce done speaking, but the historian proposed a history of his life. The Exeter-exchangegentlemen was for penning articles of his faith. Some pretty smart pindarick, says the red-stocking poet, would effectually do his business. But the indexmaker said, there was nothing like an index to his Homer.
* Mrs. Centlyre. a poor
After several debates, they came to the following resolutions:
“Resolved, That every member of this society, “ according to his several abilities, shall contribute ** SOsne “ some way or other to the defamation of Mr. “Pope.
“Resolved, That toward the libelling of the said “Pope, there be a sum employed not exceeding six “ pounds sixteen shillings and nine-pence (not in“cluding advertisements.)
“Resolved, that Mr. Dennis make an affidavit “ before Mr. justice Tully, that in Mr. Pope's Homer “ there are several passages contrary to the established “ rules of our sublime. “Resolved, That he has on purpose, in several passages, perverted the true ancient heathen sense of Homer, for the more effectual propagation of “ the popish religion. “Resolved, That the printing of Homer's Battles at this juncture has been the occasion of all the disturbances of this kingdom. “ Ordered, That Mr. Barnivelt " be invited to be “ a member of this society, in order to make farther “ discoveries. “Resolved, That a number of effective errasas be raised out of Pope's Homer (not exceeding 1746) and that every gentleman, who shall send in one errour, for his encouragement shall have the whole works of this society gratio. “Resolved, that a sum not exceeding ten shillings and sixpence be distributed among the members of “ the society for coffee and tobacco, in order to “ enable them the more effectually to defame him in “ coffeehouses.
* The Key to the Lock, a pamphlet written by Mr. Pope, in which the Rape of the Lock was with great solemnity proved to be a political libel, was published in the name of Esdras Barni
velt, apothecary. “Resolved,
“Resolved, That toward the farther lessening the “ character of the said Pope, some persons be de“puted to abuse him at ladies tea-tables, and that in “ consideration our authors are not well dressed enough, “Mr. C–y and Mr. Ke—l be deputed for that “ service. “Resolved, That a ballad be made against Mr. “Pope, and that Mr. Oldmixon “, Mr. Gildoni, “ and Mrs. Centlivre i, do prepare and bring in the ** Sanne. “Resolved, That above all, some effectual ways “ and means be found to increase the joint stock of “ the reputation of this society, which at present is “exceeding low, and to give their works the greater “ currency; whether by raising the denomination of “ the said works by counterfeit titlepages, or mixing “a greater quantity of the fine metal of other authors “ with the alloy of this society. “Resolved, that no member of this society for “ the future mix stout in his ale in a morning, and that “ Mr. B remove from the Hercules and Still. “Resolved, that all our members (except the “ cook's wife) be provided with a sufficient quantity “ of the vivifying drops, or Byfield's sal volatile.
* Oldmixon was all his life a party writer for hire: and after having falsified Daniel’s Chronicle in many places, he charged three eminent persons with falsifying lord Clarendon's History, which was disproved by Dr. Atterbury bishop of Rochester, the only survivor of them.
+ Gildon, a writer of criticisms and libels, who abused Mr. Pope in several pamphlets and books printed by Curll.
f Mrs Susannah Centlivre, wife of Mr. Centlivre, yeoman of the mouth to his majesty, wrote a song before she was seven years old, and many plays : she wrote also a ballad against Mr. Pope's Homer, before he began it.
“Resolved, “Resolved, That sir Richard Blackmore * be ap“ pointed to endow this society with a large quantity “ of regular and exalted ferments, in order to enliven “ their cold sentiments (being his true receipt to “make wits).”
These resolutions being taken, the assembly was ready to break up, but they took so near a part in Mr. Curll's afflictions, that none of them could leave him without giving him some advice to reinstate him in his health.
Mr. Gildon was of opinion, That in order to drive a pope out of his belly, he should get the mummy of some deceased moderator of the general assembly in Scotland to be taken inwardly as an effectual antidote against antichrist; but Mr. Oldmixon did conceive, that the liver of the person who administered the poison, boiled in broth, would be a more certain CUlt C.
While the company were expecting the thanks of Mr. Curll for these demonstrations of their zeal, a whole pile of sir Richard's Essays on a sudden fell on his head; the shock of which in an instant brought back his delirium. He immediately rose up, overturned the closestool, and beshit the Essays (which may probably occasion a second edition) then without putting up his breeches, in a most furious tone he thus broke out to his books, which his distempered imagination represented to him as alive, coming down from their shelves fluttering their leaves, and flapping their covers at him.
* Sir Richard Blackmore, in his Essays, vol. ii, p. 270, accused Mr. Pope in very high and sober terms, of prophaneness and immorality, on the mere report of Curll, that he was author of a travesty on the first psalm.
Vol. XVII. Z Now