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HOMER'S BATTLE OF THE Frogs and Mice. WITH THE REMARKS of ZOILUS. To which is Prefix'd, The LIFE of the said ZOILUS.

Vide quam iniqui sunt divinorum munerum Aesti­matores, etiam quidam Professi Sapientiam. Seneca.

LONDON, Printed for BERNARD LINTOT, between the Temple-Gates. MDCCXVII.


HAVING some Time ago heard, that the Translation of HOMER'S Iliad wou'd be attempted, I resolv'd to confer with the Gentleman who undertook it. I found him of a tall Presence, and thoughtful Countenance, with his Hands folded, his Eyes fix'd, and his Beard untrimm'd. This I took to be a good Omen, because he thus resembled the Con­stantinopolitan Statue of HOMER which Cedrenus describes, and surely nothing cou'd have been liker, had he but arriv'd at the Character of Age and Blind­ness. As my Business was to be my Introduction, I told [Page] him how much I was acquainted with the secret History of HOMER; that no one better knows his own Horse, than I do the Camel of Bac­tria, in which his Soul resided at the Time of the Trojan Wars; that my Acquaintance continued with him, as he appear'd in the Person of the Grecian Poet; that I knew him in his next Transmigration into a Peacock; was pleas'd with his Return to Manhood, under the Name of Ennius at Rome; and more pleas'd to hear he wou'd soon revive under another Name, with all his full Lustre, in England. This particular Knowledge, added I, which sprung from the Love I bear him, has made me fond of a Conversation with you, in Order to the Success of your Translation.

The civil Manner in which he receiv'd my Pro­posal encouraging me to proceed, I told him, there were Arts of Success, as well as Merits to obtain it; and that he, who now dealt in Greek, should not only satisfy himself with being a good Grecian, but also contrive to hasten into the Repute of it. He might therefore write in the Title-Page, Trans­lated from the Original GREEK, and select a Motto for his Purpose out of the same Language. He might obtain a Copy of Verses written in it to prefix to the Work; and not call the Titles of each Book, The First, and Second, but Iliad Alpha, and Beta. He might retain some Names which the World is least acquainted with, as his old Translator Chapman uses Ephaistus instead of Vulcan, Baratrum for Hell; and [Page] if the Notes were fill'd with Greek Verses, it wou'd more increase the Wonder of many Readers. Thus I went on; when he told me, smiling, I had shewn him in­deed a Set of Arts very different from Merit, for which Reason, he thought, he ought not to depend upon them. A Success, says he, founded on the Ig­norance of others, may bring a temporary Advan­tage, but neither a conscious Satisfaction, nor future Fame to the Author. Men of Sense despise the Affectation which they easily see through, and even they who were dazzled with it at first, are no sooner inform'd of its being an Affectation, but they ima­gine it also a Veil to cover Imperfection.

The next Point I ventur'd to speak on, was the Sort of Poetry he intended to use; how some may fancy, a Poet of the greatest Fire wou'd be imitated better in the Freedom of Blank Verse, and the Description of War sounds more pompous out of Rhime. But, will the Translation, said he, be thus remov'd enough from Prose, without greater Incon­veniences? What Transpositions is Milton forc'd to, as an Equivalent for Want of Rhime, in the Poetry of a Language which depends upon a na­tural Order of Words? And even this wou'd not have done his Business, had he not given the fullest Scope to his Genius, by choosing a Subject upon which there could be no Hyperboles. We see (how­ever he be deservedly successful) that the Ridicule of his Manner succeeds better than the Imitation of it; because Transpositions, which are unnatural [Page] to a Language, are to be fairly derided, if they ruin it by being frequently introduced; and because Hyperboles, which outrage every lesser Subject where they are seriously us'd, are often beautiful in Ridi­cule. Let the French, whose Language is not co­pious, translate in Prose; but ours, which exceeds it in Copiousness of Words, may have a more frequent Likeness of Sounds, to make the Unison or Rhime easier; a Grace of Musick, that attones for the Harsh­ness our Consonants and Monysyllables occasion.

After this, I demanded what Air he would ap­pear with? whether antiquated, like Chapman's Version, or modern, like La Motte's Contraction. To which he answer'd, by desiring me to observe what a Painter does who would always have his Pieces in Fashion. He neither chooses to draw a Beauty in a Ruff, or a French-Head; but with its Neck uncover'd, and in its natural Ornament of Hair curl'd up, or spread becomingly: So may a Writer choose a natural Manner of expressing himself which will always be in Fashion, without affecting to borrow an odd Solemnity and unintelligible Pomp from the past Times, or humouring the present by falling into its Affectations, and those Phrases which are born to die with it.

I ask'd him, lastly, whether he would be strictly litteral, or expatiate with further Licenses? I wou'd not be litteral, replies he, or ty'd up to Line for Line in such a Manner, wherein it is im­possible to express in one Language what has been deliver'd [Page] in another. Neither wou'd I so expatiate, as to alter my Author's Sentiments, or add others of my own. These Errors are to be avoided on either Hand, by adhering not only to the Word, but the Spirit and Genius of an Author; by considering what he means, with what beautiful Manner he has ex­press'd his Meaning in his own Tongue, and how he would have express'd himself, had it been in ours. Thus we ought to seek for HOMER in a Version of HOMER: Other Attempts are but Transformations of him; such as Ovid tells us, where the Name is retain'd, and the Thing alter'd: This will be really what you mention'd in the Com­pliment you began with, a Transmigration of the Poet from one Country into another.

Here ended the serious Part of our Conference. All I remember further was, that having ask'd him, what he design'd with all those Editions and Com­ments I observ'd in his Room? he made Answer, That if any one, who had a Mind to find Fault with his Performance, wou'd but stay 'till it was entirely finish'd, he shou'd have a very cheap Bar­gain of them.

Since this Discourse, I have often resolv'd to try what it was to translate in the Spirit of a Writer, and at last, chose the Battle of the Frogs and Mice, which is ascrib'd to HOMER; and bears a nearer Resemblance to his Iliad, than the Culex does to the Aeneid of Virgil. Statius and others [Page] think it a Work of Youth, written as a Prelude to his greater Poems. Chapman thinks it the Work of his Age, after he found Men ungrateful; to shew he cou'd give Strength, Lineage and Fame as he pleas'd, and praise a Mouse as well as a Man. Thus, says he, the Poet professedly flung up the World, and apply'd himself at last to Hymns. Now, tho' this Reason of his may be nothing more than a Scheme form'd out of the Order in which HOMER's Works are printed, yet does the Conjecture that this Poem was written after the Iliad, appear probable, because of its frequent Allusions to that Poem, and particularly that there is not a Frog or a Mouse kill'd, which has not its parallel Instance there, in the Death of some Warrior or other.

The Poem itself is of the Epick Kind; the Time of its Action the Duration of two Days; the Sub­ject (however in its Nature frivolous, or ridicu­lous) rais'd, by having the most shining Words and Deeds of Gods and Heroes accommodated to it: And while other Poems often compare the illustrious Ex­ploits of great Men to those of Brutes, this always heightens the Subject by Comparisons drawn from Things above it. We have a great Character given it with Respect to the Fable in Gaddius de Script. non Eccles. It appears, says he, nearer Perfection than the Iliad, or Odysses, and excels both in Judgment, Wit, and exquisite Texture, since it is a Poem perfect in its own Kind. Nor does Crusius speak less to its Honour, with Respect to the Moral, when he cries out in an Apostrophe to [Page] the Reader; ‘Whoever you are, mind not the Names of these little Animals, but look into the Things they mean; call them Men, call them Kings, or Counsellors, or humane Polity itself, you have here Doctrines of every Sort.’ And indeed, when I hear the Frog talk concerning the Mouse's Family, I learn, Equality shou'd be observ'd in ma­king Friendships; when I hear the Mouse answer the Frog, I remember, that a Similitude of Manners shou'd be regarded in them; when I see their Councils assembling, I think of the Bustles of hu­mane Prudence; and when I see the Battle grow warm and glorious, our Struggles for Honour and Empire appear before me.

This Piece had many Imitations of it in Antiquity, as the Fight of the Cats, the Cranes, the Starlings, the Spiders, &c. That of the Cats is in the Bodleian Li­brary, but I was not so lucky as to find it. I have taken the Liberty to divide my Translation into Books (tho' it be otherwise in the Original) according as the Fable allow'd proper Resting-Places, by varying its Scene, or Nature of Action: This I did, after the Example of Aristarchus and Zenodotus in the Iliad. I then thought of carrying the Grammarians Example further, and placing Arguments at the Head of each, which I fram'd as follows, in Imitation of the short Ancient Greek Inscriptions to the Iliad.

[Page]BOOK I.
In Alpha, the Ground
Of the Quarrel is found.
In Beta, we
The Council see.
Dire Gamma relates
The Work of the Fates.

But as I am averse from all Information which lessens our Surprize, I only mention these for a Handle to quarrel with the Custom of long Arguments before a Poem. It may be necessary in Books of Controversy or abstruse Learning, to write an Epitome before each Part; but it is not kind to forestal us in a Work of Fancy, and make our Attention remiss by a previous Account of the End of it.

The next Thing which employ'd my Thoughts was the Heroes Names. It might perhaps take off somewhat from the Majesty of the Poem, had I cast away such noble Sounds as, Physignathus, Ly­copinax, and Crambophagus, to substitute Bluff­cheek, Lickdish, and Cabbage-Eater, in their Pla­ces. It is for this Reason I have retain'd them [Page] untranslated: However, I place them in English before the Poem, and sometimes give a short Cha­racter extracted out of their Names; as in Po­lyphonus, Pternophagus, &c. that the Reader may not want some Light of their Humour in the Ori­ginal.

But what gave me a greater Difficulty was, to know how I shou'd follow the Poet, when he inser­ted Pieces of Lines from his Iliad, and struck out a Sprightliness by their new Application. To sup­ply this in my Translation, I have added one or two of HOMER'S Particularities; and us'd two or three Allusions to some of our English Poets who most re­semble him, to keep up some Image of this Spirit of the Original with an equivalent Beauty. To use more might make my Performance seem a Cento rather than a Translation, to those who know not the Necessity I lay under.

I am not ignorant, after all my Care, how the World receives the best Compositions of this Nature. A Man need only go to a Painter's, and apply what he hears said of a Picture to a Trans­lation, to find how he shall be us'd upon his own, or his Author's Account. There one Spectator tells you, a Piece is extreamly fine, but he sets no Value on what is not like the Face it was drawn for, while a second informs you, such another is extreamly like, but he cares not for a Piece of Deformity, tho' its Likeness be never so exact.

[Page] Yet notwithstanding all which happens to the best, when I translate, I have a Desire to be reckon'd amongst them; and I shall obtain this, if the World will be so good-natur'd as to believe Writers that give their own Characters: Upon which Pre­sumption, I answer to all Objections beforehand, as follows:

When I am litteral, I regard my Author's Words; when I am not, I translate in his Spirit. If I am low, I choose the narrative Style; if high, the Sub­ject requir'd it. When I am enervate, I give an Instance of ancient Simplicity; when affected, I show a Point of modern Delicacy. As for Beauties, there never can be one found in me which was not really intended; and for any Faults, they proceeded from too unbounded Fancy, or too nice Judgment, but by no means from any Defect in either of those Faculties.


‘Pendentem volo Zoilum videre.’Martial.

THEY who have discours'd concerning the Nature and Extent of Criticism, take Notice, That Editions of Authors, the Interpreta­tions of them, and the Judgment which is pass'd upon each, are the three Branches into which the Art divides itself, But the last of these, that di­rects in the Choice of Books, and takes Care to [Page] [...] [Page] prepare us for reading them, is by the learned Bacon call'd the Chair of the Criticks. In this Chair (to carry on the Figure) have sate Aristotle, Demetrius Phalereus, Dionysius Halicarnassensis, Cicero, Horace, Quintillian, and Longinus; all great Names of Antiquity, the Censors of those Ages which went before, and the Directors of those that come after them, with Respect to the natu­ral and perspicuous Manners of Thought and Ex­pression, by which a correct and judicious Genius may be able to write for the Pleasure and Profit of Mankind.

But whatever has been advanc'd by Men really great in themselves, has been also attempted by others of Capacities either unequal to the Under­taking, or which have been corrupted by their Passions, and drawn away into partial Violences: So that we have sometimes seen the Province of Criticism usurp'd, by such who judge with an ob­scure Diligence, and a certain Dryness of Under­standing, incapable of comprehending a figurative Stile, or being mov'd by the Beauties of Imagi­nation; and at other Times by such, whose na­tural Moroseness in general, or particular Designs of Envy, has render'd them indefatigable against the Reputation of others.

In this last Manner is ZOILUS represented to us by Antiquity, and with a Character so aban­don'd, that his Name has been since made Use of to brand all succeeding Criticks of his Complexion. He has a Load of Infamy thrown upon him, great, in Proportion to the Fame of HOMER, against whom he oppos'd himself: If the [Page] one was esteem'd as the very Residence of Wit, the other is describ'd as a Profligate, who wou'd destroy the Temple of Apollo and the Muses, in Order to have his Memory preserv'd by the en­vious Action. I imagine it may be no ungrate­ful Undertaking to write some Account of this celebrated Person, from whom so many derive their Character; and I think the Life of a Critick is not unseasonably put before the Works of his Poet, especially when his Censures accompany him. If what he advances be just, he stands here as a Censor; if otherwise, he appears as an Addition to the Poet's Fame, and is placed before him with the Justice of Antiquity in its Sacrifices, when, because such a Beast had offended such a Deity, he was brought annually to l is Altar to be slain upon it.

ZOILUS was born at Amphipolis a City of Thrace, during the Time in which the Macedonian Empire flourish'd. Who his Parents were is not certainly known, but if the Appellation of Thra­cian Slave, which the World apply'd to him, be not meerly an Expression of Contempt, it proves him of mean Extraction. He was a Dis­ciple of one Polycrates a Sophist, who had distin­guish'd himself by writing against the great Names of the Ages before him; and who, when he is men­tion'd as his Master, is said to be particularly fa­mous for a bitter Accusation or Invective against the Memory of Socrates. In this Manner is ZOI­LUS set out to Posterity, like a Plant naturally [Page] baneful, and having its Poison render'd more acute and subtile by a Preparation.

In his Person he was tall and meagre, his Com­plexion was pale, and all the Motions of his Face were sharp. He is represented by Aelian, with a Beard nourish'd to a prodigious Length, and his Head kept close shav'd, to give him a Magi­sterial Appearance: His Coat hung over his Knees in a slovenly Fashion; his Manners were form'd upon an Aversion to the Customs of the World. He was fond of speaking ill, diligent to sow Dissention, and from the constant Bent of his Thought, had obtain'd that Sort of Readi­ness for Slander or Reproach, which is esteem'd Wit by the light Opinion of some, who take the Remarks of ill Nature for an Understanding of Mankind, and the abrupt Lashes of Rudeness for the Spirit of Expression. This, at last, grew to such a Heighth in him, that he became careless of concealing it; he threw off all Reserves and Managements in Respect of others, and the Pas­sion so far took the Turn of a Frenzy, that being one Day ask'd, why he spoke ill of every one? ‘It is (says he) because I am not able to do them Ill, tho' I have so great a Mind to it.’ Such ex­travagant Declarations of his general Enmity made Men deal with him as with the Creature he affected to be; they no more spoke of him as belonging to the Species he hated; and from henceforth his lear­ned Speeches or fine Remarks cou'd obtain no other Title for him, but that of The Rhetorical Dog.

[Page] While he was in Macedon he employ'd his Time in writing, and reciting what he had writ­ten in the Schools of Sophists. His Oratory (says Dionisius Halicarnassensis) was always of the demonstrative Kind, which concerns itself about Praise or Dispraise. His Subjects were the most approv'd Authors, whom he chose to abuse upon the Account of their Reputation; and to whom, without going round the Matter in faint Praises or artificial Insinuations, he us'd to deny their own Characteristicks. With this Gallantry of Opposition did he censure Zenophon for Affecta­tion, Plato for vulgar Notions, and Isocrates for Incorrectness. Demosthenes, in his Opinion, wanted Fire, Aristotle Subtilty, and Aristophanes Humour. But, as to have Reputation was with him a suffi­cient Cause of Enmity, so to have that Reputa­tion universal, was what wrought his Frenzy to its wildest Degree; for which Reason it was HO­MER with whom he was most implacably angry. And certainly, if Envy choose its Object for the Power to give Torment, it shou'd here (if ever) have the Glory of fully answering its Intentions; for the Poet was so worship'd by the whole Age, that his Critick had not the common Alleviation of the Opinion of one other Man, to concur in his Condemnation.

ZOILUS however went on with indefatigable Industry in a voluminous Work which he entitled, The [...], or Censure of HOMER: 'Till having at last finish'd it, he prepares to send it into the [Page] World with a pompous Title at the Head, in­vented for himself by Way of Excellency, and thus inserted after the Manner of the Ancients.

ZOILUS, the Scourge of HOMER, writ this against that Lover of Fables.

Thus did he value himself upon a Work, which the World has not thought worth transmitting to us, and but just left a Specimen in five or six Quo­tations, which happen to be preserv'd by the Com­mentators of that Poet against whom he writ it. If any One be fond to form a Judgment upon him from these Instances, they are as follows:

Il. 1. He says, HOMER is very ridiculous (a Word he was noted to apply to him) when he makes such a God as Apollo employ himself in killing Dogs and Mules.

Il. 5. HOMER is very ridiculous in describing Diomedes's Helmet and Armour, as sparkling, and in a Blaze of Fire about him, for then why was he not burn'd by it?

Il. 5. When Idaeus quitted his fine Chariot, which was entangl'd in the Fight, and for which he might have been slain, the Poet was a Fool for making him leave his Chariot, he had better have run away in it.

Il. 24. When Achilles makes Priam lie out of his Tent, left the Greeks shou'd hear of his being there, the Poet had no Breeding, to turn a King out in that Manner.

Od. 9. The Poet says, Ulysses lost an equal Number out of each Ship. The Critick says, that's impossible.

[Page] Od. 10. He derides the Men who were turn'd into Swine, and calls them HOMER'S poor little blubbering Pigs. The first five of these Remarks are found in Didymus, the last in Longinus.

Such as these are the cold Jests and trifling Quarrels, which have been registred from a Composition that (according to the Representa­tion handed down to us) was born in Envy, liv'd a short Life in Contempt, and lies for ever bury'd with Infamy.

But, as his Design was judg'd by himself won­derfully well accomplish'd, Macedon began to be esteem'd a Stage too narrow for his Glory; and Aegypt, which had then taken Learning in­to its Patronage, the proper Place where it ought to diffuse its Beams, to the Surprize of all whom he wou'd perswade to reckon them­selves hitherto in the Dark, and under the Pre­judices of a false Admiration. However as he had prepar'd himself for the Journey, he was suddenly diverted for a while by the Rumour of the Olympick Games, which were at that Time to be celebrated. Thither he steer'd his Course full of the Memory of Herodotus, and others who had successfully recited in that large As­sembly; and pleas'd to imagine he shou'd alter all Greece in their Notions of Wit before he left it.

Upon his Arrival, he found the Field in its Pre­paration for Diversion. The Chariots stood for the Race, carv'd and gilded, the Horses were led in costly Trappings, some practis'd to wrestle, [Page] some to dart the Spear, (or whatever they de­sign'd to engage at) in a Kind of Flourish before­hand: Others were looking on to amuse them­selves; and all gaily dress'd according to the Custom of those Places. Through these did ZOILUS move forward, bald-headed, bearded to the Middle, in a long sad-colour'd Vestment, and inflexibly stretching forth his Hands fill'd with Volumns roll'd up to a vast Thickness: a Figure most venerably slovenly! able to demand Atten­tion upon Account of its Oddness. And indeed, he had no sooner fix'd himself upon an Eminence, but a Crowd flock'd about him to know what he intended. Then the Critick casting his Eyes on the Ring, open'd his Volume slowly, as con­sidering with what Part he might most properly entertain his Audience. It happen'd, that the Games at Patroclus's Obsequies came first into his Thought; whether it was that he judg'd it sui­table to the Place, or knew that he had fall'n as well upon the Games themselves, as upon HO­MER for celebrating them, and cou'd not resist his natural Disposition to give Mankind Offence. Every One was now intently fasten'd upon him, while he undertook to prove, that those Games signify'd nothing to the Taking of Troy, and there­fore only furnish'd an impertinent Episode: that the Fall of the Lesser Ajax in Cow-dung, the Squabble of the Chariot-Race, and other Acci­dents which attend such Sports, are mean or trifling: and a World of other Remarks, for [Page] which he still affirm'd HOMER to be a Fool, and which they that heard him took for study'd Invectives against those Exercises they were then employ'd in. Men who frequent Sports, as they are of a chearful Disposition, so are they Lovers of Poetry: This, together with the Opinion they were affronted, wrought them up to Impatience and further Licenses: There was particularly a young Athenian Gentleman who was to run three Chariots in those Games, who being an Admirer of HO­MER, cou'd no longer contain himself, but cry'd out, ‘What in the Name of Castor have we here, ZOILUS from Thrace? and as he said it, struck him with a Chariot-Whip. Immediately then a Hundred Whips were seen curling round his Head; so that his Face, naturally deform'd, and heighten'd by Pain to its utmost Caricatura, ap­pear'd in the Midst of them, as we may fancy the Visage of Envy, if at any Time her Snakes rise in Rebellion to lash their Mistress. Nor was this all the Punishment they decreed him, when once they imagin'd he was ZOILUS: The Scyronian Rocks were near 'em, and thither they hurried him with a general Cry, to that speedy Justice which is practis'd at Places of Diversion.

It is here, that, according to Suidas, the Cri­tick expir'd. But we following the more nu­merous Testimonies of other Authors, conclude he escap'd either by the Lowness of those Rocks whence he was thrust, or by Bushes which might break his Fall; and soon after following [Page] the Courses of his first Intention, he set Sail for Aegypt.

Aegypt was at this Time govern'd by Pto­lomy Philadelphus, a Prince passionately fond of Learning, and learned Men; particularly an Admirer of HOMER to Adoration. He had built the finest Library in the World, and made the choicest, as well as most numerous Collection of Books. No Encouragements were wanting from him to allure Men of the brightest Ge­nius to his Court, and no Time thought too much which he spent in their Company. From hence it is that we hear of Eratosthenes and Aristophanes, those universal Scholars, and candid Judges of other Mens Performances: Callimachus, a Poet of the most easy, courteous Delicacy, famous for a Poem on the Cutting of Berenice's Hair; and whom Ovid so much admired as to say, ‘It was Reason enough for him to love a Woman, if she wou'd but tell him he exceeded Callimachus;’ Theocritus, the most famous in the Pastoral Way of Writing; And among the young Men, Aristarchus and Apollonius Rhodius, the one of whom prov'd a most judicious Critick, the other a Poet of no mean Character.

These and many more fill'd the Court of that munificent Prince, whose liberal Dispensations of Wealth and Favour became Encouragements to every One to exert their Parts to the utmost; like Streams which flow through different Sorts of Soils, and improve each in that for which it was adapted by Nature.

[Page] Such was the Court when ZOILUS arriv'd; but before he enter'd Alexandria, he spent a Night in the Temple of Isis, to enquire of the Success of his Undertaking; not that he doubted the Worth of his Works, but his late Misfortune had instructed him, that others might be ignorant of it. Having therefore perform'd the accustom'd Sacrifice, and compos'd himself to rest upon the Hide, he had a Vision which foretold of his fu­ture Fame.

He found himself sitting under the Shade of a dark Yew, which was cover'd with Hellebore and Hemlock, and near the Mouth of a Cave, where fate a Monster, pale, wasted, surrounded with Snakes, fost'ring a Cockatrice in her Bosom; and cursing the Sun, for making the Work of the Deities appear in its Beauty. The Sight of this bred Fear in him; when she suddenly turning her sunk Eyes, put on a hideous Kind of a loving Grin, in which he discover'd a Resemblance to some of his own Features. Then turning up her Snakes, and interlacing them in the Form of a Turbant to give him less Disgust, she thus ad­dress'd herself: ‘Go on, my Son, in whom I am renew'd, and prosper in thy brave Undertakings on Mankind: Assert their Wit to be Dulness; prove their Sense to be Folly; know Truth only when it is on thy own Side; and acknowledge Learning at no other Time to be useful. Spare not an Author of any Rank or Size; let not thy Tongue or Pen know Pity; make the living feel [Page] thy Accusations; make the Ghosts of the dead groan in their Tombs for their violated Fame. But why do I spend Time in needless Advice, which may be better us'd in Encouragement? Let thy Eyes delight themselves with the future Recompence which I have reserv'd for thy Merit.’ Thus spoke the Monster, and shriek'd the Name of ZOILUS: The Shades who were to bear the same Name after him became obedient, and the Mouth of the Cave was fill'd with strange supercilious Countenances, which all crowded to make their Appearance. These began to march before him with an Imitation of his Mien and Manners: Some crown'd with wild Sorrel, others having Leaves of dead Bays mingl'd amongst it; while the Monster still describ'd them as he pass'd, and touch'd each with a livid Track of malignant Light that shot from her Eye, to point where she meant the Descrip­tion. ‘They (says she) in the Chaplets of wild Sorrel, are my Writers of Prose, who erect Scan­dal into Criticism: They who wear the wither'd Bay with it, are such who write Po­ems, which are professedly to answer all Rules, and be left for Patterns to Men of Genius. These that follow shall attack others, because they are excell'd by them. The next Rank shall make an Author's being read a sufficient Ground of Oppo­sition. Here march my Grammarians skill'd to torture Words; there my Sons of Sophistry, ever ready to wrest a Meaning. Observe how faint the foremost of the Procession appear; and [Page] how they are now lost in yonder Mists which roll about the Cave of Oblivion! This shews, it is not for themselves that they are to be known; the World will consider them only as managing a Part of thy Endowments, and so know them by thy Name while they live, that their own shall be lost for ever. But see how my Cave still swarms! how every Age produces Men, upon whom the Preservation of thy Me­mory devolves. My Darling, the Fates have de­creed it! Thou art ZOILUS, and ZOILUS shall be eternal: Come, my Serpents, applaud him with your Hisses, that is all which now can be done; in modern Times my Sons shall invent louder Instruments, and artificial Imitations, Noises which drown the Voice of Merit, shall furnish a Consort to delight them.’ Here she arose to clasp him in her Arms, a strange Noise was heard, the Critick started at it, and his Vi­sion forsook him.

It was with some Confusion, that he lay musing a while upon what he had seen; but re­flecting, that the Goddess had giv'n him no An­swer concerning his Success in Aegypt, he strength­en'd his Heart in his ancient Self-Love and En­mity to others, and took all for an idle Dream born of the Fumes of Indigestion, or produc'd by the dizzy Motion of his Voyage. In this Opi­nion, he told it at his Departure to the Priest, who admiring the extraordinary Relation, regi­stred it in Hieroglyphicks at Canopus.

[Page] The Day when he came to Alexandria was one on which the King had appointed Games to Apollo and the Muses, and Honours and Rewards for such Writers as shou'd appear in them. This he took for a happy Omen at his Entrance, and, not to lose an Opportunity of shewing himself, repair'd im­mediately to the publick Theatre, where, as if every Thing was to favour him, the very first Accident gave his Spleen a Diversion, which we find at large in the Proem of the seventh Book of Vitruvius. It happen'd that when the Poets had recited, six of the Judges decreed the Prizes with a full Approbation of all the Audience. From this Aristophanes alone dissented, and de­manded the first Prize for a Person whose bash­ful and interrupted Manner of speaking made him appear the most disgustful: For he (says the Judge) is alone a Poet, and all the rest Reciters; and they who are Judges shou'd not approve Thefts, but Writings. To maintain his Assertion, those Volumns were produc'd from whence they had been stoll'n: Upon which the King order'd them to be formally try'd for Theft, and dismiss'd with Infamy; but plac'd Aristophanes over his Library, as One, who had given a Proof of his Knowledge in Books. This Passage ZOILUS often afterwards repeated with Pleasure, for the Number of Disgraces which happen'd in it to the Pretenders in Poetry; tho' his Envy made him still careful not to name Aristophanes, but a Judge in general.

[Page] However, Criticism had only a short Triumph over Poetry, when he made the next Turn his own, by stepping forward into the Place of re­citing. Here he immediately rais'd the Curiosity, and drew the Attention of both King and People: But, as it happen'd, neither the one nor the other lasted; for the first Sentence where he had registred his own Name, satisfied their Curiosity; and the next, where he offer'd to prove to a Court so devoted to Homer, that he was ridicu­lous in every thing, went near to finish his Audi­ence. He was nevertheless heard quietly for some Time, till the King seeing no End of his Abusing the Prince of Philological Learning, (as Vitruvius words it) departed in Disdain. The Judges follow'd, deriding his Attempt as an Ex­travagance which cou'd not demand their Gra­vity; and the People taking a License from the Pre­cedent, hooted him away with Obloquy and In­dignation. Thus Zoilus fail'd at his first Ap­pearance, and was forc'd to retire, stung with a most impatient Sense of publick Contempt.

Yet notwithstanding all this, he did not omit his Attendance at Court on the Day following, with a Petition that he might be put upon the Establishment of Learning, and allow'd a Pen­sion. This the King read, but return'd no An­swer: So great was the Scorn he conceiv'd against him. But ZOILUS still undauntedly renew'd his Petitions, 'till Ptolomy, being weary of his Per­secution, gave him a flat Denial. HOMER, (says [Page] the Prince) who has been dead these Thousand Years, has maintain'd Thousands of People; and ZOILUS, who boasts he has more Wit than he, ought not only to maintain himself, but many others also.

His Petitions being thrown carelesly about, were fall'n into the Hands of Men of Wit, whom, according to his Custom, he had provok'd, and whom it is unsafe to provoke if you wou'd live unexpos'd. I can compare them to nothing more properly, than to the Bee, a Creature wing'd and lively, fond to rove through the choicest Flowers of Nature, and blest at home among the Sweets of its own Composition: Not ill-na­tur'd, yet quick to revenge an Injury; not wear­ing its Sting out of the Sheath, yet able to wound more sorely than its Appearance wou'd threaten. Now these being made personal Enemies by his malicious Expressions, the Court rung with Pe­titions of ZOILUS transvers'd; new Petitions drawn up for him; Catalogues of his Merits, suppos'd to be collected by himself; his Com­plaints of Man's Injustice set to a Harp out of Tune, and a Hundred other Sports of Fancy, with which their Epigrams play'd upon him. These were the Ways of Writing which ZOILUS hated, because they were not only read, but re­tain'd easily, by Reason of their Spirit, Humour, and Brevity; and because they not only make the Man a Jest upon whom they are written, but a further Jest, if he attempt to answer them gravely. [Page] However, he did what he cou'd in Revenge; he endeavour'd to set those whom he envy'd at Variance among themselves, and invented Lies to promote his Design. He told Eratosthenes, that Callimachus said, his Extent of Learning consisted but in a superficial Knowledge of the Sciences; and whisper'd Callimachus, that Eratosthenes only al­low'd him to have an artful habitual Knack of Ver­sifying. He would have made Aristophanes believe, that Theocritus rally'd his Knowledge in Editions as a curious Kind of Triffling; and Theocritus, that Aristophanes derided the rustical Simplicity of his Shepherds. Tho' of all his Stories, that which he most valu'd himself for, was his constant Report, that every one whom he hated was a Friend to Antiochus King of Syria, the Enemy of Ptolomy.

But Malice is unsuccessful when the Character of its Agent is known: They grew more Friends to one another, by imagining, that even what had been said, as well as what had not, was all of ZOILUS'S Invention; and as he grew more and more the common Jest, their Derision of him became a Kind of Life and Cement to their Conversation.

Contempt, Poverty, and other Misfortunes had now so assaulted him, that even they who abhorr'd his Temper, contributed something to his Support, in common Humanity. Yet still his Envy, like a vitiated Stomach, converted every Kindness to the Nourishment of his Disease; and 'twas the whole Business of his Life to revile HOMER, [Page] and those by whom he himself subsisted. In this Humour he had Days, which were so given up to impatient Ill-nature, that he cou'd neither write any Thing, nor converse with any One. These he sometimes employ'd in throwing Stones at Chil­dren; which was once so unhappily return'd up­on him, that he was taken up for dead: And this occasion'd the Report in some Authors, of his being ston'd to Death in Aegypt. Or, sometimes he convey'd himself into the Library, where he blotted the Name of HOMER wherever he could meet it, and tore the best Editions of several Volumns; for which the Librarians debarr'd him the Privilege of that Place. These and other Mischiefs made him universally shunn'd; nay, to such an Extravagance was his Character of Envy carry'd, that the more superstitious Aegyptians imagin'd they were fascinated by him, if the Day were darker, or themselves a little heavier than ordinary; some wore Sprigs of Rue, by Way of Prevention; and others, Rings made of the Hoof of a wild Ass for Amulets, lest they shou'd suffer, by his fixing an Eye upon them.

It was now near the Time, when that splen­did Temple which Ptolomy built in Honour of HOMER, was to be open'd with a solemn Mag­nificence: For this the Men of Genius were employ'd in finding a proper Pageant. At last, they agreed by one Consent, to have ZOILUS, the utter Enemy of HOMER, hang'd in Effigie; [Page] and the Day being come, it was on this Manner they form'd the Procession. Twelve beautiful Boys, lightly habited in white, with purple Wings representing the Hours, went on the foremost: After these came a Chariot exceeding high and stately, where sate one representing Apollo, with another at his Feet, who in this Pomp sustain'd the Person of HOMER: Apollo's Lawrel had little gilded Points, like the Appearance of Rays between its Leaves; HOMER'S was bound with a blue Fillet, like that which is worn by the Priests of the Deity: Apollo was distinguish'd by the golden Harp he bore; HOMER, by a Vo­lumn, richly beautify'd with Horns of inlaid Ivory, and Tassels of Silver depending from them. Behind these came three Chariots, in which rode nine Damsels, each of them with that Instrument which is proper to each of the Muses; among whom, Calliope, to give her the Honour of the Day, sate in the Middle of the second Chariot, known by her richer Vestments. After these march'd a solemn Train aptly habited, like those Sciences which acknowledge their Rise or Improvement from this Poet. Then the Men of Learning who attended the Court, with Wreaths, and Rods or Scepters of Lawrel, as taking upon themselves the Representation of Rhapsodists, to do Honour, for the Time, to HOMER. In the Rear of all was slowly drawn along an odd Carriage, rather than a Chariot, [Page] which had its Sides artfully turn'd, and carv'd so as to bear a Resemblance to the Heads of snarling Mastiffs. In this was born, as led in Triumph, a tall Image of Deformity, whose Head was bald, and wound about with Nettles for a Chaplet. The Tongue lay lolling out, to shew a Contempt of Mankind, and was fork'd at the End, to con­fess its Love to Detraction. The Hands were manacled behind, and the Fingers arm'd with long Nails, to cut deep through the Margins of Authors. Its Vesture was of the Paper of Nilus, bearing inscrib'd upon its Breast in Capital Let­ters, ZOILUS the HOMERO-MASTIX; and all the rest of it was scrawl'd with various Monsters of that River, as Emblems of those Pro­ductions with which that Critick us'd to fill his Papers. When they had reach'd the Temple, where the King and his Court were already plac'd to behold them from its Galleries, the Image of ZOILUS was hung upon a Gibbet, there erected for it, with such loud Acclama­tions as witness'd the Peoples Satisfaction. This being finish'd, the Hours knock'd at the Gates, which flew open, and discover'd the Statue of HOMER magnificently seated, with the Pictures of those Cities which contended for his Birth, rang'd in Order around him. Then they who represented the Deities in the Procession, laying aside their Ensigns of Divinity, usher'd in the Men of Learning with a Sound of Voices, and their [Page] various Instruments, to assist at a Sacrifice in Honour of Apollo and his Favourite HOMER.

It may be easily believ'd, that ZOILUS concluded his Affairs were at the utmost Point of Desperation in Aegypt; wherefore, fill'd with Pride, Scorn, Anger, Vexation, Envy, (and what­ever cou'd torment him, except the Knowledge of his Unworthiness) he flung himself aboard the first Ship which left that Country. As it hap­pen'd, the Vessel he sail'd in was bound for Asia Minor, and this landing him at a Port the nearest to Smyrna, he was a little pleas'd amidst his Mi­sery to think of decrying HOMER in another Place where he was ador'd, and which chiefly pretended to his Birth. So incorrigible was his Disposition, that no Experience taught him any Thing which might contribute to his Ease and Safety.

And as his Experience wrought nothing on him, so neither did the Accidents, which the Opinion of those Times took for ominous Warnings: For, he is reported to have seen the Night he came to Smyrna, a venerable Person, such as HOMER is describ'd by Antiquity, threatning him in a Dream; and in the Morning he found a Part of his Works gnaw'd by Mice, which, says Aelian, are of all Beasts the most prophetick; insomuch that they know when to leave a House, even before its Fall is suspected. Envy, which has no Relaxation, still hurry'd him forward, for it is certainly true [Page] that a Man has not firmer Resolution from Rea­son, to stand by a good Principle, than Obstinacy from perverted Nature, to adhere to a bad one.

In the Morning as he walk'd the Street, he observ'd in some Places Inscriptions concerning HOMER, which inform'd him where he liv'd, where he had taught School, and several other Par­ticularitieswhich the Smyrneans glory to have recor­ded of him; all which awaken'd and irritated the Passions of ZOILUS. But his Temper was quite overthrown, by the venerable Appearance which he saw, upon entring the Homereum; which is a Building compos'd of a Library, Porch, and Temple erected to HOMER. Here a Phrenzy seiz'd him which knew no Bounds; he rav'd vi­olently against the Poet, and all his Admirers; he trampled on his Works, he spurn'd about his Commentators, he tore down his Busts from the Niches, threw the Medals that were cast of him out of the Windows, and passing from one Place to another, beat the aged Priests, and broke down the Altar. The Cries which were occa­sioned by this Means brought in many upon him; who observ'd with Horror how the most sacred Honours of their City were prophan'd by the frantick Impiety of a Stranger; and immediately dragg'd him to Punishment before their Magi­strates, who were then sitting. He was no sooner there, but known for ZOILUS by some [Page] in Court, a Name a long Time most hateful to Smyrna; which, as it valu'd itself upon the Birth of HOMER, so bore more impatiently than other Places, the Abuses offer'd him. This made them eager to propitiate his Shade, and claim to themselves a second Merit by the Death of ZOILUS; wherefore they sentenc'd him to suffer by Fire, as the due Reward of his Desecra­tions; and order'd, that their City shou'd be pu­rify'd by a Lustration, for having entertain'd so impious a Guest. In Pursuance to this Sentence, he was led away, with his Compositions born before him by the publick Executioner: Then was he fasten'd to the Stake, prophesying all the while how many shou'd arise to revenge his Quarrel: particularly, that when Greek shou'd be no more a Language, there shall be a Nation which will both translate HOMER into Prose, and contract him in Verse. At last, his Compo­sitions were lighted to set the Pile on Fire, and he expir'd sighing for the Loss of them, more than for the Pain he suffer'd: And perhaps too, because he might foresee in his prophetick Rapture, that there shou'd arise a Poet in another Nation, able to do HOMER Justice, and make him known amongst his People to future Ages.

Thus dy'd this noted Critick, of whom we may observe from the Course of the History, that as several Cities contended for the [Page] Honour of the Birth of HOMER, so several have contended for the Honour of the Death of ZOILUS. With him likewise perish'd his great Work on the Iliad, and the Odysses; concerning which we observe also, that as the known Worth of HOMER'S Poetry makes him survive himself with Glory; so the bare Memory of ZOILUS'S Criticism makes him survive himself with Infamy. These are deservedly the Conse­quences of that ill Nature which made him fond of Detraction, that Envy, which made him choose so excellent a Character for its Object, and those partial Methods of Injustice with which he treated the Object he had chosen.

Yet how many commence Criticks after him, upon the same unhappy Principles? How many labour to destroy the Monuments of the dead, and summon up the Great from their Graves to answer for Trifles before them? How many, by Misrepresentations, both hinder the World from favouring Men of Genius, and discourage them in themselves; like Boughs of a baneful and bar­ren Nature, that shoot a-cross a Fruit-Tree; at once to screen the Sun from it, and hinder it by their Droppings from producing any Thing of Value? But if these who thus follow ZOILUS, meet not the same Severities of Fate, because they come short of his Indefatigableness, or their Object is not so uni­versally the Concern of Mankind; they shall nevertheless [Page] meet a Proportion of it in the inward Trouble they give themselves, and the outward Contempt others fling upon them: A Punish­ment which every one has hitherto felt, who has really deserv'd to be call'd a ZOILUS; and which will always be the natural Reward of such Mens Actions, as long as ZOILUS is the proper Name of Envy.

Names of the MICE.
One who plun­ders Granaries.
A Bread-eater.
A Licker of Meal.
A Bacon-eater.
A Licker of Dishes.
A Creeper into Pots.
A Name from Lick­ing.
One who runs into Holes.
Who feeds on Bread.
A Cheese-Scooper.
A Bacon-Scoop­er.
A Bacon-Eater.
One who follows the Steam of Kitchens.
An Eater of Wheat.
One who plunders his Share.
Names of the FROGS.
One who swells his Cheeks.
A Name from Mud.
A Ruler in the Waters.
A loud Bawler.
From Mud.
Call'd from the Beets.
A great Babbler.
One who loves the Lake.
Call'd from the Lake.
From the Herb.
Who loves the Water
Who lies in the Mud
An Eater of Gar­lick.
From Mud.
Who walks in the Dirt.
Call'd from Garlick.
from Croaking.


TO fill my rising Song with sacred Fire,
Ye tuneful Nine, ye sweet Celestial Quire
From Helicon's imbow'ring Height repai [...]
Attend my Labours, and reward my Pray' [...]
The dreadful Toils of raging Mars I writ [...]
The Springs of Contest, and the Fields of Fight;
How threatning Mice advanc'd with warlike Grace,
And wag'd dire Combats with the croaking Race.
Not louder Tumults shook Olympus' Tow'rs,
When Earth-born Giants dar'd Immortal Pow'rs.
These equal Acts an equal Glory claim,
And thus the Muse records the Tale of Fame.
Once on a Time, fatigu'd and out of Breath,
And just escap'd the stretching Claws of Death,
A Gentle Mouse, whom Cats pursu'd in vain,
Flies swift-of-foot across the neighb'ring Plain,
Hangs o'er a Brink, his eager Thirst to cool,
And dips his Whiskers in the standing Pool;
When near a courteous Frog advanc'd his Head,
And from the Waters, hoarse-resounding said,
What art thou, Stranger? What the Line you boast?
What Chance hath cast thee panting on our Coast?
With strictest Truth let all thy Words agree,
Nor let me find a faithless Mouse in thee.
If worthy Friendship, proffer'd Friendship take,
And entring view the pleasurable Lake:
Range o'er my Palace, in my Bounty share,
And glad return from hospitable Fare.
[Page 3] This Silver Realm extends beneath my Sway,
And me, their Monarch, all its Frogs obey.
Great Physignathus I, from Peleus' Race,
Begot in fair Hydromeduse' Embrace,
Where by the nuptial Bank that paints his Side,
The swift Eridanus delights to glide.
Thee too, thy Form, thy Strength, and Port proclain
A scepter'd King; a Son of Martial Fame;
Then trace thy Line, and aid my guessing Eyes.
Thus ceas'd the Frog, and thus the Mouse replies.
Known to the Gods, the Men, the Birds that fly
Thro' wild Expanses of the midway Sky,
My Name resounds; and if unknown to thee,
The Soul of Great Psycarpax lives in me.
Of brave Troxartas' Line, whose sleeky Down
In Love compress'd Lychomile the brown.
My Mother she, and Princess of the Plains
Where-e're her Father Pternotroctas reigns:
[Page 4] Born where a Cabin lifts its airy Shed,
With Figs, with Nuts, with vary'd Dainties fed.
But since our Natures nought in common know,
From what Foundation can a Friendship grow?
These cursing Waters o'er thy Palace roll;
But Man's high Food supports my Princely Soul.
In vain the circled Loaves attempt to lie
Conceal'd in Flaskets from my curious Eye,
In vain the Tripe that boasts the whitest Hue,
In vain the gilded Bacon shuns my View,
In vain the Cheeses, Osspring of the Pale,
Or honey'd Cakes, which Gods themselves regale.
And as in Arts I shine, in Arms I fight,
Mix'd with the bravest, and unknown to Flight.
Tho' large to mine the humane Form appear,
Not Man himself can smite my Soul with Fear.
Sly to the Bed with silent Steps I go,
Attempt his Finger, or attack his Toe,
[Page 5] And fix indented Wounds with dext'rous Skill,
Sleeping he feels, and only seems to feel.
Yet have we Foes which direful Dangers cause,
Grim Owls with Talons arm'd, and Cats with Claws,
And that false Trap, the Den of silent Fate,
Where Death his Ambush plants around the Bait;
All-dreaded these, and dreadful o'er the rest
The potent Warriours of the tabby Vest,
If to the dark we fly, the Dark they trace,
And rend our Heroes of the nibling Race.
But me, nor Stalks, nor watrish Herbs delight,
Nor can the crimson Radish charm my Sight,
The Lake-resounding Frogs selected Fare,
Which not a Mouse of any Tast can bear.
As thus the downy Prince his Mind exprest,
His Answer thus the croaking King addrest.
Thy Words luxuriant on thy Dainties rove,
And, stranger, we can boast of bounteous Jove:
[Page 6] We sport in Water, or we dance on Land,
And born amphibious, Food from both command
But trust thy self where Wonders ask thy View,
And safely tempt those Seas, I'll bear thee through:
Ascend my Shoulders, firmly keep thy Seat,
And reach my marshy Court, and feast in State.
He said, and leant his Back; with nimble Bound
Leaps the light Mouse, and clasps his Arms around
Then wond'ring floats, and sees with glad Survey
The winding Banks dissemble Ports at Sea.
But when aloft the curling Water rides,
And wets with azure Wave his downy Sides,
His Thoughts grow conscious of approaching Woe,
His idle Tears with vain Repentance flow,
His Locks he rends, his trembling Feet he rears,
Thick beats his Heart with unaccustom'd Fears;
He sighs, and chill'd with Danger, longs for Shore:
His Tail extended forms a fruitless Oar,
[Page 7] Half-drench'd in liquid Death his Pray'rs he spake,
And thus bemoan'd him from the dreadful Lake.
So pass'd Europa thro' the rapid Sea,
Trembling and fainting all the vent'rous Way;
With oary Feet the Bull triumphant rode,
And safe in Crete depos'd his lovely Load.
Ah safe at last! may thus the Frog support
My trembling Limbs to reach his ample Court.
As thus he sorrows, Death ambiguous grows,
Lo! from the deep a Water-Hydra rose;
He rolls his sanguin'd Eyes, his Bosom heaves,
And darts with active Rage along the Waves.
Confus'd, the Monarch sees his hissing Foe,
And dives to shun the sable Fates below.
Forgetful Frog! The Friend thy Shoulders bore,
Unskill'd in Swimming, floats remote from Shore.
He grasps with fruitless Hands to find Relief,
Supinely falls, and grinds his Teeth with Grief,
[Page 8] Plunging he sinks, and struggling mounts again,
And sinks, and strives, but strives with Fate in vain.
The weighty Moisture clogs his hairy Vest,
And thus the Prince his dying Rage exprest.
Nor thou, that flings me flound' ring from thy Back,
As from hard Rocks rebounds the shatt'ring Wrack,
Nor thou shalt 'scape thy Due, perfidious King!
Pursu'd by Vengeance on the swiftest Wing:
At Land thy Strength could never equal mine,
At Sea to conquer, and by Craft, was thine.
But Heav'n has Gods, and Gods have searching Eyes:
Ye Mice, ye Mice, my great Avengers rise!
This said, he sighing gasp'd, and gasping dy'd.
His Death the young Lychopinax espy'd,
As on the flow'ry Brink he pass'd the Day,
Bask'd in the Beams, and loyter'd Life away:
Loud shrieks the Mouse, his Shrieks the Shores repeat;
The nibbling Nation learn their Heroe's Fate:
[Page 9] Grief, dismal Grief ensues; deep Murmurs sound,
And shriller Fury fills the deafen'd Ground;
From Lodge to Lodge the sacred Heralds run,
To fix their Council with the rising Sun;
Where great Troxartas crown'd in Glory reigns,
And winds his length'ning Court beneath the Plains;
Psycarpax Father, Father now no more!
For poor Psycarpax lies remote from Shore;
Supine he lies! the silent Waters stand,
And no kind Billow wafts the Dead to Land!


WHEN rosy-finger'd Morn had ting'd the Clouds.
Around their Monarch-Mouse the Nation crouds▪
Slow rose the Monarch, heav'd his anxious Breast,
And thus, the Council fill'd with Rage, addrest.
For lost Psycarpax much my Soul endures,
'Tis mine the private Grief, the publick, yours.
Three warlike Sons adorn'd my nuptial Bed,
Three Sons, alas, before their Father dead!
Our Eldest perish'd by the rav'ning Cat,
As near my Court the Prince unheedful sate.
[Page 11] Our next, an Engine fraught with Danger drew,
The Portal gap'd, the Bait was hung in View,
Dire Arts assist the Trap, the Fates decoy,
And Men unpitying kill'd my gallant Boy!
The last, his Country's Hope, his Parent's Pride,
Plung'd in the Lake by Physignathus, dy'd.
Rouse all the War, my Friends! avenge the Deed,
And bleed that Monarch, and his Nation bleed.
His Words in ev'ry Breast inspir'd Alarms,
And careful Mars supply'd their Host with Arms.
In verdant Hulls despoil'd of all their Beans,
The buskin'd Warriours stalk'd along the Plains,
Quills aptly bound, their bracing Corselet made,
Fac'd with the Plunder of a Cat they flay'd,
The Lamp's round Boss affords their ample Shield,
Large Shells of Nuts their cov'ring Helmet yield;
And o'er the Region, with reflected Rays,
Tall Groves of Needles for their Lances blaze.
[Page 12] Dreadful in Arms the marching Mice appear:
The wond'ring Frogs perceive the Tumult near,
Forsake the Waters, thick'ning form a Ring,
And ask, and hearken, whence the Noises spring;
When near the Croud, disclos'd to publick View,
The valiant Chief Embasichytros drew:
The sacred Herald's Scepter grac'd his Hand,
And thus his Words exprest his King's Command.
Ye Frogs! the Mice with Vengeance fir'd, advance,
And deckt in Armour shake the shining Lance;
Their hapless Prince by Physignathus slain,
Extends incumbent on the watry Plain.
Then arm your Host, the doubtful Battle try;
Lead forth those Frogs that have the Soul to die.
The Chief retires, the Crowd the Challenge hear,
And proudly-swelling, yet perplex'd appear,
Much they resent, yet much their Monarch blame,
Who rising, spoke to clear his tainted Fame.
O Friends, I never forc'd the Mouse to Death,
Nor saw the Gaspings of his latest Breath.
He, vain of Youth, our Art of Swimming try'd,
And vent'rous, in the Lake the Wanton dy'd.
To Vengeance now by false Appearance led,
They point their Anger at my guiltless Head.
But wage the rising War by deep Device,
And turn its Fury on the crafty Mice.
Your King directs the Way; my Thoughts elate
With Hopes of Conquest, form Designs of Fate.
Where high the Banks their verdant Surface heave,
And the steep Sides confine the sleeping Wave,
There, near the Margin, and in Armour bright,
Sustain the first impetuous Shocks of Fight:
Then where the dancing Feather joins the Crest,
Let each brave Frog his obvious Mouse arrest;
Each strongly grasping, headlong plunge a Foe,
'Till countless Circles whirl the Lake below;
[Page 14] Down sink the Mice in yielding Waters drown'd;
Loud flash the Waters; ecchoing Shores resound:
The Frogs triumphant tread the conquer'd Plain,
And raise their glorious Trophies of the slain.
He spake no more, his prudent Scheme imparts
Redoubling Ardour to the boldest Hearts.
Green was the Suit his arming Heroes chose,
Around their Legs the Greaves of Mallows close,
Green were the Beetes about theit Shoulders laid,
And green the Colewort, which the Target made.
Form'd of the vary'd Shells the Waters yield,
Their glossy Helmets glist'ned o'er the Field;
And tap'ring Sea-Reeds for the polish'd Spear,
With upright Order pierc'd the ambient Air.
Thus dress'd for War, they take th' appointed Height,
Poize the long Arms, and urge the promis'd Fight.
But now, where Jove's irradiate Spires arise,
With Stars surrounded in Aethereal Skies,
[Page 15] (A Solemn Council call'd) the brazen Gates
Unbar; the Gods assume their golden Seats:
The Sire superiour leans, and points to show
What wond'rous Combats Mortals wage below:
How strong, how large, the num'rous Heroes stride;
What Length of Lance they shake with warlike Pride:
What eager Fire, their rapid March reveals;
So the fierce Centaurs ravag'd o'er the Dales;
And so confirm'd, the daring Titans rose,
Heap'd Hills on Hills, and bid the Gods be Foes.
This seen, the Pow'r his sacred Visage rears,
He casts a pitying Smile on worldly Cares,
And asks what heav'nly Guardians take the List,
Or who the Mice, or who the Frogs assist?
Then thus to Pallas. If my Daughter's Mind
Have join'd the Mice, why stays she still behind?
Drawn forth by sav'ry Steams they wind their Way,
And sure Attendance round thine Altar pay,
[Page 16] Where while the Victims gratify their Tast,
They sport to please the Goddess of the Feast.
Thus spake the Ruler of the spacious Skies,
When thus, resolv'd, the Blue-Ey'd Maid replies.
In vain, my Father! all their Dangers plead,
To such, thy Pallas never grants her Aid.
My flow'ry Wreaths they petulantly spoil,
And rob my chrystal Lamps of feeding Oil.
(Ills following Ills) but what afflicts me more,
My Veil, that idle Race profanely tore.
The Web was curious, wrought with Art divine;
Relentless Wretches! all the Work was mine.
Along the Loom the purple Warp I spread,
Cast the light Shoot, and crost the silver Thread;
In this their Teeth a thousand Breaches tear,
The thousand Breaches skilful Hands repair,
For which vile earthly Dunns thy Daughter grieve,
And Gods, that use no Coin, have none to give.
[Page 17] And Learning's Goddess never less can owe,
Neglected Learning gets no Wealth below.
Nor let the Frogs to gain my Succour sue,
Those clam'rous Fools have lost my Favour too.
For late, when all the Conflict ceast at Night,
When my stretch'd Sinews work'd with eager Fight.
When spent with glorious Toil, I left the Field,
And sunk for Slumber on my swelling Shield,
Lo from the Deep, repelling sweet Repose,
With noisy Croakings half the Nation rose:
Devoid of Rest, with aking Brows I lay,
'Till Cocks proclaim'd the crimson Dawn of Day.
Let all, like me, from either Host forbear,
Nor tempt the flying Furies of the Spear.
Let heav'nly Blood (or what for Blood may flow)
Adorn the Conquest of a meaner Foe,
Who, wildly rushing, meet the wond'rous Odds,
Tho' Gods oppose, and brave the wounded Gods.
[Page 18] O'er gilded Clouds reclin'd, the Danger view,
And be the Wars of Mortals Scenes for you.
So mov'd the blue-ey'd Queen, her Words persuade,
Great Jove assented, and the rest obey'd.


NOW Front to Front the marching Armies shine,
Halte'er they meet, and form the length'ning Line
The Chiefs conspicuous seen, and heard afar,
Give the loud Sign to loose the rushing War;
Their dreadful Trumpets deep-mouth'd Hornets sound
The sounded Charge remurmurs o'er the Ground,
Ev'n Jove proclaims a Field of Horror nigh,
And rolls low Thunder thro' the troubled Sky.
First to the Fight the large Hypsiboas flew,
And brave Lychenor with a Javelin slew,
[Page 20] The luckless Warriour fill'd with gen'rous Flame,
Stood foremost glitt' ring in the Post of Fame.
When in his Liver struck, the Jav'lin hung,
The Mouse fell thund' ring, and the Target rung;
Prone to the Ground he sinks his closing Eye,
And soil'd in Dust his lovely Tresses lie.
A Spear at Pelion Troglodytes cast,
The missive Spear within the Bosom past;
Death's sable Shades the fainting Frog surround,
And Life's red Tide runs ebbing from the Wound.
Embasichytros felt Seutlaeus' Dart
Transfix, and quiver in his panting Heart;
But great Artophagus aveng'd the slain,
And big Seutlaeus tumbling loads the Plain,
And Polyphonus dies, a Frog renown'd,
For boastful Speech and Turbulence of Sound;
Deep thro' the Belly pierc'd, supine he lay,
And breath'd his Soul against the Face of Day.
[Page 21] The strong Lymnocharis, who view'd with Ire,
A Victor triumph, and a Friend expire;
And fiercely flung where Troglodytes fought,
With heaving Arms a rocky Fragment caught,
A Warrious vers'd in Arts, of sure Retreat,
Yet Arts in vain elude impending Fate;
Full on his sinewy Neck the Fragment fell,
And o'er his Eye-lids Clouds eternal dwell.
Lychenor (second of the glorious Name)
Striding advanc'd, and took no wand' ring Aim;
Thro' all the Frog the shining Jav'lin flies,
And near the vanquish'd Mouse the Victor dies;
The dreadful Stroke Crambophagus affrights,
Long bred to Banquets, less inur'd to Fights,
Heedless he runs, and stumbles o'er the Steep,
And wildly flound' ring flashes up the Deep;
Lychenor following with a downward Blow,
Reach'd in the Lake his unrecover'd Foe;
[Page 22] Gasping he rolls, a purple Stream of Blood
Distains the Surface of the Silver Flood;
Thro' the wide Wound the rushing Entrails throng,
And slow the breathless Carkass floats along.
Lymnisius good Tyroglyphus assails,
Prince of the Mice that haunt the flow'ry Vales,
Lost to the milky Fares and rural Seat,
He came to perish on the Bank of Fate.
The dread Pternoglyphus demands the Fight,
Which tender Calaminthlus shuns by Flight,
Drops the green Target, springing quits the Foe,
Glides thro' the Lake, and safely dives below.
The dire Pternophagus divides his Way
Thro' breaking Ranks, and leads the dreadful Day.
No nibbling Prince excell'd in Fierceness more,
His Parents fed him on the savage Boar;
But where his Lance the Field with Blood imbru'd,
Swift as he mov'd Hydrocharis pursu'd,
[Page 23] 'Till fall'n in Death he lies, a shatt' ring Stone
Sounds on the Neck, and crushes all the Bone,
His Blood pollutes the Verdure of the Plain,
And from his Nostrils bursts the gushing Brain.
Lycopinax with Borbocaetes sights
A blameless Frog, whom humbler Life delights;
The fatal Jav'lin unrelenting flies,
And Darkness seals the gentle Croaker's Eyes.
Incens'd Prassophagus with spritely Bound,
Bears Cnissiodortes off the rising Ground,
Then drags him o'er the Lake depriv'd of Breath,
And downward plunging, sinks his Soul to Death.
But now the great Psycarpax shines afar,
(Scarce he so great whose Loss provok'd the War)
Swift to Revenge his fatal Jav'lin fled,
And thro' the Liver struck Pelusius dead;
His freckled Corps before the Victor fell,
His Soul indignant sought the Shades of Hell.
[Page 24] This saw Pelohates, and from the Flood
Lifts with both Hands a monst'rous Mass of Mud,
The Cloud obscene o'er all the Warrior flies,
Dishonours his brown Face, and blots his Eyes.
Enrag'd, and wildly sputtring, from the Shore
A Stone immense of Size the Warrior bore,
A Load for lab'ring Earth, whose Bulk to raise,
Asks ten degen'rate Mice of modern Days.
Full to the Leg arrives the crushing Wound,
The Frog supportless, wriths upon the Ground.
Thus flush'd, the Victor wars with matchless Force,
'Till loud Craugasides arrests his Course,
Hoarse-croaking Threats precede, with fatal Speed
Deep thro' the Belly runs the pointed Reed,
Then strongly tug'd, return'd imbru'd with Gore,
And on the Pile his reeking Entrails bore.
The lame Sitophagus oppress'd with Pain,
Creeps from the desp'rate Dangers of the Plain.
[Page 25] And where the Ditches rising Weeds supply,
To spread their lowly Shades beneath the Sky,
There lurks the silent Mouse reliev'd of Heat,
And safe imbower'd, avoids the Chance of Fate.
But here Troxartes, Physignathus there,
Whirl the dire Furies of the pointed Spear:
Then where the Foot around its Ankle plies,
Troxartes wounds, and Physignathus flies,
Halts to the Pool, a safe Retreat to find,
And trails a dangling Length of Leg behind.
The Mouse still urges, still the Frog retires,
And half in Anguish of the Flight expires;
Then pious Ardor young Prassaeus brings,
Betwixt the Fortunes of contending Kings:
Lank, harmless Frog! with Forces hardly grown,
He darts the Reed in Combats not his own,
Which faintly tinkling on Troxarters' Shield,
Hangs at the Point, and drops upon the Field.
[Page 26] Now nobly tow'ring o'er the rest appears
A gallant Prince that far transcends his Years,
Pride of his Sire, and Glory of his House,
And more a Mars in Combat than a Mouse:
His Action bold, robust his ample Frame,
And Meridarpax his resounding Name.
The Warrior singled from the fighting Crowd,
Boasts the dire Honours of his Arms aloud;
Then strutting near the Lake, with Looks elate,
Threats all its Nations with approaching Fate.
And such his Strength, the Silver Lakes around,
Might roll their Waters o'er unpeopled Ground.
But pow'rful Jove who shews no less his Grace
To Frogs that perish, than to human Race,
Felt soft Compassion rising in his Soul,
And shook his sacred Head, that shook the Pole.
Then thus to all the gazing Pow'rs began,
The Sire of Gods, and Frogs, and Mouse, and Man.
What Seas of Blood I view, what Worlds of slain,
An Iliad rising from a Day's Campaign!
How fierce his Jav'lin o'er the trembling Lakes
The black-fur'd Hero Meridarpax shakes!
Unless some fav'ring Deity descend,
Soon will the Frogs loquacious Empire end.
Let dreadful Pallas wing'd with Pity fly,
And make her Aegis blaze before his Eye:
While Mars refulgent on his ratling Car,
Arrests his raging Rival of the War.
He ceas'd, reclining with attentive Head,
When thus the glorious God of Combats said.
Nor Pallas, Jove! tho' Pallas take the Field,
With all the Terrors of her hissing Shield,
Nor Mars himself, tho' Mars in Armour bright
Ascend his Car, and wheel amidst the Fight;
Nor these can drive the desp'rate Mouse afar,
And change the Fortunes of the bleeding War.
[Page 28] Let all go forth, all Heav'n in Arms arise,
Or launch thy own red Thunder from the Skies.
Such ardent Bolts as flew that wond'rous Day,
When Heaps of Titans mix'd with Mountains lay,
When all the Giant-Race enormous fell,
And huge Enceladus was hurl'd to Hell.
'Twas thus th' Armipotent advis'd the Gods,
When from his Throne the Cloud-Compeller nods,
Deep length'ning Thunders run from Pole to Pole,
Olympus trembles as the Thunders roll.
Then swift he whirls the brandish'd Bolt around,
And headlong darts it at the distant Ground,
The Bolt discharg'd inwrap'd with Light'ning flies,
And rends its flaming Passage thro' the Skies,
Then Earth's Inhabitants the Niblers shake,
And Frogs, the Dwellers in the Waters, quake.
Yet still the Mice advance their dread Design,
And the last Danger threats the croaking Line,
[Page 29] 'Till Jove that inly mourn'd the Loss they bore,
With strange Assistants fill'd the frighted Shore.
Pour'd from the neighb'ring Strand, deform'd to View,
They march, a sudden unexpected Crew,
Strong Sutes of Armor round their Bodies close,
Which, like thick Anvils, blunt the Force of Blows;
In wheeling Marches turn'd oblique they go,
With harpy Claws their Limbs divide below,
Fell Sheers the Passage to their Mouth command,
From out the Flesh the Bones by Nature stand,
Broad spread their Backs, their shining Shouldersrise,
Unnumber'd Joints distort their lengthen'd Thighs,
With nervous Cords their Hands are firmly brac'd,
Their round black Eye-balls in their Bosom plac'd,
On eight long Feet the wond'rous Warriors tread,
And either End alike supplies a Head.
These, mortal Wits to call the Crabs, agree;
The Gods have other Names for Things than we.
[Page 30] Now where the Jointures from their Loins depend
The Heroes Tails with sev'ring Grasps they rend.
Here, short of Feet, depriv'd the Pow'r to fly,
There, without Hands upon the Field they lie.
Wrench'd from their Holds, and scatter'd all around,
The bended Lances heap the cumber'd Ground.
Helpless Amazement, Fear pursuing Fear,
And mad Confusion thro' their Host appear,
O'er the wild Wast with headlong Flight they go,
Or creep conceal'd in vaulted Holes below.
But down Olympus to the Western Seas,
Far-shooting Phoebus drove with fainter Rays,
And a whole War (so Jove ordain'd) begun,
Was fought, and ceas'd, in one revolving Sun.


Ingenium magni Livor detractat Amici,
Quisquis & ex illo Zoile nomen Habes.

I MUST do my Reader the Justice, before I enter upon these NOTES of ZOILUS, to inform him, that I have not in any Author met this Work ascrib'd to him by its Title, which has made me not men­tion it in the LIFE. But thus much in general appears, that he wrote several Things besides his Censure on the Iliad, which, as it gives Ground for this Opinion, encourages me to offer an Account of the Treatise.

[Page] Being acquainted with a grave Gentleman who searches after Editions, purchases Manuscripts, and collects Copies, I apply'd to him for some Editions of this Poem, which he readily oblig'd me with. But, added he, taking down a Paper, I doubt I shall discourage you from your Trans­lation, when I show this Work, which is written upon the Original, by ZOILUS, the famous Ad­versary of HOMER. ZOILUS! said I with Sur­prize, I thought his Works had long since perish'd. They have so, answer'd he, all, except this little Piece, which has a PREFACE annex'd to it ac­counting for its Preservation. It seems, when he parted from Macedon, he left this behind him where he lodg'd, and where no one enter'd for a long Time, in Detestation of the Odiousness of his Character, 'till Maevius arriving there in his Travels, and being desirous to lie in the same Room, luckily found it, and brought it away with him. This the Author of the PREFACE imagins the Reason of Ho­race's wishing Maevius in the 10th Epode, such a Ship­wrack as HOMER describes; as it were with an Eye to his having done something disadvan­tageous to that Poet. From Maevius, the Piece came into the Hand of Carbilius Pictor, (who, when he wrote against Virgil, call'd his Book, with a respectful Imitation of ZOILUS, the Aeneidomastix) and from him into the Hands of others who are unknown, because the World ap­ply'd to them no other Name than that of ZOILUS, in Order to sink their own in [Page] Oblivion. Thus it ever found some learned Phi­lologist or Critick, to keep it secret from the Rage of HOMER's Admirers; yet not so secret, but that it has still been communicated among the Literati. I am of Opinion, that our Great Scaliger borrow'd it, to work him up when he writ so sharply against Cardan; and perhaps Le Clerc too, when he prov'd Q. Curtius ignorant of every particular Branch of Learning.

This formal Account made me give Attention to what the Book contain'd; and I must acknow­ledge, that whether it be his, or the Work of some Grammarian, it appears to be writ in his Spirit. The open Profession of Enmity to great Genius's, and the Fear of nothing so much as that he may not be able to find Faults enough, are such Resemblances of his strongest Features, that any one might take it for his own Production. To give the World a Notion of this, I have made a Collection of some REMARKS, which most struck me, during that short Time in which I was allow'd to peruse the Manuscript.


VERSE I. TO fill my rising Song.] As Pro­tagoras the Sophist found Fault with the Beginning of the Iliad, for its speaking to the Muse ra­ther with an abrupt Command, than a solemn Invoca­tion, so I, says ZOILUS, do on the other Hand find Fault with him for using any Invocation at all be­fore this Poem, or any such Trifles as he is Author [Page] of. If he must ase one, Protagoras is in the right; if not, I am: This I hold for true Criticism, not­withstanding the Opinion of Aristotle against us. Nor let any one lay a Stress on Aristotle in this Point; he alas! knows nothing of Poetry but what he has read in HOMER; his Rules are all extrac­ted from him, or founded in him. In short, HO­MER'S Works are the Examples of Aristotle's Pre­cepts; and Aristotle's Precepts the Methods HO­MER wrought by. From hence it is to be con­cluded as the Opinion of this Critick, that who­ever wou'd intirely destroy the Reputation of HOMER, must renounce the Authority of Ari­stotle before-hand. The Rules of Building may be of Service to us, it we design to judge of an Edifice, and discover what may be amiss in it for the Advantage of future Artificers; but they are of no Use to those who only intend to overthrow it utterly.

After the Word [Song,] in the first Line the Original adds, [What I have written in my Tablets.] These Words, which are dropp'd in the Transla­tion as of no Consequence, the Great ZOILUS has thought fit to expunge; asserting for a Reason, without backing it with farther Proof, That Ta­blets were not of so early Invention. Now, it must be granted, this Manner of proving by Affirma­tion is of an extraordinary Nature, but however it has its End with a Set of Readers for whom it is adapted. One Part of the World knows not with what Assurance another Part can express itself. [Page] They imagine a reasonable Creature will not have the Face to say any Thing which has not some Shadow of Reason to support it; and run implicity into the Snare which is laid for good Nature, by these daring Authors of definitive Sen­tences upon bare Assertion.

VERSE 15. Whom Cats pursu'd.] The Greek Word here expresly signifies a Cat: ZOILUS, whom Peri­zonius follows, affirms, It was Weezils which the Mouse fled from; and then objects against its Pro­bability. But it is common with one Sort of Criticks, to shew an Author means differently from what he really did, and then to prove, that the Meaning which they find out for him is good for nothing.

VERSE 25. If worthy Friendship.] In this Pro­posal begins the Moral of the whole Piece, which is, that hasty, ill-founded, or unnatural Friendships and Leagues, will naturally end in War and Discord. But ZOILUS, who is here mightily concern'd to take off from HO­MER all the Honour of having design'd a Mo­ral, asserts on the other Hand, That the Poet's whole Intent was to make a Fable; that a Fable he has made, and one very idle and triffling; that many Things are ascrib'd to HOMER, which poor HOMER never dream'd of; and he who finds them out ra­ther shews his own Parts than discover his Author's Beauties. In this Opinion has he been follow'd by several of those Criticks, who only dip into Authors when they have Occasion to write against [Page] them. And yet even these shall speak differently concerning the Design of Writers, if the Question be of their own Performances; for to their own Works they write Prefaces, to display the Grand­ness of the Moral, Regularity of the Scheme, Number and Brightness of the Figures, and a Thousand other Excellencies, which if they did not tell, no one wou'd ever imagine. For others, they write Remarks, which tend to con­tract their Excellencies within the narrow Compass of their partial Apprehension. It were well if they cou'd allow such to be as wise as themselves, whom the World allows to be much wiser: But their being naturally Friends to themselves, and professedly Adversaries to some greater Genius, easily accounts for these different Manners of Speaking. I will not leave this Note, without giving you an Instance of its Practice in the Great Julius Scaliger: He has been free enough with HOMER in the Remarks he makes upon him; but when he speaks of himself, I desire my Reader wou'd take Notice of his Modesty; I give his own Words, Lib. 3. Poet. Cap. 112. In Deum Patrem Hymnum cum scribe­remus tanquam rerum omnium conditorem, ab orbis ipsius creatione ad nos nostra (que) us (que) duximus.—In quo abduximus animum nostrum a corporis carcere ad liberos campos contemplationis quae me in illum trans­formaret. Tum autem sanctissimi Spiritus ineffabilis vigor ille tanto ardore celebratus est, ut cum lenissi­mis numeris esset inchoatus Hymnus, repentino divini Ignis impetu conflagravit.

[Page] VERSE 53. The circled Loaves.] ZOILUS here finds Fault with the Mention of Loaves, Tripes, Bacon and Cheese, as Words below the Dignity of the Epick, as much, (says he) as it wou'd be to have opprobious Names given in it. By which Expression we ea­sily see, he hints at the First Book of the Iliad. Now, we must consider in Answer, that it is a Mouse which is spoken of, that Eating is the most appearing Characteristick of that Creature, that these Foods are such as please it most; and to have describ'd particular Pleasures for it in any other Way, would have been as incongruous, as to have describ'd a haughty loud Anger without those Names which it throws out in its Fierce­ness, and which raise it to its Pitch of Phren­zy. In the one Instance you still see a Mouse before you, however the Poet raises it to a Man; in the other you shall see a Man before you; however the Poet raises him to a Demi-God. But some call that low, which others call natural. Every Thing has two Handles, and the Critick who sets himself to censure all he meets, is under an Obli­gation still to lay hold on the worst of them.

VERSE 75. But me, nor Stalks.] In this Place ZOI­LUS laughs at the Ridiculousness of the Poet, who (ac­cording to his Representation) makes a Prince re­fuse an Invitation in Heroicks, because he did not like the Meat he was invited to. And, that the Ridicule may appear in as strong a Light to others as to himself, he puts as much of the Speech as concerns it into Burlesque Airs and [Page] Expressions. This is indeed a common Trick with Remarkers, which they either practice by Precedent from their Master ZOILUS, or are be­holding for it to the same Turn of Temper. We acknowledge it a fine Piece of Satyr, when there is Folly in a Passage, to lay it open in the Way by which it naturally requires to be expos'd: Do this handsomely, and the Author is deservedly a Jest. If, on the contrary, you dress a Passage which was not originally foolish, in the highest Humour of Ridicule, you only frame something which the Author himself might laugh at, with­out being more nearly concern'd than another Reader.

VERSE 103. So pass'd Europa.] This Simile makes ZOILUS, who sets up for a profess'd Enemy of Fables, to exclaim violently. We had, says he, a Frog and a Mouse hitherto, and now we get a Bull and a Princess to illustrate their Actions: When will there be an End of this Fabling-Folly and Poetry, which I value my self for being unacquainted with? O great Polycrates, how happily hast thou observ'd in thy Accusation against Socrates, That whatever he was before, he deserv'd his Poison when he began to make Verses! Now, if the Question be con­cerning HOMER'S good or bad Poetry, this is an unqualifying Speech, which affords his Friends just Grounds of Exception against the Critick. Where­fore, be it known to all present and future Cen­sors, who have, or shall presume to glory in an Ignorance of Poetry, and at the same Time take upon them to judge of Poets, that they are in all [Page] their Degrees for ever excluded the Post they would usurp. In the first Place, they who know neither the Use, nor Practice of the Art; in the second, they who know it but by Halves, who have Hearts insensible of the Beauties of Poetry, and are however able to find Fault by Rules; and, thirdly, they who, when they are capable of per­ceiving Beauties and pointing out Defects, are still so ignorant in the Nature of their Business, as to imagine the Province of Criticism extends itself only on the Side of Dispraise and Reprehension. How cou'd any one at this Rate be seen with his proper Ballance of Perfection and Error? or what were the best Performances in this Indul­gence of ill Nature, but as Apartments hung with the Deformities of Humanity, done by some great Hand, which are the more to be abhorr'd, because the Praise and Honour they receive, re­sults from the Degree of Uneasiness, to which they put every Temper of common Goodness?

VERSE 130. Ye Mice, ye Mice.] The Ancients believ'd that Heroes were turn'd into Demi-Gods at their Death; and in general, that departing Souls have something of a Sight into Futurity. It is either this Notion, or a Care which the Gods may take to abate the Pride of insulting Adversaries, which a Poet goes upon, when he makes his Leaders die foretelling the End of those by whom they are slain. ZOILUS however is against this Passage. He says, That every Character ought to be strictly kept; that a General ought not to invade the Cha­racter of a Prophet, nor a Prophet of a General. He [Page] is positive, That nothing shou'd be done by any one, without having been hinted at in some previous Account of him. And this he asserts, without any Allowance made either for a Change of States, or the Design of the Gods. To confirm this Ob­servation, he strengthens it with a Quotation out of his larger Work on the Iliads, where he has these Words upon the Death of Hector: How foolish is it in HOMER to make Hector (who thro' the whole Course of the Iliad had made Use of Helenus, to learn the Will of the Gods) become a Prophet just at his Death? Let every one be what he ought, without falling into those Parts which others are to sustain in a Poem. This he has said, not distinguishing rightly be­tween our natural Dispositions and accidental Offices. And this he has said again, not mind­ing, that tho' it be taken from another Book, it is still from the same Author. However, Vanity loves to gratify itself by the Repetition of what it esteems to be written with Spirit, and even when we repeat it our selves, pro­vided another hears us. Hence has he been fol­low'd by a Magisterial Set of Men who quote themselves, and swell their new Performances with what they admire in their former Trea­tises. This is a most extraordinary Knack of Arguing, whereby a Man can never want a Proof, if he be allow'd to become an Authority for his own Opinion.

VERSE 146. And no kind Billow.] How impertinent is this Case of Pity, says ZOILUS, to bemoan, that the Prince was not toss'd towards Land: It is enough [Page] he lost his Life, and there is an End of his Suffering where there is an End of his Feeling. To carry the Mat­ter farther is just the same foolish Management as HOMER has shewn in his Iliads, which he spins out into forty Triffles beyond the Death of Hector. But the Critick must allow me to put the Rea­ders in Mind, that Death was not the last Distress the Ancients believ'd was to be met upon Earth. The last was the remaining unbury'd, which had this Misery annex'd, that while the Body was without its Funeral-Rites in this World, the Soul was suppos'd to be without Rest in the next, which was the Case of the Mouse before us. And accordingly the Ajax of Sophocles continues after the Death of its Heroe more than an Act, upon the Contest concerning his Burial. All this ZOILUS knew very well: But ZOILUS is not the only one, who disputes for Victory rather than Truth. These foolish Criticks write even Things they themselves can answer, to shew how much they can write against an Author. They act unfairly, that they may be sure to be sharp enough; and triffle with the Reader, in order to be voluminous. It is needless to wish them the Return they deserve: Their Disregard to Candour is no sooner discover'd, but they are for ever banish'd from the Eyes of Men of Sense, and condemn'd to wander from Stall to Stall, for a temporary Refuge from that Oblivion which they can't escape.

BOOK II. VERSE 9. Our Eldest perish'd.] ZOILUS has here taken the Recapitulation of those Misfortunes which [Page] happen'd to the Royal Family, as an Impertinence that expatiates from the Subject; tho' indeed there seems nothing more proper to raise that Sort of Com­passion, which was to inflame his Audience to War. But what appears extreamly pleasant is, that at the same Time he condemns the Passage, he shou'd make Use of it as an Oppor­tunity, to fall into an ample Digression on the va­rious Kinds of Mouse-Traps, and display that mi­nute Learning which every Critick of his Sort is fond to shew himself Master of. This they ima­gine is tracing of Knowledge thro' its hidden Veins, and bringing Discoveries to Day-light, which Time had cover'd over. Indefatigable and useless Mortals! who value themselves for Know­ledge of no Consequence, and think of gaining Applause by what the Reader is careful to pass over unread. What did the Disquisition signify formerly, whether Ulysses's Son, or his Dog, was the elder? or how can the Account of a Ve­sture, or a Player's Masque, deserve that any shou'd write the Bulk of a Treatise, or others read it when it is written? A Vanity thus poorly supported, which neither affords Pleasure nor Profit, is the unsubstantial Amusement of a Dream to our selves, and a provoking Occasion of our Derision to others.

BOOK II. VERSE 23. Quills aptly bound—Fac'd with the Plunder of a Cat they flay'd.] This Passage is something difficult in the Original, which gave ZOI­LUS the Opportunity of inventing an Expression, which his Followers conceitedly use when any [Page] Thing appears dark to them. This, say they, let Phoe­bus explain; as if what exceeds their Capacity must of Necessity demand Oracular Interpretations, and an Interposal of the God of Wit and Learning. The Basis of such Arrogance is the Opinion they have of that Knowledge they ascribe to themselves. They take Criticism to be beyond every other Part of Learning, because it gives Judgment upon Books written in every other Part. They think in Consequence, that every Critick must be a greater Genius than any Author whom he censures; and therefore if they esteem them­selves Criticks, they set enthron'd Infancy at the Head of Literature. Criticism indeed deserves a noble Elogy, when it is enlarg'd by such a compre­hensive Learning as Aristoile and Cicero were Masters of; when it adorns its Precepts with the consummate Exactness of Quintilian, or is exalted into the sublime Sentiments of Longinus. But let not such Men tell us they participate in the Glory of these great Men, and place themselves next to Phoebus, who, like ZOILUS, entangle an Author in the Wrangles of Grammarians, or try him with a positive Air and barren Imagination, by the Set of Rules they have collected out of others.

BOOK II. VERSE 37. Ye Frogs, the Mice.] At this Speech of the Herald's, which recites the Cause of the War, ZOILUS is angry with the Author, for not finding out a Cause entirely just; for, says he, it ap­pears not from his own Fable, that Physignathus invi­ted the Prince with any malicious Intention to make him away. To this we answer, 1st. That it is [Page] not necessary in relating Facts to make every War have a just Beginning. 2dly, This doubtful Cause agrees better with the Moral, by shew­ing that ill-founded Leagues have Accidents to destroy them, even without the Intention of Par­ties. 3dly, There was all Appearance imagi­nable against the Frogs; and if we may be al­low'd to retort on our Adversary the Practice of his Posterity, there is more Humanity in an Hostility proclaim'd upon the Appearance of In­justice done us, than in their Custom of at­tacking the Works of others as soon as they come out, purely because they are esteem'd to be good. Their Performances, which cou'd derive no Merit from their own Names, are then sold upon the Merit of their Antagonist: And if they are sensible of Fame, or even of Envy, they have the Mortification to remember, how much by this Means they become indebted to those they injure.

BOOK II. VERSE 57. Where high the Banks.] This Project is not put in Practice during the following Battle, by Reason of the Fury of the Combatants: Yet the Mention of it is not impertinent in this Place, forasmuch as the probable Face of Success which it carries with it tended to animate the Frogs. ZOILUS however cannot be so satisfied; It were better, says he, to cut it intirely out; nor wou'd HOMER be the worse if half of him were serv'd in the same Manner; so, continues he, they will find it, whoever in any Country shall hereafter undertake so odd a Task, as that of Translating him. [Page] Thus Envy finds Words to put in the Mouth of Ignorance; and the Time will come, when Igno­rance shall repeat what Envy has pronounced so rashly.

BOOK II. VERSE 77. And tap'ring Sea-Reed.] If we here take the Reed for that of our own Growth, it is no Spear to match the long Sort of Needles with which the Mice had arm'd themselves; but the Cane, which is rather intended, has its Splinters stiff and sharp, to answer all the Uses of a Spear in Battle. Nor is it here to be lightly past over, since ZOILUS moves a Question upon it, that the Poet cou'd not choose a more proper Wea­pon for the Frogs, than that which they choose for themselves in a defensive War they maintain with the Serpents of Nile. They have this Stra­tagem, says Aelian, to protect themselves; they swim with Pieces of Cane across their Mouths, of too great a Length for the Breadth of the Serpents Threats; by which Means they are pre­serv'd from being swallow'd by them. This is a Quotation so much to the Point, that I ought to have usher'd in my Author with more Pomp to dazzle the Reader. ZOILUS and his Follow­ers, who seldom praise any Man, are however careful to do it for their own Sakes, if at any Time they get an Author of their Opinion: Tho' indeed it must be allow'd, they still have a Draw­back in their Manner of Praise, and rather choose to drop the Name of their Man, or darkly hint him in a Periphrasis, than to have it appear that they have directly assisted the perpetuating of any [Page] one's Memory. Thus, if a Dutch Critick were to introduce for Example Martial, he wou'd, instead of naming him, say, Ingeniosus ille Epigrammati­cus Bilbilicus. Or, if one of our own were to quote from among ourselves, he wou'd tell us how it has been remark'd in the Works of a lear­ned Writer, to whom the World is oblig'd for many excellent Productions, &c. All which Proceeding is like boasting of our great Friends, when it is to do our selves an Honour, or the Shift of dressing up one who might otherwise be dis­regarded, to make him pass upon the World for a responsible Voucher to our own Assertions.

BOOK II. VERSE 81. But now where Jove's.] At this fine Episode, in which the Gods are introduced, ZOILUS has no Patience left him to remark; but runs some Lines with a long String of such Ex­pressions as Triffler, Fabler, Lyar, foolish, impious, all which he lavishly heaps upon the Poet. From this Knack of calling Names, joyn'd with the several Arts of finding Fault, it is to be sus­pected, that our ZOILUS'S might make very able Libellers, and dangerous Men to the Go­vernment, if they did not rather turn themselves to be ridiculous Censors: For which Reason I cannot but reckon the State oblig'd to Men of Wit; and under a Kind of Debt in Grati­tude, when they take off so much Spleen, Tur­bulency, and Ill-nature, as might otherwise spend it self to the Detriment of the Publick.

BOOK II. VERSE 98. If my Daughter's Mind.] This Speech, which Jupiter speaks to Pallas with a pleasant [Page] Kind of Air, ZOILUS takes gravely to Pieces; and affirms, It is below Jupiter's Wisdom, and only agree­able with HOMER'S Folly, that he shou'd borrow a Reason for her assisting the Mice from their Atten­dance in the Temple, when they waited to prey upon those Things which were sacred to her. But the Air of the Speech rendering a grave An­swer unnecessary; I shall only offer ZOILUS an Observation in Return for his. There are upon the Stone that is carv'd for the Apotheosis of HOMER, Figures of Mice by his Footstool, which, according to Cuperus, its Interpreters, some have taken to signify this Poem; and others those Criticks, who tear or vilify the Works of great Men. Now, if such can be compar'd to Mice, let the Words of ZOILUS be brought home to himself and his Followers for their Mortification: That no one ought to think of meriting in the State of Learning only by debasing the best Performances, and as it were preying upon those Things which shou'd be sacred in it.

BOOK II. VERSE 105. In vain my Father.] The Speech of Pallas is dislik'd by ZOILUS, because it makes the Goddess carry a Resentment against such in­considerable Creatures; tho' he ought to esteem them otherwise when they represent the Persons and Ac­tions of Men, and teach us how the Gods disre­gard those in their Adversities who provoke them in Prosperity. But, if we consider Pallas as the Patroness of Learning, we may by an allegorical Application of the Mice and Frogs, find in this Speech two Sorts of Enemies to Learning; they [Page] who are maliciously mischievous, as the Mice; and they who are turbulent through Ostentation, as the Frogs. The first are Enemies to Excellency upon Principle; the second accidentally by the Error of Self-Love, which does not quarrel with the Excellence itself, but only with those People who get more Praise than themselves by it. Thus, tho' they have not the same Perversness with the others, they are however drawn into the same Practices, while they ruin Reputations, lest they shou'd not seem to be learn'd; as some Women turn Prostitutes, lest they shou'd not be thought handsome enough to have Admirers.

BOOK III. VERSE 5. The dreadful Trumpets.] Upon the reading of this, ZOILUS becomes full of Discove­ries. He recollects, that HOMER makes his Greeks come to Battle with Silence, and his Trojans with Shouts, from whence he discovers, that he knew nothing of Trumpets. Again, he sees, that the Hor­net is made a Trumpeter to the Battle, and hence he discovers, that the Line must not be HOMER'S. Now had he drawn his Consequences fairly, he cou'd only have found by the one, that Trumpets were not in use at the taking of Troy; and by the other, that the Battle of Frogs and Mice was laid by the Poet for a later Scene of Action than that of the Iliad. But the Boast of Discoveries accom­panies the Affectation of Knowledge; and the Af­fectation of Knowledge is taken up with a Design to gain a Command over the Opinions of others. It is too heavy a Task for some Criticks to sway our Judgments by rational Inferences; a pompous [Page] Pretence must occasion Admiration, the Eyes of Mankind must be obscur'd by a Glare of Pedantry, that they may consent to be led blindfold, and permit that an Opinion shou'd be dictated to them without demanding that they may be reason'd in­to it.

BOOK III. VERSE 24. Big Seutlaeus Tumbling.] ZOILUS has happen'd to brush the Dust of some old Manuscript, in which the Line that kills Seutlaeus is wanting. And for this cause he fixes a general Conclusion, that there is no Dependance upon any thing which is handed down for HOMER'S, so as to allow it Praise; since the different Copies vary amongst them­selves. But is it fair in ZOILUS, or any of his Followers, to oppose one Copy to a Thousand? and are they impartial who wou'd pass this upon us for an honest Ballance of Evidence? When there is such an Inequality on each Side, is it not more than probable that the Number carry the Au­thor's Sense in them, and the single one its Tran­scribers Errors? It is Folly or Madness of Passion to be thus given over to Partiality and Prejudices. Men may flourish as much as they please concerning the Value of a new found Edition, in order to byass the World to particular Parts of it; but in a Matter easily decided by common Sense, it will still continue of its own Opinion.

BOOK III. VERSE 69. With Borbocaetes fights.] Through the Grammatical Part of ZOILUS'S Work he frequently rails at HOMER for his Dialects. These, says he in one place, the Poet made use of because he could not write pure Greek; and in another, [Page] they strangely contributed to his Fame, by making several Cities who observ'd something of their own in his mix'd Language, contend for his being one of their Natives. Now since I have here practis'd a License in Imitation of his, by short'ning the Word Borbo­caetes a whole Syllable, it seems a good Opportuni­ty to speak for him where I defend myself. Re­member then, that any great Genius who introduces Poetry into a Language, has a Power to polish it, and of all the Manners of speak­ing then in use, to settle that for Poetical which he judges most adapted to the Art. Take No­tice too, that HOMER has not only done this for Necessity but for Ornament, since he uses various Dialects to humour his Sense with Sounds which are expressive of it. Thus much in Behalf of my Author to answer ZOILUS: As for myself, who deal with his Followers, I must argue from Ne­cessity, that the Word was stubborn and wou'd not ply to the Quantities of an English Verse, and therefore I alter'd it by the Dialect we call Poetical, which makes my Line so much smoother, that I am ready to cry with their Brother Lipsius, when he turn'd an O into an I, Vel ego me amo, vel me amavit Phaebus quando hoc correxi. To this let me add a Recrimination upon some of them: As first, such as choose Words written after the Manner of those who preceded the purest Age of a Language, without the Necessity I have pleaded, as regundi for regendi, perduit for perdidit, which Restoration of obsolete Words deserves to be call'd a Critical License or Dialect. 2dly, Those who pretending [Page] to Verse without an Ear, use the Poetical Dia­lect of Abbreviation, so that the Lines shall run the rougher for it. And, 3dly, Those who presume by their Critical Licenses to alter the Spellings of Words; an Affectation which de­stroys the Etymology of a Language, and being carry'd on by private Hands for Fancy or Fashion, wou'd be a Thing we shou'd never have an End.

BOOK III. VERSE 149. Nor Pallas, Jove.] I cannot, says ZOILUS, reflect upon this Speech of Mars, where a Mouse is oppos'd to the God of War, the Goddess of Valour, the Thunder of Jupiter, and all the Gods at once, but I rejoyce to think that Pythagoras saw HOMER'S Soul in Hell hanging on a Tree and surrounded with Serpents for what he said of the Gods. Thus he who hates Fables answers one with another, and can rejoyce in them when they flatter his Envy. He appears at the Head of his Squadron of Criticks, in the full Spirit of one ut­terly devoted to a Party; with whom Truth is a Lye, or as bad as a Lye, when it makes against him; and false Quotations, pass for Truth, or as good as Truth, when they are necessary to a Cause.

BOOK III. VERSE 203. And a wholeWar.] Here, says ZOILUS, is an End of a very foolish Poem, of which by this Time I have effectually convinc'd the World, and silenc'd all such for the future, who, like HOMER, write Fables to which others find Morals, Characters whose Justness is question'd, un­necessary Digressions, and impious Episodes. But what Assurance can such as ZOILUS have, that the World will ever be convinc'd against an establish'd [Page] Reputation, by such People whose Faults in writing are so very notorious? who judge against Rules, affirm without Reasons, and censure with­out Manners? who quote themselves for a Sup­port of their Opinions, found their Pride upon a Learning in Trifles, and their Superiority upon the Claims they magisterially make? who write of Beauties in a harsh Style, judge of Excellency with a Lowness of Spirit, and pursue their De­sire to decry it with every Artifice of Envy? There is no Disgrace in being censur'd, where there is no Credit to be favour'd. But, on the contrary, Envy gives a Testimony of some Perfection in another; and one who is attack'd by many, is like a Heroe whom his Enemies acknowledge for such, when they point all the Spears of a Battle against him. In short, an Author who writes for every Age, may even erect himself a Monument of those Stones which Envy throws at him: While the Critick who writes against him can have no Fame because he has no Success; or if he fancies he may suc­ceed, he shou'd remember, that by the Nature of his Undertaking he wou'd but undermine his own Foundation; for he is to sink of Course when the Book which he writes against, and for which alone he is read, is lost in Disrepute or Oblivion.


BOOKS Printed for BERNARD LINTOT, between the Temple-Gates.

  • THE Rt. Honourable the Ld. Lansdown's Plays.
  • Mr. Pope's HOMER, Vol. I, II, III, in large and small Paper, Folio.
  • —His Miscellaneous Works collected into one Volume, Printed as Homer, in large and small Paper, Fol.
  • The Embassador and his Functions, Written by Monsieur de Wicquefort, in large and small Paper, Fol.
  • Fresnoy's Art of Painting, Translated by Mr. Dryden. 2d. Ed.
  • The 5th Edition of the Clergyman and Gentleman's Recre­ation in the Art of Gardening, by the Revd. Mr. Lawrence.
  • The 3d Edition of Letters, Poems and Plays, by Mr. George Farquhar, with Cuts.
  • The 2d Edition of the Art of Cookery, in Imitation of Horace's Art of Poetry, by Dr. King.
  • —His Art of Love, in Imitation of Ovid de Arte amandi.
  • —His Miscellanies.
  • Callipaedia, or the Art of getting pretty Children, with Cuts.
  • The diverting History of the Count de Gabalis.
  • The 4th Edition of the Rape of the Lock, an Heroi-comical Poem.
  • The 2d Edition of the Temple of Fame, a Vision By Mr. Pope.
  • The 2d Edition of Windsor Forrest, a Poem. By Mr. Pope.
  • The 5th Edition of an Essay on Criticism. By Mr. Pope.
  • An Ode on St. Cecilia's Day. By Mr. Pope.
  • Miscellany Poems, by Mr. Fenton
  • The 2d Edition of Trivia, or the Art of walking London Streets. By Mr. Gay.
  • The 2d Edition of the What d'ye call it, a Tragi­comic-pastoral Farce. By Mr. Gay.
  • Three Hours after Marriage, a Comedy. By Mr. Gay.
  • Miscellany Poems by Shakespear, Printed from his own Edition, 1609.
  • Observations, Rules and Orders, collected out of divers Jour­nals of the House of Commons, enter'd in the Reigns of Edward the VIth, Q. Mary, Q. Elizabeth, K. James I. K. Charles I. and IId. By Old Anthony Earl of Shaftebury.
  • The Works of Mr. Edmund Smith, late of Christ-Church, Oxon.

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