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completed the misery of the apparent author by subscribing it with his name. This circumstance was so notorious at the time, that it occasioned a satirical dialogue between Motteux and his patron Heveningham. The patron, in his zeal to omit no possible distinction that might attach to him, had given one circumstance which no one but himself could have known.
I must confess I was to blame,
I beg your pardon, Sir, for that!
Why d e what would
Warton notices the common practice, about the reign of Elizabeth, of an author's dedicating a work at once to a number of the nobility. Chapman's Translation of Homer has sixteen sonnets addressed to lords and ladies. Henry Lock, in a collection of two hundred religious sonnets, mingles with such heavenly works the terrestrial composition of a number of sonnets to his noble patrons; and not to multiply more instances, our great poet Spenser, in compliance with this disgraceful custom, or rather in obedience to the established tyranny of patronage, has prefixed to the Fairy Queen fifteen of these adulatory pieces, which in every respect are the meanést of his compositions. At this period all men, as well as writers, looked up to the peers, as on beings on whose smiles or frowns all sublunary good and evil depended. At a much later period, Elkanah Settle sent copies round to the chief party, for he wrote for both parties, accompanied by addresses to extort pecuniary presents in return. He had latterly one standard Elegy, and one Epithalamium, printed off with blanks, which by ingeniously filling up with the printed names of any great person who died or was married, no one who was going out of life or was entering into it could pass scotfree.
One of the most singular anecdotes respecting Dedications in English bibliography is that of the Polyglot bible of Dr. Castell, Cromwell, much to his honour, patronised that great labour, and allowed the paper to be imported free of all duties, both of excise and custom. It was published under the protectorate, but many copies had not been disposed of ere Charles II. ascended the throne. Dr. Castell had dedicated the work gratefully to Oliver, by mentioning him with pecufiar respect in the preface, but he wavered with Richard Cromwell. At the Restoration, he cancelled the two last leaves, and supplied , their places with three others, which softened down the republican strains, and blotted Oliver's name out of the book of life! The differences in what are now called the republican and the loyal copies have amused the curious collectors; and the former being very scarce are most sought after. I have seen the republican. In the loyal copies the patrons of the work are mentioned, but their titles are essentially changed; Serenissimus, Illustrissimus, and Honoratissimus, were epithets that dared not show themselves under the levelling influence of the great fanatic republican.
It is a curious literary folly, not of an individual but of the Spanish nation, who, when the laws of Castile were reduced into a code under the reign of Alfonso X. surnamed the Wise, divided the work into seven volumes; that they might be dedicated to the seven letters which formed the name of his majesty!
Never was' a gigantic baby of adulation so crammed with the soft pap of Dedications as Cardinal Richelieu. French flattery even exceeded itself.--Among the vast number of very extraordinary dedications to this man, in which the divinity itself is disrobed of its attributes to bestow them on this miserable creature of vanity, I sus
pect that even the following one is not the most blasphemous he received. “Who has seen your face without being seized by those softened terrors which made the prophets shudder when God showed the beams of his glory! But as he whom they dared not to approach in the burning bush, and in the noise of thunders, appeared to them sometimes in the freshness of the zephyrs, so the softness of your august countenance dissipates at the same time, and changes into dew, the small vapours which cover its majesty." One of these herd of dedicators, after the death of Richelieu, suppressed in a second edition his hyperbolical panegyric, and as a punishment to himself, dedicated the work to Jesus Christ!
The same taste characterises our own dedications in the reigns of Charles II. and James II. The great Dryden has carried it to an excessive height; and nothing is more usual than to compare the patron with the Divinity-and at times a fair inference may be drawn that the former was more in the author's mind than God himself! A Welsh bishop made an apology to James I. for preferring the Deity - to his Majesty! Burke has admirably observed on Dryden's extravagant dedications, that they were the vices of the time more than of the man; they were loaded with flattery, and no disgrace was annexed to such an exercise of men's talents; the contest being who
should go farthest in the most graceful way, and with the best turns of expression.
An ingenious dedication was contrived by Sir Simon Degge,who dedicated “the Parson's Counsellor" to Woods, Bishop of Lichfield, with this intention. Degge highly complimented the Bishop on having most nobly restored the church, which had been demolished in the civil wars, and was rebuilt but left unfinished by Bishop Hacket. At the time he wrote the dedication, Woods had not turned a single stone, and it is said, that much against his will he did something, from having been so publickly reminded of it by this ironical dedication.
* THE BOTANIC GARDEN once appeared to open a new route through the trodden groves of Parnassus. The poet, to a prodigality of IMAGINATION, united all the minute accuracy of SCIENCE. It is a highly-repolished labour, and was in the mind and in the hand of its author for twenty years before its first publication. The excessive polish of the verse has appeared too high to be endured throughout a long composition; it is certain that, in poems of length,