The Eel of Science: Index Learning, Scriblerian Satire, and the Rise of Information Culture

By: Roger D. Lund 

 Eighteenth-Century Life 22.2 (1998) 18-42


Copyright © 1998 The Johns Hopkins University Press. All rights reserved. 

Reproduced here for personal academic use only in a not-for-profit setting.

Dedications, prefaces, footnotes, and indexes are the scholarly stock-in-trade of modern academics. It was not always thus. In a familiar passage from the Dunciad Pope laments

How Prologues into Prefaces decay,
And these to Notes are fritter'd quite away:
How Index-learning turns no student pale,
Yet holds the eel of science by the tail. 1

Here Pope complains specifically of three dubious innovations: the modern preface, the index, and the footnote, the sorts of bibliographical excresence parodied in the "Prefaces, Epistles, Advertisements, Introductions, Prolegomena's, Apparatus's, To-the-Readers's," of Swift's Tale 2 and in other Scriblerian satires on the abuses of modern learning.

Pope, Swift, and Arbuthnot are by no means unique in their scorn for modern prefaces. Even Dunces like Joseph Gay (J. D. Breval) remark that "A Book that ventures into the World at this Time of Day, looks as awkward without a Preface, as a Ratt-catcher upon Change without his Badges of Honour." 3 It seems clear from the comments in prefaces themselves that the preface was almost a standing joke. Humphrey Crouch, the author of England's Jests Refin'd and Improv'd (1693), remarks that he hadn't intended to include a preface.

But CUSTOM calling for one, a Book being without it (as our Modern Wits say) Like a House without a Porch, or a Play without a Prologue, &c. Tho I must confess I am no great admirer of Prefaces, looking upon 'em, I mean the Generality of 'em (for there are some that are Concise, Pithy and Instructive) to be for the most part Impertinent, Superfluous, and little to the purpose; stuft with Flattery and Ostentation, and many times excessive long and tedious, like too much Ceremony before a good Feast; which by its long detaining a Man, palls his Appetite: Notwithstanding which, I was willing to give you some short account of this Book. 4

When we consider the verbal texture of this passage, its puerility, sheer awkwardness, and unintentional self-parody, it is clear that Swift's satire of the Dedication, Bookseller to the Reader, Epistle Dedicatory, Preface, and Introduction attached to the Tale is firmly anchored in contemporary fact.

Unlike Crouch, however, Swift's Hack laments the fact that readers have come to treat prefaces with such disregard.

It is lamentable to behold, with what a lazy Scorn, many of the yawning Readers in our Age, do now a-days twirl over forty or fifty Pages of Preface and Dedication, [End Page 18] (which is the usual Modern stint) as if it were so much Latin. Tho' it must be also be allowed on the other Hand that a very considerable Number is known to proceed Criticks and Wits, by reading nothing else. (p. 131)

As Swift suggests, most prefaces remained unread by most readers. Even more lamentable, however, was the possibility that for some, prefaces now provided the primary source of information (like a college syllabus consisting entirely of Cliff's Notes).

The Grub Street Journal provides an alternative explanation for the modern "decay" into prefaces:

The Preface can boast of an invention no antienter than Printing. The publishers of the Classics seldom ventured any further than a touch of the Author's life, and an Index, which, in most of the books I ever saw printed before 1600, stood in the same place where our Preface does now. But when the custom grew up of placing the Index at the end, then people begun to think that the book looked naked, they therefore filled up the place, where the Index had been, with a set of words, which, like that, had no more sense nor meaning in the place where they stood. 5

The Grub Street Journal is essentially correct about the gradual migration of indexes. Even after the Restoration one still encounters volumes where the index appears at the beginning. 6

Like the author cited above, the Grub Street Journal argues that the modern preface is at best an afterthought generated by the apprehension of absences, or gaps in the text; index-learning thus becomes a way to fill those gaps with additional, although essentially useless, information. The anonymous author of Four Satires (1737) confesses that only after the pages had been "printed off, it was suggested to me by the Publisher (who must be supposed to know the Humour of the Town better than me) that something was still wanting." According to this publisher, "a bit of a Preface has a marvellous Effect.... To the Publisher therefore, courteous Reader, you are oblig'd for this Preface...which should have been placed more at Hand, had the Thought occur'd sooner, either to Him or Me." 7

What is worthy of note here is the extent to which the lowly preface had gradually assumed a symbolic resonance for a number of Augustan writers. For the Scriblerians in particular it came to be regarded as a repository of unearned, and hence, illegitimate knowledge. Much the same thing happened to the index whether it appeared at the beginning or the end of the volume. The Hack in Swift's Tale of a Tub argues that the

whole Course of Things being thus entirely changed between Us [modern writers] and the Antients, we of this Age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent Method, to become Scholars. and Wits, without the Fatigue of Reading or of Thinking. The most accomplisht Way of using Books at present, is twofold: Either first, to serve them as some Men do Lords, learn their Titles exactly, and then brag of their Acquaintance. Or Secondly, which is indeed the choicer, the profounder, and politer Method, to get a thorough Insight into the Index, by which the whole Book is governed and turned, like Fishes by the Tail. (p. 131)

According to this line of argument the function of preliminary apparatus had changed, making it easier, as Pope argued, for the unlettered masses to infiltrate the ranks of the literate. Now "with less reading than makes felons 'scape, / Less [End Page 19] human genius than God gives an ape," with "small thanks to France and none to Rome or Greece" the modern Dunce could produce "A past, vamp'd, future, old, reviv'd, new piece" (I, 235-40).

In short, Scriblerian complaints regarding "index-learning" point to the recent emergence of a whole new universe of discourse from which the Dunces could borrow--with minimal effort--whatever learning they needed. According to the Grub Street Journal, "One of the principal causes of the decay of Learning is...the over great care that has been taken to preserve it; insomuch, that the new methods, that have been thought of to make men knowing, have been one obstacle to their being so." With more than a hint of the snobbery so characteristic of the Scriblerians, the Grub Street Journal argues that one key to the revival of learning during the Renaissance was that "The difficulty of mastering [early manuscripts] increased the desire after them, and called forth all the diligence of the studious." Printing had not as yet

multipled books beyond number; the works of the antients were forced to be read in manuscripts, which were often very hardly decyphered: those that the press obliged the publick with, came from it in a plain form, destitute of all those methodical appendages that make the use of them easy: such as Translations, Prefaces, Arguments, Sections, Notes, Commentaries and Indexes, Grammars and Dictionaries, the keys of Learning, were then very scarce: the first impressions were rude, and afforded but small attractives to readers by their neatness: printed books, as well as manuscripts, bore a great price, those that could surmount so many obstacles made only a private use of them, and it was not till after long study and frequent reflections, that they thought of sending out helps to the studious. (no. 322 [26 February 1735/36])

This extraordinary passage reflects a peculiar nostalgia for an age before the general dissemination of knowledge, an age when the classics were presumably reserved to a small coterie of discriminating initiates in a world where readers had abundant leisure to decipher manuscripts and study expensive printed copies, little caring whether anyone else ever read them or not. Happily, there were no "helps" to learning in this world, and then, alas, "out of a desire to communicate to their contemporaries and posterity, those good blessings that cost them so much pains to obtain," writers of the Renaissance began to "shorten and plain the way to science." Little knowing what they were about

their labours have been too successful, and a good cause has produced a very ill effect. The ease that has been afforded to study has produced a relaxation of it, and we stop at the false erudition which is at the bottom of the hill, to save ourselves the trouble of climbing up to the top of it, where true Learning is seated. The multitude of Abridgements, of New Methods, of Indexes, of Dictionaries, have damped that lively ardour which made scholars; and they have thought to know, that without any study, which they were assured might be learned with but moderate pains. All sciences are not chiefly comprised in Dictionaries, we want no other keys to unlock them. (no. 322 [26 February 1735/36])

One recognizes the familiar Scriblerian assertion that the moderns were bent on levelling Parnassus and "plaining" the road of science, a complaint that is a predictable feature of all eighteenth-century rejections of the emerging commercial print culture. Taking its inspiration from the Scriblerian crusade against modern dullness here, the Grub Street Journal offers a detailed indictment of index learning [End Page 20] with its dictionaries, abridgements, translations, prefaces, arguments, grammars, and educational short-cuts of every kind. And like the Scriblerians who inspired it, the Grub Street Journal complains of a world where information has suddenly become accessible in ways unimaginable to preceding generations of scholars.

In his recent book on Jonathan Swift and the Millenium of Madness, Kenneth Craven remarks that in the Tale "Swift reduces the Baconian program for the advancement of knowledge to the development of information systems" whose features are quite familiar to readers in the late twentieth century. According to Craven these systems are "widely disseminated, complete, up-dated, instantaneously accessible to the specialist and to the public, essential, useful, global, reductive, and programmed for transitory, disposable data." 8 Swift is not alone in this regard. All Scriblerian satires on "abuses in learning" concern themselves with questions of how information is gathered, stored, classified, and interpretated, and as I argue here, the index and its related forms--dictionaries, concordances, digests, translations, and compendia--serve as convenient symbols for the transformation of "ancient" knowledge into modern forms of information. 9

To a modern reader, dependent on ready reference works from Roget's Thesaurus to the computerized spell checker, the Scriblerian animus toward the index function seems misdirected. One is particularly struck by the Grub Street Journal's suspicion of dictionaries, a suspicion it shares with the Scriblerians. When we think of eighteenth-century lexicographers, Dr. Johnson leaps to mind. As he points in the Preface to his Dictionary, however, even Johnson was responding to the uncontrolled expansion of index learning, insisting that his own dictionary was an attempt to correct and regularize a form of literature that had "spread, under the direction of chance, into wild exuberance." 10 Johnson was not exaggerating; the ESTC lists over 1200 specialized dictionaries published during the eighteenth century. 11 It also lists numerous grammar texts like William Willymott's English Examples to Lily's Grammar-Rules, for Children's Latin Exercises: with an Explanation to Each Rule (1709). According to the Grub Street Journal, such grammars constituted yet another modern genre contributing to the "ease" and "relaxation" of study. If we turn to a grammar text like Richard Johnson's Noctes Nottinghamicae or Cursory Objections Against the Syntax of the Common-Grammar (1718), we note the characteristic features that presumably inspired the Grub Street Journal's concern. According to Richard Johnson, his text is designed to ensure that "our Youth may have a Rational, and therefore easy, true, plain, sufficient Grammatical Institution," and to "save at least one half of their Time in these Enquiries, by bringing all Things into as little Compass, as possible." 12 If we can believe Johnson, even the study of grammar was now marked by that same ease, plainness, and efficiency that characterized other forms of index learning.

It is significant that along with dictionaries and grammars translations should also be listed as questionable forms of index learning. That they are so listed provides clear evidence of the growing rift between the classical past and the new information culture. Certainly the eighteenth century was a great age of translation: the ESTC lists over 7,600 titles published between 1700 and 1800 that include "translated" as a keyword. Many of these translations were from French, but [End Page 21] a great many others were modern versions of classical texts. Dryden is certainly the most influential of these translators; his versions of Virgil's Pastorals, the Georgics, and the Aenied, as well as translations of the satires of Persius and Juvenal were reprinted throughout the eighteenth century. The same was true of Pope's translations of the Iliad and Odyssey (1715-26). 13 While other notable translations--Rowe's Lucan (1718), and Gilbert West's Pindar (1749)--also appeared, they were joined by an extraordinary number of credible, if less distinguished, translations like the version of The Aeneid by the earl of Lauderdale (1709), Nicholas Brady (1713), Joseph Trapp (1718-20), and Alexander Strahan (1740). There was even a Scottish translation by Gawin Douglas (1710). Because of his brief rivalry with Pope, Tickell's translation of the first book of the Iliad (1715) may be remembered by some, but it is a reasonable bet that Theobald's translation of Book I of the Odyssey (1717) will be recollected by no one.

According to the Grub Street Journal, such oblivion was richly deserved. Commenting on Theobald's translation of Sophocles' Electra, the essayist cries out, "What then do these people mean by translating a fine Poet into mean creeping prose? They debase and burlesque him without doubt. Let any man read an act in the new Sophocles, and he will immediately cry out, Is this the famous Sophocles? What abominable stuff is here! And yet I am told, that Mr. Theobald has a translation of even Aeschylus himself, whether in prose or verse I don't know, ready for the press." Theobald is "not deterr'd by the the ill success his Aristophanes had," and the Grub Street Journal is nonplussed that such prose translations actually "find buyers, particularly Dr. Dunster's Horace, of which I have a fourth edition." 14

This is precisely the situation recreated in Fielding's The Author's Farce, where Index, the Grub Street translator presents his bill to Bookweight the Bookseller.

Bookweight: What's here?--"For adapting the motto of Risum teneatis amici to a dozen pamphlets at sixpence per each, six shillings. For Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori, sixpence. For Difficile est satyram non scribere, sixpence." Hum, hum, hum. Ah. "A sum total, for thirty-six Latin mottos, eighteen shillings; ditto English, seven, one shilling and ninepence; ditto Greek, four, one shilling."--Why, friend, are your Latin mottos dearer than your Greek?
Index: Yes marry they are, sir. For as nobody now understands Greek, so I may use any sentence in that language to whatsoever purpose I please. 15

Dryden himself confessed that the modern practice of translation was now largely a function of mass marketing on the part of London booksellers. He complains that the reason the English did translation so much more poorly than the French was that "here the booksellers are the undertakers of works of this nature, and they are persons more devoted to their own gain than the public honour. They are very parsimonious in rewarding the wretched scribblers they employ; and care not how the business is done, so that it be but done. They live by selling titles, not books." 16

Over the next half century nothing would change. In Translation: A Poem (1753) Thomas Francklin complains that translation was "Giv'n to the weak, the tasteless, and the blind; / To some low wretch who, prostitute for pay, / Lets out to Curll the labours of the day." This is certainly the case with Scarecrow in The Author's Farce who has just translated Virgil, but because he "understand[s] no language but [his] own," has "translated him out of Dryden" (p. 31). As the Grub Street Journal suggests, Fielding needed no fictions; he could just as easily have [End Page 22] cited S. Dunster, whose translation of Horace, cited above, had been "done into English, with notes." This is the accent echoed exactly in Peri Bathous, where translation of the classics is

rightly phrase[d] Doing them into English.... It is by virtue of this Style that Tacitus talks like a Coffee House Politician, Josephus like the British Gazetteer, Tully is as short and smart as Seneca or Mr. Asgill, Marcus Aurelius is excellent at Snip-snap, and honest Thomas a Kempis as Prim and Polite as any Preacher at Court. (p. 220)

Rosemary Cowler suggests that Pope may allude specifically to Thomas Gordon's Tacitus (1718) or L'Estrange's translation of Josephus, whose style, according to Pope, was "abominable," 17 but where modern translation was concerned, Pope's choices were almost limitless.

It was a challenge for Pope to distance himself from the likes of S. Dunster or Lewis Theobald, 18 insisting that his Iliad incarnated the fire and spirit, the "graceful and dignified simplicity" of the original. In this regard he echoed critics of modern translation from Denham and Roscommon to Thomas Francklin and Christopher Smart, all of whom insisted on the necessity for innate sympathy between the translator and the original author. 19 But Pope's assertion serves only to disguise the uncomfortable fact, recognized by his fellow translators, that almost of necessity his differences from more obscure contemporaries were now less a matter of kind than of degree. 20 Anyone who considers Pope's transformation of rugged Greek heroes into Augustan gentlemen, replacing the directness, and frequent brutality, of the original with varieties of poetic paraphrase, can only conclude that like his rival Tickell and a host of lesser lights, "doing" the Iliad "into English" was what Pope was up to as well. Bentley was right: Pope's translation was "a very pretty poem," but it wasn't Homer. And as Bentley's nephew later pointed out to him, Pope's Iliad might have been more accurately described as "Homer modernized or something to that effect; but that there were little or no Vestiges at all of the old Grecian.... For Homer translated, first in English, secondly in Rhyme, thirdly not from the Original, but fourthly from a French Translation and that in Prose by a Woman [Mme Dacier] too, how the Devil should it be Homer?" 21 Bentley's critique is telling, for it reveals what Pope and his fellows sought to disguise: that, whether willing or not, they were all participants in the new information culture of index learning of which translation was now a part. While he agreed that Pope's Iliad was not "Homerical," Dr. Johnson understood precisely why it could not hope to be so if Pope was to succeed as a modern translator. "The purpose of a writer is to be read," Johnson argues. "Pope wrote for his own age and his own nation." 22 Paradoxically, when (in Peri Bathous) Pope laughs at the "pert style" of hacks like Tom Brown who was famous for "Modernizing and Adapting to the Taste of the Times the works of the Ancients" (p. 64), Pope might just as easily have been alluding to his own dilemma.

If nothing else, the sheer quantity of eighteenth-century translation suggests an activity designed to meet the demands of a growing, if less literate, audience. Maynard Mack records an anecdote of "Mr. Berkeley and two other gentlemen that are well versed in the classics" reading over Pope's and Tickell's rival versions of the Iliad "with the original together." 23 One can only wonder just how normative such readers were, however. Swift's complaint that modern readers skipped over a preface "as if it were so much Latin" (p. 131), and Scriblerus' apology for quoting a short passage of the Aeneid, directed to "the gentle English reader, and [End Page 23] such of our writers as understand not Latin" (p. 294), might lead one to question how wide was the dispersion of classical literacy in the early eighteenth century. According to Pope, his annotations of the classical Imitations in the Dunciad Variorum were included "to gratify those who either never read, or may have forgotten them" (p. 318). Addison testifies to the changing dynamic of classical literacy among his own readership, providing English translations--many by Dryden or Roscommon--of most Latin and Greek citations in The Spectator, and silently translating others himself. As if taking a cue from this practice, John Morphew published The Motto's of the Five Volumes of Tatlers, and the Two Volumes of the Spectator, Translated into English. To Which is Added, a Complete Index to the Two Volumes of the Spectator (1712). It seems unlikely that readers unable to decipher Latin epigraphs would somehow be better prepared to deal with entire texts. If nothing else, Morphew's pamphlet points to the close connection between translation in all its forms and various manifestations of index learning.

As the Grub Street Journal complains, increasingly, classical translations were entering the world accompanied with their own "helps to the studious." So, for example, Terence's Comedies (1734) were "translated in English with critical and explanatory notes" to which was prefixed Thomas Cooke's "dissertation on the life and writing of Terence." Joseph Trapp's Works of Virgil (1731) came complete with "large explanatory notes, and critical observations." In 1740, James Wilson translated Josephus from the original Greek "with explanatory notes and a copious index." Put bluntly, classical learning was itself a commodity that now had to be rendered user friendly, repackaged and marketed. Pope might argue that "Still green with Bays each ancient Altar stands / Above the reach of Sacrilegious hands" (Essay on Criticism, ll. 181-82), but the fact remained that Pope's contemporaries, and even Pope himself, were placing the ancients within easy reach of as many hands as possible, often with amusing results. Bemoaning the awkwardness of S. Dunster's prose translation of Persius, the Grub Street Journal remarks:

O! hominem infelicim studiorum! Besides the vile paltry language of this translation, a school boy would deserve to be whipp'd for construing it so: and yet the Editor says, 'tis for use of Schools. Persius for the use of schools! An author the most unfit for schools of any now extant in any language. He might as well have translated Lycophron for 'em. (no. 37 [17 September 1730])

As I have suggested, in many cases when new editions or translations appeared in the eighteenth century they were accompanied by a new index. Indeed, between 1700 and 1800 more than 1100 titles advertised the presence of an index as both a new and a peculiarly desirable feature. Prior to the eighteenth century a number of works had been published with "Alphabetical Tables" of various kinds, but the systematic indexing of learned works hadn't been all that frequent. So, for example, when the collaborators of the Athenian Society set out to provide information for their readers, they were hampered by the relative scarcity of scientific works with indexes. 24 Thomas Sprat argued that "It will not, I hope, be expected, that I should present my Reader an Index of all the several Writings, which have at any time been publish'd by the Members of the Royal Society." 25 Sprat need not have worried. In 1735 appeared A General Index of All the Matters Contained in the Seven Volumes of the Philosophical Transactions. 26 In a project [End Page 24] not unrelated to the Royal Society, all the Boyle lectures published between 1692 and 1736 were abridged and indexed in the four volumes of A Defence of Natural and Revealed Religion (1737).

In the course of the eighteenth century, readers would encounter new indexes of almost everything. When familiar works like William Dampier's New Voyage Round the World, third edition (1705) were reissued in new editions they were also outfitted with indexes. Prescribing drugs became easier with Hieronymus Gaubius' Lectures of Pharmacy: Exhibiting Exact Rules for Prescribing (1744), complete with "proper notes, additional forms of prescription, an useful appendix, and a double index." James Handley's Colloquia Chyrurgica: Or, The Whole Art of Surgery Epitomiz'd and Made Easy (1721), the third edition, included "many useful additions, and a large alphabetical index." The fifth edition of John Marten's A Treatise of All the Degrees and Symptoms of the Venereal Disease, in Both Sexes (1707) now included "a copious index to the whole" as did Thomas Lancaster's A Summary Review of the Doctrine of the Small-Pox (1741) "whereunto is added an index explaining the terms of art."

Popular journals like Abel Boyer's The Political State of Great Britain (1718-19), were republished, newly edited and enlarged "and very much improved...with a proper index." So, too, the second edition of Lord Somers' A True Secret History of the Lives and Reigns of All the Kings and Queens of England (1730) with a new "alphabetical index." In 1727 was published A New Parliamentary Register, providing lists of lords spiritual and temporal, their counties, cities, and burghs "in alphabetical order," lists of peers, and "The names in a curious index, referring to the cities &c. represented." In 1743 the twentieth volume of the Parliamentary Debates appeared, complete with a new index to the full twenty volumes. And, for those seeking to verify their pedigree, there were guides to the peerage like Arthur Collins' The Peerage of England: Or, an Historical and Geneological Account of the Present Nobility (1717) to which had been added a "general index of the several families of Great Britain and Ireland."

Historians could consult A Compleat Alphabetical Index to the Late Bishop Burnet's History of His Own Time (1724) or Laurence Eachard's, The History of England. From the First Entrance of Julius Caesar and the Romans, to the End of the Reign of King James the First (1707) "With a Complete Index." In 1731 a newly indexed edition of John Knox's History of the Reformation of Religion Within the Realm of Scotland appeared, followed by the seventh edition of Walter Raleigh's History of the World (1733), with a "life of the author" and a "new index to the whole work."

Sermons and the Bible offered numerous opportunities for the ambitious indexer. When the Works of Richard Hooker were republished in 1724, they came revised and corrected with a "large alphabetical index" much like The Works of the Reverend Mr. Edm. Hickeringill (1709), reprinted in two volumes with "an index to the whole." The second edition of Stillingfleet's Ecclesiastical Cases Relating to the Duties and Rights of the Parochial Clergy (1702) advertised the addition of a "large index." And in 1734 Sampson Letsome produced An Index to the Sermons Published Since the Restoration. Concordances also multiplied. As Matthew Pilkington remarked in the Preface to his Rational Concordance or an Index to the Bible (London, 1749), "It may seem to have been an unnecessary Trouble to make a new Collection of this sort, since so many learned and pious Persons have already, with great Labour and Judgment, compiled Institutes, Concordances, Dictionaries, and Indexes some or other of which are almost in every Man's Hand and which may be thought to answer all the Ends that can here be proposed." [End Page 25]

Even poems required indexes. Anthologies like The Virgin Muse. Being a Collection of Poems from our Most Celebrated English Poets (1717) advertised that they were now published "with Notes and a Large Index." Readers were offered an "amended and corrected" version of Samuel Butler's Hudibras (1710), "with an exact index to the whole; never before printed." To Eliza: An Epick Poem (1705), Richard Blackmore "annex'd, an index, explaining persons, countries, cities, rivers &c," a bibliographic service repeated for the fourth edition of Prince Arthur (1714). In 1730 the complete works of Joseph Addison were republished "with a compleat index," and in 1741 Alexander Cruden produced A Verbal Index to Milton's Paradise Lost. Even the Dunces got the full dress treatment. Hence The High German Doctor of Philip Horneck (a work ridiculed in The Dunciad) was republished "with many additions and alterations" including a "large explanatory index." And, as if deliberately setting out to prove the Scriblerian case against index-learning, one publisher offered The Fool: Being a Collection of Essays and Epistles, Moral Political, Humourous, and Entertaining. Published in the Daily Gazetteer. With the Author's Preface and a Complete Index (1748).

As I have noted, any number of these new reference works advertised the presence of an "alphabetical index." It is difficult for twentieth-century readers to imagine a usable index that is not alphabetical, but the very fact that so many works call attention to the alphabet as the principle of organization is worthy of note. It is understandable that an early printed book like Marbeck's First English Concordance of the Whole Bible in English (London, 1550) should call attention to the extraordinary fact that "A concordance," is "a worke wherein by the order of the letters of the A B C, ye may readily find any words contained in the whole Bible, as often as it is there expressed or mentioned" (Metcalfe, p. 20). But this sense of an almost mystical power in the alphabet itself is still evident in works like A Metrical Index to the Bible (London, 1711), which "now appears in a new Dress, having put on an Alphabetical Order; And that for two ends: Partly to help the Memory. But chiefly to Connote with, or Point out by, the Letters of the Alphabet the Number of any Chapter or Psalm whose Contents are Recited or Demanded" (Preface). Unlike many similar titles, this work enjoyed no second edition, in large measure, one suspects, because the attempt to alphabetically encode every verse in the Bible created more confusion than it eliminated.

By the mid-eighteenth century alphabetization had become standard for most forms of information classification. 27 But not without some ambiguity. Alphabetization was sufficiently novel that when Ephraim Chambers first published his Cyclopaedia (1728), he felt compelled to defend his use of the alphabet as a principle of organization (Metcalfe, p. 19). As Chambers points out, something is gained, but something is also lost when knowledge is classified merely by alphabetical order. So it is that he seeks for a principle of connection in the Cyclopaedia:

So that by a Course of References, from Generals to Particulars; from Premises to Conclusions; from Cause to Effect; and vice versa, i.e in one word, from more to less complex, and from less to more: A Communication is opened between the several Parts of the Work; and the several Articles are in some measure replaced in their natural Order of Science, out of which the Technical or Alphabetical one had remov'd them. 28

There were certainly other "natural" orders of codification available to the encyclopedist or librarian--the seven liberal arts of the medieval curriculum, for example. When Dr. Johnson set out to catalog Harley's library he could have listed [End Page 26] works by bibliographic format--folio, quarto, duodecimo, etc.--by subject area, chronologically by publication date, by author, by collection (the method in the Bodleian and British Library), or with some other system. As Alvin Kernan observes, such decisions are sensitive and important social matters. "Control of the official catalogue system--British Library or Library of Congress for example--gives real power over the paradigm of knowledge in the society, comparable to control over the meaning of words in the dictionary, or over education through the departmental structure of the modern university." 29 The branch one occupies on the tree of knowledge determines how seriously one will be taken. "A subject relegated to the trivium rather than the quadrivium, or to the 'soft' rather than the 'hard' sciences, may wither on the vine." 30

In semiotic terms, then, the advertisement that one had provided a specifically "alphabetical" index announced an arbitrary and peculiarly modern strategy of organization. It is clearly a strategy about which the Scriblerians felt some ambivalence. As with their response to so much else that was new in the world, the Scriblerians fell back on mock-form as a means of managing their uncertainty about the implications of alphabetic classification. Some recognition of the ambiguity of alphabetical order may well have motivated Gay's "Alphabetical Catalogue of Names, Plants, Flowers, Fruits, Birds, Beasts, Insects, and other material things mentioned in these Pastorals" appended to The Shepherd's Week. A brief look at the B's--"Barley, Ballad-singer, Bat, Bateman, Bays, Barn, Beech, Bee, Bran, Blackberry, Blind-man's-buff, Bramble, Blowzelind, Breakfast, Bull, Bumkinet, Bun, Boobyclod, Butter, Bowzybeus, Butcher, Butterflower and Buxoma"--strongly suggests the undifferentiated irrelevance of such listings, whether alphabetical or not. 31 The reference function itself is largely nugatory; one finds it hard to imagine that anyone curious about barley would ever consult this particular poem. Gay clearly pokes fun at the logic of alphabetical indexing with his ambiguous suggestion that since they have been included, the characters listed here--Bumkinet, Blowzelind, and Bowzybeus--must be plants, birds, fruits, beasts, insects, or "other material things." The joke is repeated in the index to the Dunciad Variorum, whose subtitle, "Of THINGS (including Authors) to be found in the Notes, &c." redefines the Dunces in purely material terms. Pope also uses the entries to carry on his quarrel with the Dunces. So, just in case the reader missed them the first time, Pope recapitulates the calumnies of the Dunces in the index: "Pope (Mr.) his Life] Educated by Jesuits, by a Parson, by a Monk, at St. Omers, at Oxford, at home; no where at all." 32

For parodists like Gay and Pope there was no shortage of contemporary models. For instance, the title page to Herman Moll's A System of Geography: Or, a New & Accurate Description of the Earth (1701), boasts "Alphabetical Index's of the Names, Ancient as Well as Modern, of all the Places mention'd in the Work. And a General Index of Remarkable Things." As if responding to this new emphasis on "remarkable things," Gay's mock-indexes, both for The Shepherd's Week and for Trivia may be said to remark the unremarkable, drawing conspicuous attention to the sheer multiplication of quotidian detail. The mock-index was certainly not original with the Scriblerians, but seems to have been the innovation of the Christ Church Wits in works like Dr. Bentley's Dissertation on the Epistles of Phalaris... Examine'd, 2nd edition (1698) and in the works of William King. King's indexes from A Journey to London (1698)--a parody of Martin Lister's Journey to Paris (1698)--The Transactioneer (1700), and Useful Transactions in Philosophy (1709)--both parodies of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society--depend for [End Page 27] their comic effect on the ironic celebration of the discontinuous and the inconsequential. A sampling of items from the index to A Journey to London includes, in order, Snails, Soups, Squares, St. James's, &c., Statues, Steenkirks, Sticklebacks, Streets lighted, --clean, Syllabubs, Mrs. Price's, Tadpoles, Tea, Tennis-balls, Turnips," and "Water." 33

Such indexes reveal a world that has suddenly been overrun by insignificant detail. Although the title of Gay's Trivia presumably refers to an intersection of streets, it also expresses a peculiarly Scriblerian response to the sheer undifferentiated welter of everyday phenomena. The Index to Trivia is worth noting because it insists on the randomness of details--items are not strictly alphabetized, but arranged in order of appearance--and their sheer undifferentiated quantity. A review of the entries under the letter "O" helps clarify this point. We find "Oysters, at what time first cry'd; Old Woman, an Observation upon one; Observations on the Looks of Walkers; Oxroasted on the Thames; Orpheus, his Death; Overton the Print-Seller; Oyster-Wench; Oyster, the Courage of him that first eat one; Oedipus" (Poetry and Prose, 1:177). Here one finds no apparent emphasis, no attempt to determine significant subject headings--everything is given equal weight; oysters get equal billing with Oedipus and Orpheus. In this respect, Gay's index, like the mock-indexes of William King or even the contents of the Philosophical Transactions, is governed by the sheer inertia of aggregation. We note the same sense of miscellaneity that one confronts in Swift's Description of a City Shower where "Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood, / Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud, / Dead cats and turnip tops come tumbling down the flood." 34

In effect, the mock-index, like Swift's mock-georgic, celebrates a world where familiar categories of organization have been replaced by a principle of aggregation, where plenitude degenerates into variety or miscellaneity. In this respect Scriblerian satire ironically celebrates the sheer "thingness" of things, and in the new commercial landscape of Augustan London, of course, there were a lot more things to celebrate. Even Pope's famous enumeration of the items on Belinda's dressing table--"puffs, powders, patches, Bibles, billet doux"--may be seen to follow this pattern. It is tempting, of course, for the critic to assume that sequence is significant, and formalist critics have found a compelling metonymic logic in these lines; certainly the Bible is not there by accident, is it? Given the Scriblerian preoccupation with meaningless detail, however, with sequences that are unsequential, one might argue that perhaps the order here is equally arbitrary and aggregative.

This suggestion that the sequence of items on Belinda's dressing table might actually be random goes to the heart of how modern readers have interpreted the kinds of "order" that govern Augustan poetry. Certainly Pope asserts his belief in the presence of a knowable and aesthetically coherent order, one mediated almost exclusively through classical forms, hence the equation of Nature and Homer in the Essay on Criticism. 35 This faith in an ordered and harmonious world is recapitulated most memorably in Windsor Forest, "Where Order in Variety we see / And where, tho' all things differ, all agree" (ll. 15-16). Much has been made of the centrality of concordia discors as an organizing principle in Pope's aesthetic. And as a principle of organization concordia discors is enormously attractive, in part, because everything fits; there are no loose ends. Earl R. Wasserman's elegant exegesis of Windsor Forest demonstrates the power of concordia discors to absorb all seeming contradictions. Every detail exists within a discernible matrix [End Page 28] of relevance, and the poem presents a model of the world that reveals its significance in a series of analogical correspondences. The forest serves as an "ideal microcosm," as a "synecdoche for England." The forest is "both a principle and a place" and the opening paragraphs are devoted to "giving the Forest this symbolic value." 36 As numerous scholars have observed, Pope owes visible debts to Denham's Cooper's Hill (1642). But as Laura Brown has argued, "Denham's Thames does not stand for just any form of cosmic order in variety; it specifically symbolizes both a political order in the balanced antithesis of parliamentary monarchy and an economic order in the resultant balanced dispersal of wealth, domestic and imperial" (Alexander Pope, p. 35). Whether, like Howard Weinbrot, one takes issue with Brown's Marxist reading, or, like Claude Rawson, one denies the Providential implications of Martin C. Battestin's strongly Christian exegesis of Windsor Forest, all agree that the metaphor of concordia discors, and the matrix of allusions which serves to support it, have a significant bearing on how we interpret the details of the poem. 37

In a culture where the index function comes to prevail, however, such linguistic polyvalence inevitably gives way to more univocal significations, to vast registries of objects that have reference only to their functions within the material culture. In a world to which indexes provide the key, detail "signifies" differently than it does in Windsor Forest where the Urn of "Old Father Thames" portrays "the Moon, that guides / His swelling Waters, and alternate Tydes; / The figur'd Streams in Waves of Silver roll'd, / And on their Banks Augusta rose in Gold" (ll. 329-36). As Weinbrot points out, both Tories and Whigs were in agreement that the Peace of Utrecht would mean an increase in British trade (pp. 290-91). Both Pope and Defoe would celebrate the role of the Thames in this development, but as Defoe proclaims in The Complete English Tradesman, his song of the Thames would be quite different from Pope's:

I shall sing you no songs here of the river in the first person of a water nymph, a goddess (and I know not what) according to the humor of the ancient poets. I shall talk nothing of the marriage of old Isis, the male river, with the beautiful Thame, the female river, a whimsy as simple as the subject was empty, but I shall speak of the river as occasion presents, as it really is made glorious by the splendor of its shores, gilded with noble palaces, strong fortifications, large hospitals, and public buildings; with the greatest bridge, and the greatest city in the world, made famous by the opulence of its merchants, the increase and extensiveness of its commerce; by its invincible navies, and by the innumerable fleets of ships sailing upon it, to and from all parts of the world. 38

Here in bold relief is a contrast between the ancient and the modern, and it is instructive to compare the details that Defoe chooses to emphasize with the details that are emphasized in a specimen of index learning like Great Britain's Vade Mecum (1720) that advertises a "concise geographical description of the world," to which is added a "short view of Trade in general," descriptions of London and Westminster, tables of customs duties, instructions for measuring glass, postal rates, rates for coachmen, watermen, and carmen, and an account of "the Roads to London." Johnson may call for "observation with extensive view" to "survey mankind from China to Peru," but by 1738, when The Vanity of Human Wishes was written, he was already out of step. As Defoe makes clear, and as Great Britain's Vade Mecum confirms, the wide moral survey Johnson had in mind had already been replaced by the inventory. [End Page 29]

In this new world it is not the "groves of Eden, vanish'd now so long," that provide the paradigm, but the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, documents that depend upon the examination and recording of vast amounts of undifferentiated data. According to Sprat,

The Society has reduc'd its principal observations, into one common-stock; and laid them up in publique Registers, to be nakedly transmitted to the next Generation of Men; and so from them, to their Successors. And as their purpose was, to heap up a mixt Mass of Experiments, without digesting them into any perfect model: so to this end, they confin'd themselves to no order of subjects; and whatever they have recorded, they have done it, not as compleat Schemes of opinions, but as bare unfinish'd Histories." (History of the Royal Society, p. 115)

For lexicographers and encyclopedists who followed in Sprat's wake, there was always the danger of presenting nothing more than an undifferentiated mass of things. To quote Chambers' Cyclopaedia (1728), "the difficulty lay in the form and economy of it, so to dispose such a multitude of materials as not to make a confused heap of incoherent parts but one consistent whole" (quoted in Darnton, p. 196). In the Prospectus to the Encyclopédie, Diderot concurs that "Nature presents us only with particular things, infinite in number and without firmly established divisions" (quoted in Darnton, p. 195). By definition, whatever order emerges from this variety will be both hard won and arbitrary, nor is it apt to include the kind of moral or political analogy embedded in Pope's description of Windsor Forest.

The Scriblerians are ambivalent about the sheer proliferation of new information and new consumer goods that made index learning necessary. Distrust of aggregation occasionally breaks through the surface of Pope's poetry as in his warnings in the Essay on Criticism against "glaring chaos" and "wild heap[s] of wit." It is no accident that in The Dunciad we are assaulted by masses of chaotic detail, what one critic has described as a "malign plenitude." 39 Where for Sprat the explosion of scientific knowledge is cause for pride, for Swift it provides only the raw materials for his satire on the Royal Society in the third book of Gulliver's Travels. In the face of this welter of new information, Pope's insistence that nature herself reveals a "Chain of Being" (an outmoded taxonomy to be sure) or models "order in variety," may be seen as evidence of his attempt to find coherence in a new "information age" defined on one hand by "miscellaneity," a word of opprobrium in Scriblerian satire, or on the other by "system," a term that is vilified with equal ardor in Swift's Ode to the Athenian Society and A Tale of a Tub, and Pope's Essay on Man, and The Dunciad. 40 Such fears were not illusory. In his Miscellaneous Reflections (1711), Shaftesbury argues that "nothing could be more severe or rigid than the conditions formerly prescribed to writers, when criticism took place, and regularity and order were thought essential in a treatise." Now thanks to the modern miscellany, "a invented to confound this simplicity and conformity of design; patchwork is substituted; cuttings and shreds of learning, with various fragments and points of wit, are drawn together and tacked in any fantastic form." 41

For an unrepentant modern like Defoe, this welter of data seems entirely congenial. [End Page 30] He is thrilled that "In travelling through England, a luxuriance of objects presents it self to our view," and the preface to the first edition of the Tour offers a "flowing variety of materials" and promises that "all the particulars [will be] fruitful of instructing and diverting objects." 42 This "luxuriance of objects" is but one of the influences giving rise to the index function of eighteenth-century publishing; there is so much that is new, so much that has been discovered, or recovered that needs to be recorded, catalogued, organized, and explained. This is fundamentally foreign to the Augustan view of the world. It is precisely this "luxuriance of objects" that serves as one focus of Swift's parody in Gulliver's Travels, from the welter of ersatz scientific detail in Book III, to the mock-precision of the descriptions of all the things Gulliver encounters in Lilliput and Brobdingnag.

The impulse (comically embodied in Gulliver's narrative) to account for this abundance of things is a natural byproduct of a new information age, and it inspires the Scriblerian contempt for summaries, digests, compendiums, and indexes of every kind. In the Tale the Hack remarks that he has "with much Pains and Reading, collected out of antient Authors, this short Summary of a Body of Philosophy and Divinity, which seems to have been composed by a Vein and Race of Thinking, very different from any other Systems, either Antient or Modern" (p. 80). Scriblerus is equally ambitious, proposing "to collect the scatter'd Rules of our Art into regular Institutes, from the example and practice of the deep Genius's of our nation; imitating herein my predecessors the Master of Alexander, and the Secretary of the renown'd Zenobia" (p. 187). In short, the Dunces are all compilers, like Louis Moréri, whose Le Grand dictionnaire historique (1674) was a seminal work in the development of reference literature, giving rise to a series of editions, revisions, translations, and corrections (it would reach its twentieth edition by 1759) that "testified to the vast public thirst for the learning it had to offer." 43 It also inspired Pierre Bayle to proceed with his own Historical and Critical Dictionary (1696), part of whose mission was to clean up the Augean heaps of misinformation that encyclopedists like Moréri had left behind. Bayle's dissatisfaction notwithstanding, Moréri was translated into English by Jeremy Collier as The Great Historical, Geographical, Geneological and Poetical Dictionary (London, 1701), advertising itself as a compendium of miscellaneous information all arranged in alphabetical order with references appended. In his preface Collier remarks:

As for the Usefulness of this Work, 'tis a Collection of almost Universal Knowledge, and may be call'd rather a Library than a Book: It not only runs through the greatest part of Learning, and affords a vast variety of Matter; but also acquaints the Reader with most of the considerable Authors that have written upon any Subject, and which is more, their Writings are often distinguish'd and mark'd in their Intrinsick, and Value. 44

For the Grub Street Journal, however, such claims were suspicious. "There's scarce a man of tolerable reading, but when furnished with a good Morery, thinks himself upon a level with the learned of the first rank, the compilers of which were below those of record" (no. 322 [26 February 1935/36]).

Moréri incarnates one of the recurrent characteristics of index learning--the desire for completeness and universal coverage of the sort parodied by Swift in A Tale of a Tub. There the Hack claims to be busily at work on "a compleat Body of Civil Knowledge, and the Revelation, or rather the Apocalyps of all State-Arcana (p. 68), a grand title not appreciably sillier than the Annals of the Universe; Containing an Account of the Most Memorable Actions, Affairs, and Occurences which have happen'd [End Page 31] in the World: but especially Europe. From the Year the Year 1680 (London, 1709) or Henry Curzon's The Universal Library: or, Compleat Summary of Science. Containing above Sixty Select Treatises" (1712). One must take these claims of universal coverage with a grain of salt: the entry on Theology in The Universal Library is three pages long while the Catalogue of Rarities in Gresham College runs to twenty-one pages. While it is easy to make fun of such scholarly pretensions, one should remember that the desire for completeness and coverage also resulted in such influential collections of miscellaneous learning as William Oldys' The British Librarian (1738), a "compendious Review or Abstract of our Most Scarce, Useful, and Valuable Books in All Sciences, as Well in Manuscript as in Print" which provided raw material for Johnson's Lives of the Poets among other works (Lipking, p. 78). It is one of the ironies associated with eighteenth-century index learning that the impulse toward comprehensiveness would grow stronger as the burgeoning quantity of information made that possibility increasingly unlikely.

Perhaps because of the pressure created by the growth of information, index learning also incorporated the opposite tendency, the impulse to abstract, digest, and reduce knowledge to its most accessible form. In the Tale the Hack offers Prince Posterity "a faithful Abstract drawn from the Universal Body of all Arts and Sciences" (p. 38) as well as a Paracelsian formula guaranteed to produce an infinite Number of Abstracts, Summaries, Compendiums, Extracts, Collections, Medulla's, Excerpta quaedam's, Florilegia's and the like, all disposed into great Order, and reducible upon Paper (pp. 126-27). Here Swift complains of a different kind of index learning, one that seeks to reduce knowledge to manageable and digestible bite-sized pieces. The ESTC suggests the validity of Swift's complaint, listing approximately 500 summaries, 800 extracts of various kinds, 1300 abstracts, and over 7000 collections; there are even eleven Florilegia--most notably Busby's Anthologia deutera: sive Graecorum epigrammatum florilegium novum (1702, 1711, 1718, 1726, and 1738). Indeed the abridgement of longer works became a common Grub Street genre. Clarendon's History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England (1703) was abridged with "an alphabetical index" as was Coke's Institutes of the Laws of England (1736). In 1737 Thomas Salmon produced A New Abridgment and Critical Review of the State Trials to which was added "a compleat...index."

It is not surprising, then, that digesting and abstracting information is also one of the tasks that Scriblerian personae undertake. "It hath been long (my dear Countrymen) the subject of my concern and surprize," writes Scriblerus in Peri Bathous, "that whereas numberless Poets, Critics, and Orators have compiled and digested the Art of ancient Poesy, there hath not arisen among us one person so publick-spirited, as to perform the like for the Modern (p. 186). In the Memoirs, Scriblerus remarks that one of his projected works will be "A complete Digest of the Laws of Nature, with a Review of those that are obsolete or repealed, and of those that are ready to be renew'd and put in force" (p. 167). According to this definition of modern knowledge, what is needed is a process by which information can be reduced to a kind of bullion cube. As the Hack remarks in A Tale of a Tub, "I cannot but bewail, that no famous Modern hath ever yet attempted an universal System in a small portable Volume, of all Things that are to be Known, or Believed, or Imagined, or Practised in Life" (p. 124). In much the same fashion Scriblerus proposes to "collect the scatter'd Rules of our Art into regular Institutes, from the example and practice of deep Genius's of our nation" (p. 187). Closely related to this abstracting frenzy are works like Pope's "Receipt to Make an Epic Poem" first published in Guardian 78 and then reprinted as Chapter XV [End Page 32] of Peri Bathous. Unlike those who "unanimously require in a Poet," the presence of Genuis. "I shall here endeavour (for the benefit of my Countrymen) to make it manifest, that Epic Poems may be made without a Genius, nay without Learning or much Reading" (p. 228). 45

Having been cut off from ancient sources of inspiration, the modern Hack's "last Recourse must be had to large Indexes, and little Compendiums; Quotations must be plentifully gathered, and bookt in Alphabet; To this End, tho' Authors need be little consulted, yet Criticks, and Commentators, and Lexicons carefully must" (pp. 147-48). One result of this dependence on abstracts and compendia is that all knowledge inevitably becomes reduced to the level of the modern sound-bite, the sort of morsel one might encounter in the Hack's "laborious Collection of Seven Hundred Thirty Eight Flowers, and shining Hints of the best Modern Authors, digested with great Reading into my Book of Common-places" (p. 209). Once again Swift's parody is only mildly exaggerated. The New Help to Discourse (1684) promises "an Abstract, or Collection of several Histories, Proverbs, Riddles, Jests, Epigrams, with other choice Pieces which formerly have been published by several Authors, both Ancient and Modern; to which are added divers new Pieces of several subjects, which I have digested Dialogue-wise, as being the most easie to the meanest capacity." 46

As this compendium-monger makes clear, index learning was now designed to make information accessible and usable for even those of the "meanest capacity," aspirations clearly visible in works like the following: The Complete Family-Piece: and, Country Gentleman, and Farmer's Best Guide. In Three Parts.... With a Complete Alphabetical Index to Each Part. The Whole Being Faithfully Collected by Several Very Eminent and Ingenious Gentlemen, is Now First Published, at Their Earnest Desire, for the General Benefit of Mankind (1736). This desire to provide a "general benefit" to mankind becomes a cliché heavily exploited by the Scriblerians. In the "Digression in the Modern Kind," Swift's Hack remarks that "We whom the World is pleased to honor with the Title of Modern Authors, should never have been able to compass our great Design of an everlasting Remembrance, and never-dying Fame, if our Endeavours had not been so highly serviceable to the general Good of Mankind" (p. 123).

Like the anonymous author of the Complete Family Piece, Swift points to a fundamental transformation in the signification of knowledge, the elevation of practical utility as the raison d'être of modern learning. So, for example, Leonard Welsted, not an inappropriate spokesman for the moderns, remarks: "With respect to metaphysical knowledge, nobody, I am persuaded, will contend much for the usefulness of it," whereas poetry, he contended was the most "useful" of arts. 47 Beneath the surface of complaints regarding index-learning and information culture was the suspicion that the definition of what constituted worthwhile knowledge was now shifting. As Peter F. Drucker remarks, "In both West and East, knowledge had always been seen as applying to being." Then, around 1700, "almost overnight, it came to be applied to doing. It became a resource and a utility." It had previously been assumed that knowledge largely meant self-knowledge, and while there were clearly disagreements among philosophers, they "were in total agreement as to what [knowledge] did not mean. It did not mean ability to do. [End Page 33] It did not mean utility. Utility was not knowledge; it was skill." It was not logos, but techné. 48

Perhaps more than any other, this is the distinction that "index-learning" forces the Augustans to confront. For there were few indexes, dictionaries, abstracts, summaries, encyclopedias, or even translations that were not advertised for immediate use.

"Tis needless to speak of the Usefulness of Geography," writes Herman Moll,

since every body that Reads, even a Gazette, finds himself perpetually at a Loss without some Knowledge in this Science. And therefore there needs no Apology for publishing a Work on that Subject; at this time especially, when the Actions abroad that are so much the Subject of Conversation, make every Man desire a Knowledge of the Countreys where those great Affairs are Transacted. 49

Moll's system of geography is driven by the needs of a nation at war in the Low Countries and in trade worldwide. So, too, a work like the fifteenth edition of Laurence Eachard's The Gazetteer's or Newsman's Interpreter. Being a Geographical Index of All the Considerable Provinces, Cities, Patriarchships, Bishopricks, Universities, Dukedoms, Earldoms, and such like; Imperial and Hanse-Towns, Ports, Forts, Castles, &c. in Europe (London, 1741), which seeks to combine maximum coverage with maximum efficiency. "As for the Use of this Tract," writes Eachard, "it is made in a Pocket Volume, partly designed for all such as frequent Coffee-houses, and other Places for News; by which any City, Town, or Castle of Note in Europe, that is wanted, may be readily known." In short, Eachard argues, "all Things are so well ordered, and Subject and Design so good, that I could not possibly have invented any Thing so small or of more general Use for the Publick than this" (preface).

This frenzy for utility explains the popularity of one of the most ubiquitous forms of index-learning in the eighteenth century, the vade-mecum, or "how-to" manual. There was virtually no activity known to humankind whose instructions could not be located in works like The Historian's Vade Mecum: or a Pocket Companion: Being the Marrow of History and Chronology (1741); The Young Clerk's Vade Mecum (1723); The Merchant's Companion, and Tradesman's Vade Mecum (1737); The Sea-Man's Companion, or Vade-Mecum (1727); The Apprentices's Vade Mecum (1734); The Grammar of Heraldry, or, Gentleman's Vade-Mecum (1724); The Chemical Vade Mecum: Or, a Compendium of Chymistry (1748); The Florist's Vade-Mecum (1702); and The Pastry-Cook's Vade-Mecum (1705). There were guides for construction trades like Batty Langley's Builder's Vade-Mecum: Or, a Complete Key to the Five Orders of Columns in Architecture (1729); guides for surveyors like John Martindale's The Country-Survey-Book: Or, Land-Meter's Vade Mecum (1702). For those interested in agricultural improvement there was Giles Jacob's Country-Gentleman's Vade Mecum. Containing an Account of the Best Methods to Improve Lands, Plowing and Sowing of Corn; Reaping; Mowing, &c. (1717). We find The Clergy-man's Vade-Mecum: or, An Account of the Antient and Present Church of England; the Duties and Rights of the Clergy; and of Their Ordination, Institution, Induction etc. (1707). And, for the bright young cleric (like Swift perhaps) bent on lobbying his M.P., The Church of England Man's Vade Mecum: Or, a Pocket Companion for, a Member of Parliament. Containing an Authentick List of All the Names of the Members of each Parliament, from the Year 1640 to the Restoration of King Charles II (1711), "With a Correct List of the present House of Lords and Commons; by which the Reader by comparing Men and Things, may readily find who has and who has not chang'd the Principles of his Ancestors." [End Page 34]

So numerous are these instructive manuals that their authors are often forced to apologize for publishing at all. The author of The Justice of the Peace's Vade Mecum (London, 1719) concedes the "numerous Volumes extant on a copious and useful Subject," but he expresses the hope that the necessity for this treatise "will be discovered by the judicious Reader on its perusual even though its similarity to other volumes of its type will seem at first unmistakeable" (preface). It is to this genre that Peri Bathous--a vade-mecum for modern poets--belongs. As in other works of Scriblerian satire, Pope responds to the pressures of modern form with formal parody. So, too, does Jonathan Swift. When the Hack recounts his list of modern works including My New Help of Smatterers, or the Art of being Deep-learned, and Shallow-read. A curious Invention about Mouse-Traps. [and] An Universal Rule of Reason, or Every man his own Carver" (p. 130), his imaginary titles prefigure the efforts of real authors like Giles Jacob, whose Every Man His Own Lawyer: Or, a Summary of the Laws of England in a New and Instructive Method (1736) seems an invitation to parody.

Even translation can be seen as part of the process by which literature in all its forms is harnessed to the demands of modern use. In the "Life" prefixed to The Works of Lucian (1711), Dryden falls back on the appeal to utility as a defense of modern translation, "an art so very useful to an enquiring people, and for the improvement and spreading of knowledge" (Of Dramatic Poesy, 2:214). This overt appeal to the usefulness of translation may actually serve as a strategy of defense against a growing popular readership, and a growing number of poets, like John Banks, who simply dismissed the modern relevance of the classics: "So Virgil wrote twelve Books, to prove / That if we Plants from Troy remove, / They can't be made to grow in Carthage; / But pine without Italian Earthage / That Wind and Rain will kill them there, / Without a plaguey deal of Care." At the heart of the Augustan aesthetic lies the assumption that when purged of their grosser attributes classical values might be applied directly to the conduct of modern life. 50 This is, after all, part of the logic of Swift's defense of the Ancients in the Battle of the Books. But such arguments hold no currency for John Banks:

I say, the Greeks and Romans thus
(But what is Greece and Rome to us?)
Had Meanings--Why they had their Way,
And so have we as well as they--
Are we oblig'd such Pains to take?
No--we may write for writing sake. 51

In the face of such cheekiness, the appeal to utility--Pope argues that "An indifferent translation may be of some use, and a good one will be of a great deal" 52 -- might be interpreted as tacit recognition that for even the most pious Augustans the grounds of criticism were shifting. Certainly Pope's own translation of the Iliad provides abundant evidence that he understood perfectly what was required in an age of index learning. It includes "An Index of Persons and Things," "A Poetical Index" keyed to the fables, manners, speeches, descriptions, and similes, and finally an "Index to Arts and Sciences" listing sections on art-military, agriculture and rural arts, architecture, astronomy, divination, gymnasticks, geography, history, musick, mechanics, oratory, policy, physic, painting, sculpture, and theology. Such an index suggests a modernity in Pope's procedure that he elsewhere rejects, but which emerges in numerous specimens of contemporary index-learning. So, for example, like Pope's index to the Iliad, [End Page 35] Herman Moll's A System of Geography offers "a Table of Ancient Names of Places for the Use of the Students of the Classics; whereby a Paralela Geographica Antiquo-Moderna may easily be made" (preface). Like Banks' "What are Greece and Rome to us," Moll's index strongly suggests that as the imaginary landscapes of Ithaca and Troy were systematically replaced by a new kind of geographical specificity, the world of Greece and Rome was rapidly becoming a source of purely antiquarian interest. In this regard Pope seems to follow Moll's lead. His "Index of Arts and Sciences" also provides a "Table of those Places, whose situation, products, people, or history, &c. are particulariz'd by Homer." Indeed, the entire "Index of Arts and Sciences" casts a modern light on the Homeric scene. The section on physic, for example, makes it clear that Pope intends the index, with its precise references to wounds, physical organs, and diagnoses, to provide useful medical knowledge to his contemporaries.

Like other modern writers, then, Pope is forced, at least in part, to measure the value of the ancients by standards that are applied to other useful things. This was the case with those who argued that Virgil's Georgics actually provided a credible guide to modern farming. As Frans De Bruyn has recently shown, the question of how to mediate between the claims of classical georgic and the scientific demands of modern agriculture became a central issue for mid- to late eighteenth-century writers on "improvement." 53 James Hamilton, for example, remarked of his own translation of Virgil, "I am heartily sorry that the following Volume does not appear in such a polite Dress, adorned with all the Embellishments of Wit, Judgment and Learning.... I have not made the Choice of Words and Connexion so much my Study, as to render what I have wrote useful." 54 At one level, of course, the Scriblerians shared Hamilton's belief. Lord Munodi, the model of sane and productive agriculture in Gulliver's Travels, derives his principles from ancient models. The central failing of the Academicians of Lagado is that their experiments are apparently as useless as the seemingly random activities of the Royal Society itself. What, after all, does one do with a breed of naked sheep? Of course the Scriblerians still hold to a standard of moral utility that is not quite the same as the modern standard of utility incarnated by index learning. One might cite Clarissa's lecture in The Rape of the Lock: "Oh! if to dance all Night, and dress all Day, / Charm'd the Small-pox, or chas'd old Age away; / Who would not scorn what Huswife's Cares produce, / Or who would learn one earthly Thing of Use?" (V, 19-22). It is worthy of note, however, that this advice appears in a passage detailing the equipment and activities required to make Belinda beautiful, details that might easily have been derived from a modern work like Beauties Treasury: Or, The Ladies Vade-Mecum. Being a Collection of the Newest, Most Select and Valuable Receipts, for Making All Sorts of Cosmetick-Washes, Oils, Unguents, Waters, &c. (1705). In short, the boundaries between the kind of "use" recommended by Clarissa or by Lord Munodi and the utility ironically recommended in Peri Bathous and other Scriblerian satires were never as clear as the Scriblerians would lead us to believe.

The sudden efflorescence of index learning offers one last threat to Augustan visions of cultural integration--the rise of specialization, which, along with the rise of professionalism, "provided the great innovations in the social structure [End Page 36] during the Age of Reason." 55 Once again Sprat's History of the Royal Society adumbrates a new definition of the learned person, one who must now depend upon the assistance of his fellows since the relative mastery of all that is known--one Renaissance model of the learned--was no longer possible.

It is true indeed, a diligent Inquirer of these times, may gather as much experience, and in probability, conclude as rightly, as a whole Academy, or Sect of theirs could: yet I shall still deny, that any one Man, though he has the nimblest, and most universal observation, can ever, in the compass of his life, lay up enough knowledge, to suffice all that shall come after him to rest upon, without the help of any new Inquiries. (pp. 30-31)

The acquisition of scientific knowledge, as Sprat defines it, now requires the discreet observations of dozens of correspondents, each working in his own area of interest. Such an effort depends, of course, upon the division of labor. "By this union of eyes, and hands there do these advantages arise. Thereby there will be a full comprehension of the object in all its appearances" (p. 85). As I have suggested, the achievement of comprehensiveness is one of the primary goals of index learning. Sprat effectively redefines the notion of comprehensiveness, however, not as the learned scope of the gentleman amateur, but as the statistical exhaustion of all available data by squadrons of individual scientists each of whom provides an intense focus on a limited area of expertise.

This is the kind of science arraigned in The Dunciad where the virtuoso sees "Nature in some partial narrow shape" and lets "the Author of the Whole escape" (IV, 455-56), proclaiming proudly, "I meddle, Goddess! only in my sphere" (IV, 432). The Scriblerians' animus against modern science and technology, equally visible in Peri Bathous, The Dunciad, and the Memoirs, can be seen as part of their resistance to larger patterns of cultural change, and their adherence to a body of aristocratic norms which to them seemed under attack. What, after all, was the value of scientific learning to a gentleman? "For a man of the world, the object was a smattering of polite learning, a classical literary education that would furnish the necessary polish to allow him to shine in the fashionable circles of the great world. It was all a matter of style." 56 It was precisely the question of style that confronted James Hamilton when he came to translate Virgil, "whether to speak with the voice of the gentleman or of the 'vile' specialist" (De Bruyn, p. 55).

It was the vile specialist, of course, who would come to rule the world of modern learning, as knowledge itself was subdivided into smaller and smaller disciplinary categories. In an early draft of The Wealth of Nations Adam Smith wrote that

Philosophy or speculation...naturally becomes, like every other employment, the sole occupation of a particular class of citizens. Like every trade it is subdivided into many different branches, and we have mechanical, chymical, astronomical, physical, metaphysical, moral, political, commercial, and critical philosophers." 57

Since each of these branches eventually required its own indexes, summaries, abstracts, and dictionaries, the growth of index learning could be traced directly to the division of labor. This is the kind of outcome satirically envisaged in Peri Bathous where the whole art of oratory could be encompassed in a "Rhetorical Chest of Drawers" (p. 225). Poetry itself is subdivided into discreet specialties, each [End Page 37] rhetorician responsible for one single trope.

Now each man applying his whole time and genius upon his particular Figure, would doubtless attain to perfection; and when each became incorporated and sworn into the Society...a Poet or Orator would have no more to do but to send to the particular Traders in each Kind, to the Metaphorist for his Allegories, to the Simile-maker for his Comparisons, to the Ironist for his Sarcasms. (p. 225)

Once again the Scriblerians were required to invent nothing. Lord Shaftesbury had already suggested that in the effort to produce more effectively, writers ought to compare "our writing artists to the manufacturers in stuff or silk" ("Miscellaneous Reflections," p. 159).

It is not just the division of labor that offends the Scriblerians, however; it is the development of the distinctive voice of the "vile specialist," the new vocabularies and professional idiolects that necessarily derived from specialization. As Scriblerus instructs his fellow Dunces in Peri Bathous, it is "useful to employ Technical Terms, which estrange your style from the great and general Ideas of nature" (p. 218). And nowhere were these technical terms and procedures more annoyingly evident than in the practice of textual scholarship, what was often contemptuously described as "Verbal Criticism," the sort of criticism that found its local habitation in the learned footnote. Between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries the footnote had assumed increasing importance as classical scholars "bent on correcting every error, explicating every literary device, and identifying every thing or custom that cropped up in a classical text had mounted every major piece of Greek or Latin prose or verse in a baroque setting of exegesis and debate." 58 By the eighteenth century the footnote had become a cliché, a kind of marketing tool designed to add a soupçon of sophistication to an otherwise pedestrian performance. As the author of Four Satires points out, the scholarly apparatus accompanying his poem was the idea of the publisher who felt that "something was still wanting very essential, namely Annotations" (preface, p. viii). This habit of annotation, symbolized by the critical efforts of Richard Bentley (a rough model for Martinus Scriblerus), becomes the focus of a whole range of Scriblerian satires from the Dunciad Variorum and Peri Bathous to the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus. In the modern world, the critical footnote, like the preface, the appendix, the lexicon, and the index had become but one more feature of information culture. The Scriblerians, of course, would have their readers believe that Bentley, the greatest classical scholar of his age, was a pedantic fool. But, one suspects, that is not really why he holds such a privileged position in the pantheon of modern dullness. By virtue of his expertise, Bentley had rendered himself the vilest of "vile specialists." But what was worse, and as Pope must have suspected, where textual criticism was concerned, Bentley represented the future. As Joseph Levine points out, the paradox at the heart of Scriblerian attitudes toward Bentley can be seen to symbolize their attitudes toward modern expertise in all its forms.

The Ancients, like Swift and Pope, insisted upon the imitation of classical authors. Such imitation depended, however, as even the most reluctant of them saw, on a knowledge of the meaning of ancient writers. Some philology therefore was requisite, however mean the discipline. The unresolved problem for the Ancients was how to achieve this knowledge without losing the polish of the gentleman, how to employ philology without becoming a philologist. (p. 242) [End Page 38]

The Scriblerians would never find a comfortable answer to this question. Instead even as they quietly practiced the arts of verbal criticism, 59 they continued to insist that professional specialization was the last in a series of indignities offered by a world literally overrun by new forms of knowledge, and a culture that now demanded complete, widely disseminated, rapidly updated, accessible and useful forms of information. The Scriblerian hostility toward the growing importance of the index function is but part of their backlash against the democratization of knowledge, the professionalization of literature in general, and the reduction of knowledge itself to mere information. In short, the index, broadly conceived, offers the Scriblerians a convenient symbol for new definitions of learning and for the development of modern systems of classification that emerged in early eighteenth-century print culture. C. S. Lewis has argued that, like such humanists as More and Erasmus, the Scriblerians were essentially backward looking, enemies of all new science, literature, and learning other than their own: "The number of things they do not want to hear about is enormous." 60 That all the things the Scriblerians did not wish to hear about should now be indexed, classified, organized, and catalogued only added insult to injury.

Le Moyne College


1. The Poems of Alexander Pope, ed. John Butt (New Haven: Yale Univ., 1963), I, 283-86. All selections from the poetry of Pope are taken from this edn. and cited by line number in the text. Other poets echoed such concerns about the proliferation of prologues and prefaces. See, e.g., John Banks, "Prologue for a Private Representation of CATO, by a Company of young Gentlemen," in Poems on Several Subjects (London, 1733): "Prologues to Plays, and Prefaces to Books, / Without their Help, how awkwardly it looks? / Our Cato's Author, tho' excelled by no Man, / With Prologue chose to introduce his Roman. / Dan Pope harangu'd in such a lofty Strain, / As in Friend Addi had been counted vain; / The Audience must applaud, or they were short all--."

2. A Tale of a Tub to which is added The Battle of the Books and the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit, ed. A. C. Guthkelch & D. Nichol Smith (Oxford: Clarendon, 1958), p. 131. All citations from the Tale are taken from this text and cited by page number in parenthesis.

3. Preface to Ovid in Masquerade. Being, Burlesque Upon the XIIIth Book of his Metamorphosis (London, 1719).

4. England's Jests Refin'd and Improv'd, 3rd edn. (London, 1693), To the Reader.

5. No. 318 (Thursday, 29 Jan. 1735/36).

6. See, e.g., Hudibras: In Three Parts (1710) where the Index follows a brief Life of the Author, much as the Grub Street Journal describes the process.

7. (London, 1737), Preface, p. viii.

8. Jonathan Swift and the Millenium of Madness: The Information Age in Swift's A Tale of a Tub (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1992), p. 9

9. John Metcalfe has recently pointed out that Pope's slur on "index learning" marks a minor bump on the road to modern "information retrieval" systems (Information Retrieval British & American, 1876-1976 [Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1976], p. 20).

10. Preface to the Dictionary of the English Language in Samuel Johnson: Selected Poetry and Prose, ed. Frank Brady & W. K. Wimsatt (Berkeley: Univ. of California, 1977), p. 277.

11. The Eighteenth-Century Short Title Catalogue on CD-ROM (London: British Library, 1992). All refs. to the ESTC refer to this version.

12. Noctes Nottinghamicae or Cursory Objections Against the Syntax of the Common-Grammar, in Order to Obtain a Better: Design'd in the Mean Time for the Use of Schools (London, 1718), dedication.

13. Ovid was a staple commodity for London booksellers. The Metamorphoses, translated by "Mr. Dryden, Mr. Addison," and others, was published in various edns. (1717, 1720, 1732), the Epistles, translated by Dryden and others, were published by Tonson (1701, 1705, 1720), while the Art of Love, with various translators including Dryden, Tate, and Congreve, appeared in 1719 and again in 1725.

14. No. 37 (17 Sept. 1730). The work referred to here is Horace's Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry done into English, with Notes by S. Dunster, 4th edn. (London, 1729).

15. The Author's Farce, ed. Charles B. Woods (Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska, 1966), p. 31. See also Brean Hammond, Professional Imaginative Writing in England, 1670-1740: 'Hackney for Bread' (Oxford: Clarendon, 1997), pp. 28ff.

16. Dryden, Of Dramatic Poesy and Other Essays, ed. George Watson, 2 vols. (London: Dent, 1962), 2:213-14.

17. The Prose Works of Alexander Pope, vol. 2: 1725-1744, ed. Rosemary Cowler (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986), p. 267. All quotations from Peri Bathous are taken from this edn.

18. See Laura Brown, Alexander Pope (Oxford: Blackwell, 1985).

19. Norman Ault, The Prose Works of Alexander Pope, 1711-1720 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1936), p. 246. See also Denham's "To Sir Richard Fanshaw upon his Translation of Pastor Fido" (1648), Roscommon's "Essay on Translated Verse" (1684), Thomas Francklin's "Translation: A Poem" (1753), and Smart's "Preface" to The Works of Horace (1767).

20. Certainly the financial details of Pope's transactions with his publishers and his collaborators lend credence to this argument. On Pope's difficulties avoiding the kind of self-parody implicit in any epic project see Margaret Anne Doody, The Daring Muse: Augustan Poetry Reconsidered (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ., 1985), chap. 3, and Brean Hammond, Professional Imaginative Writing, pp. 134ff.

21. Thomas Bentley, A Letter to Mr. Pope Occasioned by Sober Advice from Horace (1735), qtd. in Joseph Levine, The Battle of the Books (Ithaca: Cornell Univ., 1991), p. 222.

22. "Pope," in Lives of the Poets, qtd in Levine, Battle of the Books, p. 223.

23. The Iliad of Homer, Books I-IX, ed. Maynard Mack (London: Methuen; New Haven: Yale Univ., 1967), p. cvii.

24. Gilbert D. McEwen, The Oracle of the Coffee House. John Dunton's Athenian Mercury (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1972), p. 114.

25. The History of the Royal Society (1667), ed. Jackson I. Cope & Harold W. Jones (St. Louis: Washington Univ., 1958), p. 253.

26. In the following paragraphs I cite a number of titles. All the information is taken directly from the title pages of the volumes mentioned. In the interest of efficiency I have not noted them individually.

27. Certainly a number of well-known 17th-century texts like Heresigraphy (1646) come equipped with "An Alphabeticall Table of the Chief Heads Contained in the Book," but this largely involves herding all the topics beginning with the same letter into the same place. There is no attempt to extend the process of alphabetization to the second letter.

28. Cyclopaedia: Or, an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (London, 1728), Preface, p. 1.

29. Samuel Johnson and the Impact of Print (Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1987), p. 253. In the British Library there developed a "deep political and bitter social struggle over the question of whether the printed index was to be alphabetical, with full bibliographic descriptions, or to be alphabetic and brief, or to be arranged by category" (p. 254).

30. Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (N.Y.: Vintage, 1985), pp. 192-93.

31. Poetry and Prose, ed. Vinton A. Dearing with the assistance of Charles E. Beckwith, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1974), 1:123.

32. The Dunciad, ed. James Sutherland. The Twickenham Edition of the Poems of Alexander Pope (London: Methuen; New Haven: Yale Univ., 1965), pp. 239 & 243.

33. The Original Works of William King, L.L.D., 3 vols. (London, 1776), 1:205.

34. The Complete Poems, ed. Pat Rogers (New Haven & London: Yale Univ., 1983).

35. For the fullest and most elegant discussion of the Augustan belief in order see Martin C. Battestin, Providence of Wit: Aspects of Form in Augustan Literature and the Arts (Oxford: Clarendon, 1974), particularly chap. 1.

36. The Subtler Language: Critical Readings of Neoclassic and Romantic Poems (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ., 1959), pp. 103, 108, 109, & 111.

37. See Weinbrot, Britannia's Issue: The Rise of British Literature from Dryden to Ossian (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ., 1993), pp. 276-83; Battestin, pp. 79-118; and Claude Rawson, Order from Confusion Sprung: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature from Swift to Cowper (London: Allen & Unwin, 1985), pp. 383-402. For other versions of coherence within the poem see Wallace Jackson, Vision and Re-Vision in Alexander Pope (Detroit: Wayne State Univ., 1983), pp. 21-32; and Charles H. Hinnant, "Windsor Forest in Historical Context," in Approaches to Teaching Pope's Poetry, ed. Wallace Jackson & R. Paul Yoder (N.Y.: MLA, 1993), pp. 101-16.

38. The Complete English Tradesman, 2nd edn., 2 vols. (1727) 1:173-74.

39. B. L. Reid, "Ordering Chaos: The Dunciad," in Quick Springs of Sense, ed. Larry Champion (Athens: Univ. of Georgia, 1974), pp. 75-96, rpt. Pope: Recent Essays by Several Hands, ed. Maynard Mack & James A. Winn (Hamdon, Conn.: Archon, 1980), p. 697.

40. The resonance of the opposition between miscellaneity and system emerges from the keyword index of the ESTC, where the keyword "Miscellany" appears 584 times and "System" appears as a keyword in the titles of 1639 entries.

41. Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury, "Treatise VI: Miscellaneous Reflections" (1711), in Characteristics, ed. John M. Robertson (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964), pp. 157 & 159.

42. A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain, ed. Pat Rogers (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978), p. 43.

43. Lawrence Lipking, The Ordering of the Arts in Eighteenth-Century England (Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1970), p. 76.

44. Preface, iv. Qtd. in Lipking, p. 76.

45. Such an effort reduces criticism to the level of a cook book. By so doing Pope exploits yet another contemporary sub-genre, the mock-recipe. See, e.g., Pope's own Two or Three; or a Receipt to make a Cuckold (1713) and Receipt to Make Soup (1726) as well as recipe poems like Dryden's "A Poetical Receipt to Make an OatmealPudding," William King's "The Art of Making Hasty Pudding," and Leonard Welsted's "Apple Pye." Mock recipes were addressed to a variety of subjects including A Rare and New Receipt to make all Bad Husbands Good Ones (1715); A Receipt to Make a Right Presbyterian in Two Days (1710) possibly by Dr. Sacheverell; A Receipt to Dress a Parson After the Newest Fashion (1710); Dr. Sacheverell Turn'd Oculist...With a Receipt How to Make the Doctor's Infallible Eye-Water (1710); a Mess for the Devil. Or an Excellent New Receipt to Make a Junto (1711); An Excellent Receipt to Cure Mad Love (1702).

46. The New Help to Discourse: Or, Wit, Mirth and Jollity, Intermixt with more Serious Matters (London, 1684), To the Reader.

47. "A Dissertation Concerning the Perfection of the English Language, the State of Poetry, etc.," in The Works in Verse and Prose of Leonard Welsted, Esq (London, 1787), p. 144.

48. Post-Capitalist Society (N.Y.: HarperCollins, 1994), pp. 20 & 27.

49. A New System of Geography: Or, a New & Accurate Description of the Earth (London, 1701), Preface.

50. As Howard D. Weinbrot and Claude Rawson have convincingly shown, the perceived barbarity of the Ancients meant that much of the epic tradition was simply untranslatable into modern terms. See Weinbrot, Brittania's Issue, pp. 193-270 and Augustus Caesar in "Augustan" England: The Decline of a Classical Norm (Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1978); and Rawson, Satire and Sentiment 1660-1830 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ., 1994), pp. 29-97.

51. "A Very Critical and Moral Epistle," Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1733), pp. 112-13.

52. "Postscript to the Odyssey," in Prose Works of Alexander Pope, 2:61-62

53. "From Virgilian Georgic to Agricultural Science: An Instance in the Transvaluation of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Britain," in Augustan Subjects: Essays in Honor of Martin C. Battestin, ed. Albert J. Rivero (Newark: Univ. of Delaware, 1997), pp. 47-67.

54. Virgil's Pastorals Translated into English Prose: As Also His Georgicks, with Such Notes and Reflexions as Make Him Appear to Have Wrote like an Excellent Farmer (Edinburgh, 1742), p. v. Qtd in De Bruyn, p. 57.

55. John Ralston Saul, Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (N.Y.: Vintage, 1992), p. 466

56. Joseph Levine, Dr. Woodward's Shield: History, Science and Satire in Augustan England (Berkeley: Univ. of California, 1977), p. 240.

57. Quoted in John Barrell, The Birth of Pandora and the Division of Knowledge (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1992), p. 91.

58. Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (Cambridge: Harvard Univ., 1997), pp 114-15.

59. In "Pope and Verbal Criticism," an unpublished paper presented at the annual convention of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Univ. of Notre Dame, 29 April-3 May 1998, Bertrand Goldgar examines the extent to which Pope's ridicule of textual criticism is balanced by his practice of textual criticism in The Dunciad.

60. "Addison," in Eighteenth-Century English Literature: Modern Essays in Criticism, ed. James L. Clifford (London: Oxford Univ., 1959), p. 152.