"With the same Cement [Authority], ever sure to bind, / We bring to one dead level ev'ry mind"

— Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)

Place of Publication
Printed for M. Cooper
"With the same Cement [Authority], ever sure to bind, / We bring to one dead level ev'ry mind"
Metaphor in Context
What tho' we let some better sort of fool
Thrid ev'ry science, run thro' ev'ry school?
Never by tumbler thro' the hoops was shown
Such skill in passing all, and touching none.
He may indeed (if sober all this time)
Plague with Dispute, or persecute with Rhyme.
We only furnish what he cannot use,
Or wed to what he must divorce, a Muse:
Full in the midst of Euclid dip at once,
And petrify a Genius to a Dunce:
Or set on Metaphysic ground to prance,
Show all his paces, not a step advance.
With the same Cement, ever sure to bind,
We bring to one dead level ev'ry mind
Then take him to devellop, if you can,
And hew the Block off, and get out the Man.
But wherefore waste I words? I see advance
Whore, Pupil, and lac'd Governor from France.
Walker! our hat--nor more he deign'd to say,
But, stern as Ajax' spectre, strode away.


Ver. 255 to 271. What tho' we let some better sort of fool, & c. ] Hitherto Aristarchus hath displayed the art of teaching his Pupils words, without things. He shews greater skill in what follows, which is to teach things, without profit. For with the better sort of fool the first expedient is, ver. 254 to 258, to run him so swiftly through the circle of the Sciences that he shall stick at nothing, nor nothing stick with him; and though some little, both of words and things, should by chance be gathered up in his passage, yet he shews, ver. 255 to 260, that it is never more of the one than just to enable him to persecute with Rhyme , or of the other than to plague with Dispute . But, if after all, the Pupil will needs learn a Science, it is then provided by his careful directors, ver. 261, 262, that it shall either be such as he can never enjoy when he comes out into life, or such as he will be obliged to divorce . And to make all sure, ver. 263 to 268, the useless or pernicious Sciences, thus taught, are still applied perversely; the man of Wit petrified in Euclid, or trammelled in Metaphysics; and the man of Judgment married , without his parents consent, to a Muse . Thus far the particular arts of modern Education, used partially, and diversified according to the Subject and the Occasion: But there is one general Method, with the encomium of which the great Aristarchus ends his speech, ver. 266 to 268, and that is Authority, the universal Cement , which fills all the cracks and chasms of lifeless matter, shuts up all the pores of living substance, and brings all human minds to one dead level. For if Nature should chance to struggle through all the entanglements of the foregoing ingenious expedients to bind rebel wit , this claps upon her one sure and entire cover. So that well may Aristarchus defy all human power to get the Man out again from under so impenetrable a crust. The Poet alludes to this Master-piece of the Schools in ver. 501, where he speaks of Vassals to a name .

At least 19 entries in the ESTC (1742, 1743, 1744, 1749, 1756, 1776, 1777).

The Dunciad, in Four Books. Printed According to the Complete Copy Found in the Year 1742. With the Prolegomena of Scriblerus, and Notes Variorum. to Which Are Added, Several Notes Now First Publish'd, the Hypercritics of Aristarchus, and His Dissertation on the Hero of the Poem. (London: Printed for M. Cooper at the Globe in Pater-noster-row, 1743). [2 issues in 1743] <Link to ESTC><Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>

Reading The Dunciad in Four Books, ed. Valerie Rumbold (New York: Pearson Longman, 2009).
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.