a quill worn to the pith,etc.

This is another hit at Dryden, whose tergiversations Swift wishes to satirize. No doubt is possible, as Swift in the Apology for the Tale, written in 1709, expressly says that he had Dryden and L'Estrange in view in this passage. Dryden's postscript to the Aeneid, published in 1697, reflects something of this tone of complaint.

Note by Henry Craik to The Introduction from Tale Of A Tub
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