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despised in discourse, which hath passed very fmoothly, with some consideration and esteem, after its preferment and fanction in print. But now, since, by the liberty and encouragement of the press, I am grown absolute master of the occasions and opportunities to expose the talents I have acquired ; I already discover, that the isues of my obfervanda begin to grow too large for the receipts. Therefore I shall here pause a while, till I find, by feeling the world's pulse, and my own, that it will be of absolute neceility for us. both to resume my pen.
A full and true Account of the BATTLE
fought last Friday, between the AnCIENT and the Modern Books in St James's Library.
The Bookseller to the READER.
THE following discourse, as it is unquestion
ably of the fame Author, so it seems to have been written about the same time with the former; I mean, the year 1697, when the famous difpute was on foot, about ancient and modern learning. The controversy took its rise from an effay of Sir William Temple's upon that subject; which was answered by W. Wotton, B. D. with an appendix by Dr Bentley, endeavouring to destroy the credit of Æsop and Phalaris for authors, whom Sir William Temple had, in the essay before mentioned, highly commended. In that appendix, the Doctor falls hard upon a new edition of Pha. laris, put out by the Honourable Charles Boyle, (now Earl of Orrery); to which Mr Boyle replied at large, with great learning and wit; and the Doctor voluminously rejoined. In this difpute, the town highly resented, to see a person of Sir William Temple's character and merits roughly used by the two Reverend gentlemen aforesaid, and without any manner of provocation. At length, there appearing no end of the quarrel, our author tells us, that the BOOKS in St James's library, looking upon themselves as parties principally concerned, took up the controversy, and came to a decisive battle; but the manuscript, by the injury of fortune or weather, being in several places imperfect, we cannot learn to which side the victory fell.
I must warn the reader, to beware of applying to persons, what is here meant only of books in the most literal sense. So, when Virgil is mentioned, we are not to understand the person of a famous poet called by that name; but only certain sheets of paper, bound up in leather, containing in print the works of the said poet; and fo of the rest.
The PREFACE of the AUTHOR.
Atire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders
do generally discover every body's face but their own; which is the chief reason for that kind reception it meets with in the world, and that so very few are offended with it. But if it should happen otherwise, the danger is not great ; and I have learned, from long experience, never to apprehend mischief from those understandings I have been able to provoke. For 'anger and fury, though they add strength to the finews of the body, yet are found to relax those of the mind, and to render all its efforts feeble and impotent.
There is a brain that will endure but one fcumming : Let the owner gather it with discretion, and manage his little stock with husbandry. But of all things, let him beware of bringing it under the lash of his betters ; because that will make it all bubble up into impertinence, and he will find no new supply: Wit without knowledge being a fort of cream, which gathers in a night to the top, and by a skilful hand may be foon whipped into froth; but once fcummed away, what appears underneath, will be fit for nothing, but to be thrown to the hogs...