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Hail, Bards triumphant! born in happier days;
Immortal heirs of universal praise !
Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
As ftreams roll down, enlarging as they flow;
Nations unborn your mighty names fhall found,
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found"!
Oh may fome spark of your celeftial fire,
The last, the meaneft of your fons inspire,
(That on weak wings, from far, pursues your flights;
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain Wits a science little known,
T'admire superior sense, and doubt their own! 200
Of all the Causes which confpire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and mifguide the mind,
What the weak head with ftrongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,
She gives in large recruits of needful Pride;
For as in bodies, thus in fouls, we find


What wants in blood and fpirits, fwell'd with wind Pride, where Wit fails, fteps in to our defence, And fills up all the mighty Void of sense.

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VER. 189. Hail, Bards triumphant!] There is a pleafantry in this title, which alludes to the ftate of warfare that all true Genius muft undergo while here upon earth.

VER. 209. Pride where Wit fails fteps in to our defence, And fills up all the mighty void of fenfe.] A very fenfible French writer makes the following remark on this fpecies of pride. "Un homme qui fçait plufieurs

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Langues, qui etend les Auteurs Grecs et Latins, qui "s'eleve même jufqu'à la dignité de SCHOLIASTE; "fi cet homme venoit à pefer fon véritable mérite, il "trouveroit

If once right reafon drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with refistless day.
Truft not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend-and ev'ry foe.


A little learning is a dang❜rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There fhallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely fobers us again. Fir'd at firft fight with what the Mufe imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, While from the bounded level of our mind, Short views we take, nor fee the lengths behind; But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprize New diftant fcenes of endless science rife! So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps we try, Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky, Th' eternal fnows appear already past,

And the first clouds and mountains feem the laft:

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"trouveroit fouvent qu'il fe réduit à avoir eu des yeux et de la mémoire, il fe garderoit bien de donner le nom refpectable de science à une érudition fans lumiere. Il y a une grande difference entre s'enrichir des mots ou "des chofes, entre alleguer des autoritez ou des raisons. "Si un homme pouvoit fe furprendre à n' avoir que "cette forte de mérite, il en rougiroit plûtôt que d'en • être vain."

VER. 217. There foallow draughts, etc.] The thought was taken from Lord Verulam, who applies it to more ferious enquiries.

VER. 225.


So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps to try,
Fill'd with ideas of fair Italy,

The Traveller beholds with chearful eyes

The lefs'ning vales, and feems to tread the skies.

But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way, 230
Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arife!


A perfect Judge will read each work of Wit With the same spirit that its author writ: Survey the WHOLE, nor feek flight faults to find Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; Nor lofe, for that malignant dull delight, The gen'rous pleasure to be charm'd with wit. But in fuch lays as neither ebb, nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low, That fhunning faults, one quiet tenour keep; We cannot blame indeed-but we may fleep. In Wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactnefs of peculiar parts; 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full refult of all. Thus when we view fome well-proportion'd dome, (The world's just wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!)

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VER. 233. A perfect Judge, etc.] Diligenter legendum eft, ac pane ad fcribendi follicitudinem: Nec per partes modo fcrutanda funt omnia, fed perlectus liber utique ex integro refumendus. Quin.

VER. 235. Survey the Whole, nor feek flight faults to find, Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;] The fecond line, in apologizing for those faults which the firft fays fhould be overlooked, gives the reason of the precept. For when a writer's attention is fixed on a general view of Nature, and his imagination warm'd with the contemplation of great ideas, it can hardly be but that there must be fmall irregularities in the difpofition both of matter and ftyle, because the avoiding these requires a coolness of recollection, which a writer fo bufied is not master of.

No fingle parts unequally furprize,
All comes united to th' admiring eyes;


No monftrous height, or breadth, or length appear; The Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,


Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In ev'ry work regard the writer's End,
Since none can compafs more than they intend ;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applaufe, in fpight of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, fometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit:
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know fome trifles, is a praise.
Moft Critics, fond of fome fubfervient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:


They talk of principles, but notions prize,


And all to one lov'd Folly sacrifice.

Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say,
A certain Bard encount'ring on the way,
Difcours'd in terms as juft, with looks as fage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian ftage; 270
Concluding all were defp'rate fots and fools,
Who durft depart from Ariftotle's rules.
Our Author, happy in a judge fo nice,

Produc'd his Play, and begg'd the Knight's advice;
Made him observe the subject, and the plot,
The manners, paffions, unities, what not?



VER. 261. verbal Critic] Is not here used in its common fignification, of one who retails the fenfe of fingle words; but of one who deals in large cargo's of them without any fenfe at all.

All which, exact to rule, were brought about,
Were but a Combat in the lifts left out.

"What! leave the Combat out?" exclaims the


Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite.


"Not fo, by Heav'n" (he answers in a rage) "Knights, fquires, and fteeds, muft enter on the "stage."

So vaft a throng the stage can ne'er contain. “Then build a new, or act it on a plain.” Thus Critics, of lefs judgment than caprice, 285 Curious not knowing, not exact but nice, Form fhort Ideas; and offend in arts (As most in manners) by a love to parts. Some to Conceit alone their tafte confine,

And glitt'ring thoughts ftruck out at ev'ry line; 290 Pleas'd with a work where nothing's juft or fit; One glaring Chaos and wild heap of wit.

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VER. 285. Thus Critics of lefs judgment than caprice, Curious not knowing, not exact but nice.] In these two lines the poet finely describes the way in which bad writers are wont to imitate the qualities of good ones. As true Judgment generally draws men out of popular opinions, fo he who cannot get from the croud by the affistance of this guide, willingly follows Caprice, which will be fure to lead him into fingularities. Again, true Knowledge is the art of treafuring up only that which, from its ufe in life, is worthy of being lodged in the memory. But Curiofity confifts in a vain attention to every thing out of the way, and which, for its ufeleffnefs, the world leaft regards. Lastly, Exanefs is the jaft proportion of parts to one another, and their harmony in a whole But he who has not extent of capacity for the exercife of this quality, contents himself with Nicety, which is a bufying one's felf about points and fyllables.

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