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And ftares, tremendous, with a threat'ning eye,
Like fome fierce Tyrant in old tapestry.
Fear moft to tax an Honourable fool,
Whose right it is, uncenfur'd to be dull;
Such, without wit, are Poets when they please,
As without learning they can take Degrees.
Leave dang'rous truths to unfuccessful Satires,
And flattery to fulfome Dedicators,


Whom, when they praise, the world believes no


Than when they promise to give scribling o'er.
'Tis best fometimes your cenfure to restrain,
And charitably let the dull be vain :
Your filence there is better than your spite,


For who can rail fo long as they can write?



Still humming on, their drouży course they keep,
And lafh'd fo long, like tops, are lafh'd afleep.
False steps but help them to renew the race,
As, after ftumbling, Jades will mend their pace.
What crouds of thefe, impenitently bold,
In founds and jingling fyllables grown old,
Still run on Poets, in a raging vein,
Ev'n to the dregs and fqueezings of the brain,
Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense,
And rhyme with all the rage of Impotence.

I 4



VER. 587. And flares, tremendous, etc.] This picture was taken to himself by John Dennis, a furious old Critic by profeffion, who, upon no other provocation, wrote against this Effay and its author, in a manner perfectly Junatic: For, as to the mention made of him in v. 270. he took it as a Compliment, and faid it was treacherously meant to cause him to overlook this Abuse of his Person. P.


Such fhameless Bards we have; and yet 'tis true, There are as mad, abandon'd Critics too. The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head, With his own tongue still edifies his ears, And always lift'ning to himself appears. All books he reads, and all he reads affails, From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales. With him, most authors fteal their works, or buy; Garth did not write his own Difpenfary.


Name a new Play, and he's the Poet's friend,
Nay show'd his faults-but when would Poets mend?
No place fo facred from fuch fops is barr'd,

Nor is Paul's church more fafe than Paul's church yard:

Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dead: 625
For Fools rufh in where Angels fear to tread.
Diftrustful fenfe with modeft caution speaks,
It still looks home, and fhort excurfions makes;
But rattling nonfenfe in full vollies breaks,
And never fhock'd, and never turn'd afide,
Bursts out, refiftlefs, with a thund'ring tide.



VER. 620. Garth did not write, etc.] A common flander at that time in prejudice of that deferving author. Our Poet did him this juftice, when that flander most prevail'd; and it is now (perhaps the fooner for this very verfe) dead and forgotten. P.


VER. 624. Between this and v.

In vain you fhrug and fweat, and ftrive to fly;
Thefe know no Manners but of Poetry.
They'll ftop a hungry Chaplain in his grace,
To treat of Unities of time and place.

But where's the man, who counsel can beftow, Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know? Unbias'd, or by favour, or by fpite;

Not dully prepoffefs'd, nor blindly right;


Tho' learn'd, well-bred; and tho' well-bred, fincere; Modeftly bold, and humanly severe :

Who to a friend his faults can freely fhow,

And gladly praise the merit of a foe?

Bleft with a taste exact, yet unconfin'd;


A knowledge both of books and human kind;
Gen'rous converse; a foul exempt from pride;
And love to praife, with reafon on his fide?
Such once were Critics; fuch the happy few,
Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
The mighty Stagirite first left the shore,
Spread all his fails, and durft the deeps explore ;


VER: 632. But where's the man, etc.] The Poet, by his manner of afking after this Character, and telling us, when he had described it, that such once were Critics, does not encourage us to fearch for it in modern writers. And indeed the discovery of him, if it could be made, would be but an invidious bufinefs. I will venture no farther than to name the piece of Criticism in which these marks may be found. It is intitled, 2. Hor. Fl. Ars Poetica, with an English Commentary and Notes.


Between v. 647 and 648, I found the following lines, fince fuppreft by the author:

That bold Columbus of the realms of wit,
Whofe first difcov'ry's not exceeded yet.
Led by the light of the Mæonian Star,
He fteer'd fecurely, and difcover'd far.
He, when all Nature was fubdu'd before,
Like his great Pupil, figh'd, and long'd for more:
Fancy's wild regions yet unvanquish'd lay,
A boundless empire, and that own'd no sway.
Poets, etc.

He fteer'd fecurely, and difcover'd far,
Led by the light of the Mæonian Star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd, and free,
Still fond and proud of favage liberty,



Receiv'd his laws; and ftood convinc'd 'twas fit,
Who conquer'd Nature, fhould prefide o'er Wit.
Horace ftill charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into fenfe,
Will, like a friend, familiarly convey
The trueft notions in the easiest way.
He, who fupreme in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly cenfure, as he boldly writ,


Yet judg'd with coolness, tho' he fung with fire;
His Precepts teach but what his works inspire.
Our Critics take a contrary extreme,

They judge with fury, but they write with fle'me:
Nor fuffers Horace more in wrong Tranflations

By Wits, than Critics in as wrong Quotations. 665 See

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VER 653. Who conquer'd Nature, should prefide o'er Wit.] By this is not meant phyfical Nature, but moral. The force of the obfervation confists in our understanding it in this fente. For the Poet not only uses the word Naturė for human nature, throughout this poem; but also, where, in the beginning of it, he lays down the princ ples of the arts he treats of, he makes the knowledge of human nature the foundation of all Criticism and Poetry. Nor is the obfervation lefs true than appofite. For, AriStotle's natural enquiries were fuperficial, and ill-made, tho' extenfive: But his logical and moral works are incomparable. In theie he has unfolded the human mind, and laid open all the receffes of the heart and underllanding; and by his Categories, not only conquer'd Nature, but kept her in tenfold chains: Not as Dulness kept the Mufes, in the Dunciad, to filence them; but as Ariftens held Proteus in Virgil, to deliver Oracles.

See Dionyfius Homer's thoughts refine, And call new beauties forth from ev'ry line! Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,

The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease.
In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find 670
The jufteft rules, and cleareft method join❜d:
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang'd in order, and difpos'd with grace,
But lefs to please the eye, than arm the hand,
Still fit for ufe, and ready at command.


Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine infpire, And bless their Critic with a Poet's fire. An ardent Judge, who zealous in his trust, With warmth gives fentence, yet is always juft; Whofe own example strengthens all his laws; 680 And is himself that great Sublime he draws. Thus long fucceeding Critics juftly reign'd, Licence reprefs'd, and ufeful laws ordain'd. Learning and Rome alike in empire grew ; And Arts ftill follow'd where her Eagles flew From the fame foes, at laft, both felt their doom, And the fame age faw Learning fall, and Rome. With Tyranny, then Superstition join'd, As that the body, this enflav'd the mind; Much was believ'd, but little understood, And to be dull was conftru'd to be good;

VER. 666. See Dionyfius] Of Halicarnaffus.




A fecond


Between ver. 691 and 692, the author omitted thefe

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Vain Wits and Critics were no more allow'd,

When none but Saints had licence to be proud. P.

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