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with brayings importune, affronts his ear, the generous beast, though loathing to distain his claws with blood so vile, yet, much provoked at the offensive noise which Echo, foolish nymph, like her ill-judging sex, repeats much louder, and with more delight than Philomela's song, he vindicates the honour of the forest, and hunts the noisy long-ear'd animal. So Wotton fled, so Boyle pursued. But Wotton, heavy-armed, and slow of foot, began to slack his course, when his lover, Bentley, appeared, returning laden with the spoils of the two sleeping ancients. Boyle observed him well, and soon discovering the helmet and shield of Phalaris, his friend, both which he had lately with his own hands new polished and gilt; rage sparkled in his eyes, and, leaving his pursuit after Wotton, he furiously rushed on against this new approacher. Fain would he be revenged on both; but both now fled different ways: and, as a woman in a little house that gets a painful livelihood by spinning ;* if chance, her geese be scattered o'er the common, she courses round the plain from side to side, compelling here and there the stragglers to the flock; they cackle loud, and flutter o'er the champaign. So Boyle pursued, so fled this pair of friends ; finding at length their flight was vain, they bravely joined, and drew themselves in phalanx. First Bentley threw a spear with all his force, hoping to pierce the enemy's breast; but Pallas came unseen, and in the air took off the point, and clapped on one of lead, which, after a dead bang against the enemy's shield, fell blunted to the ground. Then Boyle, observing well his time, took up a lance of wondrous length and sharpness; and, as this pair of friends compacted. stood close side to side, he wheeled him to the right, and, with unusual force, darted the weapon. Bentley saw his fate approach, and flanking down his arms close to his ribs, hoping to save his body, in went the point, passing through arm and side, nor stopped or spent its force, till it had also pierced the valiant Wotton, who, going to sustain his dying friend, shared his fate. * As when a skilful cook has trussed a brace
* This is also after the manner of Homer; the woman's getting a painful livelihood by spinning, has nothing to do with the similitude, nor would be excusable without such an authority.
* Notwithstanding what is here stated, Wotton was treated with much more delicacy by Boyle, than was his friend Bentley, as appears from the following quotation :
I hope Mr Wotton will let the publick know, that he neither engaged his friend to write upon the subject in this manner, nor approved of these discourses when written, which the world will presume him to have done, till the contrary appears, and till he has disclaimed Dr Bentley's attempt as publickly as he seems now to countenance and avow it. 'Tis a little strange, that Mr Wotton, in a second edition of his book, which he had discretely taken care to purge of most things that looked like ill manners in himself, should be prevailed upon to allow a place to the ill manners of another man.
But I hear, and I am not unwilling to think, that Mr Wotton received this present at a venture from Dr Bentley, and let it be printed without giving himself the trouble of reading it. And I the rather fall in with this account, because I find Mr Wotton in his book zealously vindicating the age from the imputation of pedantry, and assuring us, that though the citation of scraps of Latin, and a nauseous ostentation of reading, were in fashion fifty or sixty years ago, yet all that is now in a great measure disused, which I suppose he would never have done in some of the last pages of his book, if he had then known of the disser tation that immediately follows it.
“A gentleman of my acquaintance was observing to me what a motley unequal work these two pieces make, as they now lie together. Mr Wotton, (says he) in his reflections, takes in the whole compass of ancient and modern learning, and endeavours to shew wherein either of 'em has been defective, and wherein they have
of woodcocks, he, with iron skewer, pierces the tender sides of both, their legs and wings close pinioned to the ribs ; so was this pair of friends transfixed, till down they fell, joined in their lives, joined in their deaths ; so closely joined, that Charon would mistake them both for one, and waft them over Styx for half his fare. Farewell, beloved, loving pair ; few equals have you left behind: and happy and immortal shall you be, if all my wit and eloquence can make you.
be; a very
excelled. A large design, fit for the pen of my Lord Bacon ! and in the well executing of which, any one man's life would be usefully spent! Dr Bentley comes after him, with a dissertation half as big as his book, to prove that three or four small pieces, ascribed to some of the ancients, are not so ancient as they pretend to
inconsiderable point, and which a wise man would grudge the throwing away a week's thought upon, if he could gain it! And what then shall we say of him that has spent two or three years of his life to lose it? Mr W.'s motives for writing was, as he tells us, a piece of public service that he hoped he might do the world; Dr Bentley's plainly a private pique, and such as 'twas utterly unfit for him to act upon, either as a scholar or a Christian, much more as he was one in holy orders, and that had undertaken the public defence of religion. Mr W. (continued be) is modest and deceut; speaks generally with respect of those he differs from, and with a due distrust of his own opinions : Dr Bentley is positive and pert; bas no regard for what other men have thought or said, and no suspicions that he is fallible. Mr W.'s book bas a vein of learning running through it, where there is no ostentation of it: Dr Bentley's appendix has all the pomp and show of learning, without the reality. In truth, (said he) there is scarce any thing, as the book now stands, in which that and the appendix agree, but in commending and admiring Dr Bentley; in which they are so very much of a piece, that one would think Dr Bentley had writ both the one and the other."Boyle's Examination, ut supra, p. 23.
THE BOOKSELLER'S ADVERTISEMENT.
The following Discourse came into my
perfect and entire ; but there being several things in it which the present age would not very well bear, I kept it by me some years, resolving it should never see the light. At length, by the advice and assistance of a judicious friend, I retrenched those parts that might give most offence, and have now ventured to publish the remainder. Concerning the author I am wholly ignorant; neither can I conjecture whether it be the same with that of the two foregoing pieces, the original having been sent me at a different time, and in a different hand. The learned reader will better determine, to whose judgment I entirely submit it.