Imágenes de páginas

Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true;
But are not criticks to their judgment too?

Yet if we look more closely, we fhall find,
+ Most have the feeds of judgment in their mind:
Nature affords at least a glimm'ring light;
'The lines, tho' touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.
But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd,
Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac'd,
So by false learning is good fenfe defac'd.
Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools,
And fome made coxcombs, nature meant but fools.
In fearch of wit, thofe lofe their common fense,
And then turn criticks in their own defence.
Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write,
Or with a rival's, or an eunuch's fpite.
All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain wou'd be upon the laughing fide :
If Mævius fcribble in Apollo's spight,
There are, who judge still worse than he can write.

Some have at first for wits, then poets past,
Turn'd criticks next, and prov'd plain fools at last.
Some neither can for wits or criticks pass,
As heavy mules are neither horse, nor ass.




+Omnes tacito quodam fenfu, fine ullâ arte, aut ratione, quæ fint in artibus ac rationibus recta ac prava dijudicant. Cic. de Orat. lib. 3.


Scriptores (fateor) fidunt propriæ nimis arti,
Nonne autem criticos pravus favor urget ibidem ?


At vero propius fi ftemus, cuique fatendum eft,
Judicium quoddam natura infeverit olim :
Illa diem certe dubiam diffundere callet
Et, ftrictim descripta licet, fibi linea conftat.


Sed minimum ut fpecimen, quod pictor doctus adumbrat,
Deterius tibi fiat eo mage, quo mage vilem
Inducas ifti fucum, fic mentis honeftæ
Doctrina effigiem maculabit prava decoram.
His inter cæcas mens illaqueata scholarum
Ambages errat, ftolidifque fupervenit illis
(Diis aliter vifum eft) petulantia. Perdere fenfum
Communem hi fudant, dum fruftra afcendere Pindum
Conantur, mox, ut fe defenforibus ipfis

Utantur, critici quoque fiunt: omnibus idem
Ardor fcribendi, ftudio hi rivalis aguntur,
Illis invalida Eunuchi violentia glifcit.
Ridendi proprium eft fatuis cacoethes, amantque
Turbæ perpetuo fefe immifcere jocofæ.
Mævius invito dum fudat Apolline, multi
Pingue opus exuperant (fi diis placet) emendando.




Sunt qui belli homines primo, tum deinde poetæ, Mox critici evafère, meri tum denique ftulti. Eft, qui nec criticum nec vatem reddit, inersque Ut mulus, medium quoddam eft afinum inter equmuque.


Those half-learn'd witlings num'rous in our ifle,
As half-form'd infects on the banks of Nile,
Unfinish'd things one knows not what to call,
Their generation's fo equivocal :

To tell 'em, wou'd a hundred tongues require,
Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire.

But you who seek to give and merit Fame,
And justly bear a critick's noble name,
Be sure yourself and your own reach to know,
How far your genius, tafte, and learning go.
Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet,
And mark that point where fenfe and dulness meet.
Nature to all things fix'd the limits fit,
And wifely curb'd proud man's pretending wit..
As on the land while here the ocean gains,
In other parts it leaves wide fandy plains.
Thus in the foul, while memory prevails,
The folid pow'r of understanding fails;
Where beams of warm imagination play,
The memory's foft figures melt away.
One science only will one genius fit ;
So vaft is art, fo narrow human wit:

Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft in those confin'd to fingle parts.

Like kings, we lose the conquests gain'd before,
By vain ambition still to make them more.








Bellula femihominum vix pœne elementa scientum
Primula gens horum eft, premitur quibus Anglia, quantum
Imperfecta scatent ripis animalcula Nili,
Futile, abortivum genus, & prope nominis expers,
Ufque adeo æquivoca eft, e quâ generantur, origo.
Hos centum nequeunt linguæ numerare, nec una
Unius ex ipfis, quæ centum fola fatiget.



At tu qui famam fimul exigis atque redonas
Pro meritis, criticique affectas nobile nomen.
Metitor te ipfum, prudenfque expendito quæ fit
Judicii, ingenii tibi, doctrinæque facultas ;
Si qua profunda nimis cauto vitentor, & ista
Linea, quâ coeunt ftupor ingeniumque, notator.
Qui finem impofuit rebus Deus omnibus aptum,
Humani vanurn ingenii reftrinxit acumen.
Qualis ubi oceani vis noftra irrumpit in arva
Tunc defolatas alibi denudat arenas;
Sic animæ reminifcendi dum copia reftat,
Confilii gravioris abeft plerumque potestas ;
Aft ubi Phantafiæ fulgent radiantia tela,
Mnemofyne teneris cum formis victa liquefcit.
Ingenio tantum Mufa uni fufficit una,

Tanta ars eft, tantilla fcientia nostra videtur:
Non folum ad certas artes aftricta fequendas,

Sæpe has non nifi quâdam in fimplice parte fequatur. 70
Deperdas partos utcunque labore triumphos,

Dum plures, regum inftar, aves acquirere laurus ;





Each might his feveral province well command,
Would all but stoop to what they understand.

First follow Nature, and your judgment frame
By her just standard, which is ftill the fame.
Unerring Nature, still divinely bright,
One clear, unchang'd, and universal light,
Life, force, and beauty must to all impart,
At once the fource, and end, and teft of art.
Art from that fund each just supply provides,
Works without fhow, and without pomp prefides:
In fome fair body thus th' informing foul
With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole,
Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve fustains;
Itself unfeen, but in th' effect, remains.

There are whom heav'n has bleft with store of wit,
Yet want as much again to manage it;

For wit and judgment ever are at strife,
Tho' meant each other's aid, like man and wife.
'Tis more to guide, than spur, the Mufe's steed;
Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed;
The winged courfer, like a gen'rous horse,
Shows most true Mettle when you check his course.

Thofe rules of old discover'd, not devis'd, Are Nature ftill, but Nature methodiz'd:






« AnteriorContinuar »