Imágenes de páginas

Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find,
Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
Nor lose, 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 shunning faults, one quiet temper keep,
We cannot blame indeed ---but we may sleep:

245 In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts : 'Tis not a lip, nor eye, we beauty call, But the joint force, and full result of all. Thus when we view some well-proportion’d dome, 250 (The world's just wonderd, and ev’n thine, O Rome!) No single parts unequally surprize, All comes united to the admiring eyes; No monstrous 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 compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,

Applause, in spight of trivials faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit.


Totum perpendet, censorque est parcus, ubi ardor
Exagitat naturæ animos & concitat æstrum;
Nec tam servili generosa libidine mutet
Gaudia, quæ bibulæ menti catus ingerit author.
Verum stagnantis mediocria carmina mufæ,

Quæ reptant sub limâ & certâ lege stupescunt,
Quæ torpent uno erroris fecura tenore,
Hæc equidem nequeo culpare---& dormio tantum.
Ingenii, veluti naturæ, non tibi constant
Illecebræ formâ, quæ certis partibus insit ;

260 Nam te non reddit labiumve oculusve venustum, Sed charitum cumulus, collectaque tela decoris. Sic ubi lustramus perfectam insignitèr ædem, (Quæ Romam splendore, ipfumqne ita perculit orbem) Læta diu non ullâ in fimplice parte morántur 265 Lumina, sed sese per totum errantia pafcunt; Nil longum latumve nimis, nil altius æquo Cernitur, illustris nitor omnibus, omnibus ordo.

Quod confummatum est opus omni ex parte, nec usquam Nunc exstat, nec erat, nec erit labentibus annis. Quas fibi proponat metas adverte, poeta Ultra aliquid fperare, illas fi abfolvat, iniquum eft; Si recta ratione utatur, confilioque Perfecto, missis maculis, vos plaudite clamo.

275 Accidit, ut vates, veluti vafer Aulicus, erret Sæpius errorem, ut vitet graviora, minorem.

Neglige, 265

Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays,
For not to know some trifles is a praise.
Most critics fond of some subservient art,
Still make the whole depend upon a part,
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one lov'd folly facrifice.

Once, on a time, la Mancha's knight, they say, 270 A certain bard encount’ring on the way, Discours’d in terms as just, in looks as fage, As e'er cou'd Dennis, of the Grecian stage; Concluding all were desp'rate sots, and fools, That durit depart from Aristotle's rules.

275 Our author happy in a judge so nice, Produc'd his play, and begg'd the knight's advice; Made him observe the subject, and the plot, The manners, passions, unities, what not ? All which, exact to rule, were brought about, 280 Were but a combat in the lifts left out « What! leave the combat out?” exclaims the knight; Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite. " Not fo, by heav'n! (he answers in a rage) “ Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage.” The stage can ne'er so vast a throng contain.

286 “ Then build a-new, or act it on a plain.”

Thus critics of less judgment than caprice, Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice,



Neglige, quas criticus, verborum futilis auceps,
Leges edicit: nugas nescire decorum est.
Artis cujusdam tantum auxiliaris amantes
Partem aliquam plerique colunt vice totius; illi
Multa crepant de judicio, nihilominus istam
Stultitiam, sua quam sententia laudat, adorant.



Quixotus quondam, fi vera est fabula, cuidam
Occurrens vati, criticum certamen inivit
Docta citans, graviterque tuens, tanquam arbiter alter
Dennisius, Graii moderatus fræna theatri ;
Acriter id dein asseruit, ftultum esse hebetemque,
Quisquis Aristotelis poffet contemnere leges.
Quid ?---talem comitem nactus felicitèr author,

Mox tragicum, quod composuit, proferre poema
Incipit, et critici scitari oracula tanti.
Jam μυθον, τα παθη, τ'ηθη, προβλημα, λυσινque &
Cætera de genere hoc equiti describat hianti,
Quæ cuncta ad norman quadrarent, inter agendum
Si tantum prudens certamen omitteret author.

Quid vero certanien omittes? excipit heros; Sic veneranda Sophi suadent documenta. Armigerumque equitum quecohors scenam intret, oportet,” Forsan, at ipsa capax non tantæ scena catervæ eft:

300 - OEdificave aliam---vel apertis utere campis.”


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Quid ergo,

Sic ubi supposito morosa superbia regnat Judicio, criticæque tenent fastidia curæ



Form short ideas, and offend in arts
(As most in manners) by a love to parts.


Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
And glitt'ring thoughts ftruck out at ev'ry line;
Pleas'd with a work, where nothing's just or fit,
One glaring chaos, and wild heap of wit.

Poets like painters, thus unskilld to trace
The naked nature, and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover ev'ry part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
Truet wit is nature to advantage dress’d,

300 What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express’d; Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight, we find, That gives us back the image of our mind. As shades more sweetly recommend the light, So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit:

305 For works may have more wit than does them good , As bodies perish through excess of blood.

Others, for language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for dress: Their praise is still---the style is excellent; The sense they humbly take upon content.


+ Naturam intueamur, hanc sequamur; id facillime accipiunt animi qucd agnofcunt.

QUINTIL. lib. 8. cap. 3.



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