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First Satire of the Second Book
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrase of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in thefe IMITATIONS, will be much difappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas: And if the old defign or colouring chance to fuit his purpose, it is well .if not, he employs his own, without fcruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is fo frequently ferious where Horace is in jeft; and at ease where Horace is difturbed. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his Original, than was necessary for his concurrence, in promoting their common plan of Reformation of manners.
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrafe an ancient Sa tirift he had hardly made choice of Horace; with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common " befides a comprehenfive know. ledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expreffion, which confifts in using the fimpleft language with dig nity, and the most ornainented, with ease. For the reft, his harmony and ftrength of numbers, his force and splendor of colouring, his gravity and fublime of fentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper lefs unlike that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only fmile at, dr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius: And what Mr. Pope would ftrike with the cauftic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridicule.
If it be afked then, why he took any body at all to imitate, he has informed us in his Advertisement. To which we may add, that this fort, of Imitations, which are of the nature of Parodies, adds reflected grace and fplendor on original wit. Befides, he deem'd it more modeft to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Defpreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.
SA TIRA PRIMA.
'SUNT quibus in Satira videar nimis acer, & ultra
T. 4 Quiefcas.
Omnino verfus ?
H. Ne faciam, inquis,
H. Peream male, fi non
Optimum erat: 5 verum nequeo dormire.
VER. 3. Scarce to wife Peter Chartres) It has been comnonly obferved of the Englifh, that a Rogue never goes to the Gallows without the pity of the Spectators, and their parting curfes on the rigour of the Laws that brought him thither: and this has been as commonly atcribed to the good nature of the people. But it is mistake. The true caufe is their hatred and envy of power. Their compaffion for Dunces and Scoundrels (when exposed by great writers to public contempt, either in iuitice to the age, or in vindication of their own Chracters) has the fame fource. They cover their envy to a fuperior genius, in lamenting the severity of his Pen.
P.THERE are (I fearce can think it, but am
There are, to whom my Satire feems too bold:
F. 4 I'd write no more.
P. Not write? but then I think, S And for my foul I cannot fleep a wink.
VER. 7. Tim'rous by nature, of the Rich in awe,) The delicacy of this does not fo much lie in the ironical application of it to himself, as in its seriously characterising the Perfon for whole advice he applies.
VER. 12. Not write? r.) He has omitted the most humourous part of the answer,
Peream male, fi non
Optimum erat, .
and has loft the grace, by not imitating the concifeness of verum nequeo dormire.
Tranfnanto Tiberim, fomno quibus eft opus alto; Irriguumve mero fub noctem corpus habento.
7 Aut, fi tantus amor fcribendi te rapit, aude CAESARIS invicti res dicere, 8 multa laborum Praemia laturús.
H. Cupidum, pater optime, vires
Aut labentis equo defcribat vulnéra Parthi.
H. Haud mihi decro,
For concifenefs, when it is clear (as in this place) gives the higheft grace to elegance of expreffion. -But what follows is as much above the Original, as this falls fhort of it.
VER. 20. Hartfhorn) This was intended as a pleafantry on the novelty of the prefcription.
VER. 23. What? like Sir Richard, &c.) Mr. Molyneux, `a great Mathematician and Fhilofopher, had a high opinion of Sir Richard Blackmore's poetic vein. All our English poets, except Milton (fays he, in a letter to Mr. Locke) have been mere balladmakers in comparison of him. And Mr. Locke, in anfwer to this ob
I nod in company, I wake at night,
Fools rufh into my head, and fo I write.
F. You could not do a worfe thing for your life. 15
P. What? like Sir 9 Richard, rumbling, rough,
With ARMS, and GEORGE and BRUNSWICK crowd
Rend with tremendous found your ears afunder, 25
F. 10 Then all your Mufe's fofter art display,
fervation, replies, I find, with pleasure, a strange harmony through
VER. 28. falling Horse?) The horse on which his Majesty charged at the battle of Oudenard; when the Pretender, and the Princes of the blood of France, fed before him.