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E. OF DORSET.
"IF one turns to the authors of the last age for the character of this Lord, one meets with nothing but encomiums on his wit and good-nature. He was the finest gentleman in the voluptuous court of Charles the Second, and in the gloomy one of King William. He had as much wit as his firit mafter, or his cotemporaries, Buckingham and Rochefter; without the royal want of feeling, the Duke's want of principles, or the Earl's want of thought. The latter faid, with aftonishment, " That he did not know how it was, but Lord Dorfet might do any thing, and yet was never to blame!" It was not that he was free from the failings of humanity, but he had the tenderness of it too, which made every body excuse whom every body loved; for even the afperity of his verses seems to have been forgiven to
"The best-good man, with the worst-natured mufe."
"This line is not more familiar than Lord Dorset's own poems to all who have a taste for the genteelest beauties of natural and easy verfe, or than his Lordship's own bon-mots, of which I cannot help repeating one of fingular humour: Lord Craven was a proverb for officious whispers to men in power. On Lord Dorset's promotion, King Charles having feen Lord Craven pay his usual tribute to him, asked the former what the latter had been saying? The Earl replied gravely," Sir, my Lord Craven did me the honour to whifper, but I did not think it good manners to liften." When he was dying, Congreve, who had been to visit him, being asked how he had left him, replied, "Faith, he flabbers more wit than other people have in their best health."
"His Lordship and Waller are faid to have affifted Mrs. Catherine Philips in her tranflation of Corneille's Pompey."
Royal and Noble Authors, vol. ii. p. 95.
E. OF DORSET.
'HO' Artemifia talks, by fits,
Of councils, claffics, fathers, wits;
Haughty and huge as High-Dutch bride,
On her large fquab you find her spread,
That lies and stinks in state.
She wears no colours (fign of grace)
On any part except her face;
All white and black befide:
Dauntless her look, her gesture proud,
Her voice theatrically loud,
And masculine her stride.
So have I seen, in black and white
A prating thing, a Magpye hight,
A ftately, worthless animal,
LET the curious reader compare Fenton's Imitation of Dorset's manner with this of Pope:
"Olivia's lewd, but looks devout,
But pull your fob of guineas out,
Baxter by day is her delight,
No chocolate must come in fight
Before two morning chapters;
But left the spleen should fpoil her quite,
To raise her holy raptures.
Thus oft' we fee a glow-worm gay,
And yet the fullen thing all day
And hid the native fpark."
PHRYNE had talents for mankind,
Like fome free port of trade:
Her learning and good-breeding fuch,
Spaniards or French came to her:
To all obliging she'd appear:
Obfcure by birth, renown'd by crimes,
At length fhe turns a bride:
So have I known thofe Infects fair
Still vary fhapes and dyes;
Still gain new titles with new forms;
First grubs obscene, then wriggling worms,
THE point of the likeness in this imitation confifts in defcrib ing the objects as they really exift in life, like Hogarth's paintings, without heightening or enlarging them, by any imaginary circumftances. In this way of writing Swift excelled; witness his Defcription of a Morning in the City, of a City Shower, of the House of Baucis and Philemon, and the Verfes on his own Death. In this alfo confiits the chief beauty of Gay's Trivia; a fubject Swift defired him to write upon, and for which he furnished him with many hints. The character of Swift has been fcrutinized in fo many late writings, particularly by Hawkfworth and Sheridan, that it is fuperfluous to enter upon it. Voltaire affirms, "That the famous Tale of a Tub is an imitation of the old ftory of the three invisible rings, which a father bequeathed to his three children. These three rings were the Jewish, Chriftian, and Mahometan religions. It is, moreover, an imitation of the hiftory of Mero and Enegu, by Fontenelle. Mero was the anagram of Rome, and Enegu of Geneva. These two fifters claimed the fucceffion to the throne of their fathers. Mero reigned firft. Fontenelle represents her as a forceress, who could convey away bread, and perform acts of conjuration with dead bodies. This is precifely the Lord Peter of Swift, who prefents a piece of bread to his two brothers, and fays to them, This, my good friends, is excellent Burgundy; thefe partridges have an admirable flavour!' The fame Lord Peter, in Swift, performs throughout the very part that Mero plays in Fontenelle. Thus all is imitation. The idea of the Perfian Letters is taken from the Turkish Spy. Boiardo has imitated Pulci, Ariofto has imitated Boiardo. The geniufes, apparently moft original, borrow from each other.