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The lands are bought; but where are to be
Those ancient woods that shaded all the ground? We fee no new-built palaces afpire,
No kitchens emulate the vestal fire.
Where are those troops of Poor, that throng'd of yore
The good old landlord's hofpitable door?
his fentiments of Reformation) he puts Erafmus and Richlieu in the rank of Lully and Agrippa. I will only obferve, that it was written in imitation of Rabelais's famous Catal gue of the Library of St. Victor, one of the finest paffages in that extravagant Satire, which was the Manual of the Wits of this time. It was natural therefore to think, that the Catalogue of the Library of St. Victor would become, as it did, the fubject of many imitations. The beft of which are this of Dr. Donne's, and one of Sir Thomas Brown's.-Dr. Donne afterwards took orders in the church of England. We have a large volume of his fermons in the falfe tafte of that time. But the book which made his fortune was his Pfeudo martyr, to prove that Papifts ought to take the oath of allegiance. In this book, though Hooker had then written his Ecclefiaftical Policy, he has approved himself entirely ignorant both of the Origine and End of Civil Government. In the 168th page and elsewhere he holds, that when men congregate to form
None starve, none furfeit fo. But (oh) we allow
Within the vast reach of th' huge statutes jaws.
the body of Civil Society, then is that foul of it, SOVEREIGN POWER, fent into it immediately from God, juft as he fends the foul into the human embrio, when the two fexes propagate their kind. In the 11ft page, and elfewhere, he maintains that the office of the civil Sovereign extends to the care of Souls. For this abfurd and blafphemous trafh, James I. made him Dean of St. Paul's; all the wit and fublimity of his genius having never enabled him to get bread throughout the better part of his life.
VER. 120. These as good works, &c.] Dr. Donne fays,
"But (oh) we allow
"Good works as good, but out of fashion now." The popish doctrine of good works was one of thofe abuses in Religion which the Church of England condemns in its
These as good works, 'tis true, we all allow, 121 But oh! these works are not in fashion now: Like rich old wardrobes, things extremely rare, Extremely fine, but what no man will wear.
Thus much I've faid, I truft, without offence; Let no Court Sycophant pervert my sense, 126
Nor fly Informer watch these words to draw
Articles. To this the Poet's words fatirically allude. And having throughout this fatire given several malignant strokes at the Reformation, which it was penal, and then very dangerous, to abufe, he had reafon to befpeak the Reader's candor, in the concluding lines,
"But my words none draws "Within the vast reach of th' huge statutes jaws." VER 128. Treafon, or the Law] By the Law is here meant the Lawyers.
ELL; I may now receive, and die. Myfin
VER. I. Well, if it be, &c.] Donne fays,
which is very indecent language on fo ludicrous an occafion. VER. 3. I die in charity with fool and knave,] We verily believe he did. But of the caufe of his death, not only the Doctors, but other people, differed. His family fuggefts, that a general decay of nature, which had been long coming on, ended in a dropfy of the breaft. The Gentlemen of the Dunciad fay, that he fell by the keen pen of our redoubtable Laureat. We ourselves fhould be inclined to this opinion, for the fake of ornamenting his ftory: and that we might be able to fay, he died like his great name-fake, by a drug of fo deadly cold a nature, that, as Plutarch, and other grave Writers tells us, it could be contained in nothing but the Scull of an Afs. SCRIBL.
This is a grievous error (fays Ariftarchus) it was the bft of an afs: a much more likely vehicle of mischief-But this might be pardoned: the thing to be admired is, that the learned Scholiaft fhould pafs over the general fubject fo very flightingly; I mean, literary homicide; a fpecies of murder, which, though attended with every atrocious circumstance of malice forethought, all human laws, and, what is ftill ftranger, divine Vengeance (whofe motions rarely escape our notice have entirely overlooked. It is only indeed in these laft miferable ages of the world that this mischief has become exceffive nothing being now more common than for the Pen
ELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at least beyond the grave.
to perform the office of the Stiletto, and to leave the vanquifhed Difputant ftark dead at the feet of the Conqueror. For, though as Macbeth fays,
"Blood has been shed ere now, i' th' olden time,"
Yet no great execution was then done with this inftrument, if you except the fate of two or three green girls, by the Iambics of Archilogus. Indeed fo inexpert was the pen at thefe times in Marder, that the hurt, when it did any, was recoiling on the heads of the Ufers; witness the Philippics of Demofthenes and Cicero. But at the revival of learning, when the Pen came out new ground and fharpened by the Letter-founder, then it was that it acquired this fatal property; a malignity contracted, as fhould feem, from its too near neighbourhood to new invented gun-powder, that amiable contemporary of the printing-press.
From henceforth we hear of nothing but death and slaughter. Difpute was now no longer a drawn battle; the common iffue of old claffical combats: It was a Duel à outrance (to speak in the language of the times) where the vanquished refigned his life and his fame together. Nor was disease, or even old age itself, a fecurity or afilum from these barbarous ravages of the Pen. The Academy became, like a field of battle in Homer, ornamented by an incredible variety of deaths.