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Thefe Monsters, Critics! with your darts engage,

Here point your thunder, and exhaust your rage! 555
Yet fhun their fault, who, fcandalously nice,

Will needs mistake an author into vice;
All feems infected that th' infected spy,

As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd eye.

LEARN then what MORALS Critics ought to fhow; For 'tis but half a judge's task, to know.

'Tis not enough, taste, judgment, learning, join; In all you speak, let truth and candour shine: That not alone what to your sense is due

All

may

allow; but feek your friendship too,
Be filent always, when you doubt your sense;
And fpeak, though fure, with feeming diffidence:
Some pofitive, perfifting fops we know,

Who, if once wrong, will needs be always fo;
But you, with pleasure, own your errors past,
And make each day a critique on the last.

'Tis not enough your counsel still be true;
Blunt truths more mischief than nice falfehoods do;
Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.
Without good-breeding, truth is disapprov'd;
That only makes fuperior fenfe belov'd.

VARIATIONS.

565

570

575

Be

Ver. 562. 'Tis not enough, wit, art, and learning join. Ver. 564. That not alone what to your judgment's due. Ver. 569. That if once wrong, &c.

Ver. 575. And things ne'er known, &c.

Ver. 576. Without good-breeding truth is not approv'd..

Be niggards of advice on no pretence ; For the worst avarice is that of fenfe.

With mean complacence, ne'er betray your truft, 580 Nor be fo civil as to prove unjust.

Fear not the anger of the wife to raise;

Those best can bear reproof, who merit praise.
'Twere well might Critics ftill this freedom take
But Appius reddens at each word you speak,
And ftares tremendous, with a threatening eye,
Like fome fierce tyrant in old tapestry.
Fear most to tax an honourable fool,
Whose right it is, uncenfur'd, to be dull!
Such, without wit, are Poets when they please,
As without learning they can take degrees.
Leave dangerous truths to unfuccessful satires,
And flattery to fulsome dedicators,

585

590

Whom, when they praise, the world believes no more Than when they promife to give fcribbling o'er.

'Tis beft fometimes your cenfure to restrain, And charitably let the dull be vain :

NOTE.

595

Your

Ver. 586. And ftares, tremendous, &c.] This picture was taken to himself by John Dennis, a furious old critic by profeffion, who, upon no other provoca tion, wrote against this Effay, and its author, in a manner perfectly lunatic: For, as to the mention made of him in ver. 270. he took it as a compliment, and faid it was treacherously meant to cause him to overlook this Abuse of his Perfon.

VARIATION.

Ver. 597. And charitably let dull fools be vain,

Your filence there is better than your spite,

For who can rail so long as they can write?

Still humming on, their drowzy course they keep, 600
And lash'd fo long, like tops, are lash'd asleep.
False steps but help them to renew the race,
As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace.
What crowds of thefe, impenitently bold,
In founds and jingling fyllables grown old,
Still run on poets, in a raging vein,

Ev'n to the dregs and fqueezings of the brain,
Strain out the last dull dropping of their sense,
And rhyme with all the rage of impotence.

605

Such fhameless Bards we have: and yet 'tis true, 610 There are as mad, abandon'd Critics too. The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,

With loads of learned lumber in his head,

With his own tongue ftill edifies his ears,
And always liftening to himself appears.
All books he reads, and all he reads affails,
From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales:
With him, most authors steal their works, or buy;
Garth did not write his own Dispensary.

615

Name

Ver. 600.

VARIATION.

Still humming on, their old dull course they keep.

NOTE.

Ver. 619. Garth did not write, &c.] A common flander at that time in prejudice of that deferving author. Our Poet did him this juftice, when that flander moft prevailed; and it is now (perhaps the fooner for this very verfe) dead and forgotten.

620

Name a new Play, and he's the Poet's friend,
Nay fhow'd his faults-but when would Poets mend?
No place fo facred from fuch fops is 'barr'd,

625

Nor is Paul's church more fafe than Paul's church-yard:
Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dead;
For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
Diftruftful fenfe with modeft caution speaks,
It still looks home, and short excurfions makes:
But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks,
And, never shock'd, and never turn'd aside,
Bursts out, refiftlefs, with a thundering tide.

But where's the man, who counsel can bestow,
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbiafs'd, or by favour, or by fpite;

Not dully prepoffefs'd, nor blindly right;

}

630

Though learn'd, well-bred; and though well-bred,

fincere ;

Modeftly bold, and humanly fevere:

Who to a friend his faults can freely show,

And gladly praise the merit of a foe?

Bleft with a taste exact, yet unconfin'd;

A knowledge both of books and human kind;

635

640

Generous

VARIATIONS.

Ver. 623. Between this and ver. 624.

In vain you fhrug and fweat, and strive to fly:
These know no Manners but of Poetry.
They'll stop a hungry Chaplain in his grace,
To treat of Unities of time and place.

Ver. 624. Nay run to Altars, &c.

Ver. 634. Not dully prepoffefs'd, or blindly right.

Generous converfe; a foul exempt from pride;
And love to praise, with reason on his fide?

Such once were Critics; fuch the happy few,
Athens and Rome in better ages knew.

The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore,

Spread all his fails, and durft the deeps explore;
He fteer'd fecurely, and discover'd far,

Led by the Light of the Mæonian Star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of favage liberty,

Receiv'd his laws; and stood convinc'd 'twas fit,
Who conquer'd Nature, should preside o'er Wit.
Horace ftill charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into sense,
Will, like a friend, familiarly convey

The trueft notions in the easiest

way.

VARIATIONS.

645

650

655

He,

Between ver, 646 and 649, I found the following lines, fince fuppreffed by the Author :

That bold Columbus of the realms of wit,
Whofe first discovery's not exceeded yet,
Led by the Light of the Maconian Star,
He fteer'd fecurely, and discover'd far.
He, when all Nature was fubdued before,
Like his great Pupil, figh'd, and long'd for more:
Fancy's wild regions yet unvanquish'd lay,

A boundless empire, and that own'd no fway.
Poets, &c.

After ver. 648. the first edition reads,

Not only Nature did his laws obey,

But Fancy's boundless empire own'd his fway,

Ver. 655. Does, like a friend, &c.

Ver. 655, 656. These lines are not in ed. 1.

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