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Nature affords at least a glimmering light;
The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.
And then turn Critics in their own defence:
All fools have still an itching to deride,
If Mævius fcribble in Apollo's fpight,
There are who judge still worse than he can write.
Between ver. 25 and 26 were thefe lines, fince omit
ted by the Author:
Many are spoil'd by that pedantic throng,
Who with great pains teach youth to reason wrong. Tutors, like Virtuofos, oft inclin'd
By ftrange transfufion to improve the mind,
Draw off the fenfe we have, to pour in new;
Ver. 30, 31. In the first edition thus:
Those hate as rivals all that write; and others
Ver. 32. "All fools," in the first edition: "All fuch” in edition 1717; fince restored.
Some neither can for Wits nor Critics pafs,
To tell them, would a hundred tongues require,
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft' in those confin'd to fingle parts.
Like Kings, we lose the conquefts gain'd before,
By vain ambition still to make them more:
Ver. 63. Ed. 1. But ev'n in thofe, &c.
Each might his feveral province well command,
With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole,
Each motion guides, and every nerve fuftains;
Some, to whom Heaven in wit has been profuse,
Though meant each other's aid, like man and wife.
Shows most true mettle when you check his course.
That art is beft, which most resembles her;
the fecret foul.
There are whom Heaven has bleft with store of wit,
Nature, like Liberty, is but restrain’d
By the fame laws which first herself ordain'd.
Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites,
And pointed out those arduous paths they trod :
Juft precepts thus from great examples given,
She drew from them what they deriv'd from Heaven.
And taught the world with reafon to admire.
Who could not win the mistress, woo'd the maid; 105
By Doctors bills to play the Doctor's part,
Ver. 90. Ed. 1. Nature, like Monarchy, &c.
Ver. 92. First learned Greece juft precepts did indite,
Ver. 97. From great examples useful rules were given.
Set up themselves, and drove a separate trade.
Some drily plain, without invention's aid,
Write dull receipts how poems may be made.
You then whofe judgment the right course would steer, Know well each ANCIENT's proper character : His Fable, Subject, scope in every page ; Religion, Country, genius of his Age: Without all thefe at once before your eyes, Cavil you may, but never criticize. Be Homer's works your study and delight, Read them by day, and meditate by night;
Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims bring,
And trace the Muses upward to their spring.
And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse.
Ver. 116. Ed. 1. These loft, &c.
Ver. 117. And these explain'd, &c.
Ver. 123. Ed. 1. You may confound, but, &c.
Ver. 123. Cavil you may, but never criticize.] The Author after this verfe originally inferted the following, which he has however omitted in all the editions:
Zoilus, had these been known, without a Name
Ver. 126. Thence form your judgment, thence your no