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Quod fi tam Graecis novitas invisa fuisset,

Quam nobis ; quid nunc esset vetus ? aut quid ha

beret,

Quod legeret tereretque viritim publicus usus?

y Ut primum pofitis nugari Graecia bellis

Coepit, et in vitium fortuna labier aequa ;

Nunc athletarum ftudiis, nunc arsit' equorum

NOTES.

Ver. 138. By learned Critics of the mighty Dead?) A ridicule on the tribe of learned Critics, who think all writers but the ancient unworthy their care and attention. This came properly into a satire, whose subject is the unreasonable fondness for antiquity in general.

VER. 140. with Charles restor'd;] He says restord, because the luxury he brought in, was only the revival of that practised in the reigns of his Father and Grandfather.

VER. 143. In Horsemanship t excell,- And ev'ry flow'ry Courtier writ Romance.] The Duke of Newcastle's book of Horsemanship: the Romance of Parthenissa, by the Earl of Orrery, and most of the French Romances translated by Perfons of Quality.

P. Ver. 146. And ev'ry flow'ry Courtier writ Romance.] The rise and progress of the several branches of literary Science is one of the most curious parts of the history of the human mind, and yet is that which amongst us is least attended to. This of fictitious history is not below our notice. The clore connexion which every individual has with all that relates to MAN

* Had ancient times conspir'd to disallow 135 What then was new, what had been ancient now? Or what remain'd, so worthy to be read By learned Critics, of the mighty Dead? y In Days of Ease, when now the

weary

Sword Was sheath’d, and Luxury with Charles restor’d; In ev'ry taste of foreign Courts improv'd,

141 « All, by the King's Example, liv'd and lov'd.” Then Peers grew proud in? Horsemanship t'excell, New-market's Glory rose, as Britain's fell; The Soldier breath'd the Gallantries of France, And ev'ry flow'ry Courtier writ Romance. 146

NOTES.

in general strongly inclines us to turn our observation upon human affairs, in preference to other attentions, and eagerly to wait the progress and issue of them. But as the course of human actions is too slow to gratify our curiosity, observant men very early contrived to satisfy its impatience by the invention of history. Which by recording the principal circumstances of paft Facts, and laying them close together, in a continued nare ration, kept the mind from languishing, and gave constant exercise to its reflections.

But as it commonly happens, that in all indulgent refinements on our satisfactions, the Procurers to our pleasures run into excess; so it happened here. Strict matters of fact, how. ever delicately dressed up, foon grew too simple and insipid to a taste stimulated by the luxury of art: They wanted something of more poignancy to quicken and enforce a jaded appetite. Hence in the politer ages those feigned histories relating the quick turns of capricious Fortune ; and, in the more barbarata,

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the ROMANCES, abounding with the false provocative of inchantment and miraculous adventures.

But fatiety, in things unnatural, brings on disgust. And the reader at length began to see that too eager a pursuit after adventures had drawn him from, what first engaged his attention, Man and his ways, into the Fairy walks of Monsters and Chimera's. And now those who had run furthest after these delusions, were the first that recovered themselves. For the next species of fiction, which took its name from its NoVELTY, was of Spanish invention. These presented us with something of humanity; but in a forced urinatural state. For as every thing before was conducted by Necromancy, fo all now was managed by intrigue. And tho' it had indeed a kind of life, it had yet, as in its infancy, nothing of manners. On. which account those who could not penetrate into the ill conftitution of its plan, yet grew disgusted at the dryness of the Conduct, and want of ease in the Catastrophe.

The avoiding these defects gave rise to the HEROICAL RoMANCES of the French, here ridiculed by our Poet; in which some celebrated story of antiquity was so polluted by modern fable and invention, as was juft enough to thew that the contrivers of them neither knew how to lye nor speak truth. In these voluminous extravagances, Love and Honour supplied the place of Life and Manners. But the over-refinement of Plas

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Then * Marble, foften'd into life, grew warm,
And yielding Metal flow'd to human form:
Lely on animated Canvas stole
The sleepy Eye, that fpoke the melting foul. 150
No wonder then, when all was Love and sport,
The willing Muses were debauch'd at Court:
On each enervate string they taught the note
To pant, or tremble thro' an Eunuch's throat.

But · Britain, changeful as a Child at play, 155 Now calls in Princes, and now turns away,

NOTĘS. tonic sentiments always finks into the dregs of the gentle paffion. Thus in attempting a more natural representation of it in the little AMATORY NOVELs which succeeded those heavier volumes, tho’the writers avoided the dryness of the Spanish Intrigue, and the extravagance of the French Heroism, yet, by giving

too natural a picture of their subject, they introduced a worfe evit than a corruption of Taste, and that was a corruption of Heart.

At length this great People (to whom, it must be owned, every branch of Science has been infinitely indebted) hit upon the true fecret, by which alone a deviation from strict fact, in. the commerce of Man, could be really amusing to an improved mind, or ufeful to promote that improvement. And this was by a faithful and chafte copy of real LIFE AND MANNERS.

In this species of writing, Mr. De Marivaux in France, and Mr. FIELDING in England stand the foremoft. And by enriching it with the best part of the Comic art, may be faid to have brought it to its perfection.

Ver. 142. A Verse of the Lord Lanfdown.

Ver. 149. Lely on animated Canvas ftole ---The fleepy Eye, etc.) This was the Characteristic of this excellent Colourist's exa pression; who was an exceffive Manierest.

VER. 153. On each enervate firing etc.] The Siege of Rhodes by Sir William Davenant, the first Opera sung in England. P.

P.

Quid placet, aut odio est, quod non mutabile credas ?

Hoc paces habuere bonae, ventique secundi.

e Romae dulce diu fuit et solemne, reclusa

Mane domo vigilare, clienti promere jura;

Scriptos & nominibus rectis expendere nummos;

Majores audire, minori dicere, per quae

Crescere res posset, minui damnosa libido.

Mutavit mentem populus levis, h et calet uno

Scribendi studio: puerique patresque severi

Fronde comas vincti coenant, et carmina dictant.

NOTES.

VER. 158. Now all for Pleasure, now for Church and State ;] The first half of Charles the Second's Reign was passed in an abandoned diffoluteness of manners; the other half, in factious disputes about popish plots and French prerogative.

Ver. 160. Effects unhappy! from a Noble Cause.] i. e. The love of Liberty.--Mr. Voltaire, while in England, writes thus to a friend in Paris - " I had a mind at first to print our poor “ Henry at my own expences in London; but the loss of my “ money is a sad stop

is a sad stop to my design. I question if I shall try " the way of Subscriptions by the favour of the Court. I am

weary of Courts. All that is King or belongs to a King, “ frights my republican Philosophy. I wont drink the least 66 * draught of Slavery in the Land of Liberty, I have written

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