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& Urit enim fulgore suo, qui praegravat artes. Infra fe pofitas : extinctus amabitur idem.
Præfenti tibi maturos largimur honores, Jurandafque tuum per numen ponimus aras, k Nil oriturum alias, nil crtum tale fatentes. Sed tuus hoc populus sapiens et justus in uno.. * Te noftris ducibus, te Graiis anteferendo, Caetera nequaquam fimili ratione modoque Aeftimat; et, nisi quae terris femota fuifque Temporibus defuncta videt, faftidit et odit :
Sic fautor veterum, et tabulas peccare vetantes Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera regum, Vel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis, Pontificum libros, annosa volumina Vatum,
VER. 17. The great Alcides,] This instance las not the fame grace here as in the original, where it comes in well: after those of Romulus, Bacchus, Caftor, and Pollux, tho' aukwardly after Edward and Henry. But it was for the sake of the beautiful thought in the next line ; which, yet, does not equal the force of his original.
Ver. 38. And beastly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Henry vini, a volume of whose verses has been lately ree
The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
20 Oppress’d we feel the beam directly beat, Those Sun's of Glory please not till they fet.
To thee, the World its present homage pays, The Harveft early, h but mature the praise : Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name 25 Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame * : Whofe Word is Truth, as facred and rever'd, As Heaven's own Oracles from Altars heard. Wonder of King ! like whom, to mortal eyes None e'er has rifen, and none e'er shall rife.
30 Just in one initance, be it yet confest Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest: Foes to all living worth except your own, And Advocates for folly dead and gone. Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old; 39 It is the rust we value, not the gold. Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote, And beastly Skelton Heads of houses quote : One likes no language but the Faery Queen? A Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o' the Green : 40
printed, confifting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and fcurrilous language.
VER. 40. Cbrif's Kirk o’tbe Green ;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland
m Dictitet Albano Múfas in monte locutas.
Si, quia " Graiorum funt antiquissima quaeque Scripta vel optima, Romani pensantur eadem Scriptores trutina ; non est quod multa loquamur: Nil intra eft oleam, nil extra eft in nuce duri. Venimus ad fummum fortunae : pingimus, atque * Psallimus, et P luktamur Achivis doĉtius un&is. Si ? meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit; Scire velim, chartis pretium quotus arroget annus. Scriptor ab hinc annos centùm qui decidit, inter Perfectos veteresque referri debet, an inter Viles atque novos ? excludat jurgia finis. Eft vetus atque probus, centum qui perficit annos. Quid ? qui deperiit minor uno mense vel anno, Inter quos referendus erit ? s veteresne poetas, An quos et praesens et poftera refpuat aetas ? Ifte quidem veteres inter ponetur honefie, Qui vel mense brevi, vel toto est junior anno.
Utor permiffo, caudaeque pilos ut "equinae Paulatim vello : et demo unum, demo et item unum; Dum cadat elusus ratione w ruentis acervi, Qui redit in * faftos, et virtutem aeftimat annis, Miraturque nihil, nisi quod y Libitina facravit.
VER. 42. met bim at the Devil] The Devil Tavern, where Ben Johnson held his Poetical Club,
And each true Briton is to Ben so civil,
Tho' juftly" Greeee her eldest sons admires,
If ? Time improve our Wits as well as Wine, Say at what age divine ?
50 Shall we, or shall we not, account him so, Who dy'd, perhaps, an hundred years ago ? End all dispute ; and fix the year precise ? When British bards begin t'immortalize?
“ Who lasts a f century can have no flaw, 55 " I hold that Wit a Claffic, good in law.
Suppose he wants a year, will you compound ? And shall we deem him s Ancient, right and sound, Or damn to all eternity at once, At ninety nine, a Modern and a Dunce ? 60
“ We shall not quarrel for a year or two ; “ By courtesy of England, he may do.
Then, by the rule that made the u Horse-tail bare, pluck out year by year, as hair by hair, And melt w down Ancients like a heap of snow: 65 While you, to measure merits, look in * Stowe, And estimating authors by the year, Bestow a Garland only on a y Bier.
2 Ennius et sapiens, et fortis, et alter Homerus, Ut critici dicunt, leviter curare videtur Quo a promissa cadant, et fomnia Pythagorea. þ Naevius in manibus non eft : at mentibus haeret Pene recens :
adeo fanctum est vetus omne poemą. Ambigitur e quoties, uter utro sit prior ; aufert Pacuvius docti famam senis, Accius alti ; Dicitur Afrani toga convenisse Menandro; Plautus ad exemplar Siculi properare Epicharmi Vincere Caecilius gravitate, Terentius arte: Hos ediscit, et hos arcto ftipata theatro Spectat Roma potens ; f habet hos numeratque poetas Ad noftrum tempus, Livî fcriptoris ab aevo. & Interdum vulgus rectum videt : eft ubi peccat.
VER. 69. Shakespear.] Shakespear and Ben Johnson may truly be said not much to have thought of this Immortality; the one in many pieces composed in haste for the Stage; the other in his latter works in general, which Dryden called hiş Dotages. Ver. 74. The life to come, in ev'ry Poet's Creed.]
Quo promiffa cadant, et somnia Pythagorea. The beauty of this arises from a circumstance in Ennius's story. But as this could not be imitated, our Poet endeavoured to equal it; and has fucceeded.
VER. 77. Pindarick Art,] Which has much more merit than his Epic, but very unlike the Character, as well as Numbers, of Pindar.
VER. 81. In all debates, etc.) The Poet has here put the bald cant of women and boys into extreme fine verse. This is in strict imitation of his Original, where the same impertinent and gratuitous criticism is admirably ridiculed.