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Thefe equal fyllables alone require,
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th'unbending corn, and skims along the main.
IBID. p. 87.
I MITATION. SOME ne'er advance a judgment of their own, But catch the spreading notion of the town ; They reason and conclude by precedent, And own stale nonsense which they ne'er invent. Some judge of authors names, not works, and
then Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men. Of all this servile herd, the worst is he That in proud dulness joins with quality ; A constant Critic at the great man's board, To fetch and carry nonsense for my Lord. What woful stuff this madrigal would be In some starv'd hackney-sonneteer, or me! But let a Lord once own the happy lines, How the wit brightens ! how the style refines ! Before his facred name Aies ev'ry fault, And each exalted stanza teems with thought!
IBID. p. 90.
SUCCESSION OF OPINIONS. SOME praise at morning what they blame at
night; But always think the last opinion right,
A Mufe by them is like a mistress us'd,
DANGER OF WIT. UNHAPPY Wit, like most mistaken things, Atones not for that envy which it brings : In youth alone its empty praise we boaft, But soon the short-liv'd vanity is loft ; Like some fair flow'r the early spring supplies, That gaily blooms, but e'en in blooming dies.
What is this Wit, which must our cares employ?
IBID. p. 92.
THE DUTY OF A CRITIC. 'TIS not enough your counsel ftill be true; Blunt truths more mischiefs than nice falfhoods 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 superior sense belov'd.
Be niggards of advice on no pretence ; For the worst avarice is that of sense. With mean complacence ne'er betray your trust, Nor be so civil as to prove unjuft. Fear not the anger of the wise to raise ; Those best can bear reproof who merit praise.
IBID. p. 95
'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain, And charitably let the dull be vain : D 2
Your Your filence there is better than
your spite, For who can rail so long as they can write ? Still humming on, their droufy course they keep, And lash'd so long, like tops, are lath'd asleep. False steps but help them to renew the race, As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace. What crouds of these, impenitently bold, In sounds and jingling, fyllables grown old, Still run on poets, in a raging vein, E’en to the dregs and squeezings of the brain ; Strain out the last dull dropping of their sense, And rhyme with all the rage of impotence!
IBID. p. 96.
But where's the man who counsel can bestow,
Such once were Critics ; such the happy few Athens and Rome in better ages knew.