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Thefe equal fyllables alone require,
Though oft the ear the


vowels tire;
While expletives their feeble aid do join,
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line ;
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhymes :
Where'er you find the cooling western breeze,"
In the next line it " whispers through the trees :"
If crystal streams " with pleasing murmurs creep,"
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with“ fleep :"
Then, at the last and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded snake, drags its flow length

Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow;
And praise the easy vigour of a line,
Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness

True eafe in writing comes from art, not chance;
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness give offence,
The found must seem an echo to the sense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows s
But when loud surges lash the founding shore,
The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow :



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 Muse

A Mufe by them is like a mistress us'd,
This hour she's idolis'd, the next abus'd ;
While their weak heads, like towns unfortify'd,
'Twixt sense and nonsense daily change their side.
Ask them the cause; they're wiser still, they say ;
And still to-morrow's wiser than to-day.
We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow;
Our wiser fons, no doubt, will think us so.
Once School-divines this zealous isle o’erspread ;
Who knew moft sentences, was deepest read:
Faith, gospel, all seem'd made to be disputed,
And none had sense enough to be confuted.
Scotifts and Thomifts now in peace remain,
Amidst their kindred cobwebs in Duck-lane.
If Faith itself has diff'rent dresses worn,
What wonder modes in Wit should take their turn?
Oft, leaving what is natural and fit,
The current folly proves the ready wit;
And authors think their reputation safe,
Which lives as long as fools are pleas'd to laugh.


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?
The owner's wife, that other men enjoy ;
Then most our trouble still when most admir'd;
And still the more we give, the more requir’d;
Whose fame with pains we guard, but lose with

Sure some to vex, but never all to please :
'Tis what the vicious fear, the virtuous fhun,
By fools 'tis hated, and by knaves undone !

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,
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbiass’d or by favour, or by spite ;
Not dully prepossess’d, nor blindly right;
Though learn’d, well-bred; and though well-bred,

sincere ;
Modestly bold, and humanely severe :
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;
Gen'rous converse; a soul exempt from pride;
And love to praise, with reason on his fide?

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


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