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now extant, I shall in my next paper give the vited her. This treat lasted for two years, answer to it, and the sequel of this story. and is said to have cost Shalum five hundred

antelopes, two thousand ostriches, and a NO. 585. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 1714

thousand tun of milk; but what most of all

recommended it, was that variety of delicious Ipsi laetitia voces ad sidera jactant

fruits and potherbs, in which no person then Intonsi montcs: ipsae jam carmina rupes, living could any way equal Shalum. Ipsa sonant arbusta.1

He treated her in the bower which he had - VIRG. Ecl. v. 62.

planted amidst the wood of nightingales. THE SEQUEL OF THE STORY OF SHALUM AND

The wood was made up of such fruit-trees HILPA

and plants as are most agreeable to the several

kinds of singing-birds; so that it had drawn The letter inserted in my last had so good an

into it all the music of the country, and was effect upon Hilpa, that she answered in less filled from one end of the year to the other than a twelvemonth, after the following

with the most agreeable concert in season.

He showed her every day some beautiful

and surprising scene in this new region of "HILPA, MISTRESS OF THE VALLEYS, TO woodlands; and, as by this means he had all SHALUM, MASTER OF Mount TIRZAH the opportunities he could wish for, of open

ing his mind to her, he succeeded so well, that In the 789th year of the creation.

upon her departure she made him a kind of “What have I to do with thee, O Shalum? promise, and gave him her word to return him Thou praisest Hilpa's beauty, but art thou not a positive answer in less than fifty years. secretly enamoured with the verdure of her She had not been long among her own meadows? Art thou not more affected with people in the valleys, when she received new the prospect of her green valleys, than thou overtures, and at the same time a most wouldest be with the sight of her person? splendid visit from Mishpach, who was a The lowings of my herds and the bleatings of mighty man of old, and had built a great city, my flocks make a pleasant echo in thy moun

which he called after his own name. Every tains, and sound sweetly in thy ears. What

house was made for at least a thousand years, though I am delighted with the wavings of thy nay, there were some that were leased out for forests, and those breezes of perfumes which three lives; so that the quantity of stone and flow from the top of Tirzah, are these like timber consumed in this building is scarce to the riches of the valley ?

be imagined by those who live in the present “I know thee, O Shalum; thou art more age of the world. This great man entertained wise and happy than any of the sons of men.

her with the voice of musical instruments Thy dwellings are among the cedars; thou which had been lately invented,' and danced searchest out the diversity of soils, thou under- before her to the sound of the timbrel. He standest the influences of the stars, and mark- also presented her with several domestic est the change of seasons. Can a woman utensils wrought in brass and iron, which had appear lovely in the eyes of such a one? been newly found out ? for the conveniency of Disquiet me not, O Shalum; let me alone, life. In the meantime Shalum grew very that I may enjoy those goodly possessions uneasy with himself, and was sorely displeased which are fallen to my lot. Win me not by at Hilpa for the reception which she had thy enticing words. May thy trees increase given to Mishpach, insomuch that he never and multiply! mayest thou add wood to wrote to her or spoke of her during a whole wood, and shade to shade! but tempt not revolution of Saturn; 3 but, finding that this Hilpa to destroy thy solitude, and make thy intercourse went no farther than a visit, he retirement populous.'

again renewed his addresses to her; who, The Chinese say that a little time aster- during his long silence, is said very often te wards she accepted of a treat in one of the have cast a wishing eye upon Mount Tirzah. neighbouring hills to which Shalum had in- Her mind continued wavering about twenty



2 Genesis iv: 22

1 The mountain tops unshorn, the rocks rejoice; The lowly shrubs partake of human voice.

Cf. Genesis iv: 21 thirty years

3 nearly

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years longer between Shalum and Mishpach; for though her inclinations favoured the former, her interest pleaded very powerfully for the other. While her heart was in this unsettled condition, the following accident happened, which determined her choice. A high tower of wood that stood in the city of Mishpach having caught fire by a flash of lightning, in a few days reduced the whole town to ashes. Mishpach resolved to rebuild the place, whatever it should cost him: and, having already destroyed all the timber of the country, he was forced to have recourse to Shalum, whose forests were now two hundred years old. He purchased these woods with so many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and with such a vast extent of fields and pastures, that Shalum was now grown more wealthy than Mishpach; and therefore appeared so charming in the eyes of Zilpah's daughter, that she no longer refused him in marriage. On the day in which he brought her up into the mountains he raised a most prodigious pile of cedar, and of every sweet smelling wood, which reached above three hundred cubits in height; he also cast into the pile bundles of myrrh and shcaves of spikenard, enriching it with every spicy shrub, and, making it fat with the gums of his plantations. This was the burnt-offering which Shalum offered in the day of his espousals: the smoke of it ascended up to heaven, and filled the whole country with incense and perfume.

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MATTHEW PRIOR (1664-1721)


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'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill;
But, of the two, less dangerous is th' offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this, 5
Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now one in verse makes many more in prose.

'Tis with our judgments as our watches,

1 20

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You, then, whose 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 these at once before your eyes, Cavil you may, but never criticise. Be Homer's works your study and delight, Read them by day, and meditate by night; Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims bring,

126 And trace the Muses upward to their spring. Still with itself compared, his text peruse ; And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse.! When first young Maro 1 in his boundless

mind A work t' outlast immortal Rome designed, Perhaps he seemed above the critic's law, And but from nature's fountains scorned to

draw: But when t examine every part he came, Nature and Homer were, he found, the same. Convinced, amazed, he checks the bold design;

136 And rules as strict his laboured work confine, As if the Stagirite ? o'erlooked each line. Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem; To copy nature is to copy them.

140 Some beauties yet no precepts can declare, For there's a happiness as well as care. Music resembles poetry, in each Are nameless graces which no methods tcach, And which a master-hand alone can reach. If, where the rules not far enough extend, (Since rules were made but to promote their end)

147 Some lucky license answer to the full Th' intent proposed, that license is a rule. Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take, 150 May boldly deviate from the common track; From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art, Which without passing through the judg

First follow Nature, and your judgment

frame By her just standard, which is still the same: Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, 70 One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of Art. Art from that fund each just supply provides, Works without show, and without pomp presides :

75 In some fair body thus th' informing soul With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole, Each motion guides, and every nerve sus

tains; Itself unseen, but in th' effects, remains. Some, to whom Heaven in wit has been profuse,

80 Want as much more, to turn it to its use; For wit and judgment often are at strife, Though meant each other's aid, like man and

wife. 'Tis more to guide than spur the Muse's

steed; Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed ; 85


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ment, gains

1 Vergil

2 Aristotle

The heart, and all its end at once attains. 155 In prospects thus, some objects please our

eyes, Which out of nature's common order rise, The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice. Great wits sometimes may gloriously offend, And rise to faults true critics dare not mend. But tho' the ancients thus their rules invade, (As kings dispense with laws themselves have made)

162 Moderns, beware! or if you must offend Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end; Let it be seldom and compelled by need; 165 And have, at least, their precedent to plead. The critic else proceeds without remorse, Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force. I know there are, to whose presumptuous

thoughts Those freer beauties, e’en in them, seem faults. Some figures monstrous and misshaped ap

pear, Considered singly, or beheld too near, Which, but proportioned to their light or

place, Due distance reconciles to form and grace. A prudent chief not always must display 175 His powers in equal ranks, and fair array, But with th' occasion and the place comply, Conceal his force, nay, seem sometimes to

fly. Those oft are stratagems which errors seem, Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream. 180



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For different styles with different subjects sort, As several garbs with country, town, and

court. Some by old words to fame have made pre

tence, Ancients in phrase, mere moderns in their sense;

325 Such laboured nothings, in so strange a style, Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned

smile. Unlucky, as Fungoso 1 in the play, These sparks with awkward vanity display What the fine gentleman wore yesterday; 330 And but so mimic ancient wits at best, As apes our grandsires, in their doublets

dressed. In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold; Alike fantastic, if too new, or old: Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.

But most by numbers ? judge a poet's song; And smooth or rough, with them, is right or

wrong: In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire,

339 Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire; Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to church

repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These equal syllables alone require, Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire; 345 While expletives their feeble aid do join, And ten low words oft creep in one dull line: While they ring round the same unvaried

chimes, With sure returns of still expected rhymes ; Where'er you find “the cooling western breeze,

350 In the next line, it “whispers through the

trees;" If crystal streams "with pleasing murmurs

crecp,” The reader's threatened (not in vain) with

“sleep :" Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,

355 A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow

length along


Others for language all their care express, And value books, as women, men, for dress : Their praise is still,' -- the style is excellent ; The sense, they humbly take upon content. Words are like leaves; and where they most

abound, Much fruit cf sense beneath is rarely found. False eloquence, like the prismatic glass, 311 Its gaudy colours spreads on every place; The face of nature we no more survey, All glares alike, without distinction gay: But true expression, like th' unchanging sun, Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all objects, but it alters none. 317 Expression is the dress of thought, and still Appears more decent, as more suitable; A vile conceit in pompous words expressed, Is like a clown in regal purple dressed :


1 In Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour he unsuccessfully attempts to ape the fashionable. 2 metre

1 always




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,

360 Where Denham's strength, and Waller's

sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not

chance, As those move easiest who have learned to

dance. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense. Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;

367 But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the tor

rent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,

370 The line too labours, and the words move

slow; Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along

the main. Hear how Timotheus' varied lays surprise, And bid alternate passions fall and rise! 375 While, at each change, the son of Libyan Jove Now burns with glory, and then melts with

love; Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow, Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow: Persians and Greeks like turns of nature

found, And the world's victor stood subdued by

sound ! The power of music all our hearts allow, And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.

Oh, say what stranger cause, yet unexplored,
Could make a gentle belle reject a lord?
In tasks so bold, can little men engage,
And in soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage?
Sol through white curtains shot a timorous

ray, And oped those eyes that must eclipse the day. Now lap-dogs give themselves the rousing shake,

15 And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake. Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knocked the

ground, And the pressed watch ? returned a silver

sound. 3 [Belinda still her downy pillow pressed, Her guardian sylph prolonged the balmy

rest; 'Twas he had summoned to her silent bed The morning dream that hovered o'er her

head; A youth more glittering than a birth-night

beau, (That e'en in slumber caused her cheek to

glow) Seemed to her ear his winning lips to lay, 25 And thus in whispers said, or seemed to say:

“Fairest of mortals, thou distinguished care Of thousand bright inhabitants of air ! If e'er one vision touched thy infant thought, Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught, Of airy elves by moonlight shadows seen, 31 The silver token,4 and the circled green, Or virgins visited by angel powers, With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers;

34 Hear and believe ! thy own importance know, Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. Some secret truths, from learnèd pride con

cealed, To maids alone and children are revealed. What though no credit doubting wits may

give? The fair and innocent shall still believe.

40 Know, then, unnumbered spirits round thee fly, The light militia of the lower sky. These, though unseen, are ever on the wing, Hang o'er the box, and hover round the Ring.? Think what an equipage thou hast in air, 45 And view with scorn two pages and a chair.S








What dire offence from amorous

springs, What mighty contests rise from trivial things, I sing..-- This verse to Caryl, Muse ! is due; This, e'en Belinda may vouchsafe to view. Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, 5 If she inspire, and he approve my lays. Say what strange motive, Goddess ! could

compel A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle ?

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to summon a servant a repeater lines between brackets were not in the first version of the poem. 4 a fairy gift 5 where fairies danced

as St. Cecilia was 7 a fashionable drive in Hyde Park 8

a sedan chair


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