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one judge a picture, but who is himself a layer of colours? ‡ Quintilian and Pliny, who speak of the works of the ancient painters and ftatuaries, with fo much tafte and fentiment, handled not themfelves either the pencil or the chiffel, nor Longinus nor Dionyfius, the harp. But altho' fuch as have actually performed nothing in the art itself, may not on that account, be totally difqualified to judge with accuracy of any piece of workmanship, yet perhaps a judgment will come with more authority and force from an artist himself. Hence the connoiffeurs highly prize the treatife of Rubens, concerning the imitation of antique ftatues, the art of painting by Leonardo da Vinci, and the lives of the painters by Vafari. As for the same reafons, Rameau's differtation on the thorough bass, and the introduction to a good taste in mufic by the excellent, but neglected, Ge- · miniani, demand a particular regard. The prefaces of Dryden would be equally valu

Characteristics. v. 3. p. 190.


able, if he did not fo frequently contradict himself, and advance opinions diametrically oppofite to each other. Some of Corneille's discourses on his own tragedies are admirably juft. And one of the best pieces of modern criticism, the academy's observations on the Cid, was we know the work of persons who had themselves written well. And our author's own excellent preface to his translation of the Iliad, one of the best pieces of profe in the English language, is an example how well poets are qualified to be critics.

4. Some neither can for wits nor critics pass,
As heavy mules are neither horfe or ass;
Thofe half-learn'd witlings, numerous in our isle,
As half form'd infects on the banks of Nile;
Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call,
Their generation's fo equivocal. *

These lines and those preceding, and following them, are excellently fatirical; and were, I think, the first we find in his works, that give an indication of that species of poetry to

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which his talent was moft powerfully bent, and in which, tho' not, as we shall fee, in others, he excelled all mankind. The fimile of the mule heightens the fatire, and is new; as is the application of the infects of the Nile. POPE never fines fo brightly as when he is profcribing bad authors.

5. In the foul while MEMORY prevails,

The folid pow'r of UNDERSTANDING fails;
Where beams of bright imagination play,
The memory's foft figures melt away.

I hardly believe there is in any language a metaphor more appofitely applied, or more elegantly expreffed, than this of the effects of the warmth of fancy. Locke who has embellished his dry subject with a vast variety of pleasing fimilitudes and allufions, has a paffage relating to the retentiveness of the memory fo very like this before us, and fo happily worded, that I cannot forbear giving the reader the pleasure of comparing them together; only premifing that thefe two paf

* v. 56.


fages are patterns of the manner in which the metaphor should be used, and of the method of preferving it unmixed with

and not continuing it too far.

any other idea,

Our minds re

which we are

present to us those tombs to approaching; where though the brass and marble remain, yet the infcriptions are effaced by time, and the imagery moulders away. How much the constitution of our bodies are concerned in this, and whether the temper of the brain makes this difference, that in fome, it retains the characters drawn on it like marble, in others like freestone, and in others little better than fand, I fhall not here enquire; though it may feem probable that the conftitution of the body does fometimes influence the memory; fince we fometimes find, a disease quite strip the mind of all its ideas, and the flames of a fever, in a few days CALCINE all thofe images to dust and confufion, which seemed to be as lasting as if graved in marble. *

*Effay concerning Human Understanding. chap. 10. fect. 5.


WITH respect to the truth of this obfervation of POPE, experience abundantly evinceth, that the three great faculties of the foul here spoken of are feldom found united in the fame perfon. There have yet existed, but a few transcendant geniufes, who have been fingularly bleft with this rare affemblage of different talents. All that I can at present recollect, who have at once enjoyed in full vigour, a fublime and fplendid imagination, a folid and profound understanding, an exact and tenacious memory, are Herodotus, Plato, Tully, Livy, Tacitus, Galilæo, Bacon, Des Cartes, Malebranche, Milton, Burnet of the Charterhouse, Berkley and Montefqueiu. Bacon in his Novum Organum, divides the human genius into two forts; men of dry diftinct heads, cool imaginations, and keen application; they eafily apprehend the differences of things, are mafters in controverfy, and excell in confutation; and thefe are the most common. The fecond fort are men of warm fancies, elevated thought, and wide knowledge: they instantly perceive the re


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