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femblances of things, and are poets or makers in science, invent arts, and ftrike out new


light wherever they carry their views. This general observation has in it all that acuteness, comprehenfion, and knowledge of man, which so eminently distinguished this philofopher.

6. One science only will one genius fit;

So vaft is art, fo narrow human wit.

Not only bounded to peculiar arts,

But oft in those confin'd to fingle parts. +

When Tully attempted poetry, he became as ridiculous as Bolingbroke when he attempted philosophy and divinity; we look in vain for that genius which produced the Differtation on Parties, in the tedious philofophical works; of which it is no exaggerated fatire to fay, that the reasoning of them is sophistical and inconclufive, the style diffuse and verbose, and the learning feemingly contained in them not drawn from the originals, but picked up

* Page 40,

† v. 60.


and purloined from French critics and translations, and particularly from Bayle, from Rapin, and Thomaffin, (as perhaps may be one day minutely fhewn) together with the affistances that our Cudworth and Stanley, happily afforded a writer confeffedly ignorant of the Greek tongue, who has who has yet the infufferable arrogance to vilify and cenfure, and to think



* I cannot forbear fubjoining a paffage of an excellent writer and accomplished fcholar, which is fo very appofite to the prefent purpose, that one would think the author had Bolingbroke in his eye, if his valuable work had not been published before the world was bleffed with the First Philosophy. "He who "pretends to difcufs the fentiments of Pythagoras, Plato, "Aristotle, or any one of the ancient philosophers, or even to "cite and translate him, (except in trite and obvious fentiments) "without accurately knowing the Greek tongue in general; "the nice differences of many words apparently fynonymous; "the peculiar ftile of the author whom he prefumes to handle ; "the new coined words, and new fignifications given to old "words, used by fuch author and his fect; the whole philofo


phy of fuch fect; together with the connections and depen"dencies of its several parts, whether Logical, Ethical, or "Phyfical; he, I fay, that without this previous preparation, 66 attempts what I have faid, will shoot in the dark; will be "liable to perpetual blunders; will explain, and praise, and cen"fure, merely by chance; and tho' HE MAY POSSIBLY TO 66 FOOLS APPEAR AS A WISE MAN, WILL CERTAINLY AMONG THE WISE EVER PASS FOR A FOOL. Such a man's intellect "comprehends antient philofophy, as his eye comprehends a



he can confute the beft writers in that best language.

WHEN Fontaine, whofe tales indicated a truly comic genius, brought a comedy on the stage, it was received with a contempt equally unexpected and undeferved. Terence has left us no tragedy, and the Mourning Bride of Congreve, notwithstanding the praises bestowed on it by POPE, in the Dunciad, * is certainly a despicable performance; the plot is unnaturally intricate, and overcharged with incidents, the fentiments trite, and the language turgid and bombaft. Heemskirk and Teniers could not fucceed in a ferious and fublime fubject of history-painting, The latter, it is well known, defigned cartoons for tapestry, representing the hiftory of the Turriani of Lombardy. Both the compofition and

"diftant prospect. He may fee perhaps enough to know "mountains from plains, and feas from woods; but for an "accurate difcernment of particulars and their character, this, " without farther helps, 'tis impoffible he should attain." HERMES, by HARRIS: book 2. chap. 3. pag, 270.

* B.
3. v. 310.

In the notes.



the expreffion are extremely indifferent; and fome nicer virtuofi have remarked, that in the serious pieces, into which Hogarth has deviated from the natural biafs of his genius, there are fome ftrokes of the Ridiculous difcernible, which fuit not with the dignity of his fubject. In his PREACHING OF St. PAUL, a dog fnarling at a cat; and in his PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER, the figure of the infant Mofes, who expreffes rather archness than timidity, are alleged as inftances, that this artist, unrivalled in his own walk, could not refift the impulse of his imagination towards drollery. His picture, however, of Richard III. is pure and unmixed with any ridiculous circumftances, and strongly impreffes terror and amazement. The modefty and good fenfe of the ancients is, in this particular, as in others, remarkable. The same writer never prefumed to undertake more than one kind of dramatic poetry, if we except the CYCLOPS of Euripides. A poet never prefumed to plead in public, or to write history, or indeed any confiderable


work in profe. The fame actors never recited tragedy and comedy; this was observed fo long ago, as by Plato, in the third book of his REPUBLIC. They feem to have held that diversity, nay univerfality, of excellence, at which the moderns frequently aim, to be a gift unattainable by man. We therefore of Great-Britain have perhaps more reason to congratulate ourselves, on two very fingular phenomena; I mean, Shakespear's being able to pourtray characters fo very different as FALSTAFF, and MACKBETH; and Garrick's being able to perfonate so inimitably a LEAR, or an ABEL DRUGGER. Nothing can more fully demonstrate the extent and versatility of these two original geniufes. Corneille, whom the French are so fond of oppofing to Shakefpear, produced very contemptible comedies; and the PLAIDEURS of Racine is so close a resemblance of Ariftophanes, as it ought not to be here urged. The most universal of authors feems to be Voltaire; who has written almost equally well, both in prose and verse; and whom either the tragedy of MɛROPE,

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