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19.

Mark, how the dread PANTHEON ftands,
Amid the domes of modern hands!

Amid the toys of idle ftate,

How fimply, how severely great!

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Once on a time, La Mancha's knight, they say,
A certain bard encountring on the way. §-

By this fhort tale POPE has shewed us, how much he could have excelled in telling a story of humour. The incident is taken from the second part of Don Quixote, first written by Don Alonzo Fernandez de Avellanada, and afterwards tranflated, or rather imitated and newmodelled, by no less an author than the celebrated Le Sage. The book is not so contemptible as fome authors infinuate; it was well received in France, and abounds in many * Ode to L. Huntingdon.

§ Ver. 267.

Le Sage generally took his plans from the Spanish writers, the manners of which nation he has well imitated. Le Diable Boiteux was drawn from the Diabolo Cojuelo of Guevara; his Gil Blas from Don Gufman D' Alfarache. Le Sage made a journey into Spain to acquaint himself with the Spanish cuftoms. He is a natural writer, of true humour. He died in a little houfe near Paris, where he fupported himself by writing,

1747.

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of humour and character worthy Cervantes himself. The brevity to which POPE's narration was confined, would not permit him to infert the following humorous dialogue at length. "I am fatisfied you'll compafs your defign, faid the other scholar, provided you omit the combat in the lifts. Let him have a care of that, faid Don Quixote interrupting him, that is the best part of the plot. But Sir, quoth the Batchelor, if you would have me adhere to Aristotle's rules, I must omit the combat. Aristotle, replied the Knight, I grant was a man of fome parts; but his capacity was not unbounded: and give me leave to tell you, his authority does not extend over combats in the lift, which are far above his narrow rules. Would you fuffer the chafte Queen of Bohemia to perish? For how can you clear her innocence? Believe me, COMBAT is the most honourable method you can pursue; and, befides, it will add fuch grace to your play, that all the rules in the universe must not stand in competition with it. Well, Sir Knight, replied the Batchelor, for your fake, and for

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the honour of chivalry, I will not leave out the combat and that it may appear the more glorious, all the court of Bohemia fhall be present at it, from the princes of the blood, to the very footmen. But still one difficulty remains, which is, that our common theatres are not large enough for it. There must be one erected on purpose, answered the Knight; and, in a word, rather than leave out the combat, the play had better be acted in a field or plain."

20. Some to conceit alone their tafte confine, †

And glitt'ring thoughts ftruck out at every line.

SIMPLICITY, with elegance and propriety, is the perfection of style in every compofition. Let us, on this occafion, compare two paffages from Theocritus and Ovid upon the fame fubject. The Cyclops, in the former, addreffes Galatea with comparisons, natural, obvious, and drawn from his fituation.

* Continuation of Hift. of Don Quixote, b. iii. ch. 10. + Ver. 289.

Ω λευκά

Ω λευκα Γαλάτεια, τι τον φιλέον ̓ ἀποβάλλη ;
Λευκότερα πακίας ποιιδειν, απαλώτερα δ' άρνω,
Μοσχω γαυρότερα, φιαρώτερα ομφακια ώμας.

These fimple and pastoral images were the moft proper that could occur to a Cyclops, and to an inhabitant of Sicily. Ovid could not restrain the luxuriancy of his genius, on the fame occafion, from wandering into an endless variety of flowery and unappropriated fimilitudes, and equally applicable to any other perfon or place.

Candidior nivei folio, Galatea, liguftri;
Floridior pratis; longâ procerior alno ;
Splendidior vitro; tenero lafcivior hædo;
Lævior affiduo detritis æquore conchis;
Solibus hybernis, æftivâ gratior umbrâ ;
Nobilior pomis; platano confpectior altâ ;
Lucidior glacie; maturâ dulcior uvâ;
Mollior & cygni plumis, & lacte coacto;
Et, fi non fugias, riguo formofior horto.

There are feven more lines of comparison.

21. Falfe eloquence, like the prismatic glass,

In gaudy colours spreads on every place : The face of nature we no more survey, All glares alike without diftinction gay. † § Idyll. Kunλ.

Metam. 13. 789. + Ver. 311.

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THE nauseous affectation of expreffing every thing pompously and poetically, is no where more vifible, than in a poem lately published, entitled AMYNTOR and THEODORA. The following inftance may be alleged amongst many others. Amyntor having a pathetic tale to discover, and being at a lofs for utterance, uses these ornamental and unnatural images.

O could I fteal

From harmony her softeft warbled ftrain
Of melting air! or Zephire's vernal voice!
Or Philomela's fong, when love diffolves
To liquid blandishment his evening lay,
All nature smiling round. *

"Il ne

Voltaire fays very comprehenfively, with respect to every species of compofition, faut rechercher, ni les penfeés, ni les tours, ni les expreffions, & que l' art, dans tous les grand ovrages, eft de bien raisonner, fans trop faire d' argumens ; de bien peindre, fans vouloir tout peindre; d' émouvoir, fans vouloir toujours exciter les paffions." †

Cant. iii. ver. 92.

Oeuvres, tom. iii. pag. 332, 22. Some

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