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lengthened to express speed, will not easily. de discovered. In the dactyls, used for that purpose by the ancients, two short syllables were pronounced with fuch rapidity, as to be equal only to one long; they therefore naturally exhibit the act of paffing through a long fpace in a fhort time. But the Alexandrine, by its pause in the midft, is a tardy and stately measure; and the word unbending, one of the most fluggish and flow which our language affords, cannot much accelerate its motion." +

28. Be thou the first true merit to befriend,

His praife is loft, who stays 'till all commend.

WHEN Thomson published his WINTER, it lay a long time neglected, 'till Mr. Spense made honourable mention of it in his Effay on the Odyffey; which becoming a popular book, made the poem univerfally known. Thomson always acknowledged the use of this early recommendation; and from this circumftance, an intimacy commenced between the

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critic and the poet, which lafted 'till the lamented death of the latter, who was of a most amiable benevolent temper.

29. And such as Chaucer is shall Dryden be.

WALLER has an elegant copy of verses on the mutability of the English tongue, which bears a strong resemblance to this paffage of POPE.

Poets that lafting marble feek,

Muft carve in Latin or in Greek;

We write in fand; our language grows,
And like the tide, our work o'erflows.
Chaucer his SENSE can only boaft,

The glory of his numbers loft!

Years have defac'd his matchless strain,

And yet HE DID NOT SING IN VAIN. †

To fix a language has been found, among the most able undertakers, to be a fruitless project. The ftyle of the prefent French Novels and Memoirs, for the French at prefent produce little befides, is vifibly different

* Ver. 483.

+ Of ENGLISH VERSE. Fenton's edit. pag. 147. 12mo.

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from that of Boileau and Boffuet, notwithstanding the strict and seasonable injunctions of the Academy: and the diction, even of fuch a writer as Maffei, is corrupted with many words, not to be found in Machiavel or Ariofto.

30. So when the faithful pencil has defign'd
Some bright idea of the master's mind,
When a new world leaps out at his command,
And ready nature waits upon his hand;
When the ripe colours foften and unite,

And sweetly melt into just shade and light;
Where mellowing years their full perfection give,
And each bold figure juft begins to live,

The treacherous colours the fair art betray,
And all the bright creation fades away.

I HAVE quoted these beautiful lines at lenth, as I believe nothing was ever so happily expreffed on the art of painting: a fubject of which POPE always fpeaks con amore. all poets whatever, Milton has fpoken most feelingly of mufic, and POPE of painting.

* Ver. 484.

Of

The

The reader may however compare the following paffage of Dryden, on the fame subject.

More cannot be by mortal art exprefs'd,

But venerable age fhall add the reft,

For Time fhall with his ready pencil stand,,
Retouch your figures with his ripening hand;
Mellow your colours, and imbrown the tint,
Add ev'ry grace, which Time alone can grant.
To future ages fhall your fame convey,

And give more beauties than he takes away. *

IF POPE has fo much excelled in speaking in the propereft terms of this art, it may perhaps be afcribed to his having practifed it; the fame may be faid of Milton, with respect to mufic. It may perhaps be wondered at, that a proficiency in thefe arts is not now frequently found in the fame perfon. I cannot at prefent recollect any painters that were good poets; except Salvator Rofa, and Charles Vermander of Mulbrac in Flanders, whofe comedies are much esteemed. But the fatires of the former contain no strokes of that fervid and wild imagination, so visible in his landschapes.

* Dryden to Kneller.

31. If wit fo much from ign'rance undergo. *

THE inconveniencies that attend wit are well enumerated in this excellent paffage. Poets, who imagine they are known and admired, are frequently mortified and humbled. Boileau going one day to receive his penfion, and the treasurer reading these words in his Order, "The penfion we have granted to Boileau, on account of the fatisfaction his works have given us," asked him, of what kind were his works: "Of Mafonry, replied the poet, I am a BUILDER." Racine always reckoned the praises of the ignorant among the chief fources of chagrin : and used to relate, that an old magiftrate, who had never been at a play, was carried, one day, to his Andromaque. This magiftrate was very attentive to the tragedy, to which was added the Plaideurs; and going out of the theatre, he faid to the author, "I am extremely pleased, Sir, with your Andromaque, I am only amazed that it ends fo

• Ver. 508.

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