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of this ode with abfolute beauty; nor can the Greek or Roman poefy produce any thing that is fimilar, or fecond, to this ode. *”

IT cannot be thought ftrange, that he who could fo judiciously explain, could as poetically express, the ideas of Isaiah: the latter he has performed in many instances; but in none more ftrikingly than in the following, which magnificently represents the Meffiah treading the wine-prefs in his anger, and which an impartial judge, not blinded by the charms of antiquity, will think equal to any description in Virgil, in point of elegance and energy:

Ille patris vires indutus et iram

Dira rubens graditur, per ftragem et fracta potentum
Agmina, prona folo; proftratifque hoftibus ultor
Infultat; ceu præla novo fpumantia musto
Exercens, falit attritas calcator in uvas,
Congeftamque ftruem fubigit: cæde atra recenti
Crura madent, rorantque infperfæ fanguine veftes. †

* Prælect. 13. ad calc.

·D 2

* Præl. 7.





ESCRIPTIVE Poetry was by no means the fhining talent of POPE. This af fertion may be manifested by the few images introduced in the poem before us, which are De equally applicable to any place whatsoever. Rural beauty in general, and not the peculiar beauties of the forest of Windsor, are here described. Nor are the sports of setting, fhooting, and fishing, included between the ninety-third and one hundred and forty-fixth verses, to which the reader is referred, at all more appropriated. The ftag-chafe, that immediately follows, although fome of the lines are incomparably good, * is not so full, fo animated, and fo circumftantiated, as that of Somerville.

THE digreffion that defcribes the demoli

* See particularly, ver. 151.

tion of the thirty villages by William the Conqueror, is well imagined; particularly,

Round broken columns clasping ivy twin'd,
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind ;
The fox obfcene to gaping tombs retires,
And favage howlings fill the facred quires.

Though I cannot forbear thinking, that the following picture of the ruins of GodstowNunnery, drawn, it fhould feem, on the spot, and worthy the hand of Paul Brill, is by no means excelled by the foregoing.

Qua nudo Rofamonda humilis fub culmine tecti
Marmoris obfcuri fervat inane decus,

Rara intermiffæ circum veftigia molis,
Et fola in vacuo tramite porta labat:
Sacræ olim fedes riguæ convallis in umbra,
Et veteri pavidum religione nemus.
Pallentes nocturna ciens campana forores
Hinc matutinum fæpe monebat avem;
Hinc procul in media tarde caliginis hora
Prodidit arcanas arcta feneftra faces:

Nunc mufcofa extant fparfim de cefpite faxa,
Nunc muro avellunt germen agrefte boves. †

* Ver. 69.

+ Carmina Quadragef. Oxon. 1748. pag. 5.


VOLTAIRE, that lively maintainer of many a paradox, is inclined to dispute the truth of the devastation imputed to William I. « Une "telle action, fays he, eft trop infensée pour "etre vraisemblable. Les hiftoriens ne font

pas attention qu'il faut au moins vingt an"nées pour qu'un nouveau plan d'arbres devi

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enne une forêt propre a là chaffe. On lui "fait femer cette forêt en 1080, il avoit alors (c 63 ans. Quelle apparence y a-t-il qu'un "homme raisonable ait à cet âge détruit des

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villages pour femer quinze lieues en bois " dans l'efpérance d'y chaffer un jour?" * There is indeed fome probability that, the character of this prince has been misreprefented, and his oppreffions magnified. The law of the curfeu-bell, by which every inhabitant of England was obliged to extinguish his fire and candles at eight in the evening, has been usually alleged as the inftitution of a capricious tyrant. But this law, as Voltaire rightly obferves, was fo far from being

Abregé de l'Histoire Univerfelle, &c. tom. 1. pag. 280. + Ibid.


abfurdly tyrannical, that it was an ancient ecclefiaftical custom established among all the monafteries of the north. Their houses were built of wood, and fo cautious a method to prevent fire, was an object worthy a prudent legislator. A more amiable idea than POPE has here exhibited of the Conqueror, is given us of the fame prince, by that diligent enenquirer into antiquity the President Henault, in a paffage that contains fome curious particulars, characteristical of the manner of that age. "This monarch protected letters, at a "time, when books were fo rare and un

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common, that a countess of Anjou gave for a collection of homilies, two hundred sheep, a measure of wheat, another of rye, " a third of millet, and a certain number of "the fkins of martens. But to return. The ftory of Lodona is prettily Ovidian; but there is scarcely a single incident in it,

+ Novel Abregé Chronologique de l'Hiftoire de France. tom. 1. pag. 126. To this ufeful and entertaining work Voltaire has been deeply indebted, without confeffing his obligation..

Ver. 171.


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