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mand a regular treatise fully to discourse: we should surely use every poffible art, to render our rough Northern language harmonious.

FENTON also has given us a tranflation of this epistle to Phaon; but it is in no respect equal to POPE's: he has added another, of his own invention, of Phaon to Sappho, in which the story of the transformation of the former, from an old mariner to a beautiful youth, is well told. Fenton * was an elegant scholar, and had an exquifite tafte; the books he tranflated for POPE in the Odyffey, are fuperior to Brome's. In his Mifcellanies, are

* POPE highly valued him. In a letter to Gay, Vol. 8. p. 169. he says, "I have just received the news of the death of a friend, whom I esteemed almoft as many years as you; poor Fenton. He died at Eaft-hamftead, of indolence and inactivity; let it not be your fate, but use exercise." Craggs, who had never received a learned education, had fome time before commiffioned POPE to find out for him fome polite scholar, whom he propofed to take into his family, that he might acquire a taste of literature, by the converfation and inftruction of the perfon POPE fhould recommend. He accordingly chofe Fenton; but Craggs died unluckily for the execution of this scheme. Mr. Craggs had the candor to make no objection to Fenton, tho he was a nonjuror; being, I prefume, convinced he was honest as well as learned.


fome pieces worthy notice; particularly, his Epiftle to Southerne; the Fair Nun, imitated from Fontaine; Olivia a Character, and an Ode to Lord Gower, written in the true spirit of Lyric poetry, of which the following allegory is an example:

Enamour'd of the SEINE, celeftial fair,

The blooming pride of Thetis azure train,
Bacchus, to win the nymph who caus'd his care,
Lafh'd his fwift tigers to the celtic plain;
There fecret in her faphire cell,

He with the Nais wont to dwell,

Leaving the nectar'd feasts of Jove;
And where her mazy waters flow,

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His tragedy of Mariamne has merit, tho the diction be too figurative and ornamental; it does indeed fuperabound in the richest poetic images: except this may be palliated by urging, that it fuits the characters of oriental

heroes, to talk in so high a ftrain, and to use fuch a luxuriance of metaphors.


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FROM this EPISTLE of Sapphc, I may take occafion to obferve, that this fpecies of writing, beautiful as it is, has not been much cultivated among us. Drayton, no despicable genius, attempted to revive it, and has left us fome good fubjects, tho' not very artfully handled*. We have also a few of this fort of epiftles by the late Lord Hervey, in the fourth volume of Dodfley's Mifcellanies,+ Flora to Pompey, Arifbe to Marius, and Monimia to Philocles, in which last are some pathetic ftrokes, and Roxana to Ufbeck, taken from the incomparable ‡ letters of the late prefident Montefquieu; a fine § original work,


*The best of his ENGLAND'S HEROICAL EPISTLES, are King John to Matilda, Elinor Cobham to Duke Humphry, William De Le Poole to Queen Margaret; Jane Shore to Edward IV, Lord Surrey to Geraldine, and Lady Jane Grey to Lord Gilford Dudley. In his BARON'S WARS, there are many ftrokes not unworthy of Spenfer; and his Nymphidia must be allowed to be a perfect pattern of paftoral elegance. Lettres Perfans. A Geneve. 1716.

+ Page 90. & feq.

Lady Wortley Montague, who refided fo long at Conftantinople, faid, "One would have thought the Baron de Montefqieu had been born and bred a Turk, he has defcribed that people, and the women, particularly, fo very accu


in which the customs and manners of the Perfians are painted with the utmost truth and liveliness, and which have been faintly imitated by the Jewish, Chinese, and other Letters. The beauty of this writer, is his expreffive brevity; which Lord Hervey has lengthened to a degree that is unnatural; especially, as Roxana is supposed to write just after she has swallowed a deadly poison, and during it's violent operations. I have lately seen several pieces of this fpecies, which as the fubjects are striking, will, I hope, one day fee the light. They are entitled, "TASSO to LEONORA; written in an interval of his madnefs: LUCAN to NERO ; just after he was condemned to death: Lady OLIVIA to CLEMENTINA, on her refusing to marry Grandifon: CHARLES V. from the monastery he retired to, to the King of France: GALGACUS, general of the Britons,

rately."—" I had rather have written the short history of the Troglodites, confifting only of ten pages, than the admirable, the immortal hiftory of Thuanus in ten great volumes." MES PENSEES. ccxlv.

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to AGRICOLA that commanded the Romans: MONTEZUMA to CORTEZ: VITIKINDA, the general of the Saxons, to CHARLEMAYNE: and ROSMUNDA to ALBOINUS, King of the Lombards."

BUT of all ftories, ancient or modern, there is not perhaps a more proper one to furnish out an elegiac epiftle, than that of ELOISA and ABELARD. Their diftreffes were of a moft SINGULAR and PECULIAR kind ; and their names fufficiently known, but not grown trite or common, by too frequent ufage. POPE was a moft excellent IMPROVER, if no great original INVENTOR; for, as we have seen what an elegant fuperftructure he has raised on the little dialogues of the Comte de Gabalis, fo fhall we perceive, in the sequel of this Section, how finely he has worked up the hints of diftrefs, that are scattered up and down in Abelard's and Eloifa's Letters; and, in a little French * hiftory of their lives and

*Printed at the Hague, 1693.


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