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E S SSA Y
SATYRA QUIDEM TOTA NOSTRA EST: IN QUA PRIMUS INSIGNEM
PRINTED FOR M. COOPER, AT THE GLOBE IN PATEr-noster Row,
ERMIT me to break into your retirement, the refidence of virtue
and literature, and to trouble you with a few reflections on the merits and real character of an admired author, and on other collateral fubjects, that will naturally arise. No love of fingularity, no affectation of paradoxical opinions, gave rife to the following work. I revere the memory of POPE, I refpect and honour his abilities; but I do not think him at the head of his profeffion. In other words, in that fpecies of poetry wherein POPE excelled, he is fuperior
to all mankind: and I only fay, that this fpecies of poetry is not the most excellent one of the art. We do not, it fhould feem, fufficiently attend to the difference there is, betwixt a MAN OF
d & w
WIT, a MAN OF SENSE, and a TRUE POET. Donne and Swift, were undoubtedly men of wit, and men of fense: but what traces have they left of PURE POETRY? Fontenelle and La Motte are entitled to the former character; but what can, they urge to gain the latter? Which of these characters is the most valuable and useful, is entirely out of the queftion all I plead for, is, to have their feveral provinces kept diftinct from each other; and to imprefs on the reader, that a clear head, and acute underftanding are not fufficient, alone, to make
make a POET; that the most folid obfervations on human life, expreffed with the utmost elegance and brevity, are MORALITY, and not POETRY; that the EPISTLES of Boileau in RHYME, are no more poetical, than the CHARACTERS of Bruyere in PROSE; and that it is a creative and glowing IMAGINATION, "acer fpiritus ac vis," and that alone, that can stamp a writer with this exalted and very uncommon character, which fo few poffefs, and of which fo few can properly judge.
wift 10 3..
FOR one perfon, who can adequately relish, and enjoy, a work of imagination, twentyrare to be found who can tafte and judge of, obfervations on familiar life, and the manners of the age. The fatires