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WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE.
'N these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces fhine,
And all the Writer lives in ev'ry line;
His eafy Art may happy Nature feem,
Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate,
VER. 1. In thefe gay] The works of Voiture, after having been idolized in France, are now justly funk into neglect and oblivion. WARTON.
VER. 13. As fmiling Infants, &c.] There is a beautiful paffage of this fort in Temple's Effays:-" After all, life is like a froward child, that must be trifled with, and played with, till it falls asleep, and then the care is over."
Ev'n rival Wits did Voiture's death deplore,
And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before;
Let the strict life of graver mortals be
And, if it can, at once both please and preach.
Have Humour, Wit, a native Ease and Grace,
VER. 19. The Smiles] Alluding to an elegant epitaph on
"Etrufca Veneres, Camœnæ Iberæ,
Hermes Gallicus, et Latina Siren;
Rifus, Deliciæ, et Dicacitates,
Quo Vecturius hoc jacent fepulcro."
Many curious particulars of his life may be found in the enter taining Mifcellanies of Vigneul Marville, vol. ii. p. 409.
Corneille was invited to read his Polyeucte at the Hotel de Rambouillet, where the wits of that time affembled, and where Voiture prefided. It was coldly received; and Voiture was fent to tell Corneille in gentle terms, that it was the opinion of his friends that Polyeucte would not fucceed. Such judges were the most fashionable wits of France! WARTON.
VER. 19. The Smiles and Loves, &c.] This is a poor conceit and unworthy of Pope; it is more like Cowley, Marvel, and Waller.
Too much your Sex is by their forms confin'd, Severe to all, but most to Womankind;
Custom, grown blind with Age, must be your guide;
Your pleasure is a vice, but not your pride;
By Nature yielding, stubborn but for fame;
But fets up one, a greater in their place :
But the last Tyrant ever proves the worst.
Whole years neglected, for fome months ador'd,
The Gods, to curfe Pamela with her pray'rs,
She glares in Balls, front Boxes, and the Ring,
She fighs, and is no Duchefs at her heart.
But, Madam, if the fates withstand, and you Are deftin'd Hymen's willing Victim too;
Trust not too much your now refistless charms,
Still makes new conquefts, and maintains the past;
Our hearts may bear its flender chain a day;
Thus Voiture's early care ftill fhone the fame, And Monthaufier was only chang'd in name: By this, ev'n now they live, ev'n now they charm, Their Wit ftill fparkling, and their flames ftill warm.
Now crown'd with Myrtle, on th' Elyfian coaft, Amid thofe Lovers, joys his gentle Ghost:
Pleas'd, while with fmiles his happy lines you view, And finds a fairer Ramboüillet in you.
VER. 69. Thus Voiture's early care] Mademoiselle Paulet.
VER. 76. And finds a fairer Our author's attachment to this lady ended but with his life. Yet it is faid, fhe gave him many hours of uneafinefs and difquiet. She occafioned an unhappy breach betwixt him and his old friend Allen, because he would not lend his coach to carry her to a mass-house at Bath during his mayoralty.
The characteristical difference betwixt Voiture and Balfac is well expreffed by Boileau, in two letters written under their names, from the Elyfian Fields to the Duc de Vivonne, in p. 155, of vol. iii. of his works. And Boileau, fpeaking often of abfurd
The brightest eyes of France infpir'd his Muse;
And dead, as living, 'tis our Author's pride
Still to charm those who charm the world befide.
furd readers and critics, loved to relate, that one of his relations, to whom he had prefented his works, faid to him, "Pray, Coufin, how came you to infert any other perfon's writings among your own? I find in your works two letters, one from Balfac, and the other from Voiture." Defcartes, who, as well as Leibnitz, was an elegant scholar, wrote a judicious cenfure of Balfac, in admirable Latin. Balfac was, however, fuperior to Voiture. But he was affectedly turgid, pompous, and bloated, on all fubjects and on all occafions alike. Yet was he the first that gave form and harmony to the French profe, which was fill improved by the provincial letters of Pafcal,