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Name a new Play, and he's the Poet's friend,
Nay fhow'd his faults-but when would Poets mend?
No place fo facred from fuch fops is 'barr'd,
Nor is Paul's church more fafe than Paul's church-yard:
Nay, fly to Altars; there they'll talk you dead;
For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks,
It ftill looks home, and fhort excurfions makes:
But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks,
And, never shock'd, and never turn'd aside,
Bursts out, refistless, with a thundering tide.
But where's the man, who counsel can beftow,
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbiafs'd, or by favour, or by spite;
Not dully prepoffefs'd, nor blindly right;
Though learn'd, well-bred; and though well-bred,
Modeftly bold, and humanly fevere:
Who to a friend his faults can freely show,
And gladly praise the merit of a foe?
Bleft with a taste exact, yet unconfin'd;
A knowledge both of books and human kind;
Ver. 623. Between this and ver. 624.
In vain you fhrug and fweat, and strive to fly:
These know no Manners but of Poetry.
They'll stop a hungry Chaplain in his grace,
To treat of Unities of time and place.
Ver. 624. Nay run to Altars, &c.
Ver. 634. Not dully prepoffefs'd, or blindly right.
Generous converfe; a foul exempt from pride;
And love to praise, with reafon on his fide?
Such once were Critics; fuch the happy few,
Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore,
Spread all his fails, and durft the deeps explore;
He fteer'd fecurely, and discover'd far,
Led by the Light of the Mæonian Star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of savage liberty,
Receiv'd his laws; and stood convinc'd 'twas fit,
Who conquer'd Nature, should prefide o'er Wit.
Horace still charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into sense,
Will, like a friend, familiarly convey
The trueft notions in the easiest way.
Between ver. 646 and 649, I found the following lines,
fince fuppreffed by the Author :
That bold Columbus of the realms of wit,
Whofe first discovery's not exceeded yet,
Led by the Light of the Mæonian Star,
He fteer'd fecurely, and discover'd far.
He, when all Nature was fubdued before,
Like his great Pupil, figh'd, and long'd for more:
Fancy's wild regions yet unvanquish'd lay,
A boundless empire, and that own'd no fway.
After ver. 648. the first edition reads,
Not only Nature did his laws obey,
But Fancy's boundless empire own'd his fway.
Ver. 655. Does, like a friend, &c.
Ver. 655, 656. These lines are not in ed. 1.
He, who fupreme in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly cenfure, as he boldly writ,
Yet judg'd with coolness, though he fung with fire;-
His precepts teach but what his works inspire.
Our Critics take a contrary extreme,
They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm :
Nor fuffers Horace more in wrong Translations
By Wits, than Critics in as wrong Quotations.
See Dionyfius Homer's thoughts refine,
And call new beauties forth from every line!
Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,
The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease.
In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find
The jufteft rules and clearest method join'd:
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang'd in order, and difpos'd with grace,
But lefs to please the eye, than arm the hand,
Still fit for use, and ready at command.
Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine inspire,
And bless their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, who, zealous in his trust,
With warmth gives fentence, yet is always juft;
Ver. 668. The scholar's learning, and the courtier's ease.
Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,
But to be found, when need requires, with ease.
The Mufes fure Longinus did infpire,
And blefs'd their Critic with a Poet's fire.
An ardent Judge, that zealous, &c.
Whofe own example ftrengthens all his laws;
And is himself that great Sublime he draws.
Thus long fucceeding Critics juftly reign'd,
Licenfe reprefs'd, and useful laws ordain'd.
Learning and Rome alike in empire grew;
And Arts still follow'd where her Eagles flew;
From the fame foes, at last, both felt their doom,
And the fame age faw Learning fall, and Rome.
With Tyranny, then Superftition join'd,
As that the body, this enflav'd the mind;
Much was believ'd, but little understood,
And to be dull was conftrued to be good;
A fecond deluge Learning thus o'er-ran,
And the Monks finish'd what the Goths began.
At length Erasmus, that great injur'd name,
(The glory of the Priesthood, and the shame!)
Stem'd the wild torrent of a barbarous age,
And drove those holy Vandals off the stage.
But fee! each Mufe, in Leo's golden days,
Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays,
Rome's ancient Genius, o'er its ruins spread,
Shakes off the duft, and rears his reverend head.
Then Sculpture and her fifter-arts revive;
Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live;
Ver. 689. All was believ'd, but nothing understood. Between ver. 690 and 691. the Author omitted these
Vain Wits and Critics were no more allow'd,
When none but Saints had license to be proud.
With fweeter notes each rifing Temple rung;
A Raphael painted, and a Vida fung.
Immortal Vida: on whofe honour'd brow
The Poet's bays and Critic's ivy grow:
Cremona now fhall ever boaft thy name,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!
But foon, by impious arms from Latium chac'd, Their ancient bounds the banish'd Muses pass'd; 710 Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance, But Critic-learning flourish'd moft in France: The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys;
And Boileau ftill in right of Horace sways.
But we, brave Britons, foreign laws defpis'd,
And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd;
Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
We still defy'd the Romans, as of old.
Yet fome there were, among the founder few
Of those who lefs prefum'd, and better knew,
Who durft affert the juster ancient cause,
And here reftor'd Wit's fundamental laws.
Such was the Muse, whose rules and practice tell,
"Nature's chief Mafter-piece is writing well."
Such was Rofcommon, not more learn'd than good,
With manners generous as his noble blood;
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And every author's merit but his own.
Such late was Walsh-the Muse's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend;
Ver. 723, 724. These lines are not in ed. 1.