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And He, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
Peace to all fuch! but were there One whose fires
Ver. 186. Means not, but blunders round about a meaning :) A ease common both to Poets and Critics of a certain order ; only with this difference, that the Poet writes himself out of his own meaning; and the Critic never gets into another man's. Yet both keep going on, and blundering round about their subject, as benighted people are wont to do, who seek for an entrance which they cannot find. : VER. 189. All these, my modes Satire bad transate,] See their works, in the Translations of classical books by several bands.
VÍR. 190.- nine such Poets, &c.] Alluding, not to the nine Muses, but to nine Taylors.
Ver. 192. And swiar, not ADDISON himself was fafe.] This is an artful preparative for the following transition and finely obviates what might be thought unfavourably of the severity of the satire, by those who were strangers to the provocation.
Damn with faint praise, affent with civil leer,
VARIATIONS. After VER. 28. in MS.
Who, if two Wits on rival themes contest,
Approves of each, but likes the worft the beft. Alluding to Mr. P.'s and Tickell's Translation of the firft Book of the Iliad.
VER. 212. And wonder with a foolifs face of praise--] When men, out of flattery, extol what they are conscious they do not understand, as is sometimes the case of men of education, the fear of praising in the wrong place is likely enough to give a foolish turn to the air of an embarrassed countenance.
VER. 213. Who but must laugh, if fucb a man there be ?] While a Character is unapplied, all the various parts of it will be considered together; and if the assemblage of them be as incoherent as in this before us, it cannot fail of being the object of a malignant pleasantry.
VER. 214. Wbo would not weep, if ATTICUS were be!] But
What tho'my name food rubric on the walls, 215
orange at my fide;
when we come to know it belongs to Aricas, i, e, to one whole more obvious qualities had before gained our love or esteem; then friendship, in spite of ridicule, will make a separation : our old impressions get the better of our new, or, at least, suffer themselves to be no further impaired than by the admision of a mixture of pity and concern.
Ibid. Atticus] It was a great falfhood, which some of the Libels reported, that this Character was written after the Gene tleman's death; which fee refuted in the Teftimonies prefixed to the Dunciad. But the occafion of writing it was such as the would not make public out of regard to his memory: and all that could further be done was to omit the name, in the Edition of his works.
VER. 278. On wings of winds came flying all abrood) Hopkins, in the civih Pfalm.
i Proud as Apollo on his forked hill,
VARIATIONS, After VIR. 234. in the MS.
To Bards reciting he vouchsaf d a nod,
And snuft'd their incense like a gracious god. VIR, 236.—a true Pindar stood without a bead] Ridicules the affectation of Antiquaries, who frequently exhibit the headless Trunks and Terms of Statues, for Plato, Homer, Pindar, &c. Vide Fulv. Urfin. &c.
P. VER. 248.-belp'd to bury] Mr. Dryden, after having liy'd in exigencies, had a magnificent Funeral bestowed upon him by the contribution of several persons of quality. .
May some choice patron bless each gray goose quill! May ev'ry Bavius have his Bufo ftill!
250 So when a Statesman wants a day's defence, Or Envy holds a whole week’s war with Sense, Or simple pride for flatt'ry makes demands, May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands! Bleft be the Great! for those they take away, 255 And those they left me; for they left me Gay; Left me to see neglected Genius bloom, Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb : Of all thy blameless life the sole return My Verse, and Queensb'ry weeping o'er thy urn! 260
Oh let me live my own, and die fo too! (To live and die is all I have to do:) Maintain a Poet's dignity and ease, And see what friends, and read what books I please: Above a Patron, tho' I condescend
265 Sometimes to call a Minister
friend, I was not born for Courts or great affairs ; I pay my debts, believe, and say my pray'rs;
VER. 257. So wben a Statesman &c.] Notwithstanding this ridicule on the public necessities of the Great, our Poet was can. did enough to confess that they are not always to be imputed to them, as their private may. For (when uninfected by the neighbourhood of Party) he speaks of those distresses much more dif. passionately.
Our Ministers like Gladiators live,