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ciad of Pope, whose opinions he followed as far as they respected the merits of the dunces whom Pope libelled.
For his Essay on Painting, he pleads that it was written at intervals, upon such remarks as casually occurred in his reading, and is therefore deficient in connection. He adds that he had finished the whole before he saw Du Fresnoy, which may readily be believed. He discovers, however, a very correct notion of an art which was not at that time much studied in this country, and has laid down many precepts which, if insufficient to form a good painter, will at least prevent his falling into gross improprieties. So much knowledge of the art, and acquaintance with the works of the most eminent painters, argues a taste sur. prising at his carly age. He had some turn for drawing, and made several sketches when abroad, which were afterwards engraved as head pieces for the poems in the Amaranth. In this Essay, he delights in images, which although in general plcasing and just, are perhaps too frequently, and as it were periodically introduced. With all his admiration of Pope, he was not less attached to Dryden as a model, and if he has less harmony than Pope, has at the same time less monotony.
His translations are faithful and not inelegant. His acquaintance with the classics was very intimate, and he has decorated his Essays on Husbandry with a profusion of apt illustrations.
The Soliloquy occasioned by the chirping of a Grasshopper is tender and playful, but his other small pieces are not entitled to particular notice.
The Amaranth was written, as he informs us " for his private consolation under a lingering and dangerous state of health.” There is something so amiable, and we may add so heroic in this, that it is impossible not to make every allowance for defects ; but this collection of poems does not upon the whole stand so much in need of indulgence as may be expected. Some of them were sketched when he was abroad, and now were revised and prepared, but others may perhaps be the effusions of a man in sickness and pain. Yet there are more animated passages of genuine poetry scattered over this volume than we find in his former works.
The whole of the Amaranth is of the serious cast, such as became the situation of the author. We have, indeed, heard of authors who have sported with unusual glee in their moments of debility and decay, and seemed resolved to meet death with an air of good humour and levity. Such a state of mind, where it does really occur, aod is not affectation, is rather to be wondered at, than envied. It is not the feeling of a rational, and an immortal creature.
In these poems he adopts various measures, according to his subject. The transition from the ode to the heroic, in the Ascetic, he justifies by the example of Cowley, and from the nature of the precepts, which are most suitable to the solemnity of heroic verse. The Ode to Contentment has many splendid passages and the recurrence of “ All, all from Thee, &c.” is particularly graceful. The exclamation of “Bless me,” is, however, a puerility, unworthy of the general strain
of this poem.
In the Vision of Death, he professes to imitate Dryden by the introduction of more triplets and alexandrines than “ he might otherwise have done." But if by this he avoids the perpetual restraint of the couplet, there is too much of visible artifice in the method he takes to relieve himself, This, however, is one of the most
ingenious fables of which immortality is the subject; the figure and habitation of Death, are poetically conceived and expressed, and the address of Death is energe. tic and striking.
The Courtier and Prince is one of the most instructive and interesting fables in our language. Its length will perhaps be objected, but not by those who at. tend to the many scattered beauties of sentiment and imagioation, and whatever opinion may be entertained on the merit of this and his other poems, it ought not to be forgot that in all he prefers po higher claims than
“ The sounds of verse, and voice of Truth.".
Μιμητική [Ποιήσεως] τέχνη και δύναμις εσιν άν. I PANCY the public will be much surprised, ίσροφος τη ζωΓραφία ζωΓραφίαν μεν λέγεσιν ειναι when I say your lordship was the first person | ΦΘΕΓΓΟΜΕΝΗΝ την Ποίησιν, Ποίησιν δε who was pleased to take notice of me. How | ΣΙΓΩΣΑΝ την ζωγραφίαν. little I deserve so much partiality, I leave the
Plutarch. de audiend. Poet. world to judge. Yet thus much I can affirm; I only wish that these poems may livé to posterity, to be a memorial of the gratitude rather than
Poema the genius
Est pictura loquens, mutum pictura poema. of your lordship's most humble, most obliged, and most dutiful servant,
WHATEVER yet in poetry held true,
The means may vary, but the same their end.
Alike from Heav'n, congenial first they came,
The same their labours, and their praise the It will be necessary to inform the reader, that
the author was under nineteen when all these Alike by turns they touch the conscious heart, poems were written.
And each on each reflects the lights of art. I ought here to say a word or two of my Es- You nobler youths who listen to my lays, say on Painting. This performance is by no And scorn by vulgar arts to merit praise : means correct in all its parts ; I had neither Look cautious round, your genius nicely know, health, leisure, for abilities equal to my de- And mark how far its utmost stretch will go; sign. 'Twas written at intervals, upon such Pride, envy, hatred, labour to conceal, remarks as casually occurred in my reading. And sullen prejudice, and party-zeal; Of course no exact connexion must be expect- Approve, examine, and then last believeed: though I might allege, that Horace uses for friends mislead, and critics still deccive. as little in his Art of Poetry. I had finished Who takes his censure, or his praise on trust, the whole, before ever I saw Du Fresnoy; as Is kind, 'tis true, but never can be just. will appear by comparison,
But where's the man with gen'rous zeal in
Blest with a genius strong, 'but unconfin'd, Fach painful stroke disgusts the lively mind;
So uice reformers their own faith betray,
And scbool-divines distinguish sense away. And health, and ease, and undisturb’d desires. To err is mortal, do whate'er we can, Who spares no pains his own defects to know, Some faulty trifles will confess the man. Who not forgives, but ev'n admires a foe; Dim spots suffuse the lamp that gilds the sky, By manners sway'd, which stealing on the heart, If nicely trac'd through Galileo's eye. Charm more through ease, and happiness, than Wisest are they, who each mad whim repress, art.
And shur. gross errours, by committing less. Such Titian was, by nature form'd to please, Still let due decencies preserve your fame, Blest in his fortunes, born to live at ease : Nor must the pencil speak the master's shame. Who felt the poet's, or the painter's fire, Each nobler soul in ev'ry age was giv'n Now dipp'd the pencil, and now tun'd the lyre : To bless mankind, for arts descend from Heav'n. Of gentlest manners in a court refind,
Gods! shall we then their pious use profane, A friend to all, belord of all mankind;
'T' oblige the young, the noble, or the vain! The Muse's glory, as a monarch's care, Whoever meditates some great design, Dear to the gay, the witty, and the fair! Where strength and nature dawn at ev'ry line, But ah! how long will nature ask to give
Where art and fancy full perfection give, A soul like his, and bid a wonder live?
And each bold figure glows, and seems to live: Rarely a Titian, or a Pope appears,
Where lights and shades in sweet disunion play, The forming glory of a thousand years!
Rise by degrees, or by degrees decay ;
And in a landscape open on the sight.
Like Maro first with treinbling hand design And lost in vision travels o'er the sky.
Calm as his thoughts the gentle waters flow : Thé blushing cherry, or the bending flow'r. Hush'd are his cares, extinct are Cupid's fires, Painful, and slow to noble arts we rise,
And restless hopes, and impotent desires. And long long labours wait the glorious prize; But Nature s first must be your darling care ; Yet by degrees your steadier hand shall give Unerring Nature, without labour fair. A bolder grace, and bid each object live. Art from this source derives her true designs, So in the depths of some sequester'd vale, And sober judgment cautiously refines. The weary peasant's heart begins to fail : No look, no posture must mishap'd appear: Slowly he mounts the huge high cliff with pain, Bold be the work, but boldly regular. And prays in thought he might return again : When mercy pleads, let softness melt the eyes; Till opening all at once beneath his eyes, When anger storms, the swelling muscles rise, The verdant trees, and glittering turrets rise : A soft emotion breathes in simple love, He springs, he trinmphs, and like lightning fies. The heart just seems to beat, the eye to move. Ev’n Raphael's self from rude essays began, Gently, ah! gently, Languor seems to die, And shadow'd with a coal his shapeless man. Now drops a tear, and now steals out a sigh. Time was, when Pope for rhymes would knit his Let awful Jove his lifted thunders wield; brow,
Place azure Neptune in the watry field. And write as tasteless lines as I do now. Round smiling Venus draw the faithless boy,
'Tis hard a sprightly fancy to command, Surmise, vain hopes, and short-enduring joy. And give a respite to the lab'ring hand; But should you dress a nympb in monstrous ruff, Hard as our eager passions to restrain, Or saintly nun profane with modish snuff: When priests, and self-denial plead in vain : Each fool will cry, O horridly amiss ! When pleasures tempt, and inclinations draw, The painters mad, mend that, and alter this. When vice is nature, and our will the law. From Heav'n descending, beauteous Nature As vain we strive each trivial fault to hide,
came, That shows but little judgment, and more pride. One clear perfection, one eternal fame, Like some nice prude, offensive to the sight,
accersita, & simplicihus ab ipsâ veritate pro. Exactness gives at best a cold delight; 3
fectis similia. Quintil. Lib. 8. Cap. 3. in Proem. 1 Sit vir talis, qualis verè sapiens appellari * Aptissima sunt in hoc nemora, sylvæque; possit, nec moribus modo perfectus, sed etiam quòd illa cali libertas, locorumque; amanitas scientià, & omni facultate dicendi, qualis for- sublimein aninum, & beatiorem spiritum parent. tasse adhuc nemo fuerit. Quintilian.
Quintilian. 2 Titian was created count Palatine by Charles s Videantur omnia ex Naturâ rerum homiV. and most intimately acquainted with Ariosto,numque fluere-Hoc opus, hic labor est; sine Aretine, &c.
quo, cætera nuda, jejunga, infirma, ingrata. 3 Odiosa cura est-Optima enim sunt minimè Quintil. Lib. 6. cap. 2.
Whose lovely lights on ev'ry object fall
Watchful, and silent move the duteous bands, By due degrees, yet still distinguish all.
One look excites them, and one breath comYet as the best of mortals are sometimes
mands, Not quite exempt from folly or from crimes;
Hail happy Painting ! to confirm thy sway, There are, who think that nature is not free
Ocean, and air their various tributes pay. From some few symptoms of deformity.
The purple insect 9 spreads her wings to thee, Hence springs à doubt, if painters may be Wafts o'er the breeze, or glitters on the tree. To err, who copy nature in a fault, [thought Earth's winding veins unnumberd treasures hold, Led by some servile rule, whose pow'r prevails And the warm champian ripens into gold, On imitation, when th' example fails.
A clearer blue the lazuli bestows, Poets, and painters here employ your skill;
Here umber deepens, there vermillion glows. Be this the doctrine of your good and ill,
For thee, her tender greens, and flourets rise, Enough to pose the critics of a nation,
Whose colours change in ever-mingling dyes; Nice as the rules of Puritan- salvation.
Ev’n those fair groves (for Eden first design'd) Yet if the seeds of art we nicely trace 6;
Weep in soft fragrance through their balmy rind: There dawns a heav'nly, all-inspiring grace, Transparent tears! that glitter as they run, No tongue expresses it, no rule contains;
Warm’d with the blushes of the rising Sun. (The glorious cause unseen) th' effect remains : Here cease my song-a gentler theme inFram'd in the brain, it flows with easy art,
spires Steals on the sense, and wins the yielding heart, Each tender thought, and wakes the lover's fires. A pleasing vigour mixt with boldness charms, Once more your aid celestial Muses bring; And happiness completes what passion warms.
Sacred the lays ! nor to the deaf we sing. Nor is it thought a trifle, to express
In ancient Greece lo there liv'd, unknown to The various shapes, and foldings of the dress 7, A nymph, and Mimicina was her name. [fame, With graceful ease the pencil to command, Smit by a neighb'ring youth betimes she fell And copy nature with a hasty hand.
Victim to love, and bade the world farewell. Through the clear robe the swelling muscles rise, Thoughtful and dull she piu'd her bloom away Or heaving breasts, that decently surprise ; In lonely groves, nor saw the cheerful day. As some coy virgin with dejected mien (seen, This might be borne--but lo! her lovely swain Conceals her charms, yet hopes they may be Must part, ah, never to return again ! Be ev'ry person's proper habit knowns,
One mutual kiss must mutual passion sever, Peculiar to his age, or sex alonc.
One look divide 'em, and divide for ever! In flowing robes the monarch sweeps along,
See, now she lies abandon'd to despair, Large are the foldings, natural, and strong: And to rude winds unbinds her flowing hair: Wide ample lights in spreading glories play, Beauteous neglect ! when melting to her wocs, And bere contrasted, deeper shades decay. A Sylvan maid from her dark grotto rose : The virgin-pow'rs who haunt the silver floods, (Long had she view'd the solitary fair, And hoary hills, and consecrated woods, Her bleeding bosom heav'd with equal care) Soft strokes, and graceful negligence demand, A heav'nly picture in her hand she bore, The nice resultance of an easy hand;
She smil'd, she gave it, and was seen no more Loose to the winds their airy garments fly
Pleas'd Mimicina, speechless with surprise, Like filmy dews, too tender for the eye.
Ey'd the fair form, and lightning of the eyes : But e'er these charms are to perfection wrought, She knew-and sighing gave a tender kiss, Adapted manuals must be nicely sought. Her noble passion was content with this: Gay vivid colours must the draught inspire, No more his absence, or her woes deplord, Now melt with sweetness and now burn with fire. And as the living, she the dead ador'd. A northern sky must aid the steady sight,
Thus Painting rose, to nourish soft desires, Else the shades alter with the transient light. And gentle hopes, and friendship’s purer fires : Methinks the loaded table stands display'd,
Thus still the lover must his nymph adore, Jach nicer vase “in mystic order laid.” And sigh to charms, that ought to charm no Here ocean's mistress heaps around her shells Beauteous, and recent from the sea-green cells; Thus when these eyes, with kind illusions blest, The taper pencils here are rang'd apart,
Survey each grace Parthenia once possest: There chalk, lead, vials, and loose schemes of Her winning sweetness, and attractive ease, art.
And gentle smiles that never fail'd to please; So when bold Churchill with a gen'ral's care Heav'ns! how my fancy kindles at the view, Eyes his brave Britons crowding to the war; And my fond heart relents, and bleeds anew !
Fair faithless virgin! with constraint unkind, • Tradi omnia, quæ ars efficit, non possunt. Misled by duty, and through custom blind :
Quintil. Lib. 8. cap. 10. Perhaps ev'n now, from pride and int'rest free, Vide etiam quæ sequuntur de Pictore.
Thou shar'st each pang of all I felt for thee ; ? Non refert quid facias, sed quo loco. Nam Ah, no--my pray'rs, my tears, my vows resign, ornatus omnis non tam suâ, quam rei cui ad- Alas, 'tis now a crime to call me thine, hibetur, conditione constat.
To act the tender, or the friendly part; Quintil. Lib. 11. cap. 1. No-hate, forget me, tear me from my heart. • Reddere personæ scit convenientia cuique ; 9 The cochineel. Respicere exemplar vitæ morumque, jubebo
ló This story, with several others, is mentionDoctum imitatorem.
ed by most ancient writers. I have chosen it as Horat, de Art. Poet.
the most poetical, VOL. XYS.