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most high and perfect form in which genius appears; as a chemist would not, I imagine, display the specific gravity of gold from that which is beat out to an inconceivable thinness and exility for gilding, but from a solid mass of that metal.

If we examine therefore the conduct of such men as all the world allows to have been endued with superlative genius, we shall perceiye that, so far from being universally curst with inattention to ceconomy, we shall perhaps not find one example of want of that virtue among them. Of Homer we know nothing certain ; and to build arguments upon fable is to write on sand. Pindar, tho extravagance itself in his writings, yet was prudent enough to acquire great wealth by the sale of them; and, what is more, to keep that wealth and use it with discretion. A French writer has wittily put it as the strongest proof of Pindar's genius, that he sold his writings well to those who could not understand a line of them.

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Pindare

Pindare etoit homme d'esprit,
En faut il d'autres temoignages?
Profond dans tout ce qu'il ecrit;
Pindare etoit homme d'esprit :
A qui. jamais rien n'y comprit
Il fut bien vendre ses ouvrages;
Pindare etoit homme d'esprit,

En faut il d'autres temoignages?
Anacreon's luxury, the ancients agree, lay
more in his writings than in his life. In short,
of all the Greek poets I remember none who
is branded with extravagance ; much less any
of their historiaus or philosophers.

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Among the Romans, with whom it may be questioned if literary or scientific genius ever existed, as I remember few writers in the Latin tongue who are original, or who, in other words, had a superlative genius; yet we shall find that their ingenious men, if you will, laboured under no stain of dissipation. To mention their first-rate writers, Tacitus and others, as men who paid the strictest attention to propriety, were superfluous. Catullus, one of their most licentious poets, was yet no debauchee in his life, if we may judge from his own deposition;

Nam

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Nam castuin effe decet, pium poetam,

Ipsum, versiculos nihil necesse est. A sentence that surely would not have dropt from his pen, did his own manners contradict it; as we may always observe that writers adapt their words to their actions, not their actions to their words.

If we come now to our own country, we shall find that genius has always been attended with oeconomy. Chaucer acquired wealth by his genius, and left it perfect to his heirs : fó did Shakspere. Bacon, it must be confessed, may be urged on the other side of the question; but the dissipation of his wealth was owing to no habit of extravagance on his part; but to his indulgence to his servants, and to absence of mind. Milton, out of his shattered fortune, found means from strict economy to leave a comfortable subsistence to his wife and family. Newton's decency of life is well known. To conclude with Pope, who indeed can only rank with ingenious men, he smalled a considerable fortune; which he used with the stricteft æconomy, and propriety. A conduct which however does not atone for his always mentioning,

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in his poems, poverty as matter of reproach to others, and thus eternally blaspheming the Providence that had made him rich.

This leads me to observe, by the bye, the falsity of another popular opinion, which is, that poetry and poverty are as nearly related in fact, as in sound. ! As poor as a poet' is almost a proverb, and took its rise from the itinerant minstrels, who, in former times, were poets by real profession or by trade. But few seem to know that no bard of classic days has reached us whom we do not know to have · been moderately rich, except Homer; who, for aught certain, may have been a petty king just as likely as a beggar : and that modern times afford no real poets who were poor, except Spenser and Tafso. Even with regard to the first of these, we have no proof; and the po: verty of the latter was that of a man of high birth, not of a 'mendicant.

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LETTER LETTER XV.

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DO not wonder that. your search after

Bishop Hall's Satires has failed of success for perhaps there are few books in the language which are more uncommon. After reading that Pope, upon their being shewn him, when he was far advanced in life, expressed great applause of them; and much regret that he had not chanced to see them fooner ; I do not wonder at your eagerness on this head: which in some measure to gratify, I send

you extracts of his most shining passages.

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The work opens with a kind of poetical preface, called A Defiance to Envy: the three first lines of which are much in the spirit of our author's great cotemporary, Shakspere.

Nay let the prouder pines of Ida feare
The sudden fires of heaven, and decline
Their yielding tops, that dared the ikies whilere.

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