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Great Wits sometimes may gloriously cffend,
And rise to faults true Critics dare not mendi
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art, 155
Which, without passing thro' the judgment, gains
The heart, and all its end at once attains.
In prospects thus, fome objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rise,
The Mapeless rock, or hanging precipice. 163
But tho' the Ancients thus their rules invade,
(As Kings dispense with laws themselves have made)
Moderns, beware! or if you must offend
Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end;
Let it be feldom, and compeli'd by need: 163
And have, at Icalt, their precedent to plead.
The Critic clle proceeds without remorse,
Seizes your fame, and puts

his laws in force.
I know there are, to whose presumptuous thoughts
Those freer beauties, ev'n in them, seemn faults. 170
Some figures monstrous and mis. Shap'd appear,
Con der'd fingly, or beheld too near,
Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place,
Due disance reconciles to form and grace.
- prudent chief not always mun diplay

175 Jis şcor, in qual raaks, and fair aray, But with th' occasion and the place comply, Conceal his force, nay feem fometimes to Ay. Those oft are stratagems which errors seem,

180 Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.

VER. 175. A prudent chief, etc.] Olby To 770 zsin oi tegórigent seta 1ηλάται και τας τάξεις των τράλευμάτων - Dion. Hal. De fru7.

orat.

Ver. 180. Nor is it Homer nads, but we that drcam. "Modeste, " et circumspecto judicio de tangis viris pronunciandum eft, ne “ (quod plerisque accidit) damnent quod non intelligunt. Ac si " neceffe eft in alteram errare partein, omnia eorum legentibus. " placere, quam multa dilul.cere maluerim." Quinta

186

Still green with bays each ancient Altar ftands, Above the reach of facrilegious hands; Secure from Flames, from Envy's fiercer rage, Destructive War, and all involving Age. See from each clime the learn'd their incense bring! Hear, in all tongues consenting Pæans ring! In praise fo just let ev'ry voice be join'd, And fill the gen'ral chorus of mankind. Hail, Bards triumphant! born in happier days; Immortal heirs of universal praise!

190 Whole honours with increase of ages grow, As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow; Nations unborn your mighty names fall sound, And worlds applaud that must not yet be found! O may some fpark of your celeftial fire,

195 The last, the meanest of your sons inspire, (That on weak wings, from far, pursues your Aights;. Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes) To teach vain wits a science little known, T'admire fuperior sense, and doubt their own!

Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,

205 :
She gives in large recruits of needless Pride!
For as in bodies, thus in fouls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, swellid with wind :
VER. 183. Secure from Alames, from envy's fiercer rage,

Destructive war, and all-involving age.] The Poet here alludes to the four great cau.cs of the, ravage amongst ancient? writings : The destruction of the Alexandrine and Palatine libra ries by fire; the fiercer rage of Zoilus and Mavius and their followers againt Wit; the irruption of the Barbarians into the empire; and the long reign of Ignorance and Superstition in the : chifterso

200

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220

Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right reason drives that cloud away.
Truth breaks upon us with sefistless day.
Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend--and ev'ry foe.
A little learning is a dang’rous thing!

215
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
Whiie from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advancd, behold with strange surprise
New diftant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps we try, 225
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last:
But, those attain 'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way, 250
Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise !

A perfect judge will read each work of Wit
With the same spirit that its author writ:

VER.233. A perfe&t judge, etc.] “ Diligenter legendum est ac

päne ad scribendi follicitudinem : Nec per partes inodo fcrutan“ da funt omnia, sed perlectus liber utique ex integro resumendus." Quint.

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VER. 225.

So pleas'd at first the tow'ring Alps to try,
Fili'd with ideas of fair Italy,
The Traveller beholds with chearful eyes
The less'ning vales, and seems to tread the kies.

Survey the wholė, nor seek flight faults to find 23;
Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
Nor lose, for that malignant dull delight,
The gen'rous pleasure to be charm'd with wit.
But in such lays as neither ebb nor flow,
Correctly cold, and regularly low,

24 That shunning faults, one quiet tenor keep; We cannot blame indeed-but we may sleep. In wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts Is not th’ exactness of peculiar parts ; 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call,

245 But the joint force and full result of all. Thus when we view some well proportion 'd dome, (The world's just wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!) No fingle parts unequally surprise, All comes united to th' admiring eyes ;

250 No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear; The Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. In ev'ry work regard the writer's end,

235 Since none can compass more than they intend; And if the means' be just, the conduct true, Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due. As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit, T'avoid great errors, must the less commit: 260 Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays, For not to know some trifles, is a praise.

VER. 235. Survey the wbole, nor feek Nigkı faults to find,

Wbere nature moves, and rapture warms í be mird;} The second line, in apologizing for those faults which the firs lavs should be overlooked, gives the reason of the precept. For when a writer's attention is fixed on a general View of Nature, and his imagination warmed with the contemplation of great ideas, it can hardly be but that there muft be small irregularities in the difpofition: both of matter and style, because the avoiding these requires a coolness of recollection, which a writer so bufied is no: mafer of..

26;

Most Critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one lov'd folly sacrifice.
Once on a time, La Manchi's Knight, they fay,
A certain Bard encount'ring on the way,
Discours'd in terms as juft, with looks as sage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian ftage; 270
Concluding all were desp'rate fots and fools,
Who durft depart from Aristotle's rules.
Our Author happy in a judge so nice,
Produc'd his play, and begg'd the Knight's advice:
Made him observe the subject, and the plot.

276 The manners, passions, unities ; what not? All which, exact to rule, were brought about, Were but a combat in the lifts left out. " What! leave the combat out?” exclaims the Knight. Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite.

280 “ Not so by heav'n, (he answers in a rage) “ Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the flage." So vast a throng the fage can ne'er contain. “ Then build a new, or act it in a plain.” Thus Critics, of less judgment than caprice,

285 Curious, not knowing, not exact but nice,

VER. 285. Thus Critics of less judgment than caprice,

Curicus, not knowing, not exact but nice.] In the e two lines the Poet finely describes the way in which bad writers are wont to invitate the qualities of good ones. As true Judgment generally draws men out of popular opinions, so te who cannot get from the croud by the assistance of this guide, willingly follows Caprice, which will be sure to lead him into fingularities. Again, true Knowledge is the art of treasuring up only that which, from its ute in life, is worthy of being lodged in the memory. But Curiosity confifts in a vaia attention to every thing out of the way, and which, for its ufelellness, the world least regards. Lastly, Exadi. nefs is ihe juft proportion of parts to one another, and their harmo.. ny in the whole : but he who has not extent of capacity for the 'exercise of this quality, contents himself with Nicety, wbich is a bfying one's self about points and syllables,

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