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Then unbelieving Priests reform’d the nation,
And taught more pleasant methods of salvation ;
Where Heav'n's free subjects might their right dif-

pute,
Left God himself should seem too absolute :

550
Pulpits their sacred satire learn'd to spare,
And Vice admir'd to find a flatt'rer there !
Encourag'd thus, Wit's Titans brav'd the skies,
And the press groan'd with licens'd blasphemies.
These monsters, Critics! with

your
darts

engage,
Here point your thunder, and exhauft your rage!
Yet fhun their fault, who, scandalously nice,
Will needs mistake an author into vice;
All seems infected that th' infected spy,
As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd eye. 560

Learn then what MORALS Critics ought to show, For 'tis but half a Judge's task, to know. 'Tis not enough, tafte, judgment, learning, join; In all you speak, let truth and candour shine : That not alone what to your sense is due 565 All may allow; but feek your friendship too. Be filent always, when you doubt your sense ; And speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidence: Some positive, persisting fops we know, Who if once wrong, will needs be always fo; 570

VER. 547. The author has omitted two lines which stood here, as containing a National Reflection, which in his stricter judgment he could not but disapprove on any People wbatever.

580

But you, with pleasure own your errors past,
And make each day a Critique on the last.

'Tis not enough your counsel still be true;
Blunt truths more mischief than nice falfhoods do ;
Men must be taught as if you taught them not, 575
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.
Without Good Breeding, truth is disapprov'd ;
That only makes superior fense belov'd.

Be niggards of advice on no pretence :
For the worst avarice is that of sense.
With mean complacence ne'er betray your trust,
Nor be so civil as to prove unjust.
Fear not the anger of the wise to raise ;
Those best can bear reproof, who merit praise.

"Twere well might Critics still this freedom take,
But Appius reddens at each word you speak, 586
And stares, tremendous, with a threat’ning eye,
Like some fierce Tyrant in old tapestry.
Fear moit to tax an Honourable fool,
Whose right it is, uncensur'd, to be dull;

590
Such, without wit, are Poets when they please,
As without learning they can take Degrees.

1

VÆR. 587. And stares tremendous, etc.] This picture was taken to himself by John Dennis, a furious old Critic by profession, who, upon no other provocation, wrote against this Effay and its author, in a manner perfectly lunatic : For, as to the mention made of him in $ 270. he took it as a Compliment, and faid it was treacherously meant to cause him to overlook this Abuse of his Perfon.

Leave dang’rous truths to unsuccessful Satires,
And flattery to fulsome Dedicators,
Whom, when they praise, the World believes no
more,

595
Than when they promise to give scribling o'er.
'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain,
And charitably let the dull be vain :
Your filence there is better than your spite,
For who can rail so long as they can write ? 600
Still humming on, their drouzy course they keep,
And lash'd so long, like tops, are lash'd asleep.
False steps but help them to renew the race,
As, after stumbling, Jades will mend their pace.
What crouds of these, impenitently bold, 605
In sounds and jingling syllables grown old,
Still run on Poets, in a raging vein,
Ev'n to the dregs and squeezings of the brain,
Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense,
And rhyme with all the rage of Impotence. 610
Such shameless Bards we have; and yet 'tis

true,
There are as mad, abandon'd Critics too.
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue ftill edifies his ears,
And always lift’ning to himself appears.
All books he reads, and all he reads assails,
From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales.

615

With him, moft authors steal their works, or buy;
Garth did not write his own Dispensary. 620
Name a new Play, and he's the Poet's friend,
Nay show'd his faults - but when would Poets

mend?
No place so sacred from fuch fops is barr'd,
Nor is Paul's church more safe than Paul's church-

yard : Nay, fy to Altars ; there they'll talk you dead ; 625 For Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread. Distrustful fense with modeft caution speaks, It still looks home, and short excursions makes But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks, And never shock'd, and never turn'd aside,

630 Bursts out, refiftless, with a thund'ring tide.

But where's the man, who counsel can bestow, Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?

Ver, 620. Garth did not write, etc.] A common slander at that time in prejudice of that deserving author. Our Poet did him this justice, when that Nander most prevail d; and it is now (perhaps the sooner for this very verse) dead and forgotten.

Ver. 632. But where's the man, etc.] He answers, That he was to be found in the happier ages of Greece and Rome; in the

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Ver. 624. Between this and 625.

In vain you shrug and sweat, and strive to fly :
Thele know no Manners but of Poetry.
Tlıey'll stop a hungry Chaplain in his grace,
To treat of Unities of time and place.

635

Unbiassd, or by favour, or by spite ;
Not dully prepossess’d, nor blindly right;
Tho' learn'd, well-bred; and tho' well-bred, sincere;
Modestly bold, and humanly severe :
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; 640
A knowledge both of books and human kind;
Gen’rous converse; a soul exempt from pride ;
And love to praise, with reason on his fide ?

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persons of Aristotle and Horace, Dionysius and Petronius, Quin. tilian and Longinus. Whose Characters he has not only exactly drawn, but contrasted them with a peculiar elegance ; the

profound science and logical method of Aristotle being opposed to the plain common sense of Horace, co yed in a natural and familiar negligence; the study and refinement of Dionysius, to the

gay ccurtly ease of Petronius; and the gravity and minuteness of Quino tilian to the vivacity and general topics of Longinus. Nor has the Poet been less careful, in these examples, to point out their eminence in the several critical Virtues he so carefully inculcated in his precepts. Thus in Horace he particularizes his Candour, in Petronius his Good Breeding, in Quintilian bis free and copious Instruction, and in Longinus his great and noble Spirit.-By this question and answer we see, he does not encourage us to search for the true Critic amongst modern writers. And indeed the discovery of him, if it could be made, would be but an invidious business. I will venture no farther than to name the piece of Criticism in which these marks may be found. It is intitled, Q. Hor. Fl. Ars Poetica, et ejusd. Ep. ad Aug. with an English Commentary and Notes.

VER. 643. with REASON on bis side ?] Not only on his fide, but actually exercised in the service of his profession, That

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