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Thus pencils can by one slight touch restore
Smiles to that changed face that wept before.
With ease suoh fond chimäras we pursue,
As fancy frames for fancy to subdue :
But, when ourselves to action we betake,
It shuns the mint like gold that chymists make.
How hard was then his task., at once to be
What in the body natural we see!
Man's Architect distinctly did ordain
The charge of muscles, nerves, and of the brain,
Through viewless conduits spirits to dispense
The springs of motion from the seat of sense.
'Twas not the hasty product of a day,
But the well-ripen'd fruit of wise delay,
He, like a patient angler, ere he strooks,
Would let them play a-while upon the hook,
Our healthful food the stomach labours thus,
At first embracing what it straight doth crush.
Wise leaches will not vain receipts obtrude,
While growing pains pronounce the humours crude s
Deaf to complaints, they wait upon the ill,

Till some safe crisis authorize their skill. He bad not yet learned, indeed he never learned well, to forbear the improper use of mythology. After having rewarded the heathen deities for their care,

With Alga who the sacred altar strows ?
To all the sea-gods Charles an offering owes ;
A bull to thee, Portunus, shall be slain ;

A ram to you, ye Tempests of the Main.
He tells us, in the language of religion,

Prayer storm’d the skies, and ravish'd Charles from therice,

As heaven iiself, is took by violence. And afterwards mentions one of the most awful passages of Sacred History. Other conceits there are, too curious to be quite omitted ; as,

For by example most we sinn'd before,

And, glass-like, clearness mix'd with frailty bore. How far he was yet from thinking it necessary to found his sentiments on natare, appears from the extravagance of his fictions and hyperboles.

The winds, that never moderation knew,
Afraid to blow too much, too faintly blew ;
Or out of breath with joy, could not enlarge
Theit straiten'd lurgs.




It is no longer motion cheats your view;
As you meet it, the land approacheth you ;
The lands returns, and in the white it wears

The marks of penitence, and sorrow bears.
I know not whether this fancy, however little be its value, was not borrowed.
A French poet read to Malherbe some verses, in which he represents France
as moving out of its place to receive the king. “ Though this,” said Malherbe,

was in my time, I do not remember it.”

His poem on the Coronation has a more even tenour of thought. Some lines deserve to be quoted.

You have already quench'd sedition's brand ;
And zeal, that burnt it, only warms the land:
The jealous sects that durst not trust their cause
So far from their own will as to the laws,
Him for their umpire, and their synod cake,

And their appeal alone to Cæsar make. Here may be found one particle of that old versification, of which, I believe, in all his works, there is not another :

Nor is it duty, or our hope alone,

Creates that joy, but full fruition. In the verses to the lord chancellor Clarendon, two years afterwards, is a conceit so hopeless at the first view, that few would have attempted it; and so successfully laboured, that though at last it gives the reader more perplexity than pleasure, and seems hardly worth the study that it cost, yet it must be valued as a proof of a mind at once subtle and comprehensive : '

In open prospect nothing bounds our eye,
Until the earth seems join'd unto the sky:
So in this hemisphere our utmost view
Is only bounded by our king and you :
Our sight is limited where you are join'd,
And beyond that no farther heaven can find.
So well your virtues do with his agree,
That, though your orbs of different greatness be,
Yet both are for each other's use dispos’d,
His to enclose, and yours to be enclos'd,
Nor could another in your room have been,

Except an emptiness had come between. The comparison of the Chancellor to the Indies leaves all 1csemblar.ce too far behind it:

And as the Indies were not found before
Those rich_perfumes which from the happy shore
The winds upon their balmy wings convey'd,
Whose guilty sweetness first their world betray'd;


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So by your counsels we are brought to view

A new and undiscover'd world in you. There is another comparison, for there is little else in the poem, of wbich, though perhaps it cannot be explained into plain prosaick meaning, the mind perceives enough to be delighted, and readily forgives its obscurity, for its magnificence :

How strangely active are the arts of peace,
Whose restless motions less than wars do cease!
Peace is not freed from labour, bụt from noise;
And war more force, but not more pains employs.
Such is the mighty swiftness of your mind,
That, like the earth's, it leaves our sense behind;
While you so smoothly turn and rowl our sphere,
That rapid motion does but rest appear.
For as in nature's swiftness, with the throng
Of Aying orbs while ours is borne along,
All seems at rest to the deluded eye,
Mov'd by the soul of the same harmony :
So carry'd on by your unwearied care,

We rest in peace, and yet in motion share. To this succeed four lines, which perhaps afford Dryden's first attempt at those penetrating remarks on human nature, for which he seems to have been peculiarly formed:

Let envy then those crimes within you see,
From which the happy never must be free;
Envy that does with misery reside,

The joy and the revenge of ruin'd pride. Into this poem he seems to have collected all his powers; and after this he did not often bring upon his anvil such stubborn and unmalleable thoughts ; but, as a specimen of his abilities to unite the most unsociable matter, he has concluded with lines, of which I think not myself obliged to tell the meaning:

Yet unimpair'd with labours, or with time,
Your age but seems to a new youth to climb.
Thus heavenly bodies do our time beget,
And measure change, but share no part of it:
And still it shall without a weight increase,
Like this new year whose motions never cease.
For since the glorious course you have begun
Is led by Charles, as that is by the sun,
It must both weightless and immortal prove,

Because the centre of it is above. In the Annus Mirabilis he returned to the quatrain, which from that time he fotally quitted, perhaps from this experience of its inconvenience, for he complains of its difficulty. This is one of his greatest attempts. He had subjects equal to his abilities, a great naval war, and the Fire of London.


Battles have always been described in heroick poetry; but a sea-fight and artillery had yet something of novelty. New arts are long in the world before poets describe them; for they borrow every thing from their predecessors, and commonly derive very little from nature or from life. Boileau was the first French writer that had ever hazarded in verse the mention of modern war, or the effects of gunpowder. We, who are less afraid of novelty, had already possession of those dreadful images. Waller had described a sea-fight. Milton had not yet transferred the invention of fire-arms to the rebellious angels.

This poem is written with great diligence, yet does not fully answer the expectation raised by such subjects and such a writer. With the stanza of Davenant he has sometimes his vein of parenthesis, and incidental disquisition, and stops his narrative for a wise remark,

The general fault is, that he affords more sentiment than description, and does not so much impress scenes upon the fancy, as deduce consequences and make comparisons.

The initial stanzas have rather too much resemblance to the first lines of Waller's poem on the war with Spain ; perhaps such a beginning is natural, and could not be avoided without affectation. Both Waller and Dryden might take their hint from the poem on the civil war of Rome, “ Orbem jam to“tum," &c. Of the king collecting his navy, he says,

It seems as every ship their sovereign knows,

His awful summons they so soon obey ;
So hear the scaly herds when Proteus blows,

And so to pastúre follow through the sea. It would not be hard to believe that Dryden had written the two first lines seriously, and that some wag had added the two latter in burlesque. Who would expect the lines that immediately follow, which are indeed perhaps indecently hyperbolical, but certainly in a mode totally different ?

so see this fleet upon the ocean move,

Angels drew wide the curtains of the skies;
And heaven, as if there wanted lights above,

For tapers inade two glaring comets rise. The description of the attempt at Bergen will afford a very compleat specimen of the descriptions in this poem :

And now approach'd their fleet from India, fraught

With all the riches of the rising sun :
And precious sand from southern climates brought,

The fatal regions where the war begun.
Like hunted castors, conscious of their store,

Their way-laid wealth to Norway's coast they bring i
Then first the North's cold bosom spices bore,

And winter broaded on the eastern spring.


By the rich scent we found our perfum'd prey,

Which, flank'd with rocks, did close in covert lie;
And round about their murdering cannon lay,

At once to threaten and invite the
Fiercer than cannon, and than rocks more hard,

The English undertake th' unequal war:
Seven ships alone, by which the port is barr'd,

Besiege the Indies, and all Denmark dare.
These fight like husbands, but like lovers those :

These fain would keep, and those more fain enjoy :
And to such height their frantic passion grows,

That what both love, both hazard to destroy:
Amidst whole heaps of spices lights a ball,

And now their odours arm'd against them ily:
Some preciously by shatter'd porcelain fall,

And some by aromatic splinters die :
And, though by tempests of the prize bereft,

In heaven's inclemency some ease we find :
Our foes we vanquish'd by our valour left,

And only yielded to the seas and wind. In this mannes is the sublime too often mingled with the ridiculous. The Dutch seek a shelter for a wealthy facet: this surely needed no illustration ; yet they must fly, not like all the rest of mankind on the same occasion, but“ like hunted castors ;" and they might with strict propriety be hunted; for we winded them by our noses—Their perfumes betrayed them. The Husband and the Lover, though of more dignity than the Castor, are images 100 domestick to mingle properly with the horrors of war. The two quatrains that follow are worthy of the author.

The account of the different sensations with which the two feets' retired, when the night parted them, is one of the fairest flowers of English poetry.

The night comes on, we eager to pursue

The combat still, and they asham'd to leave :
'Till the last streaks of dying day withdrew,

And doubtful moon-light did our rage deceive.
In th' English fleet each ship resounds with joy,

And loud applause of their great leader's fame :
In firey dreams the Dutch they still destroy,

And, slumbering, smile at the imagin'd flame.
Not so the Holland fleet, who, tir'd and done,

Stretch'd on their decks like weary oxen lie ;
Faint sweats all down their mighty members run,
(Vast bulks, which little sou ls but ill supply)


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