Imatges de pÓgina



But now we shew the world a nobler way, With how much ease is a young Mufe betray'd!
And in translated verse do :nore than they; How nice the reputation of the maid !
Serene and clear harmonious Horace fows, Your early, kind, paternal care appears,
With sweetness not to be express'd in prose:

By chatte instruction of her tender years. Deg ating prole explains his meaning ill, The first impreífion in her infant breast And thew's the stuf, but not the workman's skill: Will be the deepest, and should be the best. 1 (who have serv'd him more than twenty years) Let nut austerity breed servile fear, Scarce know my master as he there appears. No wanion found offend her virgin car. Vain are our neighbours' hopes, and vain their Secure from foolish pride's affected state, cares;

And specious flattery's more pernicious bait, The fault is more their language's than theirs : Habitual innocence adorns her thoughts; 'Tis courtly, florid, and abounds in words But your neglect must answer for her faults. Of fofter found than ours perhaps affords;

Immodelt words admit of no defence; But who did ever in French authors foc For want of decency is want of sense. The comprehensive English energy?

What mod’rate fop would rake the Park or stews, The weighty bullion of one sterling line, Whoainong troops of faultless nymphs may choose? Drawn to French wire, would thro' whole pages Variety of such is to be found : Thinc.

Take then a subject proper to expound; I speak my private but impartial sense, But moral, great, and worth a pret’s voice, With freedom, and I hope without offence; For men of tente despise a trivial choice : For I'll recant when France can show me wit And such applause it must expect to meet, As strong as ours, and as succin&tly writ. As would so:ne painter busy in a street 'Tis true, composing is a nobler part;

To copy bulls and bears, and ev'ry sign But good translation is no easy art.

That calls the staring sots to nastv wine. For though materials have long since been found, Yet 'tis not all to have a subjeet good, Yet both your fancy and your hands are bound ; It must delight us when 'tis understood. And by improving what was writ before, He that brings fullore objects to my view Invention latours less, but judgment inore. (As many old have done, and many new) The Guil intended for Pierian feeds

With naulious images my fancy fills, Niust be well purg'd from rank pedantic weeds. And all goes down like oxymel of 1quills. Apollo starts, and all Parnassus ihakes,

Instruct ihe list'ning world how Maro sings At the rude rumbling Baralipton makes. Of useful subjects and of lofty things. For none liave been with admiration read, There will such true, such bright ideas raise, But who (beside their learning) were well bred. As merit gratitude as well as praise :

The first great work (a talk peiforin'd by few) But foul descriptions are offensive still,
Is, that yourself inay to yourself be true : Either for being like, or being ill.
No mask, no cricks, no favour, no reserve; For who, without a qualm, hath ever look'd
Direct your mind, examine ev'ry nerve. On holy garbage, though by Homer cook'd?
Whoever rainly on his strength depends, \'nole railing heroes, and ivhole wounded Gods,
Begins like Virgil, but like Mevius ends. Make fome fufpect he fnores as well as nods.
That wretch (in spite of his forgotten rhymes), But I oifend_Virgil begins to frown,
Condemnd to live to all succeeding times, And Horace looks with indignation down;
With pompous nonsene and a bellowing found, My blushing Muse with conicious fear retires,
Sung lofty Ilium tumbling to the ground. And whom they like implicitly admires.
And (if my Mufe can through pait ages fee) On dure foundations let your fabric sise,
That noisy, nautcous, gaping fool was he; And with attractive majesty surprise,
Exploded, when, with universal scorn,

Not by affe&ted meretricious arts,
The mountains labour'd, and a mouse was born. But strict harmo:ious symmetry of parts;

Learn, learn, Crotona's brawny wrestler cries which through the whole infenfibly must pass, Audacious mortals, ani be timely wise!

With vital heat to animate the mass : 'Tis I that call, remember Milo's end,

A pure, an attire, an auspicious flame, [came ; Wedg'd in thu timber which he strove to rend. Anci bright as heaven, from whence the bleiling Each poet with a diff'rent talen: writes; But few, o fyw, fouis pre-ordain'd by tate, One praises, one instructs, another bices. The race of Gods, have reach'd that envied height. Horace didi nc'er aspire to Epic bays,

No rebel Titan's facrilegious crime, Nor lofty Moro stoop to Lyric lays.

By heaping hills on hills, can hither climb: Examine how your humour is inclin'd, The grizly ferryman of hell denied And which the ruling paiiion of your mind; Eneas entrance, till he knew his guide: Then, seek a poet who your way does bend, How justly then will impious mortais fall, And choose an author as choole a friend; Whole pride would foar to heaven without a call ! United by this sympathetic bond,

Pride (of all others the most dang'rous fault) gros familiar, intimate, and fund; Proceeds froin want of lense or want of thou:l. Your thoughts, your words, your styles, your souls | The men who labour a:id digest things most, No longer his interpreter, but be. (agrce, Vill be much apter to despond than boast :



For if your author be profoundly good, | Affected noise is the most wretched thing
'Twill cost you dear before he's understood. That to contempt can empty fcribblers bring.
How many ages since has Virgii writ!

Vowels and accents, regularly plac'd,
How few are they who undertiand him yet! On even fyllables (and fill the last),
Approach his aitars with religious fear, Though gross innumerable faults abound,
No vulgar deity inhabits there :

In spite of nontenie, never fail of found.
Heaven shukes not more at Jove's imperial nod, But this is ineant of even verle alone,
Than pocis ihould before their Mantuan god. As being moit harmonious and most known:
Hail, mighty Maro! may that facred name For if vou will unequal numbers try,
Kindle my breast with thy celestial flame; There accents on odd Tyliablus ruft lie.
Sublime ideas and apt words infuse ; [Muse! Whatever lister of the learned Nine
The Mule inftruet my voice, and thou inipire the Does to your fuit a willing ear incline,

What I have infanc'd only in the best, Urge your fucccts, deterve a lasting name, Is, in proportion, true of all the rest.

She 'll crown a grateful and a constant flame. Take pains the genuine meaning to explore, But if a wild uncertainty prevail, There Tweat, there strain, tug the laborious var; And turn your voering heart with ev'ry gale, Scarch ev'ry cominent that your care can find, You lose the fruit of all your former care Some heie, fome there, may hit the poct's mind; For the fad prospect of a just despair. Yet be not blindly guided by the throng; A quack (too scandaloully mean to name) The multitude is always in the wrong: Had, by man-inidwifery, got wealth and fame : When things appear unnatural or hard, As if Lucina had forgot her trade, Confult your author, with himnlelf compar’d; The labouring wife invokes bis furer aid. Who knows what blelling Phoebus may befow, Well-Seaton'l bowls the gotlip's spirits raise, And future ages to your labour owe?

Who, while fno guzzles, chats the doctor's praise; Such secrets are not eatily found out;

And largely what she wants in words supplies, But, once discover'd, leave no room for doubt. With maudlin-eloquence of trickli g eyes. Truth stamps conviction in your ravish'd breast, But what a thoughtless animal is man! And peace and joy attend the glorious guest. How very active in his own trepan!

Truth still is oje; truth is divinely bright; For, greedy of physicians' frequent fees, No cloudy doubts obscure her native light; From female mellow praise he takes degrees; While in your thoughts you find the least debate, Struts in a new unlicens'd gown, and ihen, You may confound, but never can translate. From saving women, falls to killing men. Your style will this through all disguises thew, Another such had left the nation thin, For none explain more clearly than they know. In spite of all the children he brought in. He only proves he understands a text,

His pills as thick as hand-granadoes flew; Whofe exposition leaves it unperplex'd. And where they fell, as certainly they New; They who too faithfully on names indist, His name ttruck every where as great a damp Rather create than diffipate thic mist;

As Archimedes' through thc Roman camp. And grow unjust by being over-nice

With this, the doctor's pride began to cool; (For luperstitious virtue turns to vice). For smarting foundly may convince a fool. Let Cralus' ghost and Labienus tell

But now repentance came too latc for grace; How twice in Parthian plains their legions fell : And meagre famine star'd him ir the face: Since Rome hath been lo jealous of her fame, Fain would be to the wives be reconcil'd, That few know Pacorus' or Mona:scs' name. Bue found no husband left to own a child.

Words in one language clegantly us’d, The friends that got the brats were peiton'd too ; Will hardly in another be excus'd.

In this fad calc, what could our vernin do? And some that Rome admir'd in Cæsar's time, Worried with debts, and pait all hope of bail, May neither fuit our genius nor our clime. Tl'unpiticd wretch lies rotting in a jail : The genuine fense, intelligibly toid,

And there, with basket-alıns scarce kept alive, Shows a translator Loth discreet and bold. Shews how misaken talents ought to thrive. Excursions are inexpiably bad;

I pity, from my soul, unhappy men, And 'tis much safer to leave out than add. Compelld by want to prostitute their pen; Abstruse and myfic thoughts you must express Who muft, like lawyers, either starve or plead, With painful care, but seeming casinets; And follow, right or wrong, where guineas iad! For truth shines brightest thro’ the plainest But you, Pompilian, wealihy pamper'd heirs, dress.

Who to your country owe your swords and cares, Th’Æncan Muse, when she appears in state, Let no vain hope your eary mind seduce, Makes all Jove's thunder on her verles wait; For rich ill poets are without excute. Yet writes fometimes as foft and moving things "Tis very dangerous, tampering with a muse; As Venus (peaks, or Philomela fings.

The profit's limall, and you have much to lose : Your author always will the best advisc, For though true wit adorns your birth or place, Fall when he falls, and when he rises rise. Degenerate lines degrade th' attainted racc.

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No poet any passion can excite,

This ancient Rome and elder Athens found, But what they feel transport them when they write. Before mistaken stops debauch'd the found. Have you been lcd through the Cuinæan cave, When, by impuite from Heaven, Tyriæus fung, And heard the impatient maid divinely rave ? In drooping foldiers a new courage Iprung; I hear her now; I sec her rolling eyes : Reviving Sparta now the flight maintain'd, And panting, Lo! the god, the god, she cries ; And what tivo gen'rals loft, a poet gain’d. With words not hers, and more than human sound, By secret influence of indulgent skies, She makesth'obedient ghosts peep trembling thro' Empire and poely together rile. the ground.

True poets are the guardians of the state, But, tho' we must obey when Heaven commands, And, when they fail, portend approaching fate. And man in vain the sacred call withıstands, For that which Rome to conquest did inspire, Beware what spirit rages in

Was not the vestal, but the muse's fire ; For ten inspir'd, ten thousand are poffeft. Heaven joins the bleflings: no declining age Thus make the proper use of cach extreme,

E'er felt the raptures of poctic rage. And write with fury, but correct with phlegm. Of many faults rhyme is perhaps the cause; As when the cheerful hours too freely pats, Too itriet to rhyme, we flight more useful laws; Ardiparkling wine (miles in the tempting glass, For that, in Greece or Rome, was never known, Your pulse advises, and begins to beat

Till by barbarian deluges o'erflown : Through ev'ry livelling vein a loud retreat : Subdued, undone, they did at lasi obey, So when a mnule propitiously invites,

And change their own for their invader's way. Improve her favours, and indulge her fights; I grant that, from fome moily idol oak, But when you find that vigorous heat abate, In double rhymes our Thor and Woden spoke; Leare off, and for another fummons wait. And by succession of unlearned times, Before the radiant fun a glimmering lamp, As bards beyan, fo monks rung on the chimes, Adulterate metals to the iterling lamp,

But now that Phabus and the sacred Nine Appear nomcaner than mere human lines, With all their beams on our bleit island shine, Compar'd with those whose inspiration thines : Why should not we their ancient rights restore, Thete nervous, bold; those languid and remifs; And be what Rome or Athens were before? There, cold falutes; but here a lover's kiss. Have you forgot how Raphael's numerous prose Thus have I seen a rapid headlong tide · Led our exalted fouls thro' heavenly camps, With foaming waves the pailive Soane divide; And mark'd the ground where proud apoftate Whose lazy waters without motion lay,

" thrones While he, with eager forie, urg'd his impetuous Defied Jehovah ! here, 'twixt host and host, way:

'(A narrow, but a dreadful interval) The privilege that ancient poets claim, • Portentous sight! before the cloudy van Now turn'd to licence by too just a name, • Satan with vast and haughty ftridu's advanc'd, Belongs to none but an establish'd fame, • Came tow'ring arm'd in adamant and gold. Which scorns to take it

* There bellowing engines, with their fiery tubes, Absurd expressions, crude, abortive thoughts, Dispers'd ethereal forms, and down they fell A!l the lewd legion of exploded faults,

By thousands, angels on archangels rolld; Bale fugitives, to that afylum Ay,

Recover'd, to the hills they ran, they few, And sacred laws with infolence dcfy.

" Which (with their ponderous load, rocks, Nor thus our heroes of the former dars

• waters, woods), Deserv’d and gain'd their never-fading bays; : From their firm seats torn by the shaggy tops, For I mistake, or far the greatest part

They bore like shields before them through the Of what some call neglect, was study's art.

air, Wheu Virgil feeins to trific in a line,

Till more incens'd they hurld them at their foes. 'Tis like a warning-piece, which gives the sign All was confusion, heaven's foundation fhook, To wake your fancy, and prepare your right, Thrcat’ning no less than universal wreck; To reach the noble height of fome unuliai flight. • For Michael's arm main promontories flung, I lose my patience when, with saucy pride, And over-press'd whole legions weak with lin• By untun'd ears I hear his numbers tried. Yet they blasphcm'd and struggled as they lay, Reverse of nature; fhall such copies then · Till the grcat enlign of Meriah blaz'd, Arraign th' originals of Maro's pen;

dod (arm'd with vengeance) God's victorious And the rude notions of pedantic schools (Effulgence of paternal dcity!)

[Sun Blaspheme the sacred founder of our rules? Grasping ten thousand thunders in his hand, The delicacy of the nicest ear

· Drove th' old original rebels hcadlong down, Finds nothing harsh or out of order there. • And sent them faming to the vast abyss.' Sublime or low, unbended or intense;


may I live to hail the glorious day, The sound is still a coinment to the sense. And sing loud paans through the crowded way,

A skilful ear in numbers should prelide, When in triumphant state the British Muse, And all disputes without appeal decide. True to herself, thall barbarous aid refuse, * An Elay on Blank Verse, out of Paradise Lost, B. VI.



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And in the Roman majesty appear,

Who banish d David did from Hebron bring, Which none know better, and none come so near. And with a gen’ral thout proclaim'd him king:

Thole very Jews, who at their very best § 27. Absalom and Acvilojbel. DRYDEN.

Their humour more than loyalty exprefs'd,

Now wonder'd why to long they had obey'd Ipious times, ere pricítcraft did begin, An idol monarch, which their hands had made; Before polygamy was made a 110 ;

Thought they might ruin him they could create, Whun man on many muliiplied his kind, Or melt him to that golden calf of state. Ere one to one was curfodly confin'd;

But these were random bolts; no form'd defign, When nature pioinpted, and no law denied Norint'rett made the factious crowd to juin: Promiscuous use of concubine and hride; The sover part of Israel, free from stain, Then Israel's monarch, after Heaven's own heart, Well knew the value of a peaceful reign; His vigorous warmth did variously impart And, looking backward with a wife anright, To wives and saves; and wide as his command, Saw seams of wounds dishonest to the light; Scatter'd his Maker's image thro' the land. contemplation of whose ugly scars, Michal, of royal blood, the crown did wear; They curs'd the memory of civil wars, A foil ungrateful to the tiller's care :

The mod'rate fort of men thus qualified, Not so the rest ; for several mothers bore

Inclin'd the balance to the better fide :
To godlike David leveral fons before.

And David's mildness manag'd it to well,
But since, like Naves, his bed they did ascend, The bad found no occasion to rubel.
No true fucceffion could their feed attend. But when to fin our biatsid nature leans,
Of all the numerous progeny, was none

The cariful devil is still at hand with means So beautiful, so brave, as Abfalom :

and providently pimps for ill defires : Whether, inspir'd by some diviner lust, The good old caute rivivid a plot requircs. His father got him with a greater gust; Plots true or folic are ncceffary things Or that his conscious destiny made way, To raite up commonwealths, and ruin kings. By inanly beauty, to imperial fivay,

Th' inhabitants of old Jerusalem Early in foreign fields he won renown,

Were Jebusites; the town fo call'd from thes; With kings and states allied to Ifrael's crown: And theirs the native rightIn peace the thoughts of war he could remorc, But when the chosen people grew more strong, And leem'd as he were only born for love. The rightful caule at length became the wrongi Whate'er he did was done with so inuch ease, And ev'ry loss the men of Jebus bore, In hiin alone 'twas natural to plase :

They still were thought God's enemies the more. His mocions all accompanied with grace ;

Thus worn or weaken’d, weil or ill content, And pıradise was npead in his face.

iubmit they must to David's government; Willi leciet joy indulgent David rien 'd impoverish'd, and deprivid of all command, His youthful image in his son renowd: Their taxes doubled as they lost their land; To all his wishes nothing he denied;

And, what was harder yet to flesh and blood, And made the charning Annabel his bride. Their gods disgrac'd, and burnt like common What faults he has (for who from faults is free:) wood. His father could not, or lie would not fce. This set the heathen priesthood in a fiame; Seine warm excuftos which the lawr forbore, For priests of all religions are the same. Were construed youth thar puru'd by boiling o'er; if whatsoe'er descone their godhead be, And Amnon's murder, by a pecious name, Stock, stone, or other homely pedigree, Was cull'd a juttievenge for injur'd fame. in his defence his fervants are as bold Thus prais'd and loved the noble youth remain d, As if he had been born of beaten gold. While David un:difturb'd in Sion reign'd; The Jewith rab'ins, though their enemies, But life can never be sincerely blcft :

in this conclude them honest men and wife: Heaven punishes the bad, and proves the best. i or 'twas their duty, all the learned think, The Jews, a headitrong, moody, murmuring race, r'epouse hisc:ufe by whom they eat and drink. As ever tried th' extent and stretch of grace ; From lience began thuit plot, the nation's curle, God's pamper'd people, whom, debauch'd will, Bad in itself, but represented worse; cale,

Rais'd in extremes, and in extremes decried; Noking could govern, nor no God could please, With oaths aslırm d, with dying vows denied ; Gods they bad tried of every Thape and size, Not weigh'd nor winnow'd by the multitude; Thit godsmithis could produce, or priests devise : But Tivallow'd in the mass, unchew'd and crude. Thefe Adam-wits, too fortuna cly free,

Some truth there was, but daih'd and brew'd with Begin to dream they wanted liberty;

To please the fouls, and puzzle all the wise. [lies; And when :o rule, no precedent, was found Succeeding times did equal folly call, Of men ly laws less circumscrib'd and bound, Believing nothing, or believing all. They led their wild desires to woods and caves, Th’Egypuan rites the Jebufites embrac'd ; Anschought that all but fivages were faves. Where gods were recommended by their taste. They w:o, when Saul was dead, without a blow, Such favoury deities must needs be good, Made foobith Tibotheth the crou n forego; As serv'd at once for woribip and for food.



By force they could not introduce these gods; Yet fame deserv'd no enemy can grudge :
For ten to one in former days was odds.

The itarelian we abhor, but praile the judge. So fraud was us'd, the sacrificer's trade :

In Ifraei's courts ne'er fat an Abethdin Fools are more hard to conquer than persuade. With more difcerning eyes, or hands more clean, Their busy teachers mingled with the Jews, Unbrib'd, unfougnt, the wretched to redress, And rak'd for converts even the court and stews : Swift of dispatch, and eaty of accels. Which Hebrew prietts the more unkindly tuok, Oh! had he been content to serve the crown Because the fieece accompanies the flock. With virtucs only proper to the gown; Some thought they God's anointed meant to slay Or had the rank ncis of the foil been freed By guns, invented since full many a dıy: From cockle, that opprefsid the noble feed; Our author swears it not; but who can know David for him his tuneful harp lad Irung, How far the devil and Jebusites may go?

And heaven had wanted one immortal fong, This plot, which faii'd for want of cominon leníc, But wild ambition loves to slide, not standa Had yet a deep and dangerous consequence : And fortune's ice prefers to virtue's land. For as, when raging fevers boil the blood, Achitop: et, grown weary tu poilets The standing lake foon floats into a flood, A lawful fame, and lazy happiness, And every hostile humour, which before Dildain’d the golden fruit to gather free, Slept quict in its channels, bubbles o’er; And lent the crowd his arın to thake the tree, So lev'ral factions from this first ferment, Now, manifeft of crimes contriv'd long lince, Work up to em, and thrcat the government.

He stood at bold dutiance with his prince; Some by their friends, more by themselves thought Held up the buckler of the people's cause wile,

Agaialt the crown, and sculk'd behind the laws, Oppos’d the pow'r to which they could not rise. The wih'd occasion of the plot he takes; Some had in courts been great; and thrown from Some circuinstances finds, but more he makes: Like fiends,were harden'dinimpenitence. [thence, By buzzing emissaries fills the ears Some, by their monarch's fatal mercy, grown Of litt'ning crowds with jealousies and fears From pardon d rebels kinsmen to the throne, Of arbitrary counsels brought to light, Were rais d in pow's and public office high : And proves the King himlelf a Jebusite. Strong bands, if bands ungrateful men could tie. Weak arguments ! which yet, he knew full well,

Of these the falle Achitophel was first; Were ftrong with people easy to rebel. A name to all succeeding ages curít :

For, govern'd by the moon, the giddy Jews For clole designs and crooked countels fit; Tread the faine track when she the prime renews: Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit;

And once in twenty years, their scribes record,
Restless, untix’d in principles and place ; By natural instinct they change their lord.
In pow'r unpleas'd, impatient of disgrace : Achitophel ftill wants a chiet, and none
A fiery soul, which, working out its way, Was found 10 fit as warlike Absalom.
Fretted the pigmy-body to decay,

Not that he with'd his greatness to create,
And o'er-intorin'd the tenement of clay. For politicians neither love nor hate :
A daring pilot in extremity;

But, for he knew his title not allow'd
Pleas d with the danger when the waves wenthigh, Would keephim ftill depending on the crowd: ;
He fought the storms; but, for a calm unfit, That kingly pow'r, thus ebbing out, might be
Would steer too nigh the lands to boast his wit. Drawn to the dregs of a democracy.
Great wits are sure to madness near ailied, Alim he attempts with ftudied a: ts to please,
And thin partitions do their bounds divide; And sheds his venon in such words as thcfe;
Elle why should he, with wealth and honour blest, Aufpicious prince! at whole nativity
Rofule his age the necdful hours of reù ? Some royal planet ruld the southern lky;
Punish a body which he could not please ; Thy longng country's darling and defire;
Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ealc?

Their cloudy pillar and their guardian tire; And all to leave what with his toil he won Their ftcond Moles, uhole extended wand To that unfeather'd two-legg'd thing, a Son; Divides the feas, and hews the proinis'd land; 1 Got, while his foul did huddled notions try ; Whole dawning day, in ev'ry distant age, And born a shapeless lump, like anarchy. Has exercis'd the sacred piophet's rage : In friendthip falte, implacable in hate; The people's prayer, the giad diviner's theme, Resolv'd to ruin or to rule the state.

The young men's vifim, and the old men's To compass this, the triple bond he broke;

dream! The pillars of the public safety shook;

Thce, Saviour, thee the nation's vows confess, And fitted Ifrael for a foreign yoke :

And, never satisfied with seeing, blets : Then, seiz'd with fear, yet still affecting fame, Swift unbespoken pomps thy rieps proclaim, Usurp'd a patriot's all-atoning name.

And Itamm'ring babos are taughi .o lilp thy So easy still it proves, in factious tines, With public zeal to cancel private crimes. How long wilt thou the gen’ral joy detain, How fafe is treafin, and how lacred ili, Starve and defiaud the people of thy reign; Where none can fin against the people's will! Content inglorioully to pass thy days, Where crowds can wink,and no offence be known. Like one of Virtue's fools that feed on praise; Since in another's guilt they find thcir own! U 4





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