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The courtly Talbot, Somers, Sheffield read,
Ev'n mitred Rochefter would nod the head,


And St. John's felf (great Dryden's friends before)
With open arms receiv'd one Poet more.
Happy my studies, when by these approv❜d!
Happier their author, when by these belov'd!
From these the world will judge of men and books,
Not from the Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.



VER. 139. Talbot, &c.] All these were Patrons or Admirers of Mr. Dryden; though a fcandalous libel against him, entitled, Dryden's Satyr to his Mufe, has been printed in the name of the Lord Somers, of which he was wholly ignorant.

These are the perfons to whofe account the Author charges the publication of his firft pieces: perfons, with whom he was converfant (and he adds beloved) at 16 or 17 years of age; an early period for fuch acquaintance. The catalogue might be made yet more illuftrious, had he not confined it to that time when he writ the Paftorals and Windfor Foreft, on which he paffes a fort of Censure in the lines following,


While pure Description held the place of Senfe? &c. VER. 146. Burnets, &c.] Authors of fecret and fcandalous History.

Ibid. Burnets, Oldmixons, and Cooks.] By no means Authors of the fame clafs, though the violence of party might hurry them into the fame mistakes. But if the first offended this way, it was only through an honeft warmth of temper, that allowed too little to an excellent understanding. The other two, with very bad heads, had hearts fill worse.

Soft were my numbers; who could take offence While pure Description held the place of Sense? Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme, A painted mistress, or a purling ftream. Yet then did Gildon draw his venal quill; I wish'd the man a dinner, and fate still. Yet then did Dennis rave in furious fret;

I never answer'd, I was not in debt.


If want provok'd, or madness made them print, 155
I wag'd no war with Bedlam or the Mint.

Did fome more fober Critic come abroad;
If wrong, I fmil'd; if right, I kiss'd the rod.
Pains, reading, ftudy, are their juft pretence,
And all they want is fpirit, tafte, and sense..
Comma's and points they set exactly right,
And 'twere a fin to rob them of their mite.
Yet ne'er one sprig of laurel grac'd these ribalds,
From flashing Bentley down to pidling Tibalds :



VER. 150. A painted meadow, or a purling stream, is a

verfe of Mr. Addison.


VER. 164. flashing Bentley] This great man, with all his faults, deferved to be put into better company. The following words of Cicero defcribe him not amifs. "Ha"buit à natura genus quoddam acuminis, quod etiam arte

limaverat, quod erat in reprehendendis verbis verfutum et follers: fed fæpe ftomachofum, nonnunquam frigidum, interdum etiam facetum."

Each wight, who reads not, and but fcans and spells, Each Word-catcher, that lives on fyllables,


Ev'n fuch small Critics fome regard may claim,
Preferv'd in Milton's or in Shakespear's name.
Pretty! in amber to obferve the forms


Of hairs, or ftraws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms!
The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they got there.

Were others angry: I excus'd them too;
Well might they rage, I gave them but their due.
As man's true merit 'tis not hard to find;
But each man's fecret ftandard in his mind,



VER. 169. Pretty! in amber to obferve the forms, &c.] Our Poet had the full pleasure of this amufement foon after the publication of his Shakespear. Nor has his Friend been lefs entertained fince the appearance of his edition of the fame poet. The liquid Amber of whofe Wit has lately licked up, and enrolled fuch a quantity of these Infects, and of tribes fo grotefque and various, as would have puzzled Reaumur to give names to. Two or three of them it may not be amifs to preferve and keep alive. Such as the Rev. Mr. J. Upton, Thomas Edwards, Efq; and, to make up the Triumvirate, their learned Coadjutor, that very respectable perfonage, Mr. THEOPHILUS CIBBER. As to the poetic imagery of this paffage, it has been much and justly admired; for the most deteftable things in nature, as a toad, or a beetle, become pleafing when well represented in a work of Art. But it is no less eminent for the beauty of the thought. For though a fcribler exifts by being thus incorporated, yet he exifts intombed, a lafting monument of the wrath of the Mufes.

VER. 173. Were others angry:] The Poets.


That Cafting-weight pride adds to emptiness,
This, who can gratify? for who can guess?
The Bard whom pilfer'd Pastorals renown,
Who turns a Persian tale for half a Crown,
Juft writes to make his barrenness appear,
And strains from hard-bound brains, eight lines a year;
He, who ftill wanting, tho' he lives on theft,
Steals much, fpends little, yet has nothing left: 184
And He, who now to sense, now nonsense leaning,
Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:
And He, whofe fuftian's fo fublimely bad,

It is not Poetry, but profe run mad:
All these, my modeft Satire bad tranflate,

And own'd that nine fuch Poets made a Tate.


How did they fume, and stamp, and roar, and chafe! And fwear, not ADDISON himself was fafe.


VER. 180.-a Perfian tale.] Amb. Philips tranflated a Book called the Perfian tales.


VER. 184. Steals much, Spends little, and has nothing left:] A fine improvement of this line of Boileau,

Qui toujours emprunt, et jamais ne gagne rien.

VER. 186. Means not, but blunders round about a meaning:] A cafe common both to Poets and Critics of a certain order; only with, this difference, that the Poet writes himself out of his own meaning; and the Critic never gets into another man's. Yet both keep going on, and blundering round about their subject, as benighted people are wont to do, who feek for an entrance which they cannot find.

Peace to all fuch! but were there One whose fires True Genius kindles, and fair Fame inspires;

Bleft with each talent and each art to please,


And born to write, converfe, and live with ease:
Should such a man, too fond to rule alone,
Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne,
View him with scornful, yet with jealous eyes,
And hate for arts that caus'd himself to rife;
Damn with faint praife, affent with civil leer,
And without fneering, teach the reft to fneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Juft hint a fault, and hefitate diflike;
Alike referv'd to blame, or to commend,
A tim❜rous foe, and a fufpicious friend;
Dreading ev'n fools, by Flatterers befieg'd,
And fo obliging, that he ne'er oblig'd;



VER.193. But were there one whofe fires, &c] The strokes in this Character are highly finished. Atterbury fo well understood the force of them, that in one of his letters to Mr. Pope he says, "Since you now know where your ftrength lies, I hope you will not fuffer that talent to "lie unemployed." He did not; and, by that means, brought fatiric Poetry to its perfection.


After 208. in the MS.

Who, if two Wits on rival themes conteft,
Approves of each, but likes the worst the best.

Alluding to Mr. P.'s and Tickell's Translation of the firft Book of the Iliad.

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