« PreviousContinue »
on, which confifts in ufing the fimpleft language with dignity, and the most ornamented, with eafe. For the rest, his harmony and ftrength of numbers, his force and fplendor of colouring, his gravity and fublime of fentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper lefs unlike that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only fmile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius: and what Mr. Pope would strike with the cauftic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridicule.
If it be asked then, why he took any body at all to imitate, he has informed us in his Advertisement. To which we may add, that this fort of Imitations, which are of the nature of Parodies, adds reflected grace and fplendor on original wit. Befides, he deemed it more modeft to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Defpreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imitations.
quibus in Satira videar nimis acer, et ultra Legem tendere opus; bfine nervis altera, quidquid Compofui, pars effe putat, fimilesque meorum Mille die verfus deduci poffe. Quid faciam? praescribe.
Omnino verfus ?
H. Ne faciam, inquis,
H. Peream male, fi non verum nequeo dormire.
VER. 3. Scarce to wife Peter-Chartres] It has been commonly obferved of the English, that a Rogue never goes to the Gallows without the pity of the Spectators, and their parting curfes on the rigour of the Laws that brought him thither: this has been as commonly afcribed to the good nature of the people. But it is a mistake. The true caufe is their hatred and envy of power. Their compaffion for Dunces and Scoundrels (when expofed by great writers to publie contempt, either in juftice to the age, or in vindication of their own Characters) has the fame fource. They cover their envy to a fuperior genius, in lamenting the feverity of his Pen.
Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit & the Throne, Yet touchd and shamid by Ridicule alone
Ep: to Satires, Part:
To Mr. FORTESCUE.
HERE are (I fcarce can think it, but am
There are, to whom my Satire seems too bold:
I come to Council learned in the Law:
F. I'd write no more.
P. Not write? but then I think,
VER. 7. Tim'rous by nature, of the Rich in awe,] The delicacy of this does not so much lie in the ironical application of it tó himself, as in its seriously characterifing the Perfon for whose advice he applies.
Peream male, fi non Optimum erat, and has loft the grace, by not imitating the concifenefs, of verum nequeo dormire,
VER. 12. Not write? &c.] He has omitted the most humourous part of the answer.