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THE THREE GENTLE SHEPHERDS.
Or gentle Philips will I ever sing,
Ver. 1. Philips] Ambrose Philips.
Ver. 4. Carey,] Henry Carey.
Ver. 10. And from all wits that have a knack,] Curl said, that in prose he was equal to Pope, but that in verse Pope had merely
a particular knack.
ENGRAVED ON THE COLLAR OF A DOG, WHICH I GAVE TO HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS.
I AM his Highness's Dog at Kew;
The idea of this inscription is taken from Sir William Temple's "Heads designed for an Essay on Conversation."
"Mr. Grantam's Fool's reply to a great Man that asked, whose fool he was"-I am Mr. Grantam's fool-pray tell me whose fool are you? 1?”—Vol. i. p. 311, fol. ed. 1720.
THE freedom of criticism has seldom been carried to a more unjustifiable excess, than in the remarks of Dr. Johnson, originally published in a periodical work called The Universal Visitor, on the following Epitaphs.
When a critic divests himself of candour, there is no composition, however perfect, that may not become the subject of ridicule. That this was the case with Johnson almost every Epitaph affords a proof. At the same time it must be acknowledged, that his criticisms are intermixed with many acute and judicious remarks, which are deserving of particular notice and selection.
On the whole, it must be admitted that no subject of literary composition is so difficult as that of an Epitaph; insomuch that it would scarcely be possible to produce one of any extent, to which some substantial objection might not be made. Of this the ancients were so sensible, that they seldom attempted more, than to record the event in the most simple and impressive terms. But the more ambitious claims of modern times call for greater efforts; and every exertion of fancy, and every turn of sentiment, have been resorted to, in order to produce, from the commemoration of the dead, a more striking and beneficial effect,-consolatory, pathetic, or instructive, on the minds of the living. That in this respect the productions of Pope are, upon the whole, equal to those of any other writer, will scarcely be denied; whilst in the polish of style, and harmonious flow of versification, they greatly excel them all.