« PreviousContinue »
Of all the causes which confpire to blind
She gives in large recruits of needful Pride!
What wants in blood and spirits, fwell'd with wind:
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right reason drives that cloud away,
Fir'd with the charms fair Science does impart, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Art. Ver. 223. But more advanc'd, survey, &c.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
And the first clouds and mountains feem the laft:
Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
Thus when we view fome well-proportion'd dome, (The world's juft wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!)
So pleas'd at firft the towering Alps to try,
The traveller beholds with chearful eyes
The leffening vales, and feems to tread the skies.
No fingle parts unequally furprize,
All comes united to th' admiring eyes;
No monftrous height, or breadth, or length appear;
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to fee,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er fhall be.
Since none can compass more than they intend;
Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say,
Difcours'd in terms as just, with looks as fage,
Ver. 259. As men of breeding, oft the men of wit. Ver. 265. They talk of principles, but parts they prize. Ver. 270. As e'er could Dennis of the laws o' th' stage. Ver. 272, Ed. 1. That durft, &c.
Our Author, happy in a judge fo nice,
Produc'd his play, and begg'd the Knight's advice :
"What! leave the combat out?" exclaims the Knight. Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite. "Not fo by heaven (he answers in a rage)
“ Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage." So vaft a throng the stage can ne'er contain. "Then build a new, or act it in a plain." Thus Critics, of lefs judgment than caprice, Curious, not knowing, not exact but nice, Form fhort ideas; and offend in arts (As most in manners) by a love to parts.
Some to Conceit alone their taste confine,
And glittering thoughts struck out at every line; 290
One glaring Chaos and wild heap of wit.
Ver. 298. Ed. 1.
What oft was thought, but ne'er before exprefs'd.
As fhades more sweetly recommend the light,
For works may have more wit than does them good,
Others for Language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for drefs: Their praife is ftill, the style is excellent : The fenfe, they humbly take upon content. Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of fenfe beneath is rarely found, Falfe eloquence, like the prifmatic glass, Its gaudy colours fpreads on every place; The face of Nature we no more furvey, All glares alike, without diftinction gay : But true expreffion, like th' unchanging fun, Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all objects, but it alters none. Expreffion is the dress of thought, and still Appears more decent, as more fuitable; A vile conceit in pompous words express'd Is like a clown in regal purple drest: For different ftyles with different fubjects fort, As feveral garbs, with country, town, and court. Some by old words to Fame have made pretence, Ancients in phrase, mere moderns in their sense; Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style, Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned fmile.
Ver. 320. Ed. 1.
A vile conceit in pompous ftyle exprefs'd.