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Of all the causes which confpire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is PRIDE, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,

She gives in large recruits of needful Pride!
For as in bodies, thus in fouls, we find


What wants in blood and spirits, fwell'd with wind:
Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our defence,

And fills up all the mighty void of sense.

If once right reason drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know,
Make use of every friend-and every foe.
A little learning is a dangerous thing!
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely fobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
While, from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprize
New diftant fcenes of endless science rife!





Ver. 219.

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,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' eternal fnows appear already past,

And the first clouds and mountains feem the laft:
But, those attain'd, we tremble to furvey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,
Th' increasing profpect tires our wandering eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise !
A perfect judge will read each work of Wit
With the fame spirit that its author writ:
Survey the WHOLE, nor feek flight faults to find



Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
Nor lofe, for that malignant dull delight,
The generous pleasure to be charm'd with wit.
But, in fuch lays as neither ebb nor flow,
Correctly cold, and regularly low,
That, fhunning faults, one quiet tenour keep;
We cannot blame indeed-but we may sleep.
In wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts
Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts;
'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call,
But the joint force and full refult of all.




Thus when we view fome well-proportion'd dome, (The world's juft wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!)

Ver. 225.


So pleas'd at firft the towering Alps to try,
Fill'd with ideas of fair Italy,

The traveller beholds with chearful eyes

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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;
The Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to fee,

Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er fhall be.
In every work regard the writer's end,

Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spite of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, fometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit:
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know fome trifles, is a praise.
Moft Critics, fond of fome fubfervient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one lov'd folly facrifice.

Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say,
A certain Bard encountering on the way,

Difcours'd in terms as just, with looks as fage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage;
Concluding all were defperate fots and fools,
Who durft depart from Ariftotle's rules.








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 :
Made him obferve the subject, and the plot,
The manners, paffions, unities; what not?
All which, exact to rule, were brought about,
Were but a combat in the lifts left out.



"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
Pleas'd with a work where nothing's just or fit;

One glaring Chaos and wild heap of wit.
Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
The naked nature and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover every part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
True Wit is Nature to advantage drefs'd,
What oft was thought, but ne'er fo well exprefs'd;
Something, whofe truth convinc'd at fight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind.

Ver. 298. Ed. 1.





What oft was thought, but ne'er before exprefs'd.

As fhades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit.

For works may have more wit than does them good,
As bodies perish through excess of blood.



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.


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