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To teach vain Wits a fcience little known,

'T' admire fuperior sense, and doubt their own! 200
Of all the Caufes which confpire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and mifguide the mind,
What the weak head with ftrongest bias rules,
IS PRIDE, the nev'r-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 souls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, fwell'd with wind:
Pride, where Wit fails, fteps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty Void of sense.
If once right reafon drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with refiftless day.
Truft not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend-and ev'ry foe.
A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There fhallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely fobers us again.
Fir'd at first fight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, 220
While from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor fee the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold with ftrange furprize.
New diftant scenes of endless science rife!

So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps we try, 225
Mount o'er the vales, and feem to tread the sky,




Th' eternal fnows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains feem the last:
But, thofe attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,
Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring 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 35 Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;


VER. 233. A perfect Judge, etc.] "Diligenter legendum eft ac pene ad fcribendi follicitudinem: Nec per partes modo "fcrutanda funt omnia, fed perlectus liber utique ex integro "refumendus." Quint.

VER. 235. Survey the whole, nor feek flight faults to find, Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;] The fecond line, in apologizing for those faults which the first says should be overlooked, gives the reason of the precept. For when a writer's attention is fixed on a general View of Nature, and his imagination warm'd with the contemplation of great ideas, it can hardly be but that there must be small irregularities in the difpofition both of matter and ftyle, because the avoiding these requires a coolness of recollection, which a writer fo bufied is not master of.


VER. 225.

So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps to try,

Fill'd with ideas of fair Italy,

The Traveller beholds with chearful eyes

The lefs'ning vales and feems to tread the fkies.

Nor lofe, for that malignant dull delight,
The gen'rous 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 tenor 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!)
No fingle parts unequally furprize,


All comes united to th' admiring eyes;
No monftrous height, or breadth, or length ap-

The Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Whoever thinks a faultlefs piece to see,


Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In ev'ry work regard the writer's End,
Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applaufe, in fpight of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, fometimes men of wit,
T' avoid great errors, muft the lefs commit: 260
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know fome trifles, is a praise.
Moft Critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:



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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 encount'ring on the way,
Difcours'd in terms as juft, with looks as fage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage;
Concluding all were defp'rate fots and fools,
Who durft depart from Ariftotle's rules.
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


Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite.

"Not fo by Heav'n (he answers in a rage) "Knights, fquires, and fteeds, muft enter on the



So vaft a throng the ftage can ne'er contain. “Then build a new, or act it in a plain."

Thus Critics, of lefs judgment than caprice, 285 Curious not knowing, not exact but nice,

VER. 285. Thus Critics of less judgment than caprice, Curious not knowing, not exact but nice.] In these two lines the poet finely defcribes the way in which bad writers are wont to imitate the qualities of good ones. As true Judgment generally draws men out of popular opinions, fo he who cannot

Form fhort Ideas; and offend in arts
(As most in manners) by a love to parts.
Some to Conceit alone their taste confine,
And glitt'ring thoughts ftruck out at ev'ry 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 ev'ry 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;


get from the croud by the affiftance of this guide, willingly follows Caprice, which will be fure to lead him into fingularities. Again, true Knowledge is the art of treasuring up only that which, from its ufe in life, is worthy of being lodged in the memory. But Curiofity confifts in a vain attention to every thing out of the way, and which, for its ufelefinefs the world leaft regards. Laftly, Exactness is the juft proportion of parts to one another, and their harmony in the whole: But he who has not extent of capacity for the exercise of this quality, contents himself with Nicety, which is a bufying one's felf about points and fyllables.

VER. 297. True Wit is Nature to advantage drefs'd, etc.] This definition is very exact. Mr. Locke had defined Wit to confift" in the affemblage of ideas, and putting those together, "with quickness and variety, wherein can be found any re"femblance or congruity, whereby to make up pleasant pictures " and agreeable vifions in the fancy." But that great Philofopher, in separating Wit from Judgment, as he does in this

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