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Something, whofe truth convinc'd at fight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind.
As fhades more fweetly recommend the light,
So modeft plainnefs fets off fprightly wit.
For works may have more wit than does 'em good,
As bodies perish thro' excess of blood.

Others for Language all their care express,
And value books, as women men, for Dress:
Their praise is ftill,—the Style is excellent :
The Sense, they humbly take upon content.
Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.



place, has given us (and he could therefore give us no other) only an account of Wit in general: In which false Wit, though not every species of it, is included. Aftriking Image therefore of Nature is, as Mr. Locke obferves, certainly Wit: But this image may firike on feveral other accounts, as well as for its truth and beauty; and the Philofopher has explained the manner how. But it never becomes that Wit which is the ornament of true Poefy, whofe end is to reprefent Nature, but when it drees that Nature to advantage, and prefents her to us in the brightest and moft amiable light. And to know when the Fancy has done its office truly, the poet fubjoins this admirable Teft, viz. When we perceive that it gives us back the image of our mind. When it does that, we may be fure it plays no tricks with us: For this image is the creature of the Judgment; and whenever Wit corresponds with Judgment, we may safely pro

nounce it to be true.

"Naturam intueamur, hanc fequamur: id facillime accipi"unt animi quod agnofcunt." Quintil. lib. viii, c. 3.

Falfe eloquence, like the prifmatic glass,
Its gaudy colours fpreads on ev'ry place;
The face of Nature we no more survey,
All glares alike, without diftinction gay:
But true Expreffion, like th' unchanging Sun,315
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 exprefs'd
Is like a clown in regal purple drefs'd:
For diff'rent ftyles with diff'rent fubjects fort,
As feveral garbs with country, town, and court.
Some by old words to fame have made pretence,
Ancients in phrafe, meer moderns in their sense;


VER. 311. Falfe eloquence, like the prifmatic glass, etc.] This fimile is beautiful. For the falfe colouring, given to objects by the prismatic glass, is owing to its untwifting, by its obliquities, thofe threads of light, which Nature had put together in order to fpread over its works an ingenious and fimple candour, that fhould not hide, but only heighten the native complexion of the objects. And falfe Eloquence is nothing else but the straining and divaricating the parts of true expreffion; and then daubing them over with what the Rhetoricians very properly term coLOURS; in lieu of that candid light, now loft, which was reflected from them in their natural ftate while fincere and entire.

VER. 324. Some by old words, etc.] "Abolita et abrogata "retinere, infolentiæ cujufdam eft, et frivole in parvis jactan"tie." Quint. lib. i. c. 6.

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Such labour'd nothings, in fo ftrange a style, 326
Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned fmile.
Unlucky, as Fungofo in the Play,

These sparks with aukward vanity display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday;
And but fo mimic ancient wits at best,
As apes our grandfires, in their doublets drest.
In words, as fashions, the fame rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new or old :


Be not the first by whom the new are try'd, 335
Nor yet the last to lay the old afide.

But moft by Numbers judge a Poet's fong;

And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong:
In the bright Muse tho' thousand charms confpire,
Her Voice is all these tuneful fools admire;


"Opus eft, ut verba à vetuftate repetita neque crebra fint neque manifesta, quia nil eft odiofius affectatione, nec utique "ab ultimis repetita temporibus. Oratio cujus fumma virtus "eft perfpicuitas, quam fit vitiofa, fi egeat interprete? Ergo "ut novorum optima erunt maxime vetera, ita veterum maxi66 me nova." Idem.


VER. 328.-unlucky as Fungofo, etc.] See Ben Johnson's Every Man in bis humour.

VER. 337. But most by numbers, etc.]

Quis populi fermo eft? quis cnin? nifi carmina molli
Nunc demum numero fluere, ut per læve feveres
Effundat juntura ungues: fcit tendere verfum
Non fecus ac fi oculo rubricam dirigat uno.


Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as fome to Church repair,
Not for the doctrine but the mufic there.
Thefe equal fyllables alone require,
Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire ;
While expletives their feeble aid do join ;
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line:
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhymes;
Where'er you find "the cooling western breeze,”
In the next line, it " whispers thro' the trees:”
If crystal streams" with pleafing murmurs creep,"
The reader's threat'n'd (not in vain) with " fleep :"
Then, at the laft and only couplet fraught
With fome unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needlefs Alexandrine ends the fong,
That, like a wounded fnake, drags its flow length



Leave fuch to tune their own dull rhimes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow;
And praise the eafy vigour of a line,
Where Denham's ftrength, and Waller's sweetness


True eafe in writing comes from art, not chance,
As thofe move easiest who have learn'd to dance.

VER. 345. Tho' oft the ear, etc.]" Fugiemus crebras voca"lium concurfiones, quæ vaftam atque hiantem orationem red_ "dunt." Cic. ad Heren, lib. iv. Vide etiam Quint, lib. ix, c. 4

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'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The found muft seem an Echo to the sense:
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the fmooth ftream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud furges lafh the founding shore,
The hoarfe, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax ftrives fome rock's vaft weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow: 371
Not fo, when swift Camilla fcours the plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and fkims along the


Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays furprize,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise !
While, at each change, the fon of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with fparkling fury glow,
Now fighs steal out, and tears begin to flow:

VER. 374. Hear bow Timotheus, etc. ]See Alexander's Feaft, or the Power of Mufic; an Ode by Mr. Dryden.

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VER. 366. Soft is the frain, etc.]
Tum fi læta canunt, etc.
VER. 368. But when loud furges, etc.]
Tum longe fale faza fonant, etc.
VER. 370. When Ajax firives, etc.]

Atque ideo fi quid geritur molimine magno, etc. Vida ib. 417.
VER. 372. Not fo, when favift Camilla, etc.]

At mora fi fuerit damno, properare jubebo, etc. Vida ib. 420.

Vida Poct. 1. iii. ✯ 403.

Vida ib. 388.

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