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Something, whofe truth convinc'd at fight we find,
Others for Language all their care express,
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,
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.
Such labour'd nothings, in fo ftrange a style, 326
These sparks with aukward vanity display
Be not the first by whom the new are try'd, 335
But moft by Numbers judge a Poet's fong;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong:
"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
Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear,
Leave fuch to tune their own dull rhimes, and know
True eafe in writing comes from art, not chance,
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
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays furprize,
VER. 374. Hear bow Timotheus, etc. ]See Alexander's Feaft, or the Power of Mufic; an Ode by Mr. Dryden.
VER. 366. Soft is the frain, etc.]
Atque ideo fi quid geritur molimine magno, etc. Vida ib. 417.
At mora fi fuerit damno, properare jubebo, etc. Vida ib. 420.
Vida Poct. 1. iii. ✯ 403.
Vida ib. 388.