Page images

fore, on writers fo notorious for the contrary practice, became no man fo well as himself; as none, it is plain, was fo little in their friendships, or so much in that of those whom they had most abused, namely the greatest and beft of all parties. Let me add a further reason, that, though engaged in their friendships, he never espoused their animofities; and can almoft fingly challenge this honour, not to have written a line of any man, which through guilt, through fhame, or through fear, through variety of fortune, or change of interefts, he was ever unwilling to own.


I fhall conclude with remarking what a pleasure it must be to every reader of humanity, to fee all along, that our author in his very laughter is not indulging his own ill-nature, but only punishing that of others. to his Poem, thofe alone are capable of doing it juftice, who, to use the words of a great writer, know how hard it is, (with regard both to his subject and his manner) VETUSTIS DARE NOVITATEM, OBSOLET IS NITOREM, OBSCURIS LUCEM, FASTIDITLS GRATIAM.

St. James's, Dec. 22d, 1728.



Your moft humble Servant,


refigned the office of fecretary of state; Lord Bolingbroke, at his leavingEngland, after the queen's death; Lord Oxford, in his last decline of life; Mr. Secretary Craggs, at the end of the South-fea year, and after his death; others only in epitaphs.

This gentleman was of Scotland, and bred at the university of Utrecht, with the earl of Mar. He ferved in Spain under earl Rivers. After the peace, he was made one of the commiffioners of the customs in Scotland, and then of taxes in England; in which, having fhewn himself for twenty years dili igent, punctual, and incorruptible, (though without any other affiftance of fortune) he was fuddenly difplaced by the minifter, in the fixty-eighth year of his age; and died two months after, in 1741. He was a perfon of univerfal learning, and an enlarged converfation; no man had a warmer heart for his friend, or a fincerer attachment to the conftitution of his country.


[blocks in formation]


DENNIS, Remarks on Pr. ARTHUR.

Cannot but think it the most reasonable thing in the world to diftinguish good writers, by difcouraging the bad. Nor is it an ill-natured thing, in relation even to the very perfons upon whom the reflections are made. It is true, it may deprive them, a little the fooner, of a short profit and a transitory reputation; but then it may have a good effect, and oblige them (before it be too late) to decline that for which they are fo very unfit, and to have recourse to something in which they may be more fuccefsful.

CHARACTER of Mr. P. 1716.

THE perfons whom Boileau has attacked in his writings, have been for the most part authors, and most of thofe authors poers: and the cenfures he hath paffed upon them have been confirmed by all Europe.


Ir is the common cry of the Poetafters of the town, and their fautors, that it is an ill-natured thing to expofe the pretenders to wit and poetry. The judges and magiftrates may with full as good reafon be reproached with ill-nature for putting the laws in execution against a thief or impoftor.-The 'fame will hold in the republic of letters, if the critics and judges will let every ignorant pretender to fcribbling pafs on the world.



Letter to Mift, June 22, 1728.

ATTACKS may be levelled, either against failures in Genius, or against the pretenfions of writing without


CONCANEN, Ded. to the Author of the DUNCIAD,

A Satire upon dullness is a thing that has been used and allowed in all ages.

Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, wicked fcribbler !


« PreviousContinue »