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over, fince ZoILUS moves a queftion upon it, that the poet could not choose a more proper weapon for the Frogs, than that which they choofe for themfelves in a defenfive war they maintain with the ferpents of Nile. They have this fratagem, fays Ælian, to protect themselves; they swim with pieces of cane a-cross their mouths, of too great a length for the breadth of the ferpents throats; by which means they are preferved from being fwallowed by them. This is a quotation so much to the point, that I ought to have ushered in my author with more pomp to dazzle the reader. ZOILUS and his followers, who feldom praise any man, are however careful to do it for their own fakes, if at any time they get an author of their opinion: though indeed it must be allowed, they ftill have a draw-back in their manner of praife, and rather choose to drop the name of their man, or darkly hint him in a periphrafis, than to have it appear that they have directly affifted the perpetuating of any one's memory. Thus, if a Dutch critic were to introduce for example, Martial, he would, instead of naming him, fay, Ingeniofus ille epigrammaticus bilbilicus. Or, if one of our own were to quote from among ourselves, he would tell us how it has been remarked in the works of a learned writer, to whom the world is obliged for many excellent productions, &c. All which proceeding is like boasting of our great friends, when it is to do ourselves an honour, or the fhift of dreffing up one who might otherwise be difregarded,

to make him pass upon the world for a responsible voucher to our own affertions.

Book II. page 76. ver. 17. But now where Jove's.] At this fine epifode, in which the God's are introduced, ZOILUS has no patience left him to remark; but runs fome lines with a long ftring of fuch expreffions as trifler, fabler, liar, foolish, impious, all which he lavishly heaps upon the poet. From this knack of calling names, joined with the several arts of finding fault, it is to be fufpected, that our ZoiLUSES might make very able libellers, and dangerous men to the government, if they did not rather turn themselves to be ridiculous cenfors: for which reason I cannot but reckon the state obliged to men of wit; and under a kind of debt in gratitude, when they take off so much spleen, turbulency, and ill-nature, as might otherwise spend itself to the detriment of the públic.

Book II. page 77. ver. 13. If my Daughter's mind.] This fpeech, which Jupiter fpeaks to Pallas with a pleasant kind of air, ZOILUS takes gravely to pieces; and affirms, It is below Jupiter's wisdom, and only agreeable with HOMER's folly, that he should borrow a reafon for her affifting the Mice from their attendance in the temple, when they waited to prey upon thofe things which were facred to her. But the air of the fpeech rendered a grave answer unneceffary; I fhall only offer ZOILUS an observation in return for his. There are upon the ftone which is carved for the Apotheofis of HOMER, figures of Mice by his


footstool, which, according to Cuperus, its inter preter, fome have taken to fignify this poem; and others those critics, who tear or vilify the works of great men. Now, if fuch can be compared to Mice, let the words of ZOILUS be brought home to himself and his followers for their mortification : That no one ought to think of meriting in the ftate of learning, only by debafing the best performances, and as it were preying upon those things which should be facred in it.

Book II. page 78. ver. 1. In vain my father.] The fpeech of Pallas is difliked by ZOILUS,, because it makes the Goddess carry a refentment against fuch inconfiderable creatures; though he ought to esteem them otherwife when they reprefent the perfons and actions of men, and teach us how the Gods difregard thofe in their adverfities who provoke them in profperity. But, if we confider Pallas as the patronefs of learning, we may by an allegorical application of the Mice and Frogs, find in this speech two forts of enemies to learning; they who are maliciously mischievous, as the Mice; and they who are turbulent through oftentation, as the Frogs. The first are enemies to excellency upon principle; the second accidentally by the error of felf-love, which does not quarrel with the excellence itfelf, but only with those people who get more praise than themselves by it. Thus, though they have not the fame perverfeness with the others, they are however drawn into the fame practices, while they ruin reputations,

putations, left they fhould not feem to be learned; as fome women turn proftitutes, left they should not be thought handsome enough to have admirers.

BOOK III. page 80. ver. 5. Their dreadful Trumpets.] Upon the reading of this, ZOILUS becomes full of difcoveries. He recollects, that HOMER makes his Greeks come to battle with filence, and his Trojans with fhouts, from whence he discovers, that he knew nothing of trumpets. Again, he fees, that the hornet is made a trumpeter to the battle, and hence he difcovers, that the line must not be HOMER's. Now had he drawn his confequences fairly, he could only have found by the one, that trumpets were not in use at the taking of Troy; and by the other, that the battle of Frogs and Mice was laid by the poet for a later fcene of action than that of the Iliad. But the boaft of difcoveries accompanies the affectation of knowledge; and the affectation of knowledge is taken up with a design to gain a command over the opinions of others. It is too heavy a taík for fome critics to fway our rational judgments by rational inferences; a pompous pretence muft occafion admiration, the eyes of mankind must be obfcured by a glare of pedantry, that they may confent to be led blindfold, and permit that an opinion fhould be dictated to them without demanding that they may be reasoned into it.

Book III. page 81. ver. 8. And big Scutlaus tumbling.] ZOILUS has happened to brush the duft off fome old manufcript, in which the line that kills Scutlæus

Scutlæus is wanting. And for this caufe he fixes a general conclufion, that there is no dependence upon any thing which is handed down for HOMER's, fo as to allow it praife; fince the different copies vary amongst themselves. But is it fair in ZOILUS, or any of his followers, to oppose one copy to a thousand? and are they impartial who would pafs this upon us for an honeft ballance of evidence? when there is fuch an inequality on each fide, is it not more than probable that the number carry the author's fenfe in them, and the fingle one its tranfcriber's errors? It is folly or madness of paffion to be thus given over to partiality and prejudices. Men may flourish as much as they please concerning the value of a newfound edition, in order to biafs the world to particular parts of it; but in a matter eafily decided by common sense, it will still continue of its own opinion.

Book III. page 83. ver. 13. With Borbocates fights.] Through the grammatical part of ZoILUS'S work he frequently rails at HOMER for his dialects. Thefe, fays he in one place, the poet made ufe of becaufe he could not write pure Greek; and in another, they strangely contributed to his fame, by making several cities who obferved fomething of their own in his mixed language, contend for his being one of their natives. Now fince I have here practised a licence in imitation of his, by fhortening the word Borbocætes a whole fyllable, it feems a good opportunity to speak for him where I defend myfelf, Remember then,


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