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But true Expreffion, like th' unchanging Sun,
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 320
Is like a clown in regal purple drefs'd:
For diff'rent styles with diff'rent fubjects fort,
As feveral garbs with country, town, and court.
Some by old words to fame have made pretence,
Ancients in phrase, meer moderns in their sense;
Such labour'd nothings, in fo ftrange a ftyle, 326
Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned finile,


should 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 re"tinere, infolentiæ cujufdam eft, et frivolæ in parvis jactan"tiæ." Quint. lib. i. c. 6. P.

"Opus eft, ut verba à veftutate repetita neque crebra fint "neque manifefta, 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 "maxime nova," Idem. P.

Unlucky, as Fungofo in the Play,
These sparks with aukward vanity display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday; 330
And but fo mimic antient wits at best,
As apes our grandfires, in their doublets dreft.
In words, as fathions, the fame rule will hold;
Alike fantaftic, if too new, or old:
Be not the first by whom the new are try'd, 335
Nor yet the laft to lay the old afide.

But moft by Numbers judge a Poet's fong; And fmooth or rough,with them, is right or wrong:


VER. 337. But most by Numbers judge, etc.] The laft fort are thofe [from 336 to 384.] whofe ears are attached only to the Harmony of a poem. Of which they judge as ignorantly and as perverfely as the other fort did of Eloquence; and for the very fame reafon. He first defcribes that falfe Harmony with which they are fo much captivated; and fhews, that it is wretchedly flat and unvaried: For

Smooth or rough with them is right or wrong.

He then defcribes the true. 1. As it is in itself, conftant; with a happy mixture of ftrength and fweetness, in contradiction to the roughness and flatness of falfe Harmony: And 2. as it is


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

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

Quis populi fermo eft? quis enim ? nifi carmina molli
Nunc demum numero fluere, ut per læve feveros
Effundat junctura ungues: fcit tendere verfum
Non fecus ac fi oculo rubricam dirigat uno. Perf. Sat. i. P.

In the bright Mufe tho' thousand charms confpire,
Her Voice is all these tuneful fools admire;
Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as fome to Church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These 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:



varied in compliance to the subject, where the found becomes an echo to the fenfe, fo far as is confiftent with the preservation of numbers; in contradiction to the monotony of falfe Harmony: Of this he gives us, in the delivery of his precepts, four fine examples of fmoothness, roughness, flowness, and rapidity. The firft ufe of this correfpondence of the found to the fenfe, is to aid the fancy in acquiring a perfecter and more lively image of the thing reprefented. A fecond and nobler, is to calm and fubdue the turbulent and selfish paffions, and to raise and warm the beneficent: Which he illuftrates in the famous adventure of Timotheus and Alexander: where, in referring to Mr. Dryden's Ode on that fubject, he turns it to a high compliment on that great poet.


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 Quintil. lib. ix. c. 4. P. IMITATIONS.

VER. 346. While expletives their feeble aid do join,

And ten low words oft creep in one dull line:] From Dryden." He creeps along with ten little words in every line, "and helps out his numbers with [for] [to] and [unto] and all "the pretty expletives he can find, while the fer.fe is left half "tired behind it." Effay on Dram. Poetry.

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While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of ftill expected rhymes;
Where-e'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 threaten'd (not in vain) with "fleep:"
Then, at the last 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 rhymes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow;
And praise the easy vigour of a line,
Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness

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True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The found must seem an Echo to the fenfe: 365


VER. 364. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence; The found muft feem an Echo to the fenfe: ] The judi cious introduction of this precept is remarkable. The Poets, and even fome of the beft of them, have been fo fond of the beauty arifing from this trivial precept, that in their prac

Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud furges lash the founding shoar,
The hoarfe,rough verfe fhould like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives fome rock's vaft weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow:
Not fo, when swift Camilla fcours the plain, 372
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the

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tice, they have violated the very End of it, which is the en crease of harmony; and fo they could but raise an Echo, did not care whofe ears they offended by its diffonance. To remedy this abuse therefore, the poet, by the introductory line, would infinuate, that Harmony is always prefuppofed as obferved; tho' it may and ought to be perpetually varied, fo as to produce the effect here recommended.

VER. 365. The found must seem an Echo to the fenfe,] Lord Rofcommon fays,

The found is ftill a comment to the fenfe.

They are both well expreffed: only this fuppofes the sense to be affifted by the found; that, the found affifted by the sense,


VER. 366. Soft is the ftrain, etc.]

Tum fi læta canunt, etc. Vida Poet. l. iii, 403. VER. 368. But when loud furges, etc.]

Tum longe fale faxa fonant, etc. Vida ib. 388. VER. 370. When Ajax ftrives, etc.]

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

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

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