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the Preface, to have excelled in drawing characters and painting manners, and indeed his whole Poem is one continued occafion of fhewing this bright part of his talent.
To fpeak fairly, it is impoffible fhe could read even the tranflation, and take my fenfe fo wrong as fhe reprefents it; but I was firft tranflated ignorantly, and then read partially. My expreffion indeed was not quite exact; it should have been, Every thing has manners, as Ariftotle calls them." But fuch a fault, methinks, might have been spared, fince if one was to look with that difpofition fhe discovers towards me, even on her own excellent writings, one might find fome mistakes which no context can redress; as where she makes Euftathius call Cratisthenes the Phliafian, Callifthenes the Phyfician. What a triumph might fome flips of this fort have afforded, to Homer's, her's, and my enemies, from which she was only screened by their happy ignorance? How unlucky had it been, when she infulted Monfieur de la Motte for omitting a material paffage in the speech of Helen to Hector, Il. 6. if fome champion for the moderns had by chance understood fo much Greek, as to whisper him, that there was no fuch paffage in Homer!
Our concern, zeal, and even jealousy, for our great Author's honour were mutual, our endeavours
b Dacier Remarques fur le 4me livre de l'Odysf. pag. 467. De la Corruption du Goût,
to advance it were equal, and I have as often trembled for it in her hands, as fhe could in mine. It was one of the many reasons I had to wish the longer life of this Lady, that I must certainly have regained her good opinion, in fpite of all mifreprefenting tranflators whatever. I could not have expected it on any other terms than being approved as great, if not as paffionate, an admirer of Homer as herself. For that was the first condition of her favour and friendship; otherwise not one's taste alone, but one's morality had been corrupted, nor would any man's religion have been unfufpected, who did not implicitly believe in an Author whofe doctrine is for conformable to holy Scripture. However, as different people have different ways of expreffing their belief, fome purely by public and general acts of worship, others by a reverend fort of reasoning and inquiry about the grounds of it; it is the fame in admiration, fome prove it by exclamations, others by refpect. I have observed that the loudeft huzza's given to a great man in triumph, proceed not from his friends, but the rabble; and as I have fancied it the fame with the rabble of critics, a defire to be distinguished from them has turned me to the more moderate, and, I hope, more rational method. Though I am a Poet, I would not be an enthusiast ; and though I am an Englishman, I would not be furiously of a party. I am far from thinking myfelf that genius, upon whom, at the end of thefe re
marks, Madam Dacier congratulates my country : One capable of "correcting Homer, and confe"quently of reforming mankind, and amending "this conftitution." It was not to Great Britain this ought to have been applied, fince our nation has one happiness for which fhe might have preferred it to her own; that as much as we abound in other miferable mifguided fects, we have, at least, none of the blafphemers of Homer. We stedfastly and unanimously believe both this Poem and our Conftitution to be the best that ever human wit invented: that the one is not more incapable of amendment than the other; and (old as they both are) we defpife any French or Englishman whatever, who fhall prefume to retrench, to innovate, or to make the leaft alteration in either. Far therefore from the genius for which Madam Dacier mistook me, my whole defire is but to preserve the humble character of a faithful tranflator, and a quiet fubject".
This compofition has great beauty and force. The criticisms are in general as just and discriminating, as the language is elegant. To the manly fentiments in the conclufion, every Englishman muft affent with cordiality. It were only to be wifhed, that the writer had never given us reafon to doubt his own fincerity.
POPE fays, in the Epilogue to the Satires, in this volume, line 99, that he never
"Din'd with the Man of Rofs."
A few more particulars, which I have accidentally met with, -concerning this extraordinary man, and his mode of living, to which Pope probably alludes, may be here admitted, though too long and unimportant for a Note on the place. These were sent to an Editor of a newspaper, 1787, but they bear the evident marks of authenticity.
"To the PRINTER.
"Sir, I fend you a few anecdotes relative to Mr. John Kirle, the Man of Rofs, which I picked up the other day in that town. He kept a public table on the Thursday of every week, and had always twelve perfons to dine with him on that day. The dinner confifted of a furloin of beef, a loin of veal, a leg of mutton, (all bought at Rofs market,) and a plain pudding. What remained of this was given away in the afternoon. His hour of dinner was at two o'clock. Cyder, perry, and ale, were the only liquors drank at his table. His Sunday dinner confifted of a rump of beef; the remains of which were given away to the poor. His household establishment confifted of two maids, a boy, and an upper fervant. He was skilled in architecture; and once, on a vifit to fee fome building near Benson in Oxfordshire, was taken up as an highwayman, and carried before a juftice, to whom he said he was the Man of Rofs. This, however, did not avail him completely; for three persons of consequence in the neighbourhood went in their coaches and fix to bail him. He raised the spire of Ross upwards of one hundred feet. He made a causeway on the Monmouth road, for the use of foot paffengers. He inclosed within a ftone-wall, ornamented with two elegant entrances, a space of ground of near half an acre, in the center of which he funk a bafon, as a reservoir for water for the use of the inhabitants of