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Such labour'd nothings, in fo ftrange a ftyle, 326 Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned fmile. Unlucky, as Fungofo in the Play,


These sparks with aukward vanity display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday;
And but fo mimic ancient wits at best,
As apes our grandfires, in their doublets drest.
In words, as fashions, the fame rule will hold ;
Alike fantaftic, if too new or old :

Be not the first by whom the new are try'd,
Nor yet the last to lay the old afide.


But most by Numbers judge a Poet's fong; And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong: In the bright Muse tho' thousand charms confpire, Her Voice is all thefe tuneful fools admire;


"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 maxime nova." Idem.

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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
Nunc demum numero fluere, ut per læve feveros

Effundat juntura ungues: fcit tendere verfum

Non fecus ac fi oculo rubricam dirigat uno.

Perf. Sat, i,

Who haunt Parnaffus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds; as fome to Church repair,
Not for the doctrine but the mufic there.
Thefe 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:
While they ring round the fame unvary'd chimes,
With fure returns of still expected rhymes;
Where'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 threat'n'd (not in vain) with " fleep :"
Then, at the laft and only couplet fraught
With fome unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That, like a wounded fnake, drags its flow length



Leave fuch to tune their own dull rhimes, and know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow; And praise the easy vigour of a line, 360 Where Denham's ftrength, and Waller's sweetness join.

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.

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,
The found muft feem an Echo to the fenfe :
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the fmooth stream in fmoother numbers flows;
But when loud furges lafh the founding fhore,

The hoarfe, rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives fome rock's vaft weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move flow: 371
Not fo, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the



Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays furprize,
And bid alternate paffions fall and rife!
While, at each change, the fon of Libyan Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now fighs steal out, and tears begin to flow:

VER. 374. Hear bow Timotheus, etc.] See Alexander's Feaft, or the Power of Mufic; an Ode by Mr. Dryden.

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

Tum fi læta canunt, etc. Vida Poet. 1. iii. ✯ 403.
VER. 368. But when loud furges, etc.]

Tum longe fale faxa fonant, etc.
Vida ib. 388.
VER. 370. When Ajax firives, 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. VOL. I.



Perfians and Greeks like turns of nature found, 380
And the world's victor stood subdu'd by Sound!
The pow'r of Mufic all our hearts allow,
And what Timotheus was, is DRYDEN now.
Avoid Extremes; and fhun the fault of such,
Who ftill are pleas'd too little or too much.
At ev'ry trifle fcorn to take offence,
That always fhews great pride, or little sense;
Those heads, as ftomachs, are not fure the best,
Which nauseate all, and nothing can digeft.
Yet let not each gay Turn thy rapture move;
For fools admire, but men of fenfe approve :
As things feem large which we thro' mifts defcry,
Dulness is ever apt to magnify.

Some foreign writers, fome our own despise;
The Ancients only, or the Moderns prize.
Thus Wit, like Faith, by each man is apply'd
To one small fect, and all are damn'd befide.
Meanly they feek the bleffing to confine,
And force that fun but on a part to shine,
Which not alone the fouthern wit fublimes,
But ripens fpirits in cold northern climes;
Which from the firft has fhone on ages past,
Enlights the prefent, and shall warm the last;
'Tho' each may feel encreases and decays,
And fee now clearer and now darker days.
Regard not then if Wit be old or new,
But blame the falfe, and value ftill the true.






Some ne'er advance a Judgment of their own, But catch the spreading notion of the Town; They reafon and conclude by precedent,



And own ftale nonfenfe which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of authors names, not works, and then
Nor praise nor blame the writings, but the men.
Of all this fervile herd, the worst is he
That in proud dulness joins with Quality.
A conftant Critic at the great man's board,
To fetch and carry nonsense for my Lord.
What woful stuff this madrigal would be,
In some starv'd hackney sonneteer, or me?
But let a Lord once own the happy lines,
How the wit brightens! how the style refines !
Before his facred name flies ev'ry fault,

And each exalted stanza teems with thought!
The Vulgar thus through Imitation err;

As oft the Learn'd by being fingular;



So much they scorn the croud, that if the throng
By chance go right, they purposely go wrong:

=So Schifmatics the plain believers quit,
And are but damn'd for having too much wit.
Some praise at morning what they blame at night;
But always think the last opinion right.
A Mufe by thefe is like a mistress us'd,
This hour she's idoliz'd, the next abus'd;


While their weak heads like towns unfortify'd, 'Twixt fenfe and nonfenfe daily change their fide.

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