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chorusses, anapests and iambics, alliterative care and happy negligence! Every absurdity has now a champion to defend it; and as he is
generally much in the wrong, so he has always much to
for error is ever talkative. But there is an enemy to this art still more dangerous, I mean Party. Party entirely distorts the judgment, and destroys the taste. When the mind is once infected with this disease, it can only find pleasure in what contributes to increase the distemper. Like the tiger, that seldom desists from pursuing man, after having once preyed upon human flesh, the reader, who has once gratified his appetite with calumny, makes ever after the most agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such readers generally admire some half-witted thing, who wants to be thought a bold man, having lost the character of a wise one. Him they dignify with the name of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his turbulence is said to be force, and his phrenzy fire.
What reception a poem may find, which has neither abuse, party, nor blank verse, to support it, I cannot tell, nor am I solicitous to know. My aims are right. Without espousing the cause of any party, I have attempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeavoured to shew, that there may be equal happiness in states that are differently governed from our own; that every state has a particular principle of happiness, and that this principle in each may be carried to a mischievous excess. There are few can judge better than yourself how far these positions are illustrated in this poem.
Your most affectionate brother,
Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire To pause from toil, and trim their ev’ning fire;
Blest that abode, where want and pain repair,
But me, not destin'd such delights to share,
Ev'n now, where Alpine solitudes ascend, I sit me down a pensive hour to spend; And plac'd on high, above the storm's career, Look downward where hundred realms appear; Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride.