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See Dionysius Homer's thoughts refine,
Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,
In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find 670
Thee, bold Longinus ! all the Nine inspire, And bless their Critic with a Poet's fire. An ardent Judge, who zealous in his trust, With warmth gives sentence, yet is always just ; Whose own example strengthens all his laws; 680 And is himself that great Sublime he draws.
Thus long fucceeding Critics justly reign’d, Licence repress’d, and useful laws ordain'd. Learning and Rome alike in empire grew;
684 And Arts still follow'd where her Eagles Aew; From the same foes, at last, both felt their doom, And the fame age faw Learning fall, and Rome, . With Tyranny, then Superstition join'd, As that the body, this enslav'd the mind; Much was believ'd, but little understood, 690 And to be dull was constru'd to be good;
Ver. 666. See Dionysius] Of Halicarnassus. P.
VARIATIONS. Between ver. 691 and 692, the author omitted these two,
Vain Wits and Critics were no more allow'd,
At length Erasmus, that great injur'd name,
But fee! each Muse, in Leo's golden days,
VER. 69;. The glory of the Priesthood and be hame,] Our author elsewhere lets us know what he estcems to be the glory of the Priesthood as well as of a Chriftian in general, where, comparing himself to Erasmus, he says,
In MODERATION placing all my glory,
Mansua vc miferæ uimium vicina Cremona, Virg.
But soon by impious arms from Latium chas'd, Their ancient bounds the banish'd Muses pals’d; Thence Arts o'er all the northern world advance, But Critic-learning flourish'd most in France : The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys; And Boileau still in right of Horace sways. But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis'd, And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd; Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold, We still defy'd the Romans, as of old. Yet some there were, among the founder few Of those who less presum'd, and better knew, 721 Who durft assert the jufter ancient cause, And here restor'd Wit's fundamental laws, Such was the Muse, whose rules and practice tell, “ Nature's chief Master-piece is writing well.” 725
VER. 724. Such was the Mufe) Ejay on Poetry by the Duke of Buckingham. Our Poet is not the only one of his time who complimented this Ejay, and its noble Author. Mr. Dryden had done it very largely in the Dedication to his translation of the Æneid; and Dr. Garth in the firft Edition of his Dispensary says,
The Tyber now no courtly Gallus fees,
But smiling Thames enjoys his Normanbys. Tho' afterwards omitted, when parties were carried fo high in the reign of Queen Anne, as to allow no commendation to an opposite in Politics. The Duke 'was all his life a steady adherent to the Church of England Party, yet an enemy to the extravagant measures of the Court in the reign of Charles II. On which account after having firongly patronized Mr. Dryden, a coolness fucceeded between them on that poet's absolute attachment to the Court, which carried him some lengths beyond what the Duke could approve of. This Nobleman's
Such was Roscommon, not more learn’d than good,
744 Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.
true character had been very well marked by Mr. Dryden before,
the Muse's friend, Himself a Muse. In Sanadrin's debate True to his prince, but not a save of fate.
Abs. and Achit. Our Author was more happy, he was honour'd very young with his friendship, and it continued till his death in all the circumstances of a familiar esteem.