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Some figures monftrous and mis-shap'd appear,
Confider'd fingly, or beheld too near,


Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place,
Due distance reconciles to form and grace.
A prudent chief not always muft difplay
His pow'rs in equal ranks, and fair array,
But with th' occafion and the place comply,
Conceal his force, nay feem fometimes to fly.
Thofe oft are ftratagems which errors feem,
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.
Still green with bays each ancient Altar ftands,
Above the reach of facrilegious hands;
Secure from Flames, from Envy's fiercer rage,
Destructive War, and all-involving Age.


See, from each clime the learn'd their incenfe bring! Hear, in all tongues confenting Pæans ring!


In praise so just let ev'ry voice be join'd,

And fill the gen'ral chorus of mankind.


VER. 175. A prudent chief, etc.] Ofór ti wonder of Φρόνιμοι τρατηλάται κατὰ τὰς τάξεις τῶν τρατευμάτων — Dion. Hal. De ftruct. orat.

VER. 180. Nor is it Homer nods, but re that dream.] Modefte, et circumfpecto judicio de tantis viris pronunciandum eft, ne (quod plerifque accidit) damnent quod non intelligunt. Ac fi neceffe eft in alteram errare partem, omnia eorum legentibus placere, quam multa difplicere maluerim. Quint. P.

VER. 183. Secure from flames, from envy's fiercer rage,

Deftructive war, and all-involving age.] The Poet here alludes to the four great causes of the ravage amongst ancient writings: The deftruction of the Alexandrine and Palatine libraries by fire; the fiercer rage of Zoilus and Mævius and their followers against Wit; the irruption of the Barbarians into the empire; and the long reign of Ignorance and Superftition in the cloisters,

Hail, Bards triumphant! born in happier days;
Immortal heirs of univerfal praise !
Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
As ftreams roll down, enlarging as they flow;
Nations unborn your mighty names shall found,
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
Oh may some spark of your celeftial fire,
The laft, the meanest of your fons infpire,



(That on weak wings, from far, purfues your flights;
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain Wits a fcience little known,
T'admire fuperior sense, and doubt their own! 200
Of all the Caufes which confpire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and mifguide the mind,
What the weak head with ftrongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,
She gives in large recruits of needful Pride;
For as in bodies, thus in fouls, we find


What wants in blood and fpirits, fwell'd with wind.
Pride, where Wit fails, fteps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty Void of sense.
H 2



VER. 189. Hail, Bards triumphant!] There is a pleafantry in this title, which alludes to the state of warfare that all true Genius must undergo while here upon earth.

VER. 209. Pride where Wit fails fteps in to our defence, And fills up all the mighty void of fenfe.] A very fenfible French writer makes the following remark on this fpecies of pride. "Un homme qui fçait plufieurs


Langues, qui etend les Auteurs Grecs et Latins, qui " s'eleve même jufqu' à la dignité de SCHOLIASTE; "fi cet homme venoit à peser son véritable mérite, il "trouveroit

If once right reafon drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with refiftless day.
Truft not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend-and ev'ry foe.


A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or tafte not the Pierian spring: There fhallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely fobers us again. Fir'd at first fight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts, While from the bounded level of our mind, Short views we take, nor fee the lengths behind; But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprize New distant scenes of endless science rise ! So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps we try, 225 Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the fky, Th' eternal fnows appear already paft,

And the firft clouds and mountains feem the laft:



trouveroit fouvent qu'il fe réduit à avoir eu des yeux "et de la mémoire, il fe garderoit bien de donner le nom "refpectable de science à une érudition fans lumiere.

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y a une grande difference entre s'enrichir des mots ou "des chofes, entre alleguer des autoritez ou des raisons. "Si un homme pouvoit fe furprendre à n' avoir que "cette forte de mérite, il en rougiroit plûtôt que d'en * être vain."

VER. 217. There shallow draughts, etc.] The thought was taken from Lord Verulam, who applies it to more ferious enquiries.

VER. 225


So pleas'd at firft the tow'ring Alps to try,
Fill'd with ideas of fair Italy,

The Traveller beholds with chearful eyes

'The lefs'ning vales, and feems to tread the skies..

But, thofe attain'd, we tremble to furvey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way, 230
Th' increasing profpect tires our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arife!


A perfect Judge will read each work of Wit With the fame spirit that its author writ: Survey the WHOLE, nor feek flight faults to find Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; Nor lofe, for that malignant dull delight, The gen'rous pleasure to be charm'd with wit. But in fuch lays as neither ebb, nor flow, Correctly cold, and regularly low, That fhunning faults, one quiet tenour keep; We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep. In Wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactnefs of peculiar parts; 'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all. Thus when we view fome well-proportion'd dome, (The world's just wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!) H 3



VER. 233. A perfect Judge, etc.] Diligenter legendum eft, ac pane ad fcribendi follicitudinem: Nec per partes modo fcrutanda funt omnia, fed perlectus liber utique ex integro refumendus. Quin.

VER. 235. Survey the Whole, nor feek flight faults to find, Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind; The fecond line, in apologizing for those faults which the firft fays fhould be overlooked, gives the reason of the precept. For when a writer's attention is fixed on a general view of Nature, and his imagination warm'd with the contemplation of great ideas, it can hardly be but that there must be fmall irregularities in the difpofition both of matter and ftyle, because the avoiding these requires a coolness of recollection, which a writer fo bufied is not master of.

No fingle parts unequally furprize,
All comes united to th' admiring eyes;


No monftrous height, or breadth, or length appear; The Whole at once is bold, and regular..

Whoever thinks a faultlefs piece to fee,

Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In ev'ry work regard the writer's End,


Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be juft, the conduct true,
Applause, in spight of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, fometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit:
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know fome trifles, is a praise.
Moft Critics, fond of fome subservient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one lov'd Folly facrifice.



Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say,
A certain Bard encount'ring on the way,
Difcours'd in terms as juft, with looks as fage,
As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage; 270
Concluding all were defp'rate fots and fools,
Who durft depart from Ariftotle's rules.
Our Author, happy in a judge fo nice,

Produc'd his Play, and begg'd the Knight's advice;
Made him obferve the fubject, and the plot,
The manners, paffions, unities, what not?



VER. 261. verbal Critic] Is not here ufed in its common fignification, of one who retails the sense of fingle words; but of one who deals in large cargo's of them without any fense at all.

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