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the grandeur of generality; for of the greatest things the parts are little ; what is little can be but pretty, and by claiming dignity becomes ridiculous. Thus all the power of description is destroyed by a scrupulous enumeration; and the force of metaphors is lost, when the mind by the mention of particulars is turned more upon the original than the secondary sense, more upon that from which the illustration is drawn than that to which it is applied.
Of this we have a very eminent example in the ode entitled The Muse, who goes to take the air in an intellectual chariot, to which he harnesses Fancy and Judgement, Wit and Eloquence, Memory and Invention : how he
distinguished Wit from Fancy, or how Memory could properly contribute to Motion, he has not explained: we are however content to suppose that he could have justified his own fiction, and wish to see the Muse begin her career ; but there is yet more to be done. Let the poftilion Nature mount, and let The coachman Art be set; And let the airy footmen, running all
beside, Make a long row of goodly pride ; Figures, conceits, raptures, and fen
tences, In a well-worded dress, And innocent loves, and pleasant truths,
and useful lies, In all their gaudy liveries.
Every mind is now disgusted with this cumber of magnificence; yet I cannot refuse myself the four next lines :
Mount, glorious queen, thy travelling
And bid it to put on; For long though cheerful is the way, And life alas allows but one ill winter's
In the same ode, celebrating the power of the Muse, he gives her prescience, or, in poetical language, the forefight of events hatching in futurity ; but having once an egg in his mind, he cannot forbear to shew us that he knows what an egg contains :
Thou into the close nests of time do'st
peep, And there with piercing eye Through the firm fhell and the thick
white doft spy Years to come a-forming lie, Close in their sacred fecundine asleep.
The same thought is more generally, and therefore more poetically, expressed by Casimir, a writer who has many of the beauties and faults of Cowley :
Omnibus mundi Dominator horis
' Crefcit in ann
Crescit in annos. Cowley, whatever was his subject, seems to have been carried, by a kind
of destiny, to the light and the familiar, or to conceits which require still more ignoble epithets. A slaughter in the Red Sea, new dies the waters name ; and England, during the Civil War, was Albion no more, nor to be named from white. It is surely by some fascination not easily furmounted, that a writer, profeffing to revive the noblest and highest writing in verse, makes this address to the new year :
Nay, if thou lov'st me, gentle year,