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acuteness often furprises; if the imagination is not always gratified, at least the powers of reflection and comparison are employed; and in the mass of materials which ingenious absurdity has thrown together, genuine wit and useful knowledge may be sometimes found, buried perhaps in grossness of expression, but useful to those who know their value ; and such as, when they are expanded to perspicuity, and polished to elegance, may give luftre to works which have more propriety, though less copiousness of sentiment:

This kind of writing, which was, I believe, borrowed from Marino and his followers, had been recommended

by the example of Donne, a man of very extensive and various knowledge, and by Jonson, whose manner resem. bled that of Donne more in the ruggedness of his lines than in the cast of his sentiments. · When their reputation was high, they had undoubtedly more imitators, than time has left behind. Their immediate successors, of whom any remembrance can be said to remain, were Suckling, Waller, Denham, Cowley, Cleveland, and Milton. Denham and Waller sought another way to fame, by improving the harmony of our numbers. Milton tried the metaphysick stile only in his lines upon Hobson the Carrier. Cowley adopted it, and excelled his prede

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cessors, cessors,: having as much sentiment, and more 'musick. Suckling neither improved verfification, nor abounded in conceits. The fashionable stile remained chiefly with Cowley; Suckling could not reach it, and Milton disdained it.

Critical remarks are not easily understood without examples; and I have therefore collected instances of the modes of writing by which this species of poets, for poets they were called by themselves and their admirers, was eminently diftinguished.

As the authors of this race were per

haps more desirous of being admired than understood, they, sometimes drew their conceits from recesses of learning

not

not very much frequented by common
readers of poetry. Thus Cowley on
Knowledge:
The sacred tree midst the fair orchard

grew.;
The phænix Truth did on it reft,

And built his perfum'd nest,
That right Porphyrian tree which did

true Logick shew. Each leaf did learned notions give, And th’apples were demonstrative:

So clear their colour and divine, The very shade they cast did other lights

outshine.

On Anacreon continuing a lover in his old age :

Love was with thy life entwin’d,
Close as heat with fire is join'd,

E2 A power

A powerful brand prescrib’d the date
Of thine, like Meleager's fate.
Th' antiperistasis of age
More enflam'd thy amorous rage.

In the following verses we have an allufion to a Rabbinical opinion concerning Manna:

Variety I ask not : give me one
To live perpetually upon.
The person Love does to us fit,
Like manna, has the taste of all in it.

Thus Donne shews his medicinal knowledge in some encomiaftick verses :

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