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Something, whose truth convinc'd at fight we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind. 300
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit.

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NOTES. ned Wit to consist in the af- But it never becomes that femblage of ideas, and put- Wit which is the ornament ting those together, with of true Poesy, whose end is quickness and variety, where to represent Nature, but in can be found any relem- when it dresses that Nablance or congruity, whereby ture to advantage, and preto make up pleafant pietures sents her to us in the clearest and agreeable visions in the and most taking light. And fancy. But that great Phi- to know when Wit has done losopher, in separating Wit its office, the poet fubjoins from Judgment, as he does one admirable direction ; in this place, has given us vix. When we perceive that (and he could therefore give it gives us back the image of us no other) only an account our mind. When it does of Wit in general: In which, that, we may be sure it false. Wit, cho' not every plays no tricks with us: For fpecies of it, is included. A this image is the creature of Äriking image therefore of the Judgment: and when Nature, is as Mr. Locke ob- ever Wit corresponds with serves, certainly Wis: But Judgment, we may safely this image may Arike on se- pronounce it to be true. yeral accounts, as well as Naturam intueamur, bano for its trusband amiableness ; fequamur: id facillimè acand the Philosopher has ex- cipiunt asimi quod agnofcunt. plained the manner how. Quintil. lib. viii. c. 3.

For works may have more wit than does 'em good, As bodies perish thro' excess of blood.

Others for Language all their care express, 305 And value books, as women men, for Dress :

COMMENTARY. VER. 305. Others for Language, &c.] He proceeds secondly to those narrow Critics whose whole concern turns upon Language, and shews [from * 304 ta 337] that this quality, where it holds the principal place, de serves no commendation ; because it excludes qualities more effential. And when the abounding Verbiage has excluded the sense, the writer has nothing to do but to to hide the defect, by giving his words all the false colour and gilding he is able.

2. He shews that the Critie who bufies himself with this quality alone, is altogether unable to m ke a right Judgment of it; because true Exprelon is only the dress of Thought ; and so, must be perpetually varied according to the subject and manner of thinking. But those who never concern themselves with the sense, can form no judgment of the correspondence between that and the Language:

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Expresion is the dress of thought, and fill

Appears more decent as more suitable, &c. Now as these Critics are strangers to all this skill, their whole judgment in Language is reduced to the choice of single words ; the highest excellence of which is commonly thought to confift in their being antique and pbsolete. On which our author has therefore bestow'd

Their praise is still, - the Style is excellent:
The Sense, they humbly take upon content.
Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found. 310
False Eloquence, like the Prismatic glass,
Its gaudy colours spreads on ev'ry place ;
The face of nature we no more survey,
All glares alike, without distinction gay:

COMMENTARY.. a little raillery: concluding with a short and proper direction concerning the use of words, as far as regards their kovelty and antiquity.

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NOTES. 311. False eloquence, the native complexion of like the prismatic glass, the objects. And false EESC.] This fimile is beauti- loquence is nothing else but ful. For the false colouring, the straining and divaricatgiven to objects by the pril- ing the parts of true exprej matic glass, is owing to its fson ; and then daubing untwisting, by its obliqui- them over with what the ties, those threads of light, Rhetoricians very properly which nature had put toge- term, colours ; in lieu of ther in order to spread over that candid light, now loit, its works an ingenuous and which was reflected from simple candor, that should them in their natural stace not hide, but only heighten while fincere and entire.

But true Expression, like th' unchanging Sun, 315 Clears, and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all objects, but it alters none. Expression is the dress of thought, and still Appears more decent, as more suitable ; A vile conceit in pompaus words express'd, 320 Is like a clown in regal purple dress’d : For diffrent styles with diff'rent subjects fort, As several garbs with country, town, and court. Some by old words to fame have made pretence, Ancients in phrase, meer moderns in their sense : Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style, 326 Amaze th' unlearn'd, and make the learned smile.


¥324. Some by old words, nil eft odiofius affe&tatione, &c.]. Abolita & abrogata nec utique ab ultimis repetita retinere, infolentiæ cujuf- temporibus.

Oratio cujus dlam est, & frivola in par- fumma virtus eft perspicui. vis jactantia. Quintil. lib. tas, quam fit vitiofa, kei, c. 6.

geat interprete? Ergo ut noz Opus eft ut verba à ve- porum optima erunt maxituftate repetita neque crebra vetera, ita veterum max: fint, neque manifesa, quia ime nova. Idein.

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Unlucky, as Fungoso in the Play,
These sparks with aukward vanity display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday; 330
And but so mimic ancient wits at best,
As apes our grandfires, in their doublets dreit.
In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new, or old;
Be not the first by whom the new are try'd, 335
Nor yet the last to lay the old afide.

But most by Numbers judge a Poet's song,
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or

Ver. 337. But mos by Numbers judge, &c.] The last fort
are those [from Ý 336 to 384.] whose ears are atiached
only to the Harmony of a poem. Of which they judge
as ignorantly and as perversely as the other fort did of
Eloquence ; and for the very faine Reason. He first de-
{cribes that false Harmony with which they are so much
captivated ; and shews that it is wretchedly flat and un.
varied : For

Smooth or rough with them is right or wrong.
He then describes the true. 1. As it is in itself, con-
Jtant; with a happy mixture of frengtb and sweetness,
in contradiction to the roughness and flatness of falle Hur

NOT E s. $ 328. unlucky as' Johnson's Every Man in bis Fungoro, &c.] See Ben. Humour.


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