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“ THE colloquial and burlesque style and measure of Swift here adopted did not suit the genius and manner of our author, who frequently falls back, as was natural, from the familiar into his own more laboured, high, and pompous manner. See particularly line 125, and also 189:
Tell how the moon beams, &c.
And this difference of style is more striking and perceivable, from the circumstance of their being immediately subjoined to the lighter and less ornamental verses of Swift.
“The four epistles which Mr. Pitt translated ; namely, the 19th, 4th, 10th, and 18th of the first book, and which are inserted in the 43rd volume of the Works of English Poets, if they were carefully and candidly inspected, will be found really equal to any of Pope's Imitations, and are executed with a dignified familiarity and ease, in the very manner of Horace.
“After all that has been said of Horace by so many critics, ancient and modern, perhaps no words can describe him so exactly and justly as the following of Tully, spoken on another subject (Lib. 1, de Oratore). Accedit lepos quidam, facetiæque, et eruditio libero digna, celeritasque et brevitas respondendi et lacessendi, subtili venustate et urbanitate conjuncta.'”– WARTON.
“Dr. Warton observes, “That the colloquial and burlesque style and measure of Swift, here adopted, did not suit the genius and manner of our Author, who frequently falls back, as was.natural, from the familiar into his own more laboured, high, and pompous manner.'
“The observation is so far just, that Pope certainly does not display, in his Imitations of Horace, the ease and familiarity of Swift; but this does not detract from their merit any farther than as professed Imitations of Swift. Neither, are the least like Horace. Dr. Warton's description of Horace's character, as a writer of Epistles and Satires (for it does not at all apply to him in his lyric capacity), is, from Cicero de Oratore, lib. i., appropriate and accurate.”Bowles.
Swift's Imitation first appears in the Miscellanies of 1727. Pope's completion of this Imitation, and his Imitation of the Seventh Epistle of the First Book, were first published in the 8vo edition of his works, printed for Dodsley and Cooper in 1738.
Warton's remarks are just. The octosyllabic metre, which suited Swift's colloquial style, was too facile for Pope's pointed and polished composition. But the Imitations are for this very reason interesting, from the characteristic contrast they afford between the manners of the two poets.
IMITATIONS OF HORACE.
BOOK I., EPISTLE VII.
IMITATED IN THE MANNER OF DR. SWIFT.
'Tis true, my Lord, I gave my word,
“The dog-days are no more the case.”
My Lord, your favours well I know ;
“Pray take them, sir,-enough's a feast :
Now this I'll say, you'll find in me
| Compare Prologue to Satires, On the other hand, he represents ver. 208. The pronunciation of his flatterers as telling him, “Sir, “obliged” in the eighteenth cen- you have an eye !” and Warburton tury was “obleeged,” following the says in a note to that passage (Pro. French.
logue to Satires, i. 118) that his "eye 2 Pope's references to his eyesight bably it was so in appearance when
was fine, sharp, and piercing." Proare contradictory. In the Imitation
Warburton knew him, and in his of Horace, 1st Epistle i., he says that he is “far from a lynx,” and that he early days it may have been as sound will
and strong as the word “lively"
implies, but in later life he contracted Do what Mead and Cheselden advise
the complaint for which he consulted To keep these limbs, and to preserve these
3 1.1., when he wrote the Rape of
A weasel once made shift to slink
Sir, you may spare your application,