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pages were written in an obscure country town, with out the advantage of Books, or a Literary Society, and that the manuscripts were sent wet to the
press; Therefore I shall take leave of my Muse, nearly in the valedictory words of Bonofonius to his mistress ;
IN THREE BOOKS.
BOOK THE FIRST. *
Two things there are confound the Poet's lays, The Scholar's censure, and the Blockhead's praise :
* The Exordium of a Poem should be like the vestibule of an house; not so magnificent as to cause the other apartments to appear to a disadvantage; not so mean as to extinguish all curiosity to inspect the rest of the mansion.
In this first Book, which I could wish to be considered as introductory, some readers will accuse me of wandering from my subject, like Montaigne in his bootless chapter on boots ; and this accusation would be well grounded, if Hypocrisy were confined to the Church. But alas this vice boasts a more extensive dominion. In politics she hath her knaves,and demagogues ; in literature her pedants, and sciolists ;
That glowing page with double lustre shines, When Popè approves, and Dennis* damns the lines.
Pleased I anticipate that favouring gale, The threatening breath of Fools, to swell my Who venomous as toads, yet in their head No jewel wear, but one vast lump of lead; With such who wage the war, must from that day Throw far the scabbard of the sword † away, Enjoy the storm, and in the tempest live, Wits may, but witlings never can forgive: Who helps or harms the last, shall quickly feel They favours write on sand, but wrongs on steel.
in medicine her quacks, and charletans. The best definition I recollect of an Hypocrite is this “Quod non est simulat, dissimulat que quod est.
And the Greeks seem to have had the same Idea, when they designated the hypocrite and the actor by one general term. If theo all who aet a part are Hypocrites, if all are such, who hide what they are, or affect to be what they are not: then I suspect it will be more difficult to shew where Hypocrisy does not exist than where it does.
* John Dennis, the dull, but relentless adversary of Pope and Addison; the self importance of this man is worthy of being recorded. Having published a Tragedy which contained an Invective against the French Nation, he waited on the Duke of Marlborough, after the Treaty of Utrecht, to request his Grace would use his influence that he might not be delivered up to the French King. The Duke gravely told him, he had not as yet taken any such precautions with regard to himself, although he must conceive he had done that Nation almost as much mischief as Mr. Dennis.
* "Galeatum sero duelli pænitet."
Nought might these wretches' mad revenge control, Had they great Cæsar's power-but Cæsar's soul i Fools o'erlook benefits, but wrongs o'errate, Sluggish in gratitude, alert in hate; But Cæsar's mind was cast in different mould, As warm to friendship, as to vengeance cold; ; Lord of himself, as of the world, he chose To conquer still by benefits his foes; Christians ! that memory was a pagan's lot, That nothing e'er but injuries forgot.
Rail then, ye dunces, dignified abuse, And cheer with loud anathemas my muse, Blast not with cruel smile the Poet's bays, Nor blight them with the mildew of your praise; * Rail on, and railing fan the kindling hope I may at least in one thing † rival Pope; Whose pigmy foes ennobled by the hand That slew them, hence alone some fame command; # Their very names from Us had been concealed, But that their darts stick in a Giant's shield. S Thus the vile lead that laid great Nelson low, In gold and chrystal set, becomes a show.
laudantes.” Indiscriminate encomiasts are our worst enemies, † In the hate of Dunces.
I "Give me half a Crown,” said Swift to Pope, “and I will engage
that posterity shall kaow no more of your enemies than you chuse to tell them."
S The Dunciad. y The points of resemblance here are, the vileness of the
Then let your anger sinoke, it cannot blaze,
instruments, and the circumstance of their becoming notorious by an attack which proved quite unable to wound the fame of those great men. Mr. Beattie, Surgeon of the Victory, is in possession of the ball that caused Nelson's death; I am informed it is set in chrystal in a very curious and costly manner, and part of the epaulette, which it carried away is still to be seen adhering to it. Were Great Britain to apostrophise' would she not exclaim with Æneas "Spoliis indute meorum” and reflecting on the loss of her gallant Son, would she not add in nearly the same words with Evander,
“Sollicitæ utinam dederas promissa Parenti
Cautius ut sævo velles te credere Marti ! 's In the library of Buonaparte were lately observed the busts of two Englishmen, Nelson and Fox; an Italian translation of Ossian was lying on the table, apparently much thumbed.