Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

or propriety in them attones for the liberty : Mr. Dryden has been too free of these, especially in his latter works. I am of the same opinion as to Triple Rhimes.

5. I could equally object to the Repetition of the same Rhimes within four or fix lines of each other, as tirésome to the ear thro' their Monotony.

6. Monofyllable.Lines, unless very artfully managed, are stiff, or languishing : but may be beautiful to express Melancholy, Slowness, or Labour.

7. To come to the Hiatus, or Gap between two words, which is caus'd by two vowels opening on each other, (upon which you desire me to be particular) I think the rule in this case is either to use the Cæsura, or admit the Hiatus, just as the ear is leaft shock'd by either: For the Cæsura sometimes offends the ear more than the Hiatus itself, and our language is naturally overcharg'd with consonants : As for example ; If in this verse,

The old have Intreft ever in their eye, we should say, to avoid the Hiatus,

But th' old have int'reft The Hiatus which has the worst effe&t, is when one word ends with the same vowel that begins the following; and next to this, those vowels whose sounds come nearest to each other are most to be avoided. O, A, or U, will bear a more full and graceful Sound than E,I, or Y. I know some people will think these Observations trivial, and therefore I am glad to corroborate them by some great authorities, which I have met with in Tully and Quintilian. In the fourth book of Rhetoric

E 4

to Herennius, are these words : Fugiemus crebras vos calium concursiones, quæ vastam atque hiantem reddunt orationem ; ut hoc est, Baccæ æneæ amanillimæ impendebant. And Quintilianl.9. cap. 4. Vocalium concurfus cum accidit, hiat & interfiflit, & quafi labor at oratio. Pesimi longe quæ easdem inter fe literas committunt, fonabunt: Præcipuus tamen erit hiatus earum quæ cavo aut patulo ore efferuntur. E plenior litera est, I anguflior. But he goes on to reprove the excess on the other hand of being too solicitous in this matter, and says admirably, Nefcio an negligentia in hoc, aut folicitudo fit pejor. So likewise Tully (Orator ad Brut.) Theopompum reprehendunt, quod eas literas tanto opere fugerit, etsi idem magister ejust Ifocrates : which last author, as Turne. bus on Quintilian observes, has hardly one Hiatus in all his works. Quintilian tells us that Tully and Demosthenes did not much observe this nicety, tho' Tully himselfíays in his Orator, Crebra ifta vocum concurfio, quam magna ex parte vitiofam, fugit Demosi benes. If I am not mistaken, Malherbe of all the moderns has been the most scrupulous in this point ; and I think Menage in his observations upon him says, he has not one in his poems. To conclude, I believe the Hiatus should be avoided with more care in poetry than in

Oratory; and I would constantly try to prevent it, - unless where the cutting it off is more prejudicial to

the sound than the Hiatus itself. Į am, &c.

A. Pope.

Mr. Walsh died at 49 years old, in the year 1708, the year before the Essay on Criticism was printed, which concludes with his Elogy.

LETTERS

LETTERS

TO and FROM

H. CROMWELL, Esq;

From 1908, to 1911.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

March 18, 1708. 7 Believe it was with me when I left the Town, as 1 it is with a great many men when they leave the temper, which hardly knows how to show Respect, where it feels Affection. I would love my Friend, as my Mistress, without ceremony; and hope a little rough usage sometimes may not be more difpleasing to the one, than it is to the other.

World, whole loss it self they do not so much regret, as that of their friends whom they leave behind in it. For I do not know one thing for which I can envy London, but for your continuing there. Yet I guess you will expect me to recant this expression, when I tell you that Sapho (by which heathenish name you have christen'd a very orthodox Lady) did not accompany me into the Country. Well, you have your Lady in the Town ftill, and I have my Heart in the Country still, which being wholly unemploy'd as yet, has the more room in it for my friends, and does not want a corner at your service. You have extreamly oblig'd me by your frankness and kindness ; and if I have abus'd it by too rnuch freedom on my part, I hope you will attribute it to the natural openness of my

temper

If you have any curiosity to know in what manner I live, or rather lose a life, Martial will inform you in one line :

Prandeo, poto, cano, ludo, lego, cæno, quiesco.

Every day with me is literally another yesterday, for it is exactly the same : It has the same business, which is Poetry, and the same pleasure, which is Idleness. A man migh: indeed pass his time much better, but I question if any man could pass it much easier. If you will visit our shades this spring, which I very much desire, you may perhaps instruct me to manage my game more wisely ; but at present I am satisfy'd to trifle away my time any way, rather than let it stick by me; as shop-keepers are glad to be rid of those goods at any rate, which wou!d otherwise always be lying upon their hands.

Sir,if you will favour me sometimeswith your letters, it will be a great satisfaction to me on several accounts ; and on this in particular, that it will show me (to my comfort) that even a wise man is sometimes very idle; for so you must needs be when you can find leisure to write to

Your, &c.

LETTER

[blocks in formation]

April 27, 1708. T Have nothing to say to you in this letter ; but I I was resolv'd to write to tell you so. Why should not I content my self with so many great examples of deep Divines, profound Casuists, grave Philosophers ; who have written, not letters only, but whole Tomes and voluminous Treatises about Nothing? Why shou'd a fellow like me, who all his life does nothing, be alham'd to write nothing ? and that to one who has nothing to do but to read it? But perhaps you'll say, the whole world has something to do, something to talk of, something to wish for, something to be imploy'd about : But pray, Sir, caft up the account, put all these somethings together, and what is the sum total but just nothing? I have no more to say, but to desire to give you my service (that is nothing) to your friends, and to believe that I am nothing more

Your, &c.

than

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

May 10, 1708. V OU talk of fame and glory, and of the great

men of Antiquity : Pray tell me, what are all your great dead men, but fo many little living letters ? What a waft reward is here for all the ink wasted by

Writers,

« AnteriorContinuar »