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THE SENTIMENTS MUST BE BOTI-I NATURAL AND SUBLIME. 27
his Defect as to this Particular in several parts of the Iliad and Ozlyfity, tho' at the same time those who have treated this great Poet with Candour, have attributed this Defect to the Times in which he lived. It was the fault of the Age, and not of Homer, if there wants that Delicacy in some of his Sentiments, which appears in the Works of Men of a much inferior Genius. Befides, if there are Blemishes in any particular Thoughts, there is an infinite Beauty in the greatest part of them. In short, if there are many Poets who wou'd not have fallen into the mea[n]ness of some of his Sentiments, there are none who cou'd have rife[n] up to the Greatness of others. Virgil has excelled all others in the Propriety of his Sentiments. Milton shines likewise very much in this Particular: Nor must we omit one Confideration which adds to his Honour and Reputation. Homer and Virgil introduced Persons whose Characters are commonly known among Men, and such as are to be' met with either in History, or in ordinary Conversation. sl[z'lIon's Characters, most of them, lie out of Nature, and were to be sormed purely by his own Invention. It shews a greater Genius in Slakeyffiear to have drawn his Calyban, than his Isotflur or jfulius Casar : The one was to be supplied out of his own Imagination, whereas the other might have been formed upon Tradition, History and Observation. It was much eafier therefore for Homer to find proper Sentiments for an Afsembly of Grecian Generals, than for slsilfon to diverfifie his Infernal Council with proper Characters, and infpire them with a variety ot Sentiments. The Loves of Ditlo and .-fneas are only Copies of what has passed between other Persons. Adam and Eve, before the Fall, are a different Species from that of Mankind, who are descended from them; and none but a Poet of the most unbounded Invention, and the most exquifite Judgment, cou'd have filled their Conversation and Behaviour with such Beautiful Circumstances during their State of Innocence.