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tion. Sir John Denham's Cooper's Hill appears to claim the originality of this kind of poetry among us.

Life of Denham. A poem frigidly didactic, without rhyme, is so near to prose, that the reader only scorns it for pretending to be verse.

Life of Roscommon. Those performances which strike with wonder, are combinations of skilful genius with happy casualty.

Life of Pope. As men are often esteemed who cannot be loved, so the poetry of some writers may sometimes extort praise when it gives little pleasure.

Life of Collins. For the same reason that pastoral poetry was the first employment of the human imagination, it is generally the first literary amusement of our minds.

Rambler, vol. I, p. 218. The occasions on which pastoral poetry can be properly produced, are few, and general. The state of a man confined to the employments and pleasures of the country, is so little diversified, are exposed to so few of those accidents which produce perplexities, terrors, and surprises, in more complicated transactions, that he can be shown but seldom in such circumstances as attract curiosity. His ambition is without policy, and his love without intrigue. He has no complaints to make of his rival, but that he is richer than himself; nor any disasters to lament, but a cruel mistress, or a bad harvest.

Ibid. p. 2200

If we search the writings of Virgil, for tħe true definition of a pastoral, it will be found,“ A poem in which action or passion is represented by its effects upon a country life.”

Ibid. p. 224. Every other power by which the understanding is enlightened, or the imagination enchanted, may be exercised in prose. But the poet has this peculiar superiority, that to all the powers which the perfection of every other composition. can require, he adds the faculty of joining music with reason, and of acting at once upon the senses and the passions.

Ibid, vok. 2, p. 1846 Easy poetry is that in which natural thoughts are expressed, without violence to the language. Any epithet which can be ejected without diminuiion of the sense, any curious iteration of the same word, and all unusual, though not ungrammatical, structure of speech, destroy the grace. of easy poetry.

Idler, vol. 2, p. 136.

It is the prerogative of easy poetry, to be una derstood as long as the language lasts ; but modes of speech, which owe their prevalence only to modish folly, or to the eminence of those that use them, die away with their inventors; and their meaning, in a few years, is no longer known.

Ibid. p. 139.

Easy poetry, though it excludes pomp, will: admit greatness.

Itid. i ' The

The poets, from the time of Dryden, hare gradually advanced in embellishment, and, consequently, departed from simplicitly and ease.

Ibid. p. 140. POVERTY. Poverty has, in large cities, very different appearances. It is often concealed in splendor, . and often in extravagance. It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is last in contriving for to-morrow.

Prince of Abyssinia, p. 151. It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy unenvied, to be healthful without physic, and secure without a guard. To obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to procure by the help of artists, and the attendance of flatterers and spies.

Rambler, vol. 4, p. 229. There are natural reasons why poverty does not easily conciliate. He that has been con· fined from his infancy to the conversation of the

lowest classes of mankind, must necessarily want those accomplishments which are the usual, means of attracting favour; and though truth, fortitude, and probity, give an indisputable right to reverence and kindness, they will not be distinguished by common eyes, unless they are brightened by elegance of manners, but are cast aside, like unpolished gems, of which none but the artist knows the intrinsic value, till their asperities are smoothed and their incrustations rubbed away.

Ibid. p. 35.


Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries, but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities.

Idler, vol. 1, p. 208.

In a long continuance of poverty, it cannot well be expected that any character should be exactly uniform. There is a degree of want, by which the freedom of agency is almost destroyed; and long associations with fortuitous companions, will, at last, relax the strictness of truth, and abate the fervour of sincerity.-Of such a man, it is surely some degree of praise to say, that he preserved the source of action unpolluted; that his principles were never shaken; that his distinctions of right and wrong were never confounded, and that his faults had nothing of malignity, or design, but proceeded from some unexpected pressure, or casual temptation, A man doubtful of his dinner, or trembling at a creditor, is not much disposed to abstracted meditation, or remote enquiries.

: Life of Collins.

The poor are insensible of many little vexations which sometimes imbitter the possessions and pollute the enjoyments of the rich. They are not pained by casual incivility, or mortified by the mutilation of a compliment; but this happiness is like that of a malefactor, who ceases to feel the cords that bind him when the pincers are tearing his flesh.

' Review of the Origin of Evil, p. 10, i

Some men are poor by their own faults; some by the fault of others.

Life of Roger Ascham, p. 252.

Many . Many men are made the poorer by opulence.

Life of Sir T. Browne, p. 254.. POVERTY AND IDLENESS. . To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavours, with his utmost care, to hide his poverty froin others, and his idleness from himself. '

Idler, vol. 1, p. 93.


Political truth is equally in danger from the praises of courtiers, and the exclamation of patriots.

Life of Waller. · It is convenient, in the conflict of factions, to have that disaffection known which cannot safely be punished.

Ibid. He that changes his party by his humour, is not more virtuous, than he that changes it by his interest. He loves himself rather than truth.

Life of Milton.

Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him.

Ibid. A wise minister should conclude, that the slight of every honest man is a loss to the community. That those who are unhappy without guilt, ought to be relieved; and the life which is overburthened by accidental calamities, set at ease by the care of the public; and that tbose who by their misconduct have forfeited


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