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not afraid the reader would think me too nice, that he commonly closes with verbs, in which we know the life of language consists. Among other improvements, we may reckon that of his rimes. Which are always good, and very often the better for being new. He had a fine ear, and knew how quickly that sense was cloy'd by the same round of chiming words still returning upon it. 'Tis a decided case by the great master of writing. Quae sunt ampla et pulchra, diu placere possunt; quae lepida et concinna, (amongst which rhyme must, whether it will or no, take its place) cito satietafe afficiunt aurium sensum fastidiosissimum. This he understood very well, and therefore, to take off the danger of a surfeit that way, strove to please by variety, and new sounds. Had he carried this observation (among others) as far as it would go, it must, methinks, have shown him the incurable fault of this jingling kind of poetry, and have led his later judgment to blank verse. But he continu’d an obstinate lover of rime to the very last. 'Twas a mistress, that never appear'd unhandsome in his eyes, and was courted by him long after Sacharissa was forsaken. He had rais'd it, and brought it to that perfection we now enjoy it in : and the Poet's temper (which has always a little vanity in it) would not suffer him ever to slight a thing, he had taken so much pains to adorn. My Lord Roscommon was more impartial: no man ever rim'd truer and evener than he, yet he is so just as to confess, that 'tis but a trifle, and to wish the tyrant dethron'd, and blank verse set up in its room. There is a third person', the 1 Dryden.
living glory of our English poetry, who has disclaim'd the use of it upon the stage, tho no man ever employ'd it there so happily as he. 'Twas the strength of his genius that first brought it into credit in plays; and 'tis the force of his example that has thrown it out again. In other kinds of writing it continues still; and will do so, till some excellent spirit arises, that has leisure enough, and resolution to break the charm, and free us from the troublesome bondage of riming. As Mr Milton very well calls it, and has prov’d it as well, by what he has wrote in another way. But this is a thought for times at some distance; the present age is a little too warlike: it may perhaps furnish out matter for a good poem in the next, but 'twill hardly encourage one now : without prophesying, a man may easily know, what sort of laurels are like to be in request. Whilst I am talking of verse, I find my self, I don’t know how, betray'd into a great deal of prose. I intended no more than to put the reader in mind, what respect was due to any thing that fell from the pen of Mr Waller. I have heard his last printed copies, which are added in the several editions of his poems, very slightly spoken of; but certainly they don't deserve it. They do indeed discover themselves to be his last, and that's the worst we can say of 'em. He is there Jam senior : sed cruda deo viridisque senectus. The same censure perhaps will be passed on the pieces of this second part. I shall not so far engage for 'em, as to pretend they are all equal to whatever he wrote in the vigour of his youth. Yet they are so much of a piece with the rest, that any man will at first sight know 'em to be Mr Waller's. Some of 'em were wrote very early, but not put in former collections, for reasons obvious enough, but which are now ceas'd. The Play was alter'd, to please the Court. 'Tis not to be doubted who sat for the two brothers characters. 'Twas agreeable to the sweetness of Mr Waller's temper, to soften the rigour of the tragedy, as he expresses it; but whether it be so agreeable to the nature of tragedy it self, to make every thing come off easily, I leave to the critics. In the prologue, and epilogue, there are a few verses that he has made use of upon another occasion. But the reader may be pleased to allow that in him, that has been allowed so long in Homer and Lucretius. Exact writers dress up their thoughts so very well always, that when they have need of the same sense, they can't put it into other words, but it must be to its prejudice. Care has been taken in this book to get together everything of Mr Waller's, that's not put into the former collection; so that between both, the reader may make the set complete. It will perhaps be contended after all, that some of these ought not to have been publish'd : and Mr Cowley's decision will be urg'd, that a neat tomb of marble is a better monument, than a great pile of rubbish, etc. It might be answer'd to this, that the pictures and poems of great masters have been always valu'd, tho the last hand weren't put to 'em. And I believe none of those gentlemen that will make the objection would refuse a sketch of Raphael's or one of Titian's draughts of the first sitting. I might tell 'em too, what care has been taken by the learned, to preserve the fragments of the ancient Greek and Latin poets: There has been thought to be a Divinity in what they said, and therefore the least pieces of it have been kept up and reverenc'd, like religious reliques. And I am sure, take away the mille anni, and impartial reasoning will tell us, there is as much due to the memory of Mr Waller, as to the most celebrated names of antiquity.
But to wave the dispute now of what ought to have been done; I can assure the reader, what would have been had this edition been delay'd. The following poems were got abroad, and in a great many hands: It were vain to expect that amongst so many admirers of Mr Waller, they should not meet with one fond enough to publish 'em. They might have staid indeed, till by frequent transcriptions they had been corrupted extreamly, and jumbled together with things of another kind: But then they would have found their way into the world. So 'twas thought a greater piece of kindness to the author, to put 'em out; whilst they continue genuine and unmix'd ; and such, as he himself, were he alive might own.
IN DE X.
Addison, Joseph, versification of his school of poetry, 55 n. Adventure, spirit of, its decline after the Elizabethans, 35, 6 A neid, Thos. Phaer's translation of, 187 Against Love, passage from Denham's, 133, 4 Akenside, Mark, 45 Albion's England, by William Warner, 75 Albovine, by Sir W. Davenant, 146 n., 150, 165 n. I Alcippe of François Maynard, its resemblance to Denham's Cooper's Hill, 120 “Alexandrian” literature, artificial nature of, 181, 205 Alexandrine verse, little used by Malherbe, 20, 1 ; how handled by Corneille and in England, I 2 I Anapaestic cadence, neglected in English verse from Chaucer to Waller, 9, 187, 8 Andrewes, Lancelot, Bp of Winchester, 53 Anne of Austria, her sympathy with Queen Henrietta Maria, I 13, I 17; French poetry in her time, 119 Annus Mirabilis, one of the few great poems composed in the four-line heroic stanza, 165;
influence of Gondibert on its style, 228 Arcadia, its languid and difficult style, 25, 75 Aristotle's rules of composition, 38 Armstrong, John, obscurity of his figures of speech, 12 Arnold, Matthew, his essay on Falkland, I 15 Arrebo, first modern Danish poet, 16 Ars Poetica, Horace's warnings in, justified by the extravagance of the early Caroline writings, 37–9 Art of Poetry, by Wentworth Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, 252 n. I Astraea Aedux, Dryden's style in the, 228 Atterbury, Francis, Bp of Rochester, his criticism of Waller, 24.8—251 Aubrey, John, 142 n. 2, 144, 167, 236 n. ‘Augustan,” the epithet, first applied by Francis Atterbury, 2.49 Augustan critics, Ioa. > * distich, 252; its earlier and later character, as shewn in Chamberlayne's Pharonnida and Keats' Endymion, 201