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POETRY AT THE DEATH OF
SHAKESPEARE.

THE time seems to have arrived at last, when we may contemplate without passion that precise, mundane, and rhetorical order of poetry which is mainly identified in our minds with the names and practice of Dryden, of Pope, and of Johnson. "The school of writers who cultivated this order—and those who emphasise their faults admit that they did institute a school—have commonly been described as the classical, because their early leaders claimed to emulate and restore the grace and precision of the poets of antiquity, to write in English as Horace and Ovid were then supposed to have written in Latin, that is to say, with a polished and eclectic elegance". The prestige of these

1 Horace will our superfluous Branches prune,
Give us new rules, and set our Harp in tune,
Direct us how to back the winged Horse,
Favour his flight and moderate his force.
Waller to Roscommon, 1684.

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