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Page 76. To this Epistle the Advertisement subjoined was prefixed by the Author:


THE following lines were occasioned by the Author's having lately studied, with infinite attention, several fashionable productions in the Sentimental stile; in most of which, a misapplication, not a defect, of talents seems to have betrayed their Authors into some degree of false taste. For example-A noble Author who has given most decisive proofs of talent and judgment, by his Ode on the death of Mr. Gray, and his Translation of Dante; has lately thought fit to publish two Odes on the death of his Lordship's Spaniel.

But the reigning fashion in modern poesy is Sentimental Panegyric on Married Beauties. This appears in a thousand various Shapes; from Bouts Rhimees on the wou'd be Sappho of Bath, up to Doggerel Epistles to the lovely Amoret.

In attempting to ridicule this modish folly, it is scarcely necessary to apologize to the several Personages of the Sentimental train, for introducing their names. When a Poet announces himself, and publicly wears his laurels, he is lawful game for the Critics; whether his works come from the Press,

or, according to Sir Benjamin Backbite's system, "circulate in Manuscript." Besides, to canvass the slighter imperfections, either of stile or of conduct, seems to be the limit of poetical censure. It is only the desperate Satyrist, whose invenomed pen strikes at the character and honor of Individuals, that perverts and disgraces Poetry.-Such aspersions, if well founded, are too gross for the tribunal of the Muses; and if, (as is generally the case) they are utterly false, they recoil not only on the Author, but on the very art itself, which can so easily be perverted to so bad a purpose. But who can be hurt by a Critique on his Charades and Rebusses ?-An imputation of false Taste may not be very pleasant, but it never can seriously offend men of sense and good-breeding: Both which qualities, as the Author agrees with all the world in acknowledging his Personages to possess in the highest degree, so he requests that not only they, but the few others who may happen to read his Poem, will acquit him of any intention to give the slightest offence.

80. Yet, yet, I tremble at the name of Clare.] Afterward Earl Nugent.-Whoever has read his Lordship's verses, presented to her Majesty, with a gift of Irish Poplin, and that too on a New Year's Day, will not wonder at the jealousy and apprehension the Laureat expresses of so formidable a rival.-The recollection of the Poplin leads to a digression, in the Pindaric stile of all Laureats, on the fatal consequences that

might follow from establishing Lord Clare's method of tacking a present to every Poem-But the Laureat recovers his spirits, by thinking of the last production of his own Muse-the Goat's Beard-spun from ten lines of Phaedrus, to Four Hundred of Whitehead.


Notes by the Author.

Page 86. Readers of the present generation are so very inattentive to what they read, that it is probable one half of Sir William's may have forgotten the principles which his book inculcates. Let these, then, be reminded, that it is the author's profest aim in extolling the taste of the Chinese, to condemn that mean and paltry manner which Kent introduced, which Southcote, Hamilton, and Brown followed, and which to our national disgrace, is called the English stile of gardening. He shews the poverty of this taste, by aptly comparing it to a dinner, which consisted of three gross pieces, three times repeated; and proves to a demonstration, that Nature herself is incapable of pleasing, without the assistance of Art, and that too of the most luxuriant kind. In short, such art as is displayed in the Emperor's garden of Yven-MingYven, near Pekin; where fine lizards, and fine women, human giants, and giant-baboons, make but a small part of the superb scenery. He teaches us,

that a perfect garden must contain within itself all the amusements of a great city; that URBS IN RURE, not RUS IN URBE, is the thing, which an improver of taste ought to aim at. He says-but it is impossible to abridge all that he says:-Let this therefore suffice to tempt the reader again to peruse his invaluable Dissertation, since without it, he will never relish half the beauties of the following epistle; for (if her Majesty's zebra, and the powder-mills at Hounslow be excepted) there is scarce a single image in it, which is not taken from that work.

But though the images be borrowed, the author claims some small merit from the application of them. Sir William says too modestly, "that European artists must not hope to rival Oriental splendor." The poet shews, that European artists may easily rival it; and, that Richmond gardens, with only the addition of a new bridge to join them to Brentford, may be new modelled, perfectly, “à la Chinois." He exhorts his Knight to undertake the glorious task, and leaves no cause to doubt, but that, under the auspicious patronage he now so justly enjoys, added to the READY Vote of those who furnish ways and means, the royal work will speedily be compleated.

86. Cynosure of British taste.] Cynosure, an affected phrase. Cynosura is the constellation of Ursa Minor, or the Lesser Bear, the next star to the Pole. Dr. Newton, on the word in Milton.


With scenes of Yven-Ming.] One of the Imperial gardens at Pekin. (Sayings of Li-Tsong.) "Many

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trees, shrubs, and flowers," sayeth Li-Tsong, a Chinese author of great antiquity, "thrive best in low, moist situations; many on hills and mountains; some require a rich soil: but others will grow on clay, in sandy, or even upon rocks; and in the water; to some a sunny exposition is necessary; but for others the shade is preferable. There are plants which thrive best in exposed situations, but, in general, shelter is requisite. The skilful gardener, to whom study and experience have taught these qualities, carefully attends to them in his operations; knowing that thereon depend the health and growth of his plants; and consequently the beauty of his plantations." Vide Diss. p. 77. The reader, I presume, will

readily allow, that he never met with so much recondite truth, as this ancient Chinese here exhibits.

87. Truth at Court.] Vide (if it be extant) a poem under this title, for which (or for the publication of Lord Bolingbroke's philosophical writings) the person here mentioned received a considerable pension in the time of Lord Bute's administration.

88. For what is nature?] This is the great and fundamental axiom, on which the oriental taste is founded. It is therefore expressed here with the greatest precision, and in the identical phrase of the great original. The figurative terms, and even the explanatory simile, are entirely borrowed from Sir William's Dissertation. "NATURE (says the Chinese, or Sir William for them) affords us but few ma

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