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extremely young as he was at the time of composing it. I believe, on a fair comparison with Rochester's lines, it will be found, that although the turn of the Satire be copied, yet it is excelled. That Rochester should write a Satire on Man, I am not surprised ; it is the business of the libertine to degrade his species, and debase the dignity of human nature, and thereby destroy the most efficacious incitements to lovely and laudable actions. But that a writer of Boileau's purity of manners should represent his kind in the dark and disagreeable colours he has done, with all the malignity of a discontented Hobbist, is a lamentable perversion of fine talents, and is a real injury to society. It is a fact worthy the attention of those who study the history of learning, that the gross licentiousness and applauded debauchery of Charles the Second's court proved almost as pernicious to the progress of polite literature and the fine arts, that began to revive after the Grand Rebellion, as the gloomy superstition, the absurd cant, and formal hypocrisy, that disgraced this nation during the usurpation of Cromwell.--Warton.
SILENCE! coeval with Eternity;
Thou wert, ere Nature's self began to be, 'Twas one vast Nothing, all, and all slept fast in thee.
Thine was the sway, ere heav'n was form’d, or earth,
Ere fruitful Thought conceiv'd creation's birth, Or midwife Word gave aid, and spoke the infant
Then various elements, against thee join'd,
In one more various animal combin'd, And fram’d the clam'rous race of busy Human-kind.
The tongue mov'd gently first, and speech was low,
Till wrangling Science taught it noise and show,
Lost in the maze of words he turns again,
Afflicted Sense thou kindly dost set free,
Oppress’d with argumental tyranny,
With thee in private modest Dulness lies,
And in thy bosom lurks in Thought's disguise ;
Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast,
Silence the knave's repute, the whore's good name,
The only honour of the wishing dame; The very want of tongue makes thee a kind of Fame.
X. But could'st thou seize some tongues that now are
free, How Church and State should be oblig'd to thee? At Senate, and at Bar, how welcome would'st thou
Yet speech ev’n there, submissively withdraws,
From rights of subjects, and the poor man's cause : Then pompous Silence reigns, and stills the noisy
Past services of friends, good deeds of foes,
What Fav’rites gain, and what the Nation owes, Fly the forgetful world, and in thy arms repose.
The country wit, religion of the town,
The courtier's learning, policy o'th' gown, Are best by thee express'd; and shine in thee
The parson's cant, the lawyer's sophistry,
Lord's quibble, critic's jest; all end in thee, All rest in peace at last, and sleep eternally.
E. OF DORSET. “ If one turns to the authors of the last age for the character of this Lord, one meets with nothing but encomiums on his wit and good-nature. He was the finest gentleman in the voluptuous court of Charles the Second, and in the gloomy one of King William. He had as much wit as his first master, or his contemporaries, Buckingham and Rochester ; without the royal want of feeling, the Duke's want of principles, or the Earl's want of thought. The latter said with astonishment, • That he did not know how it was, but Lord Dorset might do any thing, and yet was never to blame !' It was not that he was free from the failings of humanity, but he had the tenderness of it too, which made every body excuse whom every body loved ; for even the asperity of his verses seems to have been forgiven to
• The best-good man, with the worst-natured muse.' “ This line is not more familiar than Lord Dorset's own poems to all who have a taste for the beauties of natural and easy verse, or than his Lordship’s own bon-mots, of which I cannot help repeating one of singular humour : Lord Craven was a proverb for officious whispers to men in power. On Lord Dorset’s promotion, King Charles having seen Lord Craven
his usual tribute to him, asked the former what the latter had been saying. The Earl replied gravely, “Sir, my Lord Craven did me the honour to whisper, but I did not think it good manners to listen.' When he was dying, Congreve, who had been to visit him, being asked how he had left him, replied, “Faith, he slabbers more wit than other people have in their best health.'
“ His Lordship and Waller are said to have assisted Mrs. Catherine Philips in her translation of Corneille's Pompey.” Walpole, Royal and Noble Authors, vol. ii. p. 95.-Warton.
Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke:
Ver. 1. Tho' Artemisia] By Artemisia, Pope has been thought to have meant Queen Caroline. It certainly bears in many points a resemblance, but coloured by spleen. She became corpulent ; and Mr. Coxe observes, “ Her levees were a strange picture of the motley character and manners of a Queen and learned woman. She received company while at her
Yet in some things methinks she fails,
And wear a cleaner smock.
Haughty and huge as High-Dutch bride,
Are oddly join'd by fate:
That lies and stinks in state.
She wears no colours (sign of grace)
All white and black beside :
And masculine her stride.
So have I seen, in black and white
All flutter, pride, and talk.
PHRYNE. PHRYNE had talents for mankind, Open she was, and unconfin’d,
Like some free port of trade: Merchants unloaded here their freight, And Agents from each foreign state,
Here first their entry made.
toilette-learned men and divines were intermixed with courtiers and ladies of the household. The conversation turned upon metaphysical subjects, blended with the tittle-tattle of the drawing-room.”—Coxe's Memoirs.
It ought not to be omitted, that notwithstanding Pope's general sarcasms, she was a most exemplary, sensible, prudent, and amiable woman, as is clearly proved by Mr. Coxe.-Bowles.
Her learning and good-breeding such,
Spaniards or French came to her:
'Twas S'il vous plaist, Monsieur.
Obscure by birth, renown'd by crimes,
At length she turns a bride:
And flutters in her pride.
So have I known those Insects fair
Still vary shapes and dyes;
Then painted butterflies.
The point of the likeness in this imitation consists in describing the objects as they really exist in life, like Hogarth's paintings, without heightening or enlarging them, by any imaginary circumstances. In this way of writing Swift excelled ; witness his description of a Morning in a City Shower, of the House of Baucis and Philemon, and the verses on his own Death. In this also consists the chief beauty of Gay’s Trivia ; a subject Swift desired him to write upon, and for which he furnished him with
hints. The character of Swift has been scrutinized in so many late writings, particularly by Hawksworth and Sheridan, that it is superfluous to enter upon it. Voltaire affirms, “ that the famous Tale of a Tub is an imitation of the old story of the Three Invisible Rings, which a father bequeathed to his three children.” These three rings were the Jewish, Christian, and Mahometan religions. It is, moreover, an imitation of the history of Mero and Enegu, by Fontenelle. Mero was the anagram of Rome, and Enegu