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1.Van Gucht Scul.

M." SAMUEL BUTLER

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TO THE

R E A D E R.

P

OETA nascitur non fit, is a sentence

of as great truth as antiquity; it being

most certain, that all the acquired learning imaginable is insufficient to complete a poet, without a natural genius and propensity to go noble and sublime an art. And we may, withcut offence, . observe, that many very learned men, who have been thought ambitious to be thought poets, have only rendered themselves obnoxious to that satirical inspiration, our author wittily invokes :

Which made them, though it were in spite
Of nature, and their stars to write.

On the other side, fome who have had

very little human learning t, but were endued with a large share of natural wit and parts, have become the most celebrated poets of the age they liv.

But as these last are, rarae -aves in terris; so when the muses have 'not disdained the afistances of other arts and sciences,' we are

+ Shakespear, D'Averiant, etc.

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