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Conditione fuper communi: quin etiam lex

Poenaque lata, malo quae nollet carmine quemquam
Defcribi. vertere modum, formidine fuftis
Adi bene dicendum, delectandumque redacti.

Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes
Intulit agrefti Latio. fic horridus ille

Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus

Munditiae pepulere: fed in longum tamen aevum
Manferunt, hodieque manent, m veftigia ruris.
Serus enim Graecis admovit acumina chartis;

Et poft " Punica bella quietus quaerere coepit,




VER. 259. Moft warp'd to Flatt'ry's fide, etc.] Thefe two lines (notwithstanding the reference) are an addition to the Original. They feemed neceffary to compleat the History of the rife and progrefs of Wit; and, if attended to, will be seen to make much for the argument the Poet is upon, viz. the recommendation of Poetry to the protection of the Magiftrate. And is, therefore, what Horace would have chofen to fay, had he reflected on it.

VER. 263. We conquer'd France, etc.] The inftance the Poet here gives, to answer that in the Original, is not fo happy. However, it might be faid with truth, that our


At length, by wholfome dread of ftatutes bound,
The Poets learn'd to please, and not to wound:
Moft warp'd to Flatt'ry's fide; but fome, more nice,
Preferv'd the freedom, and forbore the vice. 260
Hence Satire rofe, that just the medium hit,
And heals with Morals what it hurts with Wit.
k We conquer'd France, but felt our Captive's



Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms;
Britain to foft refinements less a foe,
Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn'd to flow.
Waller was smooth; but Dryden taught to join
The varying verfe, the full-refounding line,.
The long majestic March, and Energy divine.
Tho' ftill fome traces of our ruftic vein
And fplay-foot verse, remain'd, and will remain.
Late, very late, correctnefs grew our care,
When the tir'd Nation " breath'd from civil war.



Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the provincial Poets, and produced Chaucer. Only I wonder, when he had fuch an example before him, of a Bard who fo greatly polished the rufticity of his age, he did not use it to paraphrafe the fenfe of

Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus
Munditiae pepulere:

VER. 267. Waller was Smooth ;] Mr. Waller, about this time with the Earl of Dorfet, Mr. Godolphin, and others, translated the Pompey of Corneille; and the more correct French Poets began to be in reputation. P.

Quid Sophocles et Thefpis et Aeschylus utile fer


Tentavit quoque rem, fi digne vertere poffet:
Et placuit fibi, natura fublimis et acer:
Nam fpirat tragicum fatis, et feliciter audet:
Sed turpem putat inscite metuitque lituram.

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Creditur, ex medio quia res arceffit, habere Sudoris minimum; fed habet Comoedia tanto

Plus oneris, quanto veniae minus. afpice, Plautus

Quo pacto partes tutetur amantis ephebi,

Ut patris attenti, lenonis ut infidiofi :


Quantus fit Doffennus edacibus in parafitis;


Quam non aftricto percurrat pulpita socco.



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Geftit enim nummum in loculos demittere; poft hoc

Securus, cadat an recto ftet fabula talo.

Quem tulit ad fcenam ventofo gloria curru,


VER. 290. Aftræa,] A Name taken by Mrs. Behn, Authorefs of feveral obfcene Plays, etc. P.

Ibid. The ftage how loofely does Ajiraa tread,] The fine

Exact Racine, and Corneille's noble fire,

Show'd us that France had something to admire. 275
Not but the P Tragic fpirit was our own,
And full in Shakespear, fair in Otway fhone:
But Otway fail'd to polish or refine,


And fluent Shakespear scarce effac'd a line.
Ev'n copious Dryden wanted, or forgot,
The laft and greatest Art, the Art to blot.
Some doubt, if equal pains, or equal fire
The humbler Mufe of Comedy require.
But in known Images of life, I guess
The labour greater, as th' indulgence lefs.
Obferve how feldom ev'n the beft fucceed:
Tell me if Congreve's Fools are Fools indeed?
What pert, low Dialogue has Farqu'ar writ!.
How Van wants grace, who never wanted wit!
The stage how loosely does Aftræa tread,
Who fairly puts all Characters to bed!
And idle Cibber, how he breaks the laws,
To make poor Pinky eat with vast applause !
But fill their purfe, our Poet's work is done,
Alike to them, by Pathos or by Pun.



O you! whom y Vanity's light bark conveys On Fame's mad voyage by the wind of praife, NOTES.

metaphor of non aftricto, greatly improved by the happy ambiguity of the word loosely

VER. 296. O you whom Vanity's light bark conveys,

* L

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Exanimat lentus fpectator, fedulus inflat:

Sic leve, fic parvum eft, animum quod laudis avarum
Subruit, ac reficit: valeat res ludicra, fi me
Palma negata macrum, donata reducit opimum.

Saepe etiam audacem fugat hoc terretque poetam ; Quod numero plures, virtute et honore minores, Indocti, ftolidique, et depugnare parati


Si discordet eques, media inter carmina pofcunt


Aut urfum aut pugiles: his nam plebecula gaudet. Verum equitis quoque jam migravit ab aure voluptas Omnis, ad incertos oculos, et gaudia vana.

Quatuor aut plures aulaea premuntur in horas;

Dum fugiunt equitum turmae, peditumque catervae:

Mox trahitur manibus regum fortuna retortis ;

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The metaphor is fine, but inferior to the Original, in many respects. ventofo gloria curru,

has a happy air of ridicule heightened by its allufion to the Roman Triumph. It has a great beauty too, taken in a more serious light, as representing the Poet a Slave to Fame or Glory,

Quem tulit ad fcenam-Gloria.

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