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Dry morals the court-poet blush'd to sing:
'Twas all his praise to say, the oddest thing.
Proud for a jest obscene, a patron's nod,
To martyr virtue, or blaspheme his God.
Ill-fated DRYDEN! who unmoved can see


Th' extremes of wit and meanness join'd in thee? Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies, Low creeping in the putrid sink of vice;


A Muse whom wisdom woo'd, but woo'd in vain,

The pimp of power, the prostitute to gain;
Wreaths that should deck fair virtue's form alone,
To strumpets, traitors, tyrants, vilely thrown:
Unrivall❜d parts, the scorn of honest fame,
And Genius rise, a monument of shame!


More happy France: immortal BOILEAU there
Supported Genius with a sage's care:
Him with her love propitious SATIRE bless'd
And breath'd her airs divine into his breast;
Fancy and sense to form his line conspire,
And faultless judgment guides the purest fire.

But see at length the British Genius smile,
And shower her bounties o'er her favour'd isle:
Behold, for POPE she twines the laurel crown,
And centers every poet's power in one ;
Each Roman's force adorns his various page,
Gay smiles, corrected strength, and manly rage.
Despairing Guilt and Dulness loath the sight,
As spectres vanish at approaching light:
In this clear mirror with delight we view
Each image justly fine, and boldly true;




Here Vice, dragg'd forth by Truth's supreme decree, Beholds and hates her own deformity:


While self-seen Virtue in the faithful line
With modest joy surveys her form divine.

But oh, what thoughts, what numbers shall I find,
But faintly to express the poet's mind?

Who yonder star's effulgence can display,
Unless he dip his pencil in the ray?


Who paint a God, unless the God inspire?
What catch the lightning, but the speed of fire?
So, mighty POPE, to make thy genius known,
All power is weak, all numbers—but thy own.
Each Muse for thee with kind contention strove,
For thee the Graces left th' IDALIAN grove;
With watchful fondness o'er thy cradle hung,
Attuned thy voice, and form'd thy infant tongue.
Next, to her Bard majestic Wisdom came;
The Bard enraptured caught the heavenly flame;
With taste superior scorn'd the venal tribe,
Whom fear can sway, or guilty Greatness bribe;
At Fancy's call, who rear the wanton sail,
Sport with the stream, and trifle in the gale.
Sublimer views thy daring spirit bound;
Thy mighty voyage was creation's round;
Intent new worlds of wisdom to explore,




And bless mankind with virtue's sacred store;

A nobler joy than wit can give, impart;


And pour a moral transport o'er the heart.
Fantastic wit shoots momentary fires,

And, like a meteor, while we gaze, expires;

Wit kindled by the sulphurous breath of vice,

Like the blue lightning, while it shines, destroys: 490

But Genius, fired by Truth's eternal ray,

Burns clear and constant, like the source of day;

Like this, its beam prolific and refined,

Feeds, warms, inspirits, and exalts the mind;

Mildly dispels each wintry passion's gloom,
And opens all the virtues into bloom.
This praise, immortal POPE, to thee be given;
Thy genius was indeed a gift from Heaven.
Hail, bard unequall'd, in whose deathless line
Reason and wit with strength collected shine;



Where matchless wit but wins the second praise,
Lost, nobly lost, in truth's superior blaze.
Did FRIENDSHIP e'er mislead thy wandering Muse?
That friendship sure may plead the great excuse!
That sacred friendship which inspired thy song,
Fair in defect, and amiably wrong.


Error like this even truth can scarce reprove; 'Tis almost virtue when it flows from love.

Ye deathless names, ye sons of endless praise,
By virtue crown'd with never-fading bays!
Say, shall an artless Muse, if you inspire,
Light her pale lamp at your immortal fire?
Or if, O WARBURTON! inspired by You,
The daring Muse a nobler path pursue,
By You inspired, on trembling pinion soar,
The sacred founts of social bliss explore,
In her bold numbers chain the tyrant's rage,
And bid her country's glory fire her page;
If such her fate, do thou, fair Truth, descend,
And watchful guard her in an honest end;
Kindly severe, instruct her equal line
To court no friend, nor own a foe but thine.




But if her giddy eye should vainly quit

Thy sacred paths, to run the maze of wit;

If her apostate heart should e'er incline


To offer incense at corruption's shrine;

Urge, urge thy power, the black attempt confound,
And dash the smoking censer to the ground.
Thus awed to fear, instructed bards may see,
That guilt is doomed to sink in infamy.



In the preceding works of Pope, whether descriptive, moral, critical, or didactic, his subjects are extraneous, and are drawn either from mankind in general, or from the persons with whom he was acquainted, and the scenes and circumstances by which he was surrounded; but in the present volume, and particularly in the Prologue and Epilogue to the Satires, he has engaged in a more hazardous undertaking, and has spoken of himself; a task of peculiar difficulty; and which has seldom been attempted without incurring the imputation either of vanity on the one hand, or of false modesty and affectation on the other. It must however be acknowledged, that when a person can divest himself of that morbid sensibility which trembles at the touch of praise or censure, and has the courage and the honesty to represent his own character with impartiality and truth, there are no productions in which we are more deeply interested, or by which we are more agreeably instructed. On these occasions an author opens to us his whole mind, and renders us the confidants of his thoughts, his feelings, and his opinions. It is in this way only, that we can be said to have become really acquainted with him, and to perceive ourselves bound by the best and finest associations of our nature, to those whom we have never seen, or who have passed away long before we came into existence.

But, if we are to judge of the difficulty or merit of any undertaking from the infrequency with which it has been accomplished, there are few efforts of human ability greater than that which enables an individual to speak of himself with freedom, impartiality, and ease. Amongst the ancients, those who are the most remarkable for this talent, are perhaps Cicero and Horace; amongst the moderns, Ariosto and Montaigne. Whether the character of the great Orator has, upon the whole, been exalted or lowered by the manner in which he has laid it open to us, may perhaps admit of a doubt. In attempting to give us too lofty an idea of his own achievements, importance, and dignity, he sometimes betrays a weakness which counteracts his purpose; whilst his more successful countryman, by a free and unguarded acknowledgment of his faults and his foibles, raises himself in our opinion, and becomes the object of our attachment and regard. It must, however, be acknowledged, that the liberty in which the Roman poet indulges, has at times been carried to licentiousness, and that there are but too many passages which disgrace the writer, and disgust the reader. Between these extremes, Pope has in the following Epistles steered with considerable skill; and, whilst he openly prides himself on those parts of his character which are entitled to admiration, takes care not to debase himself by any thing that is vulgar, indecorous, or contemptible.

In one of his letters to Lady M. W. Montagu, after observing that what folly we have will infallibly buoy up at some time or other, in spite of all our art to keep it down, Pope expresses a wish to extend the project of Momus, of having windows in our breasts, by making those windows

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