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When the ripe colours foften and unitc,

But dulness with obscenity must prove And sweetly melt into jun Thade and light; As shameful fure as impotence in love. When mellowing years their full perfection give, In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease, And each bold figure just begins to live ; 49: Sprang the rank weed, and thriv'd with large inThe treacherous colours the fair art betray,

crease : And all the bright creation fades away!

When love was all in casy mogarch's care; Unhappy wit, like most mistaken things, Seldom at council, never in a war: Atones not for that envy which it brings; Jilts ruled the state, and ftatesnen farces writ; In youth alone its empey praise we boalt, Nay wits had pensions, and young lords had wit : But soon the short-liv'd vanity is lost :

The fair sat panting at a courtier's play, Like some fair fiower the early spring fupplies, And not a mark went unimprov'd away: That gaily blooms, but ev'n in blooming dies. The modest fan was lifted up no more, What is this wit, which must our cares employ! And virgins (mild at what they blush'd before, The owner's wife, that other men enjoy ; 501 The following license of a foreign reign The most our trouble still when most admir'd, Did all the dregs of bold Socinus drain ; And still the more we give, the more requir'd; Then unbelieving priests reform’d the nation, Whose same with pains we guard, but lose with And taught more pleasant methods of salvation ; easc,

Where heaven's free subjects might their rights Sure some to vex, but never all to please;

dispute, T'is what the vicious fear, the virtuous thun; Left God himself should seem too absolute : By fools 'tis hated, and by knaves undone ! Pulpits their sacred satire learn'd to spare, 550

If wit so much from ignorance undergo, And vice admir'd to find a flatterer chere! Ah, let not learning too commence its foc! Encourag'd thus, wit's Titans bràv'd the skies, Of old, those met rewards, who could excel, sio And the press groari'd with licens' blafphemies. And Such were prais'd who but endeavour'd well; These monsters, critics! with your darts engage, Though triumphs were to generals only due, Here point your thunder, and exhaust your rage! Crowns were reserv'd to grace the soldiers too. Yet thun their fault, who, scandalously nice, Now, they who reach Parnassus' lofty crown, Will nceds mistake an author into vice; Employ their pains to fpurn some others down; All seems infected that th' infected spy, And while self-love each jealous writer rules,

As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd cyç. Contending wits become the sport of fools : Icarn then what morals critics ought to farw ? But still the work with most regret commend, For 'tis but half a judge's task, to know. 361 For each ill author is as bad a friend.

'T'is not enough, 'arte, judgment, learning, join; To what base ends, and by what abject ways, 5 20 In all you speak, let truth and candour shine; Are mortals urg'd through sacred lust of praise ! That not alone what to your sense is due Ah, ne'er so dire a thirst of glory boast,

All may allow, but seek your friendship too. Nor in the critic let the man be loft.

Be filent always, when you doubt your sense ; Good-nature and good-fense must ever join ; And speak, though sure, with sceming diffidence ; To crr, is human; to forgive, divine.

Some positive, perlifting fops we know, But if in noble minds some dregs remain, Who, if once wrong, will needs be always so; Not yet purg'd off, of spleen and four disdain ; But you, with pleature, own your errors paft, 570 Discharge that rage on more provoking crimes, And make each day a criac on the last. Nor fear a dearth in these flagitious times.

'Tis not enough your counsel fill be true; No pardon vilc obscenity should find, 1 5.39 Blunt truths more mischief thian nice falls hoods do; Though wit and art conspire to move your mind; Men must be taught as if you taught them not,

And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.

Without good breeding truth is disapprovid;

That only makes fuperior sense beloy'd.
Ver. 49o. Ed. 1. When mellowing time does, &c.
Ver. 492. The treacherous colours in few years

Ver. 495. Repay, not half that envy, &c.

Ver. 347. The Author has here omitted the Ver. 498.

two following lines; as containing a national reLike some fair flower that in the spring docs rise. fe&ion, which in his frider judynient he could Ver. 500.

not but disapprove on any people whatever. : What is this wit that does our cares employ? Then first the Belgians morals were extollid; Ver. 502.

We their religion had, and they our gold. The more his trouble as the more admir'd; Ver. 562. 'Tis noc enough, wit, art, and learning Where wanted, scorn'd; and envy'd where ac join. quir'd;

Ver. 564. That not alone what to your judgment's Maintaind with pains, but forfeited with ease, &c. due.

Ver. 508. Ed. 1. Too much does wil, &c. Ver. 569. That if once wrong, &c.
Ver. 514. Now those that reach, &c.

Ver. 575. And things ne'er know, &c.
Ver. 519. And each, &c.

Ver. 576. Without good-breeding truth is not I'cr. 321. Are mortals urg'd by facred, &c.



Be niggards of advice on no pretence; Name a new play, and he's the poet's friend, 620 for the worst avarice is that of Tense.

Nay show'd his faules but when would poets With mean complacence, ne'er betray your trust, mend? Nor be so civil as to prove unjust.

531 No place so sacred from such sops is barr'd, Fear not the anger of the wise to raise;

Nor is Paul's church more fafe than Paul's churchThose belt can bear reproof, who merit praise.

yard : 'Twere well might critics still this freedom take: Nay, fly to altars; there they'll taik you dead; Bet Appius reddens at each word you speak, For fools rush in where angels fear to cread. And fares tremendous, with a threatening eye,

Diflrulful sense with modelt caution speaks, Like some fierce tyrant in old tapestry.

It still looks home, and thort excursions makes : Fear molt to tax an honourable lool,

But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks, Whose righe it is, uncensur'd, to be dull! And, never shock'd, and Dever turn'd aside, Sach, without wic, are poets when they please. Bursts out, refiilless, with a thundering tide. 630 As without learning they can take degrees. 591 But where's the man, who counsel can bestow, Leave dangerous truths to unsuccessfui facires, Still pleas'd to teach, and yet noe proud to know? And flattery to fulsome dedicators,

Unbials d, or by favour, or by spite ; Whom, when they praise, the world believes no Not dully prepossess'd, nor blindly right ; [sincere ;

Though learn'd, well-bred; and though well-bred, Than when they promise to give scribbling o'er. Modestly bold, and humanely severe : 'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain, Who to a friend his faults can freely show. And charitably let the dull be vain :

And gladly praise the merit of a foc? Y or filence there is better than your spite, Bleft with a talte exact, yet unconfin'd; For who can rail so long as they can write? 599 A knowledge both of books and human kind; 640 Full humming on, their drowsy course they keep, Generous converse; a soul exempt from pride; And lah'd lo long, like tops, are lah'd alleep. And love to praise, with reason on his side ? Falle fteps but help them to renew the race, Such once were critics; such the happy few As, after tumbling, jades will mend their pace. Athens and Rome in better ages knew : What crowds of these, impenitently bold, The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore, In sounds and jingling syllables grown old, Spread all his fails, and durst the deeps explore; Sail run on poets, in a raging vein,

He steer'd securely, and discover'd far, Ex'n to the dregs and squeezings of the brain, Led by the light of the Mæonian star. Strain out the last dull dropping of their sense, Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free, And rhyme with all the rage of impotence ! Still fond and proud of savage liberty, 650 such fameless basds we have: and yet ’ris Receiv'd his laws; and food convinc'd 'twas fit, true,

Who conquer'd nature, should preside o'er wit. There are as mad, abandon'd critics too. 611 Horace till charms with graceful negligence, The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,

And without method talks us into sense,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,

Will, like a friend, familiarly convey
With his own tongue ftill edifies his cars, The truest notions in the easiest way.
And always listening to himself appears.
All books he reads, and all he reads assails,
From Dryden's Fables down to Durfcy's Tales :
With him, most authors steal their works, or buy Ver. 62 3. Between this and ver. 624.
Carth did not write his own Dispensary.

In vain you shrug and sweat, and Atrive to fly;
These know no manners but of poetry :

They'll fop a hungry chaplain in his grace,

To treat of unities of time and place. Ver. 586. And ftares tremendous, &c.] This Ver. 624. Nay run to altars, &c. pitare was taken to himself by John Dennis, a Ver. 634. Not dully prepossess'd, or blindly right. furious old critic by profeffion, who, upon no other Between ver. 646 and 649. I found the follow. Provocation, wrote against this essay, and its au ing lines, fince suppressed by the author : thor, in a manner perfeAly lunatic : For, as to That bold Columbus of the realms of wit, mention made of him in ver. 270, he took it as a Whose first discovery 's not exceeded yet, compliment, and said it was treacherously meant Led by the light of the Mæonian star, to cause him to overlook this abuse of his perfor. He steer'd securely, and discover'd far. Ver. 397. And charitably let dull fools be vain. He, when all nature was subdued before, Ver. 600.

Like his great pupil, figh'd, and long'd for more : Still humming on, their old dull course they keep. Fancy's wild regions yet unvanquish d lay. XOTE.

A boundless empire, and that own'd no sway. Ver. 619. Garth did not write, &c.] A com Poets, &c. mon flander at that time in prejudice of that de After ver. 648. the first edition reads, ferving author. Our poet did him this justice, Not only nature did his laws obey, when that slander molt prevailed; and it is now But fancy's boundlels empire own'd his sway. (perhaps thc sooner for this very verse) dead and Ver. 655. Docs, like a friend, &c. forgotten.

Ver. 655, 656. These lines are not in Ed. I.

с iiij


He, who supreme in judgment, as in wit,

But sec ! each muse, in Leo's golden days,
Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ, (fire ; Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd
Yet judg'd with coolness, though he sung with bays;
His precepts teach but what his works inspire. Rome's ancient genius, o'er its ruins spread,
Our critics take a contrary extreme, 661 Shakes off the dust, and rears his reverend hcad. 706

They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm: Then sculpture and her fitter-arts revive;
Nor suffers Horace more in wrong tranfiation's Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live;
By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations. With sweeter notes each rising temple rung;

See Dionysius Homer's thoughts refine, A Raphael painted, and a Vida lung.
And call new beauties forth from every line ! Immortal Vida! on whose honour'd brow

Fancy and art in gay Petronius please, The poet's bays and critic's ivy grow :
The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease. Cremona now thall ever boast thy nanie,

In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find As next in place to Mantua, next in fame! The juftest rules and cleareft method join'd : 670 But soon, by impious arms from Latium chas'd, Thus useful arms in magazines we place,

Their ancient bounds the banish'd mufes pass'd; All rang'd in order, and dispos'd with grace, Thence arts o'er all the northern world advance, But less to please the eye, than arm the hand, Put critic-learning flourish'd most in France : Still fit for use, and ready at command.

The rules a nation, born to serve, obeys; Thee, bold Longinus : all the Nine inspire, And Boileau still in right of Horace (ways. And bless their critic with a poet's fire.

But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis'd, An ardent judge, who, zealous in his trust, A:d kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd; With warmth gives sentence, yet is always just; Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold, Whose own example strengthens all his laws; We still defy'd the Romans, as of old. And is himself that great sublime he draws. 686 Yet some there were among the founder few

Thus long succeeding critics juftly reign'd, Of those who less presum'd, and better knew, 720 License repress'd, and useful laws ordain'd. Who durft assert the juíter ancient cause, Learning and Rome alike in empire grew, And here restor'd wit's fundamental laws. And arts still follow'd where her eagles Alew; Such was the muse, whose rules and practice tell, From the same focs, ae lait, both felt their doom, “ Nature's chief master-piece is writing well." And the same age saw learning fall, and Rome. Such was Roscommon, not more learn'd than good, With tyranny, then superstition join'd,

With manners generous as his noble blood; As that the body, this enslav'd the mind;

To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known, Much was believ'd, but little understood, And every author's merit but his own. And to be dull was construed to be good : 690 | Such late was Walsh--the mufe's judge and friend, A second deluge learning hus o'er-ran,

Who juftly knew to blame or to commend; 73° And the Monks finish'd what the Goths began. To failings mild, but zealous for defert;

At length Erasmus, that great injur'd name, The clearest head, and the fincereft heart.
(The glory of the priesthood, and the shame!) This humble praise, lamentcd shade! receive,
Stemm'd the wild torrent of a barbarous age, This praise at least a grateful muse may give :
And drove chose holy Vandals off thc ftage. The muse, whose carly voice you taught to sing,

Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender


(Her guide now loft) no more attempts to rise, Ver. 668.

But in low numbers short excursions tries: The scholar's learning, and the courtier's ease. Content, if hence th' unlearn'd their wants may Ver. 673, &c.

view, Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,

The learn'd reflect on what before they knew. 740 But to be found, when need requires, with ease. Carelefs of censure, nor too fond of fame; 'The muses fure Longinus did inlpire,

Still pleaa'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame; And bless'd their critic with a poet's fire.

Averse alike, to flatter or offend; An ardent judge, that zealous, &c.

Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend. Ver.689. All was believ'd, but nothing understood.

Between ver. 690 and 691. the Author omitted these two: Vaia wits and critics were no more allow'd, When nonc but saints had license to be proud. Ver. 723, 724. These lines are not in Ed. 1.






“ Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos,
• Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tuis."



MADAN, Is will be in vain to deny that I have some re- balis, which, both in its title and lize, is fo like a gard for tbis piece, since I dedicate it to you; yet novel, that many of the fair fex have read it for you may bear me witness, it was intended only to one by mistake. According to these gentlemen, divert a few young ladies, who have good sense and the four elements are inhabited by spirits, which good humour enough to laugh not only at their fex's they call fylphs, gnomes, nymphs, and falamanhttle unguarded follies, but at their own. But as ders. The gnomes, or dæmons of earth, delight it was communicated with the air of a secret, it in mischief; but the fylphs, whose habitation is foon found its way into the world. An imperfect in the air, are the bel-conditioned creatures imacopy having been offered to a bookseller, you had ginable ; for they say, any mortals may enjoy the the good nature, for my fake, to consent to the most intimate familiarities with these gentle spirits, publicatiou of one more correct: This I was forced upon a condition very easy to all truc adepts, an io, before I had executed half my design, for the inviolate preservation of chastity. machinery was entirely wanting to complete it. As to the following cantos, all the passages of

The machinery, Madam, is a term invented by them are as fabulous as the vision at the beginning, the critics, to signify that part which the deities, or the transformation at the end (except the loss angels, or dæmons, are made to act in a poem : of your hair, which I always mention with reveFor the ancient poets are in one respect like ma- rence). The human persons are as fi&itious as the Dy modern ladies; let an action be never so tri- airy ones; and the character of Belinda, as it is vial in itself, they always make it appear of the now managed, resembles you in nothing but in utmost importance. These machines I determin- beauty. od to raise on a very new and odd foundation, the If this poem had as many graces as there are in Roficrufian doctrine of spirits.

your person, or in your mind, yet I could never I know how disagreeable it is to make use of hope it should pass through the world half so unhard words before a lady; but it is so much the censured as you have done. But let its fortune concern of a poet to have his works understood, be what it will, mine is happy enough, to have and particularly by your sex, that you must give given me this occasion of assuring you that I am, De leave to explain two or three difficult terms. with the truest esteem, The Rosicrusians are a people I must bring you

Madam, 2cquainted with. The best account I know of Your most obedient, humble servant, then is in a French book called Lc Comte de Ga




of airy elyes by moonlight thadows seep,

The filver token, and the circled green, Waat dire offence from amorous causes fprings, Or virgins visited by angel-powers, What mighty contests rise from trivial things, With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly I fing—this verse to Caryl, muse! is due :

wers; This ev'n Belinda may vouchfasc to view : Hear and believe ! thy own importance know, Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, Nor bound thy narrow views to things below, If the inspire, and he approve my lays.

Some secret truths, from learned pride concealid, Say what strange motive, goddess! could compel To maids alone and children are reveal'd : A well-bred lord t' assault a gentle belle? What ghough no credit doubting wits may give? O say what ftranger cause, yet unexplor'd, The fair and innocent fhall ftill believe. Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ? 10 Know then, unnumber'd Spirits round the fly, In tasks fo bold, can little men engage?

The light militia of the lower sky: And in soft bofoms dwells such mighty rage? These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,

Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring. And ope'd those eyes that must eclipfe the day : Think what an equipage thou haft in air. Now fap-dogs give themselves the rouzing Shake, And view with scorn two pages and a chair. And sleepless lovers, jul at twelve, awake : As now your own, our beings were of old, Thricerung the bell, the flipper knock'd the ground, And once enclos'd in woman's beauteous mould; And the press'd watch return'd a filver found. Thence, by a foft transition, we repair Belinda still her downy pillow preft,

From earthly vehicles to thefe of air. Her guardian fylph prolong'd the balmy rest: 20 | Think not, 'when women's tranfient breath is "Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed

fed, The morning dream that hover'd o'er her head. That all her vanities at once are dead. A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau Succeeding vanities flic ftill regards, (That ev’n in Number caus'd her cheek to glow) And though the plays no more, o'erlooks the cards. Scem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay, Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive, And thus in whispers faid, or seem'd to say: And love of ombre, after death survive,

Fairest of mortals, thou diftinguish'd care For when the fair in all their pride expire, Of thousand bright inhabitants of air !

To their firft elements their fouls retire : Ji e'er one vision touch thy infant thought, The sprites of fiery termagants in flame Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught; 30 Moune up, and take a salamander's

, name,
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,

And lip, with nymphs, their elemental tea.

The graver prude anks downward to a gnome,
Ver. 11, 12. It was in the first editions : In search of mischief Atill on earth to roam.
And dwells such rage in fofteit bofoms then, The light coquettes in fylphs aloft repair,
And lodge fuch daring fouls in little men ? And sport and futter in the fields of air.

Ver. 13, &c. ftood thus in the first edition : Know farther yet ; whoever fair and chafte Sol through white curtains did his beams display, Reje&ts mankind, is by fome Sylph embrac'd : And oped those eyes which brighter shone than For, fpirits, freed from mortal laws, with cafe they,

Allume what sexes and what shape they please. 70 Shock jut had given himfelf the rouzing fhake, What guards the purity of melting maids, And nymphs prepar'd their chocolate to take ; In courtly balls, and midnight mafquerades, Thrice the wrought dipper knock'd again& the Safe from the treacherous friends, the daring fpas, ground,

The glance by day, the whisper in the dark, And striking watches the tenth hour resound. When kind oecafion prompts their wasm defires,

Ver. 19. Belinda fill, &c.] All the verses from When mufic softens, and when dancing fires ? hence to the end of this capto were added after-Tis but their fylph, the wise celestials know, wards.

Though honour is the word with men below.

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