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mon with him, and so much admired, that they are in every Body's Mouth, and need not my Commendation. The frequent and continued Applauses of the Theatre make almost a whole Nation judge with me, and I Should be really proud, if a sullen Critick or two were to differ from me, to stand by Nature, against their Rules; and profess my self his Admirer.
If I were to go on to a particular Detail, I might easily prove what I assert; tho' the modest Apology he makes for himself will fae tisfy any reasonable Man. * It is not (fays he) given to every body to excel ; and I hope there
may be fome kind of Praise reserved for those who only endeavour after its if not, I must own my Prea tentions that way are upon a very ill Foat. How ever, I believe Ishaall never be more solicitous about these Matters than they really deferve. I won't deny but that I have the natural Tenderness of a Parent for these Children of my Brain ; and I don't believe I have Philosophy enough to stand by and see 'em misused and murdered, without any lawfúl Reafon : But wherever they shall be found
* See tbe Dedication of bis Plays to tbe Eari of Warwick.
guilty of apparent Treason against the Lams of Parnassus, I fiiall give 'em up with the Refolutia on of the first BRUTUS. I believe there might be something said for 'em, if I should take the Liberty of writing Examens, as was done by the elder CORNEILLE upon his oron PLAYS. But whatsoever the French thought of these Things, I can't help looking on 'em as an insuffetable Piece of Vanity : 'Tis making Trifles Matters of the last Consequence and Importance. And yet Apologies and laboured Discourses, have been written upon these Occasions, as if the Fate of a Nation depended upon the regular Conduct of Poem.
Scilicet id curat Populus.
7.bo’, by the way, I never heard that the bejt. Writer in Criticism could raise the Reputation of a PLAY that was funk, by telling the World they ought to have been better pleasd with it ; or destroy the Success of one that was well received, by upbraiding Mankind with their Ignoranee irs these Matters. They are these · Petulancies that fix so great a Degree of Contempt upon the Names of Author and Poet; and if they did mot fall into these ridiculous Invectives upon one another, the unlearned World would use 'em all with more Reverence and Respect. I hope this is B 4.
enough at present; but if there should be any farther Occasion, you will find me as ready to defend his Writings, as you will always find me
PO E M
To the MEMORY of
NICHOLAS Rowe, Esq;
By Mr. BECKINGH A M.
S then the Symnions true! does partial Fate
Retract so carly what it gavę so late? Must the Grave chufe?---Must ROWE the Tributo pay, And Mesit moulder with the common Clay? Is the grim Tyrant then so jealous grown? Strikes he at human Fame to build his own? Has nof th' insulting Monarch Wreaths enow, But muft the Robber strip the Poet’s Brow?
Ler Nature in her hoary Years decay,
Does facred Heat Prophetick. Breasts inspire ?
set the false bewilderd Judgment right,