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Satyra quidem tota nostra est: in qua primus insignem laudem adeptus est
REV. DR. YOUNG,
RECTOR OF WELIWYN,
PERMIT me to break into your retirement, the residence of virtue and literature, and to trouble you with a few reflections on the merits and real character of an admired Author, and on other collateral subjects of criticism, that will naturally arise in the course of such an enquiry. No love of fingularity, no affectation of paradoxical opinions, gave rise to the following Work. I revere the memory of Pop E, I respect and honour his abilities; but I do not think him at the head of his profession. In other words, in that species of poetry wherein
VOL. I. A Pop E
Pope excelled, he is superior to all mankind: and I only say, that this species of poetry is not the most excellent one of the art.
We do not, it should seem, sufficiently attend to the difference there is betwixt a MAN of wit, a MAN OF SENSE, and a TRUE PoET. Donne and Swift were undoubtedly men of wit, and men of sense: but what traces have they left of Pu R E PoETR Y P It is remarkable, that Dryden says of Donne, “He was the greatest wit, though not the greatest poet, of this nation. Fontenelle and La Motte are entitled to the former character; but what can they urge to gain the latter? Which of these charaćters is the most valuable and useful, is entirely out of the question: all I plead for, is, to have their several provinces kept distinét from each other; and to impress on the reader, that a clear head, and acute understanding, are not sufficient, alone, to make a PoET ; that the most solid observations on human life, expressed with the utmost elegance and brevity, are MoR ALITY, and not PoETR Y ; that the
EPISTLEs of Boileau in RHYME, are no more .
poetical, than the CHARACTERs of La Bruyere in