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So well in paint and stone they judgød of merit;
Not with such a majesty, such bold relief, 390
year 1671, tells the following story: “I and John Echard, the Author of the Contempt of the Clergy, dined with Archbishop Sheldon. After dinner, when the Archbishop had withdrawn and selected his company, I was called into the withdrawing room, and Echard was left behind to go drink and smoke with the Chaplains :" So well adjusted was this respect of persons; Echard, the wittiest man of the age, was very fitly left to divert the Chaplains ; and Anthony Wood, without all per-adventure the dulleft, was called in to enjoy the conversation of his Grace. WARBURTON.
Ver. 385. But Kings in Wit] They may, nevertheless, be very good Kings. It is not for his verses, any more than for his victories, that the late King of Prussia will be celebrated by posterity: but for softening the rigours of a despotic government, by a code of milder laws than his crouching people had known before ; and for building many villages and farm-houses, to encourage agricul. ture, and repair the waltes and ravages of war. He must there. fore be pardoned for an absurd judgment, which he has passed on Homer, whom he could not read in the Original, where he says; “ Ses chants et l'action ont peu ou point de liason les uns avec les autres, ce qui leur a mérité le nom de rapsodies.” Preface to the Henriade.
WARTON. Ver. 389. pension'd Quarles;] Who has lately been more fa. yourably spoken of by some ingenious critics; particularly by the author of Thirty Letters.
Aufpiciis totum confe&ta duella per orbem, Claustraque custodem pacis cohibentia Janum, Et i formidatam Parthis, te principe, Romam: Si quantum cuperem, pofsem quoque. fed neque par' vum * Carmen majestas recipit tua ; nec meus audet Rem tentare pudor, quam vires ferre recusent. Sedulitas autem ' stulte, quem diligit, urget; Præcipue cum fe numeris commendat et arte. Discit enim citius, meminitque libentius illud Quod quis " deridet, quam quod probat et veneratur. Nil moror" officium, quod me gravat : ac neque ficlo In • pejus vultu proponi cereus usquam, Nec prave factis decorari versibus opto : Ne ? rubeam pingui donatus munere, et una Cum ? fcriptore meo capfa porrectus aperta, Deferar in vicum vendentem thus et odores, Et piper, et quicquid chartis amicitur ineptis.
Ver. 397. how dearly bought! ] All this is in the spirit of the inolt contemptuous irony.
Ver. 409. They say I bite.] If any key had been wanting to the artful irony contained in this imitation, especially in the last tixteen lines, this one verse would have been fufficient to fix the Poet’s intention. Neither Dr Warburton nor Dr. Hurd take the least notice of any irony being intended in this imitation. To what motive fhall we ascribe this cautious diience? WARTOX.
Oh! could I mount on the Mæonian wing, 394
410 There's nothing blackens like the ink of fools. If true, a owoful likeness ; and if lies, “ Praise undeserv'd is scandal in disguise :" Well may hep blush, who gives it, or receives ; And when I flatter, let my dirty leaves 415 (Like 9 Journals, Odes, and such forgotten things As Eusden, Philips, Settle, writ of Kings) Cloath spice, line trunks, or flutt'ring in a row, Befringe the rails of Bedlam and Soho.
Pope, in his celebrated letter to Lord Hervey, has the hardi. bood to boaft himself “ a man who never wrote a line in which “ the religion or government of his country, the ROYAL FAMILY, « or their ministry, were disrespectfully mentioned.” The case was very much altered, when he wrote this Imitation, the drift of which cannot be mistaken. I have before taken notice of the circum. fances of the times when it was published, which the reader should keep in mind, as they are the best comment on some passages of particular severity.
No one, however, can be insensible of the great powers of language, and consummate dexterity of satire; which this Epistle evinces: