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"* Much paler (to thy Shame) thou Lilly grow,
* And blusli thou Rose to be exceeded so:
'For heighten 'd thus, the gazing Crowd shall fee .
'Your Bloom and Colour saint, when seen with me.'
These Lines are misrepresented, and the whole Pastoral condemn'd on that. Account in the Guardian; which Number (if I mistake not) was wrote fcy Mr. Addison. That Paper takes the Liberty to say, that Taffb introduces a young Shepherdess speaking to herself, and that it betrays too much Art and Fineness of Thought for her to say, " I do not ." wear these Flowers to adorn me, but only to "make them ashamed." Had she spoke them, it would certainly have been absurd; but Daphne is an old Shepherdess, in whose Mouth they are put, and Tbyrjis tells her in the same Scene, that she is able to teach a thousand Girls as much: So that Tajso's Fame stands sair still, and the Guardian was either ignorant of the Language Tajfo wrote in, or else he maliciously strove to set the unlearned (I mean as to the Italian) against that Prince of the Italian Poets.''
Guarinl in his Pastor Fido, who wrote after Tajfo, has made use of Scenes Comick and Tiagick, as well as Pastoral, and is full of Plot and Contrivance'; which (though deviating from the Simplicity required, properly speaking, in Pastoral), has pleased- more Readers. The following is the Story of Amintas and Lucrina, and is the Foundation of the Plot of the Drama:
It is Part of the second Scene of the first Act.'' MIRT1LLO, ERGASTO.
Ergajlo. As yet the Priesthood and the Temple's Care,
C 3 Was
Was handed down, without Regard to Age,
Mirtillo. Ah me! What high Distress with this great Load
All other Grief compar'd, seems light and small. Ergaflo. His Heart thus lost, his loud Complaints unheard,
And his Sighs scatter'd by the wanton Wind,
Rais'd heavenly Pity, mix'd with heavenly Wrath
C 4 These These Words pronounc'd, back on himself he turn'd
The fatal Knise, and plung'd it in his Breast.
In one the Lover, Priest and Victim sell.
Bleeding and dying in Lucrina's Arms.
At such a dreadful Spectacle so strange,
The miserable Damsel stood suspended,
As yet uncertain if the Pain she selt
Was Stabs of Steel or those of sharper Grief.
Soon as her Sense and Voice return'd, she cried
Mixing her Words with Sighs and Showers of Tears:
Faithful and firm Amintas, now too late
Hast thou convinc'd me of thy Truth and Love,
Thou, who hast dying given me Lise, and Death:
Was it a Crime to leave thee? that I'll mend,
And with thy Soul eternally join mine.
This faid, the Steel as yet lukewarm and red
From his late lov'd his wounded Breast she drew
And buried it in her own Heart ; she sell
And in Aminta's Arms whose dying Eyes
Had seen her give the Blow sunk gently down.
More concerning attempting Pastoral Comedy in Englijh.
Mr. Walsh to Mr. Pope.
'June 24. 1706.
IReceiv'd the Favour of your Letter, and shall be very glad of theContinuance of a Correspondence by which I am like to be so great a Gainer. I hope, when I have the Happiness of seeing you again in London, not only to read over the Verses I have now of your's, but more that you have written since; for I make no doubt but any one who writes so well, must write more. Not that I think the most voluminous Poets always the best, I believe the contrary is rather true. I mention'd somewhat to you in London of a Pastoral Comedy, which I shou'd be glad to hear you had thought upon since. I find Menage, in his Observations, upon Tajso's Aminta, reckons up fourscore Pastoral Plays in Italian: And in looking over my old Italian Books, I find a great many Pastorals, and Piscatory Plays, which I suppose Menage reckons together. I find also by Menage^ that Tajso is not the first that writ in that Kind, he mentioning another before him, which he himself had never seen, nor indeed have I. But as the Aminta, Pajtor Fido, and Filli di Sciro of Bonarelli^ are the three best, so I think there is no Dispute but Aminta is the best of the three: Not but that the Discourses in Pajlor Fido are more entertaining and copious, in several Peoples Opinion, tho' not so fit for Pastoral; and the Fable of Bonarelli more surprising. I do not remember many in other Languages, that have written in this Kind with Success. Racan's Bergeries are much inferior to his Lyric Poems; and the Spaniards are all too full of Conceits. Rapin will have the Design of Pastoral Plays to be taken from the Gyclops of Euripides. I am sure there is nothing of this Kind in Englijh worth mentioning, and therefore you have that Field open to yourself. You see I write to you without any Sort of Constraint or Method, as Things come into my Head, and therefore pray use the same Freedom with me, who am, &e.