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Our Court may justly to our stage give rules, 220
of his own, which indeed was hard; he wanted grace, had not studied the antique, and copied only common nature and the forms before him. He attended not to Costume. His Madonnas were dressed like German ladies, and his Jews had beards and mustacchios. See a most judicious Criticism on the Works and Talents of Albert Durer, by a living painter of great genius and learning, Mr. Fuseli, in the third volume of that entertaining publication, intitled, Anecdotes of some distinguished Persons, p. 234.
So in immaculate clothes, and Symmetry
Tyr’d, now I leave this place, and but pleas'd so As men from gaols to execution go, Go, through the great chamber (why is it hung With the seven deadly sins ?) being among
NOTES. Ver. 250. So first to preach] An inimitable portrait of a smooth, and smug, and satin, modern divine !
Ver. 256. or. Gonson] He was a famous Westminster justice of peace ; and Hogarth introduced him in one of his pictures.
But oh! what terrors must distract the soul
Nature made ev'ry Fop to plague his brother,
259 But here's the Captain that will plague them both, Whose air cries Arm! whose very look's an oath : The Captain's honest, Sirs, and that's enough, Tho' his soul's bullet, and his body buff. He spits fore’right; his haughty chest before, Like batt’ring rams, beats open ev'ry door: 265 And with a face as red, and as awry, As Herod's hang-dogs in old Tapestry, Scarecrow to boys, the breeding woman's curse, Has yet a strange ambition to look worse; Confounds the civil, keeps the rude in awe, 270 Jests like a licens'd fool, commands like law.
Ver. 262. The Captain's honest,] Much resembling Noll Bluff, in Congreve's Old Batchelor, who was copied from Thraso, and also from Ben Jonson. . ,
Those Askaparts*, men big enough to throw
* A Giant famous in Romances. P.
Ver. 273. As men from Jails] A line so smooth that our Author thought proper to adopt it from the Original. There are many such, as I have before observed, which shew, that if Donne had taken equal pains, he need not have left his . numbers so much more rugged and disgusting, than many of his contemporaries, especially one so exquisitely melodious as Drummond of Hawthornden; who, in truth, more than Fairfax, Waller, or Denham, deserves to be called the first polisher of English Versification. Milton read him much. And Pope copied him, not only in his Pastorals, as before observed, but in his Eloisa. A well-written Life of Drummond is inserted in the fifth volume of the new Edition of the Biographia Britannica, with many curious particulars imparted by Mr. Park.
Frighted, I quit the room, but leave it so As men from Jails to execution go; For, hung with deadly sins, I see the wall, And lin'd with Giants deadlier than 'em all : 275 Each man an Askapart, of strength to toss For Quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross. Scar'd at the grizly forms, I sweat, I fly, And shake all o'er, like a discover'd spy. 279
Courts are too much for wits so weak as mine: Charge them with Heav’n’s Artill’ry, bold Divine ! From such alone the Great rebukes endure, Whose Satire’s sacred, and whose rage secure : 'Tis mine to wash a few light stains, but theirs To deluge sin, and drown a Court in tears. 285 Howe'er what's now Apocrypha, my Wit, In time to come, may pass for Holy Writ.
NOTES. Ver. 274. For, hung with deadly sins,] The room hung with old Tapestry, representing the seven deadly sins. P.
Ver. 286. my Wit,] The private character of Donne was very amiable and interesting; particularly so, on account of his secret marriage with the daughter of Sir George More; of the difficulties he underwent on this marriage; of his constant affection to his wife, his affliction at her death, and the sensibility he displayed towards all his friends and relations.