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Yet fhall thy grave with rifing flow'rs be dreft,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast:
There fhall the morn her earliest tears beftow,
There the first roses of the year fhall blow;
While Angels with their filver wings o'ershade
The Ground, now facred by the reliques made.
So peaceful refts, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. 70
How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;

A heap of duft alone remains of thee,

'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be!
Poets themfelves must fall like those they fung,
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
En he, whofe foul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall fhortly want the gen'rous tear he pays;
Then from his clofing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang fhall tear thee from his heart, 80
Life's idle bufinefs at one gafp be o'er,

The Mufe forgot, and thou belov'd no more!

Z 2





THE Tragedy of Cato itself, is a glaring instance of the force of party; fo fententious and declamatory a drama would never have met with fuch rapid and amazing fuccefs, if every line and fentence had not been particularly tortured, and applied to recent events, and the reigning difputes of the times. The purity and energy of the diction, and the loftiness of the fentiments, copied, in a great measure, from Lucan, Tacitus, and Seneca the philosopher, merit approbation. But I have always thought, that those pompous Roman fentiments are not fo difficult to be produced, as is vulgarly imagined; and which, indeed, dazzle only the vulgar. A ftroke of nature is, in my opinion, worth a hundred fuch thoughts, as

"When vice prevails, and impious men bear fway,
The poft of honour is a private ftation."

Cato is a fine dialogue on liberty, and the love of one's country; but confidered as a dramatic performance, nay, as a model of a juft tragedy, as fome have affectedly represented it, it must be owned to want action and pathos; the two hinges, I prefume, on which a juft tragedy ought neceffarily to turn, and without which it cannot fubfift. It wants also character, although that be not so effentially neceffary to a tragedy as action. Syphax, indeed, in his interview with Juba, bears fome marks of a rough African; the fpeeches of the reft may be transferred to any of the perfonages concerned. The fimile drawn from Mount Atlas, and the defcription of the Numidian travellers fmothered in the defart, are indeed in character, but fufficiently obvious. How Addison could fall into the falfe and unnatural custom of ending his three first acts with fimilies, is amazing in fo chafte and correct a writer.


ȧ writer. The loves of Juba and Marcia, of Portius and Lucia, are vicious and infipid epifodes, debafe the dignity, and deftroy the unity of the fable. Cato was tranflated into Italian by Salvini; into Latin, and acted by the Jefuits at St. Omers; imitated in French by De Champs, and great part of it translated by the Abbé Du Bos.

The Prologue to Addison's Tragedy of Cato, is fuperior to any prologue of Dryden; who, notwithstanding, is fo justly celebrated for this fpecies of writing. The prologues of Dryden are fatyrical and facetious; this of Pope is folemn and fublime, as the fubject required. Thofe of Dryden contain general topics. of criticism and wit, and may precede any play whatsoever, even tragedy or comedy. This of Pope is particular, and appropriated to the tragedy alone, which it was defigned to introduce.




o wake the foul by tender ftrokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart,
To make mankind, in confcious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold:
For this the Tragic Muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to ftream through ev'ry age;
Tyrants no more their favage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.
Our author fhuns by vulgar fprings to move
The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;
In pitying love, we but our weakness show,
And wild ambition well deferves its woe.

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*This Prologue, and the Epilogue which follows, are the moft perfect models of this fpecies of writing, both in the ferious and the ludicrous way. W.

The former is much the better of the two; for fome of Dryden's, of the latter kind, are unequalled.

VER. 7. Tyrants no more] Louis XIV. wished to have pardoned the Cardinal de Rohan, after hearing the Cinna of Corneille.

VER. 11. In pitying love,] Why then did Addifon introduce the loves of Juba and Marcia? which Pope faid to Mr. Spence, were not in the original plan of the play, but were introduced in compliance with the popular practice of the ftage.

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