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Naevius in manibus non eft ; at mentibus haeret Pene recens : 4 adeo fanctum est vetus omne poema. Ambigitur e quoties, uter utro fit prior; aufert Pacuvius docti famam senis, Accius alti : Dicitur Afranî toga convenisse Menandro ; Plautus ad exemplar Siculi properare Epicharmi Vincere Caecilius gravitate, Terentius arte. Hos ediscit, et hos arcto ftipata theatro Spectat Roma potens ; ' habet hos numeratque poetas Ad noftrum tempus, Livî scriptoris ab aevo. & Interdum vulgus rectum videt : est ubi peccat. .' Si veteres ita miratur laudatque poetas,
· Notes.' Ver. 77. Pindaric Art,] which has much more merit than his Epic, but very unlike the Character, as well as Numbers, of Pindar. P.
VER. 81. In all debates etc.) The Poer has here put the bald cant of women and boys into extreme fine verse. This is in strict imitation of his Original, where the faine impertinent and gratuitous criticism is admirably ridiculed.'
VER. 85. Sbadwell hasty, Wycherly was pow.] Nothing was less true than this particular: But the whole paragraph has a mixture of Irony, and must not altogether be taken for Horace's own Judgment, only the com
Who now reads Cowley ? if he pleases yet, 75
“ Yet surely, a surely, these were famous men! “ What boy but hears the sayings of old Ben? 80 “ In alle debates where Critics bear a part, “ Not one but nods, and talks of Johnson's Art, “ Of Shakespear's Nature, and of Cowley's Wit; “ How Beaumont's judgment check'd what Fletcher
« writ; “ How Shadwell hasty, Wycherly was flow : 85 “ But, for the Paffions, Southern fure and Rowe. " These, f only these, support the crouded stage, “ From eldest Heywood down to Cibber's age.”
All this may be; the People's Voice is odd, It is, and it is not, the voice of God.
90 To b Gammer Gurton if it give the bays, And yet deny the Careless Husband praise,
Notes. mon Chat of the pretenders to Criticism ; in some things right, in others, wrong ; as he tells us in his answer,
Interdum vulgus re&tum videt : est ubi peccat. P. - hafty Shadwell and how Wycherley, is a line of Wilmot, Earl of Rochester; the sense of which seems to have been generally mistaken. It gives to each his epithec, not to design the difference of their talents, but the number of their productions,
Ver.gi. Gammer Gurton] A piece of very low hu
Ut nihil anteferat, nihil illis comparet ; errat :
Si quaedam nimis i antique, îi pleraque * dure
Efe reor, memini quae * plagosum
sed emendata videri
Pulchraque, et exactis minimum distantia, miror :
Notes. mour, one of the first printed Plays in English, and there. . fore much valued by some Antiquaries. P.
Ibid. To Gammer Gurton, And yet deny, etc.] i. e. If they give the bays to one play because it is old, and deny it to another as good, because it is new; why then, I say, the Public acs a very foolish part.
Ver. 97. Spencer himself affects the Obsolete,] This is certainly true ; he extended, beyond all reason, that pre- cept of Horace,
Obscurata diu populo bonus eruet, atque
Or say our Fathers never broke a rule ;
But for the Wits of either Charles's days,
Notes. VER. 98. And Sydney's verfe balts ill on Roman feet:J Sir Philip Sidney. He attempted to introduce the Roman hexameter and pentameter measure into Englih verse. Baif, a french poet in the time of their Hen. II, had attempted the same thing before him, and with the same success.
Ver. 104. bis defp'rate hook] Alluding to the several passages of Milton, which Bentley has reprobated, by in. cluding within hooks, some with judgment, and some without.
Inter quae P verbum emicuit si forte decorum,
Indignor quidquam reprehendi, non quia craffe
o Recte necne crocum floresque perambulet Attae
Notes. Ver. 113. gheams thro many a page,] The image is taken from half-formed unripe lightening, which streams along the sky, and is just sufficient to shew the deformity of those black vapours to which it serves (as Milton expresses it) for a silver lining. * Ver. 119. Ox Avon's bank,) At Stratford in War. wickshire, where Shakespear had his birth. The thought of the Original is here infinitely improved. Perambulet is a low allusion to the name and imperfections of Atta.
Ver. 121. One Tragic fentence if I dare deride,] Wher writers of our Author's rank have once-effectually expored turgid exprelion, and reduced it to its juft value,