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One Simile, that P solitary shiges
s On Avon's bank, where flow'rs eternal blow, If I but ask, if any weed can grow? One Tragic sentence if I dare deride Which · Betterton's grave action dignify'd, Or well-mouth'd Booth with emphasis proclaims, (Tho’ but, perhaps, a mufter-roll of Names) How will our Fathers rise up in a rage, 125 And swear, all shame is loft in George's Age! You'd think v no Fools disgrac'd the former reigni; Did not fome grave Examples yet remain,
Notes. which, hitherto, the small critics had mistaken for the fublime, these latter are now apt to fufpect all they do noc understand, to be bombast: like the Idiot in Cervantes, who having been beat for not distinguishing between a Cur and a Greyhound, imagined every dog he met, to be a .. Cur-dog.
Ver. 124. A mufier' roll of Names,] An absurd custom · of several Actors, to pronounce with emphasis the meer Proper Names of Greeks or Romans, which (as they call jij fill the mouth of the Player. P.
Jam w Saliare Numae carmen qui laudat, et illud,
Quod miecum ignorat, folus vult scire videri ;
Ingeniis non ille favet plauditque fepultis,
Nostra sed impugnat, nos noftraque lividus odit.
* Quod fi tam Graecis novitas invisa fuiffet,
Quam nobis ; quid nunc esset vetus ? aut quid haberet,
Quod legeret tereretque viritim publicus usus ?
y Ut primum pofitis nugari Graecia bellis
Coepit, et in vitium fortuna labier aequa;
Nunc athletarum ftudiis, runc arfit 2 equorum;
Ver. 138. By learned Critics, of the mighty Dead??] A ridicule on the tribe of learned Critics, who think all wri. ters but the ancient unworthy their care and attention. This came properly into a satire, whose subject is the unreasonable fondness for antiquity in general.
VER. 140. with Charles restor'd;] He says, restored, because the luxury he brought in, was only the revival of that practised in the reigns of his Father and Grandfather.
VER. 142. A Verse of the Lord Lansdown. P.
Ver. 143. In Horsemanship t'excell, And ev'ry flow'ry Courtier writ Romance.] The Duke of Newcastle's book of Horsemanship: the Romance of Parthenisa, by the
Who scord a Lad should teach his father skill,
y In Days of Ease, when now the weary Sword
. Notes. :
Ver. 146. And ev'ry flow'ry Courtier writ Romance.) A kind of heroical Romances, whose subject was some celebrated fory of antiquity. In these voluminous extravagancies, love and honour supplied the place of life and manners, which were scarce ever thought of till Mr. De Marivaux in France, and Mr. Fielding in England introduced this fpecies of fable : and, by inriching it with the best part of the comic art, may be said to have brought it to perfection.
• Marmoris aut eboris fabros aut aeris amavit ;
picta vultum mentemque tabella;
Nunc tibicinibus, nunc est gavisa tragoedis :
Sub nutrice puella velut fi luderet infans, Quod cupide petiit, mature plena reliquit.
Quid placet, aut odio eft, quod non mutabile credas?
Notes. Ver. 149. Lely on animated Canvas stole The sleepy Eye, etc.] This was the Characteristic of this excellent Colourist's expression ; who was an excessive Maniereft.
VER. 153. On each enervate firing, etc.) The Siege of Rhodes by Sir William Davenant, the first Opera sung is England. P.
Then a Marble, soften’d into life, grew warm,
The sleepy Eye, that spoke the melting soul. 150
But d Britain, changeful as a Child át play, 155
Notes. Ver. 158. Now all for Pleasure, now for Church and Stale;] The first half of Charles the Second's Reign was passed in an abandoned diffeluteness of manners; the other half, in factious disputes about popish plots and French prerogative.