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After a Life of gen'rous Toils endur'd,
3 To Thee, the World its present homage pays,
• Præfenti tibi, &c.
Wonder of Kings ! like whom, to mortal eyes and
+ Juft in one instance, be it yet confeft
5 Tho' justly Greece her eldest fons admires,
* Skelton, Poet Laureat to Hen. 8. a Volume of whose Verses has been lately reprinted, consisting almost wholly of Ribaldry, Obscenity, and Billingsgate Language.
+ Chrilt's Kirk oʻthe Green, a Ballad made by a King of Scotland.
In ev'ry publick Virtue we excell,
If Time improve our Wit as well as Wine,
“ Whọ lasts a Century can have no flaw;
7 Suppose he wants a year, will you compound?
"We shall not quarrel for a year or two; “ By Courtesy of England, he may do.
8 Then, by the rule that made the Horse-tail bare, I pluck out year by year, as hair by hair,
Si meliora dies, ut vina, &c. ' Quid? qui deperiit minor, &c. • Utor permiso, candæque, &c.
And melt down Ancients like a heap of snow210:
9 Shakespear *, (whom you and ey'ry Play-house-bill
“ 10 Yet surely, surely, these were famous men! “What Boy but hears the sayings of old Ben? “ In all debates where Criticks bear a part, “ Not one but nods, and talks of Johnson's Art,
, Ennius, ( sapic'ns, fortis, &c. "° Adeo sanctum eft, &c.
... * Shakespear and Ben. Johnson mày truly be said not much to have thought of Immortal Fame, the one in many picces composed in hafte for the Stage; the other in his Latter works in general, which Dryden calls his Dotages. :
+ ---Pindaric art, which has much more merit than his Epic: buc very unlike the Character, as well as Numbers, of Pindar.
" Of Shakespear's Nature, and of Cowley's Witz.. “ How Beaumont's Judgment check'd what Fletcher writ; “ How Shadwell * hasty, Wycherly was flow ; “ But, for the Passions, Southern sure and Rowe. :6!... al Thele; örly thefé, support the crouded Itage, “ 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. Tot Gammér Gurton : if it give the bayş,! Cisco And yet deny the Careless Husband praise, Or say our fathers never broke a rile) 10. Why then I say, ithe Publick is a foole But let them own, that greater faults than we rizi! They had, and greater Virtues, l'H' agree. Spenser himself affects thet obsoletej And Sydney's versé halts illtan Roman feet: 3
Det Interdum vulgus, &c. D
* Shadwell hafty, Wycherly was flow.) Nothing was less true than this particular: But this Paragraph has a mixture of Irony, and must not altogether be taken for Horace's own Judgment, only the common Chate of the pretenders to Criticism ; in some things right, in others wrong: as he tells us in his answer,
Interdum vulgus rettum videt; reftubi peccat. Gammer Gurton, a piece of very low bumour, one of the first printed Plays in English, and therefore much valued by some Antiquaries, Off Spénjér too mtlich affects the obsolete.] -Particularly in the Shepherd's Calen
dar, where he imitates the uncqual Measures as well as the Languags, of Chaucer,