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With such a prize no mortal must be blest,
So heav'n decrees ! with heav'n who can contest?

Some thought it mounted to the Lunar sphere,
Since all things lost on earth are treasur’d there.
There Heros' wits are kept in pond'rous vases, 115
And Beaux in snuff-boxes and tweezer-cases.
There broken vows, and death-bed alms are found,
And lovers hearts with ends of ribband bound,
The courtier's promises, and sick men's pray’rs,
The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, 120
Cages for gnats, and chains to yoak a flea,
Dry'd butterflies, and tomes of casuistry.

But trust the Muse-she saw it upward rise,
Tho' mark'd by none but quick, poetic eyes :
(So Rome's great founder to the heav'ns withdrew,
To Proculus alone confess’d in view)

126

A sudden
NOTES.
In this repository in the lunar sphere, says the sprightly
Italian, were to be found,

“ Cio che in fomma quà giù perdesti mai,

Là su faltendo ritrovar potrai." It is very remarkable, that the poet had the boldness to place among these imaginary treasures, the famous deed of Constantine to Pope Silvester; “ if (says he) I may be allowed to say this," Quefto era il dono (se pero

dir lece) Che Constantino al buon Silvestro fece." It

may be observed in general, to the honour of the poets, both ancient and modern, that they have ever been some of the first, who have detected and opposed the false claims and mischievous usurpations of superstition and lavery. Nor can this be wondered at, since these two are the greatest enemies, not only to all true happiness, but to all true genius.

VER. 114. Since all things loj] Vide Ariosto, Canto xxxiv. P.

A sudden Star, it shot through liquid air,
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Not Berenice's Locks first rose so bright,
The heav'ns bespangling with disheveld light. 130
The Sylphs behold it kindling as it flies,
And pleas’d pursue its progress through the skies.

This the Beau monde shall from the Mall survey,
And hail with music its propitious ray;
This the blest Lover shall for Venus take,

135 And send up vows from Rosamonda's lake; This Partridge foon shall view in cloudless skies, When next he looks through Galilaeo's eyes;

And VARIATIONS. Ver. 131. The Sylphs behold] These two lines added for the fame reason, to keep in view the machinery of the poem. P.

NOTES. Ver. 132. Through the skies. ] One cannot sufficiently applaud the art of the poet, in constantly keeping in the reader's view, the machinery of the poem, to the very last : even when the Lock is transformed, the Sylphs, who had so carefully guarded it, are here once again artfully mentioned, as finally rejoicing in its honourable transformation.

In reading the Lutrin, I have always been struck with the impropriety of so serious a conclusion as Boileau has given to fo ludicrous a poem. Piety and Justice are beings rather too awful to have any concern in the celebrated Desk. They appear as much out of place and season, as would the Archbishop of Paris, in his pontifical robes, in an harlequin entertainment.

VER. 137. This Partridge foon] John Partridge was a ridiculous Star-gazer, who in his Almanacks every year never failed to predict the downfal of the Pope, and the King of France, then at war with the English.

W.

IMITATIONS. Ver. 128. “ Flammiferumque trahens spatioso limite crinem Stella micat."

Ovid. P.

And hence th' egregious wizard shall foredoom
The fate of Louis, and the fall of Rome.

140 Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravilh'd

hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!
Not all the tresses that fair head can boast,
Shall draw such envy as the Lock you

lost. For after all the murders of your eye,

145 When, after millions flain, yourself shall die; When those fair suns shall set, as set they must, And all those tresses shall be laid in dust, This Lock, the Muse shall consecrate to fame, And 'midst the stars inscribe Belinda's name. 150

UPON the whole, I hope it will not be thought an exaggerated panegyric to say, that the Rape of the Lock is the best Satire extant ; that it contains the truest and liveliest picture of modern life; and that the subject is of a more elegant nature, as well as more artfully conducted, than any other heroi-comic poem. Pope here appears in the light of a man of gallantry, and of a thorough knowledge of the world; and indeed he had nothing, in his carriage and deportment, of that affected fingularity, which has induced some men of genius to despise, and depart from, the established rules of politeness and civil life. For all poets have not practised the sober and rational advice of Boileau ;

Que les vers ne soient pas votre eternel emploi ;
Cultivez vos amis, foyez homme de foi.
C'est peu d'etre agréeable et charmant dans un livre ;
Il fait savoir encore et converser, et vivre."

L'Art Poetique, chant. iv. Our nation can boast also, of having produced fome other poems of the burlesque kind, that are excellent ; particularly the Splendid Shilling, that admirable copy of the solemn irony of

Cervantes,

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Cervantes, who is the father and unrivalled model of the true mock-heroic; and the Muscipula, written with the purity of Virgil, whom the author fo perfectly understood, and with the pleasantry of Lucian ; to which I cannot forbear adding, the Scribleriad of Mr. Cambridge, the Machinæ Gesticulantes of Addison, the Hobbinol of Somerville, and the Trivia of Gay; the Battle of the Wigs of Thornton, and the Triumph of Temper of Hayley.

If some of the most candid among the French critics begin to acknowledge, that they have produced nothing in point of fublimity and majesty equal to the Paradise Lost, we may also venture to affirm, that in point of delicacy, elegance, and fine-turned raillery, on which they bave fo much valued themselves, they have produced nothing equal to the Rape of the Lock. What comes nearest to it, is the pleasing and elegant Ver-vert of Gresset, in which the foibles of the Nụns are touched with fo delicate a hand, and such nice ridicule, that it cannot disgust the most religious prude. I dare not even mention La Pucelle of Voltaire, except to lament that such a rich vein of sterling and uncommon wit, should be debased by the gross alloy of so much abominable obscenity.

The learned and ingenious Mr. Cambridge has, in the Preface to his Scribleriad, made a remark so new and so solid, as to deferve examination and attention.

He fays, that in first reading the four celebrated mock-heroic poems, he perceived they had all some radical defect. That at last he found, by a diligent perusal of Don Quixote, that propriety was the fundamental excellence of that work. That all the marvellous was reconcileable to probability, as the author leads his hero into that species of absurdity only, which it was natural for an imagination, heated with the continual reading of books of chivalry, to fall into. That the want of attention to this was the fundamental error of those poems. For with what propriety do Churchmen, Physicians, Beaux, and Belles, or Booksellers, in the Lutrin, Dispensary, Rape of the Lock, and Dunciad, address themselves to heathen gods, offer facrifices, consult oracles, or talk the language of Homer, and of the heroes of antiquity?

This acute observation bears hard on the conduct of more than one of the heroi-comic poems above-mentioned.

Nothing is here faid of Hudibras; because its unrivalled excellence could not be discussed in a note. It is one of the poems that gives peculiar lustre to our nation and language. One circumstance only I will here mention, that the ancients had

no

mo notion of such sort of Poems. The cruel wars between Pompey and Cæfar, and the execrable profcriptions of Auguftus, were never treated in a burlesque style, as the horrors of the league in France, and the bloody civil war in England, were described in the Satyre Menippée, and in Hudibras. One of the most accurate Greek scholars, of our time and nation, is of opinion, that the Batracomachia is not by Homer, but a burlesque poem in imitation of his manner, by some ancient poet, who, though he adopted the words and expressions of the Greek Bard, formed his metre according to the pronunciation of his own country. With equal confidence we may pronounce the Margites to have been a forgery, though there are only four lines of it extant, three of which are quoted by Plato and Aristotle; but in these we have a compound verb, with the augment upon the preposition (niisute), which Homer's grammar did not admit. Knight's Analytical Essay on the Greek Alphabet, page 30

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