Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

DR YOUNG,

RECTOR of WEL WYN

In HERTFORDSHIRE,

DEAR SIR,

ERMIT me to break into your P , and literature, and to trouble

you

with a few reflections on the merits and real character of an admired author, and on other collateral subjects, that will naturally arise. No love of fingularity, no affectation of paradoxical opinions, gave rise to the following work. I revere the memory of Pope, I respect and honour his abilities; but I do not think him at the head of his profession. In other words, in that species of poetry wherein Pope excelled, he is fuperior

[ocr errors]

to all mankind : and I only say, that this spccies of poetry is not the most excellent one of the art. We do not, it should seem, sufficiently attend to the difference there is, betwixt a Man of WIT, a MAN OF Sense, and a TRUE Poet.. Donne and Swift, were undoubtedly men of wit, and men of sense : but what traces have they left of pure POETRY?. Fontenelle and La Motte are entitled to the former character ; but what can they urge to gain the latter ? Which of these characters is the most, valuable and useful, is entirely out of the questions all I plead for, is, to have their several provinces kept distinct from each other; and to impress on the reader, that a clear head, and acute understanding are not sufficient, alone, to :

make

ܐ

[ocr errors]

make a poet; that the moft folid obfervations on human life, expressed with the utmost elegance and brevity, are MORALITY, and not Poetry; that the episties of Boileau in Rhyme, are no more poetical, than the CHARACTERS of Bruyere in Prose; and that it is a creative and glowing IMAGINATION,

acer spiritus ac vis,” and that alone, that can stamp a writer with this exalted and very uncommon character, which so few poffefs, and of which fo few can properly judge.

[ocr errors]

For one person, who can adequately relish, and enjoy, a work of imagination, twenty are to be found who can tafte and judge of, observations on familiar life, and the manners of the age. The

satires

satires of Ariosto, are more read thar the Orlando Furioso, or even Dante. Are there fo many cordial admirers of Spenser and Milton, as of Hudibras ?-- If we strike out of the number of these supposed admirers, those who appear such out of fashion, and not of feeling. Swift's rhapsody on poetry is far more popular, than Akenside's noble ode to Lord Huntingdon. The epistles on the Characters of men and women, and your sprightly fatires, my good friend, are more frequently perused, and quoted, than L'Allegro and Il Penseroso of Milton. Had you

written only these fatires, you would indeed have gained the title of a man of wit, and a man of sense; but, I am confident, would not insist on being denominated a poet, merely on their

[ocr errors]

account.

NON

« ZurückWeiter »