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One science only will one genius fit;
So vast is art, so narrow human wit:
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft in those confined to single parts.
Like kings, we lose the conquests gain'd before,
By vain ambition still to make them more: 65
Each might his several province well command,
Would all but stoop to what they understand.

60 One science only will one genius fit. Warton vindicates this maxim; but adduces only the weak examples ;-that La Fontaine wrote clever tales, but was hissed in comedy; that Terence made no attempt in tragedy; that Rowe's · Biter' was wretched; that Heemskirk and Teniers could never have succeeded in the sublime of painting ; that Tully made bad verses, &c. However, he has the candor to acknowlege other instances against him; and what are these ? that Garrick could alike personate Lear and Abel Drugger; and that Macbeth and Falstaff were the work of the same pen.

Roscoe, on the other hand, charges both the poet and the commentator with an attempt to depreciate the powers of the human mind; and adduces the examples of Michael Angelo, the ‘sculptor, painter, architect, and poet;' of Bacon, and Shakspeare. The actual argument in the text seems to have equally escaped both. Warton coincides with Pope on palpably inadequate grounds : for his evidences from the failures of writers and artists in different styles of their own arts, are trifling: Roscoe's evidences from the success of writers and artists in different styles of their own arts, are not less insufficient. The painting, sculpture, and architecture of Angelo are too analogous to each other to afford an argument for the universality of genius: as a poet, he was nothing. And what was the science of Shakspeare, beyond the drama ? The true question is, whether any pre-eminent genius has ever maintained his pre-eminence in more than one province of intellectual distinction; whether the great poet, the great painter, the great orator, the great mathematician,- whether any man, standing in the foremost rank of mind, has ever been enabled to pursue fame with complete success in more directions than one. We do not here speak of the general activity which loves

First follow Nature, and your judgment frame By her just standard, which is still the same : Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, 70 One clear, unchanged, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art. Art from that fund each just supply provides ; Works without show, and without pomp presides. In some fair body thus the informing soul 76 With spirits feeds, with vigor fills the whole, Each motion guides, and every nerve sustains ; Itself unseen, but in the effects remains. Some, to whom Heaven in wit has been profuse, Want as much more to turn it to its use; 81 For wit and judgment often are at strife, Though meant each other's aid, like man and wife. 'Tis more to guide, than spur the Muse's steed; Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed : 85 The winged courser, like a generous horse, Shows most true mettle when you check his course.

Those rules of old discover'd, not devised, Are nature still, but nature methodised. Nature, like liberty, is but restrain'd

90 By the same laws which first herself ordain'd. Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules in

dites, When to repress, and when indulge our flights :: High on Parnassus' top her sons she show'd, And pointed out those arduous paths they trod; to throw off its superfluous force on every pursuit within its reach : we speak of equal triumphs achieved in totally separate departments by powers of the first order. Probably not a single instance of the kind is discoverable in the whole history of man.

Held from afar, aloft, the immortal prize, 96
And urged the rest by equal steps to rise.
Just precepts thus from great examples given,
She drew from them what they derived from

The generous critic fann'd the poet's fire, 100
And taught the world with reason to admire.
Then criticism the Muse's handmaid proved,
To dress her charms, and make her more beloved:
But following wits from that intention stray'd;
Who could not win the mistress, woo'd the maid;
Against the poets their own arms they turn'd, 106
Sure to hate most the men from whom they learn'd.
So modern 'pothecaries, taught the art
By doctors' bills to play the doctor's part,
Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.


107 Sure to hate most. It is amusing to see the picture of criticism, as sketched by Swift, himself the most unsparing of critics :- Momus, fearing the worst, and calling to mind an ancient prophecy, which bore no very good face to his children the moderns, bent his Aigbt to the region of a malignant deity, called Criticism. She dwelt on the top of a snowy mountain in Nova Zembla : there Momus found her extended in her den, on the spoils of numberless volumes, half devoured. At her right hand sat Ignorance, her father and husband, blind with age; at her left, Pride, her mother, dressing her up in the scraps of paper herself had torn. There was Opinion, her sister, light of foot, hoodwinked and headstrong, yet giddy, and perpetually turning. About her played her children, Noise and Impudence, Dulness and Vanity, Positiveness, Pedantry, and Ill Manners. The goddess herself had claws like a cat,' &c. &c.—Tale of a Tub.

110 Bold in the practice of mistaken rules. The abbé d'Aubignac, patronised by Richelieu, wrote a treatise on the Aristotelic rules of the drama; but this did not prevent his writing a tragedy, which was hissed off the stage. The great Condé ob

Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey;
Nor time nor moths e'er spoil so much as they :
Some dryly plain, without invention's aid,
Write dull receipts how poems may be made: 115
These leave the sense, their learning to display;
And those explain the meaning quite away.
You then, whose judgment the right course

would steer,
Know well each ancient's proper character:
His fable, subject, scope in every page ;
Religion, country, genius of his age :
Without all these at once before your eyes,
Cavil you may, but never criticise.
Be Homer's works your study and delight;
Read them by day, and meditate by night; 125
Thence form your judgment, thence your maxims



And trace the Muses upward to their spring.
Still with itself compared, his text peruse;
And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse.

served, on this catastrophe of the critic's fame,- Je sçais bon gré à l'abbé d'Aubignac d'avoir suivi les règles d'Ari. stote, mais je ne pardonne pas aux règles d'Aristote d'avoir fait faire une si mauvaise tragédie à l'abbé d'Aubignac.'Warton.

123 Cavil you may, but never criticise. The author, after this verse, originally inserted the following, which he has however omitted in all the later editions :

Zoilus, had these been known, without a name
Had died, and Perault ne'er been damn’d to fame;
The sense of sound antiquity had reign'd,
And sacred Homer yet been unprofaned.
None e'er had thought his comprehensive mind
To modern customs, modern rules confined ;
Who for all ages writ, and all mankind,


When first young Maro in his boundless mind A work to outlast immortal Rome design’d, 131 Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law, And but from nature's fountain scorn'd to draw : But when to examine every part he came, Nature and Homer were, he found, the same. 135 Convinced, amazed, he checks the bold design: And rules as strict his labor'd work confine, As if the Stagyrite o’erlook'd each line. ' Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem: To copy nature is to copy them.

Some beauties yet no precepts can declare,
For there's a happiness as well as care.
Music resembles poetry; in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master-hand alone can reach. 145
If, where the rules not far enough extend,
(Since rules were made but to promote their

Some lucky license answer to the full
The intent proposed, that license is a rule.
Thus Pegasus, a nearer way to take,

May boldly deviate from the common track.
Great wits sometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to faults true critics dare not mend;
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art; 155
Which, without passing through the judgment,

gains The heart, and all its end at once attains. In prospects, thus, some objects please our eyes, Which out of nature's common order rise; The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice. 160

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