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When love was all an easy monarch's care;
Learn then what morals critics ought to show; For ’tis but half a judge's task, to know. 561
541 And not a mask, &c. Alluding to the custom in that age of ladies going in masks to the play.
544 Foreign reign. The reign of William III.
'Tis not enough, taste, judgment, learning join;
Be silent always, when you doubt your sense ;
'Tis not enough your counsel still be true; Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods
do: Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown proposed as things forgot. Without good-breeding truth is disapproved ; 576 That only makes superior sense beloved.
Be niggards of advice on no pretence; For the worst avarice is that of sense : With mean complacence ne'er betray your trust, Nor be so civil as to prove unjust :
581 Fear not the anger of the wise to raise ; Those best can bear reproof, who merit praise.
"Twere well might critics still this freedom take; But Appius reddens at each word you speak, 585 And stares, tremendous, with a threatening eye, Like some fierce tyrant in old tapestry. Fear most to tax an honorable fool, Whose right it is, uncensured, to be dull: . Such, without wit, are poets when they please, 590 As without learning they can take degrees. Leave dangerous truths to unsuccessful satires, And flattery to some fulsome dedicators,
Whom, when they praise, the world believes no
more, Than when they promise to give scribbling o'er. 'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain, 596 And charitably let the dull be vain : Your silence there is better than your spite, For who can rail so long as they can write ? Still humming on, their drowsy course they
keep; And lash'd so long, like tops, are lash'd asleep: False steps but help them to renew the race, As, after stumbling, jades will mend their pace. What crowds of these, impenitently bold, In sounds and jingling syllables grown old, 605 Still run on poets in a raging vein, Ev'n to the dregs and squeezing of the brain; Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense, And rhyme with all the rage of impotence ! Such shameless bards we have; and yet, 'tis
true, There are as mad, abandon'd critics too. The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head, With his own tongne still edifies bis ears, And always listening to himself appears. 615 All books he reads, and all he reads assails, From Dryden's Fables down to Durfey's Tales. With him most authors steal their works, or
buy ; Garth did not write his own Dispensary. Name a new play, and he's the poet's friend, 620 Nay, show'd his faults : but when would poets
No place so sacred from such fops is barr'd,
stow, Still pleased to teach, and yet not proud to
know? Unbiass'd or by favor or by spite ; Not dully prepossess'd nor blindly right; Though learn'd, well-bred; and though well-bred, sincere;
635 Modestly bold, and humanly severe; Who to a friend his faults can freely show,' And gladly praise the merit of a foe; Bless’d with a taste exact, yet unconfined; A knowlege both of books and human kind; 640 Generous converse; a soul exempt from pride; And love to praise, with reason on his side ?
Such once were critics; such the happy few, Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
624 Nay, fly to altars. A passage imitated from Boileau's • Il n'est temple si saint, des anges respecté. Du Perrier, a French scribbler, had followed Boileau to church, and insisted on his listening to a newly-written Ode during the elevation of the host; desiring also his opinion,' whether it were not a rival of Malherbe !
The mighty Stagirite first left the shore, 645
Horace still charms with graceful negligence,
661 They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm: Nor suffers Horace more in wrong translations By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations.
See Dionysius Homer's thoughts refine, 665 And call new beauties forth from every line!
645 The mighty Stagirite. Aristotle, the first and the best of critics.
Between ver. 646 and 649, Warburton found the following lines, afterwards suppressed by the author :
That bold Columbus of the realms of wit,