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But in such lays as neither ebb, nor flow,

Correctly cold and regularly low, 240

That shunning faults, one quiet tenour keep;

We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep.

In Wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts

Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts;

'Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, 245

But the joint force and full result of all.

Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome,

(The world's just wonder, and ev'n thine, O Rome!)

No single parts unequally surprize,

AH comes united to th'admiring eyes j 250 No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear; TVie Whole at once is bold, and regular.

Commentary.

dently, must always have the appearance of irregularity; often of deformity : Because the Poet's design being to create a refultJve beauty from the artful assemblage of several various parts into one natural whole; those parts must be fashioned with regard to their mutual relations in the stations they occupy in that ■whole, from whence, the beaqty required is to arise: But that regard wi;l occasion so unrcdticiblc a form in each part, when considered singly, as to present a very mii-fhapen appearance.

Note S. Vfr . 248. The world's jujl wonder, and ev'n thine, Q Rome f] The Pantheon. There is something very Gothic in the taste and judgment of a learned mr.n, who despises this master-piece of Art for those very qualities which deserve our admiration.— "Nouj csmervcillons comme Ton fait si grand cas de ce Panthe*' on, veu que son edifice n'est de si grande Industrie comme *' Ton eric: car chaque pctitMasibn pcut bien concevoir la ma"niere de fa facon tout en un instant: car estant la base si mas** five, et les muraii}es si esnaisles, Ijc nous a scmblc difficile d y

Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. In ev'ry work regard the writer's End, 255

Since none can compass more than they intend;

Commentary.

Ver. 253. Wlioever thinks a faultless piece tosce,~\ He shews yiext [from f 252 to 263] that to fix our censure on single parts, tho' they happen to want an exactness consistent enough with their relation to the rest, is even then very unjust: And for these reasons, I. Because it implies an expectation of a faultless piece, which is a vain imagination: 2. Because no more is to be expected of any work than that it fairly attains its end: But the end may be attained, and yet these trivial faults committed: Therefore, in fpight of such faults, the work will merit that praise that is due to every thing which attains its end. 3. Because sometimes a great beauty is not to be procured, nor a notorious blemisli to be avoided, but by suffering one of these minute and trivial errors. 4. And lastly, because the general neglect of them is a praise; as it is the indication of a Genius, busied about greater matters.

Notes. "adjousterla voute a claire voye " Pierre Behn's Observations, etc~. 'The nature of the Gothic structures apparently led him into this mistake of the Architectonic art in genera]; that the excellency of it consisted in raising the greatest weight en the least assignable support, so that the edifice should have strength without the appearance of it, in order to excite admiration. But to a judicious eye it would have a contrary effect,^ Jttearance (as our poet expresses it) of a monstrous height or breadth, er length. Indeed did the just proportions in regular Architecture take off from the grandeur of a building, by all the single parts coming united to the eye, as this learned traveller seems to insinuate, it would be a reasonable objection to those rules on

And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spight of trivial faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit: 260
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
For not to know some trifles, is a praise.
Most Critics, fond of some subservient art,
Still make the Whole depend upon a Part:
They talk of principles, but notions prize, 265
And all to one lov'd Folly sacrifice.

Commentary. Ver. 263. Most Critics fond of some subservient art, etc.] II. The second way in which a narrow capacity, as it relates to thematter, {hews itself, is judging by a favorite Part. The author has placed this [from ^ 262 to 285] after the other of judging by parts, with great propriety, it being indeed a natural consequence of it. For when men have once left the whole to turn their attention to the separate par ts,tiizt regard and reverence due only to a whole is fondly transferred to one or other of its parts. And thus we fee that Heroes themselves as well as Heromakers, even Kings as well as Poets and Critics, when they chance never to have had, or long to have lost the idea of that which is the only legitimate object of their office, the care and conservation of the whole, arc wont to devote themselves to the service of some favourite part, whether it be love of money, military glory, despotic power, etc. Andall, as our Authorsays on this occasion,

to one lov'd Folly sacrifice.

Notes.

which this Master-piece of Art was constructed. But it is not (b. The Poet tells us,

The Whole at once is Roijd and regular.

Once on a time, LaMancha's Knight, they say, A certain Bard encount'ring on the way, Discours'd in terms as just, with looks as sage, As e'er could Dennis, of the Grecian stage; 270 Concluding all were desp'rate sots and fools, 'Who durst depart from Aristotle's rules. Our Author happy in a judge so nice, Produc'd his Play, and begg'd the Knight's advice;

Commentary.

This general misconduct much recommends that maxim in good Poetry and Politics, to give a principal attention to the whole; a maxim which our author has elsewhere shewn to be equally true likewise in Morals and Religion; as being founded in the order of things: For, if we examine, we shall find the misconduct to arise from this imbecillity of our nature, that the mind must always have something to rejl upon, to which the passions and affections may be interestingly directed. Nature prompts us to seek it in the most worthy object; and common sense points out to a Whole or System: But Ignorance, and the false lights of the Passions, confound and dazzle us ; we stop short, and before we get to a Whole, take up with some Part; which from thence becomes our Favourite.

Notes.

Ver. 267. Once on a time, etc.] This tale is so very apposite, that one would naturally take it to be of the Poet's own invention; and so much in the spirit of Cervantes, that we might easily mistake it for one of the chief strokes of that incomparable Satire. Yet, in truth, it is neither; but a story taken by our Author from the spurious Don Quixote; which shews how proper an use may be made of General reading, when if there is but one good thing in a book (as in that wretched per. formance there scarce was more) it may be pick'd out,- and employ'd to an excellent purpose.

Made him observe the subject, and the plot, 275
The manners, passions, unities; what not?
All which, exact to rule, were brought about,
Were but a combat in the lists left out.
"What! leave the Combat out?" exclaims the

Knight;
Yes, or we must renounce the Stagirite. 280

'« Not so by Heav'n" (he answers in a rage)

"Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the "stage."

So vast a throng the stage can ne'er contain. "Then build a new, or act it in a plain."

Thus Critics, of less judgment than caprice, 285 Curious not knowing, not exact but nice,

Commentary.

Ver. 285. Thus Critics of less judgment than caprice, Curious not knowing, not exait but nice, Form short Ideas, etc.] 1. He concludes his observation on those two forts of judges Ij parts, with this general reflexion.—The curious not knowing are the firji sort, who judge by parts, and with a microscopic fight (as he fays elsewhere) examine bit by bit: The not exaEl but nice, are the second, who judge by a favourite part, and talk of a whole to cover their fondness for a part; as Philosophers do ot principles, in order to obtrude notions and opinions in their stead.

Notes. Ver. 285. Thus Critics of less judgment than caprice,

Curious not blowing, not exacl but nice.] In these two Jir.es the poet finely describes the way in which bad writers arc wont to imitate the qualities of good ones. As true 'Judgment

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