« ZurückWeiter »
excellent of his writings, as yet nothing of Mr.Pope's can be opposed to them, they have an undoubted. right to turn the balance greatly in favor of Mr. Dryden.When the two poets are considered as critics, the comparison will very iinperfectly hold. Dryden's Dedications and Prefaces, besides that they are more numerous, and are the best models for courtly panegyric, shew that he understood poetry as an art, beyond any man that ever lived; and he explained this art so well, that he taught his antagonist to turn the tables against himself; for he so illuminated the mind by his clear and perspicuous reasoning, that dulness itself became capable of discerning; and when at any time his performances fell short of his own ideas of excellence, his enemies tried him by rules of his own establishing; and though they owed to him the ability of judging; they seldom had candor enough to spare hii.
Perhaps it may be true that Pope's works are read with more appetite, as there is a greater evenness and correctness in them; but in perusing the works of Dryden, the mind will take a wider range, and be more fraught with poetical ideas. We adinire Dryden as the greater genius, and Pope as the most pleasing versifier.-Cibber's Lives.
HE comes, he comes ! bid every bard prepare
Pale envy dumb, and sick’ning with despair,
But who are they that turn the sacred page?
The chariot now the painful steep ascends, The pæans cease, the glorious labor ends. Here fix'd, the bright eternal temple stands, Its prospect and unbounded view commands: Say, wondrous youth, what column wilt thou choose, What laurell'd arch for thy triumphant muse? Though each great ancient court thee to his shrine, Though ev'ry laurel through the dome be thine, (From the proud epic down to those that shade, *The gentler brow of the soft Lesbian maid,) Go to the good and just, and awful train, Thy soul's delight, and glory of the fane; While thro' the earth thy dear remembrance flies. **Sweet to the world and grateful to the skies."
EPISTLE I. Of the Nature and State of Man with Respect to
ARGUMENT. Of man in the abstract--1. That we can judge only
with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the relations of systems and things.—2. That man is not to be deemed imperfect, but a being suited to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable to the general order of things, and conformable to ends and relations to him unknown.-3. That it is partly upon
his ignorance of future events, and partly upon the hope of a future state, that all his happiness in the present depends.-4. The pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretending to more perfection, the cause of man's error and misery. The impiety of putting himself in the place of God, and judging of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or injustice, of his dispensations.--5. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final cause of the creation, or expecting that perfection in the moral world which is not in the natural.-6. The unreasonableness of his complaints against Providence, while, on the one hand, he demands the perfections of the angels, and, on the other, the bodily qualifications of the brutes : though to possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher degree would render him miserable.-7. That throughout the whole visible world an universal order and gradation in the sensual and mental faculties is observed, which causes a subordination of creature to creature, and of all creatures to man. The gradations of stinct, thought, reflection, reason: that reason alone countervails all the other faculties.-8. How much further this order and subordination of living creatures may extend above and below us ; were any part of which broken, not that part only, but the whole connected creation, must be destroyed.-9. The extravagance, madness, and pride of such a de sire.--10. The consequence of all, the absolute submission due to Providence, both as to our present and future state.
AWAKE, my St. John! leave all meane rthings To low ambition and the pride of kings.