Abbildungen der Seite

Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find,
Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
Nor lose, for that inalignant, dull delight, 240
The gen'rous pleasure to be charm’d with wit:
But in fuch lays as neither ebb nor flow,
Correctly cold, and regularly low,
That shunning faults, one quiet temper keep,
We cannot blame indeed---but we may sleep: - 245
In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts
Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts :
'Tis not a lip, nor eye, we beauty call,
But the joint force, and full result of all.
Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome, 250
(The world's just wonderd, and ev’n thine, O Rome!)
No single parts unequally surprize,
All comes united to the admiring eyes;
No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear;
The whole at once is bold and regular.


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,
Since none can compass more than they intend;.
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spight of trivials faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit.



Totum perpendet, censorque est parcus, ubi ardor
Exagitat naturæ animos & concitat æftrum ;
Nec tam servili generosa libidine mutet
Gaudia, quæ bibulæ menti catus ingerit author.
Verum ftagnantis mediocria carmina mufæ,

Quæ reptant sub limâ & certâ lege stupescunt,
Quæ torpent uno erroris secura tenore,.
Hæc equidem nequeo culpare---& dormio tantum.
Ingenii, veluti naturæ, non tibi constant
Illecebræ formâ, quæ certis partibus infit; . 260
Nam te non reddit labiumve oculusve venustum,
Sed charitum cumulus, collectaque tela decoris.
Sic ubi lustramus perfectam insignitèr ædem,
(Quæ Romam splendore, ipsumqne ita perculit orbem)
Læta diu non ullâ in fimplice parte moråntur 265
Lumina, sed sese per totum errantia pafcunt;
Nil longum latumve nimis, nil altius æquo
Cernitur, illustris nitor omnibus, omnibus ordo.

Quod consummatum eft opus omni ex parte, nec usquam Nunc exstat, nec erat, nec erit labentibus annis. Quas fibi proponat metas adverte, poeta Ultra aliquid fperare, illas fi abfolvat, iniquum eft; Si recta ratione utatur, confilioque Perfecto, missis maculis, vos plaudite clamo. 275 Accidit, ut vates, veluti vafer Aulicus, erret Sæpius errorem, ut vitet graviora, minorem.


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,
And all to one lov’d folly sacrifice.


Onçe, on a time, la Mancha's knight, they say, 270 A certain bard encount'ring on the way, : Discours’d in terms as just, in looks as fage, As e'er cou'd Dennis, of the Grecian stage; Concluding all were desp’rate sots, and fools, That durit depart from Aristotle's rules. Our author happy in a judge so nice, Produc'd his play, and begg’d the knight's advice; Made him observe the subject, and the plot, The manners, passions, unities, what not?' All which, exact to rule, were brought about, 280 Were but a combat in the lists left out What! leave the combat out?” exclaims the knight; Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite. « Not so, by heav'n! (he answers in a rage) “ Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage.” The stage can ne'er so vast a throng contain. “ Then build a-new, or act it on a plain.”


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



Neglige, quas criticus, verborum futilis auceps,
Leges edicit: nugas nescire decorum est.
Artis cujusdam tantum auxiliaris amantes

Partem aliquam plerique colunt vice totius; illi
Multa crepant de judicio, nihilominus iftam
Stultitiam, sua quam sententia laudat, adorant.

Quixotus quondam, fi vera est fabula, cuidam Occurrens vati, criticum certamen inivit

285 Docta citans, graviterque tuens, tanquam arbiter alter Dennisius, Graii moderatus fræna theatri ; Acriter id dein asseruit, stultum esse hebetemque, Quifquis Aristotelis poffet contemnere leges. Quid ?---talem comitem nactus felicitèr author, 290 Mox tragicum, quod composuit, proferre poema. Incipit, et critici scitari oracula tanti. Jam pubov, ta Ta@n, 7’n@y, to poßampie, avorque & Cætera de genere hoc equiti describat hianti, Quæ cuncta ad norman quadrarent, inter agendum 295 Si tantum prudens certamen omitteret author. « Quid vero certamen omittes? excipit heros; Sic veneranda Sophi suadent documenta. “ Quid ergo, Armigerumque equitum quecohors scenam intret, oportet,” Forsan, at ipsa capax non tantæ scena catervæ est: 300 “ OEdificave aliam---vel apertis utere campis.”

Sic ubi supposito morosa superbia regnat Judicio, criticæque tenent fastidia curæ


Form short ideas, and offend in arts. (As most in manners) by a love to parts.


[ocr errors]

Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
And glitt’ring thoughts ftruck out at ev'ry line;
Pleas'd with a work, where nothing's just or fit,
One glaring chaos, and wild heap of wit.

Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
The naked nature, and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover ev'ry part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
Truet wit is nature to advantage dress’d,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express’d;
Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight, we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit: : 305
For works may have more wit than does them good,
As bodies perish through excess of blood.


Others, for language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for dress: Their praise is still---the style is excellent ; The sense they humbly take upon content.

[merged small][ocr errors]

+ Naturam intueamur, hanc fequamur; id facillime accipiunt animi qucd agnoscunt.

QUINTIL. lib. 8. cap. 3•


« ZurückWeiter »