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EPISTLE the TENTH.
TO MY DEAR FRIEND
Mr. C O N G R E V E,
Comedy call’d, The Double Deale R.
ELL then, the promis'd hour is come at last,
The present age of wit obscures the past : Strong were our fires, and as they fought they writ, Conqu’ring with force of arms, and dint of wit : Theirs was the giant race, before the flood; And thus, when Charles return’d, our empire stood. Like Janus he the stubborn foil manur’d, With rules of husbandry the rankness cur'd; Tam'd us to manners, when the stage was rude; And boistrous English wit with art indu'd. Our age was cultivated thus at length; But what we gain'd in skill we lost in strength. Our builders were with want of genius curst ; The second temple was not like the first : Till you,
the best Vitruvius, come at length; Our beauties equal, but excel our strength. VOL. II.
Firm Doric pillars found your
folid base : The fair Corinthian crowns the higher space: Thus all below is strength, and all above is grace.
. In easy dialogue is Fletcher's praise ; He mov'd the mind, but had not power to raise. Great Johnson did by strength of judgment please; Yet, doubling Fletcher's force, he wants his ease. In diff’ring talents both adorn’d their
laurel had sustain'd!: Well had I been depos’d, if you had reign'd:
The father had descended for the fon;
Edward in his room arose.
so judiciously you dare,
least praise is to be regular.
2 Heaven, that but once was prodigal before, To Shakespear gave as much ; she could not
give him more. Maintain your post : That's all the fame you
So bold, yet That your
For 'tis impossible you should proceed.
Already I am worn with oares and age,
EPIST LE the ELE VENT H.
Mr. GRAN VILLE,
Excellent Tragedy callid, Heroic LOVE.
wert thou not
my How could I
what I must commend ! But since 'tis nature's law in love and wit, That youth should reign, and witheringage submit,
With lefs regret those laurels I resign,
up some foreign monster in a bill. Thus they jog on, still tricking, never thriving, And murd’ring plays, which they miscal reviving: Our sense is nonsense, thro their pipes convey'd; Scarce can a poet know the play he made ; 'Tis so disguis’d in death ; nor thinks ’tis he That suffers in the mangled tragedy.