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here may contribute to the humour, I will not determine ; for my own part, I could wish the simplicity were preserved, without recurring to such obsolete antiquity for the manner of expressing it.

MAC FLECKNOE. The severity of this satire, and the excellence of its versification, give it a distinguished rank in this species of composition. At present, an ordinary reader would scarcely suppose that Shadwell, who is here meant by Mac Flecknoe, was worth being chastised ; and that Dryden, descending to such game, was like an eagle stooping to catch flies.

The truth however is, Shadwell at one time held divided reputation with this great Poet. Every age produces its fashionable dunces, who, by following the transient topic or humour of the day, supply talkative ignorance with materials for conversation.

ON POETRY. A RHAPSODY. Here follows one of the best versified poems in our language, and the most masterly production of its author. The severity with which Walpole is here treated was in consequence of that minister's having refused to provide for Swift in England, when applied to for that purpose in the year 1725(if I remember right). The severity of a Poet, however, gave Walpole very little uneasiness. A man whose schemes, like this minister's, seldom extended be: yond the exigency of the year, but little regarded the contempt of posterity.

OF THE USE OF RICHES. This poem, as Mr. Pope tells, us himself, cost much attention and labour; and, from the easiness that appears in it, one would be apt to think as much.


FROM THE DISPENSARY. CANTO VI. This sixth canto of the Dispensary, by Dr. Garth, has more merit than the whole preceding part of the poem, and, as I am told, in the first edition of this work, it is more correct than as here exhibited; but that edition I have not been able to find. The praises bestowed on this poem are more than have been given to any other ; but our approbation at present is cooler, for it owed part of its fame to party.

SELIM; OR THE SHEPHERD's Moral. The following eclogues, written by Mr. Collins, are very pretty: the images, it must be owned, are not very local ; for the pastoral subject could not well admit of it. The description of Asiatic magnificence and manners is a subject as yet unattempted amongst us, and, I believe, capable of furnishing a great variety of poetical imagery.

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This is reckoned the best parody of Milton in our language: it has been an hundred times imitated without success. The truth is, the first thing in this way must preclude all future attempts, for nothing is so easy as to burlesque any man's manner, when we are once shewed the way.



Mr, Hawkins Browne, the author of these, as I am. old, had no good original manner of his own, yet we see how well he succeeds when he turns an imitator ; for the following are rather imitations, than ridiculous parodies.


A NIGHT PIECE ON DEATH. The great fault of this piece, written by Dr. Par. nell, is, that it is in eight syllable lines, very improper for the solemnity of the subject ; otherwise, the poem is natural, and the reflections just.

A FAIRY TALE. BY DR. PARNELL. Never was the old manner of speaking more happily applied, or a tale better told, than this.

PALEMON AND LAVINIA. Mr. Thomson, though, in general, a verbose and affected poet, has told this story with unusual simplicity: it is rather given here for being much esteemed by the public, than by the editor.

THE BASTARD. Almost all things written from the heart, as this certainly was, have some merit. The Poet here describes sorrows and misfortunes which were by no means imaginary; and thus there runs a truth of thinking through this poem, without which it would be of little value, as Savage is, in other respects, but an indifferent poet.

THE POET AND HIS PATRON. Mr. More was a poet that never had justice done him while living; there are few of the moderns have a more correct taste, or a more pleasing manner of expressing their thoughts. It was upon these fables he chiefly founded his reputation, yet they are by no means his best production.

AN EPISTLE TO A LADY. This little poem, by Mr. Nugent, is very pleasing The easiness of the poetry, and the justice of the thoughts, constitute its principal beauty.


got his

HANS CARVEL. This Bagatelle, for which, by the bye, Mr. Prior has

greatest reputation, was a tale told in all the old Italian collections of jests; and borrowed from thence by Fontaine. It had been translated once or twice before into English, yet was never regarded till it fell into the hands of Mr. Prior.

A strong instance how much every thing is improved in the hands of a man of genius.



very fine; and, though in the same strain with the preceding, is yet superior.



This elegy (by Mr. Tickell) is one of the finest in our language: there is so little new that can be said upon the death of a friend, after the complaints of Ovid, and the Latin Italians, in this way, that one is surprised to see so much novelty in this to strike us, and so much interest to affect.

COLIN AND LUCY. A BALLAD. Through all Tickell's Works, there is a strain of ballad-thinking, if I may so express it; and in this professed ballad, he seems to have surpassed himself. It is, perhaps, the best in our language in this way.

THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND. This ode by Dr. Smollett does rather more honour to the author's feelings than his taste. The mechanical part,

with regard to numbers and language, is not so perfect as so short a work as this requires; but the pathetic it contains, particularly in the last stanza but one, is exquisitely fine. VOL. IV.



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Our poetry was not quite harmonized in Waller's time; so that this, which would be now looked upon as a slovenly sort of versification, was, with respect to the times in which it was written, almost a prodigy of harmony. A modern reader will chiefly be struck with the strength of thinking and the turn of the compliments bestowed upon the Usurper. Every body has heard the answer our poet made Charles Il; who asked him how his poem upon Cromwell came to be finer than his panegyric upon himself. Your majesty, replies Waller, knows, that poets always succeed best in fiction.



The French claim this as belonging to them. To whomsoever it belongs the Thought is finely turned.


These seem to be the best of the collection; from whence only the two first are taken. They are spoken of differently, either with exaggerated applause or contempt, as the reader's disposition is either turned to mirth or melancholy.


Young's Satires were in higher reputation when published, than they stand in at present. He seems fonder of dazzling than pleasing; of raising our admiration for his wit, than our dislike of the follies he ridicules.


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