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22d verfe. Having been, as might naturally be expected from his fupcrior understanding, difgufted with the reafoning part of the poem, the gentler touches of fancy and tenderness were loft, if I may fay fo, on him. He would turn with difdain from fuch images as

"There fhall the morn her earliest tears beftow ;" or perhaps exclaim, as upon another occafion, "Incredu'us odi." Notwithstanding, however, his feverity, and the abfurd criticisms of Lord Kaims, which Warburton fpeaks of, the animated paffages of this poem,

"But thou, false guardian," &c.

and the lines of tenderness and poetic fancy interfperfed, cannot be read without fympathy. The verfes, "Yet fhall thy grave," &c. are poffibly too common place, but they are furely beautiful. If any expreffion might be objected to, perhaps it would be "filver” for "white" wings of an angel.

PROLOGUE TO MR. ADDISON's TRAGEDY OF CATO.

THE Tragedy of Cato itself, is a glaring instance of the force of party; fo fententious and declamatory a drama would never have met with fuch rapid and amazing fuccess, if every line and sentence had not been particularly tortured, and applied to recent events, and the reigning difputes of the times. The purity and energy of the diction, and the loftinefs of the fentiments, copied, in a great measure, from Lucan, Tacitus, and Seneca the philofopher, merit approbation. But I have always thought, that those pompous Roman fentiments are not fo difficult to be produced, as is vulgarly imagined; and which, indeed, dazzle only the vulgar. A ftroke of nature is, in my opinion, worth a hundred such thoughts as

"When vice prevails, and impious men bear fway,
The post of honour is a private station."

Cato is a fine dialogue on liberty, and the love of one's country; but confidered as a dramatic performance, nay, as a model of a just tragedy, as some have affectedly represented it, it must be owned to want action and pathos; the two hinges, I prefume, on which

just tragedy ought neceffarily to turn, and without which it cannot fubfift. It wants alfo character, although that be not fo effentially neceffary to a tragedy as action. Syphax, indeed, in his interview with Juba, bears fome marks of a rough African; the speeches of the reft may be transferred to any of the perfonages concerned. The fimile drawn from Mount Atlas, and the description of the Numidian travellers fmothered in the defart, are indeed in character, but fufficiently obvious. How Addison could fall into the falfe and unnatural custom of ending his three

first acts with fimilies, is amazing in so chaste and correct a writer, The loves of Juba and Marcia, of Portius and Lucia, are vicious and infipid episodes, debase the dignity, and destroy the unity of the fable. Cato was tranflated into Italian by Salvini; into Latin, and acted by the Jefuits at St. Omers; imitated in French by De Champs, and great part of it tranflated by the Abbé Du Bos.

The Prologue to Addifon's Tragedy of Cato, is fuperior to any Prologue of Dryden ; who, notwithstanding, is so justly celebrated for this fpecies of writing. The Prologues of Dryden are fatirical and facetious; this of Pope is folemn and fublime, as the fubject required. Thofe of Dryden contain general topics of criticism and wit, and may precede any play whatsoever, even tragedy or comedy. This of Pope is particular, and appropriated to the tragedy alone, which it was defigned to introduce.

WARTON,

PROLOGUE TO MR. ADDISON's TRAGEDY OF CATO*.

To

wake the foul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart,
To make mankind, in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold;
For this the Tragic Mufe firft trod the stage,
Commanding tears to stream through ev'ry age;
Tyrants no more their favage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.
Our author fhuns by vulgar fprings to move
The hero's glory, or the yirgin's love;
In pitying love, we but our weakness show,
And wild Ambition well deferves its woe.

5

10

Here

NOTES.

*This Prologue, and the Epilogue which follows, are the most perfect models of this fpecies of writing, both in the ferious and the ludicrous way. WARBURTON.

The former is much the better of the two; for fome of Dry. den's, of the latter kind, are unequalled. WARTON.

VER. 7. Tyrants no more] Louis XIV. wifhed to have pardoned the Cardinal de Rohan, after hearing the Cinna of Corneille.

WARTON.

VER. 11. In pitying love,] Why then did Addifon introduce the loves of Juba and Marcia? which Pope faid to Mr. Spence, were not in the original plan of the play, but were introduced in compliance with the popular practice of the ftage. WARTON.

Here tears fhall flow from a more gen'rous caufe,
Such tears as Patriots fhed for dying Laws:
He bids your breafts with ancient ardour rise,
And calls forth Roman drops from British
eyes.
Virtue confefs'd in human fhape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was :
No common object to your fight difplays,
But what with pleafure Heav'n itself furveys,
A brave man ftruggling in the ftorms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling state.

15

20

While

NOTES.

VER. 20. But what with pleasure] This alludes to a famous paffage of Seneca, which Mr. Addison afterwards used as a motto to his play, when it was printed. WARBURTON.

VER. 21. A brave man, &c.] The noble paffage of Seneca, which Addison adopted as a Motto, and to which Pope in this paffage finely alludes, is this,

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"Ecce fpectaculum dignum ad quod respiciat, intentus operi fuo, DEUS! Ecce par Deo dignum, vir fortis cum malâ fortunâ compofitus! non video, inquam, quid habeat in terris Jupiter pulcrius, fi convertere animum velit, quàm ut fpectet CATONEM, jam parti bus non femel fra&tis, nihilhominùs inter ruinas publicas erectum.”

Pope has very much heightened the idea of Seneca, in one paffage," Fortis vir, malâ fortunâ compofitus ;" which is far lefs animated than

A brave man fruggling in the forms of fate!

Let me take this opportunity of remarking, that Pope has very feldom laid the fires, as it is in the line,

A brave mãn

The stress, however, laid upon the epithet in this manner, has often a pleasing effect, and, when it is judiciously introduced, is particularly grateful to the ear. Milton and Shakespear often accent a line in this manner, and who but feels its occafional propriety and beauty?

"Thro' the HIGH wood, echoing fhrill."

ALLEGRO.

"What time the GRAY fly winds her fullen horn." LYCIDAS.
"On which the sWART ftar fparely looks.”

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