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VER. 79, 80.
Your praife the tuneful birds to heav'n fhall bear,
So the verses were originally written. But the Author, young as he was, soon found the absurdity which Spenfer himself overlooked, of introducing wolves into England.
Where'er you tread, your feet shall set
VER. 80. And winds fhall waft, &c.]
"Partem aliquam, venti, divûm referatis ad aures?" Virg. POPE.
VER. 73. Where'er you walk, &c.] Very much like fome lines in Hudibras, but certainly no refemblance was intended :
The moving mountains hear the pow'rful call,
VER. 84. And headlong, &c.] Pope has carried the idea into when he makes the ftream not only extravagance, liftening," but "hang listening in its headlong fall." Mr. Stevens in his MS. notes, quotes Lucan, in a paffage where the image is precisely the fame, though poffibly Pope never faw it:
-"de rupe pependit
Abfcifsâ fixus torrens!"
"For which the lift'ning streams forgot to run,
But as it is here used, it is too hyperbolical, and only allow able in a very young writer. An idea of this fort will only bear juft touching, if I may fay fo; the mind then does not perceive its violence: if it be brought before the eyes too minutely, it becomes almoft ridiculous. This is often the fault of Cowley. Oldham has a paffage of the fame ftamp:
Thirfis, whose artful strains have oft delay'd
The huddling brook, to hear his madrigal,
How much more judiciously and poetically has Milton given the fame idea?
VER. 88. Te Gods, &c.]
"Me tamen urit amor, quis enim modus adfit amori?”
On me love's fiercer flames for ever prey,
VER. 91. Me love inflames, nor will his fires allay.
VER. 92. By night, &c.] This is certainly the poorest of Pope's Paftorals; and it has many falfe thoughts and conceits, fuch as,
"The bleating flocks with my complaints agree,
They parch'd with THIRST, and I inflam'd by thee." "This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
"But in my breaft the ferpent love abides, &c."
❝ On me love's fiercer flames, &c."
But the ingenuous and candid critic will always bear in mind the early age in which they were written, and the false tafte of Cowley at that time prevalent.
Speaking of the "Headlong ftream, that hangs lift'ning in its fall,” Ruffhead says, "Though it may be allowed that the new 86 images in these Pastorals are not frequent, yet it is too much to
fay they do not contain a fingle image that is new! Let any "reader of fenfibility attend to the following lines:
"But would you fing, &c.
"The moving mountains hear your pow'rful call,
"And headlong freams hang lift'ning in their fall!"
"The last line," he adds, " furely prefents a new image, and a "bold one too!!" bold indeed!
Et mutata fuos requierunt flumina curfus.
But this idea is certainly not fo "hold!" and according to Mr. Ruffhead, Milton's image is very tamé in comparison of Pope's.
THE THIRD PASTORAL,"
HYLAS and ÆGON.
TO MR. WYCHERLEY.+
* This Pastoral consists of two parts, like the viiith of Virgil : The Scene, a Hill; the Time at Sun set. POPE.
His intrigues with the Dutchefs of Cleveland, his marriage with the Countess of Drogheda, Charles the Second's displeasure on this marriage, his debts and distresses, and other particulars of his life, are well related by Dennis in a Letter to Major Pack, 1720. In Dennis's collection of Letters, published in two volumes, 1721, to which Mr. Pope fubfcribed, Lord Lanfdown has drawn his character, as a Writer, in an elegant manner; chiefly with a view of shewing the impropriety of an epithet given to him by Lord Rochefter, who called him Slow Wycherley; for that, notwithstanding his pointed wit, and forcible expreffion, he compofed with facility and halle. WARTON.
Thou, whom the Nine, with Plautus' wit inspire, The art of Terence, and Menander's fire; Whose sense instructs us, and whose humour charms, Whofe judgment fways us, and whose spirit warms! Oh, skill'd in Nature! fee the hearts of Swains, Their artless paffions, and their tender pains.
VER. R. 7. Thou, whom the Nine,] Mr. Wycherley, a famous author of Comedies; of which the most celebrated were the Plain-Dealer and Country-Wife. He was a writer of infinite spirit, fatire, and wit. The only objection made to him was, that he had too much. However, he was followed in the fame way by Mr. Congreve, tho' with a little more correctness. POPE.
Surely with much more correctness, tafte, and judgment.
VER. 8. The art of Terence, and Menander's fire ;] This line alludes to that famous character given of Terence, by Cæsar: "Tu quoque, tu in fummis, ô dimidiate Menander, Poneris, et merito, puri fermonis amator:
Lenibus atque utinam fcriptis adjuncta foret vis
So that the judicious critic fees he fhould have faid-with Menander's fire. For what the Poet meant, was, that his friend had joined to Terence's art, what Cæfar thought wanting in Terence, namely, the vis comica of Menander. Befides,-and Menander's fire, is making that the Characteristic of Menander which was not. He was distinguished for having art and comic Spirit in conjunction, and Terence having only the first part, is called the half of Menander. WARBURTON.
VER. 9. Whofe fenfe inftru&s us,] He was always very careful in his encomiums not to fall into ridicule, the deserved fate of weak and proftitute flatterers, and which they rarely escape. For fenfe, he would willingly have faid moral; propriety required it. But this dramatic Poet's moral was remarkably faulty. His plays are all fhamefully profligate both in the Dialogue and Action. WARBURTON.
VER. II. Oh, skill'd] Few writers have lefs nature in them than Wycherley. WARTON.