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Mr. Hume's Essays, page 265.
Those compofitions, which we read the oftenest, and which every man of taste has got by heart, have the recommendation of fimplicity, and have nothing surprising in the thought, when divested of that elegance of expres. fion, and harmony of numbers, with which it is cloathed. If the merit of the composition lies in a point of wit, it may strike at first ; but the mind anticipates the thought in the second perusal, and is no longer affected by it. When I read an epigram of Martial, the first line recalls the whole; and I have no pleasure in repeating to myse!f what I know already. But each line, each word in CATULLUS has its merit; and I am never tired with the perusal of him. It is sufficient to run over COWLEY once ; but PARNELL, after the fiftieth reading, is as fresh as at the first.
Essay of SIMPLICITY and REFINEMENT.