« السابقةمتابعة »
'Tis not enough your counsel still be true, Blunt truths more mischief than nice falfhoods do; Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forgot, Without good breeding, truth is dif-approv'd; That only makes superior sense belov’d. Be niggards of advice on no pretence; For the worft avarice is that of fenfe. With mean complacence ne'er betray your truft, Nor be so civil as to prove unjust; Fear not the anger of the wise to raise; Those beft can bear reproof, who merit praise.
'Twere well might critics still this freedom take; But Appius reddens at each word you speak, And ftares, tremendous, with a threat'ning eye, Like some fierce tyrant in old tapestry! Fear most to tax an honourable fool, Whose right it is, uncensur'd to be dull; Such without wit are poets when they please, As without learning they can take degrees. Leave dang'rous truths to unsuccessful satyrs, And flattery to fulsome dedicators, Whom, when they praise, the world believes no more, Than when they promise to give fcribling o'er.
'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain,
And charitably let the dull be vain.
Your silence there is better than your spite,
For who can rail so long as they can write!
Still humming on, their drowzy course they keep,
And lash'd so long, like tops, are lash'd afleep.
False steps but help them to renew their race;
As after stumbling, jades will mend their pace.
What crouds of these, impenitently bold,
In sounds and jingling syllables grown old,
Still run on poets, in a raging vein,
Ev'n to the dregs and squeezings of the brain;
Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense,
And rhyme with all the rage of impotence!
Such thameless bards we have; and yet tis true,
There are as mad, abandon's critics too.
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue ftill edifies his ears,
And always lift’ning to himself appears.
All books he reads, and all he reads affails,
From Dryden's fables down to Dy's tales.
With him, most authors steal their works, or buy;
Garth did not write his own Dispensary.
Name a new play, and he's the poet's friend,
Nay show'd his faults-but when wou'd poets mend?
No place fo facred from such fops is barr'd,
Nor is Paul's church more safe than Paul's church-yard;
Nay, fly to altars; there they'll talk you dead;
For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Diftruftful sense with modeft caution speaks,
It still looks home, and short excursions makes;
But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks ;
And never shock’d, and never turn'd afide,
Bursts out refiftless with a thund'ring tide!
But where's the man who counsel can bestow,
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know!
Unbiass’d, or by favor, or by spite;
Not dully prepossess’d, or blindly right;
Tho' learn'd, well-bred, and tho'well-bred fincere ;
Modestly bold, and humanly severe?
Who to a friend his faults can freely fhow,
And gladly praise the merit of a foe?
Bleft with a taste exact, yet unconfin'd;
A knowledge both of books and humankind;
Gen’rous converfe; a soul exempt from pride;
And love to praise, with reason on his fide?
Such once were critics; such the happy few,
Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore,
Spread all his fails, and durst the deeps explore;
He fteer'd securely, and discover'd far,
Led by the light of the Maonian star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of favage liberty,
Receiv'd his laws; and stood convinc'd, 'twas fit
Who conquer'd nature, should preside o'er wit,
Horace ftill charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into sense,
Will like a friend, familiarly convey
The truest notions in the easiest way.
He, who supreme. in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ,
Yet judg'd with coolness tho' he sung with fire,
His precepts teach but what his works inspire.
Our critics take a contrary extream,
They judge with fury, but they write with phle'me;
Nor suffers Horace more in wrong translations
By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations,
See * Dionysius Homer's thoughts refine,
And call new beauties forth from ev'ry line !
Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,
The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease.
In grave Quintilian's copious work, we find
The justest rules, and clearest method join'd:
Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang'd in order, and dispos’d with grace;
Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,
But to be found when need requires, with ease.
Thee, bold Longinus! all the nine inspire, And bless their critic with a poet's fire. An ardent judge, who zealous in his trust, With warmth gives sentence, yet is always just; Whose own example strengthens all his laws, And is himself that great sublime he draws,
Thus long succeeding critics juftly reign'd, Licence repress'd, and useful laws ordain'd. Learning and Rome alike in empire grew, And arts still follow'd where her eagles flew. From the same foes, at last, both felt their dooin, And the same age faw learning fall, and Rome.
* Dionysius of Halicarnassus.