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326

Wise men have said, are wearisome; who reads
Inceffantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
(And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere seek?)
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep vers’d in books and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,
And trifles for choice matters, worth a spunge ;
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.

330
Or if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where so foon
As in our native language can I find
That solace ? All our law and story strow'd

With

rem autem ut redeam, judicium hoc Incessantly, &c ] See the same omnium mortalium eft, fortunam à just sentiment in Paradise Lost Deo petendam, à fe ipfo jumendam efle VII. 126. fapientiam. De Nat. Deor. III. 36.

But knowledge is as food, and Warburton,

needs no less 321. An empty cloud,]. A me Her temp’rance over appetite, taphor taken from the fable of &c.

Thyer. Ixion, who embrac'd an empty cloud

325. And what he brings, what for a Juno.

needs he elsewhere seek?] The 322. Wife men have faid,] Al. poet makes the old fophifter the luding to Ecclef. XII. 12. Of Devil always busy in his trade. making many books there is no end, 'Tis pity he should make Jesus and much study is a weariness of the (as he does here) use the same

Warburton. 322.

who reads VOL. I.

335.

fleja.

arms.

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With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inscrib’d, Our Hebrew songs and harps in Babylon,

336 That pleas'd so well our victors ear, declare That rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd; Ill imitated, while they loudest sing The vices of their Deities, and their own

340 In fable, hymn, or song, so personating Their Gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame. Remove their swelling epithets thick laid As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest, Thin sown with ought of profit or delight, 345

Will

335. our psalms with artful that wasted us, required of us mirth,

terms inscrib’d,] He means the saying, Sing us one of the fongs of inscriptions often prefixed to the Sion. beginning of several psalms, such as To the chief musician upon Ne.

338. That rather Greece from us hiloth, To the chief musician on

these arts deriv'd;] This was Neginoth upon Shemineth, Shig- It was established and supported

the system in vogue at that time. gaion of David, Michtam of Da- with vast erudition by Bochart, vid, &c. to denote the various and carried to an extravagant and kinds of psalms or instruments. 336. Our Hebrew songs and harps and Gale.

even ridiculous length by Huetius

Warburton. in Babylon,

That pleas'd so wellour victors ear, ] 343. - swelling epithets ] Greek This is said upon the authority of compounds.

Warburton. Pfal. CXXXVII. 1 &c. By the ri- The hymns of the Greek poets to vers of Babylon, there we sat down, their Deities consist of very little yea we wept, when we remembred more than repeated invocations of Sion. We hanged our harps upon the them by different names and epiwillows in the midst thereof. For thets. Our Saviour very probably there they chat carried us away cap- alluded to these, where he cautions tive, required of us a fong; and they his disciples against vain repeti

Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is prais'd aright, and God-like men,
The Holiest of Holies, and his Saints ;
Such are from God inspir’d, not such from thee, 350
Unless where moral virtue is express'd
By light of nature not in all quite loft.
Their orators thou then extoll'st, as those
The top of eloquence, statists indeed,
And lovers of their country, as may seem; 355
But herein to our prophets far beneath,

As

1

tions and much speaking (Batleho- “ment alone, but in the very criya) in their prayers, Matt. VI. 7. “ tical art of composition, may

Thyer. “ be easily made appear over all 346. Will far be found unworthy “ the kinds of lyric poetry, to be to compare

« incomparable." With Sion's fongs,] He was of 350. Such are from God inspir'd, this opinion not only in the de nct such from thee, cline of life, but likewise in his Unless where moral virtue is exearlier days, as appears from the press'd &c] The sense of these preface to his second book of the lines is obscure and liable to misReason of Church Government. take. The meaning of them is, “ Or if occafion shall lead to imi. poets from thee inspired are not “ tate those magnific odes and such as these, unless where moral “ hymns wherein Pindarus and virtue is expressed &c] • Callimachus are in most things

Meadowcourt. worthy, some others in their

353.

as those] I Would pre" frame judicious, in their matter fer as though. Calcon. “ most an end faulty. But those

354. -- ftatifts] Or statesmen. frequent fongs throughout the A word in more frequent ufe for“ law and prophets beyond all merly, as in Shakespear, Cymbe «« these, not in their divine argu- line Act. 2. Scene 5.

As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The folid rules of civil government
In their majestic unaffected stile
Than all th’ oratory of Greece and Rome.

360
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy', and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God; but Satan now 365 Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent, Thus to our Saviour with stern brow reply'd.

Since neither wealth, nor honor, arms nor arts, Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor ought By me propos’d in life contemplative,

370 Or active, tended on by glory', or fame, What dost thou in this world ? the wilderness

For

Sc. 3.

I do believe,

380. --fulness of time, ] Gal. (Statist though I am none, nor IV. 4. When the fulness of the like to be:)

time was come, God sent forth his

Son. and Hamlet Act 5.

382. if I read ought in HeaI once did hold it, as our fatifts ven, &c] A satire on Cardan, do, &c.

who with the boldness and impiety 362. — makes happy and keeps fo] of which he was, cast the nativity

of an atheist and a madman, both Hor. Epift. I. VI. 2.

of Jesus Chrift, and found by the facere & fervare beatum. great and illustrious concourse of Richardson. Itars at his birth, that he must

needs

380

For thee is fittest place ; I found thee there,
And thither will return thee; yet remember
What I foretel thee, foon thou shalt have cause

375
To wish thou never hadît rejected thus
Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid,
Which would have set thee in short time with ease
On David's throne, or throne of all the world,
Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season,
When prophecies of thee are best fulfill’d.
Now contrary, if I read ought in Heaven,
Or Heav'n write ought of fate, by what the stars
Voluminous, or single characters,
In their conjunction met, give me, to spell, 385
Sorrows, and labors, opposition, hate
Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death ;

A

needs have the fortune which be making it patronised by the Defel him, and become the author vil, without showing at the same of a religion, which should spread time the absurdity of it. He has itself far and near for many ages. therefore very judiciously made The great Milton with a jult in- him blunder in the expression, of dignation of this impiety hath portending a kingdom which was satirized it in a very beautiful without beginning. This destroys manner, by putting these reveries all he would infinuate. The into the mouth of the Devil : poet's conduct is fine and ingeniwhere it is to be observed, that ous. See Warburton's Shakespear the poet thought it not enough Vol. 6. Lear Act 1. Sc. 8. to discredit judicial astrology by

399.

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