« PreviousContinue »
What care with flocks, and what with herds
agrees, And all the mangement of frugal bees; I sing, Mecenas! Ye immensely clear, Vast orbs of light, which guide the rolling year ; Bacchus, and mother Ceres, if by you We fatning corn for hungry mc? pursue, If, taught by you, we first the cluster prest, And thin cold freams with spritely juice refresht ; Ye fawns, the present numens of the field, Wood-nymphs and fawns, your kind assistance
yield; Your gifts I fing: and thou, at whose fear'd
stroke From rending earth the fiery courser broke, Great Neptune, O affist my artful song, And thou to whom the woods and groves be
long, Whose snowy heifers on her flow'ry plains In mighty herds the Cæan Isle maintains ! Pan, happy shepherd, if thy cares divine, E’er to improve thy Mænalus incline, Leave thy Lycean wood and native grove, And with thy lucky smiles our work approve; Be Pallas too, sweet oil's inventor, kind; And he, who first the crooked plougb designd, Sylvanus, god of all the woods, appear, Whose hands a new-drawn tender cypress bear!
Ye gods and goddesses, who e'er with love
prove; You, who new plants from unknown lands sup
ply, And with condensing clouds obscure the sky, And drop them softly thence in fruitful showers ; Affift my enterprize, ye gentle powers !
And thou, great Cæfar! though we know not
1 shall bear The fruits and seasons of the turning year, And thy bright brows thy mother's myrtles
wear , Whether thou’lt all the boundless ocean sway, And sea-men only to thyself thall pray, Tbule, the faireft island, kneel to thee, And, that thou may'st her son by marriage be, Tethys will for the happy purchase yield To make a dowry of her wat’ry field : Whether thou'lt add to heaven a brighter sign, And o'er the summer months serenely shine; Where between Cancer and Erigone, There yet remains a spacious room for thee;
Where the hot Scorpion too his arms declines,
Mr. DRYDEN, having received from Rhymer his Remarks on the Tragedies of the last Agc, wrote observations on the blank leaves ; which, having been in the pofleffion of Mr. Garrick, are by his favour communicated to the publick, that no particle of Dryden may be lost.
“ That we may the less wonder why pity " and terror are not now the only springs on " which our tragedies move, and that Shake
speare may be more excused, Rapin con“ fesses that the French tragedies now all s run on tbe tendre; and gives the reason, “ because love is the passion which most
a predominates in our souls, and that there“ fore the passions represented become in
sipid, unless they are conformable to the thoughts of the audience. But it is to be concluded, that this passion works not
now amongst the French so strongly as the s other two did amongst the ancients. “ Amongst us, who have a stronger genius “ for writing, the operations from the wri“ ting are much stronger : for the raising of • Shakípeare's passions is more from the ex
cellency of the words and thoughts, than “ the justness of the occasion; and, if he " has been able to pick fingle occasions, he “ has never founded the whole reasonably :
yet, by the genius of poetry in writing, he *5 has succeeded.
Rapin attributes more to the di&tio, that " is, to the words and discourse of a tragedy, " than Aristotle has done, who places them 6 in the last rank of beauties; perhaps, only “ last in order, because they are the last pro“ duct of the design, of the disposition or “ .connection of its parts ; of the characters, “c of the manners of those characters, and of " the thoughts proceeding from those man
“ ners. Rapiu's words are remarkable: 'Tis s not the admirable intrigue, the surprising
events, and extraordinary incidents, that " make the beauty of a tragedy ; 'tis the dif" courses, when they are natural and pas« ficnate: so are Shakspeare's.
“The parts of a poem, tragick or heroick,
66 1. The fable itself,
66 2. The order or manner of its contri, 6: vance, in relation of the parts to the 66 whole.
3. The manners, or decency, of the “ characters, in speaking or acting what is
proper for them, and proper to be shewn 6. by the poet.
“ 4. The thoughts which express the 56 manners.
The words which express those 65 thoughts.