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is not indeed any part of knowledge which can be called entirely useless. "The most abstracted parts of mathematics, and the knowledge of mythological history, or antient allegories, have their own pleasures not inferior to the more gay entertainments of painting, mufic, or architecture; and it is for the advantage of mankind that some are found, who have a tafte for thefe ftudies. The only fault lies, in letting any of those inferior tastes, engross the whole man to the exclufion of the nobler pursuits of virtue and humanity *." We We may here apply an elegant obfervation of Tully, who fays in his Brutus, Credo, fed Athenienfium quoque plus interfuit firma tecta in domiciliis habere, quam Minervæ fignum ex ebore pulcherrimum: tamen ego me Phidiam effe mallem quam vel optimum fabrum lignarium; quare non quantum quifque profit, fed quanti quifque fit, ponderandum eft: præfertim cum pauci pingere egregiè poffint aut fingere, operarii autem aut bajuli deeffe non poffint."
* Hutchefon's Nature and Conduct of the Paffions, pag. 174. 24. Paffions,
24. Paffions, tho' selfish, if their means be fair,
WE find an obfcurity in these lines, arifing from the use of the participle imparted; a mode of speaking of which POPE was fond, ftudious as he was of brevity, and which often betrayed him into the fame fault: Paffions, that court an aim, is furely a ftrange expreffion.
25. In lazy apathy let Stoics boast
Their virtue fix'd! 'tis fix'd as in a froft;
+ When I am writing, fays Fontenelle, I often ftop and afk; "Do I myself understand this fentence?" And yet, Fontenelle, whom the French accufe of introducing the abrupt, affected style, is frequently obfcure." Non minus autem cavenda erit, fays Quintilian, quæ nimium corripientes omnia fequitur, obfcuritas: fatiufque eft aliquid narrationi fupereffe, quam deeffe. Nam cum fupervacua cum tædio dicuntur, neceffaria cum periculo fubtrahuntur.” Inftitut. Orat. Lib. iv. C. 2. Happy is he who can unite brevity with perfpicuity.It is but of one writer that Quintilian fays, Idem lætus ac preffus, tum copiâ, tum brevitate mirabilis. Lib. x. C. 1, ‡ Ver. 101.
PERHAPS a stronger example cannot be found, of taking notions upon trust without any examination, than the univerfal cenfure that has been paffed upon the Stoics, as if they ftrenuously inculcated a total infenfibility with refpect to paffion, He that would be convinced that this trite. accufation is ill-grounded, may confult the notes Mr. Harris has added to his third treatise*. There he will find the genuine doctrines of the Stoics examined with accuracy and fagacity, in a learned deduction of paffages, from all the best writers of that school; the fum of which quotations, in the nervous language of that critic, appears to be this; "That the Stoics, in their character of their virtuous man, included rational defire, averfion, and exultation; included love, and parental affection; friendship, and a general charity or benevolence to all mankind; that they confidered it as a duty, arifing from our very nature, not to neglect the welfare of pub
*From note pag. 325 to pag. 331.
lic fociety, but to be ever ready, according to our rank, to act either the magistrate or the private citizen: that their apathy was no more than a freedom from perturbation, from irrational and exceffive agitations of the foul and confequently that the strange apathy, commonly laid to their charge, and in the demolishing of which there have been fo many triumphs, was an imaginary apathy, for which they were no way accountable."
26. LOVE, HOPE, and Joy, fair PLEASURE's fmiling train, HATE, FEAR, and GRIEF, the family of PAIN.
THIS beautiful group of allegorical perfonages, fo ftrongly contrafted, how do they act? The profopopeia is unfortunately dropped, and the metaphor changed immediately in the fucceeding lines.
Thefe mix'd with art, and to due bounds confin'd,
27. On different fenfes different objects ftrike +.
A didactic poet who has happily indulged himself in bolder flights of enthu
+ Ver. 127.
* Ver. 120.
fiafm, fupported by a more figurative stile, than our author ufed, has thus nobly illuftrated this very doctrine.
Incline to diff'rent objects: one pursues,
All on the margin of fome flow'ry stream
We have here a striking example of that poetic fpirit, that harmonious, and varied verfification, and that ftrength of imagery, which confpire to excite our admiration of this beautiful poem*,
28. Proud of an eafy conqueft all along,
She but removes weak paffions for the ftrong t.
*The Pleasures of Imagination, Book iii. v. 546, + Ver. 157.