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yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
who labour, and the old who rest. *
These lines, which are eminently beautiful, particularly one of the three last, containing a fine prosopopæia, have conferred immortality on a plain, worthy, and useful citizen of Herefordshire, Mr. John Kyrle, who spent his long life in advancing and contriving plans of public utility. The HOWARD of his time; who deserves to be celebrated more than all the heroes of PINDAR. The particular reason for which I quoted them, was to observe the pleasing effect that the use of common and familiar words and objects, judiciously managed, produce in poetry. Such as are here the words, causeway, seats, spire, marketplace, alms-house, apprentic'd. A fastidious delicacy, and a false refinement, in order to avoid meanness, have deterred our writers from the introduction of such words; but DRYDEN often hazarded it, and gave by it a secret charm, and a natural air to his verses, well knowing of what
* Ver. 253.
consequence it was sometimes to soften and subdue his tints, and not to paint and adorn every object he touched, with perpetual pomp, and unremitted splendor.
22. Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks,
He takes his chirping pint, and cracks his jokes :
This tale of Sir Balaam, his progress and change of manners, from being a plodding, sober, plain and punctual citizen, to his becoming a debauched and dissolute courtier and senator, abounds in much knowledge of life, and many strokes of true humour, and will bear to be compared with the exquisite history of Eugenio and Corusodes, in one of Swift's Intelligencers.
Lord BATHURST, Lord LYTTELTON, SPENCE, HARTE, and other of his friends, have assured me, that among intimates, Pope had an admirable talent for telling a story. In great compapies he avoided speaking much. And in his ex
* Ver. 357.
amination before the House of Lords, in ATTERBURY's trial, he faltered so much as to be hardly intelligible.
23. You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
And pompous buildings once were things of use :
Thus our author addresses the EARL of BCRLINGTON, who was then publishing the designs of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio. “ Never was protection and great wealtht (says an able judge of the subject) more generously and judiciously diffused than by this great person, who had every quality of a genius and artist, except envy. Though his own designs were more chaste and classic than Kent's, he entertained him in his house till his death, and was more studious to extend his friend's fame than his own. As we have few samples of architecture more antique and imposing than the colonnade within the court of his house in Picca.
* Epist. iv, ver. 23.
+ Mr. Walpole, p. 108. Anecdotes of Painting, vol. iv.
dilly, I cannot help mentioning the effect it had on inyself. I had not only never seen it, but had never heard of it, at least with any attention, when, soon after my return from Italy, I was invited to a ball at Burlington-House. As I passed under the gate by night, it could not strike me.
At day-break, looking out of the window to see the sun rise, I was surprised with the vision of the colonnade that fronted me. It seemed one of those edifices in Fairy Tales, that are raised by genii in a night's time.” Pope having appeared an excellent moralist in the foregoing epistles, in this appears to be as excellent a connoisseur, * and has given not only some of our first, but our best, rules and observations on architecture and gardening, but particularly on the latter of these useful and entertaining arts, on which he has dwelt more largely, and with rather more knowledge of the subject. The following is copied verbatim from a little paper which he
* Though he always thought highly of Addison's Letter from Italy, yet he said the poet had spoken in terms too general of the finest buildings and paintings, and without much discrimination of taste.
gave to Mr. SPENCE.* " Arts are taken from nature, and, after a thousand vain efforts for improvements, are best when they return to their first simplicity. A sketch or analysis of the first principles of each art, with their first consequences, might be a thing of most excellent service. Thus, for instance, all the rules of architecturet. might be reducible to three or four heads; the justness of the openings, bearings upon bearings, the regularity of the pillars, &c. That which is not just in buildings, is disagreeable to the eye, (as a greater upon a lesser, &c.) and this may be called the reasoning of the eye. In laying out a garden, the first and chief thing to
* « Who had both taste and zeal for the present style,"
says Mr. Walpole, p. 134.
f Our author was so delighted with Grævius, that he drew up a little Latin treatise on the chief buildings of Rome, colo lected from this antiquarian. Mr. Gray had also an exquisite taste in architecture, joined to the knowledge of an accurate antiquarian. See the introduction to Bentham's History of Ely Cathedral, supposed to be drawn up by Gray, or under
To see all the beauties that a place was susceptible of, was to possess, as Mr. Pitt expressed it, “ The prophetic eye of taste."