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the Freeholders' Catechism, It cannot rain but it pours, &c. abound in strokes of the most exquisite humour. It is known that he gave numberless hints to Swift, and Pope, and Gay, of some of the most striking parts of their works. He was so neglectful of his writings, that his children tore his manuscripts, and made paperkites of them. Few letters in the English language are so interesting, and contain such marks of Christian resignation * and calmness of mind, as one that he wrote to Swift a little before his death, and is inserted in the 3d vol. of Letters, page 157. He frequently, and ably, and warmly, in many conversations, defended the cause of revelation against the attacks of BOLINGBROKE and CHESTERFIELD.

The

*"I make it my last request (says Arbuthnot in his last lefter to Pope) that you will continue that noble disdain and ab. horrence of vice, which you seem naturally endued with ; but still with a due regard to your own safety; and study more to reform than chastise; though the one cannot be effected with out the other.” Letters, vol. viii. p. 290. The words are remarkable, and cannot fail of raising many reflections in the mind of the reader. Pope, in his answer, says, “ To reform, and not to chastise, is impossible; and the best precepts, as well as the best laws, would prove of small use, if there were no examples to enforce them.” This is not a sufficient and solid defence of personal satire.

The strokes of satire in many parts of this epistle, have such an extraordinary energy and poignancy, that our author's want of temper has been much censured ; and I know not whether it will be a sufficient justification to say, that these malevolent scribblers, however impotent and insignificant, attacked his person, morals, and family. If Boileau ridicules and rallies vile writers, with more seeming pleasantry and good-humour, yet we ought to recollect, that Boileau was the aggressor, and had received no previous abuse, when he fell upon Cotin de Pure, Quinault, St. Amand Colletet, Chapelain, and Theophyle. It was on this account that the Duke de Montausier, a man of rigid virtue, so much condemned Boileau, that it was with great difficulty he was brought to read his works, and be reconciled to him. The authors that Pope proscribed, were, in truth, so mean and contemptible, that Swift said, “ Give me a shilling, and I will insure you that posterity shall never know you had a single enemy, excepting those whose memory you haye preserved.”

Laissez mourir un fat dans son obscurite.
Un auteur ne peut-il pourir en sureté ?

P 2

Le

Le Jonas inconnu seche dans la poussiere.
Le David imprimé n'a point veu la lumiere.
Le Moïse commence à moisir par les bords.
Quel mal cela fait-il? Ceux qui sont morts sont morts.
Le tombeau contre vous ne peut-il les défendre,
Et qu'on fait tant d'auteurs pour remuer leur cendre?
Que vous ont fait Perrin, Bardin, Pradon, Hainaut,
Colletet, Pelletier, Titreville, Quinaut.*
Dont les noms en cent lieux, placez comme en leurs

niches,
Vont de vos vers malins remplir les hemistiches.

POILEAU, Satire ix. v. 83.

This is exquisitely pleasant; and expressed with that purity and force, both of thought and diction, that happy Horatian mixture of jest and earnest, that contribute to place Despreaux at the head of modern classics.f I think it must be confessed, that he has caught the manner of Horace more successfully than POPE. It is observable that Boileau, when he first began to

write,

* Quinaut did not deserve to be so severely satirized. See his Atys, Armide, and Alceste.

4 His generosity was equal to his genius. PATRU was reduced to great extremities, and compelled to sell his very valuable library. He not only gave PATRU a larger sum for his books than he could get of any body else, but added to the conditions of the sale, that he should continue to use his library as long as he lived.

write, copied JUVENAL, whose violent, downright, declamatory species of satire, is far more easy to be imitated, than the oblique, indirect, delicate touches, of Horace. The judgment of L. Gy. RALDUS concerning Juvenal, seems to be judicious and well-founded. “ If

you

think my opinion worth regarding, I would say, that the satires of Juvenal ought never to be read till our taste is fixed and confirmed, and we are thoroughly tinctured with a knowledge of the Latin language ; and I mention this my opinion more freely, because I perceive many masters use a contrary method.” Dial. iy,

2. Is there a Parson much be-mus'd in beer,

A maudlin Poetess, a rhyming Peer,
"A Clerk pre-doom'd his father's soul to cross,

Who pens a stanza when he should engross ?
Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desp’rate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
AH fly to Twit'nam, and, in humble strain,
Apply to me to keep them mad and vain!
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws;
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause.*

Before this epistle was published, Dr. Young addressed two epistles to our author, in the

P3

year

Ver. 15.

year 1730, concerning the authors of the age ; in which are many passages that bear a great resemblance to many of Pope's; though Pope has heightened, improved, and condensed the hints and sentiments of Young.

Shall we not censure all the motley train,
Whether with ale irriguous, or champain ?
Whether they tread the vale of Prose, or climb,
And whet their appetites, on cliffs of Rhyme;
The college Sloven, or embroider'd Spark,
The purple Prelate, or the Parish-clerk,
The quiet Quidnunc, or demanding Prig,
The plaintiff Tory, or defendant Whig;
Rich, poor, male, female, young, old, gay, or sad;
Whether extremely witty, or quite mad;
Profoundly dull, or shallowly polite;
Men that read well, or men that only write :
Whether peers, porters, taylors, tune their reeds,
And measuring words to measuring shapes succeeds
For bankrupts write, when ruin'd shops are shut,
As maggots crawl from out a perish'd nut;
His hammer this, and that his trowel quits,
And, wanting sense for tradesmen, serve for wits.
Thus his material, paper, takes its birth
From tatter'd

rags

of all the stuff on earth.*

3. Seiz'd and ty'd down to judge, how wretched I!t

Odisti

* Epistle on the authors of the age, page 5, 1730.

+ Ver. 33.

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