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any process of critical chymistry, you can lower and reduce them to the tameness of prose. You will find that they will appear like Ulysses in his dis guise of rags, still a hero, tho' lodged in the cottage of the herdsman Eumæus.
The Sublime and the Pathetic are the two chief nerves of all genuine poesy. What is there transcendently Sublime or Pathetic in Pope? In his works there is indeed, “ nihil inane, “ nihil arceslitum ;---puro tamen fonti
quam magno flumini proprior;" as the excellent Quintilian remarks of Lysias. And because I am perhaps unwilling to speak out in plain English, I will adopt the following passage of Voltaire, which, in my opinion, as exactly characterizes Pope as it does his
model model Boileau, for whom it was originally designed.« INCAPABLE peutÈTRE DU SUBLIME QUI ELEVE L'AME, ET DU SENTIMENT QUI L'ATTENDRIT, MAIS FAIT POUR ECLAIRER CEUX A QUI LA NATURE ACCORDA L'UN ET L'AUTRE, LABORIEUX, SEVERE, PRÉCIS, PUR, HARMONIEUX, IL DEVINT, ENFIN, LE POTTE De LA RAISON.”
Our English poets may, I think, be disposed in four different classes and degrees. In the first class, I would
, place, our only three sublime and pathetic poets; Spenser, SHAKESPEARE, MILTON. In the fecond class should be ranked, such as poffefled the true poetical genius, in a more moderate degree, but who had noble talents for moral, ethical, and panegyrical poesy.
At the head of these are DrYDEN; PRIOR, ADDISON, COWLEY, WALLER, GARTH,,FENTON, GAY,DenHAM, Parnell. In the third Class may be
. placed, men of wit
, of elegant taste, and lively fancy in describing familiar life, tho' not the higher scenes of poetry. Here may be numbered, BUTLER, Swift, Rochester, Donne, Dorset, OLDHAM. In the fourth class, the mere versifiers, however smooth and melliAuous some of them may be thought, should be disposed. Such as Pitt,
, SANDYS, FAIRFAX, BROOME, BUCKINGHAM, LANSDOWN. This enumeration is not intended as a complete catalogue of writers, and in their proper order, but only to mark out briefly the different species of our celebrated au
thors: In which of these claffes Pope deserves to be placed, the following work is intended to determine. Poď PENAL buh,
I'am, Dear Sir,