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superadded, which neither of them have. The style of it is various, according to the occasion. There are proper places in it for the plainness and nakedness of narration, which is ascribed to annals ; there is also room reserved for the loftiness and gravity of general history, when the actions related shall require that manner of expression ; but there is withal a descent into minute circumstances and trivial passages of life which are natural to this way of writing, and which the dignity of the other two will not admit. There you are conducted only into the rooms of state; here you are led into the private lodgings of the hero—you see him in his undress, and are made familiar with his most private actions and conversations. You may behold a Scipio and a Lælius gathering cockle-shells on the shore, Augustus playing at bounding-stones with boys, and Agesilaus riding on a hobby-horse among his children. The pageantry of life is taken away; you see the poor reasonable animal as naked as ever Nature made him, are made acquainted with his passions and follies, and find the demi-god a man.
ESSAY ON THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF SATIRE.
COMPARISON BETWEEN HORACE AND JUVENAL.
Now I have removed this rubbish, I will return to the comparison of Juvenal and Horace.
I would willingly divide the palm betwixt them, upon the two heads of profit and delight, which are the two ends of poetry in general. It must be granted by the favourers of Juvenal, that Horace is the more copious and profitable in his instructions of human life; but in my particular opinion, which I set not up for a standard to better judgments, Juvenal is the more delightful author. I am profited by both, I am pleased with both; but I owe more to Horace for my instruction, and more to Juvenal for my pleasure. This, as I said, is my particular taste of these two authors. They who will have either of them to excel the other in both qualities, can scarce give better reasons for their opinion than I for mine. But all unbiased readers will conclude that my moderation is not
to be condemned: to such impartial men I must appeal ; for they who have already formed their judgment, may justly stand suspected of prejudice: and though all who are my readers will set up to be my judges, I enter my caveat against them, that they ought not so much as to be of my jury; or, if they be admitted, it is but reason that they should first hear what I have to urge in the defence of my opinion.
That Horace is somewhat the better instructor of the two, is proved from hence,—that his instructions are more general, Juvenal's more limited. So that, granting that the counsels which they give are equally good for moral use, Horace, who gives the most various advice, and most applicable to all occasions which can occur to us in the course of our lives,—as including in his discourses, not only all the rules of morality, but also of civil conversation,-is undoubtedly to be preferred to him, who is more circumscribed in his instructions, makes them to fewer people, and on fewer occasions, than the other. I may be pardoned for using an old saying, since it is true, and to the purpose : 3“Bonum quò communius, eò melius.” Juvenal, excepting only his first Satire, is in all the rest confined to the exposing of some particular vice: that he lashes, and there he sticks. His 4 sentences are truly shining and instructive; but they are sprinkled here and there. Horace is teaching us in every line, and is perpetually moral : he had found out the skill of Virgil, to hide his sentences; to give you the virtue of them, without showing them in their full extent: which is the ostentation of a poet, and not his art. And this Petronius charges on the authors of his time, as a vice of writing, which was then growing on the age:
5“ Ne sententiæ extra corpus orationis emineant:" he would have them weaved into the body of the work, and not appear embossed upon it, and striking directly on the reader's view. Folly was the proper quarry of Horace, and not vice; and as there are but few notoriously wicked men, in comparison with a shoal fools and fops, so it is a harder thing to make a man wise than to make him honest; for the will is only to be reclaimed in the one, but the understanding is to be informed in the other. There are blindsides and follies even in the
professors of moral philosophy; and there is not any one sect of them that Horace has not exposed : which, as it was not the design of Juvenal, who was wholly employed in lashing vices, some of them the most enormous that can be imagined, so, perhaps, it was not so much his talent.
"Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit." This was the commendation which ?Persius gave him : where by “vitium,” he means those little vices which we call follies, the defects of human understanding, or at most the peccadillos of life, rather than the tragical vices, to which men are hurried by their unruly passions and exorbitant desires. But in the word “omne,” which is universal, he concludes, with me, that the divine wit of Horace left nothing untouched; that he entered into the inmost recesses of nature; found out the imperfections even of the most wise and grave, as well as of the common people; discovering, even in the great Trebatius, to whom he addresses the first Satire, his hunting after business, and following the court, as well as in the prosecutor, Crispinus, his impertinence and importunity. It is true, he exposes Crispinus openly, as a cominon nuisance; but he rallies the other, as a friend, more finely. The exhortations of Persius are confined to poblemen, and the Stoic philosophy is that alone which he recommends to them; Juvenal exhorts to particular virtues, as they are opposed to those vices against which he declaims; but Horace laughs to shame all follies, and insinuates virtue rather by familiar examples than by the severity of precepts.
This last consideration seems to incline the balance on the side of Horace, and to give him the preference to Juvenal, not only in profit, but in pleasure. But, after all, I must confess that the delight which Horace gives me is but languishing. Be pleased still to understand that I speak of my own taste only: he may ravish other men; but I am too stupid and insensible to be tickled. Where he barely grins himself, and, as Scaliger says, only shows his white teeth, he cannot provoke me to any laughter. His urbanity, that is, his good manners, are to be commended ; but his wit is faint, and his
salt, if I may dare to say so, almost insipid. Juvenal is of a more vigorous and masculine wit: he gives me as much pleasure as I can bear: he fully satisfies my expectation : he treats his subject home: his spleen is raised, and he raises mine; I have the pleasure of concernment in all he says: he drives his reader along with him; and when he is at the end of his way, I willingly stop with him. If he
I went another stage, it would be too far; it would make a journey of a progress, and turn delight into fatigue. When he gives over, it is a sign the subject is exhausted, and the wit of man can carry it no farther. If a fault can be justly found in him, it is that he is sometimes too luxuriant, too redundant; says more than he needs, like my friend 8 The Plain Dealer—but never more than pleases. Add to this, that his thoughts are as just as those of Horace, and much more elevated. His expressions are sonorous and more noble, his verse more numerous, and his words are suitable to his thoughtssublime and lofty. All these contribute to the pleasure of the reader; and the greater the soul of him who reads, his transports are the greater. Horace is always on the amble, Juvenal on the gallop; but his way is perpetually on carpet-ground. He goes with more impetuosity than Horace, but as securely; and the swiftness adds a more lively agitation to the spirits. The low style of Horace is according to his subject; that is, generally grovelling. I question not but he could have raised it : for the first epistle of the second book, which he writes to Augustus, (a most instructive Satire concerning poetry,) is of so much dignity in the words, and of so much elegancy in the numbers, that the author plainly shows the “sermo pedestris” in his other Satires was rather his choice than his necessity. He was a rival to Lucilius, his predecessor, and was resolved to surpass him in his own manner. Lucilius, as we see by his remaining fragments, minded neither his style, nor his numbers, nor his purity of words, nor his run of verse. Horace therefore copes with him in that humble way of satire; writes under his own force, and carries a dead weight, that he may match his competitor in the race. This, I imagine, was the chief reason why he minded only the clearness of his satire and the cleanness of expression, without ascending to those heights to which his own vigour might have carried him. But limiting his desires only to the conquest of Lucilius, he had his ends of his rival, who lived before him ; but made way for a new conquest over himself, by Juvenal, his successor. He could not give an equal pleasure to his reader, because he used not equal instruments. The fault was in the tools, and not in the workman.
DEDICATION OF KING ARTHUR.
TO THE MARQUIS OF HALIFAX. MY LORD,—This poem was the last piece of service which I had the honour to do for my gracious master, King Charles II.; and though he lived not to see the performance of it on the stage, yet the prologue to it, which was the opera of “Albion and Albanius,” was often practised before him at Whitehall, and encouraged by his royal approbation. It was indeed a time which was proper for triumph, Iwhen he had overcome all those difficulties which for some years had perplexed his peaceful reign; but when he had just restored his people to their senses, and made the latter end of his government of a piece with the happy beginning of it, he was on the sudden snatched away from the blessings and acclamations of his subjects, who arrived so late to the knowledge of him, that they had but just time enough to desire him longer before they were to part with him for ever. Peace be with the ashes of so good a King! Let his human frailties be forgotten, and his clemency and moderation, the inherent virtues of his family, be remembered with a grateful veneration by three kingdoms, through which he spread the blessings of them. And as your lordship held a principal place in his esteem, and perhaps the first in his affection, during his latter troubles, the success which accompanied those prudent counsels cannot but reflect an honour on those few who managed them, and wrought out, by their faithfulness and diligence, the public safety. I might dilate on the difficulties which attended that undertaking—the temper of the people, the power, arts, and interest of the contrary party; but those are all of them invidious topics; they are too green in our remembrance, and he who