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The good man heaps up nothing but mere metre,
Of little use the man you may suppose
Dorset. He lived abroad, and entrusted the management of his estates to Peter Walter. Peter went down only once a year to Shroton to receive the annual rents, at the sanie time he visited his own estate in Dorsetshire, yet he had £400 a year for his trouble, and then charred £800 for extra expenses.- Bowles.
1 Horace had not acquitted himself much to his credit in this capacity (non bene relicta parmula) in the battle of Philippi: It is manifest he alludes to himself, in this whole account of a poet's character; but with an intermixture of irony: Vivit siliquis et pane secundo has a relation to this epicurism; Os tenerum pueri, is ridicule: the nobler office of a poet follows, Torquet ab obscơnis-Mox etiam pectus-Recte facta refert, &c., which the imitator has applied where he thinks it more due than to himself. He hopes to be pardoned, if, as he is sincerely inclined to praise what deserves to be praised, he arraigns what deserves to be arraigned, in the 210, 211, and 212th verses.- Pope.
2 A foundation for the maintenance of idiots, and a fund for assisting the poor, by lending small sums of money on demand.--Pope.
Not but there are, who merit other palms;
Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
We conquered France, but felt our captive's charms; Her arts victorious triumphed o'er our arms; Britain to soft refinements less a foe, Wit grew polite, and numbers learned to flow.
1 In the year 1570 Clement Marot made a musical French version of the Psalms, with the hope of substituting them for the chansons d'amour, then fashionable at the court of Francis I. He was perfectly successful, and even Diane de Poitiers had her favourite Psalm, “How pants the hart!" Thomas Sternhold, groom of the bedcban.ber to Edward VI., hoped to do the same for the English Court, and assisted by John Hopkins, a school-master in Suffolk, translated the Psalms into Euglish. This translation is called the old version.
Waller was smooth;' but Dryden taught to join
Some doubt, if equal pains, or equal fire
? Mr. Waller, about this time with the Earl of Dorset, Mr Godolphin, and others, translated the “ Pompey” of Corneille; and the more cor. rect Freuch poets began to be in reputation.--Pope.
2 Jean Racine, tbe great French dramatist, was born 1639 and died 1699. His “Phædre," "Britannicus,” “Athalie,” &c., are well known.
Pierre Corneille was born 1606. He was an earlier dramatist than Racine, and is thought by the French more sublime. His “Cid," "Les Horaces,” &c., are as famous as our own Shakespeare's plays on the Continent. He died 1684.
3 Thomas Otway was born 1651. His master pieces were “The Orphan," and "Venice Preserved." It is said this poor genius died of want, 1685. There is a sad story told of his begging a shilling of a gentleman, who gave him a guinea. Otway bought a roll, and eating too eagerly was choked by the first mouthful.
4 William Congrove was a popular comic dramatist, born 1670. 1 immoral tone of his comedies drew on him the censure of Jeremy Collier, the zealous reformer of the stage. Congreve made a good for. tune, but despised the profession in which he had been so successful. He died 1729. Voltaire said that Congreve had raised the glory of English comedy to a greater height than any dramatist who had preceded him.
5 Pope alludes to the characters of Brisk and Witwood. George Farquhar, boru 1678, died 1707. His comedies were witty but very indelicate.
Sir John Vanbrugh, died 1726. He was a witty but immoral dramatist.
? A namo taken by Mrs. Behn, authoress of several obscene plays, &c.-Pope, ..
Who fairly puts all characters to bed!
O you! whom vanity's light bark conveys.
There still remains, to mortify a wit,
1 William Pinkethman, a comedian. ? From plays to operas, and from operas to pantomimes.— Warburton.
3 Tho coronation of Henry VIII. and Queen Anne Boleyn, in which the play-houses vied with each other to represent all the pomp of a coronation. In this noble contention, the armour of one of the kings of England was borrowed from the Tower, to dress the champion. l'ope.
4 The Greek laughing philosopher. '
Loud as the wolves on Orca's stormy steep,
Yet lest you think I rally more than teach,
But not this part of the poetic state Alone, deserves the favor of the great; Think of those authors, sir, who would rely More on a reader's sense, than gazer's eye. Or who shall wander where the muses sing? Who climb their mountain, or who taste their spring? How shall we fill a library with wit, When Merlin's cave is half unfinished vet?4
My liege! why writers little claim your thought, I guess; and, with their leave, will tell the fault: We poets are (upon a poet's word) Of all mankind, the creatures most absurd: The season, when to come, and when to go, To sing, or cease to sing, we never know; And if we will recite nine hours in ten, You lose your patience, just like other men. Then too we hurt ourselves, when to defend A single verse, we quarrel with a friend;
1 The farthest northern promontory of Scotland, opposite to the Orcades.—Pope.
2 Quin and Oldfield were a celebrated actor and actress.
4 A building in the royal gardens at Richmond, where is a small, but choice collection of books.-Pope.