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I do not stay to examine how far the fancy of tears relieving the heart is allowable. But admitting the propriety of the observation, in the sense the poet intended it, the fimile is applied and expressed with the utmost beauty. --It accordingly struck the best writers of thať rimé. SPRAT, in his history of the Royal Society, is taking notice of the misapplication of philosophy to subjects of Religion. “That shower, fays he, has done “ very much injury by falling on the sea, “ for which the shepherd, and the plough* man, called in vain : the wit of men has “ been profusely poured out' on Religion, “ which needed not its help, and which was « only thereby made more tempestuous; “ while it might have been more fruitfully “ spent on some parts of philosoply, which

have been hitherto barren, and mighi “ foon have been made fertile.” p. 25.

You fee what wire-drawing here is to make the comparison, so proper in its ori

ginal use, just and pertinent to a subject to :which it had naturally no relation. Be. fides, there is an absurdity in speaking of a Thower's doing: injury to the sea by falling

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into it. But the thing illustrated by this comparison requiring the idea of injury, he transfers the idea to the comparing shing. Her would-foften the absurdity, by running the comparison into metaphorical, expresSion, but, I think, it does not remove it. In short, for these reasons, one mighe easily have inferred an Imitation, without that

parenthesis to apologize for it " To use ñ " that metaphor which an excellent poet of

" our nation turns to anotbet purpose “But a poet of that time has no better success in the management of this metaphor, than the Historian. M - Love makes so many hearts the prize 1 Jai 1. Of the bright CARLISLE'S conqu’ring eyes;

Which she regards no more, than they :)
The tears of lesser beauties weigh. 1 01

So have I seen the loft clouds pour les - Into the Sea an useless show'r;

And the vex'd Sailors curse the rain,
For which poor Shepherds pray' vain.

WALLER'S Poems, P. 25. Elina

352 The sentiment' stands thus : « She re" gards the captive beaxis of others no " more than those others - the tears of

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leffer beauries.' Thus, with much dif. :ficulty, we get to tears. And when we

have chem, the allusion to loft clouds is so
Arained (besides that he makes his shower

both useless and injurious), that one readily si perceives the poet's thought was distorted by imitation.o1680cy

e lle. aunti ju ndios prieiga ili smo tudi stari

U X. The charge of Plagiarism is so dis2 reputable to a great writer, that one is not * furprized to find him anxious to avoid the

imputation of it. Yet this yery: anxiety nale ferves sometimes to fix it upon him.' '

Mr. Dryden, in the Preface to hişi tranflation of Fresnoy's Art of painting, makes the following observation on Virgil ::" He “ pretends fometimes to trip, but it is only 66 to make you think him in danger of a “ fall when he is moft fecure. Like a skil“ ful dancer on the Rope {if you will par

« don the meanness' of the fimilitude), who -“ slips willingly, and makes a seeming (tum"<ble, that you may think him in great

" hazard of breaking his neck; while, at ca" the same time, he is only giving you a 10“ propf of biş dexterity. My late Lord,

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“ Rosconmon was often pleased with this 6 reflexion, &c." p. 50.

His apology for the use of this fimile. and his concluding with Lord Roscomninon's fatisfaction at his remark, betray, I think, an anxiety to pass for original, under che consciousness of being but an imitator, So that, if we were to meet with a passage very like this in a celebrated antient, we could hardly doubt of its being copied by Mr. Dryden. What think you then of this observation in one of Pliny's Letters, “ Ut quasdam artes, ità eloquentiam nihil & magis quàm ancipitia commendant. Vides * qui funę in fumma nituntur, quantos & foleant excitare clamores, cùm jam jam

que casuri videntur.”. L. ix. Ep. 26.

Prior, one may observe, has acted more naturally in his Alma; and by so doing, though the resemblance be full as great, one is not so certain of his being an Imi: tator. The verses are, of BUTLER::. .

He, perfect dancer, climbs the Rope, wole
And balances, your fear and hope:
If after some distinguish'd leap,
He drops his pole and seems to slip; .,
Strait, gath’ring all his active strength,
He riles higher half his length,

With wonder you approve his Night, And owe your pleasure to your fright. C. 11. Though the two last lines seem taken from the application of this similitude in Pliny,“ Sunt enim maximè mirabilia, quæ "maximè inexpectata, et maximè, pericu

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XI. Writers are sometimes sollicitous to conceal themselves ; at others, they are fond to proclaim their Imitation. « It is “ when they have a mind to thew their « dexterity in contending with a great s original.”

You remember these lines of Milton in his Comus :

Wisdom's self way Oft seeks to sweet retired Solitude; . ; Where, with her best nurse, Contemplation,

She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her . . wings,

we', ; , That, in the various bustle of refort, Were all too ruffled, and sometimes impair’d. On which Bp. Warburton has the follow: ing note : 5 Mr. Pope has imitated this

" thought, and (as was always his way when .“ he imitated) improved it.

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