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" Bear me, some Gods! oh, quickly, bicar me

“ hence in a reinnig “ To wholesome Solitude, the nurse of Sense; “Where Contemplation prunes her rufied 1:1566 wings, **

i 901 " And the free Soul looks down, to pity kings.

11901903 “ Mr. Pope has not only improved the barof mony, but the sense. , In Milton, Contem

plation is called the Nurse; in Pope; more “ properly Solitude: in Milton, Wisdom is " said to prane ber wings; in Pope; Conten

plation is said to do it; and with much "greater propriecy, as she is of a foaring so nature, and on that account is called by “ Milton himself, the Cherub Contempla* tion." **

One fees, that Mr. Pope's view was to surpass his original ; " which, it is said, was s always his way when he imitated. The meaning is, when he purposely and pro

fessedly bent himself to Imitation, for then (his fine genius taught him to seize every beauty, and his wonderful judgment, to avoid every defect or impropriety in his author, And this distinction is very inaterial to our pafling a right judgnsent on the merit of Imicators. It is commonly said,


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that their imitations fall short of their originals. And they will do so, whatever the genius of the imitator be, if they are formed only on a general resemblance of the thought imitated. For an inventor comprehends his own idea more distinctly and fully, and of course expreffes his pur. pofe better than a casual imitator. "But ther cafe is different, when a good writer studies the passage from which he borrows. For then he not only copies, but improves on the firft idea ;* and thus there will fréquently (as in the case of Pope) be greater ymerit in the copyist than the original.!! " --- XII. We fometimes catch an imitation

lurking “ in a licentious Paraphrase.” The ground of suspicion lies in the very complacency' with which a writer expatiates on sa borrowed sentiment. He is usually more

Feferved in adorning one of his own. " n31. AURELIUS Victor observes of Fabri

clús, " quòd difficiliùs ab honestate, quàm * Sol a fuo cursu, averti poffet." en Tašto flourishes a little on this thought; all Prima dal corso diftornar la Luna 19 'E te stelle potrà, che dal diritto in ebbia Torcere un fol mio paffo C. x. S. 24.

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Mr. Waller șises upon the Italian, i .

ro; " where her love was due, · So fast, fo faithful, loyal, and so true,

That a bold hand as foon might hope to force
The rowling lights of heav'n, as change her

course.” On the Death of Lady Rich. ; But Mr. Çowley, knowing what authority he had for the general sentiment, gives the reins to his fancy, and wantons upon it without measure: . . i Virtue was thy life's centre, and from thence: · Did filently and constantly dispense . The gentle vigorous influence in

To all the wide and fair circumference:
And all the parts upon it lean’d so eafilie,
Obey'd the mighty force fo willinglie,

That none could discord or disorder see a come . In all their contrarietie. . .' ,

Each had his motion natural and free,
And the whole no more mov'd, than the whole
world could be...

BRUTUS. 2. The ingenious author of the Observations on Spenser (from which fine specimen of his critical talents one is led to expect great things) directs us to another imitation of this sort. Taffo had said,

Cofi a le belle lagrime le piume Triin

Si bagna Amore, e gode al chiaro lume. : : On which short hint Spenser has raised the following luxuriant imagery :

The blinded archer-boy,

Like lark in show'r of rain,
Şạte bathing of his wings,..

And glad the time did fpendii
Under those crystal drops,

Which fall from her fair eyes,
And at their brightest beains

Him proyn’d in lovely wise.
3. I will just add two more examples of
the same kind; chiefly, because they il-
lustrate an observation very proper to be ate
tended to on this subject; which is, “ That,
" in this display of a borrowed thought, the
“ Imitation will generally fall short of the
« Original, even though the borrower be the
“ greater Genius.”

The Italian poet, just now quoted, says fublimely of the Night,

- Usei la Notte, è sotto l'ali ..!! Menò il filentio .. C.v. S. 79.

Milton has given a paraphrase of this passage, but very much below his original,


Now came ftill Ev'ning ôn, and Twilight gray · Had in her sober livery all things ciad; 1. Silence accompany'd.. . OD I

The striking part of Tafo's picture is, 6 Night's bringing in Silence under ber wings." So new and fingular an idea as this had detected an Imitation. Milton contents himself then with faying fimply, · Silence, accompany'd. However, to make amends, as he thought, for this defect, Night) itself, which the Italian had merely personized, the English poet not only perJonizes, but employs in a very becoming office :

Now came ftill Ev’ning on, and Twilight gray. a Had in her lober livery all things cladog Every body will observe a little bleimha in this fine couplet. He should not have used the epithet fill, when he intended to add, * Silence accompanied bagers But there is a worfe fault in this Imitatieth Foc bide; it, he fpeaks of Night's diyere. When he had done that, to fpcak-ofsher y wings had been ungraceful. Therefore be avis forced to say obscurelyzias well asilimpby, Silence accompany'd; and follofes a more

i noble


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