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thaistijeir tfflitatioiis fall short of theii'Vriginals. And they will do so, whatever the genius of the nttlttftw b*, if they. \ are %rfh'ed; only on' i. general resemblance of the thought imitatedv For aa inventor comprehends his own idea more distinctly and fikily, and of course expresses his3 . purpose better; than a casual imitator; But 'tfaerccase k different, when a good writer Jiuditsxhz passage from which he'borrows. Forthen he not only copies, but improves Do the first idea., and thus there will frequently (as in the case of Pope) be greater /merit! in the copyist than the original.'
'-^Xtf, We sometimes catch an imitation lurking " in a licentious Paraphrase/' The 'ground of suspicion lies in the very com'placehcy with which sf Writer expatiates on 'J& borrowed sentiment,' He is usually more reserved in adorning;'6ne' of his own'.; llJ''V.' AtrREL'ftJS Victor observes of j?abri'.Wdit '* quod difficiliuV ab honestate, quam °}* Sot a suo tursu, averti posset." *vt*'. ^"asso fsoufifhes'a little on this thought Prima ctal corfo cfistornar la Luna a0 stelle pOtra, cliedal dlritto ... \
t'J.u!Torcere un solipio passo~ C. x. S. 24. JcJ; Mr.
ao2 O .Kh Tt H E; yi ATR K s
Mr. Waller rises upon the Italian,
• • . "where her love was due,; . So fast, so faithful, loyal, and ib true, • That a bold hand as soon might. hope to fqrcp The rowling lights of heav'n, js change her course." On the Death of Lady Rich.
But Mr. Cowley, knowing what authority he had for the general sentiment, gives the reins to his fancy, and wantons upon it without measure:
Virtue was thy life's centre, and from thence Did silently and constantly dispense . j
The gentle vigorous influence . ^.. . To all the wide and fair circumference«. And all the parts upon it leah'd so easilie, .Obey'd the mighty force so willingiiej:' That none could discord or disorder see .'..t.
In all their contrarietie. '.»..,:*tt Each had his motion natural an.d free, . . j And the whole no more mov'd, than tlie 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 fort.
Tasso had said, •. .'
. Cost a le belle lagrime le piume . , .'4 .
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, .. .
Sate bathing of his wings, . ''
. iiAnd glad the time did spend
. k Under those crystal drops,
Which fall from her fair eyes,
Him proyn'd in lovely wife.
! ij* .'.'.'if ...4 4.±
3, I will just add two more examples of the fame kind; chiefly, because they il-* lustrate an observation very proper to be attended 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, fays sublimely of the Nigbi,
—Usei la Notte, e sotto l'ali Meno il silentio—,• C. v. S. 79..
Milton has given a paraphrase of this passage, but very much below his original,
'• • Now
Now came still Ev'ning on, and Twilight gray
• ♦ The striking part of Taflb'S picture is, * Nigbt's I/ringing in Silence under. bir wings." So new and singular an idcW^as this had detected ari: Imitation. Milton contents himself then with saying firflplj, Silence. accompmfd. However, to make amends, ask he thought, for this delect, Nigbi. il/elfy which the Italian had merely .perlbpized, the English poet.notvpivrfer.soni%ts,J:but employs ^ a very joshing
~offi<*:~\. JmiL : Navy came still Ey'ning.or^ andjrwiJight gray ., .fiadjn her sober liyery.alf thirigs cl^cLg M
Every? body will observe a little. blemish in -. this sine couplet. He should not have used 'the ejHthet Jtill, when he mtende^to aidj
..ButTthere is a worse fault in this ImtetiwTto hide; it, he speaks •. of Nigbfa rWhen.he. siad done that, to fpeakfr^f.ghfcr .wings had beea ungraccfol. Ther.efOrÆ^e : sis forced to fay obteurdy^as;sceli s&^fimffy^ ".Wefyte) accompany'.'fa -and io'. loses: ar. more .a«3A..v noble