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But see where artful DRYDEN next appears,
Grown old in rhyme, but charming even in years!
• Great DR YDEN next! whose tuneful Muse affords

The sweetest numbers and the fittest words.
Whether in comic sounds or tragic airs
She forms her voice, she moves our smiles or tears.
If satire or heroic strains she writes,
Her hero pleases, and her satire bites.
From her no harsh unartful oumbers fall;
She wears all dresses, and she charms in all. ADDISON.

EDINBURG:
AT THE Apollo Press, BY THE MARTINS

Anno 1778.

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4-29-32
AN ESSAY UPON SATIRE.

BY MR. DRYDEN

AND THE E. OF MULGRAVE

Is man,

TO

How dull and how insensible a beast

who
yet

would lord it o'er the rest ?
Philosophers and poets vainly strove,
In ev'ry age, the lumpish mass to move ;
But those were pedants, when compar'd with these,
Who know not only to instruct, but please. 6
Poets alone found the delightful way
Mysterious morals gently to convey

In charming numbers ; so that as men grew
· Pleas'd with their poems, they grew wiser too.

Satire has always shone among the rest,
And is the boldest way, if not the best,
To tell men freely of their foulest faults,
To laugh at their vain deeds, and vainer thoughts.
lo satire, too, the wise took diff'rent ways, 15
To each deserving its peculiar praise.
Some did all folly with just sharpness blame,
Whilst others laugh'd and scoru'd 'em into shame.
But of these two the last succeeded best,
As men aim rightest when they shoot in jest.
Yet, if we may presume to blame our guides,
And censure those who censure all besides,
In other things they justly are preferr'd ;
In this alone, methinks, the Ancients err'd;
Volume III.

А

20

25

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35

Against the grossest follies they declaim ;
Hard they pursue, but hunt ignoble game.
Nothing is easier than such błots to hit,
And 'tis the talent of each vulgar wit:
Besides, 'tis labour lost; for who would preach
Morals to Armstrong, or dull Aston teach?
'Tis being devout at play, wise at a ball,
Or bringing wit and friendship to Whitehall.
But with sharp eyes those nicer faults to find,
Which lie obscurely in the wisest mind;
That little speck, which all the rest does spoil,
To wash off that would be a noble toil !
Beyond the loose-writ libels of this age,
Or the forc'd scenes of our declining stage :
Above all censure, too, each little wit
Will be so glad to see the greater hit,
Who judging better, tho' concern'd the most,
Of such correction will have cause to boast.
In such a satire all would seek a share,
And ev'ry fool will fancy he is there,
Old story-tellers, too, must pine and die,
To see their antiquated wit laid by;
Like her who miss'd her name in a lampoon,
And griev'd to find herself decay'd so soon.
No common coxcomb must be mention'd here,
Nor the dull train of dancing sparks appear,
Nor flutt'ring officers who never fight ;
in such a wretched rabble who would write ?

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