« EdellinenJatka »
lities in their respective nations b. But the resemblance holds in nothing more, than in their being equally abused by the ignorant pretenders to Poetry of their times; of which not the least memory will remain but in their own Writings, and in the Notes made upon them. What BOILEAU has done in almost all his Poems, our author has only in this: I dare answer for him he will do it in no more; and on this principle, of attacking few but who had Nandered him, he could not have done it at all, had he been confined from censuring obfcure and worthless persons, for scarce any other were his enemies. However, as the parity is so remarkable, I hope it will continue to the laft; and if ever he should give us an edition of this Poem himself, I may fee some of them treated as gently, on their repentance or better merit, as Perrault and Quinault were at last by BOILEAU.
In one point I must be allowed to think the character of our English Poet the more amiable. He has not
b Essay on Criticisin in French verse, by General Hamilton ; the same, in verse also, by Monsieur Roboton, Counsellor and Privy Secretary to King George I. after by the Abbé Reynel, in verse, with notes. Rape of the Lock, in French, by the Princess of Conti, Paris 1728. and in Italian verse, by the Abbé Conti, a Noble Venetian; and the Marquis Rangoni, Envoy Extraordinary from Modena to King George II. Others of his works by Salvini of Florence, &c. His Essays and Differta tions on Homer, several times translated into French. Essay on Man, by the Abbé Reynel, in verse; by Monsieur Silhout, in prose, 1737, and finge by others in French, Italian, and Latin.
been a follower of Fortune or Success ; he has lived with the Great without flattery; been a friend to Men in power, without pensions, from whom, as he asked, - fo he received, no favour, but what was done Him in his Friends. As his Satires were the more just for being delayed, so were his Panegyrics ; bestowed only on such persons as he had familiarly known, only for such virtues as he had long observed in them, and only at such times as others cease to praise, if not begin to calumniate them, I mean when out of power or out of fashion c. A satire, therefore, on writers so notorious for the contrary practice, became no man so well as himself; as none, it is plain, was fo little in their friendships, or so much in that of those whom they had most abused, namely the Greatest and Best of all Parties. Let me add a further reason, that, though engaged in their Friendships, he never espoused their Animosities; and can almost singly challenge this honour, not to have written a line of any man, which, through Guilt, through Shame, or through Fear, through variety of Fortune, or change of Interests, he was ever unwilling to own.
© As Mr. Wycherley, at the time the Town declaimed against his book of Poems; Mr. Walsh, after his death ; Sir William Trumbull, when he had resigned the Office of Secretary of State; Lord Botingbroke, at his leaving England, after the Queen's death ; Lord Oxford, in his last decline of life ; Mr. Secretary Craggs, at the end of the South-Sea year, and after his death: Others only in Epitaphs.
I shall conclude with remarking, what a pleasure it must be to every reader of Humanity, to see all along, that our Author, in his very laughter, is not indulging his own ill-nature, but only punishing that of others. As to his Poem, those alone are capable of doing it justice, who, to use the words of a great writer, know how hard it is (with regard both to his subject and his manner) VETUSTIS DARE NOVITATEM, OBSOLETIS NITOREM, OBSCURIS LUCEM, FASTIDITIS
St. James's, Dec, 220, 1728.
Your most humble Servant,
WILLIAM CLELAND d.
d This gentleman was of Scotland, and bred at the University of Utrecht, with the Earl of Mar. He served in Spain under Earl Rivers. After the Peace, he was made one of the Cominissioners of the Customs in Scotland, and then of Taxes in England ; in which, having shewn himself for twenty years diligent, punctual, and incorruptible, (though without any other assistance of Fortune) he was suddenly displaced by the Minister, in the sixty-eighth year of his age ; and died two inonths after, in 1741. He was a person of universal Learning, and an enlarged Conversation; no man had a warmer heart for his Friend, or a fincerer attachment to the Conftitution of his Country,