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Fir'd at firit fight with what the Muse imparts,
A perfect Judge will read each work of Wit,
COMMEN TA RY, Italy, " and ambitious to snatch a palm from Rome, en: gages in an undertaking as arduous almost as that of Hannibal: Finely illustrated by the fimilitude of an unexperienced traveller penetrating thro' the Alps.
VËR. 233. A perfeet Judge, &c.] 'The third cause of wrong Judgment is a narrow and BOUNDED COMPR I
NOTE &. Ý 233, A perfef Judge, ei, ac pæne ad ferilendi &5.] Diligenter legendum
Survey the WHOLE, nor seek flight faults to find 235 Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
COMMENTARY. HENSION ; the natural and necessary cause of the foregoing defect, acquiefcence in superficial learning. This bounded Capacity the poet hews (from y 233 to 384) betrays itself two ways; in the matter, and in the manner of the work criticised. · As to the matter, in judging by parts; or in having one favorite part to a neglect of all the rest : As to the manner, in confining the regard only to conceit, or language, or numbers. This is our author's order ; and we shall follow him as it leads us ; only just oblerving one great beauty running thro' this part of the poem, which is that under each of these heads of wrong Judgment, he has inter-worked excellent precepts for right. We shall take notice of them as they
He exposes the folly of judging by parts very art. fully, not by a direct description of that sort of Critic, but of his opposite, a perfe&t Judge, &c. Nor is the elegance of this converfion less than the Art; for as, in poetic Agle, one word or figure is still put for another, in order to catch new lights from distant images, and reflect them back upon the subject in hand; fo in poetical matter, one person or description may be commodioully employed for another, with the same advan
NOT E s. follicitudinem : Nec per par. wlique ex integro resumentos modo fcrutanda funt dus. Quintil.. omnia, fed porleetus liber
Nor lose, for that malignant dull delight,
COMMENTARY. tage of representation. It is observable that our author makes it almost the necessary consequence of judging by parts, to find fault: And this not without much dif.
For the several parts of a compleat Wbole, when seen only fingly, and known only independently, must always have the appearance of irregularity, and often, of deformity : Because the Poet's design being to create a resultive beauty from the artful assemblage of several various parts into one natural whole ; those parts must be fashioned with regard to the mutual relations, from whence the beauty required is to arise : But that regard will occasion so unreducible a form in each part, as, when considered fingly, to present the appearance of an Irre. gularity.
No single parts unequally surprize,
256 No monftrous height, or breadth, or length appear ; The Whole at once is bold, and regular.'
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to fee, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er Shall be. În ev'ry work regard the writer's End; 255 Since none can compass more than they intend: And if the means be just, the conduct true, Applause, in spight of trivial faults, is due. As men of breeding, sometiines men of wit, T'avoid great errors, muft the less commit: 260
COM Nİ-ENTA RY. VER. 253. Whqeter thinks a faultless piece to fee. He thews, in the second place, that to fix 'our censure on fingle parts, tho' they happen to want an exactness con fiftent enough with their relation to the reit, is even then very unjutt: And for these reatons, 1. Because it implies an expectation of a fauitless piece, which is a'vain imagination : 2. Because no more is to be expected of
any work than that it fairly attains its end: But the end may be attained, and yet thele trivial faults committed : Therefore, in spight of such faults, the work will' merit the praise due to that attainment.
Because sometimes a great beauty is not to be had, nor a notorious blemish to be avoided, but by the luffering one of these minute. and trivial errors. And lastly, because the generous nega lest of them is a prailes, as it is the indication of a Goo mills, busied about greater matters.
Neglect the rules each verbal Critic lays,
COM M E N TARY.
Ver. 263. Most Critics fond of some subfervient Art, &c. II. The second way in which the bounded comprebengon, as it relates to the matter, lhews itself, is judging by a favorite Part. The author has placed this after the other of judging by parts, with great propriety, it being indeed a natural consequence of it. For when men have once left the whole to turn their attention to the separate parts, that regard and reverence due only to a whole, is fondly transferred to one or other of its parts. And thus we see that Heroes themselves as well as Hero-makers, even Kings as well as Critics, when they chance never to have had, or long to have lost the idea of that which is the only legitimate object of their office, the care and conservation of the wbole, are wont entirely to devote themselves to the service of some favourite part, whether it be love of money, military glory, despoticism, &c. And all, as our poet says on this occasion,
to one low'd Folly sacrifice.
This general misconduct much recommends that maxim in good Poetry and Politics, to give a principal attention to the whole fa maxim which our author has elsewhere demonstrated to be equally true likewise in Morals and