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They talk of principles, but notions prite, 265 And all to one lov'd Folly sacrifice.
Once on a time, La Mancha's Knight, they say, A certain Bard encount'ring on the way,
COMMENTARY. Religion and thews it to be founded in the order of things : For if we examine, we shall find it arise from this principle of human nature, that the mind must always have something to rest upon, to which the passions and affections may be interestingly directed. Common sense prompts us to seek it in the most worthy object; and rem Alection points us to a Whole or System : But the clouds of Ignorance, and the falle lights of the Passions, mislead and dazzle us ; we stop short, and before we get to a Wbo?e, take up with some Part; which from thence btconnes our Favorite.
NOTES. 267. Once on a time, by our Author, from the &c.). This tale is so very Spurious Don Quixote, which appolite, that one would Thews how judicious an use naturally take it to be of the may be made of General Poci's own invention ; and reading, when if there is so much in the spirit of but one good thing in a book Cervantes, that one might (as in that wretched perfora casily mistake it for a prin- mance there scarce was more) tipal ornament of that in- it may be pick'd out, and comparable Satire. But, in employ'd to an excellent truth, it is neither one nor purpose. the others but a fory taken
Discours'd in terms as juft, with looks as sage,
COM M E NA RY.
Curious not knowing, not exact but nice,
Form short Ideas, &C. 2. He concludes his observations on those two foris of judges by parts, with this general reflexion. The curious nos skvowing are the firft fort, who judge by parts, and with
Thus Critics; of less judgment than caprice, 285 Curious not knowing, not exact but nice,
Сомм MENTARY. a microscopic light (as he says elsewhere) examine bit by bit: The not exa& but nice, are the second, who judge by e favorite part, and talk of a wbole to cover their fondness for a part; as Philosophers do of principles, in order to obtrude their notions or opinions for such. But the fate common to both is, to form fort ideas, or to have ideas short of truth: Tho' the latter fort, thro' à fondness to their favorite part, imagine that they comprehend the wbole in epitome: As the famous Hero of La Mancha mentioned just before used to maintain, that Knight Ere rantry comprised within itself the quintellence of all Science civil and military.
NOTES $ 285. Thus Critics of which will be sure to lead less judgment than caprice, hiin into fingularities. A. Curious not knowing, not gain, true Knowledge is the exact but nice.]
art of treasuring up only In these two lines the poet that which, from its use in • describes the way in which life, is worthy of being lodgbad writers are wont to imi, ed in the memory: But Cutate the qualities of good rioity confits in a vain atones. As true y udgment ge- tention to every thing out nerally draws men out of of the way, and which, for popular opinions, so he who its usefulness the world least cannot get from the croud by regards. Lastly, Exaziness the aslistance of this guide, is the just proportion of willingly follows Caprice, parts to one another, and
Form fhort Ideas; and offend in arts,
Some to Conceit alone their taste confine,
COMMENTARY. Ver. 289. Some to Conceit alone, &c.) We come now to that second sort of bounded capacity, which betrays its felf in the manner of the work criticised. And this our Author profecutes from * 288 to 384. These are againSubdivided into divers classes.
The first are those who confine their attention folely to Conceit or Wit. And here again we are to observe, that the Critics by parts, as to the manner, offend doubly in their judgments, just as those did in the matter : Not only by confining their attention to a part, when it should be ex. tended to the whole ; but likewise in judging falsely of that part. And this, in both cases, is unavoidable, as the parts in the manner, bear the same close relation to the whole, that the parts in the matter do; to which whole the ideas of these Critics have never yet extended. Hence it is, that our author, speaking here of those who confine their attention folely to Conceit or Wit, describes the two species of true and false Wit; because they not only mistake a wrong disposition of true Wit for a right,
NOTES. their harmony in a whole: himself with Nicety, which But he who has not extent is a busying one's self about of capacity for the exercise points and lyllables, at this quality, contents
Pleas'd with a work where nothing's just or fit;
COMMENTA RY. but likewise false Wit for true: He describes false Wic first, from x 288 to 305.
Some to Conceit alone, E.
Where the reader may observe our author's skill in rem presenting in a description of falle Wit, the falle disposition of the true, as the Critic by parts is milled by both these errors.
He next describes true Wit,
True Wit is Nature to advantage drefid, .
And here the reader may observe, as in the foregoing, the poet is not only explaining true Wit, but likewise the right disposition of it: And illustrating this, as he did the wrong, by ideas taken from the art of Painting.
NOTES. x 297. True Wit is Na- &c.] This definition is very cure to advantage dress'd, exact. Mr Locke had den.