« EdellinenJatka »
In the bright Muse thothousand charms conspire, Her Voice is all thefe tuneful fools admire ;
340 Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to Church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
COMMENTARY. mony : And secondly, as it is varied in compliance to the fubjet, where the sound becomes an ecbo to the sense, so far as is consistent with the preservation of numbers ; in contradiction to the monotony of false Harmony : Of this he gives us in the delivery of his precepts, four fine examples, of smoothness, roughness, howness, and rapidity. The firjl use of this correspondence of the found to the Jense, is to aid the fancy in acquiring a perfecter and more lively image of the thing represented. A fecond and nobler, is to calm and subdue the turbulent and selfish passions, and to raise and inflame the beneficent: Which he illustrates in the famous adventure of Timotheus and Alexander ; and by referring to Mr. Dryden's Ode on that subject, turns it to a very high complement on that great poet.
NOTE s. V 337. But moj by Num- Effugiat junctura ungues : bers, EC.]
soit rendere versum, Quis populi fermo eft? quis Non fecus ac fi oculo rubri.
enim? nifi carmina molli cam dirigat uno. Nunc demum numero fluere,
Persius, Sat. 1. wi per lave feveres
These equal syllables alone require,
356 That, like a wounded snake, drags its flow length
along. Leave such to tune their own dull rhimes, and
know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly flow; And praise the eafy vigour of a line, 360 Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join.
NOTE S. Ý 345, Tho opt the ear, nem reddunt. Cic. ad. He&c.] Fugiemus crebras vo- ren. lib. iv.
Vide etiam. calium concurfiones, que va. Quintil. lib. 9. c. 4. fam atque bianteni oratio
At ev'ry trifle fcorn to take offence,
Some foreign writers, some our own despise: The Ancients only, or the Modern's prize. . 395
COMMEN TA RY; persons. This, therefore, as the main root of all the foregoing, he prosecutes at large from v 383 to 473.
Firit he previously exposes that capricious turn of mind, which, by running men into Extrêmes, either of praise or difpraile, lays the foundation of an babitual partiality. He cautions therefore both against one and the other ; and fhews that excess of Praise is the mark of a bad tasle, and excess of Censures of a bad digestick.
VER. 394. Sume foreign writers, &c.] Having explained the difpofition of mind which produces an babitual para tiality, he proceeds to expose this partiality in all the fhapes it appears in, both amongst the unlearned and the learned.
I. In the unlearned, it is seen, 1. In an unreasonable fondness for, or averlion to our cwn or foreign, to ancient or modern writers. And as it is the mob of unlearned readers he is here speaking of, he exposes their folly in a very apposite fimilitude :
Thus Wit, like Faith, by each man is apply'd
Tbus Wit, like Faith, by each man is apply'd
To one small feet, and all are damn'd beside. But he shews that these Critics have as wrong a notion of Reason as those Bigots have of God: For that Genius is not confined to times or climates.; but, as the universal gift of Nature, is extended throughout all ages and countries: That indeed this intellectual light, like the material light of the Sun itself, may not always shine in every place with equal fplendor ; but be sometimes clouded with Popular ignorance, and sometimes again eclipsed by the difcountenance of Princes; yet it 'shall still recover itself; and, by breaking through the strongest of these impediments, manifeft the eternity of its nature.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
.. .. When Ajax strives, fome rock's vast weight to throw,
370 The line too labours, and the words move flow;
NOT E S. 364. 'Tis not enough no rying a particular precept of
harlonejs gives offence; the art into an extreme, The found mujt seem an E- that destroys one of the gecho to the sense,]
neral principles of it, which The judicious introduction is Harmony. The poet thereof this
precept is remarkable. fore, by the introductory line The Poets, and even some would insinuate, that Harof the belt of their, while mony is always presupposed too intent to give this beauty as observed; tho' it may and of making the found an E- ought to be perpetually vacho to the sense, fall fome- ried, so as to express the times into an unharmonious beauty above spoken of, disionance. But this is car