Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

VARIATIONS

IN THE

AUTHOR'S MANUSCRIPT PREFACE. .

AFTER P. 5. 1. 13. it followed thus-For my part,

I confess, had I seen things in this view at first, the public had never been troubled either with my writings, or with this apology for them. I am sensible how difficult it is to speak of one's self with decency: but when a man must speak of himself, the best way is to speak truth of himself, or, he may depend upon it, others will do it for him. I'll therefore make this Preface a general confession of all my thoughts of my own Poetry, resolving with the same freedom to expose myself, as it is in the

of

any other to expose them. In the first place, I thank God and nature, that I was born with a love to poetry *; for nothing more conduces to fill up all the intervals of our time, or, if rightly used, to make the whole course of life entertaining: Cantantes licet usque (minus via lædet). 'Tis a vast happiness to possess the pleasures of the head, the only pleasures in which a man is sufficient to himself, and the only part of him which, to his fatisfaction, he can employ all day long. The Muses are amicæ omnium horarum; and, like our gay acquaintance, the best company

power

* But at the conclusion of his translation of the Iliad, he contradicts this sentiment, by applying to himself a passage of M. Antoninus.

J. Warton.

sures

in the world as long as one expects no real service from thein. I confess there was a time when I was in love with myself, and my first productions were the children of self-love upon innocence. I had made an Epic Poem, and Panegyrics on all the Princes in Europe, and thought myself the greatest genius that ever was. I can't but regret those delightful visions of my childhood, which, like the fine colours we fee when our eyes are shut, are vanished for ever. Many trials and fad experience have fo undeceived me by degrees, that I am utterly at a loss at what rate to value myself. As for fame, I shall be glad of any I can get, and not repine at any I miss; and as for vanity, I have enough to keep me from hanging myself, or even from wishing those hanged who would take it away. It was this that made me write. The sense of my faults made me correct: besides that it was as pleasant to me to correct as to write.

At p. 9. I. 12.-In the first place I own that I have used my best endeavours to the finishing these pieces. That I made what advantage I could of the judgment of authors dead and living; and that I omitted no means in my power to be informed of

my

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ON MR. POPE AND HIS POEMS,

BY HIS GRACE

JOHNSHEFFIELD,

DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.

10

WITH Age decay'd, with Courts and bus’ness tir’d,

Caring for nothing but what Ease requir'd ;
Too dully serious for the Muse's sport,
And from the Critics safe arriv'd in Port,
I little thought of launching forth agen,

5
Amidst advent'rous Rovers of the Pen:
And after so much undeserv'd success,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.

Encomiums suit not this cenforious time,
Itself a subject for satiric rhyme ;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam’d,
Folly triumphant, and ev’n Homer blam’d!
But to this Genius, join'd with so much Art,
Such various Learning mix'd in ev'ry part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay ;

15 Apollo bids it, and they must obey.

And so wonderful, sublime a thing
As the great Iliad, scarce could make me fing;
Except I justly could at once commend
A good Companion, and as firm a Friend.
One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed
Can all desert in Sciences exceed.
- VOL. I.

"Tis

yet

20

[ocr errors]

'Tis great delight to laugh at some men's ways, But a much greater to give Merit praise.

TO MR. POPE,

ON HIS PASTORALS.

Ια

IN
N these more dull, as more censorious days,

When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,
A Muse fincere, that never Flatt'ry knew,
Pays what to friendship and desert is due.
Young, yet judicious; in your

verse are found 5
Art strength’ning Nature, Sense improv'd by Sound.
Unlike those Wits, whose numbers glide along
So smooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song :
Laboriously enervate they appear,
And write not to the head, but to the ear :
Our minds unmov'd and unconcern'd they lull,
And are at best most musically dull :
So purling streams with even murmurs creep,
And hush the heavy hearers into sleep.
As smoothest speech is most deceitful found, 15
The smoothest numbers oft are empty found.
But Wit and Judgment join at once in you,
Sprightly as Youth, as Age consummate too:
Your strains are regularly bold, and please
With unforc'd care, and unaffected ease,
With proper thoughts, and lively images :

Such

« EdellinenJatka »