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Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find,
245 In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts : 'Tis not a lip, nor eye, we beauty call, But the joint force, and full result of all. Thus when we view some well-proportion’d dome, 250 (The world's just wonderd, and ev’n thine, O Rome!) No single parts unequally surprize, All comes united to the admiring eyes; No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear ; The whole at once is bold and regular.
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Totum perpendet, censorque est parcus, ubi ardor
260 Nam te non reddit labiumve oculusve venustum, Sed charitum cumulus, collectaque tela decoris. Sic ubi lustramus perfectam insignitèr ædem, (Quæ Romam splendore, ipfumqne ita perculit orbem) Læta diu non ullâ in fimplice parte morántur 265 Lumina, sed sese per totum errantia pafcunt; Nil longum latumve nimis, nil altius æquo Cernitur, illustris nitor omnibus, omnibus ordo.
Quod confummatum est opus omni ex parte, nec usquam Nunc exstat, nec erat, nec erit labentibus annis. Quas fibi proponat metas adverte, poeta Ultra aliquid fperare, illas fi abfolvat, iniquum eft; Si recta ratione utatur, confilioque Perfecto, missis maculis, vos plaudite clamo.
275 Accidit, ut vates, veluti vafer Aulicus, erret Sæpius errorem, ut vitet graviora, minorem.
Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays,
Once, on a time, la Mancha's knight, they say, 270 A certain bard encount’ring on the way, Discours’d in terms as just, in looks as fage, As e'er cou'd Dennis, of the Grecian stage; Concluding all were desp'rate sots, and fools, That durit depart from Aristotle's rules.
275 Our author happy in a judge so nice, Produc'd his play, and begg'd the knight's advice; Made him observe the subject, and the plot, The manners, passions, unities, what not ? All which, exact to rule, were brought about, 280 Were but a combat in the lifts left out « What! leave the combat out?” exclaims the knight; Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite. " Not fo, by heav'n! (he answers in a rage) “ Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage.” The stage can ne'er so vast a throng contain.
286 “ Then build a-new, or act it on a plain.”
Thus critics of less judgment than caprice, Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice,
Neglige, quas criticus, verborum futilis auceps,
Quixotus quondam, fi vera est fabula, cuidam
Quid vero certanien omittes? excipit heros; Sic veneranda Sophi suadent documenta. Armigerumque equitum quecohors scenam intret, oportet,” Forsan, at ipsa capax non tantæ scena catervæ eft:
300 - OEdificave aliam---vel apertis utere campis.”
Sic ubi supposito morosa superbia regnat Judicio, criticæque tenent fastidia curæ
Form short ideas, and offend in arts
Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
300 What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express’d; Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight, we find, That gives us back the image of our mind. As shades more sweetly recommend the light, So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit:
305 For works may have more wit than does them good , As bodies perish through excess of blood.
Others, for language all their care express, And value books, as women men, for dress: Their praise is still---the style is excellent; The sense they humbly take upon content.
+ Naturam intueamur, hanc sequamur; id facillime accipiunt animi qucd agnofcunt.
QUINTIL. lib. 8. cap. 3.