Yet if we look more closely, we shall find in Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind: 20


COMMENTARY. VER. 19. Yet if we look, &c.].“ He owns that the * seeds of Judgment are indeed sown in the minds of most

men ; but by ill .culture, as it springs up, it generally " runs wild : either on the one hand, by false knowledge “ which pedants call Philology, or falle reasoning which “ Philosophers call School Learning; or on the other,, by « false wit which is not regulated by Jense; or false politeness which is solely regulated by the fashion. Both “these forts, who have their Judgments thus doubly de“ praved, the poet observes are naturally turned to cen“ sure and reprehenfion; only with this difference, that “ the Dunce always affects to be on the reasoning, and the Fool on the laugbing fide.---And thus, at the same time,

NOTES.. ** 20. Moj bave the

x 25. So by false learn. feeds] Omnes tacito quodam ing] Plus fine doctrina pru. senju, fixe ulla arte, aut ra- dentia, quam fine prudentia tione, que fint in artibus ac Galet doétrine. Quintil. rationibus reeta & prave Between x 25 and 26 dijudicant. Cic. de Orat. were these lines, since omic.

ced by the author.
Many are spoild by that pedantic throng,
Wbe with great pains teach youth to reafax wrong.
Tutors, like Virtuofo's, oft inclin'd
By Arange transfusion to improve the mind,
Draw off tbe senfa we bade, to pour in new;
Wbicb yet, with all tbeir skill, they ne'er could do.

lib. 3.

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Nature affords at least a glimm'ring light;
The lines, tho' touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.
But as the flightest sketch, if justly trac’d,
Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac'd,
So by false learning is good sense defac'd :

Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools,
And some inade coxcombs Nature meant but fools.
In search of wit these lose their common sense,
And then turn Critics in their own defence:
Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write, 30
Or with a Rival's, or an Eunuch's spite.
All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain would be upon the laughing fide, .
If Mævius scribble in Apollo's spight,
There are, who judge still worse than he can write.

Some have at first for Wits, then Poets paft, 36 Turn’d Critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last.

COMMENTARY. 4 our author proves the truth of his introductory observa« tion, that the number of bad Critics is vastly superior to " that of bad Poets."

Ver. 36. Some bave at firf for Wits, &c.] The poet having thus enumerated the several sort of bad Cris tics, and ranked them into two general Claffes ; as the first fort, namely those spoiled by false learning, are but few in comparison of the other, and likewise come less

Some neither can for Wits nor Critics pass,
As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass.
Those half-learn'd witlings, num'rous in our isle, 40
As half-form'd infects on the banks of Nile;
Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call,
Their generation's fo equivocal:
To tell 'em, would a hundred tongues require,
Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire. 45

But you who seek to give and merit fame,
And justly bear á Critic's noble name,

COMMENTARY. within his main view (which is poetical Criticism) but kcep groveling at the botiom amongst words and letters, he thought it here sufficient just to have mentioned them, proposing to do them right elsewhere. But those spoiled by false taste arc innumerable ; and those are his proper concern : He therefore, from y 35 to 46. subdivides these again into the tivo clasies of the colatile and heavy: He describes in few words the quick progress of the one thro' Criticism, from false wit to plain folly, where they end; and the fixed Itation of the other between the confines of both; who under the name of Witlings, have neither end nor measure. A kind of hálf forined creature from the equivocal generation of vivacity and dulness, like those on the banks of Nile, from heat and mud.

VER. 46. But you toba soek, &c.] Our author having thus far, by way of INTRODUCTION, explained the nature, use, and abuse of Criticism, in a figurative description of the qualities and characters of the Critics; pro

Be sure yourself and your own reach to know,
How far your genius, taste, and learning go;

COMMENTARY, ceeds now to deliver the precepts of the Art. The first of which, from * 47 to 68. is, that he who sets up for a Critic should previously examine his' own strength, and see how far he is qualified for the exercile of his profeffion. He puts him in a way to make this discovery, in that admirable direction given X 51.

And mark that point robere sense and dulness meet.' 7:08

. In whatsoever subject, then the Critic's geniuis no longer accompanies his judgment, there he may be assured he is going out of his depth. This our author finely calls,

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that point where sense and dulness meer.

And immediately adds the REASON of his precept; the Author of Nature having fo constituted the mental facul. ties, that one of thein can never excell but at the expense of another.

From this state and ordination of the mental faculties, and the influence and effects they have one on another, our Poet draws this CONSEQUENCE, that no one genius can excell in' more than one Art or Science ; rarely in more than one part or portion of a Science. The consequence thews the necesity of the precept, just as the premises, for which it is drawn, shew the reajonableness of is.

Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet, 50 And mark that point where senfe and dulness meet

Nature to all things fix'd the limits fit, And wisely curb'd proud man's pretending wit. As on the land while here the ocean gains, , In other parts it leaves wide fandy plains ; $5 Thus in the foul while memory prevails, The solid pow'r of understanding fails;

NOT E S. 51. And mark that worth the attention of all point where sense and dull- profound writers. nefs meet] Besides the pecue 56. Thus in the soul liar fente explained above wbile memory prevails, in the comment, the words Tbe folid pow'r of under have still a more general panding fails : meaning, and caution us Where beams of warm iman. against going on, when our gination play, Ideas begin to grow ob- The memory', soft figures {cure; as we are apt to do; melt away.] tho' that obscurity is a mo

Thefe obfervations are cola nition that we should leave lected from an intimate off'; for it arises either thro' knowledge of human naour small acquaintance with ture. The cause of that the subject matter, or the languor and heaviness in the incomprehensible nature of underftanding, which is althe thing. In which cir- most inseparable from a very cumstances a genius will strong and tenacious memory, always wrire as dully as a feems to be want of the dunce. An observation well proper exercise of that pow

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