« AnteriorContinuar »
ly mother is much better this Jummer than th Enight to be not having feen my Knight; an. that I am sick every other day as usual, this day for one het huly & always,
Your most afechinate
Satyra quidem tota nostra est ; in qua primus insignem laudem adeptus est
CUTHELL AND MARTIN; R, FAULDER; R, LEA; OGILVY AND SON;
J. ASPERNE; AND VERNOR, HOOD, AND SHARPE.
PERMIT me to break into your retirement, the residence of virtue and literature, and to trouble
with a few reflections on the merits and real character of an admired Author, and on other collateral subjects of criticism, that will naturally arise in the course of such an enquiry. No love of fingularity, no affectation of paradoxical opinions, gave rise to the following Work. I revere the memory of Pope, I respect and honour his abilities ; but I do not think him at the head of his profession. In other words, in that species of poetry wherein
Pope excelled, he is superior to all mankind : and I only say, that this species of poetry is not the moft excellent one of the art.
We do not, it should seem, sufficiently attend to the difference there is betwixt a MAN Of wit, a MAN OF SENSE, and a TRUE POET. Donne and Swift were undoubtedly men of wit, and men of sense : but what traces have they left of PURE POETRY? It is remarkable, that Dryden fays of Donne, “ He was the greatest wit, though not the greatest poet, of this nation. Fontenelle and La Motte are entitled to the former character ; but what can they urge to gain the latter ? Which of these characters is the most valuable and useful, is entirely out of the question : all I plead for, is, to have their several provinces kept distinct from each other; and to impress on the reader, that a clear head, and acute understanding, are not sufficient, alone, to make a POET; that the most folid observations on human life, expressed with the utmost elegance and brevity, are MORALITY, and not POETRY; that the Epistles of Boileau in RHYME, are no more . poetical, than the CHARACTERS of La Bruyere