Imágenes de páginas

Mr. DRYDEN only a versifier. His whole libel is all bad matter, beautified (which is all that can be said of it) with good metre *. Mr. Dryden's genius did not appear in any thing more than his versification, and whether he is to be ene nobled for that only is a question t.

Mr. Dryden's Virgil. Tonson calls it Dryden's Virgil, to shew that this is not that Virgil so admired in the Augustan age, but a Virgil of another stamp, a silly, impertinent, nonsensical writer I. None but a Bavius, a Mævius, or a Bathyllus, carped at Virgil ; and none but such unthinking vermin admire his Translatorg. Itis true, soft and easy lines might become Ovid's Epistles, or Art of Love—but Virgil, who is all great and majestic, &c. requires strength of lines, weight of words, and closeness of expression; not an ambling Muse running on carpet-ground, and shod as lightly as a Newmarket racer. He has nuinberless faults in his author's meaning, and in propriety of expression. Mr. Dryden understood no Greek nor Latin.

Mr. Dryden was once, I have heard, at Westminster-school: Dr. Busby would have whipt him for so childish a paraphrase 1. The meanest pedantin England would whip a lubber of twelve for construing so

* Whip and Kev, Pref. + Oldmixon, Essay on Criticism, p. 84. Milbourn, p. 2. é Ib. p. 35. u Ib. p. 22, and 192. g lb, p. 7%.

to suggest, that Mr. Pope had less infallibility than his namesake at Rome *.

Mr. Pope only a versifier. · The smooth numbers of the Dunciad are all that recommend it, nor has it any other merit +. It must be owned that he hath got a notable knack of rhyming and writing smooth verse I.

Mr. Pope's Homer. The Homer which Lintot prints does not talk like Homer, but like Pope; and he who translated him, one would swear, had a hill in Tipperary for his Parnassus, and a puddle in some bog for his Hippocrene f. He has no admirers among those that can distinguish, discern, and judge l.

He hath a knack at smooth verse, but without either genius or good sense, or any tolerable knowledge of English. The qualities which distinguish Homer are the beauties of his diction, and the harmony of his versification. But this little Author, who is so much in vogue, has neither sense in his thoughts, nor English in his expressions 1.

Mr. Pope understood no Greck. He hath undertaken to translate Homer from the Greek, of which he knows not one word, into Eng

* Dedication to the Collection of Verses, Letters, &c. p. 9. - Mist's Journal of June 8, 1728. Character of Mr. P. and Denvis on Homer. 2 Dennis's Reinarks on Pope's Homer, p. 12.

Ib. p. 14. Character of Mr. Pope, p. 17. and Remarks on Iomer, p. 91.

absurdly *. The Translator is mad, every line be. trays his stupidity t. The faults are innumerable, and convince me that Mr. Dryden did not, or would not, understand his author. This shows how fit Mr. Dryden may be to translate Homer! A mistake in a single letter might fall on the printer well enough, but.size wp for igcwp, must be the error of the author: nor had he art enough to correct it at the press g. Mr. Dryden writes for the court ladies-He writes for the ladies, and not for use .

The Translator puts in a little burlesque now and then into Virgil, for a ragout to his cheated Subscribers 1.

Mr. Dryden tricked his subscribers. I wonder that any man, who could not but be conscious of his own unfitness for it, should go to amuse the learned world with such an undertaking! A man ought to value his reputatiou more than money; and not to hope that those who can read for themselves will be imposed upon merely by a partially and unseasonably celebrated name **. Poetis quidlibet audendi shall be Mr.Dryden's motto, though it should extend to picking of pockets tt.

Names bestowed on Mr. Dryden.
An Ape.) A crafty ape drest up in a gawdy gown

* Milbourn, p. 203. Hih.' p. 78. Ib. p. 206. a Ib. p. 19. " Ib. p. 144, 190. [ Ib. p. 67. *** Ib. p. 192.' ++ Ib. p. 125.

lish, of which he understands as little *. I wonder how this gentleman would look, should it be discovered that he has not translated ten verses together in any book of Homer, with justice to the poet; and yet he dares reproach his fellow-writers with not understanding Greek t. He has stuck so little to his original, as to have his knowledge in Greek called in question 1. I should be glad to know, which it is of all Homer's excellencies which has so delighted the ladies and the gentlemen who judge like ladies g.

But he has a notable talent at burlesque ; his genius slides so naturally into it, that he hath burlesqued Homer without designing it ll.

Mr. Pope tricked his subscribers. It is indeed somewhat bold, and almost prodigious, for a single man to undertake such a work: but it is too late to dissuade, by demonstrating the madness of the project. The subscribers' expectations have been raised in proportion to what their pockets have been drained of 1. Mr. Pope has been concerned in jobs, and hired out his name to booksellers **.

Names bestowed on Mr. Pope. An Ape.] Let us take the initial letter of his Christian name, and initial and final letters of his Whips put into an ape's paw to play pranks with -None but apish and Papish brats will heed him *.

* Dennis's Remarks on Homer, p. 12. - Daily Journal, April 03. 1728. Suppl, to the Profound Preface. 2 Oldmixon, Essay on Criticism, p. 66. Dennis's Remarks, p. 28. Homerides, p. 1, &c. ** British Journal, Nov. 25, 1727.

An Ass.] A camel will take upon him no more burden than is sufficient for his strength, but there is another beast that crouches under all t.

A Frog.] Poet Squab, endued with Poet Ma ro's spirit! an ugly, croaking kind of vermin, which would swell to the bulk of an ox.

A COWARD.] A Clinias, or a Damætus, or a man of Mr. Dryden's own courage s.

A Knave.] Mr. Dryden has heard of Paul, the knave of Jesus Christ : and, if I mistake not, I have read somewhere of John Dryden, servant to his Majesty I.

A Fool.] Had he not been such a self-conceited fool 1. --Some great poets are positive blockheads **.

A Thing.] So little a thing as Mr. Dryden tt.

* Whip and Key, pref. + Milbourn, p. 105. Ib. p. 11. I ib. p. 176. i Ib. p. 57. ' 4 Whip and Key, pref. ** Nilbourd, P. 34. ++ Ib. p. 35.

« AnteriorContinuar »