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To a SCOTCH TUNE:
The BIRKS OF ENDER MAY.
HE smiling morn, the breathing spring,
Invite the tuneful birds to fing:
For foon the winter of the year,
OF VERBAL CRITICIS M.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE ift AND 2d EDITIONS.
AS the design of the following poem is to rally the
abuse of Verbal Criticism, the author could not, without manifest partiality, overlook the Editor of Milton, and the Restorer of Shakespeare. With regard to the latter, lie has read over the many and ample spea. cimens with which that Scholiaft has already obliged the publick : and of these, and these only, he pretends to give his opinion. But, whatever he
may. think of the Critic, not bearing the least ill-will to the Man, he deferred printing these verses, though written several months ago, till he heard that the subscription
for a new edition of Shakespeare was closed. He begs leave to add likewise, that this poem was un
dertaken and written entirely without the knowledge of the Gentleman to whom it is addressed. Oily as it is a public testimony of his. inviolable esteem for Mr. Pope, on that account, particularly, he wishes, it may not be judged to increase the number of mean performances, with which the town is almost daily peftered.
Oft todisturb, and oft divert, mankind,
3 Whom learning but perverts, and books misguide.
o fam'd for judging, as for writing well, That rarest science, where so few excel;
Whose life, severely scann'd, transcends thy lays,
dunce from every dunghill drew
Such the choice anecdotes, profound and vain,
30 Hence, Plato quoted, or the Stagyrite, To prove
that flame ascends, and snow is white : Hence, much hard study, without sense or breeding, And all the grave impertinence of reading. "If Shakespeare says, the noon-day sun is bright, 35 His Scholiast will remark, it then was light; 'Turn Caxton, Winkin, each old Goth and Hun, To rectify the reading of a pun.
Thus, nicely triling, accurately dull,
Pride of his own, and wonder of this age,
Such was the Poet: next the Scholiast view;
Condemn’d to dig and dung a barren soil,
Such that grave
See him on Shakespeare pore, intent to steal
bird in northern seas is found,
still earnest, and with bill inclin’d,
Blest genius! who bestows his oil and pains
V.78. This remarkable bird is called the Strundt-Jager. Here you see how he purchases his food : and the same author, from whom this account is taken, telts us farther how he comes by his drink. You may see him, adds the Dutchman, frequently pursuing a sort of feamew, called Kulge-Gehef, whom he torments inceffantly to make him void an excrement; which being liquid, ferves him, I imagine, for drink. See a Col. lection of Voyages to the North.