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ATHER of All! in ev'ry age,
In ev'ry clime, ador'd,
By saint, by favage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !
Thou Great First Cause, least understood,
Who all my sense confin'd
To know but this, that thou art good,
And that myself am blind :
Yet gave me in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill;
And, binding Nature fast in Fate,
Left free the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This teach me more than hell to Thun,
That more than heav'n pursue.
What bleflings thy free bounty gives
Let me not cast away;
For God is paid when men receives :
T'enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to Earth's contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think thee Lord alone of Man,
When thousand worlds are round.
Let not this weak unknowing hand
Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land
On each I judge thy foe.
If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to itay;
If I am wrong, oh! teach my heart
To find that better way,
Save me alike from foolish pride
Or impious discontent;
At aught thy witdom has deny'd,
Or aught thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feud another's woe,
To hide the fault I lee;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy shew to me.
Mean tho' I am, not wholly lo,
Since quicken'd by thy breath;
O lead me, wheiesce'er I go,
Thro’ this day's life or death!
This day be bread and peace my lot;
All elle beneath the sun
Thou know it if beit bestow'd or not,
And let thy will be done.
To Thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar earth, sea, Ikies !
One chorus let all Being raise!
All Nature's incenle rile!
[Written in the Year 1709.]
INTRODUCTION. That it is as great a fault to
judge ill as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public, ver. 1.
That a true taste is as rare to be found as a true genius, v. 9,-_-18. That most men are born with some taste, but spoiled by false education, v. 19,-25.
The multitude of critics, and causes of them, v. 26,-45. That we are to study our own taite, and know the limits of it, v. 46,__67. Nature the best guide of judgment, v. 68,-87; improved by art and rules, which are but methodized Na. ture, v. 88. Rules derived from the practice of the ancient poets, v. 88,_110; that therefore the Ancients are necessary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil, v. 118,--138. Of licenses, and the use of them, by the Ancients, v. 141,- 180., Reverence due to the Ancients, and praise of them, V. 181, &c.
Causes hindering a true judgment. 1. Pride, v. 209. 2. Imperfect learning, v. 215. 3. Judging by parts, and not by the whole, v. 233,--288. Critics in wit, language, verlification only, v. 289, 305,-337, &c. 4. Being too hard to please, or too apt to admire, v. 384. 5. Partiality, too much love to a fect,Ancients or Moderns, v. 394. 6. Prejudice or prevention, v. 468. 7. Singularity, v. 424. 8. Inconstancy, v. 430. 9. Party ipirit, v. 452, &c. 10. Envy, v. 416. Against envy, and in praise of good-nature, v. 508, &c. When leverity is chiefly to be used by critics, v. 526, &c.
Rules for the conduct of manners in a critic.
Candour, v: 563. Modefty, v. 566. Good breeding,
v. 572. Sincerity and freedom of advice, v. 578.
2. When one's counsel is to be restrained, v. 584. Cha-
racter of an incorrigible poet, v. 600; and of an im-
pertinent critic, v. 610, &c. Character of a good cri-
tic, v. 631. The history of criticism, and characters
of the best critics. Aristotle, v. 645. Horace, v. 653.
Dionyfius, v. 665. Petronius, v. 667. Quintilian,
v. 669. Longinus, v. 675. Of the decay of criticism,
and it's revival. Erafmus, v. 693. Vida, v. 705.
Boileau, v. 714. Lord Roscommon, &c. v. 7250
PART I. 'TIS hard to say if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill; But of the two, less dang’rous is th’offence To tire our patience than millead our fente: Some few in that, but numbers err in this;
Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss;
A fool might once himself alone expose;
Now one in verse makes many more in prose.
'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;
Both must alike from Heav'n derive their light,
These born to judge as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well.
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true,
But are not critics to their judgment too?
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind :
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 senle defac'd : 25
Some are bewilderd in the maze of schools,
And some made coxcombs Nature meant but fools:
In search of wit some lofe 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 side. If Mævius fcribble in Apollo's Ipite, There are who judge still worse than he can write.
Some have at firit for wits, then poets, past, Turn’d critics rext, and prov'd plain fools at lait. Vol. I.