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the subject; the third is elocution, or the art of cloathing and adorning that thought, to found and varied, in apt, fignificant, and sounding words : the quickness of the imagination is seen in the invention, the fertility in the fancy, and the accuracy in the expression. For the two first of these, Ovid is famous amongst the poets ; for the latter, Virgil. Ovid images more often the movements and affections of the mind, either combating between two contrary passions, or extremely discomposed by one. His words therefore are the least part of his care; for he pictures nature in disorder, with which the study and choice of words is inconfi. ftent. This is the proper wit of dialogue or discourse, and consequently of the drama, where all that is said is to be supposed the effect of sudden thought; which, though it excludes not the quickness of wit in repartees, yet admits not a too curious election of words, too frequent allusions, or use of tropes, or in fine any thing that shews remoteness of thought or labour in the writer. On the other side, Virgil speaks not so often to us in the person of another, like Ovid, but in his own : he relates almost all things as from himself, and thereby gains more liberty than the other, to express his thoughts with all the graces of elocution, to write more figuratively, and to confess as well the labour as the force of his imagination. Though he describes his Dido well and naturally, in the violence of her passions, yet he must yield in that to the Myrrha, the Biblis, the Althaea, of Ovid; for, as great an admirer of him as I am, I must acknowledge, that if I see not more of

their

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their souls than I fee of Dido's, at least I have a greater concernment for them : and that convinces me, that Ovid has touched those tender strokes more delicately than Virgil could. But when action or persons are to be described, when any such image is to be set before us, how bold, how masterly are the strokes of Virgil ! We see the objects he presents us with in their native figures, in their proper motions ; but so we see them, as our own eyes could never have beheld them so beautiful in themselves. We see the soul of the poet, like that universal one of which he speaks, informing and imoving through all his pictures :

-Totamque infusa per artus
“ Mens agitat molem, & magno se corpore miscet."
We behold him embellishing his images, as he makes
Venus breathing beauty upon her son Æneas."

lumenque juventa
Purpureum, & lætos oculis affârat honores :
Quale manus addunt ebori decus, aut ubi flavo

Argentum Pariusve lapis circumdatur auro.” See his Tempest, his Funeral Sports, his Combat of Turnus and Æneas; and in his Georgics, which I esteem the divinest part of all his writings, the Plague, the Country, the Battle of the Bulls, the Labour of the Bees, and those many other excellent iinages of nature, most of which are neither great in themselves, nor havc any natural ornament to bear them up: but the words wherewith he describes them are so excellent, that it might be well applied to him, which was said by Ovid,

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“Materiem superabat opus :" the very found of his words has often somewhat that is connatural to the subject ; and while we read him, we fit, as in a play, beholding the scenes of what he represents. To perform this, he made frequent use of tropes, which you know change the nature of a known word, by applving it to some other signification ; and this is it which Horace means in his epifle to the Piso's :

“ Dixeris egregiè, notun fi callida verbum “ Reddiderit junctura novum

But I am sensible I have presumed too far to entertain you with a rude discourse of that art which you both know so well, and put into practice with so much happiness. Yet, before I leave Virgil, I must own the vanity to tell you, and by you the world, that he has been my master in this poem: I have followed him every where, I know not with what success, but I am sure with diligence enough: my images are many of them copied from him, and the rest are imitations of him. My expressions also are aš near as the idioms of the two languages would adınit of in translation. And this, fir, I have done with that boldness, for which I will stand accountable to any of our little critics, who, perhaps, are no better acquainted with him than I am. Upon your first perusal of this poem, you have taken notice of some words, which I have innovated (if it be too bold for me to say refined) upon his Latin; which, as I offer not to introduce into English prose, so I hope they are neither improper, nor altogether inelegant in verse; and, in this, Horace will again de

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Et nova fi&taque nuper habebunt verba fidem, fi “ Græco fonte cadant, parcè detorta

The inference is exceeding plain : for if a Roman poet might have liberty to coin a word, supposing only that it was derived from the Greek, was put into a Latin termination, and that he used this liberty but seldom, and with modesty; how much more justly may I challenge that privilege to do it with the same prerequisites, from the best and most judicious of Latin writers ! In some places, where either the fancy or the words were his, or any other's, I have noted it in the margin, that I might not feem a plagiary ; in others I have neglected it, to avoid as well teliousness, as the affectation of doing it too often. Such descriptions or images well wrought, which I promise not for mine, are, as I have said, the adequate delight of heroic poesy; for they beget admiration, which is its proper object; as the images of the burlesque, which is contrary to this, by the same reason beget laughter; for the one shews nature beautified, as in the picture of a fair woman, which we all aclmire; the other shews her deformed, as in that of a lazar, or of a fool with diftorted face and antique gestures, at which we cannot forbear to laugh, because it is a deviation from na

But though the fame images serve equally for the Epic poely, and for the historic and panegyric, which are branches of it, yet a several sort of sculpture is to be used in them. If some of them are to be like those of Juvenal, 66 Stantės in curribus Æmi

« liani

ture.

“ liani,” heroes drawn in their triumphal chariots, and in their full proportion; others are to be like that of Virgil, Spirantia mollius æra :” there is somewhat more of softness and tenderness to be shewn in them. You will foon find I write not this without concern. Some, who have seen a paper of verses, which I wrote last

year to her Highness the Dutchess, have accused them of that only thing I could defend in them. They said, I did “humi serpere ;” that I wanted not only height of fanoy, but dignity of words, to set it off. I might well answer with that of Horace, “ Nunc

non erat his locus;" I knew I addressed them to a lady, and accordingly I affected the softness of expression, and the smoothness of measure, rather than the height of thought; and in 'what I did endeavour, it is no vanity to say I have succeeded. I detest arrogance ; but there is some difference betwixt that and a just defence. But I will not farther bribe your candor, or the reader's. I leave them to speak for me; and, if they can, to make out that character, not pretending to a greater, which I have given thein.

And now, fir, it is time I should relieve you from the tedious length of this account, You have better and more profitable employment for your hours, and I wrong the publick to detain you longer. In conclusion, I must leave my poem to you with all its faults, which I hope to find fewer in the printing by your emendations. I know you are not of the number of those, of whom the younger Pliny speaks; “Nec funt parum multi, qui carpere amicos fucs judicium vocant: " I an: rather

too

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