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our own, or foreign countries ; or to point out, now and then, a hidden beauty : but this should be done sparingly; for some compliment is to be paid to the reader's judgment : and surely, if any critics are contemptible, 'tis such as, with a foolish admiration, ever and anon are crying out; “ How fine! what a beautiful fen" timent ! what ordonnance of figures, &c !" For to admire, without a reason for admiration, tho' in a subject truly admirable, is a kind of madness; and not to admire at all, downright stupidity.
HE learned reader is not
ignorant of a privilege claimed by critics, to lengthen their notes sometimes into kind of dissertations : The following are of this nature, and therefore printed at the end.
Page 3. MEAN
EAN while the author's words are
either removed entirely out of the way, or permitted a place in some remote note, loaden WITH MISREPRESENTATIONS and ABUSE, &c.]
Dr. Bentley's foul play in this respect is moft notori. ous ; who, in order to make way for his emendations, will often drop the only, and true construction : the reader is mistaken if he thinks this done through ignorance. I will instance in a correction of a passage of Virgil, Aen. IV, 256: which, among many other corroctions, I chiefly make choice of, because some have been deceiv'd into an opinion of its superior excellency: and I will give it in his own words, from a note on a pallage of Horace, Lib. I. od. 34:
Hic primum paribus nitens Cyllenius alis
Materno veniens ab avo Cyllenia proles. " ubi quam multa merito vituperända fint vides. Volar, et
volabat : deinde in continuatis versibus ingratum “ auribus ojos olenevlor, volabat, secabat : ad quod evitan• dum vetuftiffimi aliquot codices apud Pierium mutato “ ordine sic versus collocant,
Haud aliter terras inter caelumque volabat
Litus arenosum et Libyae ventos que secabat. co ced nihil omnino proficiunt, aut locum adjuvant : adhuc * Ccta relinquitur virium omnium deterrimum, fecabat littus
« ventosque. Quid enim eft littus fecare, nifi littus arare
et effodere ? Quid autem hoc ad Mercurium volantem ? “ Nullus dubito quin fic fcripferit princeps poëtarum :
Haud aliter, terras inter caelumque, legebat
The first fault he finds is with voLABAT coming so quick after VOLAT. But this repetition is so far from a fault, that it has a peculiar beauty here ; for 'tis in the application of the fimile ; fo Milton IV, 189.
Or as a thief, &c.
More instances might be added from Homer, and Milton, and Virgil. The next fault is the rime volabat, fecabat : If there was any stop after volabat and secabat, fome answer or apology should be made. But there is actually no more jingle in those verses of Virgil, than in those of Milton, II, 220. This horror will grow mild, this darkness light ;
Befides what hope the never-ending fight-
Far worse to bear
Go then, thou mightieft in thy father's might.
For if the reader will turn to the places cited, he will find, that all this jingling sound of like endings is avoided by the verses running one into the other : and I have cited them bere in this unfair manner, as a parallel instance of