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chat any great genius who introduces poetry into a language, has a power to polish it, and of all the manners of speaking then in use, to settle that for poetical which he judges 'most adapted to the art. Take notice too, that HOMER has not only done this for necessity but for ornament, since he uses various dialects to humour his sense with sounds which are expressive of it. Thus much in behalf of my author to answer ZOILUS: as for myself, who deal with his followers, I must argue from necessity, that the word was stubborn, and would not ply to the quantities of an English verse, and therefore I altered it by the dialect we call poetical, which makes my line so much smoother, that I am ready to cry with their brother Lipfius, when he turned an O into an I, Vel ego me amo, vel me amavit Phoebus, quando hoc correxi. To this let me add a recrimination upon some of them : as first, fuch as choose words written after the manner of those who preceded the purest age of a language, without the necessity I have pleaded, as regundi for regendi, perduit for perdidit, which restoration of obfolete words deserves to be called a critical licence or dialect. 2dly, Those who pretending to verse without an ear, use the poetical dialect of abbreviation, so that the lines shall run the rougher for it. And, 3dly, Those who presume by their critical licences to alter the spellings of words ; an affectation which destroys the etymology of a language, and being
carried on by private hands for fancy or fashion, would be a thing we should never have an end of.
Book III. page 87. ver. 13. Nor Pallas, Jove.} I cannot, says Zoilus, but reflect upon this Speech of Mars, where a Mouse is opposed to the God of war, the Goddess of valour, the thunder of Jupiter, and all the Gods at once, but I rejoice to think that Pythagoras saw Homer's soul in hell hanging on a tree, and surrounded with serpents for what he said of the Gods. Thus he who hates fables answers one with another, and can rejoice in them when they flatter his envy. He appears at the head of his squadron of critics in the full spirit of one utterly devoted to a party ; with whom truth is a lie, or as bad as a lie, when it makes against him ; and false quota tions pass for truth, when they are necessary to a cause.
Book III. page 90. ver. 7. And a whole War. } Here, says Zoilus, is an end of a very foolifh poema of which by this time I have effectually convinced the world, and silenced all such for the future, who, like HOMER, write fables to which others find morals, characters whose justness is questioned, unnecessary digreffions, and impious episodes. But what assurance can fuch as ZOILUS have, that the world will ever be convinced against an established reputation, by such people whose faults in writing are so very notorious ? who judge against rules, affirm without reasons, and censure without manners ? who quote themselves for a fupport of their opinions, found their pride upon a learning in trifles, and their fuperiority uponi the claims they magifterially make ? who write of beauties in a harsh stile, judge of excellency with a lowness of spirit, and pursue their desire to decry it with every artifice of envy! There is no disgrace in being censured, where there is no credit to be favoured. But, on the contrary, envy gives a testimony of some perfection in another; and one who is attacked by many, is like a hero whom his enemies acknowledge for such, when they point all the spears of a battle against him. In short, an author who writes for every age, may even erect himfelf a monument of those stones which envy throws at him: while the critic who writes against bim can have no fame because he had no fuccess; or if he fancies he may fucceed, he should remember, that by the nature of his undertaking, he would but undermine his own foundation ; for he is to sink of course when the book which he writes against, and and for which alone he is read, is lost in disrepute or oblivion.