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common places of artificial courtship. They are commonly smooth and easy; but have little nature, and little sentiment.
His imitation of Horace on Lucilius is not inelegant or unhappy. In the reign of Charles the Second began that adaptation, which has since been very frequent, of ancient poetry to present times, and perhaps few will be found where the parallelism is better preserved than in this. The versification is indeed sometimes careless, but it is sometimes vigorous and weighty.
The strongest effort of his muse is his poem upon Nothing. He is not the first who has chofen this barren topic for the boast of his fertility. There is a poem called Nibil in Latin by Palërat, a poet and critick of the sixteenth centüry in France; who, in his own epitaph, expresses his zeal for good poetry thus:
-Molliter ossa quiescent Sint modo carminibus non onerata malis.
His works are not common, and therefore I shall subjoin his verses." . In examining this performance, Nothing must be considered as having not only a negative but a kind of positive signification; as, I need not fear thieves, I have nothing; and nothing is a very powerful protector. In the first part of the sentence it is taken negatively; in the second it is taken positively, as an agent. In one of Boileau's lines it was a question, whether he Thould use a rien faire, or a ne rien faire; and the first was preferred, because it gave rien a sense in fome sort positive. Nothing can be a subject only in its pofitive sense, and such a sense is given it in the first line:
Nothing, thou elder brother ev'n to shade.
In this line, I know not whether he does not allude to a curious book de Umbra, by Wowerus, which, having told the qualities of Shade, concludes with a poem in which are these lines : Jam primum terram validis circumspiceclaustris Suspensam totam, decus admirabile mundi Terrasque tractusque maris, camposque li
quentes. Aeris, & vasti laqueata palatia cel Omnibus UMI
The positive sense is generally preserved, with great skill, through the whole poem ; though fometimes, in a subordinate sense, the negative nothing is injudiciously mingled. Passerat confounds the two fenfes.
Another of his most vigorous pieces is his Lampoon on Sir Car Scroop, who, in a poem called The Praise of Satire, had some lines like thefe * :
He who can push into a midnight fray
This was meant of Rochester, and drew from him those furious verses; to which Scroop made in reply an epigram, ending with these · lines : Thou canst hurt no man's fame with thy
Of the satire against Man, Rochester can only claim what remains when all Boileau's part is taken away.
In all his works there is sprightliness and vigour, and every where may be found token of a mind which study might have carried to excellence; and what more can be expected from a life spent in ostentatious contempt of regularity, and ended before the abilities of many other men began to be displayed ? Poema CL. V. Joannis Passeratit, Regij in
Academia Parisiensi Professoris. Ad ornatissimum virum ERRICVM MEMMIVM.
Janus adest, festæ pofcunt fua dona Kalendæ, Munus abeft feftis quod possim offerre Kalendis. Siccine Castalius nobis exaruit humor? Usque adeò ingenii nostri est exhausta facultas, Immunem ut videat redeuntis janitor anni? Quod nufquã est potius nova per vestigia quærā.
Ecce autem partes dum sese versat in omnes Invenit mea Musa nihil, ne despice munus. Nam Nihil eft gemmis, nihil eft pretiofius
auro, Huc animum, hucigitur vultus adverte benignos : Res nova narratur quæ nulli audita priorum, Ausonii & Graii dixerunt cætera vates, Aufoniæ indictum nihil eft Græcæque Ca
In bello fanctum nihil est, Martisque tu
multu; Justum in pace nihil, NIHIL est in fædere
tutum. Felix cui nihil eft, (fuerant hæc yota Tibullo) Non timet insidias : fures, incendia temnit: Sollicitas sequitur nullo subjudice lites. Ille ipse invictis qui subjicit omnia fatis Zenonis sapiens, nihil admiratur & optat. Socrațicique gregis fuit ista scientia quondam, Scire nihil, studio cui nunc incumbitur uni. Nec quicquam in ludo mavult didicisse juventus, Ad magnas quia ducit opes, & culmen ho: norum. Nosce nihil, nosces fertur quod Pythagoreæ Grano hærere fabæ, cui vox adjuncta negantis. Multi Mercurio freti duce viscera terræ Pura liquefaciunt fimul, & patrimonia miscent, Arcano instantes operi, & carbonibus atris, Qui tandem exhausti damnis, fractique labore, Inveniunt atque inventum NIHIL, usque re
quirunt.' Hoc dimetiri non ulla decempeda poffit; Nec numeret Libycæ numerum qui callet
arenæ : Et Phæbo ignotum nihil est, nihil altius
astris. Túque, tibi licet eximium fit mentis acumen, Omnem in naturam penetrans, & in abdita re
rum, Pace tua, Memmi, nihil ignorare vidêris. Sole tamen NIHIL est, & puro clarius igne. Tange nihil,' dicesque NIHIL fine corpore
tangi. Cerne nihil, çerni dices nihil absque colore, Surdum audit loquitúrque nihil fine voce,
Absque ope pennarum, & graditur fine cruribus
ullis. Absque loco motuque nihil per inane vaga tur. Humano generi utilius NIHIL arte medendi. Ne rhombos igitur, neu Thessala murmura
tentet Idalia vacuum trajectus arundine pectus, Neu legat Idæo Dictæum in vertice gramen. Vulneribus fævi nihil auxiliatur amoris. Vexerit & quemvis trans mæstas portitor
undas, Ad superos imo nihil hunc revocabit ab orco. Inferni nihil inflectit præcordia regis, Parcarúmque colos, & inexorable pensum. Obruta Phlegræis campis Titania pubes Fulmineo sensit Nihil esse potentius ictu : Porrigitur magni nihil extra mænia mundi : Diíque nihil metuunt. Quid longo çarmine
plura Commemorem? virtute NIHIL præftantius ipsa, Splendidius nihil est; Nihil eft Jove denique
majus. Sed tempus finem argutis imponere nugis: Ne tibi si multa laudem mea carmina charta, De NIHILO NIHILI pariant fastidia versus.