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Jam "Saliare Numa carmen qui laudat, et illud, Quod mecum ignorat, solus vult scire videri; Ingeniis non ille favet, plauditque sepultis, Nostra sed impugnat, nos nostraque lividus odit.

*Quòd si tam Græcis novitas invisa fuisset, Quam nobis; quid nunc esset vetus ? aut quid ha

Quod legeret tereretque viritim publicus usus ?

Ut primum positis nugari Græcia bellis
Capit, et in vitium fortunâ labier æquả ;
Nunc athletarum studiis, nunc arsit ’equorum :


Ver. 140. luxury with Charles restored ;] He says properly restored, because the luxury he brought in, was only the revival of that which had been practised in the reigns of his father and grandfather.

Warburton. It was more than a revival. Warton. Ver. 142. A verse of the Lord Lansdown. Pope.

Ver. 143. in horsemanship to excel,- And every flowery courtier writ romance.] The Duke of Newcastle's book of Horsemanship: the Romance of Parthenissa by the Earl of Orrery, and most of the French Romances translated by persons of quality. Pope.

How deep this infection then reached, may be seen (but not without surprise) from the famous George Lord Digby's translating the three first books of Cassandra. Neither philosophy, public business, nor the bigotry of religion, could keep him (when the folly was become fashionable) from an amusement fit only for boys and girls.

Warburton. Astræa, by Honorè d'Urfé, was the best of these high Romances, the first volume of which was published 1610, and dedicated to Henry the Fourth. Boileau has written a Dialogue in the manner of Lucian, full of wit and pleasantry, to expose the High Romance of Gomberville, Calprenade, and De Scuderi, tom. iii.

Warton. Ver. 146. And every flowery courtier writ romance.] The rise and progress of the several branches of literary science is one of


p. 1.

He, who to seem more deep than you or I,
Extols old bards, or "Merlin's prophecy,
Mistake him not; he envies, not admires,
And to debase the sons, exalts the sires.
'Had ancient times conspired to disallow 135
What then was new, what had been ancient now!
Or what remain'd, so worthy to be read
By learned critics of the mighty dead?

'In days of ease, when now the weary sword Was sheath’d, and luxury with Charles restored, 140 In every taste of foreign courts improved,

All, by the king's example lived and loved.” Then peers grew proud in 'horsemanship to excel, Newmarket's glory rose, as Britain's fell, The soldier breath'd the gallantries of France, 145 And every flowery courtier writ romance.


the most curious parts of the history of the human mind; and yet it is that which, amongst us, is least attended to. This of fictitious history, or the Fable, is not below our notice. The close connexion which every individual has with all that relates to Man in general, strongly inclines us to turn our attention on human affairs, in preference to most other pursuits, and eagerly to wait the course and issue of them.

But as the progress of human actions is too slow to gratify our curiosity, observant men very early contrived to satisfy our impatience, by the invention of history, which, by recording the principal circumstances of past facts, and laying them close together in a continued narration, kept the mind from languishing, and gave constant exercise to its reflections.

But as it commonly happens, that in all indulgent refinements on our satisfactions, the procurers to our pleasures run into excess, so it happened here. Strict matters of fact, however delicately dressed up, soon grew too insipid to a taste stimulated by


Marmoris aut eboris fabros aut æris amavit;
Suspendit "pictâ vultum mentemque tabellâ ;


the luxury of art: Men wanted something of more poignancy, to quicken and enforce a jaded appetite. Hence in the politer ages, those feigned histories relating the quick turns of capricious fortune; and in the more barbarous, the ROMANCES, abounding with the false provocative of enchantment and prodigies.

But satiety, in things unnatural, brings on disgust. And the reader at length began to see, that too eager a pursuit after adventures had drawn him from what first engaged his attention, MAN and his ways, into the fairy walks of phantoms and chimeras. And now, those who had run furthest after these delusions, were the first to stop short and recover themselves. For the next species of fiction, which took its name from its Novelty, was of Spanish invention. These presented us with something of humanity: but in a forced unnatural state. For as every thing before had been conducted by necromancy, so all, now, was managed by intrigue. And though this humanity had indeed a kind of life, it had yet, as in its infancy, nothing of manners. On which account, those who could not penetrate into the ill constitution of its plan, grew, however, disgusted at the dryness of the conduct, and want of ease in the catastrophe.

The avoiding of these defects gave rise to the HEROICAL RoMANCES of the French, here ridiculed by our poet; in which, some celebrated story of antiquity was so disguised by modern fable and invention, as was just sufficient to shew that the contrivers of them neither knew how to lie nor speak truth. In these vo-luminous extravagancies, love and honour supplied the place of life and manners. But the over-refinement of Platonic sentiments always sinks into the dregs of the gentle passion. Thus, in attempting a more natural representation of it, in the little AMATORY Novels which succeeded those heavier volumes, though the writers avoided the dryness of the Spanish intrigue, and the extravagance of the French heroism, yet, by giving too natural a picture of their subject, they introduced a worse evil than a corruption of taste.

At length this great people (to whom, it must be owned, every branch of science has been infinitely obliged) hit upon the true se


Then ‘marble, soften'd into life, grew warm,
And yielding metal flow'd to human form:
Lely on animated canvas stole
The sleepy eye, that spoke the melting soul. 150


cret by which alone a deviation from fact and reality, in the commerce of Man, could be really amusing to an improved mind, or useful to promote that improvement. And this was by a faithful and chaste copy of Life and MANNERS.

In this species of writing, Mr. de Marivaux in France, and Mr. FIELDING in England, stand the foremost; and by enriching it with the best part of the comic art, may be said to have brought it to its perfection. But the rage of appetite for these amusements, which succeeded, and the monstrous things that now serve for our entertainment, will put us in mind of a story which Plutarch tells of Cæsar; who observing certain barbarians at Rome, caressing young puppy dogs and apes, asked if the women bred no children amongst those strangers, that they were so fond of these grotesque resemblances.—Yet, amidst all this nonsense, when things were at the worst, we have been lately entertained with what I will venture to call a master-piece, in the Fable; and of a new species likewise. The piece I mean, is THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO. The scene is laid in Gothic chivalry; where a beautiful imagination, supported by strength of judgment, has enabled the author to go beyond his subject, and effect the full purpose of the ancient tragedy; that is, to purge the passions by pity and terror, in colouring as great and harmonious as in any of the best dramatic writers.

Warburton. If the author of the foregoing remarks had lived in these days, he would have seen a series of productions, from the pen single writer, delineating human life and manners, not merely as they appear


any one age or country, but as they have existed in different

ages and countries; and that with a degree of truth and nature which presents them to our imagination in all the features of reality, and has never been exceeded, except by Shakespear himself.

Ver. 149. Lely on animated canvas] If Wycherley in his comedies had nature, says Mr. Walpole, it is nature stark naked.

of a

Nunc tibicinibus, nunc est gavisa tragedis :

"Sub nutrice puella velut si luderet infans, Quod cupidè petiit, maturè plena reliquit. Quid placet, aut odio est, quod non mutabile cre

das ? Hoc paces habuere bonæ, ventique secundi.

* Romæ dulce diu fuit, et solenne, reclusâ Manè domo vigilare, clienti promere jura ; Scriptos Snominibus rectis expendere nummos; 'Majores audire, minori dicere, per quæ Crescere res posset, minui damnosa libido.



"The painters of that time veiled it but little more ; Sir Peter Lely scarce saves appearances but by a bit of fringe or embroidery. His nymphs, generally reposed on the turf, are too wanton and too magnificent to be taken for any thing but maids of ho

Yet fantastic as his compositions seem, they were pretty much in the dress of the times, as is evident by a Puritan tract in the year 1678, intitled, Just and Reasonable Reprehensions of Naked Breasts and Shoulders.”

When Oliver Cromwell sat to Sir Peter Lely, he said to him while sitting : “Mr. Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all ; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and every thing as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.”

Warton. Ver. 150. The sleepy eye,] This charming line bears a wonderful resemblance to one in an exquisite Greek epigram of Antipater, which it is not probable Pope could have seen:

Ητακέραις λευσσάσα κοραίς μαλακωτέρον υπνω. .
Liquescentibus tuens oculis mollius somno.

Warton. Ver. 151. all was love and sport,] The Memoirs of Grammont, without Burnet's History, would be alone a sufficient monument of the unexampled and coarse corruption and debauchery of the Court of Charles the Second, who diffused a taste, not only for


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