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In Poetry, he hath appeared under a hundred different names, of which we may one day give a Catalogue.
In Politicks, his Writings are of a peculiar Cast, for the most part Ironical, and the Drift of them often so delicate and refin'd as to be mistaken by the vulgar. He once went fo far as to write a Persuasive to people to eat their own Children, which was so little understood as to be taken in ill
part He has often written against Liberty in the name of Freeman and Algernon Sydney, in vindication of the Measures of Spain under that of Raleigh, and in praise of Corruption under those of Cato and Publicola.
It is true, that at his last departure from England, in the Reign of Queen Anne, apprehending left any of these might be perverted to the Scandal of the weak, or Encouragement of the flagitious, he cast them all, without mercy, into a Bog-house near St. James's. Some however have been with great diligence recover'd, and fish'd up with a hook and line, by the Ministerial Writers, which make at present the great Ornaments of their works.
Whatever he judged beneficial to Mankind, he constantly communicated (not only during his stay among us, but ever since his absence) by some method or other in which Oftentation had no part. With what incredible Modesty he concealed himself, is known to numbers of those to whom he addressed sometimes Epistles, sometimes Hints, sometimes whole Treatises, Advices to Friends Projects to First Ministers, Letters to Members of Parliament, Accounts to the Royal Society, and innumerable others.
All these will be vindicated to the true Author, in the Course of these Memoirs. I
may venture to say they cannot be unacceptable to any, but to those, who will appear too much concerned as Plagiaries, to be admitted as Judges. Wherefore. we warn the publick, to take particular notice of all such as manifest any indecent Passion at the appearance of this work, as Persons most certainly involved in the Guilt.
The End of the First Book.
Π Ε Ρ Ι Β Α Θ Ο Υ Σ: :
Of the ART of
SINKING in POETRY.
Written in the Year 1727.
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Π Ε Ρ Ι Β Α Θ Ο Υ Σ.
CH A P. I.
T hath been long (my dear Countrymen) the
subject of my concern and surprize, that whereas numberless Poets, Critics, and Orators have compiled and digested the Art of ancient Poesy, there hath not arisen among us one person so publick-spirited, as to perform the like for the ·Modern. Although it is universally known, that our every-way industrious Moderns, both in the Weight of their writings, and in the Velocity of their judgmerits, do so infinitely excel the said Ancients.
Nevertheless, too true it is, that while a plain and direct road is paved to their fos, or Sublime; no tract has been yet chalk'd out, to arrive at our Babos, or Profund. The Latins, as they came between the Greeks and Us, make use of the word Altitudo, which implies equally height and depth. Wherefore considering with no small grief, how many promising Genius's of this age are wandering (as I may fay) in the dark without a guide, I have undertaken this arduous but necessary task, to lead them as it were by the hand, and step by step, the gentle down-hill way to the Bathos; the bottom, the end, the central point, the non plus ultra, of true Modern Poely!
When I consider" (my dear Countrymen) the extent, fertility, and populousness of our LowI M 3