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EDMUND CURLL, TO THE READER.
There has not, as yet, been any second part of this work published, nor do I believe was ever intended. But my
friend Anthony Hammond, Esq. upon reading it over, sent me examples to three more rules of his own making, viz.
Rule 35. The Rule of Blunder is, when any ope under the notion of a mistake, makes a pun which he may take notice of himself if the company do not; ex. gr.
Captain J— said to his kinsman, who was going to be married, “O, cousio, I hear you are about to halter your condition.” The company not taking notice of it; the captain corrected himself, “ alter,” says he, “I should have said,"
Rule 36. The Rule of Sound is when the puo cobsists in the sound of the words only, without any
relation to the thing signified; ex. gr.
He who translated that ingenious posy of a wedding ring, “ Qui dedit, se dedit;" when “ he did it, she did it.”
Or, like that of the country parson, whom a Roundhead colonel thought to puzzle by asking him whether he could rhyne to "hydrops, nocthycorax, thorax, et mascula vervex. He immediately auswered, “land tax, and army tax, excise, and general Fairfax.”
Rule 37. The Rule of Equivocation is the innocent use of this Jesuitical Art; ex. gr.
As the famous Daniel Purcell, a nonjuror, was dabbling along the streets in the dirt and rain, and a friend of his passing by asked him why he did not take a coach
-“ Alas," says he, “ this is not a reign for me to take a coach in.”'
Another time, one of Daniel's friends telling him that when King George landed at Greenwich, he heard, he had a fall view of him, for that he stood next to him at his coming ashore. Therefore, says he, you must know him. “ Ay,” replied Daniel, “ though I know him very well, yet I can't swear to him."
Lastly, Daniel knocking on a 30th of January, at the Crown Tavern door in the Strand, was answered by the drawer, through the wicket, that he could not let him in, because it was Fast-day, and his master and mistress were gone to church, “D
- your master and mistress,” says he, “can't they be content to fast themselves, but they must make their doors fast?"
The learned Mr. Charles Barnard,* sergeant surgeon to Queen Aone, being very severe upon parsons pluralities : A reverend and worthy divine heard him a good while with patience; but at length took him up with this question, “Why do you, Mr. Sergeant Barnard, rail thus at pluralities, who have always so many sine-cures upon your own hands ?”
Dr. Lloyd,t bishop of Worcester, so eminent for his prophecies, when by his solicitation and compliance at court he got removed from a poor Welsh bishopric to a rich English one, a reverend Dean of the church said,
* Famous for his capital library. N.
+ See the Journal to Stella, July 1, 1712.-Dr. William Lloyd, successively bishop of St. Asaph, of Coventry and Lichfield, and of Wopcester, was born Aug. 18, 1627; and died Aug. 30, 1717, in the 91st year of his age, without losing the use of his understanding,” says* the writer of his article in the Biographia Britaonica. Bishop Burnet tells us,
he was the most indefatigable in his industry, and the most judicious in his observations, of any he knew, and one of the greatest masters of style then living." N.
- That he found bis brother Lloyd spelt Prophet witte ao f*
THE HISTORY OF POETRY,
IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND.*
In obedience to your commands, I here send you the following short essay toward a History of Poetry in England and Ireland. At first it was a science we only began to CHAF SIR. A hundred years after, we attempt ed to translate out of the Psalms, but could not our STERN-HOLD. Ia Queen Elizabeth's reigo, I thiok, there was but one DI-SPENSER of good verses; for bis: patron, though a great man, is HID NIGH by the length of time. Yet, a little before her death, we attempted to deal in tragedy, and began to sĦAKE SPEARS; which was pursued uuder King James the First by three great poets, in one of them many a line so strong, that you might make a BEAM ON’T; the second, indeed, gives us sometimes but FLAT CHEER, and the third is BEN-diug a little to stiffness.
In the reign of King Charles the First, there was a new succession of poets; one of them, though seldom read, I am very fond of; he has so much salt in his compositions, that
would thiok he had been used to SUCK-LING: as to his friend the author of Godibert, I'D AVE AN AUNT write better. I say nothing against your favourite, though some censure him for writing too:
* This has been printed as the dean's, and is likely to be genuine. See the letters to Lord. Pembroke, &c. in a future page of this var lume. N.
COOL¥; but he had a rival whose happier genius made him stand like a WALL OR a pillar against censure.
During the usurpation, we fell into burlesque; and I think whoever reads Hudibras, cannot BUT LEER.
I have com ONE more, who travestied Virgil, though not equal to the former.
After the restoration, poets became very numerous : the chief, whose fame is louder than a MILL-TONE, must never be forgot. And here I must observe, that poets in those days loved retirement so much, that sometimes they lived in dens. One of them in a DRY-DEN: another called his den his village, or DEN-HAM; and I am informed that the sorry fellow, who is now laureat, affects to usE-DENS still: but, to return from this digression, we were then famous for tragedy and comedy ; the author of Venice Preserved is seldom o'T AWAY; yet he who wrote the Riyal Queens, before he lost his senses, sometimes talk. ed MAD-LEE. Another, who was of this kingdom, went into England, because it is more soUTHERN; and he wrote tolerably well. I say nothing of the Satirist, with his OLD-DAM' verses. As for comedy, the Plain Dealer, w'ICH EARLY came into credit, is allowed on all hands an excellent piece: he had a dull contemporary, who sometimes showed humour; but his colouring was bad, and he could not SHADE-WELL. Sir George, in my opinion, outdid them all, and was sharp at EITHER
The duke also excellent, who took a BOOK IN GAME, and turned into ridicule, under the name of The Rehearsal. It is, indeed, no wonder to find poetry thrive under the reign of that prince; when, by one of his great favourites, who was likewise an excellent poet, there was a DORE-SET open for all men of wit. Perhaps you WILL-MUTTer, that I have left out the earl of Rochester; but I never was one of his admirers.
Upon the revolution, poetry seemed to decline; however, I shall pry o’r as many poets as I can remember. Mr. Montague affected to be a patron of wit, and his house was the poets' HALL-I-fax for several years, which one of them used to STEP-NIGH every day. Another of them, who was my old acquaintance, succeeded well in comedy, but failed when he began to con GRAVE subjects. The rest came iu a row.
The author of the Dispensary had written nothing else valuable, and therefore is too small in the GARTH. But may not a man be allowed to ADD IS Own friend to the number? I mean, the author of Cato.
To mention those who are now alive, would be endless; I will therefore only venture to lay down one maxin, that a good poet, if he designs to TICKLE the world, must GAY and Young;. but, if he proposes to give us rational pleasure, he must be as grave as a POPE:
I am, sir,