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Helt. Paris and Troilus, you have both said.
young men, whom Aristotle thought Unfit to hear moral philosophy: (21)
(20) Paris and Troilus, you have both said well;
And on the cause and question now in haid
Huve glojjex', but fuperficially.) I can never think that: the Poet expressed himself thus: 'tis obsurd to say, that: people have talked well, and yet but superficially at the same time. I have ventured to fubstitute a disjunctive instead of the copulative, by which we gain this commodious fenfe : You have argued very well in the general, but have glozed. too imperficially upon the particular question in debate. (21)- -- hot much
Unlike young men, whom graver fages thought :
Unfit to bear mural philosophy.] This is a sophisticated reading first of Mr Rowe, and afterwards of Mr Pope. I had objected that this was an exception to Mr Pope's rule laid down in his preface, that "the various readings are fairly put in the margin, so that every one may compare them; and those, he has preferred into the text, are conItantly ex fide codicum, upon authority.” Forgraver fages, I said, was preferred into the text without any authority, and that all the printed copies read the passage, as I have restored it in the text. To this Mr l'ope caviled, that Mr Rowe had made the alteration, so that I was mistaken in saying that no edition had it fo.. But is an arbitrary, undefended alteration an authority? I would not have. Mr Pope take it as too high a compliment, when I tell him I look upon his and Mr Rowe's editions of Shakespeare of one and the faine authority. But to come to the justification of the text
'Tis certain, indeed, that Aristotle was at least eight hun.. dred years subsequent in time to Hector; and therefore the Poet makes a reniarkable innovation upon chronology. But Mr Pope will have this to be one of those palpable blunders which the illiteracy of the first publithers of his works has fathered on the Poet’s memory; and is of opinion it could not be of our Author's penning, it not being at all cedible that these could be the errors of any man who had.
The reasons, you alledge, do more conduce
the least tincture of a fchool, or the least conversation with such as had. ies'Twas for this reason, and to felier our Author from such an absurdity, that Mr Pope expunged the name of Aristotle, and substituted in its place Mr Rowe's --gravier Joiges. But, with submillion, even herein he made at beft but half a cure. If the Poet must be fettered down trictly the chronology of things, it is every whit as abiurd for He&tor to talk of philosophy, as for him to talk of AriStorle. We have fufficient proofs that Pythagoras was the first who invented the word philosophy, and called bivielf Philosopher. And he was near fix hundred years after the date of Hector, even froin his beginning to flouri0r. "Tis true, the thing which we now understand by `philosophy, was then known; but it was only till then called knowledge and wisdom. But to dismiss this point, I believe, this anachronilin of our Poet (and, perhaps, the greatest part of the others he is guilty of) was the effect of poetic licence in him, rather than ignorance.
It has been very familiar with the poets, of the stage especially, upon a túpposition that their audience were not to exactly informed in chronology, to anticipate the mese tion of persons and things, before either the firit were born, or the latter chought of. Shakespeare, again in this play, compares the nerves of Ajax with thofe of bull-bearing Milo of Crotona, who was not in being till fix hundred years after that Greck, and was a disciple of Pythagoras. Again, Pandarus, at the conclusion of the play, talks of a Wischester-goufe; indeed, it is in an address to the audience, and then there may be an allowance, and greater latitude for going out of character. In Coriola, us, as I have observed in the proper place, Menenius talks of Alexander the Great and Gaien. And the very hero of that play complains of the grievance that he inuli stoop to, in begging voices of Dick and Hob; names which dare say Mr Pope does not imagine that Shakespeare believed were ever heard of by thai Roman. From his many plays founded on our Englim annals, and the many points of history accurately tranimit. ted down in them, I suppose it must be confessed that he was intimately versed in that part of reading. Yet in his King Lear, he has ventured to make Edgar talk of the Cure feu, a thing not knowo in Britain till the Norman invaliun.
Than to make up a free determination
Nor have these liberties been taken alone by Shakespeare, among our own poets. In the Humourous Lieutenant of Beaumont and Fietcher, all the first characters of which play are, the immediate successors of Alexander the Great, Demetrius, Prince of Macedon, comes out of his chamber with a pistol in his hand, above one thousand five hundred years before fire-arms were ever thought of. So; in the Oedipus of Dryden and Lee, there is a mention of the machines in the theatre at Athens, though neither plays nor theatres were so much as known to the world till above five hundred years after that Prince's death. And yet I dare say, neither.Beaumont nor Fletcher ever fuppoíed, or thought to make their audiences believe that pistols were used in Demetrius's time, nor were Dryden and Lee so ignorant in dramatic chrono. logy, as to suppose tragedy of as early a date as Oedipis.
But that the pocts of our own nation may be justified in these liberties by the examples of the antients, I'll throw in a few instances of the like fort from their predeceflors in the art at Greece and Rome. The Anachronisms of Eschylus [ Thall reserve to my edition of that poet. The great Sophocles, in his Electra, fuppies that. Oreltes was thrown from his chariot and killed at che Pythian games; which ganies, as the scholiaft teils us; were not instituted will fix hundred years afterwards by Triptolem. 118. : And Euripides: in his Pbærilæ, (the subject of which is the invasion of Thebes hy Polysices and the Argives) makes Tiresias talk of his giving the victory to Athens against Eumolpus; though Eumolpus's war against Erechtheus was no less than four generations elder than the Thelvan war. Frequent instances occur in Athen&.!s, that thew, beyond exception, how free the comic poets made with chronology. Alexis, in his comedy called Hefione, introduces Hercules drinking out of a Therio clean cup. Now this was a fpecies of cups, invented byy
A a 3
Have ears more deaf than adders, to the voice
Thericles a Corini hian potter, who was contemporary with Aristophanes, above eight hundred years after the period of Hercules Anaxandrides, in his Protesilaus, a hero that was killed by Hector, brings in Hercules again, and talks of }phicrates the Athenian general, and Cotys the libracian King, both living in the Poet's own days. "And Diphilus, in his Sapphi, makes Archilochus and Hipponax both addreis that poetical lady, though the first was dead a century before ilie was born, and though she was dead and rotten before the latter was born. To add but to instances from the Latin Poets; Seneca, in liis tragedy called Here cules Furens, makes the chorus talk of people flocking to the entertainments of a new theatre; though 'tis evideri, no theatres were as then built or thought of; and Plautus in his Amphitryon, makes Blepharo talk of golden Philips, a money coined by Alexander's father near nine hundred years after the days of Amphitryon.
If these instances of vokintary tranfgrefsion in time may go any way towards acquitting our Puet for thie' like inconlistencies, i'll az any time engage to strengthen them with ten times the number, fetched from the writings of the best pvefs, antieui and modern, foreign and domestic.
Is this in way of truth; yet ne’ertheless,
Troi. Why, there you touched the life of our
Helt. I am yours, You valiant off-spring of great Priamus.I have a roisting chailenge fent amongst The dull and factious nobles of the Greeks, Will Itrike amazement to their drowsy spirits, I was adrertised their great general fept, Whilft emulation in the arıny crept : This, I prefume, will wake him. [Exeunt.
SCENE, before Achilles's Tent in the Grecian Camp.
Enter THERSITE S folus. How now, Thersites? what, lost in the labyrinth of thy fury? Thall the elephant Ajax carry it thus? he beats me, and I rail at him: 0 worthy satisfacrion ! 'would it were otherwise; that I could beat him, whilst he railed at ine. Sfoot, I'll learn to conjure and raise devils, but I'll see some issue of my ipiteful execrations. Then there's Achilles, a rare