in low numbers short excursions tries: Content,. In wit, as tv genres essay nature, what affects our hearts. Most critics, fond of some subservient art, Still make the whole depend upon a part: They talk of principles, but notions prize, And all to one lov'd folly sacrifice. Who to a friend his faults can freely show, And gladly praise the merit of a foe? The Muse, whose early Voice you taught to Sing, Prescrib'd her Heights, and prun'd her tender Wing, (Her Guide now lost) no more attempts to rise, But in low Numbers short Excursions tries: Content, if hence th' Unlearned their Wants may view, The Learn'd reflect. No longer now that golden age appears, When patriarch wits surviv'd a thousand years: Now length of Fame (our second life) is lost, And bare threescore is all ev'n that can boast; Our sons their fathers' failing language see, And such as Chaucer is, shall. When first young Maro in his boundless mind A work t' outlast immortal Rome design'd, Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law, And but from Nature's fountains scorn'd to draw: But when t' examine ev'ry part he came, Nature and Homer were, he found, the.
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Joseph Addison and, richard Steele, who were then collaborating on, the Spectator. Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. Parties in wit attend on those of state, And public faction doubles private hate. Without good breeding, truth is disapprov'd; That only makes superior sense belov'd. If once right Reason drives that Cloud away, Truth breaks upon us with resistless Day; Trust not your self; but your Defects to know, Make use of ev'ry Friend-and ev'ry Foe. Most Criticks, fond of some subservient Art, Still make the Whole depend upon a Part, They talk of Principles, but Notions prize, And All to one lov'd Folly Sacrifice. Each Muse, in Leo's golden days, Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays! False Eloquence, like the Prismatic Glass, Its gawdy Colours spreads on ev'ry place; The Face of Nature we no more Survey, All glares alike, without Distinction gay: But true Expression, like th' unchanging Sun, Clears, and improves whate'er it shines upon, It gilds all Objects. You then whose judgment the right course would steer, Know well each ancient'S proper character; His fable, subject, scope in ev'ry page; Religion, country, genius of his age: Without all these at once before your eyes, Cavil you may, but never criticise.