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A ftrong Perfume, as in his Car he rode,
Of Alla Fœtida proclaim'd the God.
Their Feuds forgot, the Doctors, with Amaze And rev'rent Awe, on the Proceffion gaze.
V. 106. Aftrong Perfume, as in his Car he rode,
Of Affa Foetida proclaim'd the God.
Affa Fetida, vulgarly called Devil's Dung; Abundance of which is found about the Peak in Derbyhire. [See Cotton's Natural History of that Place.]
EPISTLE TO D. GARRICK, Efq. by Robert Lloyd. M. A.
Quod fi tam Graijs, Novitas invifa fuisset,
Quam nobis, quid nunc effet vetus? Idem.
HANKS to much Industry and Pains,
Much Twifting of the Wit and Brains,
Tranflation has unlock'd the Store,
And spread abroad the Grecian Lore,
While Sophocles his Scenes are grown,
E'en as familiar as our own.
No more fhall Tafte prefume to fpeak,
From its Enclosures in the Greek;
But, all its Fences broken down,
Lie at the Mercy of the Town.
Critic, I hear thy Torrent rage,
'Tis Blafphemy against that Stage,
Which Efchylus his Warmth defign'd,
* Euripides his Taste refin'd,
•And Sophocles his laft Direction,
Stamp'd with the Signet of Perfection.'
Perfection's but a Word ideal,
And bears about it nothing real,
And Excellence was never hit
In the first Effays of Man's Wit.
Shall ancient Worth, or ancient Fame
Preclude the Moderns from their Claim?
Muft they be Blockheads, Dolts, and Fools,
Who write not up to Grecian Rules?
Who tread in Bufkins or in Socks,
Muft they be damn'd as Hetorodox,
Nor Merit of good Works prevail,
Except within the claffic Pale?
'Fis Stuff that bears the Name of Knowledge,
Not current half a Mile from College;
Where half their Lectures yield no more
(Befure I fpeak of Times of Yore)
Than juft a niggard Light, to mark
How much we all are in the Dark.
As Rufhlights in a fpacious Room,
Juft burn enough to form a Gloom.
When Shakespeare leads the Mind a Dance,
From France to England, hence to France,
Talk not to me of Time and Place;
I own I'm happy in the Chace.
Whether the Drama's here or there,
'Tis Nature, Shakespeare every where.
The Poet's Fancy can create,
Contract, enlarge, annihilate,
Bring paft and prefent close together,
In Spite of Diftance, Seas, or Weather.
And fhut up in a fingle Action,
What coft whole Years in its Tranfaction.
So, Ladies at a Play, or Rout,
Can flirt the Universe about,
Whofe geographical Account
Is drawn and pictur'd on the Mount.
Yet, when they pleafe, contract the Plan,
And fhut the World up in a Fan.
True Genius, like Armida's Wand,
Can raise the Spring from barren Land.
While all the Art of Imitation,
Is pilf'ring from the first Creation;
Tranfplanting Flowers with useless Toil,
Which wither in a foreign Soil.
As Confcience often fets us right,
By its interior active Light,
Without th' Assistance of the Laws
So combat in the moral Caufe ;
To Genius, of itself difcerning,
Without the myftic Rules of Learning,
Can from its present Intuition,
Strike at the Truth of Compofition.
Yet thofe who breathe the claffic Vein,
Enlifted in the mimic Train,
Who ride their Steed with double Bit,
Not run away with by their Wit,
Delighted with the Pomp of Rules,
The Specious Pedantry of Schools
(Which Rules, like Crutches, ne'er became
Of any Ufe but to the Lame)
Pursue the Method fet before 'em,
Talk much of Order and Decorum,
Of Probability of Fiction,
Of Manners, Ornament, and Diction,
And with a Jargon of hard Names,
(A Privilege which Dulnefs claims)
And merely us'd by way of Fence,
To keep out plain and common Sense,
Extol the Wit of antient Days,
The fimple Fabric of their Plays;
Then from the Fable, all fo chaste,
Trick'd up in antient-modern Tafte,
So mighty gentle all the While,
In fuch a fweet defcriptive Stile,
While Chorus marks the fervile Mode
With fine Reflexion, in an Ode,
Present you with a perfect Piece,
Form'd on the Model of old Greece.
Come, prithee Critic, fet before us,
The Ufe and Office of a Chorus.
What! filent! Why then, I'll produce
Its Services from antient Ufe.
'Tis to be ever on the Stage, Attendants upon Grief or Rage,
To be an arrant Go-between,
Chief-Mourner at each difmal Scene;
Shewing its Sorrow, or Delight,
By fhifting Dances, left and right.
Not much unlike our modern Notions,
Adagio or Allegro Motions;
To watch upon the deep Diftrefs,
And Plaints of Royal Wretchedness ;
And when, with Tears, and Execration,
They've pour'd out all their Lamentation,
And wept whole Cataracts from their Eyes,
To call on Rivers for Supplies,
And with their Hais and Hees and Hoes
To make a Symphony of Woes.
Doubtlefs the Antients want the Art
To ftrike at once upon the Heart.
Or why their Prologues of a Mile
In fimple call it-humble Stile,
In unimpaffion'd 'Phrafe to fay
• 'Fore the beginning of this Play,
C I, hapless Polydore, was found
By Fishermen, or others, drown'd!
Or, I, a Gentleman, did wed,
The Lady I wou'd never bed,
Great Agamemnon's royal Daughter,
Who's coming hither to draw Water.'
Or need the Chorus to reveal
Reflexions, which the Audience feel;
And jog them, left Attention fink,
To tell them how and what to think?
Oh, where's the Bard, who at one View,
Cou'd look the whole Creation through,
Who travers'd all the human Heart,
Without Recourfe to Grecian Art?
He fcorn'd the Modes of Imitation,
Of Altering, Pilfering, and Tranflation,