Concludes that Attic Wit's extremely low;
And gives up Greece to Wotton and Perrault.
Our fhallow Language, fhallow'r Judges fay,
Can ne'er the Force of ancient Senfe convey.


As well might Vanbrugh ev'ry Stone revile,
That fwells enormous Blenheim's awkward Pile;
The guiltless Pen as well might Mauro blame, 45
For writing ill, and fullying Arthur's Fame;
Succefslefs Lovers blaft the Maid they woo'd,
As thefe a Tongue they never understood;
That Tongue which gave immortal Shakespeare Fame,
Which boasts a Prior's, and a Thomfon's Name; 50
Graceful and chafte which flows in Addison,
With native Charms, and Vigour all its own;
In Bolinbroke and Swift, whofe Beauties shine,
In Rowe's faft Numbers, Jonfon's nervous Line,
Dryden's free Vein, and Milton's Work divine.

But, fuch, alas! difdain to borrow Fame,
Or live like Dulness in another's Name;
And hence the Tafk for nobleft Souls defign'd,
Giv'n to the Weak, the Taftelefs, and the Blind;
To fome low Wretch, who, prostitute for Pay,
Lets out to Curll the Labours of the Day,
Careless who hurries o'er th' unblotted Line,
Impatient ftill to finish, and to dine;



LINE 39. Extremely low. A favourite Coffeehoufe Phrafe.

LINE 40. Wotton and Perrault. See Wotton's Difcourfe on ancient and modern Learning, and Perrault's Defence of his Siecle de Louis XIV.

LINE 46. Arthur's Fame. See Blackmore's King Arthur, an Heroic Poem.

LINE 60. To Curll, &c. Moft of the bad Tranflations, which we have of eminent Authors, were done by Garreteers under the Infpection of this Gentleman, who paid them by the Sheet for their hafty Performances.



Or fome pale Pedant, whofe encumber'd Brain
O'er the dull Page hath toil'd for Years in vain,
Who writes at last ambitiously to fhew
How much a Fool may read, how little know;
Can these on Fancy's Wing with Plato foar?
Can thefe a Tully's active Mind explore?
Great Nature's fecret Springs can these reveal,
Or paint thofe Paffions which they ne'er cou'd feel? 70,
Yet will they dare the pond'rous Lance to wield,
Yet will they ftrive to lift the feven-fold Shield;
The Rock of Ajax ev'ry Child would throw,
And ev'ry Strippling bend Ulyffes' Bow.

There are, who timid Line by Line purfue, 75 Anxious to keep th' Original in View;

Who mark each Footstep where their Mafter trod,
And after all their Pains have mifs'd the Road..
There are, an Author's Senfe who boldly quit,
As if afham'd to own the Debt of Wit:
Who leave their Fellow-trav'ller on the Shore,
Launch in the Deep, and part to meet no more.
Some from Reflection catch the weaken'd Ray,
And scarce a Gleam of doubtful Senfe convey,
Prefent a Picture's Picture to your View,
Where not a Line is juft, or Feature true.



LINE 75, 79. There are, &c. The Reader will eafily recollect inftances to illuftrate each of thefe Remarks, more efpecially the laft; halfour Tranflations being done from Tranflations by fuch as were never able to confult the Original. One of these Gentlemen having Occalion in his Verfion to mention Dionyfius of Halicarnaffus, not having the good Fortune to be acquainted with any fuch Writer, makes Ufe, of the French Liberty of Curtailing, and without Scruple calls him Dennis of Halicarnaffus. Miftakes as grofs as this often occur, though perhaps not many altoge ther fo ridiculous.


A 2


Thus Greece and Rome, in modern Dress array'd, Is but Antiquity in Masquerade.


Difguis'd in Oldsworth's Verse or Watson's Profe,
What Claffic Friend his alter'd Flaccus knows?
Whilft great Longinus gives to Welfied Fame,
And Tacitus to Gordon lends his Name,
Unmeaning Strains debafe the Mantuan Mufe,
And Terence fpeaks the Language of the Stews.
In Learning thus muft Britain's Sons decay, 95
And fee her Rival bear the Prize away,
In Arts as well as Arms to Gallia yield,
And own her happier Skill in either Field?
See where her boafted d'Ablancourt appears,
Her Mongualts, Brumoys, Olivets, Daciers;



LINE 91. See Welfied's Tranflation of Lorginus, done almoft Word for Word from Boileau,

LINE 62. To Gordon.-This Gentleman translated Tacitus in a very stiff and affected Manner, tranfpofing Words, and placing the Verb at the End of the Sentence, according to the Latin Idiom. He was called in his Life-Time Tacitus-Gordon.

LINE 97. To Gallia yield. It was faid by a great Wit in the laft War, that he fhould never doubt of our Succefs, if we could once bring ourselves to hate the French as heartily as we do the Arts and Sciences. It is indifputable, that they are more warmly encouraged, and confequently more cultivated and improved in France than amongst us. Their Tranflations (especially in Profe) are acknowledged to be more faithful and correct, and in general more lively and fpirited than ours.'"

LINE 99. The French had fo high an Opinion of d'Ablancourt's Merit, as to think him deferving of the following Epitaph :

L'illuftre d'Ablancourt repofe en ce tombeau,
Son genie à fon fiécle fervi de flambeau,



Careful to make each Ancient's Merit known,
Who, juft to others Fame, have rais'd their own';
No Wonder thefe fhou'd claim fuperior Praife;
A Nation thanks them, and a Monarch pays.
Far other Fate attends our hireling Bard,
A Sneer his Praife, a Pittance his Reward;
The Butt of Wit, and Jest of every Muse,
Foes laugh to Scorn, and even Friends abuse ;
The great Translator bids each Dunce tranflate,
And ranks us all with Tibbald and with Tate.

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But know, whate'er proud Art hath call'd her own,
The breathing Canvas, and the fculptur❜d Stone,
The Poet's Verfe, 'tis Imitation all;
Great Nature onlyis Original.

Her various Charms in various Forms exprefs'd, 115
They beft have pleas'd us, who have copy'd beft;
And thofe ftill fhine more eminently bright,
Who fhew the Goddess in the faireft Light.

So when great Shakespeare to his Garrick join'd, With mutual Aid confpire to roufe the Mind, 120 'Tis not a Scene of idle Mimickry,

'Tis Lear's, Hamlet's, Richard's self we fee ;

Dans fes fameux ecrits toute la France admire Des Grecs & des Romains les precieux trefors ; A fon trepas on ne peut dire

Qui perd le plus, des vivans ou des morts.

LINE 109. The great Tranflator, &c. Pope, in his Epiftle to Arbuthnot, after his Enumeration of Dunces, concludes with thefe two Lines:

All these my modeft Satire bade tranflate, And own'd that nine fuch Poets made a Tate. I make no Doubt but the very defpicable Light in which Tranflation is here reprefented, may have deterr'd many from engaging in it, who would, perhaps, have made no contemptible Figure in that Branch of Literature.

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We feel the Actor's Strength, the Poet's Fire ;
With Joy we praise, with Rapture we admire,
To fee fuch Pow'rs within the Reach of Art,
And Fiction thus fubdue the human Heart.
When Sarto's Pencil trac'd the faithful Line,
So juft each Stroke, fo equal the Defign,
That pleas'd he faw aftonish'd Julio ftand,
Nor knew his own, nor Raphael's magic Hand; 130
Blushing to find himfelf enamour'd grown
Of rival Charms and Beauties not his own.


Theirs be the Task to comment and translate, Like these who judge, like these who imitate. Unless an Authour like a Mistress warms, How shall we hide his Faults, or taste his Charms, How all his modeft, latent Beauties find, How trace each lovelier Feature of the Mind, Soften each Blemish, and each Grace improve, And treat him with the Dignity of Love?


'Tis not enough that, fraught with Learning's Store, By the dim Lamp the taftelefs Critic pore; 'Tis not enough that Wit's mifguiding Ray Uncertain glance, and yield a doubtful Day,

LINE 129. Andrea del Sarto being defired by Frederic, Duke of Mantua, to copy a Picture of Leo X. did it with fo much Juftnefs, that Julio Romano, who drew the Drapery of that Piece under Raphael, took his Copy for the Original, and faid to Vafari, Don't I fee the Strokes that I ftruck with my own Hand; but Vafari fhewing him Del Sarto's Mark, he was convinced of his Miftake.

The Story is told at large in the 27th Chapter of the firft Book of De Pile's Art of Painting. LINE 135. Unless, &c. Rofcommon says,

⚫ Chufe then an Author as you chufe a Friend.'

Perhaps the Image is better drawn from the more Jively Paffion,


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