Concludes that Attic Wit's extremely low;
And gives up Greece to Wotton and Perrault.

40 Our shallow Language, shallow'r Judges fay, Can ne'er the Force of ancient Sense convey.

As well might Vanbrugh ev'ry Stone revile, That swells enormous Blenheim's awkward Pile ; The guiltless Pen as well might Mauro blame, 45 For writing ill, and fallying Arthur's Fame ; Successless Lovers blait the Maid they wood, As these a 'Tongue they never understood ;

That Tongue which gave immortal Shakespeare Fame, Which boasts a Prior's, and a Thomson's Name; 50 Graceful and chaste which flows in Addison, With native Charms, and Vigour all its own; In Bolinbroke and Swift, whose Beauties shine, In Rowe's foft Numbers, Jonson's nervous Line, Dryden's free Vein, and Milton's Work divine.

But, such, alas ! disdain to borrow Fame, 55 Or live like Dulness in another's Name; And hence the Task for noblest Souls defign'd, Giv'n to the Weak, the Tasteless, and the Blind; To some low Wretch, who, prostitute for Pay, Lets out to Curll the Labours of the Day, Careless who hurries o'er th' unblotted Line, Impatient still to finish, and to dine ;



LINE 39. Extremely low. A favourite Coffeehouse Phrase. LINE 40. Wotton and Perrault.

Wotton and Perrault. See Wotton's Discourse on ancient and modern Learning, and Perrault's Defence of his Siecle de Louis XIV. LINE 46. Arthur's Fame.

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

LINE 60. To Curll, &c. Most of the bad Translations, which we have of eminent Authors, were done by Garreteers under the Inspection of this Gentleman, who paid them by the Sheet for their hasty Performances.



Or some pale Pedant, whofe encumber'a Brain
O'er the dull Page hath toil'd for Years iti vain,
Who writes at last ambitiously to shew

How much a Fool may read, how little know ;
Can these on Fancy's Wing with Plato foar?
Can these a Tully's active Mind explore?
Great Nature's secret Springs can these reveal,
Or paint those Passions which they ne'er cou'd feel? 70
Yet will they dare the pond'rous Lance to wield,
Yet will they strive to lift the seven-fold Shield;
The Rock of Ajax ev'ry Child would throw,
And ev'ry Strippling bend Ulysses' Bow. :

There are, who timid Line by Line pursue, 75
Anxious to keep th' Original in View;
Who mark each Footstep where their Master trod,
And after their Pains have miss'd the Road.

There are, an Author's Sense who boldly quit,
As if aslam'd to own the Debt of Wit:

80 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 Sense convey,
Present a Picture's Picture to your View,
Where not a Line is just, or Feature true.

LINE 75, 79. There are, &c. The Reader will
easily recollect instances to illustrate each of these Re-
marks, more especially the last; halfour Translations
being done from Translations by such as were never
able to consult the Original. One of these Gentlemen
having Occasion in his version to mention Dionyfius
of Halicarnassus, not having the good Fortune to be
acquainted with any such Writer, makes Use of the
French Liberty of Curtailing, and without Scruple
calls bim Dennis of Halicarnasus. Mistakes as gross
as this often occur, though perhaps not many altoge-
ther fo ridiculous.


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

. Som Disguis'd in Oldsworth's Verfe or Watfon's Profe, What Classic Friend his alterid Flaccus knows? 95 Whilst great Longinus gives to Welfted Fames And Tacitus to Gordon lends his Name, Unmeaning Strains debase the Mantuan Mufe, And Terence speaks the Language of the Stews.

In Learning thus muft Britain's Sons decay, 95 And see 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 boasted d'Ablancourt appears, Her Mongualts, Brumoys, Olivets, Daciers;

Carefas Line gf. See Welled's Translation of Longinus, done almoft Word for Word from Boileau,

LINE 62. To Gordon.-This Gentleman translated Tacitus in a very stiff and affected Manner, tranfpofiag 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 said by a great Wit in the last War, that he should never doubt of our Success, if we could once bring ourselves to hate the French as heartily as we do the Arts and Sciences. It is indisputable, that they are more warmly encouraged, and consequently more cultivated and improved in France than amongst ús. Their Translations (especially in Prose) are acknowledged to be more faithful and correct, and in general more lively and spirited than ours.

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

L'illustre d'Ablancourt repose en ce tombeau, sb Son genie à fon fiécle servi de flambeau,


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Careful to make each Ancient's Merit known,
Who, juft to others Fame, have rais’d their own';
No Wonder these thou'd claim fuperior Praise ;
A Nation thanks them, and a Monarch pays.
Far other Fate attends our hireling Bard, 105
A Sneer his Praise, a Pittance his Reward;
The Butt of Wit, and Jeft of every Mufe,

Foes laugh to Scorn, and even Friends abuse;
The great Translator bids each Dunce translate,
And ranks us all with Tibbald and with Tate. 110

But know, whate'er proud Art hath call'd her own,
The breathing Canvas, and the sculptur'd Stone,
The Poet's Verfe, 'tis Imitation all;
Great Nature onlyis Original.
Her various Charms in various Forms exprefs'd, 115
They best have pleas'd us, who have copy'd best;
And those still shine more eminently bright,
Who thew the Goddess in the faireft Light.

So when great Shakespeare to his Garrick join'd,
With mutual Aid conspire to rouse the Mind, 120
?Tis not a Şcene of idle Mimickry,
?Tis Lear's, Hamlet's, Richard's self we fee;

Dans les fameux ecrits toute la France admire

Des Grecs & des Romains les precieux tresors ; 10. A fon trepas on ne peut dire

Qui perd le plus, des vivans ou des morts.

Line 109. The great Translator, &c. Pope, in his Epistle to Arbuthnot, after his Enumeration of Dances, concludes with these two Lines :

All these my modest Satire bade translate,

And own'd that nine such Poets made a Tate... I make no Doubt but the very despicable Light in which Translation is here represented, may have deterr'd many from engaging in it, who would, perhaps, have made no contemptible Figure in that Branch of Literature. A 2 2


We feel the Actor's Strength, the Poet's Fire ;
With Joy we praise, with Rapture we admire,
To see such Pow'rs within the Reach of Art, 125
And Fiction thus subdue the human Heart.

When Sarto’s Pencil trac'd the faithful Line,
So just each Stroke, fo equal the Delign,
That pleas'd he saw altonith'd ulio ftand,
Nor knew his own, nor Raphael's magic Hand; 130
Blushing to find himself enamour'd grown.
Of rival Charms and Beauties not his own.

Theirs be the Talk to comment and translate, Like these who judge, like these who imitate.

Unless an Authour like a Mistress warms, 135 How shall we bide his Faults, or taste his Charms, How all his modest, 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? 140

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

LINE 129. Andrea del Sarto being defired by Free deric, Duke of Mantua, to copy a Picture of Leo X. did it with so much Justness, that Julio Romano, who diew the Drapery of that Piece under Raphael, took his Copy for the Original, and said to Vafari, · Don't I see the Strokes that I ftruck with

my own Hand; but Vasari fhewing him Del Sarto's Mark, he was convinced of his Miftake.

The Story is told at large in the 27th Chapter of the first Book of De Pile's Art of Painting.

LINE 135. Unless, &c. Rofcommon fays,

? Chufe then an Author as you chuse a Friend.' Perhaps the image is better drawn from the more lively Passion


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