Imatges de pÓgina
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Translated by Mr. POPE.

Te fequor, O Graiæ gentis Decus!, inque tuis nunc
Fixa pedum pono preffis veffigia fignis :
Non ita certandi cupidus, quàm propter amorem,
Quòd te imitari aveo-




between the Temple-Gates. MDCCXX.

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OMER is universally allow'd to have

had the greatest Invention of any writer whatever. The praise of judg. ment Virgil has justly contested with him, and others may have their pre

tenfions as to particular excellencies; but his Invention remains yet unrivald. Nor is it a wonder if he has ever been acknowledg’d the greatest of poets, who moft excell'd in that which is the very foundation of poetry. It is the Inven-tion that in different degrees diftinguishes all great Genius's: The utmost tretch of human ftudy, learning, and induftry, which mafter every thing besides, can never attain to this. It furnishes art with all her materials, and without it, Judgment it self can at best but steal wifely: For Art is only like a prudent stew ard that lives on managing the riches of Nature. Whatever praises may be given to works of judgment, there is not even a single beauty in them butis owing to the invention: As in the most regular gardens, however art may carry the greatest appearance, there is not a plant or flower but is the gift of nature. The first can only reduce the beauties of the latter into a more obvious figure, which the common eye may better take in, and is therefore



more entertain'd with them. And perhaps the reason why most Criticks are inclin'd to prefer a judicious and methodical genius to a great and fruitful one, is, because they find it easier for themselves to pursue their observations through an uniform and bounded walk of art, than to comprehend the vast and various extent of nature.

Our author's work is a wild paradise, where if we cannot see all the beauties so diftinctly as in an order'd Garden, it is only because the number of them is infinitely greater.' 'Tis like a copious nursery which contains the seeds and first productions of every kind, out of which those who follow'd him have but felected some particular plants, cach according to his fancy, to cultivate and beautify. If some things are too luxuriant, it is owning to the richness of the soil; and if others are not arriy'd to perfection or maturity, it is only because they are over-run and oppreft by those of a Atronger nature.

It is to the ftrength of this amazing invention we are to attribute that unequal'd fire and

rapture, which is so forcible in Homer, that no man of a true poetical {pirit is master of himself while he reads him. What he writes is of the most animated nature imaginable; every thing moves, every thing lives, and is put in action. If a council be call’d, or a battel fought, you are not coldly inform'd of what was said or done as from a third person; the reader is hurry'd out of himself by the force of the Poet's imagination, and turns in one place to a hearer, in another to a spectator. The course of his verses resembles that of the army he describes,

ci do Yout, wirkt se trei x tw wära réperto. They pour along like a fire that sweeps the whole earth before it. 'Tis however remarkable that his fancy, which

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