The Works of the English Poets; With Prefaces, Biographical and Critical Volume 10
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1779 edition. Excerpt: ...That can with a resistless power impart The loosest wishes to the chastest heart, Raise such a conflict, kindle such a sire, Betwixt declining virtue and desire, Till the poor vanquish'd maid dissolves away, In dreams all night, in sighs and tears all day. Dryden in vain try'd this nice way of wit; For he, to be a tearing blade, thought sit To give the ladies a dry bawdy bob, And thus he got the name of poet Squab..: But to be just, 'twill to his praise be found, His excellences more than faults abound: Nor dare I from his sacred temples tear The laurel, which he best deserves to wear. But does not Dryden sind even Jonson dull? Beaumont and Fletcher uncorrect, and full Of lewd lines, as he calls them? Shakespeare's style Stiff and affected? To his own the while Allowing Allowing all the justice that his pride So arrogantly had to these deny'd? And may not I have leave impartially To search and censure Dryden's works, and try If those gross faults his choice pen doth commit Proceed from want of judgment, or of wit? Or if his lumpish fancy does refuse Spirit and grace to his loose slattern Muse? Five hundred verses every morning writ, Prove him no more a poet than a wit; Such scribbling authors have been seen before; Mustapha, the Island Princess, forty more, Were things perhaps compos'd in half an hour. To write what may securely stand the test Of being well read over thrice at least; Compare each phrase, examine every line, Weigh every word, and every thought refine; Scorn all applause the vile rout can bestow, And be content to please those few who know. Canst thou be such a vain mistaken thing, To wish thy woiks might make a play-house ring With the unthinking laughter and poor praise Of fops and ladies, factious for thy plays? Then send a...
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