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battles sometimes in opposition to each other : by those mediums which have been used. We thoughi Virgil (more discreet than Homer in that cannot hitherto boast, that our religion has furlast particular) has contented himself with the nished us with any such machines, as have made partiality of his deities, their favours, their coun- the strength and beauty of the ancient buildings. sels, or commands, to those whose cause they had But what if I venture to advance an invention of espoused, without bringing them to the outrage- my own, to supply the manifest defects of our new ousness of blows. Now our religion, says he, writers? I am sufficiently sensible of my weakness ; is deprived of the greatest part of those ma- and it is not very probable that I should succeed in chines ; at least the most shining in epic poetry. such a project, whereof I have not had the least hint Though St. Michael, in Ariosto, seeks out Dis- from any of my predecessors, the poets, or any of cord, to send her among the pagans, and finds her their seconds, and coadjutors, the critics. Yet we see in a convent of friars, where Peace should reign, the art of war is improved in sieges, and new instruwhich indeed is fine satire; and Satan, in ments of death are invented daily: soinething new Tasso, excites Solyman to an attempt by night in philosophy and the mechanics is discovered alon' the Christian camp, and brings an host of most every year: and the science of former ages is devils to his assistance; yet the archangel, in the improved by the succeeding. I will not detain you former example, when Discord was restive, and with a long preamble to that, which better judges would not be drawn from her beloved monastery will, perhaps, conclude to be little worth. with fair words, has the whip hand of her, drags It is this, in short, that Christian poets have her out with many stripes, sets her, on God's not hitherto been acquainted with their own name, about her business ; and makes her know strength. If they had searched the Old Testathe difference of strength betwixt a nuncio of ment as they ought, they might there have found Heaven, and a minister of Hell: the same angel, the machines which are proper for their work; and in the latter instance from Tasso (as if God had those more certain in their effects, than it may be never another messenger belonging to the court, the New Testament is, in the rules sufficient for salbut was confined, like Jupiter to Mercury, and vation. The perusing of one chapter in the Prophecy Juno to Iris) when he sees his time, that is, when of Daniel, and accommodating what there they half of the Christians are already killed, and all find, with the principles of Platonic philosophy, as the rest are in a fair way of being routed, stickles it is now christianized, would have the ministry betwixt the remainders of God's host, and the race
of angels as strong an engine, for the working up of fiends ; pulls the devils backwards by the tails, heroic poetry, in our religion, as that of the anand drives them from their quarry; or otherwise cients has been to raise theirs by all the fables of the whole business had miscarried, and Jerusalem their gods, which were only received for truths remained untaken. This, says Boileau, is a very by the most ignorant and weakest of the people. unequal match for the poor devils, who are sure
It is a doctrine almost universally received by to come by the worst of it in the combat; for Christians, as well protestants as catholics, that nothing is more easy, than for an Almighty Power there are guardian angels appointed by God Al. to bring his old rebels to reason, when he pleases. mighty as his vicegerents, for the protection and Consequently, what pleasure, what entertain
government of cities, provinces, kingdoms, and ment, can be raised from so pitiful a machine, monarchies; and those as well of heathens, as of where we see the success of the battle, from the
true believers. All this is so plainly proved from very beginning of it; unless that, as we
those texts of Daniel, that it admits of no fartber Christians, we are glad that we have gotten God
controversy. The prince of the Persians, and that on our side, to maul our enemies, when we can
other of the Grecians, are granted to be the guar not do the work ourselves ? Por if the port had dians and protecting ministers of those empires. given the faithful more courage, which had cost
It cannot be denied, that they were opposite, and him nothing, or at least had made them exceed the Turks in number, then he might have gained resisted one another. St. Michael is mentioned
as the patron of the Jews, and is the victory for us Christians, without interesting
now taken by the Christians, as the protectorHeaven in the quarrel ; and that with as much ease, and as little credit to the conqueror, as
general of our religion. These tutelar genii, wbo when a party of one hundred soldiers defeats presided over the several people and regions com,
mitted to their charge, were watchful over them another, which consists only of fifty.
This, my lord, I confess, is such an argument for good, as far as their commissions could pos. against our modern poetry, as cannot be answered sibly extend. The general purpose and design of
all, was certainly the service of their great Creator he writes ; if such a man, I say, be now arisen, or But it is an undoubted truth, that, for ends best shall arise, I am vain enough to think, that I have known to the Almighty Majesty of Heaven, his proposed a model to him, by which he may build providential designs for the benefit of his crea- a nobler, a more beautiful, and more perfect poem, tures, for the debasing and punishing of some than any yet extant, since the ancients. nations, and the exaltation and temporal reward
There is another part of these machines yet of others, were not wholly known to these his wanting ; but, by what I have said, it would have ministers; else why those factious quarrels, con
been been easily supplied by a judicious writer. troversies, and battles, amongst themselves, when He could not have failed to add the opposition of they were all united in the same design, the ser
ill spirits to the good; they have also their device and honour of their common master ? But sign, ever opposite to that of Heaven ; and this being instructed only in the general, and zealous alone has hitherto been the practice of the moderns : of the main design ; and, as finite beings, not
but this imperfect system, if I may call it such, admitted into the secrets of government, the last which I have given, will infinitely advance and resorts of Providence, or capable of discovering carry farther that laypothesis of the evil spirits the final purposes of God, who can work good out contending with the good. Por, being so much of evil, as he pleases; and irresistibly sways all
weaker since their fall than those blessed beings, manner of events on Earth, directing them finally they are yet supposed to have a permitted power for the best, to his creation in general, and to the
of God, of acting ill, as, from their own depraved ultimate end of his own glory in particular: they nature, they have always the will of designing it. must of necessity be sometimes ignorant of the A great testimony of which we find in holy writ, means conducing to those ends, in which alone
when God Almighty suffered Satan to appear in the they can jar and oppose each other. One angel,
holy synod of the angels (a thing not hitherto as we may suppose the prince of Persia, as he is drawn into example by any of the poets), and
also called, judging that it would be more for God's
him power over all things belonging to honour, and the benefit of his people, that the
his servant Job, excepting only life.
Now what these wicked spirits cannot compass Median and Persian monarchy, when delivered from the Babylonish captivity, should still be by the vast disproportion of their forces to those
of the superior beings, they may by their fraud uppermost : and the patron of the Grecians, to whom the will of God might be more particularly confederacy, or subserviency to the designs of some
and cunning carry farther, in a seeming league, revealed, contending on the other side, for the good angel, as far as consists with his purity, to rise of Alexander and his successors, who were
suffer such an aid, the end of which may possibly appointed to punish the backsliding Jews, and thereby to put them in mind of their offences, that they ledge. This is indeed to suppose
be disguised, and concealed from his finite know
great errour might repent, and become more virtuous, and in such a being : yet since a devil can appear more observient of the law revealed. But how like an angel of light; since craft and malice far these controversies and appearing enmities of may sometimes blind for a while a more perfect those glorious creatures may be carried; how understanding; and lastly, since Milton has given these oppositions may best be managed, and by
us an example of the like nature, when Satan what means conducted, is not my business to show appearing like a cherub to Uriel, the intelligence or determine : these things must be left to the in- of the Sun, circumvented him even in his own vention and judgment of the poet : if any of so province, and passed only for a curious traveller happy a genius be now living, or any future age through those new-created regions, that he might can produce a man, who, being conversant in the observe therein the workmanship of God, and philosophy of Plato, as it is now accommodated to praise him in his works. Christian use ; for (as Virgil gives us to under
I know not why, upon the same supposition, or stand by his example) he is the only proper per- some other, a fiend may not deceive a creature of son, of all others, for an epic poem, who, to his na
more excellency than himself, but yet a creature; tural endowments, of a large invention, a ripe judg- at least by the connivance, or tacit permission, of ment, and a strong memory, has joined the know- the omniscient Being, ledge of the liberal arts and sciences, and particu- Thus, my lord, I have, as briefly as I could, larly moral philosophy, the mathematics, geogra- given your lordship, and by you the world, a phy, and history, and with all these qualifications rude draught of what I have been long labouring is born a poet; knows, and can practise, the variety | in my imagination, and what I had intended to of numbers, and is master of the language in which have put in practice (though far unable for the
attempt of such a poem); and to have left the , defend the cause for which I now suffer, because stage, to which my genius never much inclined your lordship is engaged against it: but the more me, for a work which would have taken up my you are so, the greater is my obligation to you: lite in the performance of it. This too, I bad for your laying aside all the considerations of facintended chiefly for the honour of my native coun- tions and parties, to do an action of pure disintry, to which a poet is particularly obliged: of terested charity. This is one among many of two subjects, both relating to it, I was doubtful your shining qualities, which distinguish you from whether I should choose that of king Arthur con- others of your rank: but let me add a farther quering the Saxons ; which, being farther distant truth, that without these ties of gratitude, and in time, gives the greater scope to my invention : abstracting from them all, I have a most particuor that of Edward the Black Prince, in subduing lar inclination to honour you; and, if it were not Spain, and restoring it to the lawful prince, though too bold an expression, to say, I love you. It is a great tyrant, Don Pedro the Cruel : which, for
no shame to be a poet, though it is to be a bad the compass of time, including only the expedi-one.
Augustus Cæsar of old, and cardinal Richtion of one year; for the greatness of the action, lieu of late, would willingly have been such ; and and its answerable event; for the magnanimity of David and Solomon were such. You, who withthe English hero, opposed to the ingratitude of out flattery, are the best of the present age in the person whom he restored ; and for the many England, and would have been so had you been beautiful episodes which I had interwoven with the born in any other country,' will receive more ho principal design, together with the characters of
nour in future ages, by that one excellency, than the chiefest English persons ; wherein, after Vir- by all those honours to which your birth has eugil and Spenser, I would have taken occasion to titled you, or your merits have acquired you. represent my living friends and patrons of the
Ne, forte, pudori noblest families, and also shadowed the events of
Sit tibi musa lyræ soleis, canto Apollo future ages, in the succession of our imperial lines: with these helps, and those of the machines, I have formerly said in this epistle, that I could which I have mentioned, I might perhaps have distinguish your writings from those of any others: done as well as some of my predecessors ; or at it is now time to clear myself from any imputation least chalked out a way for others to amend my
of self-conceit on that subject. I assume not to errours in a like design. But, being encouraged myself any particular lights in this discovery; only by fair words by king Charles Il. my little they are such only as are obvious to every man salary ill paid, and no prospect of a future sub- of sense and judgmnent, who loves poetry, and sistence, I was then discouraged in the beginning understands it. Your thoughts are always so reof my attempt ; and now age has overtaken me, mote from the common way of thinking, that and want, a more insufferable' evil, through the they are, as I may say, of another species than change of times, has wholly disenabled me. Though the conceptions of other poets; yet, you go not I must ever acknowledge, to the honour of your out of nature for any of them : gold is never bred lordship, and the eternal memory of your charity, upon the sinface of the ground; but lies so hidden that since this revolution, wherein I have pa- and so deep, that the mines of it are seldom tiently suffered the ruin of my sınall fortune, and found; but the force of waters casts it out from the loss of that poor subsistence which I have har? the bowels of mountains, and exposes it amongst from two kings, whom I had served more faith- the sands of rivers : giving us of her bounty, what fully than profitably to myself, then your lord- we could not hope for by our search. This sucship was pleased, out of no other motive but your cess attends your lordship's thoughts, which would own nobleness, without any desert of mine, or the look like chance, if it were not perpetual, and least solicitation from me, to make mea most boun- always of the same tenour. If 1 grant that there is titul present, which, at that time, when I was most care in it, it is such a care as would be ineffectual jn want of it, came most seasonably and unex- and fruitless in other men.
It is the curiosa feli. pertedly to my relief. That favour, my lord, is of citas which Petronius ascribes to Horace in his itself sufficient to bind any grateful man to a per- odes. We have not wherewithal to imagine so petual acknowledgment, and to all the future ser- strongly, so justly, and so pleasantly : in short, vice, which one of my mean condition can ever if we have the same knowledge, we cannot draw be able to perform. May the Almighty God re- out of it the same quintessence : we cannot give turn it for me, both in blessing you here, and re
it such a term, such a propriety, and such a warding you hereafter. I must not presume tol beauty : something is deficient in the manner,
or the words, but more in the nobleness of our | all possible respect and gratitude, your acceptance conception. Yet when you have finished all, and of their work. Some of them have the bonour to it appears in its full lustre, when the diamond is be known to your lordship already; and they who' not only found, but the roughness smoothed, have not yet that happiness, desire it now. Be when it is cut into a form, and set in gold, then pleased to receive our common endeavours with we cannot but acknowledge, that it is the perfect your wonted candour, without entitling you to the work of art and nature : and every one will be so protection of our common failings, in so difficult vain, to think he himself could have performed an undertaking. And allow me your patience, if the like, till he attempts it. It is just the de- ( it be not already tired with this long epistle, to scription that Horace makes of such a finished give you, from the best authors, the origin, the piece: it appears so easy, Ut sibi quivis speret antiquity, the growth, the change, and the comidem ; sudet multum, frustraque laboret, ausus pleatment of satire among the Romans. To deidem. And besides all this, it is your lordship's scribe, if not define, the nature of that poem, particular talent to lay your thoughts so close with its several qualifications and virtues, together together, that were they closer they would be with the several sorts of it. To compare the excrowded, and even a due connection would be cellencies of Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, and wanting. We are not kept in expectation of two show the particular manners of their satires. And good lines, wbich are to come afer a long pa- lastly, to give an account of this new way of ver renthesis of twenty bad; which is the April-poetry sion which is attempted in our performance. All of other writers; a mixture of rain and sunshine which, according to the weakness of my ability, by fits; you are always bright, even almost to a and the best lights which I can get from others, fault, hy reason of the excess. There is continual shall be the subject of my following discourse. ; abundance, a magazine of thought, and yet a The most perfect work of poetry, says our mase. perpetual variety of entertainment; which creates ter Aristotle, is tragedy. His reason is, because such an appetite in your reader, that he is not it is the most united ; being more severely con. cloyed with any thing, but satisfied with all. It fined within the rules of action, time, and place. is that which the Romans call cæna dubia ; where The action is entire, of a piece, and one, without there is such plenty, yet withal, so much diver- episodes : the time limited to a natural day; and sity and so good order, that the choice is difficult the place circumscribed at least within the combetwixt one excellency and another; and yet the pass of one town or city: 'Being exactly proporconclusion, by a due climax, is cvermore the tioned thus, and uniform in all its parts, the mind best; that is, as a conclusion ought to be, ever is more capable of comprehending the whole beauty the most proper for its place. See, my lord, of it without distraction. whether I have not studied your lordship with
But after all these advantages, an heroic poem some application : and since you are so modest, is certainly the greatest work of human nature. that you will not be judge and party, I appeal to The beauties and perfections of the other are but the whole world, if I have not drawn your picture mechanical ; those of the epic are more noble. to a great degree of likeness, though it is but in Though Homer has limited his place to Troy and miniature : and, that some of the best features the fields about it; his action to forty-eight natural are yet wanting. Yet, what I have done is enough days, whereof twelve are holidays, or cessation to distinguish you from any others, which is the from business, during the funerals of Patroclus. proposition I took upon me to demonstrate, To proceed, the action of the epic is greater : the
And now, my lord, to apply what I have said extension of time enlarges the pleasure of the to my present business. The satires of Juvenal reader, and the episodes give it more ornament, and Persius appearing in this new English dress, and more variety. The instruction is equal ; but cannot so properly be inscribed to any man as to in the first is only instructive, the latter forms a your lordship, who are the first of the age in that hero and a prince. way of writing. Your lordship, amongst many If it signifies any, thing which of thein is of the other favours, has given me your permission for more ancient family, the best and most absolute this address; and you have particularly encouraged heroic poem was written by Homer tong before me by your perusal and approbation of the sixth tragedy was invented: but if we consider the naand tenth satires of Juvenal, as I have translated tural endowments, and acquired parts, which are them. My fellow-labourers have likewise com- necessary to make an accomplished writer in either missioned me to perform in their behalf this office kind, tragedy requires a less and more confined of a dedication to you, and will acknowledge, with | knuwledge : moderate learning, and observation of the rules is sufficient, if a genius be not wanting. , their art of railing, neither needed the Romane But in an epic poet, one who is worthy of that to take it from them. But considering satire as name, besides an universal genius, is required a species of poetry, here the war begins amongst universal learning, together with all those quali- the critics. Scaliger the father will bave it des ties and acquisitions which I have named above, scend from Greece to Rome; and derives the and as many more as I have, through haste or word satire from Satyrus, that mixt kind of pegligence, omitted. And after all, he must have animal, or, as the ancients thought him, rural exactly studied Homer and Virgil as his patterns, god, made up betwixt a man and a goat; with a Aristotle and Horace as bis guides, and Vida and human head, hooked nose, pouting lips, a bunch Bossu as their commentators, with many others, or struma under the chin, pricked ears, and upboth Italian and French critics, which I want right horns; the body shagged with hair, espe. leisure here to recommend.
cially from the waist, and ending in a goat, with In a word, what I have to say in relation to the legs and feet of that creature. But Casaubon, this subject, which does not particularly concern and his followers, with reason, condemn this derivasatire, is, that the greatness of an heroic poem, tion; and prove that from Satyrus, the word beyond that of a tragedy, may easily be dis- satira, as it signifies a poem, cannot possibly covered, by observing how few bave attempted
descend, Por satira is not properly a substanthat work, in comparison of those who have written tive, but an adjective ; to which the word lans, dramas; and of those few, how small a number in English a charger, or large platter, is un. have succeeded. But, leaving the critics on either derstood : so that the Greek poem, made accordside to contend about the preference due to this ing to the manner of a satyr, and expressing his or that sort of poetry ; I will hasten to my pre- qualities, must properly be called satyrical, and sent business, which is the antiquity and origin of not satire. And thus far it is allowed that the satire, according to those informations which I Grecians had such poems; but that they were have received from the learned Casaubon, Heinsius, wholly different in species from that to which the Rigaltius, Dacier, and the Dauphin's Juvenal ; to Romans gare the name of satire. which I shall add some observations of my own. Aristotle divides all poetry, in relation to the
There has been a long dispute among the modern progress of it, into nature without art, art begun, critics, whether the Romans derived their satire and art completed, Mankind, even the most from the Grecians, or first invented it themselves. barbarous, have the seeds of poetry implanted in Julius Scaliger and Heinsius, are of the first them. The first specimen of it was certainly opinion; Casaubon, Rigaltius, Dacier, and the pub shown in the praises of the Deity, and prayers to lisher of the Dauphin's Juvenal, maintain the him; and as they are of natural obligation, so latter. If we lake satire in the general signification they are likewise of divine institution. Which of the word, as it is used in all modern languages Milton observing, introduces Adam and Eve every for an invective, it is certain that it is almost as morning adoring God ju hymns and prayers. The old as verse; and, though hymns, which are praises first poetry was thus begun, in the wild notes of of God, may be allowed to have been before it, natural poetry, before the invention of feet and yet the defamation of others was not long after measures. The Grecians and Romans had no it. After God had cursed Adam and Eve in Para- other original of their poetry. Festivals and holidise, the husband and wife excused themselves, days soon succeeded to private worship, and w by laying the blame on one another; and gave a need not doubt but they were enjoined by the beginning to those conjugal dialogues in prose, true God to his own people; as they were after, which the poets have perfected in verse. The wards imitated by the heathens; who by the lig bi third chapter of Job is one of the first instances of reason knew they were to invoke some superior of this poem in Holy Scripture : unless we will take being in their necessities, and to thank him for it higher, from the latter end of the second ; where his benefits. Thus the Grecian holidays were bis wife advises him to curse his Maker.
celebrated with offerings to Bacchus and Ceres, The original, I confess, is not much to the and other deities, to whose bounty they supposed honour of satire ; but here it was nature, and they were owing for their cora and wine, and that depraved! When it became an art, it bore other helps of life. And the ancient Romans, better fruit. Only we have learnt thus much Horace tells us, paid their thanks to mother already, that scoffs and revilings are of the growth Earth, or Vesta, to Silvanus, and their genius, in of all nations; and consequently that neither the same manner.
But as all festivals have Bhe Greek poets borrowed from other people I double reason for their institution; the first of