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objects as they really exist in life, like Hogarth's paintings, without heightening or enlarging them, and without adding any imaginary circumstances. In this way of writing, Swift excelled; witness his description of a morning in the city, of a city shower, of the house of Baucis and Philemon, and the verses on his own death, These are of the same species with the piece before us. In this also confifts the chief beauty of Gay's Trivia, a subject Swift desired him to write upon, and for which he furnished him with many hints. The character of Swift has been scrutinized in so many late writings, that it is superfluous to enter upon it, especially as from many materials judiciousy melted down and blended together, Dr. Hawksworth
the second of which was thought to contain a heavy anticlimax.
Grac'd as thou art with all the power of words,
Known to the Courts, the Commons and the Lorde
Perfuafion tips his tongue whene'er he talks,
has set before the public, so complete a figure of him. I cannot however forbear to mention a remark of Voltaire, who affirms, “ that the famous Tale of a Tub is an imitation of the old story of the three invisible rings, which a father bequeathed to his three children. These three rings were the Jewish, Christian, and Mahometan religions. It is, moreover, an imitation of the history of Mero and Enegu, by Fontenelle *. Mero was the anagram of Rome, and Enegu of Geneva.
of Geneva. These two Gisters claimed the succession to the throne of their fathers. . Mero reigned first, Fontenelle represents her as a sorceress or jugler who could convey away bread, and perform acts of conjuration with dead bodies : This is precisely the Lord Peter of Swift, who presents a piece of bread to his two broihers, and says to them, • This, my: gpad friends, is excellent Burgundy,. these partridges' Have an admirable flavour." The
• It was inserted by Bayle in his Nouveles, &c. vol. v. p. 8%, u a serious aurretioa; so happdy was the allegory dirgitted.
Same Lord Peter in Swift, performs throughout the very part that Mero plays in Fontenelle. Thus all is imitation. The idea of the PerGan Letters is taken from the Turkish Spy. Boiardo has imi- . tated Pulci, Ariosto has imitated Boiardo. The geniuses, apparently most original, burrow from each other ..
I SHALL conclude this section with a story, which Pope himself related, because it is characteristical of his old friend, and I shall give it in the very words which POPE used, when he told it to Mr. Spence. “ Dr. Swift has an odd blunt way that is mistaken by strangers for ill-nature; it is fo odd that there is no describing it but by facts t. I'll tell you one, the firft that comes into
head. One evening Gay and I went to fee him. On our coming in,
Oeuvres de Voltaire a Gencve. Tom. 4, pag. 323. 3756.
+ The archbishop of Armagh Dr. Hoadly, happening to object one day in Swift's company to an exprefsion of Pope, as not being the purest English, Swift answered with his usual roughness" I could derer get the blockhead to Audy his grammar."
Hey-day, gentlemen, says the Dean, what can be the meaning of this visit? How came you to leave all the
you are fo fond of, to come hither to see a poor scurvey Dean ?-Because we would rather fee you than any of them.c.Ay, any one that did not know you so well as I do, might possibly believe you; but since you are come I must get some supper for you
I suppose. ---No, Doctor, we have supped already *.-Supped already, that is impoflible, why it is not eight o'clock-Indeed we have—That's very strange ; but if you had not supped, I must have got something for you ; let me see, a couple of lobsters would have done very well, two shillings; tarts, a shilling: but you will drink a glass of wine with me, though you supped so much before your time only to spare my pocket.--No, we had rather talk with
you, than drink with you.--But if you
had fupped with me, as in all reason you ought to have done, you must then have drank
• Transcribed from Mr. Spence's anecdotes,
with me.-A bottle of wine two Thillings tno and two are four, and one is Eve; juft two and fuxpence a-piece; there Pope, there's half a crown for you, and there's another for you, Sir; for I won't save any thing by you, I am determined. This was all said and done with his usual serioolness on such occafions: And in spite of every thing we could say to the contrary, be actually obliged us to take the money."