Tully, might discover that records are needful to preserve the memory of actions, and that no records were so durable as poems; either of them might find out that life is short, and that we consume it in unnecessary labour.

There are other flowers of fiction so widely scattered and so easily cropped, that it is scarcely just to tax the use of them as an act by which any particular writer is despoiled of his garland; for they may be said to have been planted by the ancients in the open road of poetry for the accommodation of their fucceffors, and to be the right of every one that has art to pluck them without injuring their colours or their fragance. The passage of Orpheus to hell, with the recovery and second loss of Eurydice, have been described after Boetius by Pope, in such a manner as might justly leave him suspected of imitation, were not the images such as they might both have derived from more ancient writers.

Quæ fontes agitant metu
Ultrices fcelerum dece
fam mæfla lacrymis madent,
Non Ixionium caput
Velox præcipitat rota.

The pow'rs of vengeance, while they hear,
Touch'd with compassion, drop a tear;
Ixion's rapid wheel is bound,
Fix'd in attention to the found.


Thy stone, O Sysiphus, stands still,
Ixion rests upon his wheel,

And the pale spectres dance !
The furies fink upon their iron beds.


Tandem, vincimur, arbiter
Umbrarum, miferans, ait-
Donemus, comitem viro,

Emtam carmine, conjugem.
Subdu'd at length, Hell's pitying monarch cry'd,
The song rewarding, let us yield the bride. F. LEWIS.
He sung, and hell consented

To hear the poet's prayer ;
Stern Proserpine relented,

And gave him back the fair.
Heu, noćtis prope terminos
Orpheus Euryciden suam

Vidit, perdidit, occidit.

yet the golden verge of day begun,
When Orpheus, her unhappy lord,

Eurydice to life restor'd,
At once beheld, and loft, and was undone. F. Lewis.
But soon, too soon, the lover turns his eyes :
Again the falls, again she dies, she dies !

No writer can be fully convicted of imitation, except there is a concurrence of more resemblance than can be imagined to have happened by chance; as where the same ideas are conjoined without any natural series or necessary coherence, or where not only the thought but the words are copied. Thus it can scarcely be doubted, that in the first of the following passages Pope remembered Ovid, and that in the second he copied Crashaw.

Sæpe pater dixit, studium quid inutile tentas ?

Moonides nullas ipfe reliquit opes --
Sponte suâ carmen numeros veniebat ad aptos,
Et quod conabar scribere, versus erat.


C 2

Quit, quit this barren trade, my father cry'd ;
Ev'n Homer left no riches when he dy'd
In verse spontaneous flow'd my native strain,
Forc’d by no sweat or labour of the brain. F. Lewis,
I left no calling for this idle trade;
No duty broke; no father disobey'd ;
While yet a child, ere yet a fool to fame,
I lifp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.

This plain floor,
Believe me, reader, can say more
Than many a braver marble can,
Here lies a truly honest man.

This modeft ftone, what few vain marbles can,

May truly fay, Here lies an honest man. Pope, Conceits, or thoughts not immediately impressed by sensible objects, or necessarily arising from the coalition or comparison of common sentiments, may be with great justice suspected whenever they are found a second time. Thus Waller probably owed to Grotius an elegant compliment.

Here lies the learned Savil's heir,
So early wise, and lasting fair,
That none, except her years they told,

Thought her a child, or thought her old. WALLER.
Unica lux fæcli, genitoris gloria, nemo
Quem puerum, nemo credidit efle fenem.

The age's miracle; his father's joy!
Nor old you wou'd pronounce him, nor a boy.


And Prior was indebted for a pretty illustration to Alleyne's poetical history of Henry the seventh.


For nought but light itself, itself can show,
And only kings can write, what kings can do.

Your musick's power, your musick must disclose,
For what light is, 'tis only light that shews. PRIOR.

And with yet more certainty may the fame writer be censured, for endeavouring the clandestine ap- . propriation of a thought which he borrowed, surely without thinking himself disgraced, from an epigram of Plato.

Τη Παφίη το κάτοπτρον έσει τοίη μέν οράσθαι
Ούκ έθελω, διη δ' ήν σάρG, και δυναμαι.

Venus, take my votive glass,
Since I am not what I was ;
What from this day I shall be,
Venus let me never see,

As not every instance of fimilitude can be confidered as a proof of imitation, so not every

imitation ought to be stigmatized as plagiarism. The adoption of a noble sentiment, or the insertion of a borrowed ornament, may sometimes display so much judgmeat as will almost compensate for invention; and an inferior genius may,

without any imputation of servility, pursue the path of the ancients, provided he declines to tread in their footsteps.

C 3

NUMB. 144. SATURDAY, August 3, 1751.

Daphnidis arcum
Fregisti et calamos : que tu, perverse Menalca,
Et cum vidifli puero donata, dolebas;
Eit fe non aliqua nocuisses, mortuus esses.


The boy of Daphnis and the shafts you broke ;
When the fair boy receiv'd the gift of right;
And but for mischief, you had dy'd for spite.



T is impossible to mingle in conversation with

out observing the difficulty with which a new name makes its way into the world. The first appearance of excellence unites multitudes against it; unexpected opposition rises up on every side; the celebrated and the obscure join in the confederacy; subtilty furnishes arms to impudence, and invention leads on credulity.

The strength and unanimity of this alliance is not easily conceived. It might be expected that no man fhould suffer his heart to be inflamed with malice, but by injuries; that none should busy himself in contesting the pretensions of another, but when some right of his own was involved in the question; that at least hoftilities commenced without cause, should quickly cease; that the armies of malignity should soon disperse, when no common interest could be found to hold them together ; and that the attack upon a rising character should be


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