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Title: 'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation
Author: Hill, Aaron, 1685-1750
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "'Of Genius', in The Occasional Paper, and Preface to The Creation" ***

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                         Series Four
                  _Men, Manners and Critics_

                              No. 2

        Anonymous, "Of Genius", in _The Occasional Paper_,
                  Volume III, Number 10 (1719)


           Aaron Hill, Preface to _The Creation_ (1720)

                     With an Introduction by
                        Gretchen Graf Pahl

                   The Augustan Reprint Society
                           March, 1949
                       _Price: One Dollar_

                        _GENERAL EDITORS_

            RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_

   EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_

   H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_

                       _ASSISTANT EDITOR_

            W. EARL BRITTON, _University of Michigan_

                       _ADVISORY EDITORS_

          EMMETT L. AVERY, _State College of Washington_

             BENJAMIN BOYCE, _University of Nebraska_

           LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_

                CLEANTH BROOKS, _Yale University_

             JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_

             ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_

             SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_

              ERNEST MOSSNER, _University of Texas_

          JAMES SUTHERLAND, _Queen Mary College, London_

            Lithoprinted from copy supplied by author
                      Edwards Brothers, Inc.
                   Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

[Transcriber's Note: Some of the latin footnotes and the errata were
difficult or impossible to read. These are annotated.]


The anonymous essay "Of Genius," which appeared in the
_Occasional Paper_ of 1719, still considers "genius" largely a
matter of aptitude or talent, and applies the term to the
"mechanick" as well as the fine arts. The work is, in fact,
essentially a pamphlet on education. The author's main concern is
training, and study, and conscious endeavor. Naturally enough,
his highest praise--even where poetry is in question--is reserved
for those solid Augustan virtues of "judgment" and "good sense."

And yet the pamphlet reveals some of the tangled roots from which
the later concept of the "original" or "primitive" genius grew.
For here are two prerequisites of that later, more extravagant
concept. One is the author's positive delight in the infinite
differences of human temperaments and talents--a delight from
which might spring the preference for original or unique works of
art. The other is his conviction that there is something
necessary and foreordained about those differences: a conviction
essential to faith in the artist who is apparently at the mercy
of a genius beyond his own control. The importance of this latter
belief was long ago indicated in Paul Kaufman's "Heralds of
Original Genius."

While his tone is perhaps more exuberant than that of most of his
immediate contemporaries, there is nothing particularly new in
our author's interest in those aspects of human nature which
render a man different from his fellows. It is true that the main
stress of neoclassical thought had rested on the fundamental
likeness of all men in all ages, and had sought an ideal and
universal norm in morals, conduct, and art. But there had always
been counter currents making for a recognition of the inescapable
differences among various races and individuals. Such deviations
were often merely tolerated, but toward the close of the
seventeenth century more and more voices had praised human
diversity. England, in particular, began to take notice of the
number of "originals" abounding in the land.

At least as old as the delight in human differences was the
belief in the foreordained nature of at least those differences
resulting in specific vocational aptitudes. This is the
conviction that each man has at birth--innately and inevitably--a
peculiar "bent" for some particular contribution to human
society. Environment is not ignored by the man who wrote "Of
Genius," for he insists that each man's bent may be greatly
developed by favorable circumstances and proper education, and,
conversely, that it may be entirely frustrated by unpropitious
circumstances or wilful neglect. But in no way can a man's inborn
talent for one thing be converted to a talent for anything else.

In the works of many Augustan writers, too, it is easy to see how
the enthusiasm for individualism, later to become one of the
hallmarks of romanticism, actually sprang from an earlier faith
in a God-directed universe of law and order. There is a kind of
universal law of supply and demand, and the argument is simply
that each link in the human chain, like those in the animate and
inanimate worlds above and below it, is predestined to a specific
function for the better ordering of the whole. Lewis Maidwell,
for instance, still employs the medieval and Renaissance analogy
of the correspondence between the human body and the social
organism (_An Essay upon the Necessity and Excellency of

    Upon Consideration we find this Difference of Tempers to
    arise from Providence, and the Law of the Creation, and to
    be most Evident in al Irrational, and Inanimat Beings ... One
    Man is no more design'd for Al Arts, than Al Arts for
    One Man. We are born Confaederats, mutually to help One
    another, therefor appropriated in the Body Politic, to
    this, or that Busyness, as our Members are in the Natural
    to perform their separat Offices.

This same comparison between the body politic and the body human
occurs in the essay of 1719, and even the author's chief analogy
drawn from musical harmony bears with it some of the flavor of an
older system of universal correspondences. His comparison of the
force of genius to the pull of gravity, however, evokes a newer
picture. Yet it is a picture no less orderly and one from which
the preordained function of each individual could be just as
logically derived. And his rhapsodic praise of the infinite
diversity of human temperaments is based on that favorite
comparison with natural scenery and that familiar canon of
neoclassical esthetics: ordered variety within unity, whether it
be in nature or in art.

The author of the pamphlet of 1719 introduces another refinement
on the idea of an inborn bent or genius. A man is born not only
with a peculiar aptitude for the vocation of writing, but with a
peculiar aptitude for a particular _style_ of writing. Some such
aptitude had presumably resulted in that individuality of style,
that particular "character," which 17th-century Biblical critics
were busily searching out in each of the writers of Scripture.

Individuality or originality in the form or plan of a work of
art, however, was quite another thing, and praise of it far more
rare. Yet there had always been protests against the imposition
of a universal classical standard, and our author's insistence
that some few geniuses have the right to discard the "Rules of
Art" and all such "Leading-strings" follows a well-worn path of
reasoning. His scientific analogy, drawn from those natural
philosophers who had cast off the yoke of Aristotle and all
"other Mens Light," is one which had appeared at least as early
as 1661 in Robert Boyle's _Considerations Touching the Style of
Holy Scripture_. It had been reiterated by Dryden and several
others who refused to recognize an _ipse dixit_ in letters any
more than in science.

It must be noted, however, that this rejection of authority for a
few rare individuals in no way constitutes a rejection of reason
or conscious art. The genius has the right to cast off the
fetters only after he has well studied them. Only in one instance
does our author waver toward another conception. This is when he
pauses to echo Rowe's preface to Shakespeare and Addison's famous
_Spectator_ no. 160. Then indeed he boasts that England has had
many "Originals" who, "without the help of Learning, by the meer
Force of natural Ability, have produc'd Works which were the
Delight of their own Times, and have been the Wonder of
Posterity." But when he doubts whether learning would have helped
or "spoiled" them, it is hard to escape the conclusion that he is
still poised on the horns of the typical neoclassical antithesis:
that supposed enmity between reason, which was generally thought
to create the form of the poem, and the emotions and imagination,
which were considered largely responsible for its style.

Only when the admiration for such emotional and imaginative
qualities should outweigh the desire for symmetrical form; when
"primitive" literature should be preferred to Virgil and Horace;
and when this preference should be joined with a belief in the
diversity and fatality of literary bents--only then could the
concept of original genius burst into full bloom.

In Aaron Hill's preface to the paraphrase of Genesis, published
in 1720, we find no preoccupation with the fatality of
temperament and style. But we do find a rising discontent with
the emptiness and restraint of much contemporary verse, and a
very real preference for a more meaningful and a more emotional
and imaginative poetry. We find, in fact, a genuine appreciation
for the poetry of the Old Testament--a poetry which Biblical
scholars like Le Clerc were already viewing as the product of
untrained primitives.

Hill was not alone in his admiration for Biblical style, for the
praise of the "unclassical" poetry of the Bible, which had begun
in the Renaissance, had swelled rather than diminished during the
neoclassical age. By the second decade of the 18th century such
Augustans as Dennis, Gildon, and Pope were crying up its
beauties. Not all agreed, of course, on just what those beauties
were. And still less did they agree on the extent to which
contemporary poetry should imitate them.

One thing upon which almost all would have agreed, however, was
the adoption of the historical point of view in the approach to
Hebrew poetry. Yet many of Hill's predecessors had stopped short
with the historical justification. Blackmore, for instance, had
condemned as bigots and sectarians all those who denied that the
Hebrew way was as great as the classical. He had pronounced it a
mere accident of fate that modern poetry of Western Europe was
modeled on that of Greece and Rome rather than on that of ancient
Israel. But he had been perfectly willing to accept that
fate--and to remodel the form and style of the book of Job on
what he considered the pattern of the classical epic.

Hill is as far as most of his contemporaries from appreciating
such a literal translation as the King James Version. On the
other hand, he is one of a small group of critics who were
beginning to see that at least certain aspects of Biblical style
were of universal appeal; that they might be as effective
psychologically for the modern Englishman as for the ancient Jew.
And he sees in this collection of ancient Oriental literature a
corrective for some of the worst tendencies of a degenerate
contemporary poetry.

Hill's attack upon the current preoccupation with form and
polish, and his contempt for mere smoothness, for the padded
redundancy of Addison and the elaborate rhetoric of Trapp, are
all part of a campaign waged by a small group of critics to make
poetry once again a vehicle of the very highest truth. He
insists, too, that great thought cannot be contained within the
untroubled cadences of the heroic couplet. His own preference led
to the freer, though currently unfashionable, Pindaric, the
irregularity of which seemed justified by Biblical example, for
despite a century and a half of study and speculation the secret
of Biblical verse had not been solved and to most critics even
the Psalms appeared devoid of any pattern. Indeed, Cowley had
declared that in their freedom of structure and abruptness of
transition the odes of Pindar were like nothing so much as the
poetry of Israel.

In addition, Hill would have the modern poet profit by another
quality of Biblical style: its magic combination of a
"magnificent Plainness" with the "Spirit of Imagery." This is the
Hebrew virtue of concrete suggestiveness, so highly prized by
20th-century critics and so alien to the generalized abstractions
and the explicit clarity of much 18th-century poetry.

In consonance with those who believed poetry best communicated
truth because it appealed to man's senses and emotions as well as
to his logical faculty, Hill praises those "pictur'd Meanings of
Poetry" which "enflame a Reader's Will, and bind down his
Attention." Yet his analysis of Trapp's metaphorical expansions
of Biblical imagery reveals that Hill does not like detailed
descriptions or long-drawn-out comparisons. Instead, he admires
the Hebrew ability to spring the imagination with a few vividly
concrete details. Prior to Hill one can find, in a few
paraphrasers and critics like Denham and Lamy, signs of an
appreciation of the concrete suggestiveness of the Bible, but
most of the hundreds of paraphrasers had felt it desirable to
expand Biblical images to beautify and clarify them. Hill was
apparently the first to prove the esthetic loss in such a
practice by an analysis of particular paraphrastic expansions.

Despite his theory, however, Hill's own paraphrase seems almost
as artificial and un-Biblical as those he condemns. He often
forgets the principles he preaches. But even in his preface there
is evident a blind spot that is a mark of his age. His false
ideas of decorum, admiration for Milton, and approval of Dennis's
interpretation of the sublime as the "vast" and the "terrible,"
all lead him to condemn the "low" or the familiar. And his own
efforts to "raise" both his language and his comparisons to suit
the "high" Biblical subject, result in personifications, compound
epithets, and a Miltonic vocabulary, by which the very simplicity
he himself found in the Bible is destroyed.

Another decade was to pass before John Husbands would demonstrate
a clear appreciation for the true simplicity of the Bible and
praise its "penmen" in terms close to those employed to describe
original genius.

                                              Gretchen Graf Pahl

                                              Pomona College

The essay "Of Genius," from the _Occasional Paper_ (1719), is
reproduced from a copy in the New York Public Library. The
typescript of Aaron Hill's preface is based on a copy in the
Henry E. Huntington Library. Both works are used with


                        OCCASIONAL PAPER.

                        VOL. III. NUMB. X.



     The Cartesian _Categories are contain'd in these two

      Mens, mensura, quies, motus, positura, Figura, Sunt,
      cum materia, cunctarum Exordia rerum.

_The Spiritual Nature_, Mens, _is at the head of All. It
     ought to be look'd on here, as a Transcendent Nature,_
     quæ vagatur per omnes Categorias.

                Bayle's Diction. _on the Heathen Doctrine of
                  many_ Genij. See _CAINITES_.


              Printed for EM. MATTHEWS at the _Bible_
                in _Pater-Noster-Row_; J. ROBERTS, in
               _Warwick-Lane_; J. HARRISON, under the
               _Royal Exchange_; and A. DODD, without
               _Temple-Bar_. MDCCXIX.



It is a Matter of common Observation, that there is a vast
Variety in the Bent of Mens Minds. Some have a Taste of one Way
of Living, some of another; some have a Turn for one kind of
Employment, others for what is quite different. Whether this be
from the Constitution of the Mind itself, as some Soils are more
apt to produce some Plants and Herbs than others; or from the
Laws of Union between the Body and Mind, as some Climates are
more kindly to nurse particular Vegetables than others; or from
the immediate Impulse of that Power which governs the World, is
not so easy to determine.

We ascribe this to a difference of _Genius_ amongst Men. _Genius_
was a Deity worshipped by the Ancient Idolaters: Sometimes as the
God of _Nature_; sometimes as the God of a particular _City_ or
_Country_, or _Fountain_, or _Wood_, or the like; sometimes as
the Guardian and Director of a _single Person._

   Exuitur, _Geniumq; meum_ prostratus adorat.
         Propert. _l_. 4. _El._ 9 V. 43.

The Heathens had a Notion, that every Man upon his Birth was
given up to the[A] Conduct of some invisible Being, who was to
form his Mind, and govern and direct his Life. This _Being_ the
_Greeks_ called[B] [Greek: Daimôn or Daimonion]; the _Latins,
Genius_. Some of them suppos'd a[D] Pair of _Genij_ were to
attend every _Man_ from his Birth; one Good, always putting him
on the Practice of Virtue; the other Bad, prompting him to a
vicious Behaviour; and according as their several Suggestions
were most attended to, the Man became either Virtuous or Vicious
in his Inclinations: And from this Influence, which the _Genius_
was suppos'd to have towards forming the Mind, the Word was by
degrees made to stand for the Inclination itself. Hence[E]
_indulgere Genio_ with the _Latins_ signifies, to give Scope to
Inclination, and more commonly to what is none of the best. On
the other Hand, [F]_Defraudare Genium_, signifies to deny Nature
what it craves.

  [A] _Ferunt Theologi, in lucem editis Hominibus cunctis, Salva
  firmitate fatali, bujusmodi quedam, velut actus vectura, numina
  Sociari: Admodum tamen paucissimis visa, quos multiplices
  auxere virtutes. Idque & Oracula & Autores docuerunt praclari_.
  Ammian Marcel Lib. 21.

  [B] [Greek: Hapanti Daimôn andri symparistatai
              Euthys genomenô mystagôgos tou biou. Menan]

  [C] Scit Genius Natale comes, qui temperat Astrum, Nature Deus
  Humana. Horat. [Transcriber's Note: This footnote is not seen
  in the text.]

  [D] _Volunt unicuique Genium appositum Damonem benum & malum,
  hoc est rationem qua ad meliora semper boriatur, & libidinem
  qua ad pejora, hic est Larva & Genius malus, ille bonus Genius
  & Lar._ Serv. in Virgil, Lib. 6. v. 743.

  [E] _Indulge Genio: carpamus dulcia_. Pers. Sat. 5.

  [F] _Suum defraudans Genium._ Terent. Phorm. Act 1.

But a _Genius_ in common Acceptation amongst _us_, doth not
barely answer to this Sense. The _Pondus Animæ_ is to be taken
into its Meaning, as well as the bare Inclination; as Gravitation
in a Body (to which this bears great Resemblance) doth not barely
imply a determination of its Motion towards a certain Center, but
the _Vis_ or Force with which it is carried forward; and so the
_English_ Word _Genius_, answers to the same _Latin_ Word, and
_Ingenium_ together. [G]_Ingenium_ is the _Vis ingenita_, the
natural Force or Power with which every Being is indued; and
this, together with the particular Inclination of the Mind,
towards any Business, or Study, or Way of Life, is what we mean
by a _Genius_. Both are necessary to make a Man shine in any
Station or Employment. Nothing considerable can be done against
the Grain, or as the _Latins_ express it, _invita Minerva_, in
spite of Power and Inclination, "Forc'd Studies, says[H]
_Seneca_, will never answer: The Labour is in vain where Nature
recoils." Indeed, where the Inclination towards any Thing is
strong, Diligence and Application will in a great Measure supply
the Defect of natural Abilities: But then only is in a finish'd
_Genius_, when with a strong Inclination there is a due
Proportion of Force and Vigour in the Mind to pursue it.

  [G] _Ingenium quasi intus genitum_.

  [H] _Male respondent ingenia coacta; reluctante naturâ irritus
  Labor est._

There is a vast Variety of these Inclinations among Mankind. Some
there are who have no bent to Business at all; but, if they could
indulge Inclination, would doze out Life in perpetual Sloth and
Inactivity: Others can't be altogether Idle, but incline only to
trifling and useless Employments, or such as are altogether out
of Character. Both these sorts of Men are properly good for
nothing: They just live, and help to[I] consume the Products of
the Earth, but answer no valuable End of Living, out of
Inclination I mean; Providence and good Government have sometimes
made them serviceable against it.

  [I] _Fruges consumere nati_. Horat.

The better, and in Truth only valuable, Part of Mankind, have a
Turn for one sort of Business or other, but with great variety of
Taste. Some are addicted to deep Thought and Contemplation: Some
to the abstracted Speculations of Metaphysicks; some to the
evident Demonstrations of the Mathematicks; some to the History
of Nature, built upon true Narration, or accurate Observations
and Experiments: Some to the Invention of _Hypotheses_, to solve
the various _Phenomena_. Some affect the study of Languages,
Criticism, Oratory, Poetry, and such like Studies. Some have a
Taste for Musick, some for History and those Sciences which must
help to Accuracy in it: Some have Heads turned for Politicks, and
others for Wars. Some few there are of such quick and strong
Faculties, as to grasp at every thing, and who have made a very
eminent Figure in several Professions at once. We have known in
our Days the same Men learned in the Laws, acute Philosophers,
and deep Divines: We have known others at once eloquent Orators,
brave Soldiers, and finished Statesmen. But these Instances are

The more general Inclination among Men is to some Mechanical
Business. Of this there is most general Use for the Purposes of
Human Life, and it needs most Hands to carry it on. The bulk of
Mankind seem turned for some or other of these Employments, and
make them their Choice; and were not such a multiplicity of Hands
engaged in them, great part of the Conveniencies of Human Life
would be wanting. But even the Multitude of these Employments
leaves room for great variety of Inclinations, and for different
_Genij_, to display and exert themselves.

This is an admirable and wise Provision to answer every End and
Occasion of Mankind, for a sure and harmonious Concurrence of
Mens Actions to all the necessary and useful Affairs of the
World. When in very different Ways, but with equal Pleasure and
Application, they contribute to the Order and Service of the
whole. Mr. _Dryden_ has given an Hint, how we may form a
beautiful and pleasing Idea of this from the Powers of Musick,
that arise from the Variety and artful Composition of Sounds.

        _From Harmony, from Heavenly Harmony,
      This Universal Frame began.
      From Harmony to Harmony,
      Thro' all the Compass of the Notes it ran,
      The Diapasm closing full in Man._

There seems to be a wonderful Likeness in the natural Make of
Mens Minds to the various Tones and Measures of Sounds; and in
their Inclinations and most pleasing Tastes to the several Styles
and Manners of Musick. Something there is in the Mind, of alike
Composition, that is easily touch'd by the kindred Harmony of

      _For Man may justly tuneful Strains admire,
       His Soul is Musick, and his Breast a Lyre._

We have all the Materials of Musick in the Tones and Measure. For
the infinite Variety Composition admits of, can be nothing else,
but higher or lower Tones, stronger or softer Sounds, with a
slower or swifter Motion. The Artist, by an harmonious Mixture
of these, makes the Musick either strong and martial, brisk and
airy, grave and solemn, or soft and moving.

There seems to be in Man a Composition of natural Powers and
Capacities, not unlike to these. From hence I would take the
first Original of their distinguishing _Genij_. The Words by
which they are usually explain'd, have a manifest Allusion
hereto. Thus we say of some Men, they have a brisk and airy
_Genius_; of others, they have a strong and active _Genius_, a
quick and lively Spirit, a grave and solemn Temper, and the like.
The different readiness of Apprehension, strength of Judgment,
vivacity of Fancy and Imagination, with a more or less active
Disposition, and the several Mixtures of which these Powers are
capable, are sufficient to explain this. They may shew us how
some have a particular _Genius_ for Wit and Humour, others for
Thought and Speculation. Whence it is, some love a constant and
persevering Application to whatever they undertake; and others
are continually jumping from one Thing to another, without
finishing any thing at all.

But we do not only consider in Musick these Materials, as I may
call them, of which it is composed; but also the Style and
Manner. This diversifies the _Genius_ of the Composer, and
produces the most sensible and touching Difference. There is in
all Musick the natural difference of Tone and Measure. They are
to be found in the most vulgar Compositions of a Jig or an
Hornpipe. But it is a full Knowledge of the Force and Power of
Sounds, and a judicial Application of them to the several
Intentions of Musick, that forms the Style of a _Purcel_ or
_Corelli_. This is owing to successive Improvements. The Ear is
formed to an elegant Judgment by Degrees. What is harsh and
harmonious is discovered and corrected. By many Advantages, some
at last come to find out what, in the whole Compass of Sounds, is
most soft and touching, most brisk and enlivening, most lofty and
elevating. So that whatever the Artist intends, whether to set an
Air, or compose a _Te Deum_, he does either, with an equal
_Genius_, that is, with equal Propriety and Elegance. Thus long

      Timotheus _to his breathing flute, and sounding Lyre,
      Could swell the Soul to Rage, or kindle soft Desire._
     _Thus_ David'_s Lyre did_ Saul'_s wild Rage controul,
      And tune the harsh Disorders of his Soul._

This may direct us to another Cause, from whence a _Genius_
arises: A _Genius_ that is formed and acquired. For the Turn that
Education, Company, Business, the Taste of the Age, and above
all, Principles of vitious or virtuous Manners, give to a Man's
natural Capacities, is what chiefly forms his _Genius_. Thus we
say of some, they have a rude unpolish'd _Genius_; of others,
they have a fine, polite _Genius_. The manner of applying the
natural Powers of the Mind, is what alone may produce the most
different and opposite _Genij_. Libertine Principles, and
Virtuous Morals, may form the Genius of a _Rake_, from the same
natural Capacity, out of which Virtuous Principles might have
form'd an _Hero_.

There is certainly in our natural Capacities themselves, a
Fitness for some Things, and Unfitness for others. Thus whatever
great Capacities a Man may have, if he is naturally timorous, or
a Coward, he never can have a Warlike _Genius_. If a Man has not
a good Judgment, how great soever his Wit may be, or polite his
Manners, he never will have the _Genius_ of a Statesman. Just as
strong Sounds and brisk Measures can never touch the softer
Passions. Yet as the Art and Skill of the Composer, is required
to the _Genius_ of Musick, so is a Knowledge of the Force and
Power of the natural Capacity, and a judicious Application of it
to the best and most proper Purposes, what forms a _Genius_ for
any Thing. This is the effect of Care, Experience and a right
Improvement of every Advantage that offers. On this Observation
_Horace_ founded his Rules for a Poetical _Genius_.

       _Versate diu quid sere recusent
      Quid valeant humeri._
       _Ego nec studium sine divite vena,
      Nec rude quid profit video ingenium._

       _To speak my Thoughts, I hardly know
    What witless Art, or artless Wit can do._

The same Observation in another kind is elegantly described by
Mr. _Waller_.

     _Great_ Julius _on the Mountains bred,
      A Flock perhaps, or Herd had led.
      He that the World subdued, had been
      But the best Wrestler on the Green.
      'Tis Art and Knowledge that draw forth
      The hidden Seeds of Native Worth.
      They blow those Sparks, and make 'em rise
      Into such Flames as touch the Skies._

The High and Martial Spirit of _Casar_ would have inclined and
fitted him, to gain the Prize of Wrestling above any Country
Sport. But it was the Circumstance of his own Birth and Fortune,
the State and Condition of the Commonwealth, and the Concurrence
of many other Advantages, which he improv'd with great Care and
Application, that made him a finish'd _Genius_, both in Arms and

There is yet another Thing of Consequence to a true _Genius_ in
Musick. A Knowledge of the Compass and peculiar Advantages of
each several Instrument. For the same Composition will very
differently touch both the Ear and the Mind, as perform'd by a
Flute, or Trumpet, an Organ, or a Violin. A difference of which,
all discern by the Ear, but which requires a judicious
Observation in the Composer. Mr. _Hughes_ has thus express'd
their different Powers.

      _Let the Trumpet's shrill Voice,
         And the Drum's thundering Noise
     Rouse every dull Mortal from Sorrow profound.
         Proceed, sweet Charmer of the Ear,
         Proceed, and through the mellow Flute,
              The moving Lyre,
            And Solitary Lute,
         Melting Airs, soft Joys inspire,
         Airs for drooping Hope to hear.
    _And again,
        _Now, let the sprightly Violin
         A louder Strain begin:
           And now,
         Let the deep mouth'd Organ blow,
         Swell it high and Sink it low.
         Hark! how the Treble and the Base
         In wanton Fuges each other chase,
     And swift Divisions run their Airy Race.
         Thro' all the travers'd Scale they fly,
         In winding Labyrinths of Harmony,
     By turns They rise and fall, by Turns we live and die._

One might not unfitly compare to this difference of Instruments,
the different Make and Constitution of Mens Bodies, with the
Influence they have, and the Impression they make on their Minds,
Passions and Actions. From hence alone they may know much, how to
direct their own proper Capacities, and how they are to suit each
Person they are to use, to the most proper Employment. As Mr.
_Pope_ Speaks of the Instruments of Musick.

     _In a sadly pleasing Strain,
      Let the warbling Lute complain.
      Let the loud Trumpet sound,
      Till the Roofs
      all around The shrill Echo's rebound.
    While in more lengthen'd Notes and slow,
    The deep, majestick, solemn Organs blow._

Harmony, in its most restrain'd Sense, is the apt and agreeable
mixture of various Sounds. Such a Composition of them as is
fitted to please the Ear. But every thing in a more extended
Sense is harmonious, where there is a variety of Things dispos'd
and mix'd in such apt and agreeable Manner. Things may indeed be
thrown together in a Crowd, without Order or Art. And then every
thing appears in Confusion, disagreeable and apt to disgust. But
absolute Uniformity will give little more Pleasure than meer
Confusion. To be ever harping on one String, though it be touch'd
by the most Masterly Hand, will give little more Entertainment to
the Ear, than the most confused and discordant variety of Sounds
mingled by the Hand of a meer Bungler. To have the Eye for ever
fix'd on one beautiful Object, would be apt to abate the
Satisfaction, at least in our present State. Variety relieves and
refreshes. It is so in the natural World. Hills and Valleys,
Woods and Pasture, Seas and Shores, not only diversify the
Prospect, but give much more Entertainment to the Eye, that can
successively go from one to the other, than any of them could
singly do. And could we see into all the Conveniencies of things,
how well they are fitted to each other, and the common Purposes
of all, we shou'd find that the Diversity is as usefull as it is

It is the same also with the World of Mankind. If all had a like
Turn or Cast of Mind, and all were bent upon one Business or way
of Living, it would spoil much of the present Harmony of the
World, and be a manifest Inconvenience to the Publick. Perhaps
one Part of Learning, or Method of Business, would be throughly
cultivated and improved; but how many others must be neglected,
or remain defective? And it would create Jealousy and Uneasiness
among themselves. As Men are forc'd to justle in a Crowd. For
there would not be sufficient Scope for every one to exert and
display himself, nor so much Room for many to excel, when all
must do it in one Way. Variety of Inclination and Capacity is an
admirable Means of common Benefit. It opens a wide Field for
Service to Others, and gives great Advantage to Mens own

And it is surprising to consider how great this Diversity is. It
is almost as various as that of bodily Features and Complexion.
There is no Instance of any kind of Learning or Business; any
Thing relating to the Necessity or Delight of Life; not the
meanest Office or the hardest Labour, but some or other are found
to answer the different Purposes of each. They are carried
through all the Difficulties in their several Ways, by the meer
Force of a _Genius_: And attempt and achieve that, with an high
relish of Pleasure, which would give the greatest Disgust to
others and utterly discourage them. This stirs up an useful
Emulation, and gives full Scope for every one to show Himself and
appear to advantage. And it is certainly for the Beauty and
Advantage of the Body. As many Hands employed in different Ways
about some noble Building, yet all help either to secure its
Strength, or furnish out all the Convenience, or give a State and
Grandeur to it.

The Wisdom and Beauty of Providence appear at once in this
Variety and Distinction of Powers and Inclinations among Mankind.
It is a very wise and a necessary Provision for the common Good,
and the Advantage and Pleasure of particular Men. It answers to
all the Ends and Occasions of Mankind. They are in this Way made
helpful to one another, and capable of serving Themselves, and
that without much trouble or fatigue. Business by this Means
becomes a Pleasure. The greatest Labours and Cares are easy and
entertaining to Him who pursues his _Genius_. Inclination still
urges the Man on: Obstacles and Oppositions only sharpen his
Appetite, and put Him upon summoning all his Powers, that He may
exert Himself to the uttermost, and get over his Difficulties.
All the several Arts and Sciences, and all the Improvements made
in them from Time to Time; all the different Offices and
Employments of humane Life, are owing to this variety of Powers
and Inclinations among Men. And is it not obvious to every Eye
how much of the Conveniences and Comforts of humane Life spring
from these Originals? It is a glorious Display and most
convincing Proof of the Interest of Providence in humane Affairs,
and the Wisdom of its Conduct, to fit Things in this Manner to
their proper Uses and Ends. And so to _sort_ Mankind, and suit
their Talents and Inclinations, that all may contribute somewhat
to the Publick Good, and hardly one Member of the whole Body be
lost in the Reckoning, useless to it self, or unserviceable to
the Body. Were it otherwise, what large Tracts of humane Affairs
would lie perfectly waste and uncultivated? Whereas now all the
Parts of humane Learning and Life lie open to Improvement, and
some or other is fitted by Nature, and dispos'd by Inclination,
to help towards it.

And as Providence gives the Hint, Men should take it, and follow
the Conduct of _Genius_ in the Course of their Studies, and Way
of Employment in the World; and in the Education and Disposal of
their Children. Men too often in this Case consult their own
Humour and Convenience, not the Capacity and Inclination of the
Child: And are governed by some or other external Circumstance,
or lower Consideration; as, what they shall give with them, or to
whom to commit the Care of them, &c. Thus they after contrive
unsuitable Marriages, on the single View of worldly Advantage.
From this Cause proceed fatal Effects, and many young Men of
great Hopes, and good Capacities, miscarry in the after Conduct
of Life, and prove useless or mischievous to the World. They turn
off from a disagreeable Employment, and run into Idleness and
Extravagance. If People better consider'd the peculiar _Genius_
or proper Talents of their Children, and took their Measures of
Treatment and Disposal thence, we should certainly find
answerable Improvements and lasting good Effects. The several
Kinds of Learning and Business would come to be more advanced,
and the Lives of Men become more useful and significant to the

I have known a large Family of Children, with so remarkable a
Diversity of _Genius_, as to be a little Epitome of Mankind. Some
studious and thoughtful, and naturally inclin'd to _Books_ and
_Learning_; Others diligent and ambitious, and disposed to
_Business_ and rising in the World. Some bold and enterprizing,
and loved nothing so well as the _Camp_ and the _Field_; or so
daring and unconfined, that nothing would satisfy but _going_ to
_Sea_ and visiting Foreign Parts. Some have been gay and airy,
Others solid and retired. Some curious and Observers of other
Men; Others open and careless. In short, their Capacities have
been as various as their Natural Tempers or Moral Dispositions.

Now what a Blunder would be committed in the Education of such a
Family, if, with this different Turn of Mind in the Children,
there should be no difference made in the Management of them, or
their Disposal in the World. If all should be put into one Way
of Life, or brought up to one Business. Or if in the Choice of
Employment for Them, their several Biass and Capacity be not
consulted, but the roving _Genius_ mew'd up in a Closet, and
confounded among Books: And the studious and thoughtful _Genius_
sent to wander about the World, and be perfectly scattered and
dissipated, for want of proper Application and closer
Confinement. Whereas, one such a Family wisely educated, and
dispos'd in the World, would prove an extensive Blessing to
Mankind, and appear with a distinguished Glory; was the proper
_Genius_ of every Child first cultivated, and he then put into a
Way of Life that would suit his Taste.

_Genius_ is a part of natural Constitution, not acquir'd, but
born with us. Yet it is capable of Cultivation and Improvement.
It has been a common Question, whether a Man be born a Poet or
made one? but both must concur. Nature and Art must contribute
their Shares to compleat the Character. Limbs alone will not make
a Dancer, or a Wrestler. Nor will _Genius_ alone make a good
Poet; nor the meer Strength of natural Abilities make a
considerable Artist of any kind. Good Rules, and these reduc'd to
Practice, are necessary to this End. And Use and Exercise in
this, as well as in all other Cases, are a second Nature. And,
oftentimes, the second Nature makes a prodigious Improvement of
the Force and Vigour of the first.

It has been long ago determined by the great Masters of Letters,
that good Sense is the chief Qualification of a good Writer.

  _Scribendi certe sapere est & Principium & Fons._


Yet the best natural Parts in the World are capable of much
Improvement by a due Cultivation.

  _Doctrina sed vim promovet insitam,
  Rectique cultus Pectora roborant._


The Spectator's golden Scales, let down from Heaven to discover
the true Weight and Value of Things, expresses this Matter in a
Way which at once shews, a _Genius_, and its Cultivation. "There
is a Saying among the _Scots_, that an Ounce of Mother-Wit, is
worth a Pound of Clergy. I was sensible of the Truth of this
Saying, when I saw the difference between the Weight of natural
Parts and that of Learning. I observ'd that it was an hundred
Times heavier than before, when I put Learning into the same
Scale with it."

It has been observ'd, of an _English_ Author, that he would be
all _Genius_. He would reap the Fruits of Art, but without the
Study and Pains of it. The _Limæ Labor_ is what he cannot easily
digest. We have as many Instances of Originals, this way, as any
Nation can produce. Men, who without the help of Learning, by the
meer Force of natural Ability, have produced Works which were the
Delight of their own Times, and have been the Wonder of
Posterity. It has been a Question, whether Learning would have
improved or spoiled them. There appears somewhat so nobly Wild
and Extravagant in these great _Genij_, as charms infinitely
more, than all the Turn and Polishing which enters into the
_French Bel Esprit_, or the _Genius_ improved by Reading and

But tho' this will hold in some very rare Instances, it must be
much for its Advantage in ordinary Cases, that a _Genius_ should
be diligently and carefully cultivated. In order to this, it
should be early watched and observ'd. And this is a matter that
requires deep Insight into Humane Nature. It is not so easy as
many imagine, to pronounce what the proper _Genius_ of a Youth
is. Every one who will be fiddling, has not presently a _Genius_
for Musick. The Idle Boy draws Birds and Men, when he should be
getting his Lesson or writing his Copy; _This Boy_, says the
Father, _must be a_ Painter; when alas! this is no more the Boy's
_Genius_ than the _Parhelion_ is the true Sun. But those who have
the Care of Children, should take some Pains to know what their
true _Genius_ is. For here the Foundation must be laid for
improving it. If a Mistake be made here, the Man sets out wrong,
and every Step he takes carries him so much farther from Home.

The true _Genius_ being discovered, it must be supplied with
Matter to work upon, and employ it self. This is Fuel for the
Fire. And the fitting a _Genius_ with proper Materials, is
putting one into the Way of going through the World with Wind and
Tide. The whole Force of the Mind is applied to its proper Use.
And the Man exerts all his Strength, because he follows
Inclination, and gives himself up to the proper Conduct of his
_Genius_. This is the right way to excel. The Man will naturally
rise to his utmost Height, when he is directed to an Employment
that at once fits his Abilities, and agrees with his Taste.

Care must also be taken, that a _Genius_ be not overstrain'd. Our
Powers are limited. None can carry beyond their certain Weight.
Whilst we follow Inclination, and keep within the Bounds of our
Power, we act with Ease and Pleasure. If we strain beyond our
Power, we crack the Sinews, and after two or three vain Efforts,
our Strength fails, and our Spirits are jaded. It wou'd be of
mighty Advantage towards improving a _Genius_, to make its
Employment, as much as possible, a Delight and Diversion,
especially to young Minds. A Man toils at a Task, and finds his
Spirits flag, and his Force abate, e'er he has gone half thro';
whereas he can put forth twice the Strength, and complain of no
Fatigue, in following his Pleasures. Of so much Advantage is it
to make Business a Pleasure, if possible, and engage the Mind in
it out of Choice. It naturally reluctates against Constraint, and
is most unwilling to go on when it knows it _must_. But if it be
left to its own Choice, to follow Inclination and pursue its
Pleasure, it goes on without any Rubs, and rids twice the Ground,
without being half so much tired.

Exercise is also very necessary to improve a _Genius_. It not
only shines the more, by exerting it self, but, like the Limbs of
an Humane Body, gathers Strength by frequent and vigorous Use,
and becomes more pliable and ready for Action. There must indeed
sometimes be a Relaxation. Our Minds will not at present bear to
be continually bent, and in perpetual Exercise. But our Faculties
manifestly grow by using them. The more we exert our selves, if
we do not overstrain our Powers, the greater Readiness and
Ability we acquire for future Action. A _Genius_, in order to be
much improv'd, should be well workt, and kept in close
Application to its proper Pursuit.

All the Foreign Help must be procured, that can be had, towards
this Improvement. The Instruction and Example of such as excell
in that particular way, to which a Man's Mind is turned, is of
vast Use. A good Master in the Mechanical Arts, and careful
Observation of the nicest and most dextrous Workmen, will help a
_Genius_ of this sort. A good Tutor in the Sciences, and free
Conversation with such as have made great Proficiency in them,
must vastly improve the more liberal _Genius_. Reading, and
careful Reflection on what a Man reads, will still add to its
Force, and carry the Improvement higher. Reading furnishes
Matter, Reflexion digests it, and makes it our own; as the Flesh
and Blood which are made out of the Food we eat. And Prudence and
the Knowledge of the World, must direct us how to employ our
_Genius_, and on all occasions make the best Use of it. What
will the most exalted _Genius_ signify, if the World reaps no
Advantage from it? He who is possess'd of it, may make it turn to
Account to himself, and have much Pleasure and Satisfaction from
it; but it is a very poor Business, if it serves no other
Purpose, than to supply Matter for such private and narrow
Satisfaction. It is certainly the Intention of Providence, that a
good _Genius_ should be a publick Benefit; and to wrap up such a
Talent in a Napkin, and bury it in the Earth, is at once to be
unfaithful to God, and defraud Mankind.

Those who have such a Trust put into their Hands, should be very
careful that they do not abuse it, nor squander it away. The best
_Genius_ may be spoiled. It suffers by nothing more, than by
neglecting it, and by an Habit of Sloth and Inactivity. By
Disuse, it contracts [J]Rust, or a Stiffness which is not easily
to be worn off. Even the sprightly and penetrating, have, thro'
this neglect, sunk down to the Rank of the dull and stupid. Some
Men have given very promising Specimens in their early Days, that
they could think well themselves; but, whether from a
pusillanimous Modesty, or a lazy Temper at first, I know not;
they have by Degrees contracted such an Habit of Filching and
Plagiary, as to lose their Capacity at length for one Original
Thought. Some Writers indeed, as well as Practitioners in other
Arts, seem only born to copy; but it is Pity those, who have a
Stock of their own, should so entirely lose it by Disuse, as to
be reduc'd to a Necessity, when they must appear in Publick, to
borrow from others.

  [J] Otium ingera rubig. [Transcriber's Note: "rubig" not readable,
       may be the word for rust or stiffness.]

Men should guard against this Mischief with great Care. A
_Genius_ once squandered away by neglect, is not easily to be
recovered. _Tacitus_ assigns a very proper Reason for this.
"[K]Such is the Nature, saith he, of Humane Infirmity, that
Remedies cannot be applied, as quick as Mischiefs may be
suffered; and as the Body must grow up by slow Degrees, but is
presently destroyed; so you may stifle a _Genius_ much more
easily than you can recover it. For you'll soon relish Ease and
Inactivity, and be in Love with Sloth, which was once your
Aversion." This can hardly fail of raining the best Capacity,
especially, if from a neglect of severer Business, Men run into a
Dissolution of Manners, which is the too common Consequence. The
greatest Minds have thus been often wholly enervated, and the
best Parts buried in utter Obscurity.

[K] Natura infirmitatis humanae, tadiora sunt remedia
quam mala; & ut corpora lente augescunt, cito extinguuntur,
sic ingenia studiaque oppresseris, facilius quam revocaveris;
subit quippe ipsius inertiae dulcedo, et invisa primo desidia
postremo amatur. Tacit. Vit. Agricol. c. 3.

Though the Rules of Art may be of great Service to improve a
_Genius_, it is very prejudicial, in many Cases, to fetter it
self with these Rules, or confine itself within those Limits
which others have fixed. How little would Science have been
improv'd, if every new _Genius_, that applies himself to any
Branch of it, had made other Mens Light, his _ne plus_ _ultra_,
and resolved to go no farther into it, than the Road had been
beaten before him. No doubt there were Men of as good natural
Abilities in the Ages before the Revival of Learning, as there
have been since. But they were cramped with the Jargon of a wordy
and unintelligible Philosophy, and durst not give themselves the
Liberty to think in Religion, without the Boundaries fixed by the
Church, for fear of Anathemas, and an Inquisition. Till those
Fetters were broken, little Advance was made, for many Ages
together, in any useful or solid Knowledge. In truth, every Man
who makes a new Discovery, goes at first by himself; and as long
as the greatest Minds are Content to go in Leading-strings, they
will be but upon a Level with their Neighbours.

On the other Hand, Capacities of a lower size must be obliged to
more of Imitation. All their Usefulness will be spoiled by forming
too high Models for themselves. If they will be of Service, they
must be content to keep the beaten Road. Should they attempt to
soar too high, they will only meet with _Icarus_'s Fate. A common
_Genius_ will serve many common Purposes exceeding well, and
render a Man conspicuous enough, tho' there may be no
distinguishing Splendor about him to dazzle the Beholders Eyes.
But if he attempts any Thing beyond his Strength, he is sure to
lose the Lustre which he had, if he does not also weaken his
Capacity, and impair his _Genius_ into the Bargain. So just in
all Cases is the Poet's Advice to Writers.

      _Sumite Materiam vestris qui scribitis aquam
       Veribus_.                         Horat.
      _Weigh well your Strength_, _and never undertake
       What is above your Power_.

And this brings to Mind another very common Occasion of ruining
many a good _Genius_; I mean, wrong Application. Nothing will
satisfie Parents, but their Children must apply their Minds to
one of the learned Professions, when, instead of consulting the
Reputation or Interest of their Children, by such a preposterous
Choice, they turn them out to live in an Element no way suited to
their Nature, and expose them to Contempt and Beggary all their
Days; while at the same Time they spoil an Head, admirably turn'd
for Traffick or Mechanicks. And he is left to bring up the Rear
in the learned Profession, or it may be lost in the Crowd, who
would have shined in Trade, and made a prime Figure upon the
Exchange. Many have by this Means _run their Heads against a
Pulpit_, (as a Satyrical _Genius_ once expressed it) _who would
have made admirable Ploughmen_.

There is a different Taste in Men, as to the learned Professions
themselves, which qualities and disposes them for the one, but
would never make them appear with any Lustre in another. This has
been often made evident in the different Figures, which some, who
lived in Obscurity before, have made upon a lucky Incident that
led them out of the mistaken Track into which they were first
put. Where Providence does not relieve a _Genius_ from this Error
in setting out, the Man must be kept under the Hatches all his

There are very different Manners of Writing, and each of them
just and agreeable in their Kind, when Nature is followed, and a
Man endeavours Perfection in that Style and Manner which suits
his own Humour and Abilities. Some please, and indeed excel in a
Mediocrity, [L]who quite lose themselves if they attempt the
Sublime. Some succeed to a wonder in the Account of all Readers
whilst they confine themselves to close Reasoning; who, if they
are so ill advise'd, as to meddle with Wit; only make themselves
the Jest. [M]That is easy and agreeable which is natural; what is
forc'd, will appear distorted and give Disgust.

  [L] _Dum vitat humum, nubes et inania captet_. Horat.

  [M] _Ingenio, sicut in Agro, quanquam alia diu Serantur
       atque elaborentur, gratiora tamen quae suâ sponte nascuntur_.
       Tacit. de Orator, c. 6.

It is of fatal Consequence to a good _Genius_ to grasp at too
much. "A certain Magistrate (says _Bruyere_) arriving, by his
Merit, to the first Dignities of the Gown, thought himself
qualified for every Thing. He printed a Treatise of Morality, and
published himself a Coxcomb." Universal _Genij_ and universal
Scholars are generally excellent at nothing. He is certainly the
wisest Man, who endeavours to be perfectly furnished for some
Business, and regards other Matters as no more than his

A _Genius_ being thus observed, humoured and cultivated, is to be
kept in Heart, and upon proper Occasions to be exerted. Without
this, it may sink and be lost. All Habits are weakened by Disuse.
And Men who are furnished with a _Genius_, for publick
Usefulness, should put themselves forward; I mean, with due
Modesty and Prudence, and not suffer their Talents to be hid,
when a fair Opportunity offers to do Service with them. Indeed it
is too common an Unhappiness for Men to be so placed, as to have
no Opportunity and Advantage for shewing their _Genius_. As
Matters are generally managed in the World, Men are for the most
part staked down to such Business, in such Alliances, or in such
Circumstances, that they have no proper Occasions of exerting
themselves; but instead of that, are continually tugging and
striving with things that are cross and ungrateful to them. And
that must be a strong Mind indeed, that shall break through the
Censures and Opposition of the World, and dare to quit a Station,
for which a Man has been brought up, and in which he has acted
for some Time, that he may get into another Sphere, where he sees
he can act according to the Impulses of his _Genius_. Tho' such
as have had the Courage and Skill to follow those Impulses, till
they have gain'd the Stations which suited their Taste and
Inclination, have seldom fail'd of appearing considerable. But
Multitudes, by this Situation of Affairs, have been forc'd, in a
manner, to stifle a _Genius_, because they could have no fair
Opportunity of exerting it.

A crazy Constitution, and a Body liable to continual Disorders,
call off the Attention of many a great Mind, from what might
otherwise procure very great Reputation and Regard. Their
_Genius_ no sooner begins a little to exert itself, but the
Spirits flag, and one unhappy Ail or other, enfeebles and
discourages the Mind.

Lust and Wine mightily obstruct all Attempts that require
Application; and will neither allow a Man duly to furnish his
Mind, nor rightly to use that Furniture he has. An Intrigue or a
Bottle may sometimes give an Opportunity for a Man to shew his
_Genius_, but will utterly spoil all regular and reputable
Exertings of it. He who would put forth his _Genius_ to the
Advantage of Himself or the World, should give into no Pleasures
that will enervate or dissolve his Mind. He must keep it bent for
Business, or he will bring all Business to nothing.

Conceit and Affectation on one hand, and Peevishness and
Perverseness of Temper on the other, will lay the best _Genius_
under great Disadvantages, and raise such Dislike and Opposition,
as will bear it down in spite of all its Force and Furniture. A
graceful Mixture of Boldness and Modesty, with a Smoothness and
Benignity of Temper, will much better make a Man's Way into the
World, and procure him the Opportunity of exerting his _Genius_.

But there is nothing lies as an heavier Weight upon a Man, or
hinders Him more from shewing Himself to Advantage, and employing
his great Abilities for the Service of Others; than the Quarrels
and Contentions of Parties. Many have their Talents imprison'd,
by being of the hated and sinking Side. Their Light is wholly
smother'd and suppress'd, that it may not shine out with a Lustre
on the Party to which they belong, whether it be in Politicks or
Religion. And all Struggles of a _Genius_ are vain, when a Man is
born down at once by Clamour and Power.

This is very discouraging to a Man who has taken much Pains in
cultivating his _Genius_; and many have, without doubt, been
tempted wholly to neglect themselves, from the Dread of these
Discouragements. I own this Neglect is not to be excused
altogether, though it grieves one that there should be any
Occasion given for it. There is still Room for Men to follow and
improve a _Genius_, and hope by it to benefit Mankind, and
procure Regard to Themselves. And it is hard to say, what Way of
exerting it will turn most to Account. Peculiar Honours are due
to those who appear to Advantage in the _Pulpit_. Numerous
Applauses and Preferments attend those who acquit themselves well
at the _Bar_. There is a great deal of Renown to those who are
eminent in the _Senate_. There are high Advantages to such as
excel in _Counsel_ and on _Embassies_. Immortal Lawrels will
crown such as are brave, expert and victorious in _Arms_. There
are the Blessings of Wealth and Plenty to those who manage well
their _Trades_ and _Merchandize_. The Names of the skilful
_Architect_, the cunning _Artificer_, the fine, exact and well
devising _Painter_, are sometimes enrolled in the Lists of Fame.
The learned, experienced and successful _Physician_, may become
as considerable for Repute and Estate, as one of any other
Profession. _Musick_ also may have its _Masters_, who shall be
had in lasting Esteem. The _Poets_ Performances may be [N]more
durable than Brass, and long lived as Time it Self. Every
_Science_ may have Professors that shall shine in the learned
World. With all the Discouragements that may damp a _Genius_,
there is yet a wide Field for it to exert it self, and Room to
hope it will not be in vain.

  [N] Exegi monumentum aere perennius
      Regalique situ pyramidum altius,
      Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotens
      Possit diruere aut innumerabilis
      Annorum series et fuga temporum:


I was going to add something of exerting one's _Genius_ as an
_Author_. But I found, it would fill up too much Room in my
Paper, should I enlarge on the several Ways of Mens appearing
considerable. And I was so apprehensive of the Reputation, which
the Divine, the Historian, the Critick, the Philosopher, and
almost all the other Authors, have above us _Essay-Writers_, that
I thought I should but lessen the Regards to my own _Genius_,
should I have set to View the Advantages of Others. It will
sufficiently gratify my Ambition as an Author, if the World will
be so good natured as to think I have handsomely excus'd my self;
that I am tolerably fitted, in the Way in I am, to give
Entertainment to my Readers, and do them some Service.

       *       *       *       *       *


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ERRATA [Transcriber's Note: Not readable]

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                      Pindaric Illustration
                               OF A


                      Originally written by


                         On That SUBJECT.

                              WITH A

                       PREFACE to Mr. POPE,


           The Sublimity of the Ancient HEBREW POETRY,
        and a material and obvious Defect in the ENGLISH.


 Printed for T. BICKERTON, at the _Crown_ in _Pater-noster-Row._

                           M. DCC. XX.

                       Price One Shilling.

                      _PREFACE to MR. POPE_


About two Years ago, upon a slight Misapprehension of some
Expressions of yours, which my Resentment, or perhaps my Pride,
interpreted to the Disadvantage of a Poetical Trifle, I had then
newly publish'd, I suffer'd myself to be unreasonably
transported, so far, as to inscribe you an angry, and
inconsiderate Preface; without previous Examination into the
Justness of my Proceeding. I have lately had the Mortification to
learn from your own Hand that you were entirely guiltless of the
fact charg'd upon you; so that, in attempting to retaliate a
suppos'd Injury, I have done a real Injustice.

The only Thing which an honest Man ought to be more asham'd of
than his faults, is a Reluctance against confessing them. I have
already acknowledg'd mine to yourself: But no publick Guilt is
well aton'd, by a private Satisfaction; I therefore send you a
Duplicate of my Letter, by way of the World, that all, who
remember my Offence, may also witness my Repentance.


   I am under the greatest Confusion I ever felt in my Life, to
   find by your Letter, that I have been guilty of a Crime, which
   I can never forgive Myself, were it for no other Reason, than
   that You have forgiven it. I might have learnt from your
   Writings the Extent of your Soul, and shou'd have concluded it
   impossible for the Author of those elevated Sentiments, to sink
   beneath them in his Practice.

   You are generously moderate, when you mitigate my Guilt, and
   miscall it a Credulity; 'twas a passionate, and most
   unjustifiable Levity, and must still have remain'd
   unpardonable, whatever Truth might have been found in its
   mistaken Occasion.

   What stings me most, in my Reflection on this Folly, is, that
   I know not how to atone it; I will endeavour it, however;
   being always asham'd, when I have attempted to revenge an
   Injury, but never more proud, than when I have begg'd pardon
   for an Error.

   If you needed an Inducement to the strengthening your
   Forgiveness, you might gather it from these two
   Considerations; First, The Crime was almost a Sin against
   Conviction; for though not happy enough to know you
   personally, your Mind had been my intimate Acquaintance, and
   regarded with a kind of partial Tenderness, that made it
   little less than Miracle, that I attempted to offend you. A
   sudden Warmth, to which, by Nature, I am much too liable,
   transported me to a Condition, I shall best describe in
   Shakespear's Sense, somewhere or other.

      Blind in th' obscuring Mist of heedless Rage,
      I've rashly shot my Arrows o'er a House,
      And hurt my Brother....

   A Second Consideration is, the Occasion you have gather'd to
   punish my Injustice, with more than double Sharpness, by your
   Manner of receiving it. The Armour of your Mind is temper'd so
   divinely, that my mere Human Weapons have not only fail'd to
   pierce, but broke to pieces in rebounding. You meet Assaults,
   like some expert Arabian, who, declining any Use of his own
   Javelin, arrests those which come against him, in the Fierceness
   of their Motion, and overcomes his Enemies, by detaining their
   own Weapons. 'Tis a noble Triumph you now exercise, by the
   Superiority of your Nature; and while I see you looking down upon
   the Distance of my Frailty, I am forc'd to own a Glory, which I
   envy you; and am quite asham'd of the poor Figure I am making, in
   the bottom of the Prospect. I feel, I am sure, Remorse, enough to
   satisfy you for the Wrong, but to express it, wou'd, I think,
   exceed even your own Power.

      Yours, whose sweet Songs can rival Orpheu's Strain,
      And force the wondring Woods to dance again,
      Make moving Mountains hear your pow'rful Call,
      And headlong Streams hang list'ning in their Fall.

   No Words can be worthy to come after these; I will therefore
   hasten to tell you, that I am, and will ever be, with the
   greatest Truth and Respect,


                                  Your Most Humble,

                                    and Most Obedient Servant,

                                           A. Hill.

I have now attempted, as far as I am able, to throw off a Weight,
which my Mind has been uneasy under. I cannot say, in the City
Phrase, that I have balanc'd the Account, but you must admit of
Composition, where full Payment is impossible. I shall be so far
from regretting you the old Benefit of Lex talionis, that I
forgive you heartily, beforehand, for any thing you may hereafter
think fit to say, or do, to my Disadvantage; nay, the Pleasure I
enjoy by reflecting on your good Nature, will degenerate to a
Pain, if one Accident or other, in the Course of your Life, does
not favour me with some Occasion of advancing your Interest.

Having said thus much to you, in your Quality of a Good Man, I
will proceed to address you, in your other Quality, of a Great
Poet; in which Light I look up to you with extraordinary Comfort,
as to a new Constellation breaking out upon our World, with equal
Heat, and Brightness, and cross-spangling, as it were, the whole
Heaven of Wit with your milky way of Genius.

You cou'd never have been born at a Time, which more wanted the
Influence of your Example: All the Fire you bring with you, and
the Judgment you are acquiring, in the Course of your Journey,
will be put to their full stress, to support and rebuild the
sinking Honours of Poetry.

It was a Custom, which prevail'd generally among the Ancients, to
impute Celestial Descent to their Heroes; The Vanity, methinks,
might have been pardonable, and rational, if apply'd to an Art;
since Arts, when they are at once delightful and profitable, as
you will certainly leave Poetry, have one real Mark of Divinity,
they become, in some measure, immortal. And as the oldest, and, I
think, the sublimest Poem in the World, is of Hebrew Original,
and was made immediately after passing the Red-Sea, at a Time,
when the Author had neither Leisure, nor Possibility, to invent a
new Art: It must therefore be undeniable, either that the Hebrews
brought Poetry out of Egypt, or that Moses receiv'd it from God,
by immediate Inspiration. This last, being what a Poet should be
fondest of believing, I wou'd fain suppose it probable, that God,
who was pleas'd to instruct Moses with what Ceremony he wou'd be
worship'd, taught him also a Mode of Thinking, and expressing
Thought, unprophan'd by vulgar Use, and peculiar to that Worship.
God then taught Poetry first to the Hebrews, and the Hebrews to
Mankind in general.

But, however this may have been, there is, apparently, a divine
Spirit, glowing forcibly in the Hebrew Poetry, a kind of terrible
Simplicity; a magnificent Plainness! which is commonly lost, in
Paraphrase, by our mistaken Endeavours after heightening the
Sentiments, by a figurative Expression; This is very ill Judg'd:
The little Ornaments of Rhetorick might serve, fortunately
enough, to swell out the Leanness of some modern Compositions;
but to shadow over the Lustre of a divine Hebrew Thought, by an
Affectation of enliv'ning it, is to paint upon a Diamond, and
call it an Ornament.

It is a surprizing Reflection, that these noble Hebrew Poets
shou'd have written with such admirable Vigour three Thousand
Years ago; and that, instead of improving, we should affect to
despise them; as if, to write smoothly, and without the Spirit of
Imagery, were the true Art of Poetry, because the only Art we
practise. It puts me in Mind of the famous Roman Lady, who
suppos'd, that Men had, naturally, stinking Breaths, because she
had been us'd to it, in her Husband.

The most obvious Defect in our Poetry, and I think the greatest
it is liable to, is, that we study Form, and neglect Matter. We
are often very flowing, and under a full Sail of Words, while we
leave our Sense fast aground, as too weighty to float on
Frothiness; We run on, upon false Scents, like a Spaniel, that
starts away at Random after a Stone, which is kept back in the
Hand, though It seem'd to fly before him. To speak with Freedom
on this Subject, is a Task of more Danger than Honour; for few
Minds have real Greatness enough to consider a Detection of their
Errors, as a Warning to their Conduct, and an Advantage to their
Fame; But no discerning Judgment will consider it as ill Nature,
in one Writer, to mark the Faults of another. A general Practice
of that Kind wou'd be the highest Service to poetry. No Disease
can be cur'd, till its Nature is examin'd; and the first likely
Step towards correcting our Errors, is resolving to learn
impartially, that we have Errors to be corrected.

I will, therefore, with much Freedom, but no manner of Malice,
remark an Instance or two, from no mean Writers, to prove, that
our Poetry has been degenerating apace into mere Sound, or
Harmony; nor ought This to be consider'd as an invidious Attempt,
since whatever Pains we take, about polishing our Numbers, where
we raise not our Meaning, are as impertinently bestowed, as the
Labour wou'd be, of setting a broken Leg after the Soul has left
the Body. The Gunners have a Custom, when a Ball is too little
for the Bore of their Canon, to wrap Towe about it, till it
fills the Mouth of the Piece; after which, it is discharg'd, with
a Thunder, proportionable to the Size of the Gun; But its
Execution at the Mark, will immediately discover, that the Noise
of the Discharge was a great deal too big for the Diameter of the
Bullet. It is just the same thing with an unsinewy Imagination,
sent abroad in sounding Numbers; The Loftiness of the Expression
will astonish shallow Readers into a temporary Admiration, and
support it, for a while; but the Bounce, however loud, goes no
farther than the Ear; The Heart remains unreach'd by the Languor
of the Sentiment.

Poetry, the most elevated Exertion of human Wit, is no more than
a weak and contemptible Amusement, wanting Energy of Thought, or
Propriety of Expression. Yet we may run into Error, by an
injudicious Affectation of attaining Perfection, as Men, who are
gazing upward, when they shou'd be looking to their Footsteps,
stumble frequently against Posts, while they have the Sun in

In attempting, for Example, to modernize so lofty an Ode as the
104th Psalm, the Choice of Metaphors shou'd, methinks, have been
considered, as one of the most remarkable Difficulties. There
seems to have been a Necessity, that they shou'd be noble, as
well as natural; and yet, if too much rais'd, they wou'd endanger
an Extinction of the Charms, which they were design'd to
illustrate. That powerful Imagination of 'the Sea, climbing over
the Mountains Tops, and rushing back, upon the Plains, at the
Voice of God's Thunder,' ought certainly to have been express'd
with as much Plainness as possible: And, to demonstrate how ill
the contrary Measure has succeeded, one need only observe how it
looks in Mr. Trapp's Metaphorical Refinement.

      "The Ebbing Deluge did its Troops recal,
       Drew off its Forces, and disclos'd the Ball,
       They, at th' Eternal's Signal march'd away."

Who does not discern, in this Place, what an Injury is done to
the original Image, by the military Metaphor? Recalling the
'Troops' of a Deluge, 'Drawing off its Forces'; and its 'Marching
away, at a Signal,' carry not only a visible Impropriety of
Thought, but are infinitely below the Majesty of That God, who is
so dreadfully represented thundering his Commands to the Ocean;
They are directly the Reverse of that terrible Confusion, and
overwhelming Uproar of Motion, which the Sea, in the Original, is
suppos'd to fall into. The March of an Army is pleasing, orderly,
slow; The Inundation of a Sea, from the Tops of the Mountains,
frightful, wild and tumultuous; Every Justness and Grace of the
original Conception is destroyed by the Metaphor.

In the same Psalm, the Hebrew Poet describing God, says, '....He
maketh the Clouds his Chariots, and walketh on the Wings of the
Wind.' Making the 'Clouds his Chariots,' is a strong and lively
Thought; But That of 'walking on the Wings of the Wind,' is a
Sublimity, that frightens, astonishes, and ravishes the Mind of a
Reader, who conceives it, as he shou'd do. The Judgement of the
Poet in this Place, is discernable in three different
Particulars; The Thought is in itself highly noble, and elevated;
To move at all upon the Wind, carries with it an Image of much
Majesty and Terror; But this natural Grandeur he first encreas'd
by the Word 'Wings,' which represents the Motion, as not only on
the Winds, but on the Winds in their utmost Violence, and
Rapidity of Agitation. But then at last, comes that finishing
Sublimity, which attends the Word 'walks'! The Poet is not
satisfied to represent God, as riding on the Winds; nor even as
riding on them in a Tempest; He therefore tells us, that He walks
on their Wings; that so our Idea might be heighten'd to the
utmost, by reflecting on this calm, and easy Motion of the Deity,
upon a Violence, so rapid, so furious, and ungovernable, to our
human Conception. Yet as nothing can be more sublime, so nothing
can be more simple, and plain, than this noble Imagination. But
Mr. Trapp, not contented to express, attempts unhappily to adorn
this inimitable Beauty, in the following Manner.

      "Who, borne in Triumph o'er the Heavenly Plains,
       Rides on the Clouds, and holds a Storm in Reins,
       Flies on the Wings of the sonorous Wind, &c."

Here his imperfect, and diminishing Metaphor, of the 'Rains,' has
quite ruin'd the Image; What rational, much less noble Idea, can
any Man conceive of a Wind in a Bridle? The unlucky Word 'Plains'
too, is a downright Contradiction to the Meaning of the Passage.
What wider Difference in Nature, than between driving a Chariot
over a Plain, and moving enthron'd, amidst That rolling, and
terrible Perplexity of Motions, which we figure to our
Imagination, from a 'Chariot of Clouds'? But the mistaken
Embellishment of the Word 'flies,' in the last Verse, is an Error
almost unpardonable; Instead of improving the Conception, it has
made it trifling, and contemptible, and utterly destroy'd the
very Soul of its Energy! 'flies' on the Wind! What an Image is
That, to express the Majesty of God? To 'walk' on the Wind is
astonishing, and horrible; But to 'fly' on the Wind, is the
Employment of a Bat, of an Owl, of a Feather! Mr. Trapp is, I
believe, a Gentleman of so much Candour, and so true a Friend to
the Interest of the Art he professes, that there will be no
Occasion to ask his pardon, for dragging a Criminal Metaphor, or
two, out of the Immunity of his Protection.

Mr. Philips has lately been told in Print, by one of our best
Criticks, that he has excell'd all the Ancients, in his Pastoral
Writings; He will, therefore, be apt to wonder, that I take the
Liberty to say, in downright Respect to Truth, and the Justice
due to Poetry, that I have not only seen modern pastorals, much
better than His, but that his appear, to me, neither natural,
nor equal. One might extend this Remark to the very Names of his
Shepherds; Lobbin, Hobbinol, and Cuddy are nothing of a Piece,
with Lanquet, Mico, and Argol; nor do his Personages agree
better with themselves, than their Names with one another. Mico,
for Example, at the first Sight we have of him, is a very polite
Speaker, and as metaphorical as Mr. Trapp.

      "This Place may seem for Shepherds Leisure made,
       So lovingly these Elms unite their Shade!
       Th'ambitious Woodbine! how it climbs, to breathe
       Its balmy Sweets around, on all beneath!"

But, alas! this Fit of Eloquence, like most other Blessings, is
of very short Continuance; It holds him but Just one Speech: In
the beginning of the next, he is as very a Rustick, as Colin
Clout, and has forgot all his Breeding.

      "No Skill of Musick can I, simple Swain,
       No fine Device, thine Ear to entertain;
       Albeit some deal I pipe, rude though it be,
       Sufficient to divert my, Sheep, and Me."

There is no Transformation In Ovid more sudden, or surprizing; He
has Reason indeed to say, that, when he "pipes some deal," his
'Sheep' are 'diverted' with him. His Readers, I am afraid too,
are as merry as his Sheep; If he was but as skilful in Change of
Time, as he is in Change of Dialect, commend me to him for a
Musician! The pied Piper, who drew all the Rats of a City out,
after his Melody, came not near him for Variety.

If the late excellent Mr. Addison, whose Verses abound in Graces,
which can never be too much admir'd, shall be, often, found
liable to an Overflow of his Meaning, by this Dropsical
Wordiness, which we so generally give into, it will serve at the
same time, as a Comfort, and a Warning; and incline us to a
severe Examination of our Writings, when we venture out upon a
World, that will, one time or other, be sure to censure us
impartially; In That Gentleman's Works, whoever looks close, will
discover Thorns on every Branch of his Roses; For Example, we all
hear, with Delight, in his celebrated Letter from Italy, that,

      ... The Muse so oft her Harp has strung,
      That not a Mountain rears its Head unsung.

But, he adds, in the very next Line, that every shady Thicket
too, grows renown'd in Verse; now one can never help remembering,
that Thickets are Births, as it were of Yesterday; the mere
Infancy of Woods! and that the oldest Woods in Italy may be
growing on Foundations of ruin'd Cities, which flourish'd in the
Times he there speaks of; whence it must naturally be inferr'd,
that to say, the Italian Thickets grow renown'd in Roman Verse,
though the Mountains really do so, is to make Use of Words,
without Regard to their Meaning; A Lapse of dangerous
Consequence, because, when the Understanding is once shock'd,
this most rapturous Elevation of the Mind (as when cold Water is
thrown suddenly upon boiling) sinks at once to chilling Flatness,
and is considered as mere Gingle and childish Amusement.

No Man, I believe, has read without Pleasure, his fine and lively
Descriptions of the Nar, Clitumnus, Mincio, and Albula, but the
worst of it is, he winds us so long, in and out, between these
Rivers, that he loses himself in their Maeanders, and brings us,
at last, to a strange Stream indeed, which is 'immortaliz'd in
Song,' and yet 'lost In Oblivion.'

      "I look for Streams, immortaliz'd, in Song,
       Which lost, and buried in Oblivion lie."

The Thought, in this Place, is very lively and just, but quite
obscur'd by the Redundancy and Wantonness of the Expression. Had
he only said 'lost,' and 'buried,' It might have been urg'd, that
the Rivers were dry'd up, and no longer to be found, in their old
Channels. But, let them be lost, as to Existence, as certainly as
he will, they can never be lost in 'Oblivion,' if they are
'immortaliz'd' in Poetry. 'Immortal' is a favourite Word in this
Gentleman's Writings, and leads him, as most Favourites are apt
to do, into very frequent Errors.

It is naturally unpleasant, to be detain'd too long in the
Maziness of one tedious Thought, express'd many Ways
successively. When we read that the 'Tiber is destitute of
Strength,' what else can we conclude, but that its Stream is a
weak one? But we are oblig'd to hear, also, that it 'derives its
Source from an unthrifty Urn': Well, now, may we go on? No; its
'Urn' is not only 'unthrifty,' but its 'Source' is unfruitful. By
this time, one can scarce help, enquiring, what new Meaning is
convey'd to the Apprehension, by the Multiplication of the
Phrases? And not finding any, we have no Reflection to satisfy
ourselves with, but, that the strongest Flow of Fancy, is most
subject to Whirlpools.

It is from the same unweigh'd Redundancy, and Misapplication of
Words, that we so often find this excellent Writer falling into
the Anticlimax. As where, for Example, he informs us of Liberty,
that she is a Goddess,

      "Profuse of Bliss, and pregnant with Delight,
       Eternal Pleasures, in her Presence reign."

After 'Profusion of Bliss,' that is to say, the heap'd Enjoyment
of all Blessings to be wish'd for; how does it cool the
Imagination, to read of being 'pregnant with Delight'? Had she
been brought to Bed of 'Delight,' it had been but a poor
Delivery: For what imports 'Delight,' in Comparison with
'Bliss'? And how much less too is pregnant with Delight,' than
'Delight' in Possession! But then again, after both these, what
cou'd the Author hope to teach us, by adding, that 'Pleasure
reigns in her Presence.' Can there be 'Bliss' without 'Delight'?
Was there ever 'Delight' without 'Pleasure'? It shou'd gradually
have ascended thus, Pleasure, Delight, Bliss; But to turn it the
direct contrary Way, Bliss, Delight, Pleasure, is setting a poor
Meaning upon its Head, and the same thing as to say, Mr. Addison
writ incomparably, finely, nay, and tolerably. A Praise, which, I
dare say, he wou'd have given no Body Thanks for. One wou'd think
there were a kind of Fatality in Liberty, since scarce any Body
can meddle either with the Word or the Thing, but they turn all
topsey turvey.

But I am sliding insensibly into a Theme, that requires rather a
Volume, than a Page or two; I hasten therefore to present you a
Paraphrase on the Six Days Work of the Creator, as described to
us by Moses, in the First Chapter of Genesis, which, you know,
was written, originally, in Verse. It wou'd be difficult, I am
sure, to match the Greatness of that inspired Author's Images,
out of all the noble Writings, which have honour'd Antiquity; and
whose most remarkable Excellencies have been found, in those
Parts of their Works, which they elevated, and made more solemn,
by a Mixture of their Religion. Our Poetry, in so able a Hand as
Yours, might receive heavenly Advantages, from a Practice of like
Nature. But I am of Opinion, that no English Verse, except that,
which we, I think a little improperly, call Pindaric, can allow
the necessary Scope, to so masterless a Subject, as the Creation,
of all others the most copious, and illustrious; and which ought
to be touch'd with most Discretion, and Choice of Circumstances.

Mr. Milton, Mr. Cowley, Sir Richard Blackmore, and now, lately,
a young Gentleman, of a very lively Genius, have severally tried
their Strength in this celestial Bow; Sir Richard may be said
indeed to have shot farthest, but too often beside the Mark; He
will permit me the Liberty of owning my Opinion, that he is too
minute, and particular, and rather labours to oppress us with
every Image he cou'd raise, than to refresh and enliven us, with
the noblest, and most differing. He is also too unmindful of the
Dignity of his Subject, and diminishes it by mean, and
contemptible Metaphors. Speaking of the Skies, he says they were

      Spun thin, and wove, on Nature's finest Loom.

Longinus is very angry with Timaeus for saying of Alexander, that
he conquer'd all Asia, in less Time than Isocrates took to write
his Panegyric, "Because, says the Critick, it is a pitiful
Comparison of Alexander the Great with a Schoolmaster." What then
wou'd he have said of Sir Richard's Metaphorical Comparison of
the CREATOR Himself, to a Spinster, and a Weaver? The very Beasts
of Mr. Milton, who kept Moses in his Eye, carry Infinitely more
Majesty, than the Skies of Sir Richard.

      The Grassy Clods now calv'd; and half appear'd
      The tawny Lyon, pawing to get free
      His hinder Parts; then springs, as broke from Bonds,
      And, rampant, shakes aloft, his brinded Main!
      The heaving Leopard, rising, like the Mole,
      In Heaps the crumbling Earth about him threw!

These animated Images, or pictured Meanings of Poetry, are the
forcible Inspirers, which enflame a Reader's Will, and bind down
his Attention. They arise from living Words, as Aristotle calls
them; that is, from Words so finely chosen, and so Justly ranged,
that they call up before a Reader the Spirit of their Sense, in
that very Form, and Action, it impressed upon the Writer. But
when the Idea, which a Poet strives to raise, is in itself
magnificent and striking, the Dawb of Metaphor, or any spumy
Colourings of Rhetoric can but deaden, and efface it.

If Sir Richard had said, concerning the Skies, on any other
Subject but This, of the Creation, that they were 'spun thin, and
wove, on Nature's finest Loom,' the Thought had been so far from
Impropriety, as to have been pleasing, and praise-worthy; But
when the Image he wou'd set before us, is the Maker of Heaven and
Earth, in all the dreadful Majesty of his Omnipotence, producing
at a Word, the noblest Part of the Creation, and 'spreading out
the Heavens as a Curtain'; In this tremendous Exercise of his
Divinity, to compare him to a Weaver, and his Expansion of the
Skies, to the low Mechanism of a 'Loom,' is injudiciously to
diminish an Idea, he pretends to heighten and illustrate.

I will end with a Word or two concerning the different Measure of
the Verse, in which the following Poem is written; and which is
apt to disgust Readers, not well grounded in Poetry, because it
requires a fuller Degree of Attention than the Couplet, and, as
Mr. Cowley has said of it,

      ... Will no unskilful Touch endure,
      But flings Writer and Reader too, that sits not sure.

I have, in another Place, endeavoured by Arguments to demonstrate
the Preference of this Kind of Verse to any other; I will here
observe only, from my Experience of other Writers, that it wins,
insinuates, and grows insensibly upon the Relish of a Reader,
till the little seeming Harshness, which is supposed to be in it,
softens gradually away, and leaves a vigorous Impression behind
it, of mixed Majesty and Sweetness.

A Man, who is just beginning to try his Ear in Pindaric, may be
compared to a new Scater; He totters strangely at first, and
staggers backward and forward; Every Stick, or frozen Stone in
his Way, is a Rub that he falls at. But when many repeated Trials
have embolden'd him to strike out, and taught the true Poize of
Motion, he throws forward his Body with a dextrous Velocity, and
becoming ravish'd with the masterly Sweep of his Windings, knows
no Pleasure greater, than to feel himself fly through that
well-measured Maziness, which he first attempted with Perplexity.
But I will detain you no longer, and hasten now to the Poem,
which has given me this pleasing Opportunity of telling you how
much I am,


                                            Your Most Humble
                                              and Obedient Servant,

                                                    A. HILL


                          ANNOUNCES ITS

            Publications for the Third Year(1948-1949)

      _At least two_ items will be printed from each of the
      _three_ following groups:

Series IV: Men, Manners, and Critics

           Sir John Falstaff (pseud.), _The Theatre _(1720).

           Aaron Hill, Preface to _The Creation; _and Thomas
           Brereton, Preface to _Esther._

           Ned Ward, Selected Tracts.

Series V: Drama

           Edward Moore, _The Gamester _(1753).

           Nevil Payne, _Fatal Jealousy _(1673).

           Mrs. Centlivre, _The Busie Body _(1709).

           Charles Macklin, _Man of the World _(1781).

Series VI: Poetry and Language

           John Oldmixon, _Reflections on Dr. Swift's Letter to
           Harley _(1712); and
           Arthur Mainwaring, _The British Academy _(1712).

           Pierre Nicole, _De Epigrammate._

           Andre Dacier, Essay on Lyric Poetry.

 Issues will appear, as usual, in May, July, September, November,
 January, and March. In spite of rising costs, membership fees
 will be kept at the present annual rate of $2.50 in the United
 States and Canada; $2.75 in Great Britain and the continent.
 British and continental subscriptions should be sent to B.H.
 Blackwell, Broad Street, Oxford, England. American and Canadian
 subscriptions may be sent to any one of the General Editors.


_I enclose the membership fee for_

                                        _the third year_

                                        _the second and third

                                        _the first, second, and
                                         third year_



NOTE: All income received by the Society is devoted to defraying
cost of printing and mailing.


                         MAKES AVAILABLE

              Inexpensive Reprints of Rare Materials


                    ENGLISH LITERATURE OF THE


Students, scholars, and bibliographers of literature, history,
and philology will find the publications valuable. _The
Johnsonian News Letter_ has said of them: "Excellent facsimiles,
and cheap in price, these represent the triumph of modern
scientific reproduction. Be sure to become a subscriber; and take
it upon yourself to see that your college library is on the
mailing list."

The Augustan Reprint Society is a non-profit, scholarly
organization, run without overhead expense. By careful management
it is able to offer at least six publications each year at the
unusually low membership fee of $2.50 per year in the United
States and Canada, and $2.75 in Great Britain and the continent.

Libraries as well as individuals are eligible for membership.
Since the publications are issued without profit, however, no
discount can be allowed to libraries, agents, or booksellers.

New members may still obtain a complete run of the first year's
publications for $2.50, the annual membership fee.

During the first two years the publications are issued in three
series: I. Essays on Wit; II. Essays on Poetry and Language; and
III. Essays on the Stage.

          _PUBLICATIONS FOR THE FIRST YEAR (1946-1947)_

MAY, 1946: Series I, No. 1--Richard Blackmore's _Essay upon
             Wit _(1716), and Addison's _Freeholder_ No. 45

JULY, 1946: Series II, No. 1--Samuel Cobb's _Of Poetry_ and
            _Discourse on Criticism_ (1707).

SEPT., 1946: Series III, No. 1--Anon., _Letter to A.H. Esq.;
             concerning the Stage_ (1698), and Richard Willis'
            _Occasional Paper_ No. IX (1698).

Nov., 1946: Series I, No. 2--Anon., _Essay on Wit_ (1748),
             together with Characters by Flecknoe, and Joseph
             Warton's _Adventurer_ Nos. 127 and 133.

JAN., 1947: Series II, No. 2--Samuel Wesley's _Epistle to a
             Friend Concerning Poetry _(1700) and _Essay on
             Heroic Poetry_ (1693).

MARCH, 1947: Series III, No. 2--Anon., _Representation of the
             Impiety and Immorality of the Stage_ (1704) and
             anon., _Some Thoughts Concerning the Stage_ (1704).

          _PUBLICATIONS FOR THE SECOND YEAR (1947-1948)_

MAY, 1947: Series I, No. 3--John Gay's _The Present State of
             Wit;_ and a section on Wit from _The English
             Theophrastus._ With an Introduction by Donald Bond.

JULY, 1947: Series II, No. 3--Rapin's _De Carmine Pastorali,_
             translated by Creech. With an Introduction by
             J.E. Congleton.

SEPT., 1947: Series III, No. 3--T. Hanmer's (?) _Some Remarks on
             the Tragedy of Hamlet._ With an Introduction by
             Clarence D. Thorpe.

Nov., 1947: Series I, No. 4--Corbyn Morris' _Essay towards Fixing
             the True Standards of Wit,_ etc. With an Introduction
             by James L. Clifford.

JAN., 1948: Series II, No. 4--Thomas Purney's _Discourse on the
             Pastoral._ With an Introduction by Earl Wasserman.

MARCH, 1948: Series III, No. 4--Essays on the Stage, selected,
             with an Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.

The list of publications is subject to modification in response to
requests by members. From time to time Bibliographical Notes will be
included in the issues. Each issue contains an Introduction by a
scholar of special competence in the field represented.

The Augustan Reprints are available only to
members. They will never be offered at "remainder" prices.

                        _GENERAL EDITORS_

             RICHARD C. BOYS, _University of Michigan_
   EDWARD NILES HOOKER, _University of California, Los Angeles_
  H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., _University of California, Los Angeles_

                       _ADVISORY EDITORS_

          EMMETT L. AVERT, _State College of Washington_

            LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, _University of Michigan_

            BENJAMIN BOYCE, _University of Nebraska_

            CLEANTH BROOKS, _Louisiana State University_

             JAMES L. CLIFFORD, _Columbia University_

             ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, _University of Chicago_

             SAMUEL H. MONK, _University of Minnesota_

          JAMES SUTHERLAND. _Queen Mary College, London_

Address communications to any of the General Editors. Applications for
membership, together with membership fee, should be sent to



                    LOS ANGELES 24, CALIFORNIA
              _Care of_ PROFESSOR RICHARD C. BOYS


                       ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN

_Please enroll me as a member of the Augustan Reprint Society._

_I enclose $2.50 as the membership fee for the second year

           $5.00 as the membership fee for the first and second


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