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What love fincere and reverence in my heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceiv'd! Thy fuppliant
I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not
(Whereon I live) thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,

My only ftrength and ftay: Forlorn of thee
Whither fhall I betake me, where subsist?

While yet we live (scarce one short hour perhaps)
Between us two let there be peace.

The complaint which Eve makes, on hearing that they were to be driven out of Paradife, is not only beautiful, but foft and suitable to the sex.

Muft I then leave thee, Paradife? thus leave
Thee, native foil, thefe happy walks and fhades,
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend
Quiet, though fad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flow'rs
That never will in other climate grow,
My early vifitation and my last

Atev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
From the firft opening bud, and gave you names;
Who now fhall rear ye to th' fun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrofial fount ?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorn'd
With what to fight or smell was fweet; from thee
How fhall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure

And wild how fhall we breathe in other air
Lefs pure,
accuftom'd to immortal fruits ?

The speech which Adam makes upon the fame occafion, is equally affecting, but is conceived and expreffed in a manner more elevated and mafculine: the following part of it especially.


This most afflicts me, that departing hence
As from his face I fhall be hid, depriv'd

His bleffed countenance; here I could frequent,

With worship, place by place where he vouchfaf'd
Prefence divine, and to my yfons relate

On this mount he appear'd, under this tree

Stood vifible, among these pines his voice
I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd;
So many grateful altars 1 would rear'
Of graffy turf, and pile up every stone
Of luftre from the brook, in memory
Or monument to ages, and thereon

Offer sweet-fmelling gums and fruits and flowers.
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footsteps trace ?
For though I fled him angry, yet recall'd
To life prolong'd and promis'd race I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his fteps adore.

Agreeable and well conceived fictions have also a good effect either in profe or verse, and always please readers of tafte and judgement. Pliny the younger, in order to engage Cornelius Tacitus to follow his example, and study even when hunting, tells him, that the exercife of the body exalts the mind; and that if he took his tablets with him, he would find that Minerva delighted as much in the forefts and mountains as Diana. A fiction prettily conceived, and in few words. A kin to this is the image (or fiction of a perfon) which Milton has given us in what he calls his fong of the May morning; which is extremely beautiful, especially that part of it defcribing May led in by the morning ftar, and throwing from her green lap the flowers of the feafon.

Now the bright morning ftar, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the eaft, and leads with her
The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowflip, and the pale primrofe.
Hail bounteous May that doft infpire
Mirth and youth and warm defire;
Woods and groves are of thy dreffing,
Hill and dale doth boaft thy bleffing.
Thus we falute thee with our early fong,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

But the agreeable often arifes from an oppofition, efpecially in thoughts which have two meanings; or when a perfon agitated by paffion affers and contradicts himself almoft in the fame breath, as in the fcene of Shakespear's

Romeo and Juliet, where fhe, to induce her lover to stay, cries,

Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly fhe fings on yon pomgranate tree :
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

But after a moment's reflection, fhe corrects herself, and replies,

It is, it is, hie hence, begone, away;

It is the lark that fings fo out of tune,

Straining harsh difcords, and unpleafing sharps.

That figure which feems to deny what it advances, and in appearance contradicts itself, is, when properly applied, extremely elegant.

Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once. SHAKE.

But these thoughts are to be admitted with great caution and judgment; for the partition here between wit and nonfenfe is fo very flender, that many writers have broken through it, and converted what they intended for a beauty into a blot, by presenting their readers not with a feeming contradiction, but a real one. Nor are we to fuppofe that a thought cannot be agreeable or beautiful, unless it glitters with ingenious conceits, or a play of words; for in fome cafes, beauty may confift in fimplicity alone, and be, in its place, like a plain pillar in fome building, the only proper, and therefore the best ornament. Befides, it is impoffible for a writer to be upon the fublime and the beautiful from one end of his piece to the other, nor will any subject admit of it; fome things must occur that require common thoughts and a common ftile; but if they did not, and it was poffible for a poet to keep up to the fame elevated ftrain, yet would he mifs of his aim, and rather difguft than pleafe; for the mind would be deprived of the refreshment and recreation it takes in paffing from things that are excellent to those that are common, and of the delight which fprings from furprife; neither of which it can obtain, where all things appear with undiftinguished

luftre. The poet therefore fhould imitate nature, who has diverfified the world with vales and mountains, rocks and lawns, trees, fruits, flowers, fmiling fields and dreary deferts, purling streams and horrible cascades; and, like nature too, he should place them in fuch due oppofition, that they embellish and fet off each other.


There is a third fpecies of thoughts, whofe agreeablenefs, beauty, and merit, is owing to their delicacy, and which it is easier to conceive than defcribe. A delicate thought is a most excellent production, and as it were the very quinteficence of wit. These thoughts have the property of being comprised in a few words, and the whole meaning is not at first fo obvious, but seems partly concealed, that the mind of the reader might be gratified in the discovery. This little myftery, fays father Bouhours, is as it were the foul of delicate thoughts; and those that have nothing myfterious either in their foundation or turn, but discover themselves at first fight, are not of the delicate kind, however ingenious they may be in other refpects.

Cicero, in his oration for Ligarius, tells Cæfar, that'tis ufual for him to forget nothing but injuries.

Dr. Garth, in his dedication to Mr. Henley, fays, A man of your character can no more prevent a dedication, than he would encourage one; for merit, like a virgin's blushes, is fill moft difcovered, when it labours most to be concealed.

'Tis hard, to think well of you should be but juftice, and to tell you fo fhould be an offence: thus, rather than violate your modefty, I must be wanting to your other virtues; and to gratify one good quality, do wrong to a thousand.

Compliments that are thrown obliquely, and under the difguife of a complaint, are extremely delicate and pleafing.

In Pope I cannot read a line,
But with a figh I wish it mine;
When he can in one couplet fix
More fenfe than I can do in fix,
It gives me fuch a jealous fit,
I cry, pox take him and his wit.
I grieve to be outdone by Gay
In my own humourous biting way.
Arbuthnot is no more my friend,
Who dares to irony pretend,

Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd it firft, and fhew'd its use.
St. John, as well as Pultney, knows
That I had fome repute for profe;
And, till they wrote me out of date,
Could maul a minister of state.
If they have mortified my pride,

And made me throw my pen afide;

If with fuch talents heav'n has bleft 'em ;
Have I not reason to detest 'em?

Let Rumble Allen, with an aukward shame,
Do good by ftealth, and blush to find it fame.



But befides thefe delicate thoughts which have an inge nious turn, there are others whofe beauty depends folely on the delicacy of fentiment; as when the poet says, that the evening dews are the tears of the sky for the loss of the fun.

I have attempted (fays a young gentleman in a letter to his miftrefs) to pursue your advice, and divert myself by the Subject you recommend to my thoughts: but it is impoffible, 1 perceive, to turn off the mind at once from an object, which it has long drwelt upon with pleasure. My heart, like a poor bird which is hunted from her neft, is ftill returning to the place of its affections, and, after fome vain efforts to fly off, fettles again where all its cares and all its tendernesses are FITZOSBORN'S LETTERS.


But of this fort of delicate thoughts, enough may be feen in the paffages we have extracted from Milton, who abounds with every kind of beauty.

One true characteristic of delicate thoughts (especially of thofe first mentioned) is, that they are not capable of being tranflated out of one language into another, without losing great part of their true fpirit or effential quality. And this is the cafe alfo with what we call true humour, which is like those delicate flowers that will lofe their beauty, if not their being, when tranfplanted into a foreign climate.

The inimitable character Shakespear has drawn of Falftaff, might be understood perhaps in any other language, but would fail of the effect it has in the original; as would the defcription Butler has given us of Honour, and many other parts of his celebrated poem.

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