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Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
Epistle to Mr. Addison. Line 67. 'T is with our judgments as our watches, Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
Essay on Criticism. Part i. Line 9. One science only will one genius fit: So vast is art, so narrow human wit. From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part, And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art. Line 152. Those oft are stratagems which errors seem, Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.? Of all the causes which conspire to blind Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind; What the weak head with strongest bias rules, Is pride, the never failing vice of fools. Part ii. Line 1. A little learning is a dangerous thing; 8 Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring : There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again. Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise ! Line 32. Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be. Line 53. True wit is Nature to advantage dress’d, What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express’d.
Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
i See Suckling, page 256.
? Quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus (Even the worthy Homer sometimes nods). — HORACE: De Arte Poetica, 359.
8 See Bacon, page 166.
Such labour'd nothings, in so strange a style,
Essay on Criticism. Part ii. Line 126.
Line 133. Some to church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These equal syllables alone require, Though oft the ear the open vowels tire; While expletives their feeble aid to join, And ten low words oft creep in one dull line. Line 142. A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That like a wounded snake drags its slow length along.
Line 156. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. 'T is not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense. Line 162. Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow : Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Line 166 Yet let not each gay turn thy rapture move; For fools admire, but men of sense approve. Line 190, But let a lord once own the happy lines, How the wit brightens ! how the style refines ! Line 220. Envy will merit as its shade pursue, But like a shadow proves the substance true. Line 266.
To err is human, to forgive divine.
Essay on Criticism. Part ii. Line 325. All seems infected that th’ infected spy, As all looks yellow to the jaundic’d eye.
Line 358. And make each day a critic on the last. Part iii. Line 12. Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos'd as things forgot. Line 15. The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, With loads of learned lumber in his head.
Line 53. Most authors steal their works, or buy; Garth did not write his own Dispensary.
Line 59. For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.? Line 66. Led by the light of the Mæonian star.
Line 89. Content if hence th’ unlearn'd their wants may view, The learn'd reflect on what before they knew.3
Part iii. Line 180. What dire offence from amorous causes springs ! What mighty contests rise from trivial things !
The Rape of the Lock. Canto i. Line 1. And all Arabia breathes from yonder box.
Line 134. On her white breast a sparkling cross she wore Which Jews might kiss, and infidels adore.
Canto ii. Line 7. If to her share some female errors fall, Look on her face, and you ’ll forget them all. Line 17.
1 Then gently scan your brother man,
Still gentler sister woman ;
BURNS : Address to the Unco Guid. 2 See Shakespeare, page 96.
3 Indocti discant et ament meminisse periti (Let the unlearned learn, and the learned delight in remembering). This Latin hexameter, which is commonly ascribed to Horace, appeared for the first time as an epigraph to President Hénault's "Abrégé Chronologique," and in the preface to the third edition of this work Hénault acknowledges that he had given it as a translation of this couplet.
Fair tresses man's imperial race insnare,
The Rape of the Lock. Canto ii. Line 27.
Canto iii. Line 7. At every word a reputation dies.
Line 16. The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang that jurymen may dine. Line 21. Coffee, which makes the politician wise, And see through all things with his half-shut eyes.
Line 117. The meeting points the sacred hair dissever From the fair head, forever, and forever !
Line 153. Sir Plume, of amber snuff-box justly vain, And the nice conduct of a clouded cane. Canto iv. Line 123. Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
Canto r. Line 34. Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigued, I said; Tie up the knocker!
say I'm sick, I'm dead.
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot. Prologue to the Satires. Line 1. Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
Line 5. E'en Sunday shines no Sabbath day to me.
Line 12. Is there a parson much bemused in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross? Line 15. Friend to my life, which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song.
Line 27. Obliged by hunger and request of friends.
Line 44. Fired that the house rejects him, “'Sdeath! I'll print it, And shame the fools."
1 See Burton, page 191.
No creature smarts so little as a fool.
Prologue to the Satires. Line 84. Destroy his fib or sophistry - in vain! The creature's at his dirty work again.
Line 91. As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came. Line 127. Pretty! in amber to observe the forms Of hairs, or straws, or dirt, or grubs, or worms !1 The things, we know, are neither rich nor rare, But wonder how the devil they got there.
Line 169. Means not, but blunders round about a meaning; And he whose fustian 's so sublimely bad, It is not poetry, but prose run mad.
Line 186. Should such a man, too fond to rule alone, Bear, like the Turk, no brother near the throne.2
Line 197. Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering teach the rest to sneer; Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.
Line 201. By flatterers besieg'd, And so obliging that he ne'er oblig'd ; Like Cato, give his little senate laws, 4 And sit attentive to his own applause.
Line 207. Who but must laugh, if such a man there be ? Who would not weep, if Atticus were he ? Line 213. “On wings of winds came flying all abroad." 5 Line 218. Cursed be the verse, how well so e'er it flow, That tends to make one worthy man my foe. Line 283.
1 See Bacon, page 168.
2 See Denham, page 258.
Somewhat the deed, much more the means he raises :
P. FLETCHER : The Purple Island, canto vii. 4 See page 336. 5 See Sternhold, page 23.