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It would have been as easie a Task for mé as it has been to others before me, to have threaded tedious Bead-rolls of Synonymes and Epithecs together, and put them by themselves: But when they stand alone, they appear bald, infipid, uncouth, and offensive both to the Eye and Ear. In that Disposition they may indeed help the Memory, but cannot direct the Judgment in the Choice.

But besides, to confess a Secret, I am very unwilling it should be laid to my Charge, that I have furnish'd Tools, and given a Temptation of Verlifying, to such as in spight of Art and Nature undertake to be Poers; and who mistake their Fondnefs to Rhyme, or Neceffity of Writing, for a true Genius of Poetry, and lawful Call from Apollo. Such Debasers of Rhyme and Dablers in Poetry would do well to consider, that a Man would justly deserve a higher Esteem in the World by being a good Mason or Shoo-maker, or hy excelling in any other Art that his Talent inclines him to, and that is useful to Mankind, than by being an indifferent or se

condcond-Rate Poet. Such have no Claim to that Divine Appellation:

Neque enim concludere Verfum
Dixeris effe satis: Neque, fi quis scribat, uti nos,
Sermoni propiora, putes bunc elle Poetam.
Ingenium cui fit, cui Mens divinior, atque os

Magna sonatutum, des Nominis hujus Honorem. Horat. I resolv'd therefore to place these, the principal Materials, under the awful Guard of the immortal Shakespear, Milton, Dryden, &c.

Procul o procul este Profani ! Virg. But let Men of better Minds be excited to a generous Emulation.

I have inserted not only Similes, Allufions, Characters, and Descriptions; but also the most Natural and Sublime Thoughts of our Modern Poets on all Subjects whatever. I say, of our Modern; for tho’ some of the Ancient, as Chaucer, Spencer, and others, have not been excell’d, perhaps not equall’d, by any that have suca ceeded them, either in Justness of Description, or in Propriety and Greatness of Thought; yet their Language is now become so antiquated and obsolete, that most Readers of our Age have no Ear for them: And this is the Reason that the

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ly in Passages that are purely, Satirical, where some Allowance must be given : For Satire may be fine and true Satire, tho’ it be not directly and according to the Letter, true: 'tis enough that it carry with it a Probability or Semblance of Truth. Let it not here be objected, that I have from the Translators of the Greek and Roman Poets, taken fome Descriptions meerly fabulous : for the well-invented Fables of the Antients were design'd only to inculcate the Truth with more Delight, and to make it shine with greater Splendour. Rien n'eft beau que le Vrai. Le Vrai seul eft Aimable : Il doit regner par tout; & meme dans la Fable ! De toute Fiction l' adroite Faulleté Ne tend qu à faire aux yeuz briller la Verité. Boileau.

I have upon every Subject given both Pro and Cor whenever I met with them, or that I judgʻd them worth giving and if both are not always found, let none imagine that I wilfully fuppressd cither; or chat what is here uncontradicted must be unanswerable.

take Offence at the Loosness of some of the Thoughts, as particularly up

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on Love, where I have given the different Sentiments which Mankind, according to their several Temperaments, ever had, and ever will have of it ; such may

observe, that I have strictly avoided all manner of Obscenity throughout the whole Collection : And tho' here and there a Thought may perhaps have a Cast of Wantonness

, yet the cleanly Metaphors palliate the Broadness of the Meaning, and the Chastriess of the Words qualifies the Lasciviousness of the Images they represent. And let them farther know, that I have not always chosen what I most approv'd, but what carries with it the best Strokes for Imitation : For, upon the whole matter, it was not my Business to judge any farther, than of the Vigour and Force of Thought, of the Purity of Language, of the Aptness and Propriety of Expression ; and above all, of the Beauty of Colouring, in which the Poet's Art chiefly consists. Nor, in short, would I take upon me to determine what things should have been said; but have shewn only what are said, and in what manner.

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ly in Passages that are purely Satirical, where some Allowance must be given : For Sarire may be fine and true Satire, cho' it be not directly and according to the Letter, true : 'tis enough that it carry with it a Probability or Semblance of Truth. Let it not here be objected, that I have from the Translators of the Greek and Roman Poets, taken some Descriptions meerly fabulous : for the well-invented Fables of the Antients were design'd only to inculcate the Truth with more Delight, and to make it shine with greater Splendour.

Rien n'eft beau que le Vrai. Le Vrai seul eft Aimable :
Il doit regner par tout; dan meme dans la Fable !
De toute Fiction ladroite Fausseté
Ne tend qui à faire aux yeuz briller la Verité. Boileau.

I have upon every Subject given both Pro and Cor whenever I met with them, or that I judg’d them worth giving : and if both are not always found, let none imagine that I wilfully fuppress’d either; or that what is here uncontradicted must be unanswerable. If any

take Offence at the Loosness of some of the Thoughts, as particularly up

on

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