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RAM B L E R.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
NULLIUS ADDICTUS JURARE IN VERBA MAGISTRI,
CUR TAMEN NOC LIBEAT POTIUS DECURRERE CAMPO,
HE difficulty of the first address only be informed of the subject, to know
on any new occasion is felt by in what manner the poem will begin. every man in his transactions with the But this solemn repetition is hitherto world, and confessed by the settled and the peculiar distinction of heroick poetry; regular forms of falutation which necef- it has never been legally extended to the Inty has introduced into all languages. lower orders of literature, but seems to Judgınent was wearied with the per- be considered as an hereditary privilege, plexity of being forced upon choice, to be enjoyed only by those who claim where there was no motive to preference; it from their alliance to the genius of and it was found convenient that some Homer. easy method of introduction should be The rules which the injudicious use established, which, if it wanted the al- of this prerogative suggested to Horace, lurement of novelty, might enjoy the may indeed be applied to the direction security of prescription.
of candidates for inferior fame; it may Perhaps few authors have presented be proper for all to remember, that they themselves before the publick, without ought not to raise expectation which it is wishing that such ceremonial modes of not in their power to fatisfy, and that it entrance had been anciently established, is more plealing to see smoke brightenas might have freed them from those ing into flame, than flame linking into dangers which the desire of pleasing is smoke. certain to produce, and precluded the This precept has been long received, vain expedients of softening cenfure by both from regard to the authority of apologies, or rousing attention by ab- Horace, and it's conformity to the geruptness.
neral opinion of the world; yet there The epick writers have found the have been always some, that thought it proemial part of the poem such an ad- no deviation from modefty to recomdition to their undertaking, that they mend their own labours, and imagined have almost unanimously adopted the themselves entitled by indisputable mebort lines of Homer; and the reader needs rit to an exemption from general re
straints, and to elevations not allowed endeavour in learning raises an unin common life. They perhaps be. bounded contempt, indulged by most lieved, that when, like Thucydides, they minds without scruple, as an honest tribequeathed to mankind . xlõpes sis de umph over unjust claims and exorbi –
an estate for ever, it was an additional tant expectations. The artifices of those favour to inform them of it's value. who put themselves in this hazardous It may,
indeed, be no less dangerous state, have therefore been multiplied in to claim, on certain occasions, too little proportion to their fear as well as their than too much. There is something ambition; and are to be looked upon captivating in spirit and intrepidity, to with more indulgence, as they are incited which we often yield, as to a resistless at once by the two great movers of the power; nor can he reasonably expect the human mind, the desire of good, and the confidence of others who too apparently fear of evil: for who can wonder that, diftrufts himself.
allured on one side, and frightened on Plutarch, in his enumeration of the the other, some should endeavour to gain various occasions on which a man may favour by bribing the judge with an apwithout jutt offence proclaim his own pearance of respect which they do not feel, excellences, has omitted the case of an to excite compassion by confesling weakauthor entering the world; unless it may nefs of which they are not convinced; and be comprehended under his general po- others to attract regard by a fhew of fition—that a man may lawfully praise openness and magnanimity, by a daring himself for those qualities which cannot profession of their own deserts, and a pubbe known but from his own mouth; as lick challenge of honours and rewards. when he is among strangers, and can The ostentatious and haughty display have no opportunity of an actual exer- of theinselves has been the usual refuge tion of his powers. That the case of of diurnal writers; in vindication of an author is parallel, will scarcely be whose practice it may be said, that what granted, because he necesiarily discovers it wants in prudence is fupplied by finthe degree of his merit to his judges cerity; and who at least may plead, that when he appears at his trial. . But it if their boasts deceive any into the perufhould be reinembered, that unless his fal of their performances, they defraud judges are inclined to favour him, they them of but little time. will hardly he persuaded to hear the cause. In love, the state which fills the heart
Quid enim? Concurriturhore
Memento cito mors venit, aut vittoria la a. with a degree of solicitude next that of an author, it has been held a maxim, The battle join; and, in a moment's flight, that fuccess is most easily obtained by Death, or a joyful conquest, ends the fi ht.
FRANCIS. indirect and unperceived approaches : he who too foon profiles himself a lover, The question concerning the merit of raises obstacles to his own wishes; and the day is soon decided; and we are not those whom ditappointments have taught condemned to toil through half a folio, experience, endeavour to conceal their to be convinced that the writer has broke paffion till they believe their mistress his promise. wishes for the discovery. The same It is one among many reasons for method, if it were practicable to writers, which I purpose to endeavour the enwoukł fave many complaints of the fe- tertainment of inv countrymen bya fiort verity of the ace, and the caprices of clay on Tueslay and Saturday, that I criticism. If a man coulci glide inper- licpe nor much to tire those whom I Mall ceptibly into the favour of the publick, not happen to please; and if I am rot and only proclaim his pretentions to lites commended for the beauty of my works, rary honours when he is fure of not be- to be at lealt pardoned for their rrevity. ing rejected, he might comnjence au- . But whether my expectations are most thor with better hopes, as his failings fixed on pardou or praise, I think it not misht escape contempt, though he shall' nec lary to discover; for having acc11never aitain much regard.
rately weighed the reasons for arroyance But fince the workil fuppofes every and fubmiffion, I find then fo ne rly man that writes arnbitious of applause, equiponderant, that my impatience to as fome ladies have taught themielves to try the event of ny fra performance will believe that every man interds love who not suffer me to attend any longer the expreites civity, the uniscarriage of any trepidations of the balance