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While Fancy brings the vanish'd piles to view,
How finish'd with illustrious toil appears !
NOTES. it at its height; in this, search after novelty, in conception or in treating the subject, has no place."
Ver. 30. Or seek] This last line is inferior to the three preceding ones: because it passes from particular images to something general.
Ver. 33. Well-study'd marbles] Jervas was sent to Italy at the expense of Dr. Clarke, Member of Parliament for the University of Oxford, of All-Souls College.
Ver. 37. Carracci's] “ Give me a good outline, and bricks in the middle,” said Annibal Carracci. Agostino has left an elegant sonnet on painting. Sir Joshua Reynolds told me he did not think these artists exactly characterized by Pope. .
Ver. 39. How finishd] Mr. Mason has translated Fresnoy with elegance and fidelity; and Sir Joshua Reynolds added to the translation, learned, useful, scientifical, and ingenious notes.
“ Guido,” says Sir Joshua Reynolds (Discourses, p. 155), “ from want of choice in adapting his subject to his ideas and powers, or in attempting to preserve beauty where it could not be preserved, has in this one point succeeded very ill. His figures are often engaged in subjects that required great expression; yet his Judith and Holofernes, the daughter of Herodias, with the Baptist's Head; the Andromeda, and even the Mothers of the Innocents, have little more expression than his Venus attired by the Graces."
And Mr. Webb observes, with his usual taste and penetration,
Yet still how faint by precept is exprest 41
Muse! at that name thy sacred sorrows shed
“ that Guido's Angel treads on Satan with all the preciseness and affected air of a modern dancing-master.”
Few writers have succeeded in speaking of the fine arts. M. Falconet condemns what Tully has said on this subject in many of his epistles. Sir Joshua Reynolds told me more than once he did not approve of the thirty-ninth book of Pliny's Natural History. He thought that Quintilian, in the tenth chapter of his twelfth book, had spoken with more taste and precision than any other ancient author on painting. There are three dialogues of Fenelon on this subject exquisitely written.
Ver. 40. the work of years !] Fresnoy employed above twenty years in finishing his poem. P.
Ver.43. Strike in the sketch,] Gray, in his verses to Mr. Bentley, has beautifully expressed and described the person and design:
“ See, in their course, each transitory thought,
Fix'd by his touch a lasting essence take:
Yet still her charms in breathing paint engage; Her modest cheek shall warm a future age. 56 Beauty, frail flow'r, that ev'ry season fears, Blooms in thy colours for a thousand years. Thus Churchill's race shall other hearts surprise, And other Beauties envy Worsley's eyes; 60 Each pleasing Blount shall endless smiles bestow, And soft Belinda's blush for ever glow.
Oh lasting as those Colours may they shine, Free as thy stroke, yet faultless as thy line; New graces yearly like thy works display, 65 Soft without weakness, without glaring gay; Led by some rule, that guides, but not constrains ; And finish'd more through happiness than pains.
The kindred Arts shall in their praise conspire, One dip the pencil, and one string the lyre. Yet should the Graces all thy figures place, And breathe an air divine on ev'ry face; Yet should the Muses bid my numbers roll Strong as their charms, and gentle as their soul; With Zeuxis' Helen thy Bridgewater vie, 75 And these be sung till Granville's Myra die :
Ver. 60. Worsley's eyes;] This was Frances Lady Worsley, Wife of Sir Robert Worsley, Bart. of Appuldercombe, in the Isle of Wight; Mother of Lady Cartaret, Wife of John Lord Carteret, afterward Earl Granville. There is an excellent letter of this Lady to Dr. Swift in his Letters, p. 77.
Ver. 70. One dip the pencil,] The great Michael Angelo Bua. noriti did both. See his Poems, printed at Florence, in 4to. 1623; some of which are very elegant, and nearly equal to Petrarch.
Alas! how little from the grave we claim !
Ver. 78. a Name.] Pope used to say, that Jervas translated Don Quixote without understanding Spanish. Warburton added a supplement to the preface of this translation, concerning the origin and nature of romances of chivalry; which supplement Pope extols in his letters ; but the opinions in it are thoroughly and entirely confuted by Mr. Tyrrwhit, in vol. ii. of Supplemental Observations on Shakspeare, p. 373.
WITH THE WORKS OF VOITURE.
In these gay thoughts the Loves and Graces shine, And all the Writer lives in ev'ry line; His easy heart may happy Nature seem, Trifles themselves are elegant in him. Sure to charm all was his peculiar fate, Who without flatt'ry pleas'd the fair and great ; Still with esteem no less convers'd than read; With wit well-natur'd, and with books well-bred : ' His heart, his mistress and his friend did share, His time, the Muse, the witty, and the fair. 10 Thus wisely careless, innocently gay, Cheerful he play'd the Trifle, Life, away; Till fate scarce felt his gentle breath supprest, As smiling Infants sport themselves to rest, Ev'n rival Wits did Voiture's death deplore, 15 And the gay mourn'd who never mourn'd before ;
ho never mou
NOTES. Ver. 1. In these gay] The works of Voiture, after having been idolized in France, are now justly sunk into neglect and oblivion.