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I'm tir'd with rhyming, and would fain give o'er,
But justice still demands one labour more:
The noble Montague3 remains unnam'd,
For wit, for humour, and for judgment fam'd;
To Dorset he directs his artful muse,

In numbers such as Dorset's self might use.
How negligently graceful he unreins

His verse, and writes in loose familiar strains;
How Nassau's godlike acts adorn his lines,
And all the hero in full glory shines!

We see his army set in just array,

And Boyne's dyed waves run purple to the sea.

Nor Simois choak'd with men, and arms, and blood,

Nor rapid Xanthus' celebrated flood,

Shall longer be the poet's highest themes,

Though gods and heroes fought promiscuous in their

streams.

But now, to Nassau's secret councils rais'd,

He aids the hero whom before he prais'd.

I've done at length; and now, dear friend, receive

The last poor present that my muse can give.

I leave the arts of poetry and verse

To them that practise them with more success.
Of greater truths I'll now prepare to tell,
And so at once, dear friend and muse, farewell.

Addison was about this time introduced by Congreve to Montague, then chancellor of the exchequer : he was learning the trade of a courtier, and subjoined Montague as a poetical name to those of Cowley and Dryden. JOHNSON'S LIFE.

A

LETTER FROM ITALY,

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

CHARLES LORD HALIFAX.

IN THE YEAR MDCCI.

Addison wrote this letter, "justly considered as the most elegant, if not the most sublime, of his poetical productions," while travelling in Italy. Bishop Hurd tells us that Pope used to speak very favourably of it; and himself, sparing as he is of praise, allows that the subject, so inviting to a classical traveller like Addison, seems to have raised his fancy, and brightened his expressions.

Dr. Johnson says, "the letter from Italy has been always praised, but has never been praised beyond its merit. It is more correct with less appearance of labour, and more elegant with less appearance of ornament, than any other of his poems." WORKS, Vol. vii. p. 452.

A

LETTER FROM ITALY,

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

CHARLES LORD HALIFAX.

IN THE YEAR MDCCI.

Salve, magna parens frugum, Saturnia tellus,
Magna virum! tibi res antiquæ laudis et artis
Ingredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes.

VIRG. Georg. 2.

WHILE you, my lord, the rural shades admire,
And from Britannia's public posts retire,
Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please,
For her advantage sacrifice your ease;
Me into foreign realms my fate conveys,
Through nations fruitful of immortal lays,
Where the soft season and inviting clime
Conspire to trouble your repose with rhyme:

For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encompass me around,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground1;

1 Malone states that this was the first time the phrase classic ground, since so common, was ever used. It was ridiculed by some contemporaries as very quaint and affected.

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