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Wife men have faid, are wearifome; who reads
Inceffantly, and to his reading brings not
A fpirit and judgment equal or fuperior,

(And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere feek?) Uncertain and unfettled ftill remains,


Deep vers'd in books and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,
And trifles for choice matters, worth a fpunge;
As children gathering pebbles on the shore.
Or if I would delight my private hours
With mufic or with poem, where fo foon
As in our native language can I find
That folace? All our law and ftory strow'd

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With hymns, our pfalms with artful terms infcrib'd,
Our Hebrew fongs and harps in Babylon,
That pleas'd fo well our victors ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts deriv'd;
Ill imitated, while they loudeft fing

The vices of their Deities, and their own.
In fable, hymn, or fong, so perfonating
Their Gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their fwelling epithets thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the reft,
Thin fown with ought of profit or delight,

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that wafted us, required of us mirth, Jaying, Sing us one of the fongs of Sion.

338. That rather Greece from us

thefe arts deriv'd;] This was It was established and fupported the fyftem in vogue at that time. with vaft erudition by Bochart, and carried to an extravagant and even ridiculous length by Huetius and Gale. Warburton.

343.-fuelling epithets] Greek compounds. Warburton. The hymns of the Greek poets to their Deities confift of very little more than repeated invocations of them by different names and epithets. Our Saviour very probably alluded to these, where he cautions his difciples against vain repeti

Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's fongs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is prais'd aright, and God-like men,
The Holiest of Holies, and his Saints;

Such are from God infpir'd, not fuch from thee, 350 Unless where moral virtue is exprefs'd

By light of nature not in all quite loft.

Their orators thou then extoll'ft, as those
The top of eloquence, ftatifts indeed,
And lovers of their country, as may feem;
But herein to our prophets far beneath,

tions and much speaking (Barloλ0a) in their prayers, Matt. VI. 7. Thyer. 346. Will far be found unworthy to compare

With Sion's fongs,] He was of this opinion not only in the decline of life, but likewife in his earlier days, as appears from the preface to his fecond book of the Reafon of Church Government."Or if occafion fhall lead to imi"tate thofe magnific odes and hymns wherein Pindarus and "Callimachus are in most things worthy, fome others in their "frame judicious, in their matter "moft an end faulty. But those "frequent fongs throughout the "law and prophets beyond all "these, not in their divine argu


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Meadowcourt. 353. --as thofe] I should prefer- -as though. Calton. 354. -ftatifts] Or statesmen. A word in more frequent ufe formerly, as in Shakespear, Cymbe line Act. 2. Scene 5.

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As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The folid rules of civil government

In their majestic unaffected stile

Than all th' oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy', and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
Thefe only with our law best form a king.

So fpake the Son of God; but Satan now
Quite at a lofs, for all his darts were spent,
Thus to our Saviour with ftern brow reply'd.
Since neither wealth, nor honor, arms nor arts,
Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor ought
By me propos'd in life contemplative,
Or active, tended on by glory', or fame,
What doft thou in this world? the wilderness

I do believe,

(Statift though I am none, nor like to be:)

and Hamlet A& 5. Sc. 3.

I once did hold it, as our ftatifts do, &c.

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380. fulness of time,] Gal. IV. 4. When the fulness of the time was come, God fent forth his Son.

382. if I read ought in Heaven, &c] A fatire on Cardan, who with the boldness and impiety of an atheist and a madman, both

362. — makes happy and keeps fo] of which he was, caft the nativity Hor. Epift. I. VI. 2.

facere & fervare beatum.

of Jefus Chrift, and found by the
great and illuftrious concourse of
Atars at his birth, that he muft

For thee is fitteft place; I found thee there,
And thither will return thee; yet remember
What I foretel thee, foon thou fhalt have caufe
To wish thou never hadft rejected thus

needs have the fortune which befel him, and become the author of a religion, which should spread itfelf far and near for many ages. The great Milton with a juft indignation of this impiety hath satirized it in a very beautiful manner, by putting these reveries into the mouth of the Devil: where it is to be observed, that the poet thought it not enough to difcredit judicial aftrology by


Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid,

Which would have fet thee in short time with ease
On David's throne, or throne of all the world,
Now at full age, fulness of time, thy feafon,
When prophecies of thee are best fulfill'd.
Now contrary, if I read ought in Heaven,
Or Heav'n write ought of fate, by what the stars
Voluminous, or fingle characters,

In their conjunction met, give me, to spell,
Sorrows, and labors, oppofition, hate
Attends thee, fcorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death





making it patronifed by the Devil, without fhowing at the fame time the abfurdity of it. He has therefore very judiciously made him blunder in the expreffion, of portending a kingdom which was without beginning. This deftroys all he would infinuate. The poet's conduct is fine and ingenious. See Warburton's Shakespear Vol. 6. Lear Act 1. Sc. 8.

N 3

399. 1122

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