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writ not vulgarly on vulgar Subje&s, nor always chose them. His Style is constantly accommodated to this Subject, either high or low: If his Fault be too much Lowness, that of Persius is the Fault of the hardness of his Metaphors, and Obscurity: And so they are equal in the Failings of their Style; where Juvenal manifestly triumphs over both of them.
The Comparison betwixt Horace and Juvenal is more difficult ; because their Forces were more equal : A Dispute has always been, and ever will continue, betwixt the Favourers of the two-Poets. Non nostrum eft tantas componere lites. I shall only venture to give my own Opinion, and leave it for better Judges to determine. If it be only argu'd in general, which of them was the better Poet; the Victory is already gaind on the side of Horace. Virgil himself mult yield to him in the Delicacy of his Turns, his choice of Words, and perhaps the Purity of his Latin. He who says that Pindar is inimitable, is himself inimitable in his Odes. But the Contention betwixt these two great Masters, is for the Prize of Satyr : In which Controversy, all the 0 des and Epodes of Horace are to stand excluded. I say this, because Horace has written many of them Satyrically, against his private Enemies : Yet these, if justly consider'd, are somewhat of the Nature of the Greek Silli, which were Inve&tives against particular Sects and Persons. But Horace had purg'd himself of this Choler, before he enter'd on those Discourses, which are more properly calls the Roman Satyr : He has not now to do with a Lyce, a Canidia, a Calius Severus, or a Menas; but is to correct the Vices and the Follies of his Time, and to give the Rules of a happy and virtuous Life. In a
word, that former fort of Satyr, which is known in England by the Name of Lampoon, is a dangerous fort of Weapon, and for the most part unlawful. We have no moral Right on the Reputation of other Men. 'Tis taking from them what we cannot restore to them. There are only two Reasons, for which we may be permitted to write Lampoons; and I will not promise that they can always justify us : the first is Revenge, when we have been affronted in the same nature, or have been any ways notoriously abus'd, and can make our selves no other Reparation. And yet we know, that, in Christian Charity, all Offences are to be forgiven, as we expect the like Pardon for those which we daily commit against Almighty GOD. And this Consideration has often made
me tremble when I was saying our Saviour's Pray: er; for the plain Condition of the Forgiveness
which we beg, is the pardoning of others the Offences which they have done to us : For which Reason I have many times avoided the Commission of that Fault, even when I have been notorioully provok’d. Let not this, my Lord, pass for Vanity in me; for 'tis Truth. More Libels have been written against me, than almost any Man now living: And I had Reason on my side, to have defended my own Innocence : I speak not of my Poetry, which I have wholly given up to the Criticks; let them use it as they please; Posterity, Perhaps, may be more favourable to me: For Interest and Paffion will lie bury'd in another Age; and Partiality and Prejudice be forgotten. I speak of my Morals, which have been sufficiently afpers'd; that only fort of Reputation ought to be dear to every honest Man, and is to me. But let the World witness for me, that I have been often
wanting to my self in that particular ; I have seldom answer'd any fcurrilous Lampoon; when it was in my Power to have expos'd my Enemies : And being naturally vindicative, have suffer'd in filence, and possess'd my Soul in quiet.
Any thing, tho' never so little, which a Man speaks of himself, in my Opinion, is still too much; and therefore I will wave this Subject, and proceed to give the second Reason, which may justify a Poet, when he writes against a particular Person; and that is, when he is become a Publick Nuisance. And those, whom Horace in his Satyrs, and Perfius and uvenal have mention'd in theirs, with a Brand of Infamy, are wholly such. 'Tis an Action of Virtue to make Examples of vicious Men. They may and ought to be upbraided with their Crimes and Follies : Both for their own Amend. ment, if they are not yet incorrigible; and for the Terror of others, to hinder them from falling into those Enormities, which they fee are so severely, punish'd, in the Persons of others. The first Reason was only an Excuse for Revenge ; but this second is absolutely of a Poet's Office to perform: But how few Lampooners are there now living, who are capable of this Duty? When they come in my way, 'tis impossible sometimes to avoid reading them. But, goud God! how remote they are in common Justice, from the Choice of such Persons as are the proper Subje&t of Satyr! And how little Wit they bring, for the support of their Injustice! The weaker Sex is their most ordinary Theme; and the best and fairest are sure to be the most severely handled. Amongst Men, those who are profperously unjust, are intitled to Panegyrick : But afAicted Virtue is infolently stabb'd with all manner of Reproaches; no Decency is confider'd, no Ful
fomeness omitted ; no Venom is wanting, as fa as Dulness can supply it: For there is a perpetual Dearth of Wit; a Barrenness of good Sense and Entertainment. The neglect of the Readers, will foon put an end to this fort of fcribling. There can be no Pleasantry where there is no Wit: No Impression can be made, where there is no Truth for the Foundation. To conclude, they are like the Fruits of the Earth in this unnatural Season: The Corn which held up its Head, is spoild with Rankness; but the greater part of the Harvest is laid along, and little of good Income and wholefome Nourishment is receiv'd into the Barns. This is almost a Digreffion, I confess to your Lordship; but a juft Indignation forc'd it from me. Now i have remov'd this Rubbish, I will return to the Comparison of Juvenal and Horace.
I wou'd willingly divide the Palm betwixt them; upon the two Heads of Profit and Delight, which are the two Ends of Poetry in general. It must be granted by the Favourers of Juvenal, That Horace is the more copious and profitable in his Instructions of Human Life : But in my particular Opinion, which I set not up for a Standard to better Judgments, Juvenal is the more delightful Author. I am profited by both, I am pleas'd with both; but I owe more tó Horace, for my Instruction, and more to Juvenal, for my Pleasure. This, as I said, is my particular Taste of these two Authors: They who will have either of them to excel the other in both Qualities, can scarce give better Reafons for their Opinion, than I for mine : But all unbiass's Readers, will conclude, that my Mode ration is not to be condemnd: To such iinpartial Men I must appeal : For they who have already form’d their Judgment, may justly stand suf
pected of Prejudice ; and tho' all who are my Readers, will set up to be my Judges, I enter my Caveat against them, that they ought not so much as to be of my Jury: Or, if they be admitted, 'tis but Reason that they should first hear what I have to urge in the Defence of my Opinion.
That Horace is somewhat the better Instructor of the two, is prov'd froin hence, That his Inftru&ions are more general ; Juvenal's more limited. So that granting, that the Counsels which they give are equally good for Moral Use; Horace, who gives the most various Advice, and most applicable to all Occasions which can occur to us in the Course of our Lives; as including in his Discourfes, not only all the Rules of Morality, but also of Civil Conversation; is, undoubtedly, to be preferr'd to him, who is more circumscrib’d in his Instructions, makes them to fewer People, and on fewer Occafions, than the other. I may be pardon'd for uting an old Saying, fince 'tis true, and to the purpofe, Bonum quo communius, eo melius. Juvenal, excepting only his first Satyr, is in all therelt confin'd, to the exposing of some particular Vice; that he lashes, and there he sticks. His Sentences are truly shining and inftru&ive : But they are sprinkl'd here and there. Horace is teaching us in every Line, and is perpetually Moral; he had found out the Skill of Virgil, to hide his Sentences: To give you the Virtue of them, without shewing them in their full Extent: Which is the Oftentation of a Poet, and not his Art: And this Petronius charges on the Authors of his Time, as a Vice of Writing, which was then growing on the Age. Ne Sententiæ extra Corpus Orationis emineant: He wou'd have them weav'd into the Body of the Work, and not appear emboss'd upon it,