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Great Pindar, I grant all the praises thy due;
my metreIf parted on earth, may we meet above-Peter.
Maledicus a malefico non distat nisi occasione.
The only difference between a slanderer and an evil doer is, that the latter requires an opportunity.
In lieu of a pen, with a slaught'ring Pean mawl,
eyes I next glance on Mathias's scrawl,
stinted praise Scarce sheds a pale gleam o'er his impotent lays.(n)
(n.) If a writer be desirous of establishing himself as a candid censor of literature, he should be cautious in his criticisms, and
Each scholar must grant thee true classical know
ledge; But to please, we want more than mere scraps from
not indiscriminately assail with rancour every literary gentleman
Qui vult cædere canem, facile invenit fustem.
Mr. Mathias's Pursuits of Literature were purchased with avidity, not as I conceive from the work being so generally read and understood, but in consequence of the unvarying ill-nature which characterised its pages, and the fame which it acquired with a set of scholastic critics who haunt the shops of the Piccadilly publishers, and gave it celebrity as a most classical
production. For my own part, I must confess this work did not appear to me as deserving of the encomiums lavished upon its style, particularly on reference to the poetry, which never struck me as being above a certain degree of mediocrity; but when the çandour of its decisions are examined, no man can regard the
Thy notes, oft lugg'd in, to the purpose don't speak,
virulent spite: Still boldly I dare it, nor deign budge one jot 0; I speak as I think, sir, for candour's my motto: And, in conning our volumes, the reader I'll swear Will allow that my comments than yours are more
As a Bard, if I scan you, your labour rehearses
Pursuits of Literature but as a vehicle of the most unprovoked abuse, and rancorous ill-nature. Every individual who publishes certainly lays himself open to criticism; but where the Found can be healed with a salve, there is no need to apply the amputating knife: this, however, was not the opinion of Mr. Mathias, who perhaps indulged in such strictures, conceiving them mere badinage; but I would reply, in answer to a supposition of this nature,
Tolle jocos non est jocus esse malignum,
The charm that commanded your poem's quick sale
Now buried your labours, as you are forgot,