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So each back of offender my weapon assails
Will doubtless exclaim, 'tis a cat with nine tails;
But if idiots will arrogate Wisdom's array,
They deserve to be laugh'd at as donkeys that bray Thus having spoke plain to each genius and doodle, They know what they have to expect from Sir
Who now ends his comment with counsel that's
Let men learn to read ere they venture to write.
writing such a poem, it is the folly of having addressed it, with a very silly introductory letter, to the writers of the Athenian Oracle; a set of people whose conceit in offering to answer all questions, ignorance in giving solutions, and credulity in listening to the grossest falsehoods, is rendered conspicuous throughout the work in question. At the period when the above mentioned ode was written, Swift had attained the age of twentyfour.
(c) The following quotation, from a modern author, is inserted, as peculiarly applicable to the above line :
As the grand Mart that issues most trash that
Is close to the Temple of Pray’r, fam'd Saint Paul's;
“ To ye, all Authors' known propellers,
Lo! I on the gold ball aloft take my stand,
Good Lord, from this summit what tribes meet my
Of asses, how many! of wise men, how few!
With whom Commentators may well assume place,
And Musical Doctors that dance hand in hand.
To these let us add the poor drudge, Pamphleteer,
Periodical Writers that sot over beer,
The Scribes Miscellaneous, but mere hodge-podge
Great Lexicographers and Catalogue-makers:
(d) Difficile est satiram non scribere.
Such is the situation of things, that it is difficult to avoid writing satire.
An Homer, with Hesiod and Pindar, combine
(e) With all due deference to Sir Noodle's perspicuity, I conceive that he has not done justice to the republic of letters in Great Britain, by placing Spenser as the leading star in our literary hemisphere. Though the phraseology be uncouth, nevertheless every thing is due to the lucubrations of venerable Chaucer. The sweetness of Lord Surry, who infused the tenderness of Petrarch throughout his sonnets, must always confer honour upon the age when his effusions met publicity. Nor be the name of Sir Thomas More forgotten, who, for energy and perspicuousness of style, is not inferior to any subsequent writer whatsoever; and whose great abilities are summed up in the following words by Burnet, in his Specimens of English Prose Writers, vol. i. p. 394.
“ Sir Thomas More is justly regarded as one of the chief « revivers of classical literature in England. He both wrote