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Gallo, cujus amer tantum mihi crescit in horas,
Bucol. x. 37
Nor Tasso, in his Aminta :
Picciola e' l'ape, e fa col picciol morso
da 2. f. I. Nor Boileau, the chastest of all writers; and that even in his art of poetry :
Ainsi tel autrefois, qu'on vit avec Faret
Chant. 1. l. 21.
Mais allons voir le Vrai jusqu'en fa source même.
Boileau, Satire It.
But for their spirits and souls
Queen. The pretty vaulting sea refus'd to drown me. Knowing, that thou wou'dst have me drown’d on shore, With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness.
Second part, Henry VI. act 3. sc. 6.
Here there is no manner of resemblance but in the word drown ; for there is no real resemblance be. tween being drown'd at sea, and dying of grief at land. But perhaps this sort of tinsel wit
have a propriety in it, when used to express an affected, not a real passion, which was the Queen's case.
Pope has several fimiles of the same stamp. I shall transcribe one or two from the Elay on Man, the gravest and most instructive of all his perform
And hence one master passion in the breast,
Epift. 2. 1. 131.
And again, talking of this same ruling or master passion :
Nature its mother, Habit is its nurse :
Ibid, l. 145.
Lord Bolingbroke, speaking of historians :
Where their fincerity as to fact is doubtful, we strike out truth by the confrontation of different accounts ; as we Atrike out sparks of fire by the collision of flints and steel.
Let us vary the phrase a very little, and there will not remain a shadow of resemblance. Thus,
We discover truth by the confrontation of different ac. counts; as we strike out sparks of fire by the colliủon of fiints and itcel.
Racine makes Pyrrhus say to Andromaque,
Vaincu, chargé de fers, de regrets consumé,
And Orestes in the fame strain :
Que les Scythes sont moins cruel qu'Hermoine.
Similes of this kind put one in mind of a ludicrous French fong :
Je croyois Janneton
Helas ! helas!
Helas ! l'amour m'a pris,
A vulgar Irish ballad begins thus :
I have as much love in store
As there's apples in Portmore. Where the subject is burlesque or ludicrous, such similes are far from being improper. Horace says pleasantly, Quanquam tu levior cortice.
L. 3. ode 0.
· And Shakespear,
In breaking oaths he's stronger than Hercules. And this leads me to observe, that beside the foregoing comparisons, which are all serious, there is a fpecies, the end and purpose of which is to excite gaiety or mirth. Take the following examples : Falstaff, speaking to his
page : I do here walk before thee, like a low that hath overwhelmed all her litter but one.
Second part, Henry IV. ad 1. sc. 4.
As you like it, aft 3. fc. 10.
Hudibras, canto 1.
Description of Hudibras's horse :
He was well stay'd, and in his gait
So Hudibras his ('tis well known)
Honour is, like a widow won
The fun had long since in the lap
Part 2. canto 2.
Books, like men their authors, have but one way of coming into the world ; but there are ten thoufand to go out of it, and return no more.
Tale of a Tub.
And in this the world may perceive the difference between the integrity of a generous author, and that of a common friend. The latter is observed to adhere close in prosperity ; but on the decline of fortune, to drop suddenly off : whereas the generous author, just on the contrary, finds his hero on the dunghill, from thence by gradual steps raises him to a throne, and then immediately withdraws, expecting not so much as thanks for his pains.
Tale of a Tub.
The most accomplish'd way of using books at present is, to serve them as fome do lords, learn their titles, and then brag of their acquaintance.
Tale of a Tub.