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the lady, who leading back the knight to the fofa, addressed him in these words:


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Person engaged in the pursuit of

literary fame must be severely mortified on observing the very speedy neglect into which writers of high merit so


frequently fall. The revolution of centuries, the extinction of languages, the vast convulsions which agitate a whole people, are causes which may well be submitted to in overwhelming an author with oblivion, but that in the same country, with little variation of language or manners, the delights of one age should become utter strangers in the next, is surely an immaturity of fate which conveys reproach upon the inconsistency of national taste. That noble band, the English Poets, have ample reason for complaining to what unjust guardians they have entrusted their renown. While we crown the statue of Shakespeare as the prince of dramatic poets, shall we forget the works, and almost the names of his contemporaries who possessed so much of a kindred spirit? Shall the Italian Pastor Fido and Amyntas stand high in our estimation, and the Faithful Shepherdess, the


most beautiful pastoral that a poet's fancy ever formed, be scarcely known amongst us ? Shall we feel the fire of heroic poetry

in translations from Greece and Rome, and never search for it in the native pro : ductions of our own country?

The capital work of Sir William D'avenant, which I now desire to call forth from its obscurity, may well be considered as in a state of oblivion, since we no where meet with allufions to it, or quotations from it, in our modern writers; and few, I imagine, even of the professed students in English classics, would think their taste discredited by confessing that they had never read GONDIBERT. A very learned and ingenious critic, in his wellknown discourse upon poetical imitation, has, indeed, taken notice of this poem; but though he bestows all due praise upon its author, yet the purpose for which


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it is mentioned being to instance an essential error, we cannot suppose that his authority has served to gain it more readers. Having very judiciously laid it down as a general observation, that writers by studiously avoiding the fancied disgrace of imitation are apt to fall into improper methods, forced conceits, and affected expression; he proceeds to introduce the work in question after the following man

“ And, that the reader may not suspect me of asserting this without ex

perience, let me exemplify what has “ been here said in the case of a very emi

nent person, who, with all the advantages

of art and nature that could be “ required to adorn the true poet, was “ ruined by this single error. The person “ I mean was Sir WILLIAM D'AVENANT, “ whose Gondibert will remain a perpetual “ monument of the mischiefs which must

ever arise from this affectation of originality in lettered and polite poets.”

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