« PreviousContinue »
eity of Corregio--the learning of Poofin-the airs of Guido--the taste of the Carrachis-or the grand con-tour of Angelo!
Grant me patience !-Of all the cants which are canto ed in this canting world--though the cant of hypocrify may be the worit-the cant of criticism is the most tor: menting I would go fifty miles on foot, to kiss the hand of that man whose generous heart will give up the reins of his imagination into liis author's hands, be pleas sed, he knows not why and cares not wherefore.
XII. Parallel between Pope and Dryden. IN acquired knowledge, the fuperiority must be allow.
ed to Dryden, whole education was more fcholaftic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science. Dryden knew more of man in his general na. ture, and Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehenfive speculation ; those of Pope by minute attention. There is inore digo nity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty.in that of Pope.
Poetry was not the sole praise of either; for both excelled likewise in prose : but Pope did not borrow his profe from his predecessor. The style of Dryden is ca. pricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uni-: form : Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind ; Pope: constrains his mind to his own rules of composition. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is al. ways smooth, wiform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a parural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied-exuberance of abundant vegetation ; Pope's is & velvet lawa, shaven by the fcythe, and levelled by the roller.
Of genius--that power which constitutes a poet ; that quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates--the superiority muft, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden. It is not to be inferred, that of abis poetical vigour Pope had only a little, because Dry.
den had more ; for every other writer fince Milton must give place to Pope ; and even of Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he lias not better poems. Dryden's performances were always hafty; either. excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic neceffity: he composed without consideration, and publihed without currection. What his mind could fupply at call, or gather in one excursion, was all that he fought, and all that he gave. The dilatory cau. tion of Pope enabled him to condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might produce, or chance might fupply. If the flights of Dryden therefore are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope's the heat is more regular and constant. Dry. den often surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with perpetual delight.
XIII. Story of Le Fever. IT was some time in the summer of that year in which
Dendermond was taken by the Allies; when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard,--say tittingfor in consideration of the Corporal's lame knee (which sometimes gave him exquisite pain)--when my uncle Toby dined or fupped alone he would never fuffer the Corporal to 1tánd; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself, with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him; for many a time when my uncle Toby lupposed the Corporals leg was at rest, he would look back, and detect him standing behind him with the moft dutiful respect : this bred more little squabbles betwixt them, than all other caules for five-and twenty years together..
He was one evening fitting thus at his fupper, when the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of fack: 'Tis for a poor gentleman, I think of the army, said the landlord, who has been taken ill at
my house four days ago, and has never held his head fince, or had a desire to taste any thing, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of fack and a thin toaft,
" I think,” says he, taking his hand from his forehead, “ it would comfort me.
-If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing,--added the landlord, I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill.-I hope he will still mend, continued he; we are all of us concerned for him.
Thou art a good-natured foul, I will answer for thee, cried my uncle Toby; and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glafs of sack thyself,--and take a couple of bottles with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more, if they will do him good.
Though I am persuaded, said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door, he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim,-yet I cannot help entertaining a high opicion of his guest too; there must be something more than common in him, that in so mort a time should win fo much upon the affections of his hoft-And of hiswhole family, added the Corporal, for they are all concerned for him.-Step after him, said my uncle Toby, -do Trim, and ask if he knows his name.
--I have quite forgot it, truly, said the landlord, coming back into the parlour with the Corporal,--but I can ask his son again.Has he a son with hin then? faid my uncle Toby.—A boy, replied the landlord, of about eleven or twelve years of age ;-but the poor creature has tasted almost as little as his father ; he does nothing but mourn and lament for him night and day : He has not stirred from the bed-side thele two days.
My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took away, without saying one word, and, in a few minutes after, brought him his pipe and tobacco.
Trim! said my uncle Toby, I have a project in my head, as it is a bad night, of wrapping myself up warın in my roquelaure, and paying a visit to this poor gentleman. Your honour's roquelaure, replied the Corporal, has not once been had on since the night before your hoc
pour received your wound, when we mounted guard in the trenches before the gate of St Nicholas ;--and belides, it is so cold and rainy a night, that what with the Toquelaure, and what with the weather, it will be e. nough to give your honour your death. I fear so, re. plied my uncle Toby : but I am not at rest in my mind, Trim, since the account the landlord has given me-I wilh I had not known fo iruch of this affair,-added my uncle Toby,-or that I had known more of it:How fall we manage it ? Leave it, an't please your bonour, to me, quoth the Corporal ;-I'll take my hat and sick, and go to the house and reconnoitre, and act accordingly; and I will bring your honour a full accommt in an hour. Thou shalt go, Trim, said my uncle Toby, and here's a shilling for thee to drink with his servant. -I shall get it all out of him, said the Corporal, fhutting the door.
It was not till my uncle Toby had knocked the alhes out of his third pipe that Corporal Trim returned from the inn, and gave him the following account.
I despaired at first, said the Corporal, of being able to bring back your honour any kind of intelligence con. cerning the poor fick Lieutenant-Is be in the army, then? faid my uncle Toby-He is, said the Corporal --And in what regiment ? said my uncle Toby-I'll tell your honour, replied the Corporal, every thing straight forward, as I learnt it-Then, Trim, l'll fill another pipe, faid my uncle Toby, and not interrupt thee; to sit down at thy ease, Trim, in the window seat, and begin thy story again. The corporal made his old bow, which generally spoke as plain as a bow could speak it, “ Your honour is good :"-And having done that, he sat down, as he was ordered, -and began the story to my uncle Toby over again in pretty near the saine words.
I despaired at first, said the Corporal, of being able to bring back any intelligence to your honour about the Lieutenant and his son; for when I aked where his fervant was, from whom I made myself sure of knowing every thing which was proper to be asked, That's a right distinction, Trim, said my uncle Toby- I was an. fwered, an't please your honour, that he had no servant with him :--that he had come to the inn with hired horses; which, upon finding himself unable to proceed (to join, I suppose, the regiment), he had dismissed the morning after he came.-If I get better, my dear, said 'he, as he gave his purse to his son to pay the man,-We can hire horses from hence.-- But, alas! the poor gentleman will never get from hence, said the landlady to me,- for I heard the death-watch all night long;—and when he dies, the youth, his fon, will certainly die with him ; for lie is broken-hearted already.
I was hearing this account, continued the Corporal, when the youth came into the kitchen, to order the thin toast, the landlord fpoke of ;—but I will do it for my father myself, said the youth.-Pray let me fave
you the trouble, young gentleman, said I, taking up - a fork for the purpose, and offering him my chair to sit
down upon by the fire, whilst I did it. I believe, Sir, faid he, very modestly, I can please him beft myself. I am sure, said I, his honour will not like the toast the worse for being toasted by an old soldier.--The youth took hold of my hand, and instantly burft into tears. Poor youth! said my uncle Toby, he has been bred up from an infant in ihe army, and the name of a fol. dier, Trim, founded in his ears like the name of a friend; I wish I had him here.
-I never in the longest marcb, said the Corporal, had so great a mind to my dinner, as I had to cry with him for company :- What could be the inatter with me, an't please your honour ? Nothing in the world, Trim, faid niy uncle Toby, blowing his nofe,--but that thou art a good-natured fellow.
When I gave him the toast, continued the Corporal, I thought it was proper to tell him I was Captain Shandy's servant, and that your honour (though a stranger) was extremely concerned for his father and that if there was any thing in your house or cellar (and thou might'st have added my purse too, said my uncle Toby), -he was heartily welcome to it :-He made a very low bow (which was meant to your honour), but no au. fwer—for his heart was full--fo he went up stairs with the toast ;-l warrant you, my dear, said I, as I opened the kitchen-door, your father will be well again.-Mr Yorick's curate was smoking a pipe by the kitchen-fire,