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rules as are laid on all Neotericks, a strić,
imitation of the antient ; insomuch that any
deviation accompanied with whatever poetic
beauties, hath always been censured by the
sound critick. How exact that Imitation,
hath been in this piece, appeareth not only
by its general structure, but by particular al-
lusions infinite, many whereof have escaped
both the commentator and poet himself; yea
divers by his exceeding diligence are so alter'd
and interwoven with the rest, that several
have already been, and more will be, by the
ignorant abused, as altogether and originally
his own.
In a word, the whole poem proveth itself
to be the work of our Author when his fa-
culties were in full vigour and perfection:
at that exact time of life when years have
ripened the judgment, without diminishing
the imagination; which by good criticks-is
held to be punétually at forty. For, at that
season it was that Virgil finished his Greorgics;
and Sir Richard Blackmore at the like age
composing his Arthurs, declared the same to
be the very Acme and pitch of life for Epic
oesy: tho’ fince he hath altered it to sixty,
a) the Year in which he published his Al-
réd. True it is, that the talents for Criti-
cism, namely smartness, quick censure, viya-
city of remark, certainty of affeveration, in-

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