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TOR MERARD

NEW-YORK

OF

VARIOUS COMMENTATORS.

VOLUME THE SECOND.

1

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON, T. PAYNE,
CADELL AND DAVIES, AND R. H. EVANS.

Bye and Law, Printers, St. John's Square, Clerkenwell.

ESSAY

ON

ALLEGORICAL POETRY.

IT is a misfortune, as Mr. Waller obferves, which attends the writers of English poetry, that they can hardly expect their works thould last long in a tongue which is daily changing; that, whilft they are new, envy is apt to prevail against them; and, as that wears off, our language itfelf fails. Our poets, therefore, he says, fhould imitate judicious ftatuaries, that choose the most durable materials; and should carve in Latin or Greek, if they would have their labours preferved for ever.

Notwithstanding the difadvantage he has mentioned, we have two ancient English poets, Chaucer and Spenfer, who may, perhaps, be reckoned as exceptions to this remark: Thefe feem to have taken deep root, like old British oaks, and to flourish in defiance of all the injuries of time and weather. The former is, indeed, much more obfolete in his style than the latter; but it is owing to an extraordinary native strength in both that they have been able thus far to furvive amidst the changes of our tongue, and feem rather likely, among the curious at leaft, to preferve the knowledge of our ancient language, than to be in danger of being destroyed with it, and buried under its ruins.

VOL. II.

a

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