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apt to repeat it afterwards. Your lordship therefore may properly be said to have chosen a retreat, and not to have chosen it till you had maturely weighed the advantages of rising higher, with the hazards of the fall.

Res, non parta labore, sed relicta,

was thought by a poet to be one of the requisites to a happy life. Why should a reasonable man put it into the power of Fortune to make him miserable, when his ancestors have taken care to release him from her? Let him venture, says Horace, qui zonam perdidit. He, who has nothing, plays securely; for he may win, and cannot be poorer if he loses: but he who is born to a plentiful estate, and is ambitious of offices at court, sets a stake to Fortune, which she can seldom answer. If he gains nothing, he loses all, or part of what was once his own; and, if he gets, he cannot be certain but he may refund. In short, however he succeeds, it is covetousness that induced him first to play; and covetousness is the undoubted sign of ill sense at bottom. The odds are against him, that he loses; and one loss may be of more consequence to him than all his former winnings. It is like the present war of the Christians against the Turk: every year they gain a victory, and by that a town; but, if they are once defeated, they lose a province at a blow, and endanger the safety of the whole empire. You, my lord, enjoy your quiet in a garden, where you have not only the leisure of thinking, but the pleasure to think of nothing which can discompose your mind. A good conscience is a port which is land-locked on every side, and where no winds can possibly invade, no tempests can arise. There a man may stand upon the shore, and not only see his own

image, but that of his Maker, clearly reflected from the undisturbed and silent waters. Reason was intended for a blessing; and such it is to men of honour and integrity, who desire no more than what they are able to give themselves; like the happy old Corycian, whom my author describes in his Fourth Georgic, whose fruits and sallads, on which he lived contented, were all of his own growth, and his own plantation. Virgil seems to think, that the blessings of a country-life are not complete without an improvement of knowledge by contemplation and reading:

O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint,
Agricolas !

It is but half possession, not to understand that happiness which we possess. A foundation of good sense, and a cultivation of learning, are required to give a seasoning to retirement, and make us taste the blessing. God has bestowed on your lordship the first of these; and you have bestowed on yourself the second. Eden was not made for beasts, though they were suffered to live in it, but for their master, who studied God in the works of his creation. Neither could the devil have been happy there with all his knowledge; for he wanted innocence to make him so. He brought envy, malice, and ambition, into Paradise, which soured to him the sweetness of the place. Wherever inordinate affections are, 'tis hell. Such only can enjoy the country, who are capable of thinking when they are there, and have left their passions behind them in the town. Then they are prepared for solitude; and, in that solitude, is prepared for them,

Et secura quies, et nescia fallere vita.

As I began this Dedication with a verse of Virgil, so I conclude it with another.

The continuance of your health, to enjoy that happiness which you so well deserve, and which you have provided for yourself, is the sincere and earnest wish of

Your lordship's

Most devoted

And most obedient servant,

JOHN DRYDEN.

AN

ESSAY

ON

THE GEORGICS.

BY

MR ADDISON. *

VIRGIL may be reckoned the first who introduced three new kinds of poetry among the Romans, which he copied after three the greatest masters of Greece. Theocritus and Homer have still disputed for the advantage over him in Pastoral and Heroics; but I think all are unanimous in giving him the prece

* Addison had already distinguished himself as a man of letters, and as an admirer of Dryden, by a copy of verses addressed to our author, and by a translation of the Fourth Book of the Georgics, exclusive of the story of Aristaus. This last performance is liberally commended by Dryden in the Postscript to Virgil. The following Essay, which has been much admired for judi

dence to Hesiod in his "Georgics." The truth of it is, the sweetness and rusticity of a Pastoral cannot be so well expressed in any other tongue as in the Greek, when rightly mixed and qualified with the Doric dialect; nor can the majesty of a Heroic poem anywhere appear so well as in this language, which has a natural greatness in it, and can be often rendered more deep and sonorous by the pronunciation of the Ionians. But, in the middle style, where the writers in both tongues are on a level, we see how far Virgil has excelled all who have written in the same way with him.

There has been abundance of criticism spent on Virgil's Pastorals" and "Eneïs :" but the "Georgics" are a subject which none of the critics have, sufficiently taken into their consideration; most of them passing it over in silence, or casting it under the same head with pastoral: a division by no means proper, unless we suppose the style of a husbandman ought to be imitated in a Georgic, as that of a shepherd is in a Pastoral. But, though the scene of both these poems lies in the same place, the speakers in them are of a quite different character, şince the precepts of husbandry are not to be delivered with the simplicity of a ploughman, but with the address of a poet. No rules, therefore, that

cious criticism contained in elegant language," was sent by him to our author, but without permission to prefix the writer's name. This circumstance led Tickell to throw some reflection on Dryden, as if he had meant to assume to himself the merit of the composition. This charge was refuted by Steele, in a letter to Congreve, prefixed to an edition of the comedy of "The Drummer,” in 1722, who proves, that the Essay was the same paper which Dryden calls the Preface to the Georgics, and which he acknowledges to have been sent by a friend, whose name he was not at liberty to make public. See the article Addison in the " Biographia Britannica."

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