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gion, void of superstition and all false notions of the Deity, which only leads to vice and misery, among people who are uncorrupted in their manners, and only want the introduction of useful arts, under the sanction of a good government, to establish and ensure their felicity.
This turbulent kinsman likewise endangers a revolt, by taking away a woman betrothed to a Briton.
Some of Brutus's followers take part with him, and raise a faction, which, by his wisdom and firmness, he suppresses, and brings the discontented back to their duty; who at length unite with him against the giants, their common enemy.
It must not be omitted, that the kinsman is represented as repenting of bis secession, and much ashamed that Brutus, having left him a victim to female blandishments, went to the war without him.
Brutus, in the end, succeeded in his enterprize against the giants, and enchantment vanished before him; having reduced the fortresses of superstition, anarchy, and tyranny, the whole island submits to good government, and with this the poem was intended to close.
Such was the outline of this poem, which, if he had finished, it would not, perhaps, have added much to his reputation.
He had likewise planned two Odes, or Moral Poems, on the Mischiefs of Arbitrary Power, and the Folly of Ambition. The first was to open with a view and description of Ætna or Vesuvius, after a long intermission from eruptions ; in which was given a picture of all rural felicity, in the most enchanting scenes of vine-yards, and olive-yards in one place; the products of Ceres in another; and flowery pastures overspread with flocks and herds in a third ; while the shepherds were indulging themselves in their rural dances, songs, and music; and the husbandmen, in feats of activity. In the heat of these amusements, is heard the rumbling in the bowels of the mountain, the day is overcast, and after other dreadful symptoms of approaching desolation, a torrent of liquid fire breaks out from the mouth, and running down the declivity, carries away every thing in its passage ; and as Milton says
“ All the tourishing works of Peace destroys." That on the Folly of Ambition and a Name, was to open with the view of a large champaign desert country; in the midst of which was a large heap of shapeless and deformed ruins, under the shadow of which was seen a shepherd's shed, who at his door was tending a few sheep and goats. The ruins attract the eye of a traveller passing by, who, curious to be informed of what he saw, addresses himself to the shepherd, to know to what superb structures these ruins belonged. The shepherd entertains him with an absurd and fabulous account of ancient times, in which there were such traces of true history, that the traveller at length discovers, by the aid of the fabulous narrator, joined to certain marks in the ruins themselves, that this was the famous Blenheim, built, at the public expense, by a warlike nation, for the Deliverer of Europe, &c.
It is observable that our author wrote no one paper in the Spectator : though his friend Parnell did several, chiefly in the way of Visions, and in a style forced and inflated, and much inferior to these eight papers of our author. Addison wrote fifty-two papers in the Guardian, the plan of which was far inferior to that of the Spectator. For what had the Guardian of the Sparkler to do with subjects of Criticism and Philosophy ? The secret charm of the Spectator consisted in interesting the reader in the characters and actions of the several members of the club, and consequently in the dramatic cast given to those Essays. The successors of the Spectator, even those that have been most popular, seem to have been unfortunate in the Titles they assumed. Who would suppose that the Rambler (il Vagabondo, as the Italian translator termed it) was a series of the gravest and most moral Essays ? The Adventurer, it seems, alluded to its being a kind of Knight Errantry to attack the vices and follies of men, The Connoisseur, though you would naturally expect it from the title, yet contained nothing that related to the fine arts. The World was an appropriate and happy title, because it pointed out the chief design of touching on the topics of the day, and the living manners of the times. And this significant title was given to it, by the sensible publisher of it, Mr. Robert Dodsley, at a meeting of several of the author's friends, who universally gave the preference to his proposal against their own.—Warton.
No. 4. MARCH 16, 1712.
Though most things which are wrong in their own nature, are at once confessed and absolved in that single word, the Custom; yet there are some which, as they have a dangerous tendency, a thinking man will the less excuse on that very account. Among these I cannot but reckon the common practice of Dedications, which is of so much the worse consequence as it is generally used by people of politeness, and whom a learned education for the most part ought to have inspired with nobler and juster sentiments. This prostitution of praise is not only a deceit upon the gross of mankind, who take their notion of characters from the learned; but also the better sort must by this means lose some part at least of that desire of Fame which is the incentive to generous actions, when they find it promiscuously bestowed on the meritorious and undeserving. Nay, the author himself, let him be supposed to have ever so true a value for the patron, can find no terms to express it, but what have been already used, and rendered suspected by flatterers. Even Truth itself in a Dedication is like an honest man in a disguise or visor-masque, and will appear a cheat by being dressed so like one. Though the merit of the person is beyond dispute, I see no reason, that, because one man is eminent, therefore another has a right to be impertinent, and throw praises in his