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istyy 31 - Our Author answers, That the Moderns do not admire the Ancients, because they invented, but beCaufe they "perfected. Homer is not esteemed by them, as being the first Poer, fince there were o ther Poers before him ; but because they believe he has carried Epick Poetry to the highest Degree of Perfection. Thus (continues Mr. Gacon) we admire the Stephens, and the Elzeviers, not as being the Inventers sof Printing, but because they published feveral Master-Pieces of that Noble and Useful
2 *** Mr. de Fontenelle i obferves, That the Moderns cannot always exceed che Ancients, unless the Nature of the thing allows of its Eloquence and Poetry (fays he) do not require a great Knowledge of other Arts, and chiefly depend upon a lively Imagination. Men might easily get a fufficient Knowledge of those Arts in few Ages ; and a lively Imaginarion does not want a long Series of Experiments, nor a great Number of Rules, to have all the Perfection that it is capable of. The same Author says in another Place, That Eloquence and Poetry, which have occafioned the warmeft Difpure, are not very Important in themselves and believes the Ancients might carry them to their Perfection, because it may be attained to in few Ages. However, he owns that Eloquence was a ready way to Preferment among the Greeks and the Romans, and that it was then as grear an Advantage to be born with the Talent of Speaking well, as it would be now-a-days to be born with a vaft Eftárę. As for Poetry, he fays! it never was good for anything under any Sort of Government previsto ""!! Mr. Gacon refers us to the firft Part of his Dil
fertation, where he makes an Apology for Poetry. He wonders: Mr. de Fontenelle fhould be one of those, who defpise that noble Art, fince his Poetical Performances are far from being contemptible.
were a great Mistake, says he, to pretend that Poefry, is of no ufe, because it feldom raises the For. gure of those who apply themselves to its for Glo F%, rather than, Gain, moves grear, Poers to produce those excellent Works, which are the Admiration of all Ages,d .7912 DITH:200901 Arte
lids Our Author , denies that--the Ancients carried Eloquence to a greater Degree of Perfection than Poetry, and maintains that Demofthenes and Cicerg are
. not to perfect in their Kind as Homer and Virgilio theirs. Nature (says he) having a great Share in the Production of a Poet, and Art contributing very much to that of an Oratoris no surprifing ching that the former Thould exceed the latteri, as true Fruits are more perfect than painted ones. 998 Tilaus W. Stups but afe) 'n tuin
Oh ytojo ba 09h as Mr. de Fontenelle ascribes the blind Admiration of the Moderns for the Ancients to the great Influence of the Commentators, the most fuperftitious Men
of all those who worship Antiquity, Is there any beautiful Woman, Says be that would not think herself Happy, if the could inspire hex Lover with a Pallion as soft and lively, as that with which a Greek or Latin Author inspires hisıca spectful Interpreter.” ?
is stint in
3.0 V2.5900mhz In answer to that, Raillery, the Author fays: it concerns only those long and tedious Gominentators,
. for whom he has no great Efteema and then he goes on in the following Words. If an Admirer
of Epictetus pays 4 great, Price for the Lamp of " that Philosopher; if another is more fond of a “Medal of Homer, or Anacreon, than of gheir OWA
Works: Can such a ridiculous Zeal, leffen the Merit of thofe great Men? If a Commentator upon Homer endeavours to make us believe, that that, Poet is Solomon ; that the most abftrufe Sci
, ences, and even the Philosophers-Stone, are to be I found in his Poems is Homer answerable for
"fuch Extravagancies - We are willing that such
Admirers of the Ancients fhould be banter'd and -ridiculed; but when we have an. Efteem - for thofe wife Interpreters, who laying aside - Gram
matical Trifles, i make it their Business to find out, “the Sense of the Ancients, and to discover their
5 Mr. Gacon owns that there are some Imperfections in the Works of the Ancients that are most esteemed; but he maintains that notwithstanding those Imperfe tions their works are inimitable, or at least have not been equalled by any Modern Author. He denies that the Ancients have been guilty of any Impertinence, and affirms that whoever confis ders their Religion, their Government, their Climates, and their Cuftoms, will easily clear them from such ản Imputation.
- The Moderns boast of their Works relating to Galantry, and pretend to be more nice than the Ancients in their way' of treating of Love. Mr. Gaconis of a contrary Opinion and believes dat the! Moderns discover no Delicacy, bur in was much as they conform themselves to the Works of the Ancients." The bare System of Cu “ pid and Venus (fays he) is sufficient to thew that w the Ancients were Masters of the Art of Love. And “ indeed can any thing be more ingenious? The “ Gracefulness, the smiling Conntenance, the Wan
tohness,“the Wings, the Torch, the Darts, and " the Vail of Cupid ; in a Word, all the Fables, th, wherein the Ancients set forth in such a pompous «Manner the Triumphs of that little God, are as 4 many Proofs that they knew him perfectly. Howy 5, could they be ignorant of him, when they knew 4.his Mother fo well
- The Author acknowledges, that fonie Writers of our Time speak naturally of Love, without affecting a falfe Delicacy; but he thinks they are indebted
for at rom the Ingenious Performances of the Latins, whom they have imitatedras Catullus, (fayghe) Prół pertiu, Tibullus, Virgit Horace, Ovid, havey afforded them an infinite Number of fine Thoughts Andlin. deed Voiture, Sarafin, Segrais, la Fontaine, Corneille, Racine, Madam Ville-Diew, and Madam Des-Houlivres, never durft deny that they took from the Writings of those Great Men the Charms, which procured them fo great a Reputation. 1:8--
Mr. Gascon makes a Judicious Reflexion upon the Maxims of the Duke de la Rochefoucauls. He obferves, That this Author has several unnatural and far fetched Thoughits. Mr. ln Bruyere (fays he) has juftly blamed him for making himself unintelligible in several Places by too much refining, as it appears by this Maxim, Gravity is in Mystery of the Body, in vented to conceal the Imperfections of the Mind, and many others:
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'! yillard art Our Author obfervës, that the Fables of la Forthine ate very much above his Tales.. Which is so true, that we have some other Tales as good as his zwhereas no body has been able to imitate his Fables. But (continues the Author) tho' they be never: so fine, they do not exceed those of Phédrus.
I omit leveral other Observations that will not be unacceptable to the Readers.
10 3. The Author proceeds to the Third Part of his Differtation, wherein he undertakes to thew, That the Poems of the Ancients may be betrer tran: slated into Verse than inco Prose. He acknowledges, as Madam Dacier does, that a Translation of a Poet into Profe is like the Muinmy of a beautiful Woman, in which no Body will see those Sparkling Eyes, that Complexion animated with the most na. tural and 'lively Colours, that Gracefulness and those Charms, which kindled the Love of the Beholders, and made an Impression even upon old-Age. But
he denies, that any one can perceive in that Mum: my the Beaury and Regularity of the Features, the Bigness of the Eyes, che Smalness of the Mouth and a Noble and Majestick Shape. He denies, that the Imagination being Itruck with those precious Remains, as Madam Dacier calls them, can form an Idea of a Beaucy not much unlike that, which the Imagination can conceive by itself, and without the Sight of a dead Body, tho never so well em balmed.
- Mr. Gacon, in order to prove the Affertion, which makes the Subject of this Third Part of his Preface, uses the very Arguinerts alledged by Madam Dacier, without any Alteration buc that of the Word Paetny instead of the Word Profe. In the next Place, he brings in several Examples to thew, how the most fimple, the cleareft, and the nobleft Poetical Ideas are tretched out, and darkened, and lose their Beauty by: a Prosaick Translation. At the same
Time he inserts a Translation in Verse, to convince the Readers, that hothing but a Poerical Verfion can be a true Copy of a Poetical Original... big Suite li