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Covent Garden Journal (Newspaper) - February 4, 1752, London, Middlesex The Co ventGarden By Sir ALEXANDER Cenfor of GREAT Price To be continued every TUESDAY and At noftri Proavi Plautinos et et Laudavlre nimium patient er utrumqtiey Ne die am In former tfimes this filly Town fondly frillsd Tom and Tom HE prefent Age feems pretty well agreed in an that the utmoft Scope andEnd of Reading is Amufe ment only and now thefa fhionable that a Reader can propofe no more than mere and it is fometimes very well for him if he Ends even this inhis were iurely intended for a much more noble and profitable Pur pofe than Writers are I to be confidered mere whofe Bufinefs it is only to excite Laugh ter may ibmetimcs be in and ferved with graver Mat in order to titilace the and to recommend wholefome Food to the Mind for this it hath been ufed by many excellent Authors for as Ho race not any one promulgattTruth with a Smile on bis Countenance as he again is commonly a fironger and letter of attacking than the feverer kind of WhcnWit and Humour are introduced for fuch good when the agreeable is blended with the then is the Writer faid to have fucceedtJ in every Plea as the ingenious Author of ClarifTa fays of a Story Jhotild be made only the Ve hicle of Inftruilion j and thus Romances as well as Epic may become worthy the Perufal of the greatdt of Men But when no no no Inftruftion is conveyed to the where the whole Defign of the Compo fition is no more than to make the Writer comes very near to the Cha racter of a Buffoon and his if an old Latin Proverb be deferve no great Compliments to be to their After what I have here I can not I be reprefented as an Enemy or to all thofe Kinds of Writing that are apt to promote On the few I do more admire the Works of thofe great Mafters who have fent their Satire if I may ufe the Expreffion laughing into the Such are that great and Theie Au thors I ever hold in the highefl De gree of Efteem not indeed for that Wit and Humour alone which they all fo emi nently but becaufe they all endea with the utmoft Force of their Wit and to expofe and extirpate thofe Foliies and Vices which chiefly pre vailed in their feveral I would not be thought to confine Wit and Humour to theie Shake and fome other have beeablefled with the fame and have employed them to the fame Pur There are fome who thoj void of theie Talents have made fo wretched a Ufe of that had the Confecration of their Labours keen com mitted to die Hands of the no good Man would have regretted their Lofs Nor am 1 afraid to mention and Ariftophanes himfelf in this For if I may fpeak my Opinion freely of thefe two laft and of their their Defign appears to me very plainly to have been to ridicule all De Virtue out of the Now whoever reads over the five great Writers firft mentioned in this Pa muft either have a very bad or a very bad if he doth not become both a wiferaad a better In the of the as well as in the Exercife of the Diverfion is a feeoridary and defigned on ly to make that which is at the fame Time to fuch noble Purpofes as Health and But what fhould we fay to Man who mounted his Cham ber or fought with his own Sha dow for his Amuiemcrtt only How mudh rnoreabfurd and weak would he fwallowed Poifonbecaufe it was How differently did Horace think of Study from modern id verum atque decent euro et et om nis in hoc fum Condo et qitze mox depromere Truth and Decency art my whole Care and In this Study I am mirdy occu thefe I am alwayslaying up and fo that can at any Time draw forth my Stores for my immediate The whole Epiflle from which I have para phrafed this is a Comment upon and affords many ufeful Leflbns of When we are employed in reading a great and good we ought to con fider ourfelves as fearching after if well and regularly laid Up in the will of ufe to us on fundry Oc cafions in our If a for In fhould be overloaded with Pro fperity or both of which Cafes are IJabk to happen to us who is there fo very or fovery if he was a Mailer of Seneca and Plutarch could not find great Matter of Comfort and Utility from their Doclrnies I men tion thefe rather than Plato and as the Works of the are I yet campleatly made Englifh are lefs within the Reach of moft of my perhaps it may be Will Se neca or Plutarch make us laugh Perhaps not but if you are not a my wor thy which I can hardly with Ci vility they will the latter efpeciafly pleafe you more than if they For my own I I have not read even Lucian himfetf with more Delight than I have Plutarch but furely it is that fuch Scriblers as Tom Tom and the Wits of our Age find whilft the Wri ting of fo fo and fo voluminous an Author as Plutarch remain in the as I are very little The Truth I am afraid thatreal Tafte is a Quality with which Human Nature is very flenderly It is indeed fo very and fo little that fcarce two Authors have agreed in their Notions of it and thofe who have endeavourecl to ex plain it to feem to have fucceeded only in hewing us that they knew it not If I might be allowed to give my own I fhould derive ic from a nice Harmony between the Imagi nation and the Judgment and hence per All imaginable Care hath been taken to Japply the Subfcribers with this but iotidthjlanding any Gen tleman or Lady foould not have received on fending their Names either to or to the Univerfal Regiller oppofite CecilStreet in the they will be carefully fupplied for the
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