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he rejected the first. Virgil had judgment enough to know daring was necessary ; but he knew the difference betwixt a glowing colour and a glaring ; as when he compared the shocking of the fleets at Actium to the justling of islands rent from their foundations and meeting in the ocean. He knew the comparison was forced beyond nature, and raised too high; he therefore softens the metaphor with a credas. You would almost believe that mountains or islands rushed against other :
Credas innare revulsas
But here I must break off without finishing the discourse.
" Cynthius aurem vellit, et admonuit, &c.” the things which are behind are of too nice a consideration for an essay begun and ended in twelve mornings; and perhaps the judges of painting and poetry, when I tell them how short a time it cost me, may make me the same answer which my late Lord Rochester made to one, who to commend a tragedy, said it was written in three weeks : “ How the devil could he be so long about it? for that poem was infamously bad,” and I doubt this parallel is little better; and then the shortness of the time is so far from being a commendation, that it is scarcely an excuse. But if I have really drawn a portrait to the knees, or an half length, with a tolerable likeness, then I may plead with
some justice for myself, that the rest is left to the imagination. Let some better artist provide himself of a deeper canvass; and taking these hints which I have given, set the figure on its legs, and finish it in the invention, design, and colouring.
The following elegant Epistle has constantly been prefixed to all the Editions of DU FRESNOY, which have been published since JERVAS corrected the translation of Dryden. It is, therefore, here reprinted, in order that a Poem which does so much honour to the original author may still accompany his work, although the translator is but too conscious how much so masterly a piece of versification on the subject of Painting, will, by being brought thus near it, prejudice his own lines. M.
FRESNOY'S ART OF PAINTING.
TRANSLATED BY MR. DRYDEN.
This verse be thine, my friend, nor thou refuse
* First printed in 1716.