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No. 085 [from The Spectator]
by [?]

Me fabulosa Vulture in Apulo,
Altricis extra limen Apuliae,
Ludo fatigatumque somno
Fronde nova puerum palumbes
Texere …

I have heard that the late Lord Dorset, who had the greatest Wit temper’d with the greatest [Candour, [6]] and was one of the finest Criticks as well as the best Poets of his Age, had a numerous collection of old English Ballads, and took a particular Pleasure in the Reading of them. I can affirm the same of Mr. Dryden, and know several of the most refined Writers of our present Age who are of the same Humour.

I might likewise refer my Reader to Moliere’s Thoughts on this Subject, as he has expressed them in the Character of the Misanthrope; but those only who are endowed with a true Greatness of Soul and Genius can divest themselves of the little Images of Ridicule, and admire Nature in her Simplicity and Nakedness. As for the little conceited Wits of the Age, who can only shew their Judgment by finding Fault, they cannot be supposed to admire these Productions [which [7]] have nothing to recommend them but the Beauties of Nature, when they do not know how to relish even those Compositions that, with all the Beauties of Nature, have also the additional Advantages of Art. [8]

[Footnote 1: Virgil himself would have touched upon, had the like Story been told by that Divine Poet. For]

[Footnote 2: wonderfully natural]

[Footnote 3: genuine]

[Footnote 4: goodnatured Reader]

[Footnote 5: what a Genius the Author was Master of]

[Footnote 6: Humanity]

[Footnote 7: that]

[Footnote 8: Addison had incurred much ridicule from the bad taste of the time by his papers upon Chevy Chase, though he had gone some way to meet it by endeavouring to satisfy the Dennises of ‘that polite age,’ with authorities from Virgil. Among the jests was a burlesque criticism of Tom Thumb. What Addison thought of the ‘little images of Ridicule’ set up against him, the last paragraph of this Essay shows, but the collation of texts shows that he did flinch a little. We now see how he modified many expressions in the reprint of this Essay upon the ‘Babes in the Wood’.]