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The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,859 pages of information about The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — Lauriers — — — — — — — — — — — — Guerriers — — — — — — — — — — — — — Musette — — — — — — — — — — — — — Lisette — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Cesars — — — — — — — — — — — — — Etendars — — — — — — — — — — — — — Houlette — — — — — — — — — — — — — -Folette

One would be amazed to see so learned a Man as Menage talking seriously on this Kind of Trifle in the following Passage.

Monsieur de la Chambre has told me that he never knew what he was going to write when he took his Pen into his Hand; but that one Sentence always produced another.  For my own part, I never knew what I should write next when I was making Verses.  In the first place I got all my Rhymes together, and was afterwards perhaps three or four Months in filling them up.  I one Day shewed Monsieur Gombaud a Composition of this Nature, in which among others I had made use of the four following Rhymes, Amaryllis, Phillis, Marne, Arne,_ desiring him to give me his Opinion of it.  He told me immediately, that my Verses were good for nothing.  And upon my asking his Reason, he said, Because the Rhymes are too common; and for that Reason easy to be put into Verse.  Marry, says I, if it be so, I am very well rewarded for all the Pains I have been at.  But by Monsieur_ Gombaud’s Leave, notwithstanding the Severity of the Criticism, the Verses were good.

Vid.  MENAGIANA.  Thus far the learned Menage, whom I have translated Word for Word. [9]

The first Occasion of these Bouts Rimez made them in some manner excusable, as they were Tasks which the French Ladies used to impose on their Lovers.  But when a grave Author, like him above-mentioned, tasked himself, could there be anything more ridiculous?  Or would not one be apt to believe that the Author played [booty [10]], and did not make his List of Rhymes till he had finished his Poem?

I shall only add, that this Piece of false Wit has been finely ridiculed by Monsieur Sarasin, in a Poem intituled, La Defaite des Bouts-Rimez, The Rout of the Bouts-Rimez. [11]

I must subjoin to this last kind of Wit the double Rhymes, which are used in Doggerel Poetry, and generally applauded by ignorant Readers.  If the Thought of the Couplet in such Compositions is good, the Rhyme adds [little [12]] to it; and if bad, it will not be in the Power of the Rhyme to recommend it.  I am afraid that great Numbers of those who admire the incomparable Hudibras, do it more on account of these Doggerel Rhymes than of the Parts that really deserve admiration.  I am sure I have heard the

  Pulpit, Drum Ecclesiastick,
  Was beat with fist instead of a Stick,

and

  There was an ancient sage Philosopher
  Who had read Alexander Ross over,

more frequently quoted, than the finest Pieces of Wit in the whole Poem.

C.

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