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THE love of novelty; ■ wKIch, in' fomc degree, is common
to all mankind, is more particularly the charaderiftic of
that mediocrity of parts, vi^hich diftinguiflies more than one half
of the human fpedes. This inconftant difpofition is never more
confpicuous, than in what regards the article of amufement. We
change our fcntiments concerning it every moment, and the dif-
tance between our admiration and extreme contempt, is fo very
fmall, that the one is almofl: a fure prefage of the other. The
poets, whofe bufinefs it is to pleafe, if they want to preferve the
fame they have once acquired, muft very often forfeit their own
judgments to this variable temper of the bulk of their readers, and
accommodate their writings to this unfettled taile. A fame, ib
fluduating deferves hot to be much valued.
Poetry, like virtue, receives its reward after death. The fame
which men purfued in vain, when living, is often beftowed upon
them when they are not fenfible of it. This negleft of living
authors is not altogether to be attributed to that reludlance which
men fhew in praifing and rewarding genius. It often happens, that

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