chapter  48
2 Pages

JOSEPH WARTON on Rochester in the Essay on Pope 1782

The verses on Silence2 are a sensible imitation of the Earl of Rochester’s on Nothing; which piece, together with his Satire on Man, from the fourth of Boileau, and the tenth Satire of Horace, are the only pieces of this profligate nobleman, which modesty or common sense will allow any man to read. Rochester had great energy in his thoughts and diction; and though the ancient satirists often use great liberty in their expressions, yet, as the ingenious historian observes,1 ‘their freedom no more resembles the licence of Rochester, than the nakedness of an Indian does that of a common prostitute’.