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N o T
O TE S,
I HAVE reserved the Notes to this place, that the reader might be left to his genuine feelings, and the natural impression on reading the Epistle, whether adverse or favourable to the idea I ventured to premise, concerning its Subject and Design. In the address to my learned and worthy friends I faid little more than was necessary to open my plan, and to offer an excuse for my undertaking. The Notes descend to particulars, tending to illustrate and confirm my hypothesis; and adding occasional explanations of the original, chiefly intended for the use of the English Reader. I have endeavoured, ace cording to the best of my ability, to follow the advice of RosCOMMON in the lines, which I have ventured to prefix to these Notes. How far I may be entitled to the poetical blessing promised by the Poet, the Publick muft determine: but were I, avoiding arrogance, to renounce all claim to it, such an appearance of Modesty would include a charge of Impertinence for having hazarded this publication.
Take pains the GENUINE MEANING to explore !
ART of POETRY, an EPISTLE, &c.
Q. HORATII FLACCI EPISTOLA AD PISONES,
HE work of Horace, now under consideration, has been so long known, and so generally received, by the name of The Art of Poetry, that I have, on account of that notoriety, submitted this translation to the Publick, under that title, rather than what I hold to be the true one, viz. Horace's EPISTLE TO THE Pisos. The Author of the English Commentary has adopted the same title, though directly repugnant to his own fyftem ; and, I suppose, for the very same reason,
The title, in general a matter of indifference, is, in the present instance, of much consequence. On the title Julius Scaliger founded his invidious, and injudicious, attack. De arte quæres quid fentiam. Quid? equidem quod DE ARTE, SINE ARTE traditâ. To ehe Title all the editors, and commentators, have 4
particularly particularly adverted ; commonly preferring the Epistolary Denomination, but, in contradiction te that preference, almost universally inscribing the Epistle, the Art of Poetry. The conduct, however, of JASON DE NORES, a native of Cyprus, a learned and ingenious writer of the 16th century, is very remarkable. In the year 1553 he published at Venice this work of Horace, accompanied with a commentary and notes, written in elegant Latin, infcribing it, after Quintilian, Q. Horatii Flacci LIBER DE ARTE POETICA*, The very next year, howeyer, he printed at Paris a second edition, enriching his notes with many observations on Danțe and Petrarch, and changing the title, after mature confideration, to Q. Horatii Flacci EPISTOLA AD PISONES, de Arte Poeticâ. His motives for this change he afa signs in the following terms,
Quare adductum me primum fciant AD INSCRIPTIO NEM OPERIS IMMUTANDAM non levioribus de causis, & quod formam EPISTOLÆ, non autem LIBRI, in quo præcepta tradantur, vel ex ipso principio præ se ferat, & quod in vetuftis exemplaribus Epistolarum libros sub
* I think it right to mention that I have never seen the first edition, pube lished at Venice. With a copy of the second edition, printed at Parig, I was favoured by Dr. Warton of Winchefer.
fequatur, & quod etiam fummi et prestantissimi homines ita fentiant, & quod minimè nobis obftet Quintiliani teftimonium, ut nonnullis videtur. Nam si LIBRUM appellat Quintilianus, non eft cur non pofsit inter EpisTOLAS enumerari, cum et illæ ab Horatio in libros digeftæ fuerint. Quod vero DE ARTE POETICA idem Quintilianus adjungat, nihil commoveor, cùm et in EPISTOLIS præcepta de aliquâ re tradi poffint, ab eodemque in omnibus penè, et in iis ad Scævam & Lollium præcipuè jam faetum videatur, in quibus breviter eos instituit, quâ ratione apud majores facile ver farentur*.
Desprez, the Dauphin Editor, retains both titles, but says, inclining to the Epistolary, Attamen ARTEM Poeticam vix appellem cum Quintiliano et aliis : malim vero EPISTOLAM nuncupare cum nonnullis eruditis. Monsieur Dacier infcribes it, properly enough, agreeable to the idea of Porphyry, Q. Horatii Flacci De Arte Poetica Liber; feu, EPISTOLA AD PI. SONES, PATREM, ET FILIOS.
Julius Scaliger certainly stands convicted of crie tical mal.ce by his poor cavil at the SUPPOSED title ;
* Since writing and first publishing the above, I have seen the first Edi, tion of De Nores, and find the title of the Epiitle to be the same as in his second ; so that he here refers to his departure from the usage of othen, not to any variation from himself,