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wAdieu-If this advice appear the worst,
wVive, vale, si quid novisti rectius istis, Candidus imperti: si non, his utere mecum.
that for which Nature bestowed it, namely, to recommend, and set off Truth; old age, which abates the passions, will never rectify the abuses they occasioned. But the remains of wit, instead of seeking and recovering their proper channel, will run into that miserable depravity of taste here condemned; and in which Dr. Swift seems to have placed no inconsiderable part of his Wisdom. “I chuse (said he in a letter to “Mr. Pope) my Companions amongst those of the least consequence, “and most compliance; I read the most trifling Books, I can find; “and whenever I write, it is upon the most trifling subjects.” And again, “I love La Bagatelle better than ever. I am always writing “bad prose or worse verses, either of rage or raillery, etc.” And again, in a letter to Mr. Gay, “My rule is, Wive la Bagatelle.”
Wol. II. 2 A.
THE Reflections of Horace, and the Judgments past in his Epistle to Augustus, seemed so seasonable to the present Times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own Country. The Author thought them considerable enough to address them to his Prince; whom he paints with all the great and good qualities of a Monarch, upon whom the Romans depended for the increase of an absolute Empire. But to make the oem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those which contribute to the Happiness of a Free People, and are most consistent with the Welfare of our ..Weighbours. This Epistle will show the learned World to have fallen into two mistakes: one, that Jiugustus was a Patron of Poets in general; whereas, he not only prohibited all but the Best Writers to name him, but recommended that care even to the Civil Magistrate: Admomebat Praetores, me paterentur JWomen suum obsolefieri, etc. The other, that this Piece was only a general Discourse of Poetry; whereas, it was an Apology for the Poets, in order to render Jiugustus more their Patron. Horace here pleads the Cause of his Cotemporaries, first against the taste of the Town, whose humour it was to magnify the Authors of the preceding age; secondly against the Court and JNobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre; and lastly against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them of little use to the Government. He shews (by a View of the Progress of Learning, and the Change of Taste among the Romans) that the introduction of the polite Arts of Greece, had given the Writers of his Time great advantages