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over their Predecessors; that their JMorals were much improved, and the license of those ancient Poets restrained: that Satire and Comedy were become more just and useful; that whatever extravagancies were left on the Stage, were owing to the Ill Taste of the JNobility; that Poets, under due Regulations, were in many respects useful to the State; and concludes, that it was upon them the Emperor himself must depend, for his Fame with Posterity.

We may further learn from this Epistle, that Horace made his Court to this Great Prince by writing with a decent Freedom toward him, with a just Contempt of his low Flatterers, and with a manly regard to his own Character.

EPISTLE I.
TO AUGUSTUS.

While you, great Patron of Mankind sustain
The balanc’d World, and open all the Main;
Your Country, chief, in Arms abroad defend,
At home, with Morals, Arts and Laws amend;
*How shall the Muse, from such a Monarch, steal 5
An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?
‘Edward and Henry, now the boast of Fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a moredsacred Name,
After a Life of gen’rous toils endur’d,
The Gaul subdu’d, or Property secur'd, 10

EPISTOLA I.

AD AUGUSTUM.

CUM tot "sustineas et tanta negotia solus,
Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes,
Legibus emendes; in "publica commoda peceim,
Silongo sermone morer tua tempora, Caesar.
‘Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Castore Pollux,
Post ingentia facta, a Deorum in templa recepti,

NOTES.

Book ii. Epist. 1.]. The Poet always rises with his Original; and o often without. This whole imitation is extremely noble and Sublime.

Wer 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber pater, etc.

orace very judiciously praises Augustus for the colonies he founded, not for the victories he had won; and therefore compares him, not to those who desolated, but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace; and, for the very obvious reason, should not have aimed at it, as he has dope in the mention of Alfred.

Ambition humbled, mighty Cities storm’d,
Or Laws establish'd, and the World reform'd;
eClos'd their long Glories with a sigh, to find
Th’ unwilling Gratitude of base mankind!
All human Virtue, to its latest breath,
*Finds Envy never conquerod, but by Death.
The great Alcides, ev'ry labour past,
Had still this Monster to subdue at last.
gSure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
Each star of meaner merit fades away !
Oppress'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Those Suns of Glory please not till they set.
To thee, the World its present homage pays,
The Harvest early, hbut mature the praise :
Great Friend of LIBERTY 1 in Kings a Name
Above all Greek, above all Roman fame":
Whose Word is Truth, as sacred and rever’d,
iAs Heav'n's own Oracles from Altars heard.

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Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, aspera bella

Componunt, agros adsignant, oppida condunt;
ePloravere suis non respondere favorem
Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram,
Notaque fatali portenta labore subegit,
Comperit finvidiam supremo, fine domari.
surit enim fulgore suo, qui praegravat artes
Infra se positas: extinctus amabitur idem.
hPraesenti tibi maturos largimur honores,
i.Jurandasque tuum per numen ponimus aras,

NOTES.

Ver, 17. The great Alcides,) This instance has not the same grate here as in the Original, where it comes in well after those of Romulus, Bacchus, Castor, and Pollux, though awkwardly after Edward and Henry. But it was for the sake of the beautiful thought in the next

line; which, yet, does not equal the force of his Original.

Wonder of Kings: like whom, to mortal eyes
*None e'er has risen, and none e'er shall rise.
Just in one instance, be it yet confest
Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest:
Foes to all living worth except your own,
And Advocates for folly dead and gone.
Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old;
It is the rust we value, not the gold.
1Chaucer’s worst ribaldry is learn’d by rote,
And beastly Skelton heads of houses quote:
One likes no language but the Faery Queen:
A Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o’ the Green:
And each true Briton is to Ben so civil,
mHe swears the Muses met him at the Devil.

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kJWil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes.
Sed tuus hoc populus sapiens et justus in uno,
*Te nostris ducibus, te Grails anteferendo,
Caetera nequaquam simili ratione modoque
Aestimat; et, nisi quae terris semota suisque
Temporibus defuncta videt, fastidit et odit:
"Sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantes
Quas bis quinque viri sanxerunt, foedera regum,
Wel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis,
Pontificum libros, annosa volumina Watum,
"Dictitet Albano Musas in monte locutas.

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NOTES.

Ver:_38. And beastly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Henry VIII. a volume of whose verses has been lately reprinted, consist

ing almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and scurrilous language.

Ver. 40. Christ's Kirk o’ the Green.] A Ballad made by a King of

Scotland.

Wer. 42 met him at the Devil..] The Devil Tavern, where Ben

Johnson held his Poetical Club.

Tho' justly "Greece her eldest sons admires, Why should not We be wiser than our sires? In ev'ry Public Virtue we excel; 45 We build, we paint, "we sing, we dance as well, And Plearned Athens to our arts must stoop, Could she behold us tumbling thro' a hoop. If Time improve our Wit as well as Wine, Say at what age a Poet grows divine? 50 Shall we, or shall we not, account him so, Who dy’d, perhaps, an hundred years ago? End all dispute; and fix the year precise When British Bards begin to immortalize P “Who lasts arcentury can have no flaw, 55 “I hold that Wit a Classic, good in law.” Suppose he wants a year, will you compound * And shall we deem him "Ancient, right and sound, Or damn to all eternity at once, At ninety-nine, a Modern and a Dunce P 60

Si, quia "Graiorum sunt antiquissima quaeque
Scripta vel optima, Romani pensantur eadem
Scriptores trutina; non est quod multa loquamur:
Nil intra est oleam, nil extra est in nuce duri.
Venimus ad summum fortunae: pingimus, atque
°Psallimus, et Pluctamur Achivis doctius unctis.
Si qmeliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit;
Scire velim, chartis pretium quotus arroget annus.
Scriptor ab hinc annos centum qui decidet, inter
Perfectos veteresque referri debet, an inter
Wiles atque novos ? excludat jurgia finis.
Est vetus atque probus, rcentum qui perficit annos.
Quid P qui deperiit minor uno mense vel anno,
Inter quos referendus erit? sveteresne poetas,
An quos et praesens et postera respuat aetas"? .

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