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Ad A UGUSTU M.
U M tot a sustineas et tanta negotia folus,
Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes,
Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem,
Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Caftore Pollux,
Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram,
Comperit invidiam fupremo fine domari.
Book ii. Epift. 1.] The Poet always rifes with his original; and very often, without. This whole Imitation is extremely noble and fublime.
VER. 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber Pater, etc. Horace very judicioufly praises Auguftus for the colonies he founded, not for the victories he won; and therefore compares him, not to those who defolated,
EPIST LE I.
Hile you, great Patron of Mankind! a sustain
An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?
• Edward and Henry, now the Boaft of Fame,
Or Laws establish'd, and the world reform'd;
• Clos'd their long Glories with a figh, to find
f Finds Envy never conquer'd, but by Death.
but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace and, for a very obvious reason, could not aim
VER. 13. Clos'd their long Glories with a figh,] The expreffion is extremely beautiful; and the ploravere judiciously placed.
VER. 16. Finds envy never conquer'd, etc.] It hath been
* Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes
Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem.
↳ Praefenti tibi maturos largimur honores, i Jurandafque tuum per numen ponimus aras, * Nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes. Sed tuus hoc populus fapiens et juftus in uno, * Te noftris ducibus, te Graiis anteferendo,
Caetera nequaquam fimili ratione modoque
the common practice of those amongst us, who have distinguished themselves in the learned world, to ascribe the ill treatment they meet with, from those they endeavour to oblige, to fo bad a cause as envy. But furely without reafon; for we find our Countrymen of the fame candid difpofition which Socrates, in the Euthyphro of Plato, afcribes to the Athenians of his time, They are well content (fays he) to allow the Pretenfions of reputed eminence it is only when a man will write, and prefume to give a proof of it, that they begin to grow angry. And how readily do we allow the reputation of eminence, in all the Arts, to thofe whose modesty has made them decline giving us a specimen of it in any. A temper furely very diftant from envy. We ought not then to ascribe that violent ferment good men are apt to work themselves into, and the ftruggle they make to fupprefs the reputation.
The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
* Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
of him who pretends to give a proof of what they are so willing to take for granted, to any thing but an eager concern for the public welfare. This, nothing better fecures than the early damping that dangerous thing, Popularity; which when joined to what is as eafily abufed, great Talents, may be productive of, one does not know what, mischief. SCRIBL.
VER. 17. The great Alcides,] This inftance has not the fame grace here as in the original, where it comes in well after thofe of Romulus, Bacchus, Caftor, and Pollux, tho' aukwardly after Edward and Henry. But it was for the fake of the beautiful thought in the next line; which, yet, does not equal the force of his original.
Aeftimat; et, nifi quae terris femota suisque
1 Sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantes
Dictitet Albano Mufas in monte locutas.
Si, quia Graecorum funt antiquiffima quaeque Scripta vel optima, Romani penfantur eadem Scriptores trutina; non eft quod multa loquamur: Nil intra eft oleam, nil extra eft in nuce duri. Venimus ad fummum fortunae: pingimus, atque
Pfallimus, et P luctamur Achivis doctius unctis.
Si 1 meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit ;
Scire velim, chartis pretium quotus arroget annus.
Viles atque novos? excludat jurgia finis.
VER. 38. And beaftly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Hen. VIII. a volume of whofe verfes has been, lately reprinted, confifting almoft wholly of ribaldry, obfcenity, and fcurrilous language. P.