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THE FIRST SATIRE
SECOND BOOK OF HORACE
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrafe of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these IMITATIONS, will be much disappointed. Our Author ufes the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas: And if the old design or colouring chance to fuit his purpose, it is well: if not, he employs his own, with. out fcruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is fo frequently ferious when Horace is in jeft; and at ease where Horace is disturbed. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his Original, than was necessary for his concurrence, in promoting their com mon plan of Reformation of manners.
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrafe an ancient Satirift, he had hardly made choice of Horace; with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common, besides a comprehensive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expreffion, which confifts in ufing the fimpleft language with dignity, and the most ornamented with cafe. For the reft, his harmony and ftrength of numbers, his force and fplendor of colouring, his gravity and fublime of fentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper less unlike that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only fmile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Perfius: And what Mr. Pope would strike with the cauftic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself with turning into ridicule.
If it be asked then, why he took any body at all to imitate, he has informed us in his Advertisement. To which we may add, that this fort of Imitation, which is of the nature of Parody, throws reflected grace and splendor on original wit. Befides, he deemed it more modest to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Defpreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imi. tations. WARBURTON.
*SUNT quibus in Satira videar nimis acer, et ultra Legem tendere opus; bfine nervis altera, quid
Compofui, pars effe putat, fimilefque meorum
VER. 1. There are,] “When I had a fever one winter in town,” faid Pope to Mr. Spence," that confined me to my room for five or fix days, Lord Bolingbroke came to fee me, happened to take up a Horace that lay on the table, and, in turning it over, dipt o the first fatire of the fecond book. He obferved how well that would fuit my cafe, if I were to imitate it in English. After he was gone, I read it over, translated it in a morning or two, and fent it to prefs in a week or a fortnight after. And this was the occafion of my imitating fome other of the Satires and Epistles." “To how cafual a beginning," adds Spence, "we are obliged for the most delightful things in our language! When I was faying to him, that he had already imitated near a third part of Horace's fatires and epistles, and how much it was to be wished that he would go on with them, he could not believe that he had gone fo far; but, upon computing it, it appeared to be above a third. He feemed on this not difinclined to carry it farther; but his last illness was then growing upon him, and robbed us of him, and of all hopes of that kind, in a few months.”
Tranfcribed from Spence's Anecdotes, 1754.
No parts of our Author's Works have been more admired than thofe Imitations. The aptnefs of the allufions, and the happiness of many of the parallels, give a pleasure that is always no
TO MR. FORTESCUE.
P. THERE are, (I fcarce can think it, but am told,) There are, to whom my Satire feems too bold:
Scarce to wife Peter complaifant enough,
And fomething faid of Chartres much too rough.
I come to Council learned in the Law:
You'll give me, like a friend both sage and free,
fmall one to the mind of a reader-the pleasure of comparison. He that has the leaft acquaintance with thefe pieces of Horace, which refemble the Old Comedy, immediately perceives, indeed, that our Author has affumed a higher tone, and frequently has deferted the free colloquial air, the infinuating Socratic manner of his original and that he clearly refembles in his ftyle, as he did in his natural temper, the fevere and ferious Juvenal, more than the fmiling and fportive Horace. Let us felect fome paffages in which he may be thought to have equalled, excelled, or fallen fhort of the original; the latter of which cannot be deemed a difgrace to our Poet, or to any other writer, if we confider the extreme difficulty of transfufing into another language the fubtle beauties of Horace's dignified familiarity, and the uncommon union of fo much facility and force. WARTON.
VER. 10. Advice; and (as you use)] Horace, with much feeming ferioufnefs, applies for advice to the celebrated Roman lawyer, C. Trebatius Tefta, an intimate friend of Julius Cæfar, and of
H. Ne faciam, inquis,
Optimum erat: verum nequeo dormire.
T. Ter uncti
H. Peream, male, fi non
Tranfnanto Tiberim, fomno quibus eft opus alto;
Tully, as appears from many of his epiftles to Atticus; the gravity and felf-importance of whofe character is admirably fupported throughout this little drama. His anfwers are short, authoritative, and decifive. "Quiefcas, aio." And, as he was known to be a great drinker and swimmer, his two abfurd pieces of advice have infinite pleasantry. All these circumstances of humour are dropt in the copy. The lettuce and cowslip-wine are infipid and unmeaning prescriptions, and have nothing to do with Mr Fortefcue's character. The third, fourth, and ninth lines of this Imitation are flat and languid. We must also observe, from the old commentators, that the verbs transnanto and habento are in the very ftyle of the Roman law: "Vide ut dire&is jurifconfultorum verbis utitur ad Trebatium jurifconfultum."
There are many excellent remarks in Acro and Porphyrio: from whom, as well as from Cruquius, Dacier has borrowed much, without owning it. Dacier's tranflation of Horace is not equal to his Aristotle's Poetics. In the former, he is perpetually ftriving to discover new meanings in his author, which Boileau called, the Revelations of Dacier.
Cicero, as appears from many of his letters, had a great regard for this Trebatius, to whom he fays, fpeaking of his accompanying Cæfar in his expedition to Britain, "I hear there is neither filver nor gold in that island." On which Middleton finely obferves, From their railleries of this kind, on the barbarity and mifery of our island, one cannot help reflecting on the surprising fate and revolutions of kingdoms: how Rome, once the mistress