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original Spirit, is a Decision
peculiar only to those, who can
relish unaffected Grandeur and
natural Sublimity, with the
same judicious Taste, as Your

It is needless to say any
thing to Your Lordship, about
the other Parts of this Per-
formance, since they alone can
plead effectually for them-
selves. I went through this
Work, animated with a View
of pleasing every body; and
publish it, in some Fear of pleaf-
ing none. Yet I lay hold with
Pleasure on this opportunity


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of paying my Respects to Your LORDSHIP, and giving this public Proof, that I am,


Your Lordbip's

most obedient and

most humble Servant,


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I will, without doubt; be expected,

that the Reader pould be made I

privy to the Reasons, upon which

this Work was undertaken, and is now made public. The intrinsic Beauty of the Piece itself first allured me to the Attempt; and a regard for the Public, especially for those who might be unable to read the Original, was the main Inducement to its Publication.

The Treatise on the SUBLIME had sept for several Ages, covered up in the Dust of Libraries, till the middle of the sixteenth Century. The first Latin Version by Gabriel de Petra was printed at Geneva in 1612. But the first good Translation of it into any modern Language was the French one of the famous Boileau, which, tho not always faithful to the Text, yet has an Elegance and a Spirit, which few will ever be able to equal, much less to surpass. A4


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The present Tran Nation was finished, before I knew of any prior Attempt to make Longinus Speak English. The first Transation of him I met with, was publisk'd by Mr. Welsted in 1724. But I was very much surprized, upon a Perusal, to find it only Boileau's Translation misrepresented and mangled. For every Beauty is impaired, if not totally 'effaced, and every Error (even down to those of the Printer) most injuriously preserved.

I have since accidentally met with two other English Versions of this Treatise; one by J. Hall Esq; London 1652; the other without a Name, but printed at Oxford in 1698, and said in the Title-page to have been compared with the French of Boileau. I saw nothing in either of these, which did not yield the greatest Encouragement to a new Attempt.

No less than nine Tears have intervened since the finishing of this Translation, in which Space it has been frequently revised, submitted to the Censure of Friends, and amended again and again by a more attentive study of the Original. The Design was, if posible, to make it read like an Original: Whether I have succeeded in this, the bulk of my Readers may judge; but whether the Translation be good, or come any thing near to the Life, the Spirit, the Energy of Longinus,

is a Decision peculiar to Men of Learning and Taste, who alone know the Difficulties which attend such an Undertaking, and will be impartial enough to give the Translator the necessary Indulgence.

Longinus himself was never accurately enough published, nor thoroughly understood, till Dr. Pearce did him justice in his late Editions at London, the second especially. My Thanks are due to that Gentleman, not only for his correct Edition, on account of which the whole learned World is indebted to him; but for those Animadversions and Corrections of this Transation, with which he so kindly favoured me. Most of the Remarks and Observations were drawn up, before I had read his Latin Notes.

I am not the least in pain, about the pertinency of those Instances which I have brought from the sacred Writers, as well as from some of the finest of our own Country, to illustrate the Griticisms of Longinus. I am only fearful, left among the multiplicity of such as might be had, I may be thought to have omitted some of the best. I am sensible, that what I have done, might be done much better; but if I have the good Fora tune to contribute a little, towards the fixing a true judicious Taste, and enabling my Readers to distinguish Sense from Sound, Grandeur from


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