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and Nobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre; and lastly against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them of little Ufe to the Govern

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 over their Predecessors; that their Morals were much improved, and the licence of those antient Poets restrained : that Satire and Comedy were become more just and useful ; that whatever extravagances were left on the Stage were owing to the Ill Taste of the Nobility; 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 Pofterity.

We may farther 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.

a

EPISTO L A I.

Ad A U G U S T U M.

CR

UM tot a sustineas et tanta negotia folus,

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Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem,
Si longo sermone morer tua tempora, Caesar.
• Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Caftore Pollux,
Poft ingentia facta, d Deorum in templa recepti,
Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella
Componunt, agros adfignant, oppida condunt;
e ploravere suis non respondere favorem
Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram,
Notaque fatali portenta labore fubegit,
Comperit f invidiam fupremo fine domari.

Book ii: Epist. 1.) The Poet always rises with his original; and very often without. This whole Imitation is extremely noble and sublime.

VER. 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber Pater, etc. Horace very judiciously praises Auguftus for the colonies he

EPISTLE I.

WH

To AUGUSTUS.

Hile you, great Patron of Mankind! a 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 §
An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?

• Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a more d facred Name,
After a Life of gen'rous toils endur'd,
The Gaul fubdu'd, or Property fecur'd,
Ambition humbled, mighty cities ftorm'd,

Or Laws eftablish'd, and the world reform'd
* Clos'd their long Glories with a figh, to find
Th'unwilling Gratitude of bafe mankind!
All human Virtue, to its latest breath,
'Finds Envy never conquer'd, but by Death.

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founded, not for the victories he had won; and therefore compares him, not to those who defolated, but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace: and, for a very obvious reason, should not have aimed at it, as he has done in the mention of Alfred.

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& Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes
Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem.
h Præfenti tibi maturos largimur honores,
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
Aeftimat; et, nifi quae terris femota fuifque
Temporibus defuncta videt, faftidit et odit :
1 Sic fautor veterum, et tabulas peccare vetantes
Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera regum,
Vel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis,

Pontificum libros, annofa volumina Vatum,

VER. 17. The great Alcides,] This inftance has not the fame grace here as in the original, where it comes in well after those 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.

VER. 38. And beafly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Henry viii. a volume of whofe verfes has been lately re

The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
Had ftill this Monster to fubdue at last.

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20

25

8 Sure fate of all, beneath whofe rifing ray
Each star of meaner merit fades away!
Opprefs'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Thofe Suns of Glory please not till they fet.
To thee, the World its prefent homage pays,
The Harveft early, but mature the praise :
Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame ::
Whofe Word is Truth, as facred and rever'd,
As Heaven's own Oracles from Altars heard.
Wonder of King! like whom, to mortal eyes
* None e'er has rifen, and none e'er shall rife.
Juft in one inftance, be it yet confeft
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; 35
It is the ruft we value, not the gold.

30

'Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote,
And beaftly Skelton Heads of houses quote:
One likes no language but the Faery Queen?
A Scot will fight for Chrift's Kirk o' the Green: 40

printed, consisting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and fcurrilous language.

VER. 40. Chrifl's Kirk o'the Green ;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland.

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