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TO THE PUBLIC GENERALLY, AND TO MY FRIENDS
AMONGST WHOM I SHOULD SIMPLY BE AN INGRATE, DID
I NOT ESPECIALLY MENTION MY KIND FRIEND,
I SIIALL trouble my readers with very few comments on the translation I have attempted, and with no notes. The numerous lives of Horace and the exhaustive notes-“thick as leaves in Vall'ombrosa " --render it quite needless to add to them, and they are easily accessible. One thing I would point out, which I believe makes this Work of some value to the student, viz. : the Index to the “ Proper Names" and to the first lines of the Latin Odes. I am here of course indebted, very gratefully, to former editions of the text of Horace; but no translation has appeared with an Index, as far as I am aware. As the Latin accompanies the English, it did not seem necessary to give an Index to the translations themselves.
Doubtless it is a bold attempt on my part—or on the part of any one—to try to render Horace into English, and to publish that attempt with the Latin on the opposite page, shewing at a glance the sad falling off from the original, which too surely must often occur.
Still it was thought a boon to the purchaser to give the Latin text, as every reader at all able to enter into the spirit of the original, must want, from time to time, to consult the "ipssissima Terba,” just to see how this, or that, aspirant has "done them into English."
By the bye, two notes appear, one of them taken from Martial, which seemed rather peculiarly illus*trative of the meaning of the Ode—obscure without it; I have not met with this note elsewhere.-See Book 1. Ode 36.
As to any plan in this translation, I am like Canning's “Needy Knife Grinder” in the “Poetry of the Antijacobin
Story, God bless
I have none to tell, Sir.'”—“Plan-I have none to tell of!” There really was no regular plan, tho’I may fairly state that I never undertook the translation of any Ode without much thought, and trying to select the metre most appropriate, both as to it's form and substance.
I am unconscious of any borrowing, except from Major Whyte Melville, and perhaps a few more, but this in the matter of metre only.
These translations, with very few exceptions, have appeared at intervals, from as far back as the year 1859, in the columns of the Northampton Mercury, whose friendly and genial editor, Mr. De Wilde, has earned a deep debt of gratitude from me. His kindly supervision has been bestowed upon these translations, both during their first appearance, and since, whilst the proofs were corrected.
I must add, by way of mere self-defence, that in translating these Odes, I sometimes used one edition of the text, and sometimes another. Now an old “Elzivir,” now a “Milman,” then a “ Delphin,” and