« PredošláPokračovať »
that of feveral others of my friends, to whom all acknowledgments are rendered unneceffary by the privileges of a familiar correfpondence: and I am fatiffied I can no way better oblige men of their turn, than by my filence.
In fhort, I have found more patrons than ever Homer wanted. He would have thought himself happy to have met the fame favour at Athens that has been shewed me by its learned rival, the Univerfity of Oxford *. And I can hardly envy him those pompous honours he received after death, when I reflect on the enjoyment of fo many agreeable obligations, and easy friendships, which make the fatisfaction of life. This diftinction is the more to be acknow ledged, as it is fhewn to one whose pen has never gratified the prejudices of particular parties, or the vanities of particular men. Whatever the fuccefs may prove, I shall never repent of an undertaking in which I have experienced the candour and friendship of fo many perfons of merit; and in which I hope to pass some of those years of youth that are generally loft in a circle of follies, after a manner neither wholly unuseful to others, nor disagreeable to myself.
*It is remarkable that in the long lift of his Subscribers prefixed to the first quarto Edition, ten Colleges in Oxford fubfcribed for their refpective Libraries, and not a fingle College in Cambridge.
It was thought improper to omit this Poftfcript to the Odyffey, as it is apparently one of our Author's most elegant and finished compofitions in profe. It were to be wifhed he had enlarged on the fubject; for a Critical Treatife on the Nature and Conduct of the Odyffey, is as yet wanting in our language; the Difcourfe prefixed to Pope's Tranflation, by Broome, being but a meagre and defective Extract from Boffu. More than forty years ago, three Effays were printed in the third volume of the Adven turer, on the excellence of the Odyfey. They were defigned to fhew this excellence in the manner of conducting the fable, which is of the complex kind; in the extenfive utility of its moral; in the vaft and entertaining variety of fcenes, objects, and events, which it contains; in the ftrokes of nature, and pathos; in the true and accurate delineation of ancient manners, customs, and habits; and the lively pictures of civil and domeftic life, more calculated to keep our attention alive and active, than the martial uniformity of the Iliad; and in its exhibiting the moft perfect pattern of a legitimate Epopée. But the Author of thefe Effays confined himfelf to too short a compass for a fubject of fuch utility and importance; and may perhaps, in fome future day, lengthen them into a more formal Treatife.
CANNOT difmifs this Work without a few obfer
vations on the true Character and Style of it. Whoever reads the Odyffey with an eye to the Iliad, expecting to find it of the fame character, or of the fame fort of spirit, will be grievously deceived, and err against the first principle of Criticism, which is to confider the nature of the piece, and the intent of its Author. The Odyffey is a moral and political work, inftructive to all degrees of men, and filled with images, examples and precepts, of civil and domestic life. Homer is here a perfon
Qui didicit, patria quid debeat, & quid amicis,
Quo fit amore parens, quo frater amandus, & hofpes:
The Odyffey is the reverse of the Iliad, in Moral, Subject, Manner, and Style; to which it has no fort of relation, but as the ftory happens to follow in order