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EPISTOLA I.

Ad AUGUSTU M.

CUM

UM tot * sustineas et tanta negotia solus,

Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes, Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem, Si longo sermone morer tua tempora, Caesar.

“Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Caftore Pollux, Poft ingentia facta, "Deorum in templa recepti, Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, aspera bella Componunt, agros adsignant, oppida condunt; • Ploravere suis non respondere favorem Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram, Notaque fatali portenta labore subegit, Comperit * invidiam supremo fine domari.

Notes.

Book ii. Epift. 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 founded, not for the victories he won ; and therefore compares him, not to those who desolated,

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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 5
An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?

· Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a more d sacred Name,
After a Life of gen'rous Toils endur'd,
The Gaul subdu’d, or Property secur’d,
Ambition humbled, mighty Cities storm’d,
Or Laws establish'd, and the world reform'd;
• Clos’d their long Glories with a sigh, to find
Th' unwilling Gratitude of base mankind!
All human Virtue, to its latest breath,

15 Finds Envy never conquer'd, but by Death.

Notes, but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace; and, for a very obvious reason, could not aim

10

at it.

Ver. 13. Clos'd their long Glories quith a figh,] The expression is extremely beautiful ; and the ploravere judi. çiously placed.

VIR, 16. Finds envy never conquer'd, etc.] It hath been

s Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui pracgravat artes

Infra se positas : extinctus amabitur idem.

Praesenti tibi maturos largimur honores,

i

Jurandafque tuum per numen ponimus aras,

* Nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes.

Sed tuus hoc populus sapiens et juftus in unog

* Te noftris ducibus, te Graiis anteferendo,

Caetera nequaquam fimili ratione modoque

Notes. the common practice of those amongst us, who have diftinguished themselves in the learned world, to ascribe the ill treatment they meet with, from those they endeavour to oblige, to so bad a cause as envy. But surely without reason; for we find our Countrymen of the same candid difpofition which Socrates, in the Euthyphra of Plato, ascribes to the Athenians of his time, They are well con. tent (says he) to allow the Pretensions of reputed eminence ; it is only when a man will write, and presume to give a proof of it, tbat they begin to grow angry. And how readily do we allow the reputation of eminence, in all the Arts, to those whose modesty has made them declinę giving us a specimen of it in any. A temper furely very diftant from envy. We ought not then to ascribe that violent ferment good men are apt to work thes elves inte, and the struggle they make to suppress the reputatien

The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
Had still this Monfter to fubdue at laft.
8 Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
Each star of meaner merit fades away!
Oppress'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Those Suns of Glory please not till they set.

To thee, the World its present homage pays,
The Harvest early, but mature the praife:
Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name 25
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame*:
Whose Word is Truth, as facred and rever'd,
i As Heav'n's own Oracles from Altars heard.
Wonder of Kings ! like whom, to mortal eyeś
k None e'er has risen, and none e'er fhall rise. 30

Juft in one inftance, be it yet confeft Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest :

Notes. of him who pretends to give a proof of what they are so willing to take for granted, to any thing but an eager concern for the public welfare. This, nothing better secures than the early damping that dangerous thing, Popularity ; which when joined to what is as easily abused, great Talents, may be productive of, one does not know what, mischief. SCBIBL.

Ver. 17. The great Alcides,] This instance has not the same 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.

Aestimat; et, nisi quae terris femota suisque
Temporibus defuncta videt, faftidit et odit :

Sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantes
Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera regum,
Vel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis,
Pontificum libros, annosa volumina Vatum,
m Di&titet Albano Musas in monte locutas.

Si, quia » Graecorum sunt antiquiffima quaeque
Scripta vel optima, Romani pensantur eadem
Scriptores trutina ; non est quod multa loquamur:
Nil intra est oleam, nil extra eft in nuce duri.
Venimus ad fummum fortunae: pingimus, atque

Pfallimus, et p lu&tamur Achivis doctius unētis.
Si 9 meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit;
Scire velim, chartis pretium quotus arroget annus.
Scriptor ab hinc annos centum qui decidit, inter
Perfectos veteresque referri debet, an inter
Viles atque novos ? excludat jurgia finis,

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NOTES.

VER. 38. And beaftly Skelton, etc.) Skelton, Poet Layreat to Hen. viii. a yolume of whole verses has been lately reprinted, consisting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and scurrilous language. P.

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