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In other poemes and dities of pleasure, it is of less difficultie to bring
a mans own sense to his own rime; than in this kind of translation to enforce his rime to the necessitie of another mans meaninge.
THOMAS TWYNE, 1584-Pref. to Transl. of Virgil's Æneidos.
To o offer to the Public, without apology, another version of THE GEORGICS, after several translations by authors of no mean reputation, and particularly by Dryden and Warton, would argue a disregard of their merits, and an arrogance, which I wholly disclaim. On their defects, if any, it becomes not me to descant; but rather to acknowledge their respective excellencies, which it has been my endeavour to imitate. For the grace, the spirit, and dignity of the versification of the most harmonious of our poets in the last century, combined with the learning, the refined taste, and correct judgment of the most eminent of our critics in the present, could alone have conveyed to the English reader an adequate sense of the perfection of the Latin original ..
* I cannot, on this occasion, deny myself the gratification of expressing my sense of the general merit of the justly celebrated version of the Georgics, by the Abbé de Lille.
That, with these sentiments of the difficulty of the execution, I should have ventured on the work, may justly subject me to the severity of criticism; to which I shall silently submit, from the consciousness, that the version, which I now offer to the Public, has not been lightly undertaken, nor negligently laboured.
The ARGUMENTS have been extended, in order to mark the connexión of the parts in each Georgic, and may, perhaps, in some measure, answer the purpose of a brief commentary on the original.
As whatever Notes I might have annexed would have consisted, almost entirely, of selections from former publications of easy purchase, the scholar is referred to Heyne's Latin Commentary, and the English reader to the ample and judicious remarks in Professor Martyn's edition of the Georgics.