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TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL GREEK.
REV. J. L. GIRDLESTONE, A. M.
MASTER OF THE CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF BECCLES, IN SUFFOLK.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY R. M. BACON.
29 3. f. 24
THE REV. BENCE BENCE, RECTOR OF BECCLES,
HIS HONOURED PATRONS,
THIS TRANSLATION IS, WITH THEIR PERMISSION,
BY THEIR OBLIGED AND HUMBLE SERVANT,
J. L. GIRDLESTONE..
WILE we have long had translations of almost all the other poets, Latin and Greek, there has not yet appeared, in our language, an entire translation of the great Theban Bard by the same hand; though many persons have made choice of particular odes, as if to try how far it was possible to exhibit his manner in their own language. Hence I have been emboldened to undertake a version of all his odes. Curiosity may perhaps procure readers, who may wish to form some notion of this prince of Lyric poets, without the trouble of studying the original; for whoever has the least acquaintance with the great Grecian, must know that he would attempt to read him in his own language to little purpose, unless he did study him, and with minute attention.
There is such a peculiarity of style, a perpetual allusion to events little at this day known, a transition quick as lightning from general to particular reflections, from fact to fable, from living to dead heroes, from the immediate subject of the ode, some feat in the games, to the remoter exploits of war, from the praises of the hero to those of his relations, his ancestors, his country, or the gods ; to understand all which a considerable knowledge of ancient history, places, and customs is necessary; that it can hardly be expected, even a translation will be intelligible to one, who is not prepared to bring with him to the perusal, either a previous knowledge or a very close attention. It has been however my endeavour to smooth the way as much as possible, and if in this very uneven 'country some difficult passes still remain, it is my hope the candid reader will make proper allowance,