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Sir, We highly approve of the plan, and, so far as we have had time and leisure to examine, of the execution of your edition of Horace. You have acted judiciously in expunging the revolting grossness which disgraces some of the pages of that distinguished writer. The only valuable end such passages can answer is to exhibit to sedate observers the debasement of heathen morals, and how much more justly the Augustan age is celebrated for its genius, than for its virtues. But these are reflections to which youth are incompetent. It is well known, however, that although no instructor will permit them to recite what is offensive, it is impossible to prevent them from studying it. The explanatory notes which you have added, and the scanning tables which you have annexed, we consider as well calculated for a school edition of your author. We shall adopt your Horace into our Academy. Wishing you success in your laborious but useful undertaking, We are, Sir,
Your humble servants,
Gray and Wylie's Academy,
We have examined Mr. Dugdale's edition of Horace, and consider it better calculated to be placed in the hands of students than the Delphini edition, or any other we have seen. We shall very gladly adopt it in our Seminary.
J. T. CARRÉ,
April 24th, 1815.
To elucidate the obscurities of Horace, and to satisfy the mind of the young student in cases of doubt and perplexity, require the clearest and most familiar explanations. It is scarcely to be supposed that Latin commentaries should be found sufficiently intelligible to those who are but partially acquainted with the language. Incompatible, however, as it must appear with the interest of the learner to have this difficult Latin author put into his hands, with commentaries in the same language, as difficult perhaps as the text itself; such has been, for more than a century, and still continues to be, the general practice of the schools. The manifest necessity of some further aid to facilitate the labor of the inexperienced student, gave rise to what is called the interpretatio, designed to convey the meaning of the author in a style easier and more familiar than his own. But however useful an interpretatio might prove to those who had recourse to it only when such assistance was necessary, it has been found, by long and repeated experience, that in those already
predisposed to indolence, it confirms this habit, and holds out a strong temptation even to the persevering; and that it only familiarises the learner with the prosaic language of the interpreter, while the poetical beauties of the original are in a great measure neglected.
Another just cause of complaint in the editions generally used, has been, that the exceptionable parts have been retained, to the prejudice, it is to be feared, of young and inexperienced minds; for though it is customary to forbid such passages as are indecent to be read in our schools, yet the very prohibition too often serves as an incitement to juvenile curiosity.
These formidable evils called loudly for a remedy, and the most rational means of removing them seemed to be to provide the pupil with a correct expurgata edition of Horace's works, accompanied with explanatory notes in English, adapted to the capacity and calculated to excite the attention of the learner.
How far the editor has succeeded in the present attempt to accomplish so desirable an object, he must leave for others to decide; the approbation, however, of able and candid judges, encouraged by whose advice and assistance he commenced and executed the edition now offered to the public, inspires him with some confidence of success.
In preparing the text for publication, recourse has been had to the most accurate European editions, by the help of which, it is hoped, most of the errors have been corrected, and the punctuation greatly improved. In compiling the explanatory notes, the editor has consulted every commentator that lay within his reach, and selected, translated and formed them upon those authorities which appeared most deserving of confidence.