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EPISTOLA

Ad AUGUSTU M.

a

UM tot fuftineas et tanta negotia folus,
Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes,

I.

Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem,
Si longo fermone morer tua tempora, Caefar.

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Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Caftore Pollux,

d

Poft ingentia facta, Deorum in templa recepti,

Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella
Componunt, agros adfignant, oppida condunt;
• Ploravere fuis non refpondere favorem
Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram,
Notaque fatali portenta labore fubegit,

Comperit f invidiam fupremo fine domari.

NOTES.

Book ii. Epift. 1.] The Poet always rifes with his original; and very often, without. This whole Imitation is extremely noble and fublime.

VER. 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber Pater, etc. Horace very judicioufly praises Auguftus for the colonies he founded, not for the victories he won; and therefore compares him, not to those who defolated,

EPIST
STLE
LE I.

W

To AUGUSTUS.

Hile you, great Patron of Mankind! a fuftain The balanc'd World, and open all the Main; Your Country, chief, in Arms abroad defend, At home, with Morals, Arts, and Laws amend; b How fhall the Mufe, from fuch a Monarch, fteal 5 An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?

d

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

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

NOTES.

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

VER. 13. Clos'd their long Glories with a figh,] The expreffion is extremely beautiful; and the ploravere judiciously placed.

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

• Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes

Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem.

1 Praesenti tibi maturoş largimur honores,

Jurandafque tuum per numen ponimus aras, * Nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes. Sed tuus hoc populus fapiens et juftus in uno, *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 fo bad a caufe as envy. But furely without reafon; for we find our Countrymen of the fame candid difpofition which Socrates, in the Euthyphro of Plato, afcribes to the Athenians of his time, They are well content (fays he) to allow the Pretenfions of reputed eminencé ; it is only when a man will write, and prefume to give a proof of it, that they begin to grow angry. And how readily do we allow the reputation of eminence, in all the Arts, to those whofe modefty has made them decline giving us a specimen of it in any. A temper furely very diftant from envy. We ought not then to afcribe that violent ferment good men are apt to work themselves into, and the ftruggle they make to fupprefs the reputation

The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
Had ftill this Monfter to fubdue at laft.
8 Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
Each ftar of meaner merit fades away!
Opprefs'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Thofe Suns of Glory please not till they set.
To thee, the World its present homage pays,
The Harveft early, but mature the praife:
Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame*:
Whofe 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 eyes
* None e'er has rifen, and none e'er shall rife.
Juft in one inftance, be it yet confeft
Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest:

NOTES.

20

25

30

of him who pretends to give a proof of what they are fo 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 cafily abufed, great Talents, may be productive of, one does not know what, mifchief. SCRIBL.

VER. 17. The great Alcides,] This inftance has not the fame 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.

Aeftimat; et, nifi quae terris femota fuifque
Temporibus defuncta videt, faftidit et odit:

1 Sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantes
Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera regum,
Vel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis,
Pontificum libros, annofa volumina Vatum,
m Dictitet Albano Mufas in monte locutas.

n

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

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• Pfallimus, et lu&amur Achivis do&tius unétis:
Si meliora dies, ut vina, poemata reddit;
Scire velim, chartis pretium quotus arroget annus.
Scriptor ab hinc annos centum qui decidit, inter
Perfectos veterefque referri debet, an inter
Viles atque novos? excludat jurgia finis,

NOTES.

VER. 38. And beaftly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Layreat to Hen. VIII. a volume of whofe verfes has been lately reprinted, confifting almoft wholly of ribaldry, obfcenity, and fcurrilous language. P.

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