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THE following version being the work of a man who has made poetry, perhaps, too much the business of his life, some account of his motives for undertaking it may seem necessary. In the first place, then, there was reason to believe that a thing of this kind, properly executed, would be very useful to those who were desirous of acquiring or recovering a competent knowledge of the Latin Tongue. Secondly, the extraordinary success which attempts of this kind have met with, though by men who manifestly did not understand the author, otherwise than through a French medium; though printed in large volumes, and sold at a proportionable price, gave sufficient reason for the translator to hope, that his labour would not be in vain; I say labour, for genius, if he had any pretensions to it, could not have been exerted in the work before us.
The purchaser will herein find, that cheapness and convenience have been consulted for his service.
Though every line is construed almost verbatim, yet absolute baldness has been, as much as possible, avoided.
The learned reader need not be informed that this version was not intended for him; though some of the most eminent of that character have condescended to examine the manuscript, and given it the sanction of their approbation.
With regard to the Latin text, the best editions have been diligently consulted; and it is presumed the judicious will find in the following sheets some emendations and improvements, which have escaped former editors. What errors there may be, either of the press or otherwise, will be found, perhaps, of such a nature, and so seldom to occur, that they may be rather of service, by giving the young student some opportunities of showing his sagacity in the discovery of them.
I shall take leave of my reader in the words of an old poet, which are applicable enough to this undertaking.
Dumos inter et aspera
Par est judicii mora
Pompæ gloria vilis est.
N. B. This work will be particularly useful to such foreign gentlemen as are already acquainted with the Latin, and are desirous of being masters of the English Tongue.
Lectoribus eruditis, præsertim iis, qui in ludis li
terariis operam navant.
NOLUMUS sanè cum Fabio Horatium in quibusdam interpretari, ideòque locos omnes parùm castos honesta (uti superamus) fraude ad verecundiam quodammodo revocavimus. Tantum enim abest ut juvenes ab asteriscis (quibus editiones in usum delphini scatent) quo minùs quædam legant, impediantur, ut potiùs exindè dirigatur, imò invitetur eorum curva in pravum curiositas.