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and Nobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre; and laftly against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them of little Use to the Government. He fhews (by a View of the Progress of Learning, and the Change of Taste among the Romans) that the Introduction of the Polite Arts of Greece had given the Writers of his Time great advantages over their Predeceffors; that their Morals were much improved, and the licence of those antient Poets reftrained: that Satire and Comedy were become more juft and useful; that whatever extravagances were left on the Stage were owing to the Ill Taste of the Nobility; that Poets, under due Regulations, were in many respects useful to the State, and concludes, that it was upon them the Emperor himself muft depend, for his Fame with Pofterity.
We may farther learn from this Epiftle, that Horace made his Court to this Great Prince by writing with a decent Freedom toward him, with a juft Contempt of his low Flatterers, and with a manly Regard to his own Character.
Ad A UGUSTU M.
UM tot a fuftineas et tanta negotia folus,
ornes, Legibus emendes ; in publica commoda peccem, Si longo fermone morer tua tempora, Caefar. < Romulus, et Liber pater, et cum Castore Pollux, Poft ingentia facta, d Deorum in templa recepti, Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella Componunt, agros adfignant, oppida condunt; e Ploravere fuis non refpondere favorem Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram, Notaque fatali portenta labore fubegit, Comperit f invidiam fupremo fine domari.
Book ii: Epift. 1.] The Poet always rises 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 judiciously praises Auguftus for the colonies he
Hile you, great Patron of Mankind! a sustain
• Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
Or Laws eftablish'd, and the world reform'd
founded, not for the victories he had won; and therefore compares him, not to those who defolated, but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace: and, for a very obvious reason, should not have aimed at it, as he has done in the mention of Alfred.
8 Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes
Infra fe pofitas extinctus amabitur idem.
h Præfenti tibi maturos 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 Aeftimat; et, nifi quae terris femota fuifque Temporibus defuncta videt, faftidit et odit : 1 Sic fautor veterum, et tabulas peccare vetantes Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera regum, Vel Gabiis vel cum rigidis aequata Sabinis,
Pontificum libros, annofa volumina Vatum,
VER. 17. The great Alcides,] This inftance has not the fame grace here as in the original, where it comes in wellafter 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.
VER. 38. And beaftly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Henry viii. a volume of whofe verfes has been lately re
The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour paft,
Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old; 39
'Chaucer's worft ribaldry is learn'd by rote,
printed, confifting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and fcurrilous language.
VER. 40. Chrif's Kirk o'the Green ;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland.