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BY GILBERT WAKEFIELD, B. A.
Pofthabui tamen illorum mea feria ludo:--- -VIRGIL.
But thofe, who cannot write, and those who can,
All rhyme, and scrawl, and scribble, to a man.---Porr.
PRINTED FOR THOMAS PAYNE, AT THE MEWS-GATE; AND
BENJAMIN AND JOHN WHITE, IN FLEET-STREET.
THE author of these flight performances abjures all pretenfions to genius for original poetry, feeling himself utterly deftitute of that inventive faculty, which characterizes the true bard of Nature; and, though he agrees with Horace, in thinking mediocrity in this art an intolerable evil, he is of opinion, that fome abatement from this rigorous decifion may be conceded in behalf of tranflation from the ancients; as thofe unacquainted with the Greek and Roman languages may not be displeased to view the sentiments of great authors even in a garb of inferiour embellishment.
The specimens, here diffidently offered to the public judgement, will be found, he believes, tolerably faithful to their models, unless in those paffages, where deteftable obscenity required concealment, or too much diffonance with modern manners would have rendered a literal exhibition of his author uninterefting, or unintelligible. In feveral instances he has expatiated into paraphrafe ; when the naked idea of the writer would have appeared harsh, unpoetical, or disgusting in our language; when the subject feemed to allow fome additional ornament and diffufion; or when his own hatred of vice dipt in venom the fhaft of fatire. For these deviations, he throws himself on the candour of his reader; confcious