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THE WORKS OF HORACE :
THE ODES ON THE BASIS OF ANTHON:
THE SATIRES AND EPISTLES BY MCCAUL:
WITH COPIOUS NOTES, PARTLY ORIGINAL AND PARTLY SELECTED
GEORGE B. WHEELER, A. B.
EX-SCHOL. AND SEN. CLASS. MOD. T.C.D. EDITOR OF PINDAR, VIRGIL, ETC.
CUMMING AND FERGUSON, 17, LOWER ORMOND-QUAY,
SATIRES AND EPISTLES.
THE works of Horace are already before the public in such a variety of forms, the number of commentators is so great, and the mass of annotation so fully illustrates and explains almost every point that might cause difficulty to the reader, that the announcement of another editor may justly excite surprise.
I am conscious that an unfavourable impression must arise from this; and feel that in presenting a new edition of the Satires and Epistles, I expose myself to the impeachment either of unjustly depreciating the merits of others, or of presumptuously overrating my own. It is not my intention, however, to anticipate these charges by aspersions on the knowledge or industry of previous editors, nor yet by professions of what I have myself been able to effect. I shall merely state my object in preparing this edition and the plan which I have pursued. My readers will then be better qualified to pronounce how far the reproof of the poet may be applicable"In silvam non ligna feras insanius."
The edition is intended for the use of students who have not made much progress in classical literature. Accordingly, Latin annotation is discarded as the medium of explanation; and the attention of the reader is directed to points of minor importance to
the advanced scholar. Remarks, illustrative of historical, geographical, and archæologic allusions, are introduced: peculiarities of syntax or prosody are noticed; the connexion carefully traced, where the abruptness of the poet rendered such assistance requisite; and the different solutions proposed by commentators, difficult of access to the young reader, are collected on almost every disputed point. I have attempted in fact to produce a variorum edition, but with this difference from those which have already appeared, that it is only on the difficulties that I have collected the opinions, and have confined myself to a more limited, perhaps a more select, range of commentators. The editions which I usually had before me are those by Lambinus, Cruquius, Bentley, Baxter, Gesner, Zeunius, and Doëring. And yet, wherever any thing deserving notice appeared in any other edition which I had an opportunity of consulting, I have introduced it, taking care, however, in every instance where I could recollect or discover the authority, to give the name of the commentator to whom the reader was indebted for the observation. Justice appeared to require such an acknowledgment, and besides, this advantage results, that the student is made acquainted with the authority which sanctions each interpretation or opinion.
The only objection to this plan, of which I am aware, is, that instead of removing doubts it rather tends to excite them, by perplexing the reader with a variety of conflicting opinions. I have endeavoured to obviate this by marking the explanation which I
regard as correct; not that I wish to set up my judgment as a standard, but it appeared reasonable that the same person who suggested the difficulties should also assist in the solution; and, moreover, the student may justly require that the guide, to whose direction he submits, will not desert him in those places where his assistance is most required.
In some passages, where it seemed immaterial which opinion was selected, I have expressed no preference; whilst in others, where I was not satisfied with any interpretation which had been given, I have ventured to offer suggestions of my own, or have not hesitated to confess ignorance.
In the illustrations of history, geography, antiquities, and biography, I have studied conciseness. Their brevity will, I trust, induce my readers to consult the proper authorities on such subjects.
Whilst noticing the assistance which I have had in the notes, it would be injustice to omit Anthon's edition. Through the kindness of a friend, I was favoured with, I believe, the only copy which had then reached Ireland; but, unfortunately, the work was somewhat advanced before I received it. It is a compilation fully attesting, by abundant and diversified matter, the industry and perseverance of the laborious editor.
In the text, I have taken that of Doëring's edition as the basis, occasionally introducing other readings from a comparison of Bentley's and Gesner's, but rejecting conjectural emendations, although there are no few passages in which I would gladly have adopted them.