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and Nobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre; and lastly against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them of little Use to the Government, He shews (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 Predecessors; that their Morals were much improved, and the licence of those ancient Poets restrained': that Satire and Comedy were become more just and useful; that whatever extravagancies 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 Epifle, 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,

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EPISTOLA I.

Ad AUGUSTU M.

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UM tot * fuftineas et tanta negotia folus,

Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes, Legibus emendes ; in publica commoda peccem, Si longo sermone morer tua tempora, Caesar. Romulus, et Liber pater, er um Caftore Pollux, Poft ingentia facta, "Deorum in templa recepti, Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella Componunt, agros adfignant, oppida condunt; *Ploravere fuis non respondere favorem Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram, Notaque fatali portenta labore subegit, Comperit'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 sublime.

Vær. 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber Pater, etc. Horace very judicioully praises Augustus for the colonies he

E.PIST LE I.

To AUGUSTUS.

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you, great Patron of Mankind ! a sustain

The balanc'd World, and open all the Main"; Your Country, chief, in Arms abroad defend, At Home, with Morals, Arts, and Laws amend;

How shall the Mufe, from such a Monarch, steal 5 An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?..

e Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
And virtuous Alfred, a more sacred Name,
After a Life of gen'rous toils endur'd,
The Gaul subdu'd, or Property fecur'd,
Ambition humbled, mighty Cities ftorm'd,
Or Laws establish'd, and the world reform'd ;

Clos'd their long Glories with a sigh, to find
Th' unwilling Gratitude of base mankind !
All human Virtue, to its latest breath,

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

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founded, not for the victories he had won; and therefore compares him, not to those who desolated, but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace: and, for a very ob. vious reason, should not have aimed at it, as he has done in the mention of Alfred. Vol. IV.

I

Urit enim fulgore suo, qui praegravat artes
Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem,

Præfenti tibi maturos largimur honores,
Jurandafque tuam per numen ponimus arás,
* Nil oriturum alias, nil ortum tale fatentes.
Sed tuus hoc populus sapiens et justus in une.
* Te hoftris ducibus, te Graiis anteferendo,
Caetera nequaquam fimili ratione modoque
Aeftimat'; et, nifi quae terris Temóta fuifque
Temporibus defuncta videt, fastidit et odit :

Sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantes Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera yegum, Vel Gabiis vel eum rigidis aequata Sabinis, Pontificum libros, annofa volumina Vatum,

Vkr. 17. Tbe great Alcides, } This inhance has not the fañe graec 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, yét, does not equal the force of his original.

VIR: 38. And deafly Skelrón, érc.] Skelton, Pect Laureat to Henry vill, a volume of whose rer les has been lately reprinted,

30

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The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
Had ftill this Monster to subdue at last.
& Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
Each ftar of meaner merit fades away!
Oppress'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Those Suns of Glory please not till they fet.

To thee, the World its present homage pays,
The Harvest early, but mature the praise :
Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name 25
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame *
Whole Word is Truth, as facred and rever'd,
As Heav'n's own Oracles from Altars heard.
Wonder of King ! like whom, to mortal eyes

None e'er has risen, and none e'er fall rise,

Juft in one instance, be it yet confest
Your People, Sir, are partial in the reft!
Foes to all living worth except your own,
And Advocates for folly dead and gone.
Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old; 35
k is the rust we value, not the gold.
'Chaucer's worft ribaldry is learn d by rote;
And beastly Skelton Heads of houses quote :
One likes no language but the Faery Queen;
A Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o' the Green: 42

1

confifting almost wholly of tibaldry, obscenity, and Scurrilous language.

VER. 40. Chrift'i Kirk oske Green;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland

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