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THE FIRST SATIRE
SECOND BOOK OF HORACE
WHOEVER expects a Paraphrase of Horace, or a faithful Copy of his genius, or manner of writing, in these Imitations, will be much disappointed. Our Author uses the Roman Poet for little more than his canvas : And if the old design or colouring chance to fuit his purpose, it is well : if not, he employs his own, with. out scruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is so frequently serious when Horace is in jeft; and at ease where Horace is disturbed. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his Original, than was necessary for his concurrence, in promoting their common plan of Reformation of manners,
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ancient Satirift, he had hardly made choice of Horace; with whom, as a Poet, he held little in common, besides a comprehensive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expresfion, which confifts in using the simplest language with dignity, and the most ornamented with ease. For the rest, his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and splendor of colouring, his gravity and sublime of sentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper less unlike that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only smile at, Mr. Pope would treat with the grave severity of Persius : And what Mr. Pope would strike with the caustic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself with turning into ridicule.
If it be asked then, why he took any body at all to imitate, he has informed us in his Advertisement. To which we may add, that this sort of Imitation, which is of the nature of Parody, throws reflected grace and splendor on original wit. Besides, he deemed it more modest to give the name of Imitations to his Satires, than, like Despreaux, to give the name of Satires to Imi. tations.
'Sunt quibus in Satira videar nimis acer, et ultra Legem tendere opus;
fine nervis altera, quidquid Composui, pars esse putat, similesque meorum Mille die verfus deduci poffe. • Trebatî, Quid faciam? præscribe.
Ver. 1. There are,] “When I had a fever one winter in town," faid Pope to Mr. Spence, “ that confined me to my room for five or fix days, Lord Bolingbroke came to see me, happened to take up a Horace that lay on the table, and, in turning it over, dipt on the first satire of the second book. He observed how well that would suit my case, if I were to imitate it in English. After he was gone, I read it over, translated it in a morning or two, and sent it to press in a week or a fortnight after. And this was the occasion of my imitating fome other of the Satires and Epistles." “ To how casual a beginning," adds Spence, “ we are obliged for the most delightful things in our language! When I was faying to him, that he had already imitated near a third part
of Horace's satires and epistles, and how much it was to be wished that he would go on with them, he could not believe that he had gone so far; but, upon computing it, it appeared to be above a third. He feemed on this not disinclined to carry it farther ; but his last illness was then growing upon him, and robbed us of him, and of all hopes of that kind, in a few months."
Tranfcribed from Spence's Anecdotes, 1754. No parts of our Author's Works have been more admired than thofe Imitations. The aptness of the allufions, and the happiness of many of the parallels, give a pleasure that is always no
TO MR. FORTESCUE.
P. There are, (I scarce can think it, but am told,)
* There are, to whom my Satire feems too
bold : Scarce to wise Peter complaisant enough, And something said of Chartres much too rough. The lines are weak, another's pleas’d to say, 5 Lord Fanny spins a thousand such a day. Tim'rous by nature, of the Rich in awe, 'I come to Council learned in the Law : You'll give me, like a friend both fage and free, Advice; and (as you use) without a Fee.
small one to the mind of a reader--the pleasure of comparison. He that has the least acquaintance with these pieces of Horace, which resemble the Old Comedy, immediately perceives, indeed, that our Author has assumed a higher tone, and frequently has deserted the free colloquial air, the insinuating Socratic manner of his original: and that he clearly resembles in his style, as he did in his natural temper, the severe and serious Juvenal, more than the smiling and sportive Horace. Let us select some passages in which he may be thought to have equalled, excelled, or fallen short of the original ; the latter of which cannot be deemed a difgrace to our Poet, or to any other writer, if we consider the extreme difficulty of transfusing into another language the subtle beauties of Horace's dignified familiarity, and the uncommon union of so much facility and force.
WARTON. VER. 10. Advice; and (as you use)] Horace, with much seeming serioufness, applies for advice to the celebrated Roman lawyer, C. Trebatius Testa, an intimate friend of Julius Cæsar, and of
H. Ne faciam, inquis, Omnino versus?
H. Peream, male, si non
T. * Ter uncti
Tully, as appears from many of his epiftles to Atticus ; the gravity and self-importance of whose character is admirably supported throughout this little drama. His answers are short, authoritative, and decisive. “ Quiescas, aio.” And, as he was known to be a great drinker and swimmer, his two abfurd pieces of advice have infinite pleasantry. All these circumstances of humour are dropt in the copy. The lettuce and cowslip-wine are infipid and unmeaning prescriptions, and have nothing to do with Mr Fortefcue's character. The third, fourth, and ninth lines of this Imitation are flat and languid. We must also observe, from the old commentators, that the verbs transnanlo and habento are in the very style of the Roman law: “ Vide ut direalis jurisconsultorum verbis utitur ad Trebatium jurisconsultum.”
There are many excellent remarks in Acro and Porphyrio : from whom, as well as from Cruquius, Dacier has borrowed much, without owning it. Dacier's translation of Horace is not equal to his Aristotle's Poetics. In the former, he is perpetually striving to discover new meanings in his author, which Boileau called, the Revelations of Dacier. Cicero, as appears
of his letters, had a great regard for this Trebatius, to whom he says, speaking of his accompanying Cæsar in his expedition to Britain, “I hear there is neither silver nor gold in that island.” On which Middleton finely obferves, “ I'rom their railleries of this kind, on the barbarity and misery of our island, one cannot help reflecting on the surprising fate and revolutions of kingdoms : how Rome, once the mistress