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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 ancient Poets reftrained: that Satire and Comedy were become more juft 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 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,





UM tota fuftineas et tanta negotia folus, Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus ornes, Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem, Si longo fermone morer tua tempora, Caefar. Romulus, et Liber pater, et 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 refpondere favorem Speratum meritis. diram qui contudit Hydram, Notaque fatali portenta labore fubegit, Comperit invidiam fupremo fine domari.

Book ii. Epift. 1.] The Poet always rifes 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






you, great Patron of Mankind! 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 fhall the Mufe, from fuch a Monarch, fteal 5
An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?


• Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame, And virtuous Alfred, a more facred Name, After a Life of gen'rous toils endur'd,``* *2. The Gaul fubdu'd, or Property fecur'd, Ambition humbled, mighty Cities storm'd, Or Laws establish'd, and the world reform'd; Clos'd their long Glories with a figh, to find Th' unwilling Gratitude of bafe mankind! All human Virtue, to its latest breath,

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



founded, not for the victories he had won; and therefore compares him, not to those who defolated, but to thofe 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.

Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem. b 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 hoftris ducibus, te Graiis anteferendo, Caetera nequaquam fimili ratione modoque: Aeftimat; et, nifi quae terris femóta fuifque Temporibus defuncta videt, faftidit et odit:


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

VER. 17. The great Alcides,} This inftance has not the fame grace 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, yet, does not equal the force of his original.

VER. 38. And beaftly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Peet Laureat to Henry VIII, a volume of whose verses has been lately reprinted,


The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
Had ftill this Monster to fubdue at last.
Sure fate of all, beneath whose rising ray
Each star of meaner merit fades away!
Opprefs'd we feel the beam directly beat,
Thofe Suns of Glory please not till they set.
To thee, the World its prefent homage pays,
The Harvest early, but mature the praise;
Great Friend of LIBERTY! in Kings a Name
Above all Greek, above all Roman Fame *:
Whofe 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 rifen, and none e'er fhall rife.
Juft in one inftance, be it yet confest
Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest!
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 It is the ruft we value, not the gold.

1 Chaucer's worft ribaldry is learn'd by rote,

And beaftly Skelton Heads of houses quote:
One likes no language but the Faery Queen;

A Scot will fight for Chrift's Kirk o' the Green: 40

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

VER. 40. Chrift's Kirk the Green;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland,

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