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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 Ufe to the Govern
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 antient Poets restrained : that Satire and Comedy were become more just and useful ; that whatever extravagances 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 must depend, for his Fame with Pofterity.
We may farther learn from this Epistle, that Horace made his Court to this Great Prince by writing with a decent Freedom toward him, with a just Contempt of his low Flatterers, and with a manly Regard to his own Character.
EPISTO L A I.
Ad A U G U S T U M.
UM tot a sustineas et tanta negotia folus,
Legibus emendes; in publica commoda peccem,
Book ii: Epist. 1.) The Poet always rises with his original; and very often without. This whole Imitation is extremely noble and sublime.
VER. 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber Pater, etc. Horace very judiciously praises Auguftus for the colonies he
Hile you, great Patron of Mankind! a sustain
• Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
Or Laws eftablish'd, and the world reform'd
founded, not for the victories he had won; and therefore compares him, not to those who defolated, but to those who civilized mankind. The imitation wants this grace: and, for a very obvious reason, should not have aimed at it, as he has done in the mention of Alfred.
& Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes
Pontificum libros, annofa volumina Vatum,
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 beafly Skelton, etc.] Skelton, Poet Laureat to Henry viii. a volume of whofe verfes has been lately re
The great Alcides, ev'ry Labour past,
8 Sure fate of all, beneath whofe rifing ray
'Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote,
printed, consisting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and fcurrilous language.
VER. 40. Chrifl's Kirk o'the Green ;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland.