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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 Government. He fhews (by a View of the Progrefs 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 restrained: 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 refpects ufeful to the State, and concludes, that it was upon them the Emperor himself muft depend, for his Fame with Posterity.
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 juft Contempt of his low Flatterers, and with a manly Regard to his own Character,
UM tot 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.
VIR. 7. Edward and Henry, etc.] Romulus, et Liber Pater, etc. Horace very judiciously praises Auguftus for the colonies he
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 Muse, from fuch a Monarch, steal 5 An hour, and not defraud the Public Weal?
Edward and Henry, now the Boaft of Fame, And virtuous Alfred, a more facred Name, After a Life of gen'rous toils endur'd, The Gaul fubdu'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 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 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.
Urit enim fulgore fuo, qui praegravat artes Infra fe pofitas: extinctus amabitur idem.
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 femota fuifque Temporibus defuncta videt, fastidit et odit:
Sic fautor veterum, ut tabulas peccare vetantes. Quas bis quinque viri fanxerunt, foedera regum, Vel Gabiis vel eum rigidis aequata Sabinis, Pontificum libros, annosa volumiña Vătum,
VER. 17. The great Alcides,} This inftance has not the fame graee 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,
Your People, Sir, are partial in the rest!
It is the ruft we value, not the gold.
1 Chaucer's worst ribaldry is learn'd by rote,
A Scot will fight for Christ's Kirk o' the Green: 40
confifting almost wholly of ribaldry, obscenity, and scurrilous language.
VER. 40. Chrift's Kirk o'the Green;] A Ballad made by a King of Scotland,