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Fire Hose ills

ancestors have done,

'Twas not the spawn of such as these,
Romans, are now become your own;

That dy'd with Punic blood the conqucr'd seas,
And they will cost you dear,

And quafh'd the stern Æacides;

Made the proud Asian monarch feel
foon repair

you re falling temples which the gods provoke,

How weak his gold was against Europe's steel, ad ftatues fully'd yet with facrilegious smoke,

Forc'd even dire Hannibal to yield;
And won the long-disputed world at Zama's fatal

field. opitious heaven, that rais'd your fathers high,

For humble, grateful piety,
(As it rewarded their respect)

But soldiers of a rustic mould,
Hath sharply punish'd your negled ;

Rough, hardy, season'd, manly, bold,
All empires on the gods depend,

Either they dug the stubborn ground, egun by their command, at their command they Or through hewn woods their weighty strokes did eud.


And after the declining sun
Let Crassus' ghost and Labienus tell

Had chang'd the shadows, and their task was low twice by Jove's revenge our legions fell,

done, And, with unfulting pride,

Home with their weary team they took their way, hining in Roman spoils, the Parthian victors ride. And drown'd in friendly bowls the labour of the

The Scythian and Ægyptian scum
Had almost ruin'd Rome,

Time fonsibly all things impairs ;
While our feditions took their part,

Our fathers have been worse than theirs; ill each Ægyptian fail, and wing'd each Scythian

And we than ours; next age will sce

A race more profligate than we
First, those flagitious times

(With all the pains we take) have skill enough to

(Pregnant with unknown crimes)
Conspire to violate the nuptial bed,

From which polluted head
nfectious streams of crowdiny sins began,
And through the spurious breed and guilty nation


Behold a ripe and melting maid,
Bound prentice to the wanton trade,

Ionian artists, at a mighty price,
Inftruct her in the mysteries of vice;

Victrix Cuufı Diis placuit, fed l'itla Catoni.
What nets to spread, where subtle baits to lay,
And with an carly hand they form the temper'd 'HE gods were pleas'd to chuse the conquering

fide, But Cato thought he conquer'd when he dy'd.



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HAVE feldom known a trick succeed, and will put none upon the reader; I

bul tell him plainly that I think it could never be more seasonable than now to lv down such rules, as, if they be observed, will make men write more correctly, and judge more discreetly: but Horace must be read seriously, or not at all, for else the reader won't be the better for him, and I shall have lost my labour. I have kept as close as I could, both to the meaning and the words of the author, and done nothing but what I believe he would forgive if he were alive; and I have often asked myself that question. I know this is a field,

Per quem magnus equos Aurur.cæ flexit Alumnus.

But with all the respect due to the name of Ben Jonson, to which no man pays more veneration than 1; it cannot be denied, that the constraint of rhyme, and a literal translation (to which Horace in this book declares himself an enemy), has made him want a comment in many places.

My chief care has been to write intelligibly; and where the Latin was obscure, I have added a line or two to explain it.

I am below the envy of the critics ; but, if I durst, I would beg them to remetsber, that Horace owed his favour and his fortune to the character given of him by Virgil and Varius, that Fundanius and Pollio are still valued by what Horace lays of them, and that, in their golden age, there was a good understanding among the ingco nious, and those who were the most esteemed were the best natured.

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in a pi&ure (Piso) you should sec

Some, that at first have promis'd mighty things,

Applaud themselves, when a few florid lines Or a man's head upon a horse's neck,

Shine through the infipid dulness of the relt; Or limbs of beasts of the most different kinds, Here they describe a temple, or a wood, Cover'd with feathers of all sorts of birds, Or Itreams that through delightful meadows 10, Would you not laugh, and think the painter mad! And there the rainbow, or the rapid Rhine; l'rust me, that book is as ridiculous,

But they misplace them all, and croud them in
Whose incoherent style (like fick men's dreams) And are as much to seek in other things,
Varies all thapes, and mixes all extremes.

As he that only can design a tree,
Painters and Poets have been still allow'd

Would be to draw a hipwreck or a storm.
'Their pencils, and their fancies unconfin'd. When you begin with so much pomp and how,
'This privilege we frecly give and take;

Why is the end so little and so low?
But Nature, and the common laws of sense, Be what you will, so you be still the same.
Forbid to reconcile Antipathies,
Or make a snake engender with a dove,

Printed from Dr. Rawlinson's copy, cartce
And hungry tigers court the tender lanıbs, cd by the Earl of Roscommon's own hand,

Most puets fall into the groffest faules,

Homer first taught the world in epic verse Deluded by a seeming excellence :

To write of great commanders and of kings. By striving to be short, they grow obscure,

Elegies were at first design'd for grief, And when they would write smoothly, they want Though pow we use them to express our joy: strength,

But to whole Mule we owe that sort of verlo,
Their spirits fink; while others, that affect Is undecided by the men of skill.
A lofty style, (well to a tympany;

Rage with lambicks arm'd Archilochus,
Some rimorous wretches start at every blast, Numbers for dialogue and action fit,
And, fearing tempests, dare not leave the shore ; And favourites of the Dramatic Mure.
Others, in love with wild variety,

Fierce, lofty, rapid, whose con manding sound
Draw boars in waves, and dolphins in a wood; Awes the tumuliuous noises of the pit,
Thus fear of erring, join'd with want of skill, And whose peculiar province is the itage.
Is a most certain way of erring still.

Gods, heroes, conquerors, Olympic crowns, The meanest workman in th' Æmilian square, Love's pleasing cares, and the free joys of wine, May grave the nails, or imitate the hair,

Are proper subjcds for the Lyric foug. But cannot finish what he hath begun;

Why is he honour'd with a poet's name, What can be more ridiculous than he?

Who neither knows ner would observe a rule; For one or two good features in a face,

And chooses to be ignorant and proud, Where all the rest are scandalously ill,

Rather than own his ignorance, and learn? Make it but more remarkably desorm'd.

Let every thing have its due place and time. Let pocts match their subject to their strength, A convic subject loves an humble verse, And often try what weight they can support, Thyelles scorns a low and comic Ityle. And what their shoulders are too weak to bear. Yet comedy sometimes may raise hier voice, After a serious and judicious choice,

And Chronics be allow'd tu suam and rail : Method and eloquence will never fail.

Tragedians too lay by their itate to grieve; As well the force as ornament of verse

Peleus and Telephus exil'd and poor, Consists in choosing a fit time for things,

Forget their swelling and gigantic words. And knowilig when a Muse may be indulg'd He chat would have fpcétators share los grick, In her full flight, and when she should be curb’d. Must write not only well, but movingly,

Words must be chosen, and be pluc'd with ikill : And raise nien's passions to what height he will. You gain your point, when by the noble art We weep and laugh, as we fce others do : Of good connexion, an unusual word

He only makes me fud who shews the way, Is made at first familiar to our ear.

And first is sad himsell; then, Telephus,
But if you write of things abitruse or new, I feel the weight of your calamities,
Some of your own inventing may be us'd,

And fancy all your miseries my own :
So it be seldom and discreetly done :

But, if you act then ill, I sleep or laugh; But he that hopes to have new words allow'd, Your looks must alter, as your subject does, Must so derive them from the Grecian spring, From kind to fierce, from wanton to levere: As they may seem to flow without contraint. For nature forms, and softens us within, Can an impartial reader discommend

And writes our fortune's changes in our face. In Varius, or in Virgil, what he likes

Pleasure inchants, impetuous rage transports, In Plautus or Cæcilius? Why should I

And grief dejects, and wrings the tortur'd luul, Be envy'd for the little I invent,

Arid chese are all interpreted by speech ; When Ennius and Cato's copious Ityle

But he whose words and fortunes disagree, Have fo enrich'd, and so adorn'd our tongue ? Absur'd, unpicy'd, grows a public jelt. Men ever had, and ever will have, leave

Observe the characters of those that speak, To coin new words well suited to the age.

Whether an honeft servant, or a cheat, Words are like leaves, some wither every year, Or one whose blood boils in his youthful veins, And every year a younger race succeeds.

Or a grave matron, or a busy nurse, Death is a tribute all things owe to fate;

Extorting merchants, carcfui huibandmen, The Lucrine mole (Cæsar's flupendous work) Argives or 'Thebans, Alians or Greeks. Protects our navies from the raging north;

Follow report, or fcign coherent things; And (since Cethegus drain'd the Pontine lake) Describe Achilles, as Achilles was, We plow and reap where former ages row'd. impatient, rash, inexorable, proud, jee how the Tiber (whose licentious waves Scorning all judges, and all law but arms; so often overflow'd the neighbouring fields) Medca must be all revenge and blood, Now runs a smooth and inoffensive course,

Ino all tears, Ixion all deceit, Confin'd hy our great Emperor's command : lo must wander, and Orestes mourn. Yet this, and they, and all, will be forgot;

If your bold Mufe dare tread unbeaten paths, Why then should words challenge eternity, And bring new characters upon the stage, When greatest men and greatest actions die ? Be sure you keep them up to their first height. Use may revive the obsoletelt words,

New subjects are not calily explain'd, And banish those that now are most in vogue; And you had better choose a well-known theme Use is the judge, the law, and rule of speech. Than truit to an invention of your own; VOL. II.


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But, though his language should not be refin'd, And what we owe our country, parents, friends, It must not be obsecne and impudent;

How judges and how senators should act, The better fort abhors scurrility,

And what becomes a general to do; And often censures what the rabble likes.

Those are tlte likest copies, which are drawn Unpolifa'd verses pats with many men,

By the original of human life. And Rome is too indulgent in that point ;

Sometimes in rough and undigesled plays But then to write at a loose rambling rate,

We meet with such a lucky character, In hope the world will wink at all our faults, As, being humour'd right, and will pursued, is such a rath ill-grounded confidence,

Succeeds much better than the shallow verse As men may pardon, but will never praise. And chiming trifles of more ftudious pens. Be perted in the Greek originals,

Greece had a genius, Greece had eloquence,
Read them by day, and think of them by night, For her ambition and her end was fame.
Eut Plautus was admir'd in former time

Our Roman youth is diligently taught
With too much patience (not to call it worse): The deep mysterious art of growing rich,
His harsh, unequal verse was music then,

And the first words that children learn to speak And rudenesi had the privilege of wit.

Are of the value of the names of coin ;
When Thefpis first expos'd the Tragic Muse, Can a penurious wretch, that with his milk
Rude were the actors, and a cart the scene, Hath suck'd the baselt dregs of usury,
Where ghaftly faces stain'd with lees of wine Pretend to generous and heroic thoughts?
Frighted the children, and amus'd the crowd ; Can rust and avarice write lasting lines?
This Æschylus (with indignation) law,

But you, brave youth, wife Numa's worthy And built a itage, found out a decent dress,

heir, Brought vizards in (a civiler disguise),

Remember of what weirht your judgment is, And taught men how to speak and how to act. And never venture to commend a book, Next Comedy appear'd with great applause, That has not pals'd all judges and all tests. Till her licentious and abusive tongue

A poet should instruct, or please, or both : Waken’d the magiftrates coercive power,

Let all your precepts be succin& and clear, And forc'd it to suppress her insolence.

That ready wits may comprehend them foon,
Our writers have attempted every way;

And faithful memories retain them long;
And they deserve our praile, whose Jaring Muse All fuperfluities are soon forgot.
Disdain d to be beholden to the Grecks,

Never be lo conceited of your parts,
An i found fit subjects for her verse at home. To think you may persuade us what you please,
Nor Mould we be less famous for our wit,

Or venture to bring in a child alive,
Thea for the force of our victorious arms;

That Canibals have murder'd and devour'd.
But that the time and care that are requir'd Old age explodes all but morality;
To overlook, and file, and polish well,

Aufterity offends aspiring ; juths;
Fright poets from that necessary toil.

But he that joins intruction with delight, Dernocritus was fo in love with wit,

Profit with pleasure, carries all the votes: And some men's natural impulse to write,

These are the volumes that enrich the shops, That he despis'd the help of art and rules, These pass with admiration through the world, And thought none poets till their brains were And bring their author to eternal fame, crackt;

Be not too rigidly cenforious, And this hath so intoxicated some,

A ftring may jar in the best master's hand, That (to appear incorrigibly mad)

And the most skilful archer miss his aim; They cleanliness and company renounce

But in a poem elegantly writ, For lunacy beyond the cure of art,

I would not quarrel with a slight mistake, With a long beard, and ten long dirty nails, Such as our nature's frailty may excuse; Pass current for Apollo's livery.

But he that hath been often told his fault,
O ny unhappy stars! if in the Spring

And still persists, is as impertinent
Some phyfic had not cur’d me of the Ipleen, As a musician that will alway play,
None would have writ with more success than 1; And yet is always out at the same note :
But I must reft contented as I am,

When such a positive abandon'd lop
And only serve to whet that wit in you,

(Among his numerous abfurdities) To which I willingly resign my claim.

Srumbles upon some tolerable linc, Yet without writing I may teach to write,

I fret to see them in such company, Tell what the duty of a poet is;

And wonder what magic they came there, Wherein his wealth and ornaments consist, But in long works fleep will sometimes surAnd how he may be form’d, and how improv'd,

prize; What fit, what not, what excellent or ill.

Homer himself hath been observ'd to nod. Sound judgment is the ground of writing well; Poenis, like pictures, are of different forts, And when Philosophy directs your choice

Some better at a distance, others near, To proper subjects rightly understood,

Some love the dark, fomne choose the clearest Words from your pen will naturally flow;

light, He only gives the proper characters,

And boldly challenge the most piercing eye; Who knows the duty of all ranks of men, Some please for once, fome will for ever please.

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