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HE Reflections of Horace and the Judg
ments past in his Epistle to Augustus,
Jeem'd so seasonable to the present Times, that I could not help applying them to the use of my own Country. The Author thought them considerable enough to address them to His Prince; whom he paints with all the great and good Qualities of a Monarch, upon whom the Romans
depended for the Encrease of an Absolute Empire, But to make the Poem entirely English, I was willing to add one or two of those Virtues which contribute to the Happiness of a Free People, and are more consistent with the Welfare of our Neighbours.
This Epistle will show the Learned World to have fallen into Two mistakes; one, that Auguftus was a Patron of Poets in general ; whereas he not only prohibited all but the Best Writers to name him, but recommended that Care even to the Civil Magistrate : Admonebat Prætores, ne paterentur Nomen suum obsolefieri, &c. The other, that this Piece was only a general Discourse of Poetry ; whereas it was an Apology for the Poets, in order to render Augustus more their Patron. Horace here pleads the Cause of his Cotemporaries, first against the Taste of
the Town, whose humour it was to magnify the Authors of the preceding Age ; secondly against the Court and Nobility, who encouraged only the Writers for the Theatre ; and lastly against the Emperor himself, who had conceived them of little Use to the Government. He news (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 ancient Poets restrained : that Satire and Comedy were become more just 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 respeEts useful to the State ; and concludes, that it was upon them the Emperor himself mult 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 Cherafter.
The balanc'd World, and open all the Main ;
tot i sufineas & tanta negotia, folus ; Res Italas armis tuteris, moribus orner, Legibus emendes ; in 2 publica commoda peccem, Si longo fermone morer tua tempora, Cafar.
3 Edward and Henry, now the Boast of Fame,
To thee, the World its present homage pays,
3 Romulus, & Liber pater, & cum Caffore Pollux, Pojt ingentia facta, 4 Deorum in templa recepti, Dum terras hominumque colunt genus, afpera bella Componunt, agros adsignant, oppida condunt; 5 Ploravere fuis non respondere favorem Sper atum meritis. Dirum qui contudit Hydram, Notaque fatali portenta labore fubegit, Comperit 6 Invidiam supremo fine domari. 7 Urit enim fulgore fuo qui prægravat artes Infra le positas : extinētus amabitur idem. 8 Præferti Tibi maturos largimur honores :