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Critical NOTES collected from his best
Primùm ego me illorum, dederim quibus elle poetis,
SAT. 4. L. I.
Rector of Skeyton in Norfolk.
THE THIRD EDITION.
L O N D.ON:
M. DCC. XLIX.
Q. HORATII FLACCI EPISTOLARUM
LIBER PRIMU S.
EPISTOLA I. Ad MÆCENATEM.
RIM A diete mihi, fummâ dicende Camena,
Spectatum fatis, & donatum jam rude, quæris, Mæcenas, iterum antiquo me includere ludo.
It may be worth observing, that the Disquietude of Mankind in their several Conditions of Life, and their inconstancy of Temper, is the Subject of our Author's first Ode, Satire, and Epiftle, as if all our Errours, and all his Philosophy, rose from the same Principle. He now declares, that the gay Amusements of Pleasure and Poetry, which entertained his Youth, shall give place to Cares more useful ; that he has no other Passion, but for Philosophy, which alone can form our Manners, and instruct us how to find out Truth ; that this only can make us happy, by making us vir. tuous ; that all other Studies are an idle Speculation, or a barren Curiosity, and that whatever hinders his Progress in a Science so ne. cessary to all Mankind, is become insupportable to him. In this Epistle he would convince us, that Happiness does not arise from our Poffeffion of large Fortunes, and considerable Employments ; but that the Levity of our Hearts, which hurries us from one Object to another, hinders us from perceiving, it consists in Virtue only.
Verf. 1. Prima di&te mibi.] The Poet, says Torrentius, opens his Epiftles with an Address to Mæcenas in Imitation of the Invocations to Jupiter and other Gods. Thus Theocritus, 'Ex Aiès dipχόμεσθα και εις Δία λήγετε Μεσαι, and Virgil, a te principium,
Β Ο Ο. Κ
F Ο Τ Η Ε
EPISTLES of HORACE.
EPISTLE I. TO MÆCENAS.
Thou, to whom the Muse first tun'd her Lyre,
Whofe Friendship shall her latest Song inspire,
tibi definet : And in a late Parody by Mr. Pope, With wbom my Mufe began, with wbom shall end.
2. Donatum rude.] The Gladiators, in learning their Exercises, played with wooden Swords, called rudes, as we use Foils in FencingSchools. When they had served three years, they received their Dismiffion; or for any uncommon Proof of Courage and Dexterity they were sometimes immediately dismissed by the People, and af. terwards wore the Rudis, as a Mark of their Freedom. They could not again be compelled to fight, but were usually purchased at a large Expence, if ever they appeared on the Stage. TORR
3. Antiquo includere ludo.] Horace began to write about four and twenty Years of Age, and he is now past fifty, which he expresses, by antiquo ludo, in Allufion to the Schools, where the Gladiators performed their Exercises. Mens may be understood either for a poetical Genius, or an Inclination to Poetry. San, Dac,