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In puteum, foveamve; licet, Succurrite, longum
METHODE NI AUCUNE LIAISON DE PARTIES DANS CE TRAITE', qui même n'a jamais été achevé, Horace n'ayant pas eu le tems d'y mettre la derniere main, ou, ce qui eft plus vraisemblable, n'ayant pas voulu s'en donner la peine." (Mr. Dacier's Introd. Remarks to the Art of Poetry.] The softest thing that can be said of such a critic, is, that he well deserves the censure, he so justly *applied to the great. Scaliger, s'il L'AVOIT BIEN ENTENDU, IL LUI AUROIT RENDU PLUS DE JUS. TICE, ET EN AUROIT PARLE PLUS MODESTEMENT.
FEHE text of this epiftle is given from
Dr. BENTLEY's edition, exeept in some few places, of which the reader is advertised in the notes. These, that they might not break in too much on the thread of the Commentary, are here printed by themselves. For the rest, let me apologize with a great critic: Nobis viri docti ignofcent, fi hæc fusius: præfertim fi cogitent, verii critici esē, non literulam alibi ejicere, alibi innocentem syllabam et quæ nunquàm male merita de patria fuerit, per jocum et ludum trucidare et configere'; verùm recte de autoribus et rebus judicare, quod et folidæ et abfolutæ eruditionis eft. HEINSIUS,
I, HUMANO CAPITI, &c.] It is feen, in the comment, with what elegance this first part [to 1. 89] is made preparatory to the main fubject, agreeably to the genius of the Episte. But elegance, in good hands, always implies prom
priety; as is the case here. For the critic's Fules must be taken either, I, from the general ftanding laws of composition; or, 2. from the peculiar ones, appropriated to the kind. Now the direction to be fetched from the former of these sources will of course precede, as well on account of its superior dignity, as that the mind itself delights to descend from universals to the consideration of particulars. Agreeably to this rule of nature, the poet, having to correct, in the Roman drama, these three points, I. a mise conduct in the disposition; 2. an abuse of language; and, 3. a disregard of the peculiar characters and colourings of its different species, hath chosen to do this on principles of universal na. ture; which, while they include the case of the drama, at the same time extend to poetic composition at large. These prefạtory, universal observations being delivered, he then proceeds, with advantage, to the second source of his art, viz. the consideration of the laws and sules peculiar to the kind.
9. -PICTORIBUS ATQUE POETIS-QUIDLIBET, AUDENDI SEMPER FUIT AEQUA POTESTAS] The modern painter and poet will observe that this aphorism comes from the mouth of an objector,;
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