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fay fomething of myself, and of my reafons for prefenting the public with the enfuing tranflation.

It happened, in the winter of 1790, that Triftram's Vida fell into my hands. On reading the Poetics I was fo ftruck with the juftnefs of the obfervations and the general elegance of the poem, as to determine to tranflate it. When just finishing the second book, a learned friend to whom I communicated what I was about, produced, what I had never seen before, a tranflation by Mr Pitt; which is for the most part fo well executed, that had I made less progrefs in the work, I should certainly have laid mine afide. But having already gone so far; being informed too that Mr Pitt's translation was out of print, and obferving that it contained no life of the author, and was without notes, which feemed highly neceffary to fuch a work, I ventured to proceed.

Many of the notes, which were collected from their respective authors by Triftram, I have tranflated from the latin of Tully, Quintilian, Petronius, and others; and from the greek of Aristotle, Longinus, Demetrius Phalereus, and Dionyfius of

Halicarnaffus. For many of them, perhaps too many, I must be accountable.

Should fome readers complain, that too much pains have been taken to explain allufions, which to them must be perfectly familiar, they are requested to confider, that this is not the cafe with all; that it was no inconfiderable part of my plan, to write for the public; and to render what is familiar to the scholar, not abfolutely inacceffible to the multitude.

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I had no conception, in the progress of the work, that the best rules in the world could make a poet in spite of nature. In this view the critics of ancient and of modern times muft equally be fuppofed to have written in vain. But it is no small point gained, if works of this fort convince those who want genius, how many things are neceffary to conftitute a poet; and prove fometimes effectual to deter the difciples of Bavius from the haunts of the Mufes.

ARGUMENT to Book I.

INVOCATION-Addrefs to the Dauphin, whom he confoles for the misfortunes of his family, and invites to poetic ftudiesSuperiority of heroic verfe-The laws of Epie poetry proposed to be confidered; which, however, are not unfuitable to other fpecies of compofition-The poet to choose a subject suited to his genius-Nothing great to be haftily undertaken-A fund of matter and expreffion to be collected-The poem to be first fketched in profe-He who dedicates himself to poetry to be accustomed to it from his infancy, and early entrusted to the care of the best masters-To be intimately acquainted with Virgil and Homer-The latter the first of Greek poets-The poets nearest to him the best-Origin and progrefs of poetry in ItalyVirgil the first of poets-After his time, degenerating by degrees, it almost entirely deferted Italy-Reftored by fome illustrious names of the family of Medici-The youth to admire and imitate Virgil above all others; and to esteem none but the writers of the Auguftan age-A tutor to be pitched upon who is a master of compofition; not severe; and who may excite the genius of his pupil, rather by emulation and the hope of praise, than by threats ; who being thus allured to the love of poetry, will foon pursue it from inclination-Marks laid down, by which the disposition of of the pupil may be known-Premature genius no favourable fymptom-Boys to be indulged in fuitable recreation-Properties of genius-The tutor to be upon his guard, left his pupil be entangled in the fnares of love-As he grows up, to apply himfelf to the study of other fubjects, as well as verfe-The poet's

first essay-A fubject to be chosen fuitable to his powers-How the mafter fhould correct what is faulty-Retirement neceffary to him who would attempt any thing of importance-The poets favourites of heaven-The origin of the Mufes-Addrefs to God the guardian of poets.

ARGUMENT to Book II.

INVOCATION-The manner in which the writer should difpofe his materials explained-Of propofition and invocation -The hiftorical order of narration to be avoided-After the example of Homer, the poet should at once enter the midst of his fubject, and returning, trace it from it's firft fource-The event to be concealed, though not abfolutely to the end of the workDigreffions to be introduced, not unseasonably, or for an oftentatious difplay of learning, but when neceffary and properMoral fentiments to be interfperfed-Low and vulgar allufions to be avoided-Probability to be obferved-Repetition to be guarded against Perfpicuous brevity recommended-A fcanty theme to be extended by epifode-Defcription fhould refemble a fine painting, and bring the thing reprefented in a lively and pleafing manner before our eyes- The poetic vigour not always the same→ When upon the decline, is frequently recruited by reading-When restored, must be subject to reason-Art the copier of natureDifferent characters to be drawn upon this principle-To move the paffions to be learnt from the rhetoricians-Modesty and decorum to be observed-Virgil not inferior to Homer-Digreffion to the calamities of Italy, and the golden age of Leo the Tenth, whofe lofs is deplored.

ARGUMENT to Book III.

THE poetic ftyle proposed to be explained-To be perfpicuous, with all the variety of which it is capable-The use and origin of metaphor-The poets indulged with greater licence than other writers Of Hyperbole, Metonymy, Apoftrophe, Irony, and Anaphora-The figure Catachrefis to be avoidedThe fimile-Words to be well chofen-This may be learnt from the ancient poets-We are to imitate the most ancient-The fecond rate poets not totally to be rejected Of imitating the moft elegant poets-Frequently allude to the fayings of the ancients-Sometimes use words derived from the Greek, and even fuch as are barbarous and obfolete Of Periphrafis, and compound words-This liberty less frequent among the Latins than the Greeks Of the figure Timefis and Syncope-Rugged names to be foftened by art-The found to be fubfervient to the sense, and not fenfe to be facrificed to found-The verse to vary with the fubject-Of correction-Precepts, without the energy of genius, of little avail-The author modeftly relinquishes his claim to the character of a poet, and concludes with a digreffion in praise of Virgil.

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