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Toconclude,if I have not contemplated my system, till I am become blind to its imperfections, thiş view of the Epistle not only preserves to it all that unity of subject, and elegance of method, so much in. fifted on by the excellent Critick, to whom I have fo often referred ; but by adding to his judicious general abstract the familiarities of personal address, so strongly marked by the writer, scarce a line appears idle or misplaced : while the order and disposition of the Epistle to the Pisos appears as evident and unembarrassed, as that of the Epistle to Au. guftus ; in which laft, the actual state of the Roman Drama seems to have been more manifestly the object of Horace's attention, than in the Work now under consideration.
Before I leave you to the further examination of the originalof Horace, and submit to you the Translation, with the Notes that accompany it, I cannot help observing, that the system, which I have here laid down, is not so entirely new, as it may perhaps at first appear to the reader, or as I myself originally supposed it. No Critick indeed has, to my knowledge, directly considered the whole Epistle in the same light that I have now taken it; but yet parti. cular pasages seem so strongly to enforce such an
interpretation, that the Editors, Translators, and Commentators, have been occasionally driven to explanations of a similar tendency; of which the Notes annexed will exhibit several striking instances,
Of the following version I shall only say, that I have not, knowingly, adopted a single expression, tending to warp the judgement of the learned or unlearned reader, in favour of my own hypothesis. I attempted this translation, chiefly because I could find no other equally close and literal. Even the Version of Roscommon, though in blank verse, is in some parts a paraphrase, and in others, but an ab. stract. I have myself, indeed, endeavoured to support my right to that force and freedom of translation which Horace himself recommends; yet I have faithfully exhibited in our language several passages, which his professed translators have abandoned, as impossible to be given in English.
All I think necessary to be further said on the Epiftle, will appear in the Notes.
I am, my dear friends,
Your most sincere admirer,
GEORGE COLMAN. LONDON, March 8, 1783.
Q. HORATII FLACCI
E PISTOL A
P I S O N E S.
Umano capiti cervicem pictor equinam Jungere fi velit, et varias inducere plumas Undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum Definat in piscem mulier formosa supernè ; Spectatum admisfi risum teneatis, amici ? Credite, Pifones, ifti tabulæ fore librum Perfimilem, cujus, velut ægri fomnia, vanæ
H 'O RA C E's
E P I S T L E
P I S O S.
HAT if a Painter, in his art to shine, A human head and horse's neck Thould join; From various creatures put the limbs together, Cover’d with plumes, from ev'ry bird a feather; And in a filthy tail the figure drop,
5 A fith at bottom, a fair maid at top: Viewing a picture of this strange condition, Would you not laugh at such an exhibition? Trust me, my Pisos, wild as this may seem, The volume such, where, like a sick-man's dream, 10