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An Essay on the Lyric Poetry of the Ancients   By: (1732-1813)

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[Transcriber's Note:

This text is intended for users whose text readers cannot use the "real" (unicode/utf 8) version of the file. Greek has been transliterated and shown between marks, and the "oe" character has been unpacked into separate letters.

Typographical errors are listed at the end of the text, along with alternative readings for some of the longer quotations.]

The Augustan Reprint Society

JOHN OGILVIE

An ESSAY on the LYRIC POETRY of the ANCIENTS

(1762)

Introduction by WALLACE JACKSON

Publication Number 139 William Andrews Clark Memorial Library University of California, Los Angeles 1970

GENERAL EDITORS

William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

David S. Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles

ADVISORY EDITORS

Richard C. Boys, University of Michigan James L. Clifford, Columbia University Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago Louis A. Landa, Princeton University Earl Miner, University of California, Los Angeles Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota Everett T. Moore, University of California, Los Angeles Lawrence Clark Powell, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library James Sutherland, University College, London H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., University of California, Los Angeles Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

Edna C. Davis, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Roberta Medford, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library

INTRODUCTION

John Ogilvie (1733 1813), Presbyterian divine and author, was one of a group of Scottish literary clergy and a fellow of the Edinburgh Royal Society. Chambers and Thomson print the following generous estimation of his work:

Of all his books, there is not one which, as a whole, can be expected to please the general reader. Noble sentiments, brilliant conceptions, and poetic graces, may be culled in profusion from the mass; but there is no one production in which they so predominate, (if we except some of the minor pieces,) as to induce it to be selected for a happier fate than the rest. Had the same talent which Ogilvie threw away on a number of objects, been concentrated on one, and that one chosen with judgment and taste, he might have rivalled in popularity the most renowned of his contemporaries.[1]

The present letters reproduced here, along with the two volumes of his Philosophical and Critical Observations on Composition (London, 1774), are Ogilvie's major contributions to literary criticism. The remainder of his work, which is extensive, is divided almost equally between poetry and theological inquiry. At least one of his poems, "The Day of Judgment" (1758), was known to Churchill, Boswell, and Johnson, but unfortunately for Ogilvie's reputation Johnson "saw nothing" in it.[2]

I shall attempt no special pleading for Ogilvie here; he is and shall remain a minor neoclassic theorist. At the very least, however, it can be said that his methods are reasonably various and that, while his general critical assumptions are not unique, his control is strong. The fluidity with which he moves from one related position to another indicates a mind well informed by the critical tenets of his own time... Continue reading book >>




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