Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Art of Poetry an Epistle to the Pisos Q. Horatii Flacci Epistola Ad Pisones, De Arte Poetica.   By: (65 BC - 8 BC)

Book cover

First Page:

Q. HORATII FLACCI Epistola ad PISONES,

DE ARTE POETICA.

THE ART OF POETRY AN EPISTLE TO THE PISOS.

TRANSLATED FROM HORACE

WITH NOTES BY GEORGE COLMAN.

[Transcriber's Note: Several ineligible words were found in several languages throughout the text, these are marked with an asterisk.]

London: Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand

MDCCLXXXIII TO

The Rev. JOSEPH WARTQN, D.D. MASTER of WINCHESTER SCHOOL; AND TO The Rev. THOMAS WARTON, B.D. FELLOW of TRINITY COLLEGE, OXFORD.

MY DEAR FRIENDS!

In a conversation, some months ago, I happened to mention to you the idea I had long entertained of that celebrated Epistle of Horace, commonly distinguished by the title of THE ART OF POETRY. I will not say that you acceded to my opinion; but I flattered myself that I at least interested your curiosity, and engaged your attention: our discourse, however, revived an intention I had once formed, of communicating my thoughts on the subject to the Publick; an intention I had only dropt for want of leisure and inclination to attempt a translation of the Epistle, which I thought necessary to accompany the original, and my remarks on it. In the original, Horace assumes the air and stile of an affectionate teacher, admonishing and instructing his young friends and pupils: but the following translation, together with the observations annexed, I address to You as my Masters, from whom I look for sound information, a well grounded confirmation of my hypothesis, or a solution of my doubts, and a correction of my errors.

It is almost needless to observe, that the Epistle in question has very particularly exercised the critical sagacity of the literary world; yet it is remarkable that, amidst the great variety of comments and decisions on the work, it has been almost universally considered, except by one acute and learned writer of this country, as a loose, vague, and desultory composition; a mass of shining materials; like pearls unstrung, valuable indeed, but not displayed to advantage.

Some have contended, with Scaliger at their head, that this pretended Art of Poetry is totally void of art; and that the very work, in which the beauty and excellence of Order (ordinis virtus et Venus!) is strongly recommended, is in itself unconnected, confused, and immethodical. The advocates for the writer have in great measure confessed the charge, but pleaded in excuse and vindication, the familiarity of an epistle, and even the genius of Poetry, in which the formal divisions of a prosaick treatise on the art would have been insupportable. They have also denied that Horace ever intended such a treatise, or that he ever gave to this Epistle the title of the Art of Poetry ; on which title the attacks of Scaliger, and his followers, are chiefly grounded. The title, however, is confessedly as old as the age of Quintilian; and that the work itself has a perpetual reference to Poets and Poetry, is as evident, as that it is, from beginning to end, in its manner, stile, address, and form, perfectly Epistolary.

The learned and ingenious Critick distinguished above, an early ornament to letters, and now a worthy dignitary of the church, leaving vain comments, and idle disputes on the title of the work, sagaciously directed his researches to scrutinize the work itself; properly endeavouring to trace and investigate from the composition the end and design of the writer, and remembering the axiom of the Poet, to whom his friend had been appointed the commentator.

In every work regard THE AUTHOR'S END! For none can compass more than they intend. Pope.

With this view of illustrating and explaining Horace's Art of Poetry, this shrewd and able writer, about thirty years ago, republished the original Epistle, giving the text chiefly after Dr. Bentley, subjoining an English Commentary and Notes, and prefixing an Introduction, from which I beg leave to transcribe most part of the three first paragraphs,

"It is agreed on all hands, that the antients are our masters in the art of composition... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books