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ing muft needs appear before him under great difadvantages.
To begin with removing fome prejudices against this Author, that have arifen from certain writings known by the name of Pindarick Odes; I must infift that very few, which I remember to have read under that title, not excepting even thofe written by the admired Mr. Cowley, whofe wit and fire first brought them into reputation, have the least resemblance to the manner of the Author, whom they pretend to imitate, and from whom they derive their Name; or, if any, it is fuch a refemblance only as is expreffed by the Italian word caricatura, a monstrous and distorted likeness. This obfervation has been already made by Mr. Congreve in his Preface to two admirable Odes, written profeffedly in imitation of Pindar; and I may add, so much in his true manner and fpirit, that he ought by all means to be excepted out of the number of thofe who have brought this author into difcredit by pretending to resemble him.
Neither has Mr. Cowley, though he drew from the life, given a much truer picture of Pindar in the Tranflations he made of two of his Odes. I fay not this to detract from Mr. Cowley, whofe genius, perhaps, was not inferior to that of Pindar himfelf, or' either of thofe other two great Poets, Horace and Virgil, whofe names have been bestowed upon him, but chiefly to apologize for my having ventured to tranflate the fame Odes; and to prepare the Reader for
Preferved in the prefent collection,
the wide difference he will find between many parts of bis Tranflations and mine.
Mr. Cowley and his Imitators (for all the Pindarick Writers fince his time have only mimicked him, while they fancied they were imitating Pindar) have fallen themselves, and by their examples have led the world, into two mistakes with regard to the character of Pindar: both which are pointed out by Mr. Congreve in the Preface above-mentioned, and in the following words:
"The character of these late Pindaricks is a bundle ❝of rambling incoherent thoughts, expreffed in a like "parcel of irregular ftanzas, which alfo confift of "fuch another complication of difproportioned, un"certain, and perplexed verfes and rhymes. And "I appeal to any Reader, if this is not the condition in which thefe titular Odes appeared.
"On the contrary (adds he) there is nothing more regular than the Odes of Pindar, both as to the "exact obfervation of the meafures and numbers of "his ftanzas and verfes, and the perpetual coherence "of his thoughts: for though his digreffions are fre"quent, and his tranfitions fudden, yet is there ever "fome fecret connexion, which, though not always appearing to the eye, never fails to communicate it"felf to the understanding of the reader."
Upon thefe two points, namely, the regularity of measure in Pindar's Odes, and the connexion of his thoughts, I fhall beg leave to make a few obfer
Thefe Odes were all compofed to be fung by a Chorus, either at the entertainments given by the Conquerors (to whom they were infcribed) or their friends, on account of their victories, or at the folemn facrifices made to the Gods upon those occafions. They consist generally of three ftanzas, of which the following account was communicated to me by a learned and ingenious Friend.
"Befides what is faid of the Greek Ode in the "Scholiaft upon Pindar, I find (fays he) the follow"ing paffage in the Scholia on Hephæftion; it is the very laft paragraph of those Scholia."
The paffage cited by him is in Greek, instead of which I fhall infert the Tranflation of it in English.
You must know that the Ancients (in their Odés) framed two larger ftanzas, and one lefs; the first of the larger ftanzas they called Strophé, finging it on their festivals at the altars of the Gods, and dancing at the fame time. The fecond they called Antiftrophé, in which they inverted the dance. The leffer fianza was named the Epode, which they fung fanding fill. The Strophe, as they fay, denoted the motion of the higher Sphere, the Antiftrophé that of the Planets, the Èpode the fixed station and repofe of the Earth.
"From this paffage it appears evident that these "Odes were accompanied with dancing; and that "they danced one way while the Strophé was finging, " and then danced back again while the Antiftrophé was fung: Which fhews why thofe two Parts con"fifted of the fame length and méafure; then, when ... the
"the Dancers were returned to the place whence they "fet out, before they renewed the dance they stood till while the Epode was fung.
"If the fame perfons both danced and fung, when we confider how much breath is required for a full Song, perhaps one may incline to think, that the Strophé and Antistrophé partook something of the "Recitative manner, and that the Epode was the "more compleat Air.
There is a paffage in the ancient Grammarian, "Marius Victorinus, which is much to the fame purpofe as this above, though he does not diftinctly "fpeak of dancing. The paffage is this :
Pleraque Lyricorum carminum, quæ verfu, co66 ifque & commatibus componuntur, ex Strophé, "Antifrophé, & Epodo, ut Græci appellant, ordinata "fubfiftunt. Quorum ratio talis eft. Antiqui Deo"rum laudes carminibus comprehenfas, circum aras "eorum euntes canebant. Cujus primum ambitum, quem ingrediebantur ex parte dextrâ, Strophen "vocabant; reverfionem autem finiftrofum factam,
completo priore orbe, Antiftrophen appellabant. "Deinde in confpectu Deorum foliti confiftere cantici, reliqua confequebantur, appellantes id Epodon.
"The Writers I have quoted fpeak only of Odes, fung in the temples: but Demetrius Triclinius, upon the measures of Sophocles, fays the fame "thing upon the Odes of the Tragick Chorus.
"What the Scholiaft upon Hephæftion, cited above, adds about the Heavenly Motions, &c. is alfo faid
"by Victorinus, and by Demetrius Triclinius, and likewife by the Scholiaft on Pindar. Yet I confider "this in no other light, than I do the fantastical con
ceits with which the Writers on Mufic abound. "Ptolemy, out of his three Books of Harmonics,
employs one almoft entirely upon comparing the "principles of Music with the motions of the Planets, "the faculties of the mind, and other fuch ridiculous imaginations. And Ariftides Quintilianus, fup"pofed an older Author, is full of the fame fooleries. "Marius Victorinus has another fcheme alfo, viz. "that the dancing forwards and backwards was in
vented by Thefeus, in memory of the labyrinth "out of which he escaped. t all this is taking "much unneceffary pains to account why, when "Dancers have gone as far as they can one way, "they fhould return back again; or at least not dance "in the fame circle till they are giddy."
Such was the ftructure of the Greek Ode, in which the Strophé and the Antiftrophé, i. e. the first and fecond ftanzas, contained always the fame number and the fame kind of verses. The Epode was of a different length and measure; and if the Ode ran out into any length, it was always divided into Triplets of stanzas, the two first being constantly of the fame length and measure, and all the Epodes in like manner correfponding exactly with each other: from all which the regularity of this kind of compofitions is fufficiently evident. There are indeed fome Odes, which confift of Strophes, and Antiftrophés without any Epode; and