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You; but if in any part of this, Your Modesty thinks me guilty of what I assure
you I detest; continue to be what I believe You, and confirm as well the Judgment as the Opinion of,
By Mr. DRT DE N.
OR this last half Year I have been troubled with the disease (as I may call it) of Translation, the
cold Prose-fits of it, (which are always the most tedious with me) were spent in the History of the League į the hot, (which fucceeded them in Verse Miscellanies. The truth is, I fancied to my self a kind of ease in the change of the Paroxism; never fufpecting but that the Humour wou'd have wasted it felf in two or three Pastorals of Theocritus, and as many Odes of Horace. But finding, or at least thinking I found, fomething that was more
pleasing in them, than my ordinary Productions, I encourag'd my self to renew my old acquaintance with Lucretius and Virgil; and immediately fix'd upon some parts of them which had most affedted me in the reading. These were my natural Impulles for the Undertaking: But there was an accidental Motive, which was full as forcible. It was my Lord Roscommon's Esay on Translated Verfe, which made me uneasie 'till I try'd whether or no I was capable of following his Rules, and of reducing the speculation into practice. For many a fair Precept in Poetry, is like a seeming Demonstration in the Mathematicks; very specious in the Diagram, but failing in the Mechanick Operation. I think I have generally observ'd his Instructions i am sure my Reason is sufficiently convinc'd both of their truth and .usefulness; which, in other words, is to confess no less a vanity than to pretend that I have at lealt in some places made Examples to his Rules.
Yet withal, I must acknowledge, that I have many times exceeded my Commiflion; for I have both added and omitted, and even sometimes very boldly made such expofitions of my Authors, as no Dutch Commentator will forgive me. Perhaps, in such particular passages, I have thought that I discover'd fome Beauty yet undiscover'd by those Pedants, which none but a Poer cou'd have found. Where have taken away some of their Expressions, and cut them shorter, it may posibly be on this consideration, that what was beautiful in the Greek or Latin, wou'd not appear fo shining in the English : And where I have enlarg’d them, I desire the false Criticks wou'd not always think, that those thoughts are wholly mine, but that either they are secretly in the Poet, or may be fairly deduc'd from him; or at least
, if both those Considerations should fail, that my own is of a piece with his, and that if he were living, and an Englishman, they are