Excerpt from Horatius Restitutus: Or the Books of Horace Arranged in Chronological Order
In the Dissertation here prefixed to this Book of Horatius Restitutus, I am duly sensible, that the idea may arise of something irregular and desultory in the composition of it. Let me candidly own, that I should have been very happy to meet the expectation of my readers with a performance more regular and systematic, if the peculiarity of the subject had more readily allowed me so to do.
According to my own impressions, first of all, that subject itself was so extensive at once and full of variety, that with a little elegant diffusion, (which in its occasional use I am far from disparaging,) the materials of this Dissertation might be expanded easily into a separate volume: and in the second place, from the very nature of some of the disquisitions, necessarily dry, however to the purpose essential, certain breaks of a pleasanter kind seemed desirable, to relieve the formality of argument, if that might be done without the discursive itself becoming tedious.
The straightforward plainness, however, of the great points to be proved, may serve, amidst so much detail, to excuse the want of methodical regularity in the process. That Horace published his collected writings from time to time in such an order of succession and in no other, and that his principal residences, after he became a professed Poet, were three determinate places of abode, neither more, nor less; these surely are questions, which (when aided by the Chronological Table here subjoined) will hardly alarm the mind of an intelligent reader with any apprehension of perplexity.
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