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A. D. 127, the time of the emperor Adrian. So that he lived in the days of eleven emperors. At last, worne out with old age, he expired in a fit of coughing, aged 82.
He was a man of excellent morals, of an elegant taste and judgment, a fast friend to Virtue, and an irreconcileable enemy to Vice in every shape.
As a writer, his style is unrivalled, in point of elegance and beauty, by any Satirift that we are acquainted with, Horace not excepted. The plainnefs of his expreffions are derived from the honesty and integrity of his own mind: his great aim was-" to "bold, as it were, the mirror up to nature; to fhew "Virtue her own feature, Scorn her own image, and "the very age and body of the time his form and
preffure *."-He meant not, therefore, to corrupt the mind, by openly defcribing the lewd practices of bis countrymen, but to remove every veil, even of language itself, which could foften the features, or bide the full deformity of vice from the obfervation of his readers, and thus to strike the mind with due abborrence of what be cenfures. All this is done in fo mafterly a way, as to render him well worthy Scaliger's encomium, when he ftyles him-Omnium Satyricorum facilè Princeps. He was much loved and refpected by Martial. Quintilian Speaks of him, Inft. Orat. Lib. x. as the chief of Satirifts. Ammianus
+ See Mart. Lib. vii.
* Hamlet, A& iii. Scene 2. Epig. 24.
t Hift. Lib. xxviii,
Marcellinus fays, that fome who did deteft learning, did, notwithstanding, in their most profound retiredefs, diligently employ themselves in his works.
The attentive reader of Juvenal may fee, as in a glafs, a true portraiture of the Roman manners in his time: bere he may fee, drawn to the life, a people funk in floth, luxury, and debauchery, and exhibiting to us the fad condition of human nature, when untaught by divine truth, and uninfluenced by a divine principle. However polite and refined this people was, with respect to the cultivation of letters, arts, and fciences, beyond the most barbarous nations; yet, as to the true knowledge of God, they were upon a footing with the most uninformed of their cotemporaries, and confequently were, equally with them, funk into al manner of wickedness and abomination. The defcription of the Gentiles in general, by St, Paul, Rom. i. 19-32. is fully verified as to the Romans in parti
Juvenal may be looked upon as one of those rare meteors, which fhone forth even in the darkness of Heathenifm. The mind and confcience of this great man were, though from whence he knew not, fo far enlightened, as to perceive the ugliness of vice, and fo influenced with a defire to reform it, as to make him, according to the light be bad, a fevere and able reprover, a faithful and diligent witness against the vices and follies of the people among which he lived;
Rom. ii. 15. Comp. If. xlv. 5. See Sat. x. 1. 363, and note.
and, indeed, against all, who, like them, give a loofe to their depraved appetites, as if there were no other liberty to be fought after, but the most unrestrained indulgence of vicious pleafures and gratifications.
How far Rome-Chriftian, poffeffed of divine revelation, is better than Heathen Rome without it, is not for me to determine: but, I fear, that the perufal of Juvenal will furnish us with too ferious a reason to obferve, that, not only modern Rome, but every metropolis in the Chriftian world, as to the generality of its manners and pursuits, bears a most unhappy refemblance to the objects of the following Satires. They are, therefore, too applicable to the times in which we live, and, in that view, if rightly understood, may perhaps be ferviceable to many, who will not come within the reach of higher inftruction.
Bishop Burnet obferves, that the "fatirical poets, Horace, Juvenal, and Perfius, may contribute wonderfully to give a man a deteftation of vice, and a contempt of the common methods of mankind; which they have fet out in fuch true colours, that they must "give a very generous fenfe to thofe who delight in reading them often." Paft. Care, c. vii.
This tranflation was begun fome years ago, at hours of leifure, for the Editor's own amufement: when, on adding the notes as he went along, he found it useful to bimfelf, he began to think that it might be fo to others, if purfued to the end on the fame plan. The work was carried on, till it increafed to a confiderable bulk. The addition of Perfius enlarged it to its prefent fize,
in which it appears in print, with a defign to add its affiftance in explaining thefe difficult authors, not only to fchool-boys and young beginners, but to numbers in a more advanced age, who, by having been thrown into various fcenes of life, remote from claffical improvement, have fo far forgotten their Latin, as to render thefe elegant and inftructive remains of antiquity almost inacceffible to their comprehenfion, however defirous they may be to renew their acquaintance with them.
As to the old objection, that tranflations of the Claffics tend to make boys idle, this can never happen, but through the fault of the master, in not properly watching over the method of their studies. A mafter fhould never fuffer a boy to conftrue his leffon in the fchool, but from the Latin by itself, nor without making the boy parfe, and give an account of every
neceffary word; this will drive him to his grammar and dictionary, near as much as if he had no tranfla
tion at all: but in private, when the boy is preparing his leffon, a literal tranflation, and explanatory notes, fo facilitate the right comprehenfion, and understanding, of the author's language, meaning, and defign, as to imprint them with ease on the learner's mind, to form his taste, and to enable him, not only to conftrue and explain, but to get thofe portions of the author by heart, which he is, at certain periods, to repeat in the school, and which, if judiciously selected, he may find useful, as well as ornamental to him, all his life.
To this end, I have confidered, that there are thres
purposes to be answered. First, that the reader fhould know what the author fays; this can only be attained by* literal tranflation: as for poetical verfions, which are fo often mifcalled tranflations, paraphrafes, and the like, they are but ill calculated for this fundamental and neceffary purpose.
They remind one of a performer on a mufical inftrument, who fhews his skill, by playing over a piece of mufic, with fo many variations, as to disguise, almoft entirely, the original fimple melody, infomuch that the bearers depart as ignorant of the merit of the compofer, as they came.
All tranflators fhould transfer to themselves the directions which our Shakespeare gives to actors, at leaft, if they mean to affift the ftudent, by helping him to the conftruction, that he may understand the language of the author.-As the actor is not "to o'erfiep the modefty of nature"-fo a tranflator is not to o'erftep the fimplicity of his text.-As an actor is "not to speak more than is fet down for him”—fo a tranflator is not to exercife his own fancy, and let it loofe into phrafes and expreffions, which are totally foreign from thofe of the author. He should therefore facrifice vanity to usefulness, and forego the praise of elegant writing, for the utility of faithful tranflation.
I trust that I fhall not be reckoned guilty of inconfiftency, if, in fome few paffages, I have made use of paraphrase, which I have fo ftudiously avoided through the rest of the work, because the literal fenfe of thefe is better obfcured than explained, especially to young minds.