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A NEW Edition of the Translation of Juvenal being called for, I have yielded to the wishes of my friends, who have persuaded themselves that it would be more acceptable to the publick in this form, than in any other.
I cannot, however, permit the present edition to go forth, without expressing my grateful sense of the kindness with which the former was received; and for which I have here made the only return in my power, by carefully revising the text and notes, and introducing such alterations as appeared to be required. On a comparative view, few variations of the sense will be discovered; for such was the patient industry exercised, in the first instance, to represent the genuine meaning of the original, that subsequent examinations have either led to the same results, or left a doubt on my mind whether the changes now introduced, will be considered as real improvements.
But, although the sense of the author might not be often perverted, more than sufficient remained to justify the severest scrutiny. Many passages were diffusely rendered, and not a small number of lines feebly, or in harmoniously constructed: I have endeavoured to strengthen the one, and to compress the other. I have also, though not equally convinced of the evil, nor equally solicitous to remedy it, removed a few rhymes, which were said to give offence to nicer
The notes, to which a variety of additions have been made, are rendered somewhat more accessible to the English reader, by occasional translations: a version of the sixteenth Satire is given; and the whole is closed by an Index of Names, as a slight help to the memory.
I dare not flatter myself with the expectation of future opportunities of revision; nor am I, indeed, persuaded that, if such should occur, they could be used to much advantage. The business of improvement must somewhere cease, and perhaps too much has been already sacrificed to minute accuracy. However this be, I have now done every thing in my power
Versions of more spirit and beauty may be readily found, but the reader must indulge me in thinking that one constructed with more anxious attention to render him fully acquainted with the author, as
well as with the manners and customs of the age in which he wrote, will not be discovered with equal facility. What other times may produce, they must appreciate but, to adopt the language of an approved scholar,
"Ultimus hic ego sum, sed quam bene, quam male, nolo "Dicere, qui de me judicet, alter erit."
June 5th, 1806.