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Romans: In which he was not satisfy'd alone with mingling in it several sorts of Verfe. The only Difficulty of this Passage is, that Quintilian tells us, that this Satyr of Varro was of a former Kind. For how can we possibly imagine this to be, since Varro, who was contemporary to Cicero, must confequently be after Lucilius? But Quintilian meant not, that the Satyr of Varro was in Order of Time before Lucilius; he would only give us to understand, that the Varronian Satyr, with mixture of several sorts of Verses, was 'inore after the manner of Ennius and Pacuvius, than that of Lucilius, who was more fevere, and more correct; and gave himself lefs Liberty in the Mixture of his' Verses, in the fame Poem.
We have nothing remaining of those Varronian Satyrs, excepting Tome inconsiderable Fragments, and those for the most part much corrupted. The Titles of many of them are indeed preserv'd, and they are generally double: From whence, at least, we may understand, how many various Subjects were treated by that Author. Tully, in his Academicks, introduces Varro himself
giving us some light concerning the Scope and Design of those Works. Wherein, after he had shewn his Reasons why he did not ex profello write of Philofophy, he adds what follows. "Notwithstanding, Says bre, that those Pieces of mine, wherein I have imitated Mo. nippus, though I have not translated him, are sprinkled with a kind of Mirth and Gaiety: Yet many things are there inserted, which are drawn from the very Intrails of Philosophy, and many things severely argu'd: Which I have mingled with Pleas fantries on purpose, that they may inore easily go down with the common fort of unlearn'd Readers.. The reft of the Sentence is so lame, that we can
only make thus much out of it; that in the Composition of his Satyrs, he so temper'd Philology with Philosophy, that his work was a Mixture of them both. And Tully himself confirms us in this Opinion; when a little after he addresses himself to Varro in these Words. And you your self have compos'd a most elegant and compleat Poem ; you have begun Pbilosophy in many places: Sufficient to incite us, though too little to instruct us. Thus it appears, that Darro was one of those Writers whom they callid acordoeacios, iludious of Laughter; and that, as Learned as he was, his Business was more to-divert his Reader, than to teach him. And he intitled his own Satyrs Menippean : Not that Menippus had written any Satyrs (for his were either Dialogues or Epittles) but that Varro imitated his. Style, his Manner, his Facețiousnefs. All that we know farther of Menippus, and his Writings, which are wholly lost, is, that by some he is elteemed, as, among the rest, by Varro: By others he is noted of Cynical Impudence, and Obscenity: That he was much given to those Parodies, which I have already mentioned; that is, he often quoted the Verses of Homer and the Tragick Poets, and turn'd their serious Meaning into fomething that was Ridiculous; whereas Varro's Satyrs are by Tully callid Abfolute, and molt Ele gant, and Various Poems. Lucian, who was emulous of this Menippus, seems to have imitated both his Manners and his Style in many of his Dia. logues; where Menippus himself is often introduced as a Speaker in them, and as a perpetual Buf foon: Particularly his Character is express'd in the Beginning of that Dialogue, which is callid Nexus paytia. But Parro, in imitating him, avoids his
Impudence and Filthiness, and only expresses his witty Pleasantry.
This we may believe for certain, That as his Subjects were various, so most of them were Tales or Stories of his own Invention. Which is also manifest from Antiquity, by those Authors who are acknowledg'd to have written Varronian Satyrs, in Imitation of his : Of whom the Chief is Petronius Arbiter, whose Satyr, they say, is now printed in Holland, wholly recovered, and made compleat: When 'tts made publick, it will easily be seen by any one Sentence, whether it be fuppofititious, or genuine. Many of Lucian's Dialogues may also properly be call'a Varronian Satyrs; particularly his True History: And consequently the Golden Ass of Apuleius, which is taken from him. Of the same Stamp is the Mock Deification of Claudius, by Seneca: And the Symposium or Cæfars of Fulian the Emperor. Amongst the Moderns we may reckon the Encomium Morie of Erasmus, Barclay's Euphormio, and a Volume of German Authors, which my ingenious Friend Mr. Charles Killigrew once lent me. In the English I remem, ber none, which are mix'd with Profe, as Varro's were : But of the same kind is Mother Hubbard's Tale in Spencer; and (if it be not too vain to mention any thing of my own) the Poems of AbSalom and Mac Flecno.
This is what I have to say in general of Satyr: Only as Dacier has observed before me, we may take notice, That the Word Satyr is of a more general Signification in Latin, than in French, or Englifh. For amongst
the Romans it was not only uså for those Discourses which decry'd Vice, or expa'd Folly, but for others also, where Virtue was recoinmended. But in our modern Languages
we apply it only to the invective Poems, where the very Name of Satyr is formidable to those Persons, who wou'd appear to the World, what they are not in themselves. For in English, to say Satyr, is to mean Reflection, as we use that World in the worst Sense; or as the French call it, more properly, Medisance. In the Criticism of Spelling, it ought to be with i and not with y; to distinguish its true Derivation from Satura, not from Satyrus. And if this be so, than 'tis false spellid throughout this Book; for here 'tis written Satyr. Which having not confider'd at the first, I thought it not worth corre&ting afterwards. But the French are more nice, and never spell it any other way than Satire.
I am now arriv'd at the most difficult part of my Undertaking, which is, to compare Horace with Juvenal and Persius. 'Tis observ'd by Rigaltius, in his Preface before Juvenal, written to Thuanus, that these three Poets have all their particular Partisans, and Favourers : Every Commentator, as he has taken Pains with any of them, thinks himfelf oblig'd to prefer his Author to the other two: To find out their Failings, and decry them, that he may make room for his own Darling. Such is the Partiality of Mankind, to set up that Interest which they ħave once espous’d, tho’ it be to the Prejudice of Truth, Morality, and common Justice : And efpecially in the Produ&ions of the Brain. As Authors generally think themselves the best Poets, because they cannot go out of themselves to judge fincerely of their Betters; so it is with Criticks, who, having first taken a liking to one of these' Poets, proceed to Comment on hiin, and to Illustrate him: After which, they fall in Love with their own Labours, to that degree of blind Fondness,
that at length they defend and exalt their Author, not so much for his Sake as for their own. 'Tis á Folly of the same Nature with that of the Romans themselves, in their Games of the Circks; the Spectators were divided in their Factions, betwixt the Veneti and the Prafini : Some were for the Charioteer in Biue, and some for him in Green. The Colours themselves were but a Fancy; but when once a Man had taken Pains to set out those of his Party, and had been at the trouble of procu. ring Voices for them, the Cafe was alter'd: He
was concern'd for his own Labour; and that so : earnestly, that Disputes and Quarrels, Animosīties,
Commotions, and Bloodshed, often happen'd: And in the Declension of the Grecian Empire, the very Sovereigns themselves engag'd in it, even when ihe Barbarians were at their Doors; and stickľd for the Preference of Colours, when the Safety of their People was in question. I am now, my self, on the Brink of the fame Precipice; Í have spent some time on the Translation of Juvexal and Perfus; and it behoves me to be wary, lelt, for that Reason, I shou'd be partial to them, or take a Prejudice against Horace. Yet, on the other Side, I wou'd not be like some of our Judges, who wou'd give the Cause for a poor Man, right or wrong: For tho' that be an Error on the better Hand, yet it is Kill a Partiality: Anda Rich Man, unheard, cannot be concluded an Oppreffor. I remember a Saying of King Charles II. on Sir Matthew Hales, (who was doubtless an Uncorrupt and Upright Man) That his Servants were sure to be cast on a Tryal, which was heard before hima Not that he thought the Judge was possible to be brib'd; but that his Integrity might be too scrupu. ; lous : And that the Causes of the Crown were