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false, ridiculous, and fabulous assertions; insomuch, , minds the more firmly the convi&ions it imprints that all our poets, orators, historians, and philofo- | upon them. As light is then most beautiful when phers must be rejected and thrown away, as de- it first rises out of darkness, fo cruth is then most bauchers of youth, and corrupters of good man- delightful when it firt emerges out of errors. ners, if their writings were once to be tried by For as my lord Roscommon finely cxpresses it, the standard of our faith, and by the doctr Christianity; not to mention, I say, all this, I dare
Truth stamps convi&ion on your ravish'd breast
, boldly affirm, that whatever propositions Lucre
And peace and joy attend the glorious guest. tius advances, contrary to the Christian religion,
Ejay on Transated Vorfeo are so visib'y and notor oufly false, and consequent. Nor is all that Lucretius has written, impious
, ly so eally answered, that they cannor in the least false, or ridiculous : on the contrary, many es. Startle any one, who professes our holy belief : cellent things are contained in his poem; many For instance, Lucretius, in his third book, after that well deserve to be read and remembered even having, as he thinks, fully demonflrated the cor by Christians. How excellently does he declaim porality of the human soul, brings no less than against ambition, and all manner of injustice and twenty-fix arguments to prove its mortality like cruelty; againt superstition, and the fear of death; wise : But all of them, when they come to be ma against avarice, luxury, and luft; against all the turely considered, are of so little validity, and so other passions of the mind, and dishonest pleasures obvious to he confuted, that, far from being able of the body. Is he not continually exhorting his to stagger in the lealt the faith of a Christian, no Memmius to fobriety, temperance, chastity, mag. man, I think, though but of mean capacity, can, nanimity, and all the rest of the moral virtues! on such fender and unconvincing proofs, believe, Insomuch that what Diogenes writes of Epicurus even if he would, that the soul dies with the bo seems to be true; that he was falsely accused by dy. Nor are his arguments, by which he labours fume persons of indulging himfelf too much in to overthrow all belief of a divine Providence, and pleasure, and that it was a mere calamny in them to wrest the power : f creation out of the hands, to wrest, as they did, to a wrong fense, the mean. even of Omnipotence itself, more cogent or per-ing of that philosopher, and to interprct what he Suasive, as will, I hope, be made appear in the fol. said of the tranquillity of the mind, as if it had Jowing notes and animadversions; in which I have been spoken of the sensual delights of the body, made it my chief Rudy to how the weakness, and To the same purpose Caffius, tħat great general to expose to my readers the insufficiency of them. of the Romans, after he had embraced the EpicoHow well I have succeeded in my attempt must rean philosophy, writing to Cicero, explains this be left to the judgment of the public; the design, matter in the following words: They, says he, I am sure, was well-meaning and honest; and if whom we call lovers of pleafure, are indeed lovers the performance be answerable, it may justly chal of goodness and of justice; and men who pradise lenge a favourable reception : For what Christian and cultivate all manner of virtues : for there is will not be pleased in lee, that not even the most no true pleasure without a good and virtuous life: penetrating wit of Lucretius has been able to ad “ ii, qui à nobis pia ndovei vocantur, funt fua.. vance any thing felid against the power of that καλοι και φιλοδικάιού, omnefque virtutes et colunt infinite God whom he adores; especially conli et retinent: ý
itornosus äveu ri xades said dering, that if any ľuch impiecies could have been xáows Sno." as the same Cassius there cites the vedefended, he certainly was capable of defending ry words of Epicurus, who himself takes dotice them :
of this calumny, and complains of the malice and -Si pergama dextra
disingenuousness of his accufers, who, not underDefendi poffent, certè hâc defensa fuissent. Virg.
standing it aright, had misrepresented his doc.
trine concerning pleasure : When we assert, says Moreover, what danger can arise to any man, he, that pleasure is the chief good and greateft though but of common understanding, while he felicity of man, we mcan not the pleasares of the reads that ridiculous doctrine of the Epicurean luxurious and libidinous; not the pleasures of the philosophers concerning their atoms, or minute tase, the touch, or any other sensual enjoyments
, indivisible corpuscles, which they held to be the as some ignorant persons, or such as difícat from first principles of all things ? An opinion so ab our opinions, or as take them in a wrong sense, furd, that even the bare mentioning of it confutes maliciously give out : bue what we call pleafure it. So far, therefore, from being of dangerous is, to be exempt from pain of body, and to have a consequence to us is the reading those absurdities mind serene and void of all cares and perturbaof the ancients concerning the nature of things, tions; for not the company of lascivious boys and that, on the contrary, we may 'gain from thence womea, not luxurious eating and drinking; not to the great advantage of acquiring a more perfect feed on fish, and other delicious mears that load the knowledge of nature, and of the wonderful works tables of the wealthy, nor any other sensual delighes of God : For nature has imprinted on all men an can procure a happy life; but a right and sound innate defire of truth ; and to know the false opi. reason, that searches ipto, and discerns the causes nions of others, will excite and ir them up to be why some things are to be deGred, others to be the more diligent in the inquiry and search of it, avoided; and that chases and expels those opiniwill render them the more capable to judge and ons, by means of which the mind is disquicted determine concerning it, and to retain in their , and vexed with passions and anxicties. Thus we
see there is nothing fo prudent, nothing so true, | mighty from the government of the world : Buc nothing so virepous, but whar, by being misie. this impiety of his procecded from an excess of supresented, may be made to appear its contrary. perstition : For he apprehended that the eternal Nor indeed is it probable, that so many excellent happiness, which the divine essence enjoys, must and wise men, who were such great ornaments be perplexed and disturbed with the affairs of the and supports of the Roman commonwealth, would lower world; nor could he comprehend how the so affiduously have frequented the gardens of Epi- most perfect and happy Being, that ttands not in curus, or have engaged themselves to one another need of any thing in the power of man, could be in the ties of friendship, as even their defamers pleased at their good, or offended at their wicked allow they did, had they not been fully convinced deeds. For he imagined and taught, that busiof the good morals and innocence of life of that ness and cares, and anger, and joy, and gratitude, philosopher who first founded their sect : Galen, were inconsistent with perfect happiness, and proin Art
. Med. witnelles of him, that he constantly cceded from infirmity and weakness, and from esclaimed aloud against the use of all venereal ac. fear and indigence. But what just sentimenes he tions, that he neglected the advantages of life, had of the Deity we find in his epiftle to Menæ. that he contemned all daintiness and excess in ceus: God, says he, is an immorral and ever eating, drinking, and apparel; and that he would blefied being; and even common reason teaches, often lay, that bread and water, when taken by that nothing can be ascribed to the Deity, that is those that wanted them, afforded the greatort repugnant either to immortality or beatitude: pleasure. And in his epifles, which Diogenes That there are gods we know for certain ; but Laërtius had the good fortune to see, he testifies yet they are not such as many believe them to be : of himself, that he was content to live op brown He therefore is not impious who denies the gods bread and water only; but send me, says he, a of the multitude ; but who ascribes to the gods Little of your Cyprian cheese, that I may feall my. the opinions of the multitude : For those opinions Sell Jeliciously, if I should have a mind to do so. are not principles known by the light of nature ; Diocles reports of his disciples too, that they were but merely falle notions, that many conceive of Satisfied with the meanett and the poorelt fare: the gods. Nor will I omit what Epicurus imme. They scarce, says he, ever tafted of wine, and wa diately subjoins : The gods, says he, punish the ter was their chief beverage. To confirm this, wicked, and reward the good: For being, as they it is observed, that this abstemiousness of theirs are, all virtue and goodness, they take delight in was the reason that they were the better able to whatever is virtuous and like themselves. And nadergo hardships, when Demetrius belieged A in the compendium of his philosophy, which he thens, during which fiege, says Plutarch in the writ to Herodotus, speaking of the meteors, we life of that prince, the philosopher Epicurus sup. find the following passage : You ought not, says ported those of his sect, sharing with them daily he, to believe, that the motion and conversion of a certain small number of beans. Cicero himself, the heavens, the rising and setting of the plathough he was a professed enemy to this sect, yec nets, their eclipses, and the like, are the labour lays in many places, that the Epicureans were ge and work of any one, or effected by any other nerally good men, and that none of the philoso- cause, but only by his will and command, phers were less addicted to vice: And Sencca too who enjoys at once all immortality and beati. witnesses of Epicurus, that he was a man emi tude. nently remarkable for his temperance and conti Thus, whatever impious notions Epicurus
might once have entertained of the Deity, it is Thus lived Epicurus, whose very name never. noe unreasonable to believe, that he was at length theless has for many ages been used as a proverb, convinced of his error in that particular, and be10 deaote an atheistical voluptuous wretch, ad came, from an impious, a very pious philosopher. dicted to all manner of fenfualities. Thus too
He persisted indeed to the last in his erroneous lived his followers, who nevertheless are generally doctrine concerning the human soul; which he deemed to have been impious libertines, and re held to be corporeal, to conlist of minute corpresented as a herd of swine, indulging themselves puscies, and alike with the body, to be obnoxious in pleasure, and wallowing in all manner of im to mortality. In this, I own, he grievously erred: purities. How groundless this cenfure, how un but yet, meihinks, his censurers might animadvert merited this reproach, the reader is left to judge, with less severity against a poor shipwrecked from the foregoing teftimonies of the ancients, heathen; since the Sadducees themselves, though which, among many others that might have been they were brought up in the bosom of the law. produced, I have given in defence of the morals Aruck on the same rock; considering belides, that and innocence of life, both of Epicurus and his by the consent, even of the best Christians, the
immortality of the soul is an occan that cannot I will there were as much to be said in behalf of be founded, nor the danger avoided, without the their theology: Let me not, however, be thought imnieasurable plummet of faith. to endeavour to patronize and defend their im Let none be offended that I have ventured thus pieties; if
, in a few words I give the opinion of far in defence of Epicurus, contrary to the comEpicurus concerning the Deity; againt whom, 1 monly received opinion of that philosopher. It Swo, be grievoudy offended, in absolutely denying matters not much to our present purpose, whea divine Providence, and in dethroning the Al. ther he recanted his impiecies or not; since it
cannot be denied but that Lucretius ftrenuously , talk to eradicate from the minds of the less intel asserts them, and labours with all his force to in ligent part of mankind, and dispossess them of culcate his errors. Affertions of such a nature chose opinions which they have swallowed with ought not to pass uncontrouled in so corrupt an greedy delight, and been long accustomed to be. age as ours; when even the very arguments, by lieve. Such an invecerate credulity, like a disease which Lucretius endeavours to make good his of long standing, and that has gained a head, is impieties, are revived afresh; and alleged to not easy to cure; and, what is yet worse, we juftify new-broached opinions, that visibly tend often find that the diffeft obftinacy attends the to the eftablishment of deism, and consequently moft erroneous belief. to the fubversion of all revealed religion : for To apply what I have been saying to the mat. which reason I have chiefly laboured in the fol ter in hand, there is reason to fufpe& that fome lowing notes, to demonstrate the weakness and have not been wanting, and, I fear, are still to be invalidity of those arguments, that are broughe in found, who, nor being capable of themselves to confirmation of propositions, that are repugnant i form a true judgment of these arguments of Luto our holy Christian faith.
crecius, and for want of a right discernment, have Besides, books that treat of subjects that are imbibed some of his false notions, and yielded toe naturally so crabbed and obscurc, as are many of easy an assent to them : they have taken the fha. those of which Lucretius argues, cannot be turned dow for the substance of reason, and thus have into our language in fuch a manner, as, by a bare been wretchedly seduced into error. The follow. translation only, to make them intelligible to a ing notes are chiefly intended, not only to unde. reader merely English, and that has no knowledge ceive such persons, but also to prevent others from of the languages, in which the originals were falling into the like mistakes; and, if they comcomposed; for the terms, though dark and dif- pass that effe&, 1 thail have no reason to thiok my. ficule, must of necellity be retained; and yet labour misemployed, nor to fear the censore of they will not be understood by a great number the public. of English readers. For example, the definition Having given this short account of the reasons of the void, which we find in the first book of that induced me to compose these annotations, it Lucretius, v. 334. is tranfaced as follows: remains only to acquaint the reader with the
helps I have had, and with the method I have A void is space intangible.
observed in this undertaking.
As to the first of those points, the alphabetical Now I would fain know if those words do not as catalogue of the names of the authors cited in the much require to be explained to a reader, who notes and animadversions, is a fufficient indication underftands only the English language, as to one that I havespared no pains, nor wanted any affiftanee who knows the Latin, the following passage of that could be required to render th.s work as perfe& Lucretius, of which they are the tranflation ? in its kind, as any thing of this nature can be ex
pected to be, and that whatever defects fall be -Locus est inta&us, inanc, vacansque. found in it, muß be imputed to my want of
judgment and capacity, fince I was abundantly And yet how many Meets have been filled, and supplied with all the materials that were requzwhat labour has been bestowed, to explain the site to accomplish my undertaking. And through a meaning of them, by the commentators on the out the whole work, I feldom advance any thing Epicurean philufophy, is notorious to all the of my own, but have colleged only the opinia learned world. The leafts of Epicurus, both ma of others, and left the reader to judge and de thematical, and physical, the homwonery of termine concerning them. Anaxagoras, the harmony of Aristoxenus, are, In the text itself I have taken care to supply a till they are explained, no less difficult to under the verses which Mr. Creech had not translated: ftand; and ten thousand other inttances of the and that were never before in any of the former like nature, that the reader will find in the fol- editions of this English Lucretius. Those that lowing translation, are abundantly sufficient to were omitted towards the end of the fourth Book, evince the usefulness, and even the necessity of where the poet treats of the nature of love, are these notes. For, not to understand what we taken from Mr. Dryden's tranflacion of that part read, is at beft but lass of time; and to take of our author. Of all the other verses that are things in a wrong sense, or to gain an imperfect now first inserted, I have given an account in notice of them, as they must necessarily do, who their due places, in the notes upon them : Meanunderstand by halves what they read, is always while, I have included all the verses that are thus alike dangerous, and often proves of bad conse- fupplied between crotchets, as a mark of diftinc quence, especially when the weak and unwary tion, to let the reader know that they were not in amuse themselves in the lectures of such authors any of the former editions. Besides, I have preas treat of subjects like those of which our poet fixed to every book a feveral Argument, in which disputes. Such readers, like men who fail in un. may be seen, at one view, not only the several subknown seas, ought to be shown the rocks and jed's treated of in each of the six books ; but like thelvings, otherwise they are in great danger of wise the manner in which they are handled, the mebeing lott; for they are ever the most subject to thod of the poet's disputation, and the competina take the trongest impreslions ; and it is no easy of the following book to that which preceses
is. And eich book concludes with an animadver- | only done justice to Lucretius, but in some meaftun, briefly recapitulacing the contents of it, and fure even to his translator likewise : of whom I condemning or approving the maxims and argu. may say, without any derogation to his fame, that ments contained and asserted in it. This method he had not so thoroughly digelled his author when our translator himself has observed in his latin he tranfated him, as he had done afterwards when edition of Lucretius; from whence the animad- he came to publish his Latin notes upon him. Ard version, which the reader will find at the end of here, by the way, I cannot but with that he had each book, is chiefly taken, Moreover, to make not been so fevere on Du Fay, the editor of the this edition more perfect than any of the former, Lucretius in Usum Delphini, in lashing him at the where, in many places, several of ihe poet's argu- unmerciful rate Le does in many places : in those ments and propositions are joined together, with notes, for errors of which himself had once been out any distinction where one ends or the other guilty, and into which they had both been alike begins, I have been careful to distinguish them led by Lambine ; especially, too, since it is most from one another, by beginning each argument evident that he is often indebted to that interpreand propofition with a break; so that the reader ter, I mean Du Fay, for the true understanding of will readily difeern where it begins and where it the sense of his author. This will manifestly apends : and that too the more easily, because each pear to any one, who will compare the notes of note begins by exprelling the number of the verses those two interpreters together, and reflect on the that each argument or proposition contains. difference of time in which they were publishea.
As for the translator's own excellent and learn But I have not taken upon me to correct our ed notes on Lucretius, which have hitherto been translator, only where he has palpably mistaker printed at the end of all the former editions, and the sense of his author, but in those places likeall together by themselves, I have now disposed wise that he has rendered obscurely or imperfecto them into the several places to which he had di. iy. One inftance of this, among too many others, re&ted them, and they properly belong : insomuch the reader may observe in the note on the 986th that the reader will now find them, not as before, verse of the second book, where Lucretius, enumer in a body by themselves, but intermixed with my rating all the conjuncts and events, or propertits ancotations, without the least alteration, and in and accidents of the Epicurean atoms, has include ibeir proper place *.
ed them all in the following verses: Each note has a number prefixed before.it: Sic ipfis in rebus item jam materiäi wbich dire&s to the number in the margin of the lext; which last number, for the greater case of latervalla, viæ, connexus, pondere, plagæ, the reader, marks every tenth verle of the transa
Concursus, motus, vrdo, positura, figuræ, tion, and hows how many verses are contained in Cum perniutantur, mutari res quoque debent. cach book.
Lib. ii. v. I. 1021. It will be observed, that in the notes that are To trandate all which, Mr. Creech employs only merely explanatory, I often differ from the sense these two verses and a half; of my author, I mean Mr. Creech; for I exactly
- In bodies so follow the sense of Lucretius; whose meaning thar interpreter has mistaken in many places of
As their feeds, order, figure, motion do, this triplation. This I the more confidently af.
The things themselves niuft change and vary too. firm, because I have his own authority to strength. Now, how lamely and imperfectly the full sense en my assertion : for, in his Latin edition of Lu and meaning of the above paffige of Lucretius is cretias, he often gives his author an interpretation expressed in this translation of it, appears, at first far different from, nay, sometimes quite contrary fight, to all that are acquainted with the Epicuto what he makes him say in this translation. rean philosophy, and is fully made appear in the One manifest inslance of this, among many others, note on these verses, to which I refer the reader : may be seen in the note on the 547th verse of the and, in this place will only take notice, that I stà book, to which I refer the reader: and will might juftly have been blamed for discharging here only observe, that our translator's mistakes of but ill the province I had undertaken, to explain this nature have often forced me to the necessity Lucretius's system of the Epicurean philosophy, of giving the original text of Lucretius; to the had I not supplied what I found wanting in this end, that foch as understand the Latin may be place, in order to attain the perfect understanding convinced, that I have not taken upon me to of the sense of the original, which I found thus blame and correct him without reason. And to wretchedly mangled in the translation. I have érempt myself from all manner of imputation up- observed the like method throughout this whole on that account, I have scarce through the whole work, having used my utmost diligence in com. tourse of these annotations, ever accused this trans- paring the translation with the original
, and show. Iztor of error, except only in passages to which Mr. ing all along in what it differs, from it ; infomuch Creech himself in his Látin edition of our author, that the following annotations, in which is con. has given a different interpretation from what we tained a complete fjstem of the Epicurean philofo. fied in this tranflation ; insomuch, that, by poine- phy, are rather notes on the original poem of Lus ing cu: those mistakes to the reader, I have not cretius, than on Mr. Creech's tranfiation of it.
To conclude: Though I have swelled this work This arrangement is altered in the present edition, to a great length, yet I have made my notes and Traxs. 1.
animadversions as short as I could without omit- plaining of the several terms and expressions that ting any thing that I thought might conduce to are not known to the generality of readers ; to the the explication of the fense and meaning of the intelligence of any thing that seemed difficult to poet, to the right understanding of the historical understand, or, in a word, to the illustration of the and fabulous passages contained of him, to the ex whole.
THE LIFE OF LUCRETIUS.
Tule present design does not require an exact | upon the whole matter, we cannot but be amazed search into the rise of philosophy, nor a nice in at the unsettled humour of the man. quiry, whether it hegan amongst the Brachmans; After his death, though in his will be had made and from them, as Lucian, in fugitivis, ranks the great provision for the perpetuity of his sed, his countries, visited Ethiopia, Egypt scythia, Thrace, opinions were but coldly received, and the school and Greece, or whether curiotity or necessity was decayed, till C. Meminius, a man of ancient nothe parent of it. The Chaldeans were invited robilicy, restored the garden, and, as Cicero acaitronomy by the advantageousness of their wide- quaints us, designed to raise a public building for extended plains; and the overflowing of the Nile the advancement of Epicurilin. His fame and forced the Egyptians to be curious in the proper- authority drew many after him; and we find recies of figures; but I thall take it for granted, that gistered, at once as famous, Velleius, Patro, and philofophy came froni the east. The truth of this, our author Lucretius, of whole life antiquity has not to mention the weak oppositions of Laërtius, transmitted to us but few particulars, perhaps for in his preface, the travels of Thales and Pytha. | the same reason that Ælian with reluctance mengoras, of Democritus, Plato, and others, sufficient- tions Diagoras, because he was an enemy to the Jy evince; and the Egyptians affirm, that the le- gods; sois yagizIgós Aszyógas, xai a fede iden veral methods of philotophy of the aboveniention. iTTisov pesuvzeta. uvrē, says that author, lib. 2. ed ancients, are only their notions disguised, dref. cap. 23. What we know of him is as follows: al after a Greck fathion, and in that garb pro His name was Titus Lucretius Carus, and no posed to their admirers. Thus, it is probable, other : for what Lambinus pretends, that belides that Democritus received his notions from Mof his first name Titus, by the Larias called Prænochus, the Phænician, or from the priests of Egypt, men, and which answers to what we call our whole ambition for antiquity made them embrace Christian name, besides the name of his family, fone of those their absurd opinions : or, if he Lucretius, and his surname, Carus, he may have travelled farther, he perhaps learned the whole been called either T. Lucretius Vespillo Carus
, fyftem of his philofophy, the fortuitous beginning or thus, T. Lucretius Offella Carus, is mere conof the world, and the origin of man, from the jecture, and grounded on no authority whailoIndians, that being now the opinion of the prin ever. Carus was a Roman surname, of which cipal philolophers in China, whither the learning Ovid and inany others make mention; but we no of all India long ago retired.
where find how it came to be given to Lacretius. This hypothetis, though commended to men as However, it is not improbable but that it was the strongett expedient against cares, and as the conferred upon him, either on account of his exexacteit method to obtain tranquillity, found not, cellent and sprightly wit, his affability and sweetnevertheless, many admirers, till Epicurus by an ness of temper and manners, or for some other almost inficice gumber of volumes which he writ the like endearing qualities, that rendered him on that lubject, endeavoured to illustrate and re agrecable to those with whom he conversed. commend it to the world. Yet, not withstanding That he was a Roman, and born at Rome, is he was to voluminous a writer, ht, as Plutarch | agreed on all hands, and even his own testimony assures, added only one improvement to the hy. allures us of it: therefore, what Cornclius Nepui pothesis of Democritus, which is the declination, writes of T. Pomponius Atticus, that it was the or inclining motion of an atom.
gift of fortune, that, preferable to all other places, What Epicurus was in his morals, is not easy be was born in that city where the seat of the to determine ; for, sometimes he seems to have empire of the whole earth was established, that been temperate and mudelt, otherwise Seneca he might have the same country and sovereiga, would not have so often uled his sentences as or may well be applied to Lucretius, of whom we naments, in his molt ferinus epiitles: at other may say, that the same city which was his couvtimes, he seems to have been a molt loose and try was mistress of the world. d.folute voluptuary, for luch his books declare His very dame directs us to the noble and an. him, if we may credit Tuliy, who, De. Fin, lib. 2. cient l'ansily of the Lucretii, which, being divided fett. 7. makes a very confident appeal to man into many branches, comprehended under it the nd for the lincerity of his quotations ; so thar, Tricipitini, the Cineæ, the Vespillones, the Trio