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To the Honourable



Tax rcmpbmt whrch Theocritus makes In one of lit IcYiiintns, of the neglect sliown to his mule, narsrcL'r reminded nte of my own necessity. The aifaost ambition of my withes could not haTe aspired after a more illustrious patron than Mr. Vorke; ( was not kept long in suspense, having,

• lirough a worthy friend, received permission to inscribe t» yoo the subsequent sheets; and the favour was granted in a manner so peculiarly polite, tin: I esteemed the obligation more than doubled.

It was customary among the ancient Romans, far the plebeians to choose out os the body of the patricians protectors or patrons, whose care it was to aunt their clients with their interest, and defend 'bra from the oppression of the great; to advise tkra n> points of law, to manage their suits, and sector their peace and happiness: what a poweris! advocate, in this respect, you would prove, let the pleading* at the bar, the decisions in Westminster-ball, and the debates in the senate, determine. Bat rhe friend I seek at present, must be eminent for his enlivened genius, the delicacy of his taste in literature, his classical learning, and his generous protection of the muses: and where can I Sed these shining abilities, and these benevolent virtues so happily combined, as in that eminent patron, who does me the honour to countenance the following work? You, Sir, are not only " mu

* is amicus," hut

—Mc&rumq. comes, cui Carolina semper E: citharx cordi.

Ton have long since sacrificed to the muses with faccess; and had cot the tenor of your studies,

| warmed by the example, and improved by the ■ knowledge and eiperience of your admirable faI ther, formed you to Ihine with so much lustre in a more active and exalted sphere, you had been ranked with the most celebrated authors in polite learning. But I cease to wonder, rhat you should have attained qualifications like these, in the early culture of your talents, when I consider your zeal to vindicate the privilege of your predecessors; for the great lawgivers of antiquity were generally poets: Themis and the muse- are nearly joined in affinity; both derived from heaven; they both distribute concord, harmony, and good will, among the inhabitants of the earth.

To whom, then, can I present these Arcadian scenes with so much propriety, as to the friend of ancient eloquence and poetry; one whom I know to have been an intelligent reader and admirer of Theocritus? Let me" congratulate myself on my good fortune, in having, by this performance, found more distinguished favour from Mr. Yorke, than Theocritus experienced at the court of Hiero.

That the honours and reputation you have fa deservedly acquired, may increase more and more; that you may live long and happily, for the encouragement of the liberal sciences, and the service of your country, is the earnest wish of,


Your most obliged, and obedient servant,
Fhancjs Fawkxs.

OnriNOTON. 7
"January 10. 1767 J


"Warx 1 had formed a resolution os publishing a tntflaiion of this inimitable poet, I intended to have availed myself of every elegant and faithful vetScoofany particular Idyllium that fell in my way, and th«n endeavoured, to <he best of

my ability, to make up the deficiency. With this view, 1 carefully examined Mr. Drydcn, who has' left translations of four Idylliums, the 3d, the 8th, the 13d, and the 27th. There are many beautiful line* in the third; but take it altogether, and it it a *hj

Odious paraphrase; for the original cnn-ains only fifty-four verses, which he ha* multiplied into no fewer than one hundred and twenty-seven; particularly there are three lines, beginning at the 18th.

IS T0 XgAtfV 7ltV':^»7X' TO 7A» ?.t6of Of *VX

\'.:~ ■■

Xtvfl$K. K. T. X.

Sweet black-eyc'd maid. Sec. Which he has expanded into twelve. Now, though English heroic verse consists of no more than ten syllables, and the Greek he xameter sometimes lises to seventeen, but if, upon an average, we say fifteen, then two Greek verses is equal'in point of syllables, to three of English ; but if a translator is so extravagantly licentious, he must, lose sight of his original, and by introducing new thoughts of his own, disguise his author, so that nobody ran know him again. But Mr. Dry-e'en has a far greater foible than this, which effectually prevents me from inserting any of his translations in this volume, which is, that whenever he meets with any sentiment in an author which has the least tendency to indecency, he always renders it worse; nay, even in these Idylliums, where the original has given him no handle at all, he has wrapt the simple meaning of The ocritus into obscenity. " Sed * vitiis nemo line nafeitur;" no man had more excellencies, as a poet than Mr. Dryden, therefore the hand of candour should draw a veil over constitutional blemishes.

In Dryden's Miscellany Poems, there arc seven or eight translations of other Idylliums, \\z. the <td. I oth, 14th, and aeth, by W. Bowles , thr Ilth by Duke, and the 1st, and some other", by d sscrent hands: but none of these, 1 found, would luif my purpose: there arc so many wild deviations from the original, such grof* mistake", and so ma ny incorrect and empty lines, that they will found very hastily in the polishetl ears of the present age. Fully satisfied with this inquisition, I then determined to undertake the whole ivork royscif; considering that every translation from an ancient author, as well as every original g^nera'ly most agreeable to the reader wdiich is finished by the same hand: because, in this cafe, there is kept up a certaiu uniformity of style an idiensati«al propriety of diction, which is infinitely more pleasing than if some different, though more able hand, had here and there interlarded it with a version, than if

Purpureus,late qui splendeat, unus et alter

Affuitur pannus,

I have been informed by fume venerable critics, that Creech's translation of Theocritus was well done, and a boc4t of reputation : that he thoroughly understood the classics, and had a peculiar facility in unfolding their beauties, and that, if there was published a new edition of his translation, there would be no necessity for its being supe-fedcd by another. I beg leave to dissent entirely, from these gentlemen, who probably having read Creech when they were young, and having no ca tor poetical numbers, are better pleased with th

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rough music of the last age, than the refined harmony of this; and will not easily be persuaded, that modern improvements can produce any thing superior. However Creech may have approved himself in Lucretius, or Manilius, I shall venture ro pronounce this translation t»f Theocritus very bald and hard, and more rustic than any of the rustics in the Sicilian bard: he himself modestly intitles his book, " the Idylliums of Theocritus "done into Eagtijbtn and they are done as well as can be expected from Creech, who had neither an ear fjir numbers, nor the least delicacy of expression.

It will be incumbent upon me to make good this bold assertion, which I can easily do by producing a few examples. In the first Id) Ilium, he calf, that noble pastoral cup, M a sine two handled '* pot;" and the iAii-. " the tendrils or clafpers," with \s hich fcandent plants use to sustain themselves in climbing, he transforms into kids;—— 11 where kid- do seem fc/brouseIn the description of the silherman, ver. 43. he has these lines:

The nerves in's neck are swoln, look sirm, and strong,

Although he's old, and sit for one that's young.

Ver. 112. He makes Daphnis f«y to Venus:

Go now stout soon pursue.
Go nose him now, and boast, my arts o'l

Young Dapbnis, sight, for I'm a matchsor you. T.XiKHt and e-'Xfiiet AyuafluS*,, he renders, " Heliek's cliff" and " Licon s tomb" A little further em and likewise' in the 5th Idylf.uni, he turns nightingales into thrustie«

Idyliium III. Where Olpis is looking our for tunnies, he makes him stand, 11 to snare his trouts." The t;irl trithacis he calls tswny Bess,and AlphesihceaV mother. Alphifb's mother,

Idyliium V. ver II. He translates Crocylus into Dick, ami Idyliium XIV Ar;;ivus. Apia and Cleunicus, into Tom, Will and Dick. Near the end of the jtli.I.acon fays:

I love Eumedcs much, I gave my pipe.
How sweet a kiss he j-ave; ah charming lip'.

Then come successively the following delicate rhymes, strains, swans; siiame, lamb; piece, fees; joy, (ky: afterwards he makes Ct>matcs fay

I'll toot at I.aeon. I have won the lamb,
Go foolish shepherd, pine, and die stir shame.

Idyliium VII. ver. 120 He renders ariot, pars-rj thinking it the fame as as urn, whereas it ligmtWs a pear.

Idyliium XI. He makes Polyphemus fay of him.


-Sure I am somewhat, they my worth can see,
And 1 myself will now <row proud of me.

He fays of Cyrisca, Idyl. XIV ver 11.
That you might light a candle at her nose.

Idyliium XV. One of „the gossips Cry6 to a stranger,

'■ Yon are a a saucy friend,

I œ ne'er beholding,t'ye, and there's an end.

/r,d so there's an end of my animadversions upon Mr Creech; were 1 to quote ail his dull insipid Ert*, I should quote abnve ha's his bw>k: thin

mwh was proper for me to fay in my own vindi

cuino; sod to add more, mi^ht, to some people,

stem nnri 'ton*.

!: has been hinted to me by more ingenious j*d,r"«. that if Theocritus was translated in the Ixc~:rife cf Spencer, he would appear to great jjTiirap, as such an antique style would be a prjp»-r leccedaneum to the Uoric idiom, slicre i^prjred to me »t first sumething plmsiblr in this scheme; tut hippenirrg to find part t.f VTnschus's 6rf! leyiiinm. which is a hue and cryaft-r Cupid, finrtr;2ical)y translated by Spenser himself I hii reason to alter my opinion. 1 shall transcribe

tre passage, that the reader may judge whe-her ifari: z TerSrin would be more agreeable than one "m modern Ur.guage.

It fortuned, fair Venus having lost H.-r littli son, the, winged god of li>vr, Who for some light displeasure, which him croft, Wi- from her fled, an Hit a* any dove, And 1'. ft her blis&ful bower of joy above; (So from her often he had fled away, Woen site for aught him sharply did reprove. And wander'd in the world in strange array, IVgwiYd io thousand shapes, that none might him bewray •

His for to seek, she !:st her heavenly house, Aid searched every way, through which his wir.g-i

Hid borne him, or his tract she mote detect: She promis'd k sscs s.vcet, and sweeter things, Ucco the man that of him Tidings to her brings.

Fairy i^/zee/i, B. 3. cb. 6.

Frmn thm specimen 1 could not he persuaded to thick, that a traeflalion of Theocritus, even in the purest language cf Speukr, would assord any pleaSure to art Enghlh reader: and therefore I have given him the dress which 1 apprehend would heft become him. How 1 have executed this work, I leave to tjie decision « f the candid and impartial, desiring they will allow me all the indulgence which the translator os so various and difficult an author can reasonably require; an author on whom • here are but few Greek scholia published, only to the 17th IdyIlium lnclisive, and these often extremely puerile; an author on whom fewer notes have been written than upon any other equally excellent. Scaliger, Casaubon, Hciiilins and MeurCos frequently leave the molt difficult passages t mooched ; then- observations are sometimes trifling and unsatisfactory, often repugnant to each other, and now and then learnedly obscure.: amidst these disadvantage*, 1 have endeavoured to conduct myself with the utmost caution; and if I may he allowed to speak of the following sheets, I will briefly explain what I have endeavoured to acomfbft. First, then, as to the tranii.itiqn; I have acticr followed my author too closely, nor aban

doned h'm too wantonly, but have endeavoured to keep the original in view, without too essentially deviating from the sense • no literal translation can he just; as to this point, Horace gives us au excellent caution:

Nec verbum verbo curabis reddere fidus

Nor word fur word too faithfully translate.

A too faithful interpretation, Mr. Oryden says, must be a pedantic on;; an admirable pre. ept to this purprf* is contained in the compliment Sir John Uenham pays Sir Richard Fanfhaw on his version o! the Pastor l''ido:

Tliat servile path thou nobly dest decline,
Os tracing word by word, and Hue by line;
\ ntw mid nobler way thou do:l pursue,
T'o nude translations, and translator* too;
They but preserve the aslics, thou the flame,
True to his fense, but tiuer to his tame.

And as I have not endeavoured to give a verbal ttanflation {> neither have I indulged myself in a rash paraphrase, which always lose- the spirit <■' ,an ancient, by degenerati 'ginto th • modern manners of expression . and to the best of my recollection, I have taken no liberties but thi fe which ur<i necessary for exhibiting the graces of my author, transfusing the spirit os the original, and supporting the p .etical Kyle of the translation. This is the plan, and these are the rule* by wbich every translator should conduct himself: ho« 1 have acquitted myself in these p .it.ts, must be lest to the determination of superior j n iges. As to the Hote-t, which I found the nmst laborious part of my tail;, they are intended either to illustrate the most difficult, ar.d exemplify the beaut:ful t-iTiges; of else to exhibit the various itrita'ions of autlvM vi hich I look upon as an agreeable comment, for they not only show the manner in which the ancients copied each other's excellencies, but likewise often help to elucidate the passages that are quoted. Upon a review of my notes, I am afraid 1 have instanced too many pissages from Vir«ril as imita. tions of Theocritus: what I have to fay in my defence is, they appeared to me at the time to be, if they do not appear in the same light to the reader, they are easily overlooked: If t have in this respect cor-in.iucd a fault, this acknowledgement will plead in mitigation 'f it.

Besides th< fe errors and mistakes, I am conscious of many mere,.though I hope not very matcrial o:ie*; th. fe the learned- and judi-inufl, who are sensible of the d.ffuultyof thi- undertaking, will readily*. i'his work has already meC wnh trie approbation of the best critics of the a^e, Iherelcre what the worst may think or fay of iti will give me no concern. 1 must acknowledge a fault or two quat incuriafvdlii there are I believe two Op three proper names false accented :■ 1 havo also mistaken the sense of my author in the first Idyllium, ver. 31.

This goat with twins I'll give, &c. It should have been translated, " 1 will give yest ,' three milkings of this goat; n T»;j *fuX%*i, that

I you may milk her three times , not the goat "herself and twins," which would have been a most extravagant present from a poor goatherd. in return for a sung. I he reader, therefore, may correct the passage thus:

Thrice shall you milk this goat ; (he never fails Two kias to suckle, though she sills two pails; To this I'll add, &c.

This mistake was imparted to me by the ingenious and learned Dr. Jortin, together with the following emendation ; fee note on ver. 57,41 for x»utttx "you read, with Pierlon, Ksoitgio; which, as to "the fense, seems to be right. But, as the Ionic "dialect is not often used in a Doric song, I

II should prefer the adjective K^oinja, which is also 11 a smaller alteration. As from xtv,K comes 11 Xiv<r''et* so from Kfcifc;, K^Mttiff/' I am much obliged to the fame gentleman for the following short, but full account:


"Whosoever shall carefully examine in Theo"critus the composition of his verses, may per"ceive, that, in his opinion, the nature of bucolic "or pastoral metre, requires that the fourth foot "of the verse be a dactyl, and that the last fyl"lable of this dactyl be the end of a word, which "must not run into the next soot. The first foot "also should rather be a dactyl than a spondee, "and the cæsura is here likewise to be shunned. If "after the fourth foot there be a pause of a com"ma at least, the verse will be still more elegant; "as

"Thus the verso will abound with dactyls, which, "together with the broad Doric dialect, gives a "certain rustic vivacity and lightness to the poesy. *' But yet she above-mentioned rnles, if they were "constantly observed, would displease by a tirc"some uniformity, and confine the poet tot) much • 11 and therefore a variety is better, as in the line, Afjcft/if, ««n*£if, in y\v<px J Hi* troTorioi. 1' And it is sufficient if the other structure predot' minate. These rules Virgil hath quite neglects' ed, except in those verses of his eighth eclogue, i* which are ca'led versus imterealaru: "Incipe Mænalios niecum, mea | tibia, versus," And

"Ducite ab urbe donnm, mea carmina, | ducite "Daphnim,

"For a further account of this matter, the curious *' reader is referred to the Mcnioircs de L'Acad. "Tom. vi. p. 238."


It may be asked, why I have not acted the part

of a vertnl critic in this performance ? My reason was, tha; far more able men had considered Theocritus in that light. The late Mr. D'Orville, the

author of the Critics Van mil, and St'cula, daring his travels in Italy and Sicily, collated upwards of forty MSS. of Theocritus; his collation is now at Amsterdam. Mr. St. Amand, a few years ago, left to the University of Oxford, a large collection of collations, which Mr. Thomas Warton, who has prepared a noble edition of this author, has the use of. Mr. Taylor, late Greek professor of Cambridge, left likewise a Theocritus almost ready lor the press. In the public library at Cambridge, there are some notes on Theocritus by Isaac Casaubon, written in the margin of Henry Stephens'* Poetas Grxci; likewise manuscript notes in the edition of Cnmmclin, printed in quarto; and alfa some notes by Thomas Stanley, the author of the Lives of the Philosophers: all these, and likewise a MS. Theocritus are in the public library at Cambridge. There is also a MS. of the first eight Idylliums in Emanuel College library. Mr. Hob]yn, late member for the city of Bristol, left behind him many notes and observations for an edition of Theocritus. Besides these, there are great materials for illustrating this author in private libraries.

As to the editions of Theocritus, which are very numerous, I think proper to fay something; as we have but an imperfect account of them in Fabricius and Maittaire. Rei&ie, in the preface to his late edition of this Gteek poet, has given us an account of the various editions, but this account is far from being satisfactory. The first edition of Theocritus was printed at Milan in the year 1493, the letter is the fame with the Isocratcs of the fame place and date. See the catalogue of the Leyden library, page Iji. The second edition was printed-by Aldus Manutius at Venice, in the year 1495; this is the only edition Aldus ever printed; there are seme leaves cancelled in it, which is the reason why Reiflce and others have imagined that Aldus printed two editions. Mr. Maittaire, in the first volume of his Annalts Qyfiegrtfbici page 244, has given us an account of these differences. In the year we have an

edition by Philip Junta at Florence; and another in 1516, by Zachary Caliergus at Rome.

These are all the editions that came out before the year 1520. Besides these, and those mentioned by keiske, which I have seen, there are some curious editions, viz. that of Florence by Benedict Junta, printed in the year 1540 j the Basil edition of Ijj8, and the Paris edition of 1617, printed by John Libert. I have purposely omitted mentioning the others, as they are already taken notice of, either by Fabricius, Maittaire, or Reislce.

I cannot conclude this preface without paying; my acknowledgments to those gentlemen who have kindly assisted me in this undertaking. Dr. Pearce, the present Lord Bishop os Rochester, many years eminent for his critical disquisitions, has, in the friendliness of conversation, furnished me with several useful rules for conducting my translation. Dr. Jortin has savoured me with a concise, but full account of the old bucolic measure, and a few valuable note?. The celebrated Mr. Samuel Johnson hat corrected fart os this work, and furnished me with some judicious remark*. Io a short conversation with the ingenious Mr. Joseph Warton, I gathered several observation?, particularly in retard to the superiority of Theocritus to Virgil In pa&onl, which arc interspersed among the notes. The learned Dr. Plumptre, Archdeacon of Ely, kit, with great candour and accuracy, done me the hecosr to peruse and amend every sheet as it came from the press. Dr. Askew, so eminently t in hii profession, as well as for a large i collection of the classics, and an : knowledge of them, with the sincerity of as old acquaintance and a friend, gave me many vinous readings,showed me every valuable edition of Theocritus that is extant, and furnished me with the account of some! MSS. and scarce editions of It, which were never taken notice of by Swithin Adee, M. D. and the

Rev. Mr. John Duncomhe of Canterbury, have, at my own request, sent me several notes and strictures upon my performance, which are candid and valuable. Mr. Burnaby Greene, author of Juvenal parai.hrastically imitated, very obligingly supplied the Essay on Pastoral, and some ingenious observations: and Dr. William Watson lent me his friendly assistance in the botanical part. I could mention other eminent names of gentlemen who have corrected and improved this work;

■ Each finding, like a friend,

Something to blame, and something to commend.

The list 1 have given, I am apprehensive, will appear ostentatious—however, I had rather be convicted of the foible of vanity, than thought guilty of the sin of ingratitude.



As the life of Theocritus has been several times wraten in English, I flattered myself that I might fugle out the account I liked best, and save myself rise trouble us compiling it afresh. 1 depended a good deal upon Kennet, but when I came to per»fe his account of Theocritus, I found it unsatisfactory, and no ways answerable to my purpose: he seems more solicitous, in an affected quaintness of style, to exhibit a display of his own learning, than studious, by the investigation of truth, to give information to his readers: bis thoughts lie loose and unconnected, and therefore are generally tc•ums and perplexing.

The account of our author in the Biographical Dictionary, published in twelve volumes octavo, is nothing but a servile epitome of Kennet, and, where the conciseness of it will allow, expressed in his very words. Thus dissatisfied with the rroderns, I had recourse to the ancients: in the life generally prefixed to his workt by Suidas, we arc told, ** 1 hat Thcccritus was aChian, a rheto** rician : but that there was another Theocritus, "the son os Praxagoras and Philina, though some "say os Shnichidas, a Syracusan;" others fay," he ** was bora at Cos, but lived at Syracuse;" now ribs was the cafe of Epicharmue, and might easily occasion the mistake. See the note on Epigram


In another Greek account in the front of his Works, we are told, that " Theocritus the Bucolic "poet was born at Syracuse, and that his father's * tame was Simicbidas." Gyraldus fays," some ** have thought him of Cos, some of China." From fetch a confused jumble of relations, what can with 'be made cut?

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