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A NEW edition of his Theocritus, Bion, Moschus, and Tyrtæus, being required, the Translator is happy to republish them in the present form.
From his preface to the first edition, he thinks it necessary to reprint the following paragraphs :
'The manner of Theocritus is various. Some of his Idyllia are characterized by a rude simplicity. Such are the Fourth and Fifth. To give a discriminating idea of these, was a matter of extreme difficulty. But the Translator hath aimed at it (however he may have failed in the attempt), by a certain quaintness of phrase peculiar to people in low life, by rhymes of a rustical sound, and by the interspersion of a few antiquated words.
'Other Idyllia are distinguished by an elegant simplicity; particularly the First and Seventh. Here the Translator hath endeavoured to recommend the simple sentiment by the musical modulation of his verses, as free as possible from artificial embellishment.
There are other Idyllia that seemed to require an ornamented diction; the Eighteenth in particular, which is remarkable for the splendour of its decorations.
'The Heroie Idyllia are still of a different kind. They have a grave majestic air, relieved by a few intervening familiarities.
"The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Idyllia are conspicuously discriminated from all the rest. Their comic humour seems perfectly consistent with the lightness and volubility of the hendecasyllable verse. Their
'Bion and Moschus are no mannerists. features (compared with those of Theocritus) have little strength or variety of expression. They often dazzle by a glare of colouring; though they have, sometimes, a softness of tint on which the eye reposes with complacency. The Translator shall only add, that in Bion's Epitaph on Adonis, and other pieces of a similar nature, he hopes he hath not obscured the sentiment by too much compressing it; and that his lax manner (in some parts of Moschus particularly) was designedly adopted, as nearest approaching the familiar style of conversation.
'Tyrtæus hath a manner peculiar to himself—or to the Poets of uncommercial, unphilosophic aras, whose observation and expression were circumscribed by the necessity of the times. This is a material circumstance, which the Translator trusts he hath not forgotten in his version.'