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The Art of Painting, by C. A. Du Fresnoy, with

Remarks, translated into English ; with an original Preface, containing a Parallel between Painting and Poetry, ..

279 A Parallel of Poetry and Painting, . 286 The Preface of M. de Piles, the French Translator,. .

333

THE

LIFE OF PLUTARCH.

VOL. XVII.

A

THE LIFE OF PLUTARCH.

IN 1683, appeared the first volume of a translation of Plus tarch's Lives, executed by several hands. Among the persons engaged in this undertaking, Mr Malune enumerates “ Richard Duke, and Knightly Chetwood, Fellows of Trinity College, in Cambridge ; Paul Rycaut, Esq. ; Thomas Creech, of Wadham College, Oxford, the translator of Horace, &c.; Edward Brown, M. D. author of Travels in Germany, &c.; Dr Adam Littleton, author of the Latin Dictionary; John Caryl, Esq. I believe the friend of Pope ; Mr Joseph Arrowsmith ; Thomas Rymer, Esq. ; Dr William Oldys ; John Evelyn, Esq.; and Mr Somers, afterwards Lord Somers, who translated the Life of Alcibiades, though his name is not prefixed to it. Beside the persons here enumerated, twenty-nine others were engaged in this work : so that the total number of the translators was forty-one. Dryden translated none of the Lives."

Dryden was induced to honour this work, so creditable to those who had undertaken it, with a Dedication, and Life of Plularch. The Dedication is addressed to the great Duke of Ormond, whom Dryden had celebrated, in " Absalom and Achitophel,” under the name of Barzillai. The reader will find some account of that nobleman, in the note upon that passage, Vol. IX. p. 294. It is doing no injustice to the other great qualities of Ormond, to say, that his generous and unwearicd prutection of Dryden will not be the soonest forgotten. The poet's feelings towards this noble family were expressed in the preface to the “ Fables,” his last great work.

The publication and translation of " Plutarch's Lives” was not completed until 1686, when the last volume appeared. The following remarkable advertisement was prefixed to the work; which, from internal evidence, Mr Malone ascribes to our author, although bearing the name, and written in the character, of Jacob Tonson, the publisher of the work.

" You have here the first volume of “ Plutarch's Lives" turned from the Greek into English ; and give me leave to say, the first attempt of doing it from the originals. You may expect the remainder in four more, one after another, as fast as they may conveniently be dispatched from the press. It is not my business, or pretence, to judge of a work of this quality ; neither do I take upon me to recommend it to the world, any farther than under the office of a fair and careful publisher, and in discharge of a trust deposited in my hands for the service of my country, and for a common good. I am not yet so insensible of the authority and reputation of so great a name, as not to consult the honour of the author, together with the benefit and satisfaction of the bookseller, as well as of the reader, in this undertaking. In order to which ends, I have, with all possible respect and industry, besought, solicited, and obtained, the assistance of persons equal to the enterprize, and not only critics in the tongue, but men of known fame and abilities for style and ornament; but I shall rather refer you to the learned and ingenious translators of this first part, (whose names you will find in the next page,) as a specimen of what you may promise yourself from the rest.

“ After this right done to the Greek author, I shall not need to say what profit and delight will accrue to the English reader from this version, when he shall see this illustrious piece in his own mother tongue, and the very spirit of the original transfused into the traduction; and in one word, “ Plutarch's Worthies" made yet more famous, by a translation that gives a farther lustre even to Plutarch himself.

“ Now as to the bookseller's part, I must justify myself, that I have done all that to me belonged ; that is to say, I have been punctually faithful to all my commissions toward the correctness and decency of the work; and I have said to myself, that which I now say to the public,- It is impossible but a book that comes into the world with so many circumstances of dignity, usefulness, and esteem, must turn to account.”

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