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l And who unknown defame me, let them be Scriblers or Peers, alike are Mob to me. 140 This is my plea, on this I rest my
cause--k What faith my Council, learned in the laws ?
? F.'Your Plea is good; but still I say, beware! Laws are explain’d by Men --- so have a care. It stands on record, that in Richard's times 145 A man was hang'd for
honest rhymes ; # Consult the Statute, quart. I think, it is, Edwardi fext. or prim. et quint. Eliz. See Libels, Satires --- here you have it ---read. 149 P." Libels and Satires! lawless things indeed!
NOTES « Decemvirs, qui formoient une Aristocratie, punirent-ils de mort “ les Ecrits Satiriques.” De L'Esprit des Loix, L. xii. c. 13.
VER. 150. Libels and Satires! lawless things indeed! But grave Epistles, etc.) The legal objection is here more juftly and decently taken off than in the Original. Horace evades the force of it with a quibble,
Efto, fiquis mala ; sed bona fi quis. But the Imitator's grave Epistles shew the satire to be a serious reproof, and therefore justifiable ; which the integer ipse of the Original does not: for however this might plead in mitigatiwal of the offence, nothing but their being grave Epiftles cus justify the attack.
Judice condiderit laudatus CAESARE? fi quis
Opprobriis dignum laceraverit, integer ipse ?
T.°Solventur risu tabulae ; tu missus abibis.
NOETS. Ver. 152. F. Indeed?] Hor.
Solventur risu'tabulae. Some Critics tell us, it is want of taste to put this line in thç mouth of Trebatius. But our Poet confutes this censure, by fhewing how well the sense of it agrees to his Friend's character. The Lawyer is cautious and fearful, but as soon as SIR ROBERT, the Patron both of Law and Gospel, is named
But grave Epistles, bringing Vice to light,
151 Such as a King might read, a Bishop write, Such as Sir ROBERT would
F. Indeed ? The Case is alter'd
you may then proceed; • In such a cause the Plaintiff will be hiss’d, 155 My Lords the Judges laugh, and you're dismiss’d.
Notes. as approving them, he changes his note, and, in the language of old Plouden, owns, the Cafe is altered. Now was it not as natural, when Horace had given a hint that Augustus himself supported him, for Trebatius, a Court Advocate, who had been long a Client to him and his Uncle, to corffess the case was altered?