Quoting Horace Like Boris

William King, Political and Literary Anecdotes:

The singular esteem which some learned critics have always expressed for the works of Horace became at last so fashionable, that scarce a man who affected the character of a polite scholar ever travelled ten miles from home without an Horace in his pocket. The late E. of S. [Earl of Shaftesbury] was such an admirer of Horace that his whole conversation consisted of quotations out of that poet: in which he often discovered his want of skill in the Latin tongue, and always his want of taste.

But the man whom I looked on (if I may be allowed the expression) as Horace-mad, was one Dr. Douglas, a physician of some note in London: I made an acquaintance with this gentleman on purpose that I might have a sight of his curious library (if it might be called a library) which was a large room full of all the editions of Horace which had ever been published, as well as the several translations of that author into the modern languages. If there were any other books in this room, as there were a small number, they were only there for the sake of Horace, and were on no other account valuable to the possessor but because they contained some parts of Horace which had been published with select pieces or excerpta out of other Latin authors for the use of schools; or because the translations of some of the odes and satires were printed in miscellanies, and were not to be found any where else. However, I must acknowledge that the Doctor understood his author, whom he had studied with great care and application. Amongst other of his criticisms he favoured me with the perusal of a dissertation on the first ode, and a defence of  Dr. Hare’s famous emendation of Te doctarum, &c. instead of Me.

Horace Nuremberg Worcester Cathedral Library

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