Grotius, his arguments for the truth of Christian religion rendred into plain English verse.
Grotius, Hugo, 1583-1645., Virgil. Bucolica. 4. English.
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To the Reader.

WEre it my expectation, or design, to gain a Reputation for Verse, I should have chosen a Subject more suited to move the Affections; without humouring of which, the smoothest Rythms please the the generality no better than Pictures in dead Colours.

Non satis est pulchra esse Poemata dulcia sunto,*
Et quocun{que} volent animum audito∣ris agunto.
Verse should be soft, and sweet, as well as fair,
Moving the ravish'd Soul like fluid Air.

Yet as those Commands, which ennoble these Endeavours, were entirely with re∣spect to publick benefit: if I can attain that end, tho with the censure of being an ill Poet, or what perhaps would be worse for me, a tolerable good one; I shall be con∣tent, with King David dancing before the Ark, to appear vile,* or like one of the vain Fellows. I must confess, I had not finish'd this Task, before I met with a Page  [unnumbered] Translation of this Book into English Prose, by an excellent Hand, which might have seemed justly to supersede my farther Pro∣gress. But I cannot but believe that many may be willing to divert themselves with this, who would think the other not suffici∣ently entertaining; for which I take leave to apply that of the admirable Herbert;

A Verse may find him who a Sermon flies,
And turn delight into a Sacrifice.

Measure is at least an art of Memory, an help for the treasuring up those thoughts which may inrich our Minds; such I am sure Grotius's are; and what so well de∣serve to be thought on more than once, that I am confident many, who have read both the Latin and English Prose, nay, and the original Dutch Verse too, will not think their time lost in reading the same Argu∣ments repeated, in such a way as I have represented that Impression which they made upon my Mind. Wherein I must needs say, I never labour'd for a second Thought, if the first, without offending against the com∣mon rules, or (a) practice of Verse, seem'd clearly to express Grotius's Sense; nor hunted about for taking Epithets, or Flow∣ers; but left Truth, and dry reasoning, to their natural Energy, if not Graces.

Page  [unnumbered]I cannot but flatter my self, that in se∣veral places I have removed some Clouds, and made the Arguments more easy to be comprehended, by taking from their length.

The Truths here propounded, are of that nature, that me-thinks the Mind should be eager to come to the proof of them, and impatient even of Ornaments which may detain from the full view of their de∣lightful Features.

If however this Version appear dull and flat, I hope it will be considered that it is but a Copy of a Copy; and if I had under∣stood the Original Dutch Poem, as I should have had more assistance to Fancy, I know not but I might have offered here some∣thing more Poetical.

Yet still it must have been as careless and unlabour'd as now it is, unless I could have stolen more time from a Life not unactive, than I fear the Critiques will think, I have already but thrown away on this occasion.