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1 This judgment, however severe it may seem, is according to the practice of the best critics. We have a remarkable instance in the case of Apollonius Rhodius, who though, in the judgment of Quinctilian, the author of no contemptible poem, yet on account of that equal mediocrity which every where prevails in him, was struck out of the list of good writers by such sovereign judges of poetical merit as Aristophanes and Aristarchus. (Quinct. L. x. c. 1.）
3 “Invita … Minerva” Hor. Ars 385. Cicero, de Off. i. 31, explains this phrase: “"adversante et repugnante natura."” And yet the meaning here is not very evident. Does Horace say that young Piso will neither do nor say any thing contrary to his natural endowments; implying that he will not attempt poetry, as his abilities are inadequate? Or does he mean to compliment him on his capabilities, by saying that there is nothing which he will attempt, in which genius will not favor and assist him? The latter appears to be the correct interpretation. Thus the obvious meaning of “invita Minerva” is — Minerva refusing her assistance, or discountenancing the attempt; and the interpretation-natural endowments refusing their assistance, or marring the effort.
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