The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart - Vol. 6

The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart - Vol. 6

The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart - Vol. 6

The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart - Vol. 6


Volume VI of Smart's collected poetry contains the first literary critical edition of his translation of Phaedrus's fables, and the first literary commentary on these fables in English. The editors provide a full introduction, commentary, and scholarly apparatus.


Smart's translation of Phaedrus was published in 1765 as:

A Poetical Translation of the Fables of Phaedrus, with the Appendix of Gudius, and an accurate Edition of the Original on the opposite Page. To which is added, a Parsing Index for the Use of Learners. By Christopher Smart, A.M. Some time Fellow of Pembroke Hall in Cambridge, and Scholar of the University. London: Printed for J. Dodsley in Pall-mall: and sold by J. Wilkie in St. Paul's Church-yard, and T. Merrill at Cambridge. M dcc lxv.

Announced as forthcoming, Daily Advertiser, 30 November 1764. Advertised, Daily Advertiser, 12 December 1764. Demy 12 : π π a B-K L (-L4) a-e f , pp. xvii, 221, [64].

Contents: π1 blank, π1 engraved frontispiece, π1 title, π1 blank, A1 -A2 dedication, A2 blank, A3 advertisement, A3 table of contents (Latin and English on facing pages), A8 blank, B1 half-title, B1 -L3 Fables (Latin and English on facing pages), L3 blank, a1 -f2 parsing index.

It was not reprinted in his lifetime, but it was published in A. J. Valpy's Family Classical Library in 1831, and frequently reprinted in Bohn's Classical Library from 1853 onwards. None of these editions has any independent authorial value.

The 1765 Phaedrus is a modest, workaday, but attractively illustrated little volume designed as a textbook for young students. For the present edition, ten copies have been examined: no variants of any kind were found. There are some misprints in the Latin text, but the translation appears to be cleanly and accurately printed on the whole and the text has therefore required relatively little editorial intervention.

As in volume v, quotation marks have been silently supplied where necessary, to differentiate the speakers. Where inverted commas are used but have been manifestly misplaced, they have been corrected without comment. Quotation marks have been standardized according to modern convention: they are given at the beginning and end of each passage, not at the beginning of each line; single inverted commas are used for primary utterances, double for embedded quotations.

Smart's Phaedrus, like his Horace, is inconsistent in the use of . . .

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