This ode is on the model of Gray's Ode to Adversity, which is
copied from Horace's Ode to Fortune. Many and many a time have I
been twitted by my wife and sister for having forgotten this
dedication of myself to the stern lawgiver. Transgressor indeed I
have been, from hour to hour, from day to day: I would fain hope,
however, not more flagrantly or in a worse way than most of my
tuneful brethren. But these last words are in a wrong strain. We
should be rigorous to ourselves and forbearing, if not indulgent,
to others, and, if we make comparisons at all, it ought to be with
those who have morally excelled us.
"Jam non consilio bonus, sed more eo perductus, ut non tantum
recte facere possim, sed nisi recte facere non possim."