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Mantua lies islanded on the Mincio, with swamps beyond. The region is unhealthy, and Virgil's health was not robust. This Eclogue confuses the imagined incident of a slave going to Rome to get his freedom with that of Virgil's own going to Rome to recover his farm. As Dryden translates, Tityrus (who is Virgil) refers thus to his visit to Rome :

“ There first the youth of heavenly birth I viewed,

For whom our monthly victims are renewed.
He heard my vows, and graciously decreed

My grounds to be restored, my former flocks to feed."
Beginning his Eclogues thus at the age of about twenty-seven, the poet
continued them for six or seven years with a refined grace in imita-
tion of Greek pastoral poets, which is yet so close an imitation that
not only does Virgil borrow from them the names of shepherds and
shepherdesses; but rocks, caves, and trees, foreign to the region about
his own farm, are Sicilian. Within this time, he came to know
Quintus Horatius Flaccus-Horace, a poet five years younger than
himself. Horace, the son of a liberal-minded “ coactor,'' or collector
of payments made for sales at auction, had been educated at Rome
and Athens. He had joined, in the ardour of youth, the army of
Brutus, as a military tribune, and had been a fugitive from the field
of Philippi. Virgil had found also a friend of noble ancestry, in
Caius Cilnius Mæcenas, a friend of the poet's who was also in close and
confidential relations with the young Octavius, and assisted him in the
most delicate negotiations. Virgil may have found his way first to
Octavius, with the suit for his farm, by applying, as poet, to Mæcenas,
who drew closer to him as he became more fully acquainted with his
genius, after the completion of his Eclogues. Virgil it was who
helped Horace to fortune by making him known to Mæcenas.

It was Mæcenas who suggested to Virgil the writing of his Georgics. As the Eclogues were based on Theocritus, so Virgil based his Georgics, perhaps in part on the last Georgics of Nicander, certainly in part on the Prognostics of Aratus, and on the Works and Days of Hesiod, with their good lesson of the work men live to do. There is influence also upon Virgil of the philosophic poem of Lucretius, who is said to have died on the day when Virgil at the age of sixteen assumed the “toga virilis,” manly dress. It is to inspiration drawn from the poem of Lucretius on the Nature of Things, and to Lucretius himself, that Virgil refers in a famous passage of the second Georgic, which has been thus translated by Dryden :

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“Ye sacred Muses, with whose beauty fired,

My soul is ravished, and my brain inspired :
Whose priest I'am, whose holy fillets wear ;
Would you your poet's first petition hear ?
Give me the ways of wandering stars to know,
The depths of heaven and the earth below;
Teach me the various labours of the moon,
And whence proceed the eclipses of the sun ;
Why flowing tides prevail upon the main,
And in what dark recess they shrink again;

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What shakes the solid earth, what cause delays
The summer nights, and shortens winter days.
But if my heavy blood restrain the flight
Of my free soul, aspiring to the height
Of Nature, and unclouded fields of light :
My next desire is, void of care or strife,
To lead a soft, secure, inglorious life.
A country cottage near a crystal flood,
A winding valley and a lofty wood.
Happy the man who, studying Nature's laws,
Through known effects can trace the secret cause ;
His mind possessing in a quiet state,

Fearless of fortune, and resigned to fate." Virgil's interest in Lucretius was the greater because he himself was student of medicine, agriculture, mathematics, as well as of poetry. Made rich in worldly goods by the friendship of Augustus and Mæcenas, he was liberal of his own ; in all things kindly; tall, sunbrowned, and with a quiet rustic air.

Virgil was at work upon the “ Æneid” when he was about forty years old. When he was forty-seven, in the year B.C. 23, the young Marcellus died, son of Octavia, the sister of Augustus. Virgil introduced into the sixth book of the “ Æneid” a lament for his death, and celebration of his virtues. A passage in the seventh book appears to refer to an event that occurred three years later, B.C. 20, but Virgil left the twelve books of his “ Æneid” complete, and died B.C. 19, at the age of fifty-one. His "Æneid” was complete ; but he is said to have asked for its destruction because he died before it had received his finishing touches. His body was removed to Naples-soft Parthenope-his favourite dwelling-place, and buried by the Via Puteolana, a mile or two outside the town.

Virgil aimed always at the utmost finish in his work, and is said to have been disappointed by death of three years' labour in the perfecting of his “ Æneid” which, during many centuries after his death, has received almost divine honour as a perfect epic. The“ Æneid,” based on Homer's “Iliad,” is great in action, since it represents the mythical story of the founding of the Roman power ; great in its consequences, the future of the Roman world ; and as great as Virgil knew how to make it in its persons. The poet's bias is Latin throughout. He upholds the honour of the Trojans as firmly as he supposed Homer to have maintained that of the Greeks. At Carthage, with Dido, he has in mind the future relations between Carthage and Rome ; and the escape of Æneas from inactive pleasure, would suggest to the Court of Augustus how Marc Antony lost all through slavery to his delight in Cleopatra. A wide world of intervening thought separates Virgil from Homer. Virgil's women have their characters often developed with an emphasis caught, in part, from the Greek dramatists. In Homer there is an art wholly creative, shaped out of the rising energies of Greece. In Virgil there is an art chiefly imitative, refined by a master poet after Rome had touched the highest point of all her greatness.

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John Dryden, at the age of sixty-six, published his translation, not of the “ Æneid” only, but of the whole works of Virgil, in July, 1697, having planned the enterprise in, or before, 1694. He died in the year 1700. Dryden's bias to authority in Church and State, when it had once overcome the influences of education in an opposite direction, made it impossible for him at the Revolution to take the oaths that would be required if he retained office as Poet Laureate. His fortunes were broken by the political change. Translations by him from the Latin poets had been received with high favour. Criticism of that day saw ideal excellence in Latin poets of the Augustan age, and Virgil was the, idol of the critics. Dryden himself was, in spite of his politics, acknowledged to be the one great poet then living in England. Then, also, there was no good English translation of Virgil. Gavin Douglas's Scottish translation of the “Æneid” was unread, and by that age unreadable. In modern form there was only John Ogilby's very poor translation of the works of Virgil, which had been first published in 1649, and reproduced in 1654 as a handsome folio, adorned with plates by Hollar, Faithorne, and Lombart. Jacob Tonson, Dryden's publisher, used for his edition Ogilby's plates touched up, and published Dryden's Virgil by subscription, engraving under successive plates the arms of one hundred and one subscribers of five guineas, who contributed towards the adornment of the work with engravings; besides these, there were two hundred and fifty subscribers of two guineas, who did not receive heraldic honours in part payment. The profit from the work to Dryden himself seems to have been about twelve hundred pounds. A generation later Pope earned very much more by translating Homer. As Dryden would not make friendly advance to King William, by dedicating the translation to him, Jacob Tonson, as publisher, did his loyal best by directing that, in retouching the plates, the Roman nose of the pious “Æneas' should be made to conform to that of William III.

And so Tõnson hoped that His

Majesty might be caught by the nose. The first edition of Dryden's Virgil was sold in a few months. As Samuel Johnson said: “It satisfied his friends and, for the most part, silenced his enemies." Pope spoke of it as the most noble and spirited translation of Virgil that he knew in any language. But it is better to read and enjoy good books for what they themselves say, than for what others may have said of them. In Dryden's Virgil this, at least, is clear, that we have one ripe poet translated by another; so that we must needs find pleasure in the reading.

H. M.

March, 1884.

Virgil's ÆNEID.



The Trojans, after a seven years' voyage, set sail for Italy, but are

overtaken by a dreadful storm, which Æolus raises at Juno's request. The tempest sinks one and scatters the rest : Neptune drives off the winds and calms the sea. Æneas, with his own ship and six more, arrives safe at an African port. Venus complains to Jupiter of her son's misfortunes. Jupiter comforts her, and sends Mercury to procure him a kind reception among the Carthaginians. Æneas going out to discover the country, meets his mother in the shape of a huntress, who conveys him in a cloud to Carthage, where he sees his friends, whom he thought lost, and receives a kind entertainment from the Queen. Dido, by a device of Venus, begins to have a passion for him, and, after some discourse with him, desires the history of his adventures since the siege of Troy, which is the subject of the two following books.

ARMS and the man I sing, who, forced by fate
And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
Expelled and exiled left the Trojan shore.
Long labours, both by sea and land, he bore,
And in the doubtful war, before he won
The Latian realm, and built the destined town,
His banished gods restored to rites divine,
And settled sure succession in his line;
From whence the race of Alban fathers come
And the long glories of majestic Rome.

O Muse, the causes and the crimes relate,
What goddess was provoked, and whence her hate;
For what offence the Queen of Heaven began
To persecute so brave, so just man,
Involved his anxious life in endless cares,
Exposed to wants, and hurried into wars !
Can heavenly minds such high resentment show,
Or exercise their spite in human woe?

Against the Tiber's mouth, but far away,
An ancient town was seated on the sea.
A Tyrian colony, the people made
Stout for the war, and studious of their trade.
Carthage the name, beloved by Juno more
Than her own Argos or the Samian shore.
Here stood her chariot ; here, if heaven were kind,
The seat of awful empire she designed.
Yet she had heard an ancient rumour fly
(Long cited by the people of the sky),
That times to come should see the Trojan race
Her Carthage ruin and her towers deface.
*Nor thus confined, the yoke of sovereign sway,
Should on the necks of all the nations lay.
She pondered this, and feared it was in fate;
Nor could forget the war she waged of late,
For conquering Greece against the Trojan state.
Besides, long causes working in her mind,
And secret seeds of envy lay behind.
Deep graven in her heart, the doom remained
Of partial Paris, and her form disdained :
The grace bestowed on ravished Ganymed,
Electra's glories, and her injured bed.
Each was a cause alone, and all combined
To kindle vengeance in her haughty mind.
For this, far distant from the Latian coast
She drove the remnants of the Trojan host;
And seven long years the unhappy wandering train
Were tossed by storms, and scattered through the main.
Such time, such toil required the Roman name,
Such length of labour for so vast a frame.

Now scarce the Trojan fleet with sails and oars,
Had left behind the fair Sicilian shores ;
Entering with cheerful shouts the watery reign,
And ploughing frothy furrows in the main ;
When labouring still, with endless discontent,
The Queen of Heaven did thus her fury vent :

“ Then am I vanquished, must I yield ?" said she,
• And must the Trojans reign in Italy ?
So fate will have it, and Jove adds his force ;
Nor can my power divert their happy course.
Could angry Pallas, with revengeful spleen,
The Grecian navy burn, and drown the men ?
She for the fault of one offending foe,
The bolts of Jove himself presumed to throw ;
With whirlwinds from beneath she tossed the ship,

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