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Lavinia.* Spensert has a better plea for his pay the fine of my forgetfulness; and yet the "Fairy Queen," had his action been finished, merits of both causes are where they were, and or had been one ; and Milton, if the Devil had undecided, till you declare whether it be mor not been his hero, instead of Adam; if the giant for the benefit of mankind to have their manners had not foiled the knight, and driven him out of in general corrected, or their pride and hardhis strong hold, to wander through the world heartedness removed. with his lady errant ; and if there had not been I must now come closer to my present busimore machining persons than human in his po- ness, and not think of making more invasive em. After these, the rest of our English poets wars abroad, when, like Hannibal, I am called shall not be mentioned. I have that honour for back to the defence of my own country. Virgil them which I ought to have ; but, if they are is attacked by many enemies; he has a whole worthies, they are not to be ranked amongst the confederacy against him; and I must endeavour three whom I have named, and who are estabe to defend him as well as I am able. But their lished in their reputation.

principal objections being against his moral, the Before I quitted the comparison betwixt epic duration or length of time taken up in the action poetry and tragedy, I should have acquainted of the poem, and what they have to urge against iny judge with one advantage of the former over the manners of his hero; I shall omit the rest as the latter, which I now casually remember, out of

mere cavils of grammarians; at the worst, but the preface of Ségrais before his translation of casual slips of a great man's pen, or inconside the Eneis, or out of Bossu, no matter which : erable faults of an admirable poem, which the “ The style of the heroic poem is, and ought to

author had not leisure to review before his death. be, more lofty than that of the drama.” The Macrobius has answered what the ancients could critic is certainly the right, for the reason al urge against him; and some things I have lately ready urged; the work of tragedy is on the pas read in Tanneguy le Fèvre, Valois, and another sions, and in a dialogue; both of them abhor whom I name not, which are scarce worth anstrong metaphors, in which the epopee delights. swering. They begin with the moral of his A poet cannot speak too plainly on the stage: poem, which I have elsewhere confessed, and for volat irrevocabile verbum; the sense is lost, if still must own, not to be so noble as that of Hoit be not taken flying. But what we read alono But let both be fairly stated; and, withwe have leisure to digest; there an author may out contradicting my first opinion, I can show, beautify his sense by the boldness of his expres- that Virgil's was as useful to the Romans of his sion, which if we understand not fully at the age, as Homer's was to the Grecians of his, in first, we may dwell upon it, till we find the se what time soever he may be supposed to have cret force and excellence. That which cures the lived and flourished. Homer's moral was to manners by alterative physic, as I said before, urge the necessity of union, and of a good unmust proceed by insensible degrees; but that derslanding betwixt confederate states and prinwhich purges the passions, must do its business ces engaged in a war with a mighty monarch ; all at once, or wholly fail of its effect, at least in as also of discipline in an army, and obedience the present operation, and without repeated do

in the several chiess to the supreme commander We must beat the iron while it is hot, but of the joint forces. To inculcate this, he sets we may polish it at leisure. Thus, my lord, you

forth the ruinous effects of discord in the camp • "La Pucelle D'Orleans." It will hardly, I hope,

of those allies, occasioned by the quarrel betwixt be expected, that an editor of Dryden should be deeply read in the French epopee, which of all • In the following comparison, our author as. styles of poetry is the most uniformly still and sumes, that the "Iliad" was actually written with freezing.

a view to its moml tendency. But considering the + That Spenser's twelve champions, each of whom matter fairly, and without prejudice, there is a was to achieve a distinct and separate adventure, much reason for supposing, that Shakspeare had a could ever have been so brought together, as to en: great public purpose to accomplish in every one of title the "Fairy Queen" to be called a regular epic, his plays, which we know were only written to fill may be justly doubted. I confess I think it preba. the Bull or the Fortune theatres, as the songs of Ho. ble, that the difficulty of concluding his work was mer were recited, minstrel-like, for the supply of one great cause of its being left unfinished.

his daily wants. But both these gifted men had an Dryden's oljec:ion to the “Paradise Lost," is intuitive knowledge of human nature, which cannot founded on the unhappy termination, which is con.

be justly described, without an evident though un. trary to the rules of the epopee. Even so it has been designed moral pressing itself on the hearers. Vir. disputed, whether a tragedy, which ends lappily, is gil's poem, however, had certainly a poliucal, if not properly and regularly entitled to the nane. Yet a moral purpose; for, while it gratitied the nobles of the story is more completely winded up in the "Par the court or Augustus, by deducing their descent adise Lost," than in the “Iliad," where Troy is left from the followers of Eneas, it tamed their repub. standing, after all the battles which are fought lican spirit, by describing the monarchy of the emabout it.

Our reverence for the ancients, in this peror, not as a usurpation, but an heroditary, and many other instances, has been driven to su. inough interrupted succession, from the wandering persutious bigotry.

Prince of Troy.

mer. *

ses.

the general and one of the next in office under Sylla, to be sure, meant no more good to the Ko. him. Agamemnon gives the provocation, and man people than Marius before him, whatever Achilles resents the injury Both parties are he declared; but sacrificed the lives, and took faulty in the quarrel; and accordingly they are the estates, of all his enemies, 10 gratify those boih punished : the aggressor is forced to sue for who brought him into power. Such was the peace to his inferior on dishonourable con reformation of the government by both parties. ditions : the deserter refuses the satisfaction of The senate and the commons were the two fered; and his obstinacy costs him his best bases on which it stood; and the two chamfriend. This works the natural effect of choler, pions of either faction, each, destroyed the founand turns his rage against him by whom he was

dations of the other side; so the fabric, of conlast affronted, and most sensibly. The greater sequence, must fall betwixt them, and lyranny anger expels the rest ; but his character is stil must be built upon their ruins. This comes of preserved. In the mean time the Grecian army altering fundamental laws and constitutions, receives loss on loss, and is half destroyed by a like him, who, being in good health, lodged himpestilence into the bargain;

self in a physician's house, and was over-perQuidquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.

suaded by his landlord to take physic, (of which

he died,) for the benefit of his doctor. Slavo As the poet, in the first part of the example, ben: (was written on his monument) ma, per had shown the bad effects of discord, so, after

star meglio, sto qui. the reconcilement, he gives the good effects of After the death of those two usurpers, the comunity; for Hector is slain, and then Troy must monwealth seemed to recover, and held up its fall.' By this it is probable, that Homer lived

head for a little time. But it was all the while in when the Median monarchy was grown formi

a deep consumption, which is a flattering disease. dable to the Grecians, and that the joint endeav. Pompey, Crassus, and Cæsar had found the ours of his countrymen were little enough to

sweets of arbitrary power; and each being a preserve their common freedom from an en

check to the other's growth, struck up a false croaching enemy. Such was his moral, which

friendship among themselves, and divided the all critics have allowed to be more noble than

government betwixt them, which none of them that of Virgil, though not adapted to the times

was able to assume alone. These were the public in which the Roman poet lived. Had Virgil

spirited men o''their age; that is, patriots for their flourished in the age of Ennius, and addressed

own interest. The commonwealth looked with a to Scipio, he had probably taken the same mor- florid countenance in their management, spread in al, or some other not unlike it: for then the Ron bulk, and all the while was wasting in the vitals. mans were in as much danger from the Cartha

Not to trouble your lordship with the repetition of ginian commonwealth, as the Grecians were

what you know-after the death of Crassus, Pomfrom the Assyrian or Median monarchy. But

pey found himselfoutwitted by Cæsar, broke with we are to consider him as writing his poem in a

him, overpowered him in the senate, and caused time when the old form of government was sub

many unjust decrees to pass against him. Coverted, and a new one just established by Octa

sar, thus injured, and unable to resist the face vius Caesar, in effect by force of arms, but seein- tion of the nobles, which was now uppermost, ingly by the consent of the Roman people. The (for he was a Marian,) had recourse to arms ; commonwealth had received a deadly wound in

and his cause was just against Pompey, but not the former civil wars betwixt Marius and Sylla.

against his

country, whose constitution ought to The commons,

while the first prevailed, had have been sacred to him, and never to have boen almost shaken off the yoke of the nobility; and violated on the account of any private wrong. Marius and Cinna, like the captains of the mob, But he prevailed ; and, heaven declaring for under the specious pretence of the public good,

him, he became a providential monarch, under and of doing justice on the oppressors of their the title of perpetual dictator. He being mur. liberty, revenged themselves, without form of dered by his own son,* whom I neither dare law, on their private enemies. Sylla, in his commend, nor can justly blame, (though Dante, turn, proscribed the heads of the adverse party : in his Inferno, has put him and Cassius, and he too had nothing but liberty and reformation in his mouth; (for the cause of religion is but a • Here again Milbourne is very clamorous for aumodern motive to rebellion, invented by the thority, and exclaims, that it is one of the funda

mental laws of Parnassus to write true history. Christian priesthood, refining on the heathen ;*)

Dryden probably rested upon the scandalous tale,

that Cæsar intriguel with Servilia, the mother of This is one of our author's unseemly and far 100 Brutus; though it seems more likely, that he applied frequent sneers the clerical order, for

the endearing epithel of my son Is severely reprehended by Milbourne.

merely as a term of affectionate friendship.

hich he

to his assass

Judas Iscariot betwixt them, into the great expelled justly for overt acts of tyranny, and devit's mouth,) the commonwealth popped up its mal-administration ; for such are the conditions head for the third time, under Brutus and Cas of an elective kingdom: and I meddle not with sius, and then sunk for ever.

others, being, for my own opinion, of MonThus the Roman people were grossly gulled laigno's principles, that an honest man ought twice or thrice over, and as often enslaved, in to be contented with that form of government, one century, and under the same pretence of and with those fundamental constitutions of it, reformation. At last the two battles of Philip which he received from his ancestors, and under pi gave the decisive stroke against liberty; and, which himself was born; though at the same not long after, the commonwealth was turned time he confessed freely, that, if he could have into a monarchy, by the conduct and good for- chosen his place of birth, it should have been tune of Augustus. Il it is true, that the despotic al Venice-which, for many reasons, I dislike, power could not have fallen into better hands and am better pleased to have been born an ihan those of the first and second Cæsar. Your Englishman. lordship well knows what obligations Virgil had But, to return from my long rambling-I say, to the latter of them: he saw, beside, that the that Virgil having maturely weighed the condicommonwealth was lost without resource ; the

tion of the times in which he lived ; that an heads of it destroyed: the senate neir moulded, entire liberty was not to be retrieved; that the grown degenerate, and either bought off, or present settlement had the prospect of a long thrusting their own necks into the yoke, out of

continuance in the same family, or those adopted fear of being forced. Yet I may safely affirm into it; that he held his paternal estate from for our great author, (as men of good sense are the bounty of the conqueror, by whom he was generally honest,) that he was still of republican likewise enriched, esteemed, and cherished; principles in his heart,

that this conqueror, though of a bad kind, was

the very best of it; that the arts of peace Secretosque pios, his dantem jura Catonem.'

flourished under him; that all men might be I think, I need use no other argument to jus. happy, if they would be quiet; that, now he tify my opinion, than that of this one line, taken was in possession of the whole, yet he shared from the eighth book of the Enels. If he had a great part of bis authority with the senale ; not well studied his patron's temper, it might that he would be chosen into the ancient offices have ruined him with another prince. But of the commonwealth, and ruled by the power Augustus was not discontented, at least that we which he derived from them, and prorogued his can find, that Cato was placed, by his own poet, government from time to time, still, as it were, in Elysium, and there giving laws to the holy threatening to dismiss himself from public cares, souls who deserved to be separated from the which he exercised more for the common good, vulgar sort of good spirits ; for his conscience than for any delight he look in greatness :could not but whisper to the arbirrary monarch, these things, I say, being considered by the that the kings of Rome were at first elective, poet, he concluded it lo be the interest of his and governed not without a senate ;--that Rom- country to be so governed ; to infuse an awful ulus was no hereditary prince; and though, after respect into the people towards such a prince; his death, he received divine honours for the by that respect to confirm their obedience to good he did on earth, yet he was but a god of him, and by that obedience to make them happy. their own inaking ;--that the last Tarquin was This was the moral of his divine poem;*--hon

• The sense which our author has put on this line, that such as kill themselves are in another part of has been warmly disputed; many commentatora Hades,) be would, at least, le a very improper per contending, that the elder Cato, called the Censor, son to be set by him in so eminent a situation there." and not Cato of Utica, is the person therein honour: • This is lisputed by the learned Heyne. "De d. Pope held the same opinion with our poet, and constlio quod poeta in Æneide conscribenda sequubandoned it; and Spence, quoted by Mr. Malone, tus sit, et de fine, quem propositum habuerit, multa hus expresses himsell :-"Virgil represents the varii comminiscuntur. Nihil quidem magis alienum blessed in Elysium, and Cato giving laws to them. esse potcst ab epico carmine quam allegoria ; ju. This agrees best with the character of Cato the Cen. galat enim totam ejers vim, rerum et hominum dig. sor. See Plutarch's account of the elder Cato; of his nitatem attenual, gratum arumi errorem excutil, et strict judgment and laws; of the statue set up to his æstum inter legendum refrigerat, voluptatemque honour in the temple of Salur, and of the inscription omnem intercipit. Certatim tamen viri docti argu. under it, in his life of that great lawgiver. Seneca tiis suis Eneæ per sonam nobis eripere, et Augusspeaks as highly or him in that capacity, as of Scipio tum submittere allahorarunt. Etiam ex parata nova in the military way: M. Porcius Censorius, quem in Latio sede miseros Trojanos exturlarunt; adumiam reipublicæ profuit nasci, quam Scipionem ; altor bratum esse a poeta novum tum Romæ constienim cum hostibus nostris bellum, alter cum muribus tutum uning principatum. Simili acumine alil ar gessit. Epist. lxxxvii. If Cato Uticensis could have cana. nescio quæ, dominationis Augustea consilia been placed at all in Elysium by Virgil, (who says, in Æneide condenda deprehendere sibi visi sunt. Ita

est in the poot; honourable to the emperor, as a note that he was deified. I doubt not but whom he dorives from a divine extraction; and one reason, why Augustus should be so pasreflecting part of that honour on the Roman sionately concerned for the preservation of the people, whom he derives also from the Trojans; Æneis, which its author had condemned to be and not only profitable, but necessary, to the burnt, as an imperfect poem, by his last will and present age, and likely to be such to their pos- testament, was, because it did him a real serierity. That it was the received opinion, that vice, as well as an honour; that a work should the Romans were descended from the Trojans, not be lost, where his divino original was celeand Julius Cæsar from Iülus the son of Æneas, brated in verse, which had the character of imwas enough for Virgil; though perhaps he mortality stamped upon it. thought not so himself, or that Æneas ever was Neither were the great Roman families, in Italy; which Bochartus manifestly proves. which Hourished in his time, less obliged by And Homer, where he says that Jupiter hated him than the emperor. Your lordship knows the house of Priam, and was resolved to trans- with what address he makes mention of thom, for the kingdom to the family of Eneas, yet as captains of ships, or leaders in the war; and mentions nothing of his leading a colony into even some of Italian extraction are not fora foreign country, and settling there. But that gotten. These are the single stars which are the Romans valued themselves on their Trojan sprinkled through the Æneis: but there are ancestry, is so undoubted a truth, that I need whole constellations of them in the Fifth Book. not prove it. Even the seals which we have And I could not but take notice, when I transremaining of Julius Cæsar, which we koow to lated it, of some favourite families to which he be antique, have the star of Venus over them gives the victory and awards the prizes, in the (though they were all graven after his death,) person of his nero, at the funeral games which were celebrated in honour of Anchises. I in- country. From this consideration it is, that sist not on their names; but am pleased to find he chose, for the ground-work of his poem, one the Memmii amongst them, derived from empire destroyed, and another raised from the Mnestheus, because Lucretius dedicates to one ruins of it. This was just the parallel. Æneas of that family, a branch of which destroyed could not pretend to be Priam's heir in a lineal Corinth. I likewise either found or formed an succession; for Anchises, the hero's father, was inage to myself of the contrary kind; that those, only of the second branch of the royal family; who lost the prizes, were such as had disobliged and Helenus, a son of Priam, was yel survithe poet, or were in disgrace with Augustus, or ving, and iniglit lawfully claim before him. It enemies to Mecenas; and this was the poeti- may be, Virgil mentions hiin on that account. cal revenge he took : for genus irritabile valum, Neither has he forgotten Priamus, in the fifth as Horace says.* When a poet is thoroughly of his Æneis, the son of Polites, youngest son provoked, he will do himself justice, however to Priam, who was slain by Pyrrhus, in the dear it cost him; animamque in vulnere ponil. Second Book. Æneas had only married Cre. I think these are not bare imaginations of my Usa, Priam's daughter, and by her could have own, though I find no trace of them in the com

Spencius, elegantis ingenii vir, (Polymetis, Dial. mihi quidem, si ejus judicium et elegantiam recte ill. p. 17. sqq.) TOMTudvepos esse Æneidem sibi per. teneo, parum probabile videtur. Sapientior erat suasum habebat; neque aliud quicquam poetam poeta, el rei poeticæ intelligentior, quam ut talem spectasse, quam ut animis libertatis erepte desi- cogitationem in aninum aulinitteret. Nam præterderio tegris fomenta admoveret, et novum principem quam quod Ænee characterem non invenil, sed ab approbaret. Nihil tainen Ænere personam, fortu- aliis jam traditum accepit, circumspiciendæ erant a nam, facta, et rata habere videas, quod ei consilio poeta virtutes Æneæ ejusinodi, que in epico argu. respondeat; nullus in Æncide populus est liber, mento vim et splendorem haberent, el factorum, quo qui dominum accipiat; nulla regni sou imperii, mo- enarranda erant, caussas idoneas suppeditarent. narchiam vocainus, bona videas exposita aut com- Quod si ille studium suum ponere voluisset max. mendata; verbo nilil occurrit, quo libertatis amore ime in hoc, et Eneas Augusto assimularetur, quam contacti animi adduci aut allici possint, ut a bono multa et quam parum consentanea epicæ narra. principe malint luto regnart quam cuin libertaus tioni, argumento, operis characteri, teinporum ruvano noinine paucorum potentium dominatione tioni, illaturus in carmen suum fuiszet! vexari. In Juliæ genus honorem, quæab lulo Enee "Eadem fere vía carmen TOATUKOV conditum a poeta fillo originem ducere videri volebat, nonnulla pas. visum jam olim erat R. Patri lo Bossu, ut Ronianos sim suaviter nicmorari, ad Augusti laudes inge. partim ad amplectendum el probandum præsentem niose alia inseri, ipsa carminis lectione manifestum rerum statum adducere, partin Augustum ad mod. sit, et a veteribus quoque Grammaticis jam moni. erationem ac clementiam abortari, et a domina. tum est locis pluribus; sed, quantam vim ea res ad tionis libidine et impotentia revocare voluerit. Sed dominationem Augusti commmendandam habere nec huic consilio ulla ex parte respondet Æneidis potuerit, mihi non satis constare lubenter fateor. sive argumentum sive tractatio: profugus ex urbe Neque, si nova Eneæ sedes in Latio divinis huma. incensa Eneas novam sedem quærit, armis vim it nisque juribus vallata fuerit, quale inde propugnac- Jatam propulsat, et sic porro; quid tandem bis inest, ulum novo Augusti regno partum sit, intelligo ; ut quod ad imperandi artes ac virtutes spectet? Fab. adeo, si demonstrari hoc possit, poetae consilium ule tamen Virgiliana universe inesse, et in singu. Illud in Epelde con lenda propositum fuisse, parum lis carminis partibus aut locis ac versibus occur. Teliciter eum in eo perficiendo et exsequendo versa. rere talia, quæ principibus pro salubribus præceptum videri riccrem.

tis commendari possint, nenio neget; quin potius "In eandem tamen opinionem jam ante Spencium inter uitlitates, quæ poetarum criminibus debentur, inciderat vir doctus inter Francogallos, (L'Aube Va. præcipue hoc conmemoranduic est. Verum non try)quiinprimis similitudinem inter Æneæ et Au. propterea dici potest ac debet, in condendo car gusti personam et fortunamdiserte persequitur. In. mine et in fabula deligenda et ordinanda tale prie geniose eum ludere non neges ; et convenil ei cum ceptum propositum poete fuisse, cujus explicandi, multis aliis doctis viris, qui opinantur, Augustum sub caussa narrationem institueret. Narrare ille voluit Ænea persona esse adumbratum; eo referunt mulla ac debuit rem magnait et arduam et inirabilem. alia. Videus nonnullostam egregie sibi placerein hoc Quod narratio illa, et delectatio quæ inde accipitur, invento, ul undique conquirant et venentur ea, quæ cum utilitate ad omnes hominum ordines, in. ad Augustum accommodari possint. Sic oris dig. primisque ad principum animos conjuncta est, hoc nitas, (lib. 1. 589, Os humerosque deos,) cum assen- epice narrationi per se consentaneum est; ips3 tatione in Augustum memorata est. Ignoscenda enim rei natura ita fert, ut magnoruin virorum hec putem alicui ex media assentatorum turha, qui facta magna et præclara sine summo ait hominum Æneide lecta unam vel alteram Eneæ laudem ad animos, mores ac virtutera, Iructu exponi et narrari Augustum traheret, ut Principi palpiret. Sed, ut nequeant, multo magis el cum sententiarum splenMaro tam dissimiles personas, fortunas, virtutes, et dore et orationis ornatu instituta sit narratio." facta ac res gestas, inter se comparare voluerit, Virg. a C. G. Heyne, Disquisit. i. de Carm. Epico.

no title, while any of the male issue were rementators; but one poet may judge of another maining. In this case, the poet gave him the by himself. The vengeance we defer, is not next title, which is that of an elective king. forgotten. I hinted before that the whole Ro

The remaining Trojans chose him to lead them man people were obliged by Virgil, in deriving forth, and settle thein in some foreign country. them from Troy; an ancestry which they af- Ilioneus, in his speech to Dido, calls him exfected. We and the French are of the same pressly by the name of king. Our poot, who humour : they would be thought to descend all this while had Augustus in his eye, had no from a son,

think, of Hector; and we would desire he should seem to succeed by any right have our Britain both named and planted by a of inheritance derived from Julius Cæsar, (such descendant of Æneas. Spenser favours this a title being but one degree removed from conopinion what he can. His Prince Arthur, or quest,) for what was introduced by force, by whoever he intends by him, is a Trojan. Thus force may be removed. It was better for the the hero of Homer was a Grecian, of Virgil a people that they should give, than he should Roman, of Tasso an Italian.

take ; since that gist was indeed no more at I have transgressed my bounds, and gone bottom than a trust. Virgil gives us an exfarther than the moral led me; but, if your ample of this in the person of Mezentius : he lordship is not tired, I am safe enough.

governed arbitrarily; he was expelled, and came Thus far, I think, my author is defended. to the deserved end of all tyrants. Our author But, as Augustus is still shadowed in the person shows us another sort of kingship in the person of Eneas, (of which I shall say more, when I of Latinus: he was descended from Saturn, and, come to the manners which the poet gives his as I remember, in the third degree. He is dehero,) I must prepare that subject, by showing scribed as a just and gracious prince, solicitous how dexterously he managed both the prince for the welfare of his people, always consulting and people, so as to displease neither, and to do with his senate to promote the common good. good to both; which is the part of a wise and We find him at the head of them, when he enan honest man, and proves, that it is possible ters into the council-hall, speaking first, but still for a courtier not to be a knave. I shall con- demanding their advice, and steering by it, as tinue still to speak my thoughts like a free-born far as the iniquity of the times would suffer subject, as I am; though such things, perhaps, him. And this is the proper characler of a as no Dutch commentator could, and I am sure king by inheritance, who is born a father of his no Frenchman durst. I have already told your country. Æneas, though he married the heiress lordship my opinion of Virgil, that he was no of the crown, yet claimed no title to it during arbitrary man. Obliged he was to his master the life of his father-in-law. Pater arma La. for his bounty; and he repays him with good tinus habeto, &c. are Virgil's words. As for counsel, how to behave himself in his new mon- himself, he was contented to take care of his archy, so as to gain the affections of his sub- country gods, who were not those of Latium : jects, and deserve to be called the fatier of his wherein our divine author seems to relate to the

after-practice of the Romans, which was to • I suspect our author spoke from recollection of adopt the gods of those they conquered, or resome of his own satirical strokes. Even in the ceived as members of their commonwealth. " Hind and Panther," Sunderland, a convert to the religion defended by the poet, and Petre, the king's

Yet, withal, he plainly touches at the office own chaplain and bosom counsellor, do not escape

of the high priesthood, with which Augustus

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