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NOTE

ON

Æneïs, BOOK IV.

And " must I die," she said,
And unrevenged ? 'tis doubly to be dead !
Yet even this death with pleasure I receive ;

On any terms, 'tis better than to live."..-P. 351. This is certainly the sense of Virgil, on which I have paraphrased, to make it plain. His words are these :

Moriemur inultæ ?
Sed moriamur, ait ; sic, sic juvat ire sub umbras.

Servius makes an interrogation at the word sic; thus, sic ! Sic juvat ire sub umbras ; which Mr Cowley justly censures: but his own judgment may perhaps be questioned; for he would retrench the latter part of the verse, and leave it a hemistick,---Sed moriamur, ait. That Virgil never intended to have left any hemistick, I have proved already in the preface. That this verse was filled up by him with these words, sic, sic juvat ire sub umbras, is very probable, if we consider the weight of them; for this procedure of Dido does not only contain that dira erecratio, quæ nullo expiatur carmine, * (as Horace observes in his “ Canidia,”) but, besides that,

• Read,

-dira detestatio
Nulla espiatur victima. Epod. v. 89.

Z

VOL. XIV.

Virgil, who is full of allusions to history, under another name describes the Decii devoting themselves to death this way, though in a better cause, in order to the destruction of the enemy. The reader, who will take the pains to consult Livy in his accurate description of those Decii thus devoting themselves, will find a great resemblance betwixt these two passages. And it is judiciously observed upon that verse,

Nulla fides populis nec fædera sunto, that Virgil uses, in the word sunto, a verbum juris, a form of speaking on solemn and religious occasions. Livy does the like. Note also, that Dido puts herself into the habitus Gabinus, wbich was the girding herself round with one sleeve of her vest; which is also according to the Roman pontifical, in this dreadful ceremony, as Livy has observed; which is a farther confirmation of this conjecture. So that, upon the whole matter, Dido only doubts whether she should die before she had taken her revenge, which she rather wished; but, considering that this devoting herself was the most certain and infallible way of compassing her vengeance, she thus exclaims :

-Sic, sic juvat ire sub umbras !
Hauriat hunc oculis ignem crudelis ab alto
Dardanus, et nostræ secum ferat omina mortis ?
Those flames from far may the false Trojan view;

Those boding omens liis base flight pursue ! which translation I take to be according to the sense of Virgil. I should have added a note on that former verse,

Irfelir Dido! nunc te fata impia tanguntwhich, in the edition of Heinsius, is thus printed, nunc te facta impia tangunt? The word facta, instead of fata, is reasonably altered; for Virgil says afterwards, she died not by fate, nor by any deserved death, nec fato, meritá nec morte, peribat, &c. When I translated that passage, I doubted of the sense, and therefore omitted that hemistick, nunc te fata impia tangunt. But Heinsius is miste ken only in making an interrogation-point instead of a period. The words facta impia, I suppose, are genuine; for she had perjured herself in her second marriage, having firmly resolved, as she told her sister in the beginning of this Æneid, never to love again, after the death of her first husband; and had confirmed this resolution by a curse on herself, if she should alter it:

Sed mihi vel tellus, optem, prius ima dehisca!, &c.
Ante, pudor, quam te violem, aut tua jura resolvam.
Ille meos, primus qui me sibi junxit, amores
Abstulit : ille habeat secum, servetque sepulcro.

ÆNETS,

BOOK V.

ARGUMENT.

Æneas, setting sail from Afric, is driven by a storm on the coast of

Sicily, where he is hospitably received by his friend Acestes, king of part of the island, and born of Trojan parentage. He applies himself to celebrate the memory of his father with divine honours, and accordingly institutes funeral games, and appoints prizes for those who should conquer in them. While the ceremonies were performing, Juno sends Iris to persuade the Trojan women to burn the ships, who, upon her instigation, set fire to them; which burned four, and would have consumed the rest, had not Jupiter, by a miraculous shower, extinguished it. Upon this, Æneas, by the advice of one of his generals, and a vision of his father, builds a city for the women, old men, and others, who were either unfit for war, or weary of the voyage, and sails for Italy. Venus procures of Neptune a safe voyage for him and all his men, excepting only his pilot Palinurus, who was unfortunately lost. *

MEANTIME the Trojan cuts his watery way,
Fixed on his voyage, through the curling sea;
Then, casting back his eyes, with dire amaze,
Sees on the Punic shore the mounting blaze.

A great part of this book is borrowed from Apollonius Rhodius; and the reader may observe the great judgment and distinc

}

The cause unknown; yet his presaging mind
The fate of Dido from the fire divined;
He knew the stormy souls of woman-kind,
What secret springs their eager passions move,
How capable of death for injured love.
Dire auguries from hence the Trojans draw;
Till neither fires nor shining shores they saw.
Now seas and skies their prospect only bound-
An empty space above, a floating field around.
But soon the heavens with shadows were o'erspread
A swelling cloud hung hovering o'er their head:
Livid it looked—the threatening of a storm:
Then night and horror ocean's face deform.
The pilot, Palinuruş, cried aloud,-
“What gusts of weather from that gathering cloud
My thoughts presage! Ere yet the tempest roars,
Stand to your tackle, mates, and stretch your oars;
Contract your swelling sails, and luff to wind.”
The frighted crew perform the task assigned.
Then, to his fearless chief,—“Not heaven, (said he)
Though Jove himself should promise Italy,
Can stem the torrent of this raging sea.
Mark, how the shifting winds from west arise,
And what collected night involves the skies !
Nor can our shaken vessels live at sea,
Much less against the tempest force their way.
"Tis Fate diverts our course, and Fate we mustobey.)

tion of our author, in what he borrows from the ancients, by comparing them. I conceive the reason why he omits the horse-racc in the funeral games, was, because he shows Ascanius afterwards on horseback, with his troops of boys, and would not wear that subject thread-bare, which Statius, in the next age, described 60 happily. Virgil seems, to me, to have excelled Homer in those sports, and to have laboured them the more in honour of Octavius, his patron, who instituted the like games for perpetuating the memory of his uncle Julius: piety, as Virgil calls it, or dutifulness to parents, being a most popular virtue among the Romans.

Not far from hence, if I observed aright
The southing of the stars, and polar light,
Sicilia lies, whose hospitable shores
In safety we may reach with struggling oars.”
Æneas then replied :-“ Too sure I find,
We strive in vain against the seas and wind:
Now shift your sails; what place can please me more
Than what you promise, the Sicilian shore,
Whose hallowed earth Anchises' bones contains,
And where a prince of Trojan lineage reigns ?”
The course resolved, before the western wind
They scud amain, and make the port assigned.

Meantime Acestes, from a lofty stand,
Beheld the fleet descending on the land ;
And, not unmindful of his ancient race,
Down from the cliff he ran with eager pace,
And held the hero in a strict embrace.
Of a rough Libyan bear the spoils he wore,
And either hand a pointed javelin bore.
His mother was a dame of Dardan blood ;
His sire Crinisus, a Sicilian flood.
He welcomes his returning friends ashore
With plenteous country cates, and homely store.

Now, when the following morn had chased away
The flying stars, and light restored the day,
Æneas called the Trojan troops around,
And thus bespoke them from a rising ground:

Offspring of heaven, divine Dardanian race !
The sun, revolving through the etherial space,
The shining circle of the year has filled,
Since first this isle my father's ashes held :
And now the rising day renews the year--
A day for ever sad, for ever dear.
This would I celebrate with annual games,
With gifts on altars piled, and holy flames,
Though banished to Gætulia's barren sands,
Caught on the Grecian seas, or hostile lands:

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