4) Final e is usually sounded (like a in Virginia) except where the following word begins with a vowel or with h. In the latter case the final syllable of one word and the first of the word following are run together, as in reading Virgil.
Hitherto in Rome a knowledge of Greek had conferred on its possessor as little superiority in civil or social life, as a knowledge of French perhaps confers at the present day in a hamlet of German Switzerland; and the earliest writers of Greek chronicles may have held a position among the other senators similar to that of the farmer in the fens of Holstein who has been a student and in the evening, when he comes home from the plough, takes down his Virgil from the shelf.
This translation has passed thro' many editions, and of all the attempts which have been made to render Virgil into English.
All these things change, and quoting Virgil will be the next thing to disappear.
Thus one should follow the precepts of Aristotle for theory, and imitate Virgil for epic and Seneca for tragedy.
Tis enough for those, who make one Poem the business of their lives, to leave that correct; yet, excepting VIRGIL, I never met with any which was so, in any language.
"A man," answered Virgil, "must conduct himself at this door like one prepared.
"Satan," whispered Virgil; and put himself in front of Dante to re-assure him, halting him at the same time, and bidding him summon all his fortitude.
Both are corrupt; the work of two illiterate copyists who--strange to say--were both smatterers enough to betray their little knowledge by converting Pervigilium into Per Virgilium (scilicet, "by Virgil"): thus helping us to follow the process of thought by which the Middle Ages turned Virgil into a wizard.
But either poetical rivalry, for he had also thought of translating Virgil himself, or political animosity, for he seems to have held revolution principles, or deep resentment for Dryden's sarcasms against the clergy, or, most probably, all these united, impelled Milbourne to publish a most furious criticism, entitled, "Notes on Dryden's Virgil, in a Letter to a Friend." "
But this proves, however, that Homer taught Virgil to design; and if invention be the first virtue of an epic poet, then the Latin poem can only be allowed the second place.
Milton thinks he might have surpassed Virgil, had he attempted epic poetry.
But Dryden never altered the "Conquest of China," being first interrupted by the necessity of revising Virgil, and afterwards, perhaps, by a sort of quarrel which took place between him and the players, of whom he speaks most resentfully in his "Epistle to Granville," upon his tragedy of "Heroic Love," acted in the beginning of 1698.
It was not done for the sake of such a Chimerical Beauty as that of resembling Virgil in this particular, but for the more just and regular Disposition of this great Work.
All these contributed to the encouragement of Dryden's great undertaking, which promised to rescue Virgil from the degraded version of Ogilby, and present him in a becoming form to a public, now prepared to receive him with merited admiration.
We must remember here the Virgil of the Fourth Eclogue--that extraordinary, impassioned poem in which he dreams of man attaining to some perfection of living.
Augustus had given him the example, by the advice of Maecenas, who recommended Virgil and Horace to him; whose praises helped to make him popular while he was alive, and after his death have made him precious to posterity.
Meanwhile, I had been once more quoting Virgil: "The walnut in the woodland attires herself in wealth of blossom and bends with scented boughs," when there approached with slow step an old, white-haired lady, at once gentle and severe in appearance, accompanied by a younger lady.
Much, there doubtless remained, of ancient subtlety, and ingenious quibbling; but when Dryden declares, that he proposes Virgil, in preference to Ovid, to be his model in the "Annus Mirabilis" it sufficiently implies that the main defect of the poetry of the last age had been discovered, and was in the way of being amended by gradual and almost imperceptible degrees.
India has produced no Virgil to take the common charms of a farmer's life and put them into immortal song, so we search her literature in vain to learn how her simple, rustic people feel about these things, and in what we see of their life there is little sign that they feel about them at all; but when the Englishman, wandering, gun in hand, up a steaming valley among forest-clad hills, suddenly finds the path lead him into a betel nut garden, with no wire fence, or locked gate, or inhospitable notice threatening prosecution to trespassers, he feels as if he had entered some region of bliss where the earthly senses are too narrow for the delights that press for entrance to the soul.
The Lord Falkland, to divert the King, would have him make a trial of his fortune by the Sortes Virgilianae, an usual kind of divination in ages past, made by opening a Virgil.
As for the first kind of Thoughts, we meet with little or nothing that is like them in Virgil: He has none of those trifling Points and Puerilities that are so often to be met with in Ovid, none of the Epigrammatick Turns of Lucan, none of those swelling Sentiments which are so frequent in Statins and Claudian, none of those mixed Embellishments of Tasso.
He liked Virgil; commended the style of Tibullus; did not care for Propertius; but expressed high approbation of Catullus and Horace.
Yet before I leave Virgil, I must own the vanity to tell you, and by you the world, that he has been my master in this poem: I have followed him everywhere, I know not with what success, but I am sure with diligence enough: my images are many of them copied from him, and the rest are imitations of him.
But those of more discerning eye, E'en then could other prospects show, And saw him lay his Virgil by, To wander with his dearer bow.
446; Johnson speaks of taking up his abode there, i. 272; gives Baskerville's Virgil to the library, ii.
"Capaneus," exclaimed Virgil, "thy pride is thy punishment.
In his "Battle of the Books," he tells us, "that Dryden, who encountered Virgil, soothed the good ancient by the endearing title of 'father,' and, by a large deduction of genealogies, made it appear, that they were nearly related, and humbly proposed an exchange of armour; as a mark of hospitality, Virgil consented, though his was of gold, and cost an hundred beeves, the other's but of rusty iron.
Schefer cites Friedrich von Quandt as his authority for the Mantuans having actually elected Virgil as their duke in the thirteenth century: but the notion seems merely founded upon the interpretation of the insignia accompanying a mediaeval statue of the poet.
He does no more than all schools have done, copy their own masters; as the Greek epicists and Virgil copied Homer; as all succeeding Latin epicists copied Virgil; as Italians copied Ariosto and Tasso; as every one who can copies Shakespeare; as the French school copied, or thought they copied, "The Classics," and as a matter of duty used to justify any bold image in their notes, not by its originality, but by its being already in Claudian, or Lucan, or Virgil, or Ovid; as every poetaster, and a great many who were more than poetasters, twenty years ago, used to copy Scott and Byron, and as all poetasters now are copying the very same models as Mr. Smith, and failing while he succeeds.
Herein they were akin to Dante, who chose Virgil for the symbol of the human understanding and Beatrice for the symbol of divine wisdom, revealed to man in Theology.
That critic had censured Virgil for writing his pastorals in a too courtly stile, which, he says, is not proper for the Doric Muse; but Mr. Walsh has very judiciously shewn, that the Shepherds in Virgil's time, were held in greater estimation, and were persons of a much superior figure to what they are now.
He asked Virgil to what region they belonged; but Virgil said, "Those are no towers: they are giants, standing each up to his middle in the pit that goes round this circle."
As Bodaeus exclaims, referring to the cultivated kinds, and adapting Virgil to his case, so I, adapting Bodaeus,-- "Not if I had a hundred tongues, a hundred mouths, An iron voice, could I describe all the forms And reckon up all the names of these wild apples."