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the most beautiful passages,; and to pass ..by those which were too coarse, or not ;well enough adapted to the time in which he,, Uv(t<\. Hjence the Bucolicks of Virgil arerrc^le^j^c_log.\jes, e>r select poems.; -because, they agypot # general; collection^, of all the; various subjects of ^Pastoral Po£try,;*raf] an imitation of the whole; thirty..Idylliq of Theo^ crjtcis-; but only a few: chosen pieces, in whjg^ that Poet's manner of writing is in fomepmeaiure i|j}jtated, but at the fame; time very , much, improved. The Simplicity,; the Innocence, and jf^% Piety* which many of our Criticks think essential (to- a Pastoral, are far more conspicuous in the J^ucoiicks of Virgil, than in xheldyllia, of. Theo-. critus. The Lover, in the twenty-third IdyIlium, hangs hjmself, whereas Cory don, in the fecond Eclogue, fees the folly of his unruly paffion, an4 repents. The shepherds, indeed, in ;træ: third Eclogue, rail, sharply at each other; and Damoetas goes so far a»5 to hint at some obscene action of his adversary: but the Travellers, in the fifth Idyliium, speak out plainly, m terms not fit to be repeated.' We are oot entertained by Virgil with any particular Hymn, in honour of Gods.and Heroes. He looked upon that, as the province of the Lyric Poety which we are told * he left en

* Martial, Lib. VIII. Fp. i8. "':

tirely to his friend Horace. But there is an air of Piety and Religion, that runs through all the Eclogues, and indeed through all the writings of our excellent Poet. ■' •; ■ • '■■ • 1

As .for the particular beauties of these Bucolicks, the Reader will find most of them pointed out in thfen following Notes: but there is one general beauty, which must not be passed by without observation. In almost every Eclogue, we are entertained with a rural Scene, a sort of fine Landscape, painted by a most masterly hand. In the Tityrus, a shepherd is lying at ease, under the shade of a spreading beech, playing on his rural pipe; whilst another represents the different situation of his unhappy circumstances! We have the prospect before us of a country, partly rocky and partly marshy, a river and sacred springs, bees humming about the willows, and pigeons and turtles cooing on the lofty elms: and at last with the description of the evening, the lengthening os the shadows, and the fmoakingof the cottage chimneys. In the Alexis, a-mournful' shepherd* la^ ments his unhappy pafiion, in a thick'Wood-of beech-trees: -we are presentees with a- most1 bearu* tisul collection of flowers; and '-we see the; oxen bringing back the plough afer's heir w&rt^rs" over, and the setting fun doubles the lengtfePof-tfi'e

b 4 shadows. shadows., .The country is iniit's ifuU beautyf'-in; the Palaqmon ;,the grafs is soft, the fruit-trees are m bloilom, and thp.wqods are green. Thecar>v?r ing of the two cups, is excellent^ and far exceeds that jn the first Idyllium of Theocritus. In the j Pollio, we have a view of the Golden Age de4 t founding-a second time from- heaven; the earth ij pouring ( forth flowers and fruitg of it's own . ac-» jj cord; grapes hanging upon thorns; honey drop- |, ping f;omoaks: and sheep naturally cloathed with \ scarlet wool. In the Daphnis, two shepherds q meet under the shade os elms intermixed with t taz|es,,fand retire for better shade, into a cave covered by a wild vine; where they ling alter**; nately. the death, and deification os Daphnis. Ienus., jn the sixth, is found by two young shep-r. ;( Ijerds asleep in a cave, intoxicated with wine, his garland fallen from his head, and his battered pitri cher hanging down. A nymph assists.them? dix? ^dingfhim with his own garland, stains his face with mulberries, and compels him to sing: upon , which, the Fauns and wild beasts immediately: dance to his measure, and the oaks bend their: stubborn heads. In the Meliboeus, two herd-men Jiave driven their flocks together, one of sheep and the other of goats, on the reedy banks of the Menzp, where a swarm of bees is buzzing in a * \ hollow

hollow oak. In the Pharmaceutria, the heifers' kvejtheir food, to attend to the songs of Dambn an& Alphenboeus; the ounces stand astonished,' and the very rivers slacken their course. In the ninth, Moeris is carrying two kids on the road to Mantua, when he meets with his friend Lycidas, and falls into discourse with him. Virgil's farfh is described; reaching from the declivity of the hills down to the river, with an old broken fyeechtree for the land-mark. They go on ringing, tifl the middle of their journey is distinguished? by the prospect os the sepulchre of Bianor, and the lake of Mantua. In the last Eclogue, the Poet paints his friend Gallus, in the character of at shepherd, surrounded by his sheep. The several sorts of Herdmen come to visit him; nor is he unattended by Apollo, the god of verle, dr By Sylvanus and Pan, the deities of the' country, llherfcene is laid in Arcadia, the fountaih of pafr tostfsjpoetry, where the Poet gives us a prospect of qriie pines of Maenalus, the rocks o'F'li^caeus*, anditfoe-lawns of Parthenius." Irt the fcondtoT 06tfche.work, Virgil represents' himself' ur^deP1,character of a goatherd, weaving flight twigs'!Ltp baskets, under the. shade-or" Jumper?" ^tm& yariety of images! has; been*$&Sbm 001^01^0^ those," -who iiave attempted 'to' Write "Paftoriis; ••r-'and and having now ieen this excellence of Virgil, w may yentyi;e td affirm, • that there is fomethin rriqr£ required jri: a good Pastoral, than the affe( tatyon of using coarse, rude, or obsolete expresi onsjj or- a mere cotbmgnels, without eith< thought qx ;design> under a false notion of rur simplicity. ..•A 'f't

It is not a little surprizing, that many of 01 modern Ppets and Griticks ihould he of opinio l;hat tfyejiusticity of Theocritus is to be imitated, r ther tha^the rural delicacy of Virgil. Ifthe Origin; os' strings are always the most valuable, we oug to perform our Tragedies in a cart; and the s tor's, faces ought to be stained with lees of wine ,should reject: the use of corn, and seed up acprns,: like the ancient Arcadians. •■> ■

, Jl-Avould not. be thought, by what has be here said, to endeavour to depreciate the merit Theocritus. On the contrary, I believe there , few, if any, that more admire the beauties of t ancient Writer, I consider him as the father Pastoral. Poetry, to whom we are originally obli^ for every thing that has been well written in \ kind, and to whom we owe even the Bucoli of Virgil. Theocritus is like a rich mine, which there is a plenty of ore: but a skilful h;

* See the note on ver. 38-3. of the first Georgkk.

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