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Year of have been killed by him; if he had not made his Rome efcapej by swimming over the Menzo. The Poet, . '' upon this disappointment, returned to Rome, where he seems to have composed his Moeris, wherein he artfully introduces several copies of verses, as fragments of his poems. In these fragments, he shews himself capable of excelling the finest compositions of: Theocritus: a method very likely to obtain the favour of Caesar, who had a good taste.for poetry himself; and was surrounded by persons as eminent for their learning as their valour. One of the fragments, in this Eclogue, is a direct address to Varus, wherein he promises to exalt his name to the skies, if . .he will but preserve Mantua, which suffered by it's neighbourhood to unhappy Cremona (g). Another fragment is in honour of the star, which appeared after the death of Julius Caesar, and was looked upon as a sign, that his foul was received into heaven. Here he plainly names him, which he was afraid to do before the decisive battle at Philippi: and he could not easily have written any thing, ^that was more likely to please young Caesar.
[g) This part of Virgil's hi- ssuv ugpet, syXiovix Tf Tw»"hfo
story feceives a considerable ^vuv ^t ^vnuiafa x«i
light from a passage in the fifth -J £ Uey'ou»oh oii\ h&
us, that the soldiers frequently vTM f oXX" TM K*'ss*P«'
transgressed the bounds assigned ««**»■ j It therefore seems
them, and invaded the neigh- probable, by what Virgil has bouring lands, and that it was" himself, in his Moeris,
not in the power of Caesar to Mantua vae miser ae, &c that
restrain them: 'O ft Ka~<rx* the lands about Cremona were
*Jr* . * '*>..■>.» - , * e given to the soldiers, who tranl
/ * ,»/ .« * . greifed their bounds, and seized
Mpm, «* ^pon those abQUt Mantuaj
XEssfiii, mi yxow, «M -off/p*- which had not. been given T»v x«» Tor? yuTtktv \ir'£xm them. i
Bat whether Virgil did immediately obtain a quiet Year of possession of his estate or not, may be questioned} Rome because Fulvia and Lucius began about this time to V% gratis strong in that part of the country. Perhaps he staid at Rome, till things were better settled; and from • this time was under the protection of Caesarahd his friends. He would hardly care to run rhe hazard of his life again: for we find, that 4fjtafetime there were skirmishes between the soldiers, and the people, every where (h).
By the management of Fulvia and Lucius Antony, Caesar incurred the hatred both of soldiers and people: the soldiers were dissatisfied with the portion that was given them; and the people were enraged at their lands being taken from them. To add to these misfortunes of Caesar, his legions, which were in Spain, were hindered from passing the Alps, by Calenus and Ventidius, who governed the^Transalpine Gaul, as Anthony's lieutenants. Caesar therefore proposed terms of accommodation: but his offers were rejected with contempt by Fulvia, who girded on a sword, and prepared for war. Caesar then procured some of the veteran soldiers to interpose; who, according to his expectation, being refused by Fulvia and Lucius, were highly offended. He then sent some senators to them, who argued upon the agreement made between Caesar and Anthony; but with no better success. He applies to the veterans again, who flocked to Rome 'n great numbers, and going into the Capitol, resolved to take the cognizance of the asfqir into their °Wn hands. They ordered the agreement to be read before them; and then appointed a day for all
jkmt cjiWwy, 07rn Otote <ru»- Dio, lib. 48. .
d 3 the
Ycardf the parties to meet- at Oabit; that they might deRotrrc terrnine the dispute, Caesar came at the time appointed: but Fulvia, and Luchis neglected to appear; wherefore the veterans decided ih favour of Caesar, and resolved to assist hirst. 714. Thus a new civil war brake out in Italy; which Was put an end .to1 by the ruin of Fulvia and Lucius, In the next yeari when Gneius Dotstitius and Caius Aftnius Pollio, the great patron of Virgil, were created Consok The war was carried on after the 'following manner:
Caesar left Lepidus, with two legions, to defend Rome; whilst he himself marched against the enemy, who was strengthened by great numbers of those who hated the Triumvirate, and by the old possessors of the lands, who abhorred the intruding ibldiers (/),Lucius had two legions at Alba, that mutinied against their tribunes, and seemed ready to revolt. Both Caesar and Lucius hastened toward them: but Lucius reached them first; and by many gifts and promises regained them. Furnius was marching with a good body, to the'aid of Luckis; When Caesar fell upon his rear, and obliged him to retreat to Sentia j whither he did not care to follow him that flight, for fear of an ambum. But the next morning Caesar besieged him and his army ih the town. In the mean time Lucius marched directly to-Kerne, fending three parties.before him, which entered the city with wonderful celerity: and he himself Mowed, with the main body of his army,'his 'cavalry, and gladiators, and being received by Nonius, who guarded the gate, he added his foldiemo his own forces: whilst Lepidus made Jws-efcape tev Caesar, Lucius called an assembly of
the people; and gave them hopes, that Caesar and Year of Lepidus would soon be punished for the violences R°me which they had committed when they were magi-'?'" ilrate?j and that his brother would gladly lay down his unlawful power, and accept of the legitimate office of Consul, instead of the lawless rule of a tyrant. /This discourse gave a general satisfaction-; and being saluted Imperator} he marched against Caesar. Ia the mean time Barbatius, who was Quaestor to Mark Anthony, being dismissed by him for some offence, told the soldiers, that Mark Anthony was angry with those, who warred against Caesar, and their common power: so that many being deceived by him, went over to Caesar. Lucius marched to meet Salvidienus, who was returning with a considerable force to Caesar: Pollio and Ventidius followed him at the fame time, to interrupt his march. But Agrippa, who was a great friend to Caesar, being afraid that Salvidienus might be surrounded, seized upon Insubres, a country very commodious for Lucius; whereby he accomplished bis design of making him withdraw from Salvidienus, Lucius turned his arms against Agrippa; and was now followed in the rear by Salvidienus: and being thus disappointed, he endeavoured to join with Pollio and Ventidius. But now both Salvidienus and Agrippa attended upon him in such a manner, that he was glad to secure himself in Perusia, a city well fortified, but not very well furnished with provisions. Here the two Generals besieged him; and soon after Caesar came up; so that the place was blocked up by no less than three armies, which were also continually receiving reinforcements; whilst others were sent to hinder Pollio and Ventidius from coming to his relief. Fulvia bestirred
d 4 herself
Ye^rof fye.rsplf violently, and commanded all the Generals, Rome,, tp.^pjse ,the fipge.; She also raised a new army, 7'4'v which she sent to Lucius, under dthe command o£ Iflancus, who routed one of Caesar's legions by the. way. But neither Ventidius nor PoUio were inf mnch haste to march; because they were nottsure of the real inclination of Mark Anthony: and when Caesar and Agrippa went about to hinder their conjunction: they both retreated; one to Rayenna, and the other jto Anminum. Caesar returned to the siege, and cqmpleated his works; and kept so strict a, guard, that no provisions could by any means be brought into the town. Luciusmade leveral-vi^ gorpus. sallies; but without success, being always beaten back with loss. At length, being reduced to great, extremities by,famine, he yielded himself and his army to the mercy of Caesar, who pardoned them, and took the. soldiers into his. own pay. He intended, to give the plunder of the town to his
• array.;, but he .was prevented by one Cestius, who set his,own house on sire,-and threw himself into ihe flames, which spread on all sides, and soon ie+ duced that ancient city to ashes; leaving*_eæly the temple of Vulcan standing. The other Generals,
• who were friends of. Anthony, either retined? before Caesir, or came over to him j so that he became possessed of allQauh „t ■ J .:<:.'..•: ii-fii*"
This seems to be the time, when Caesar restored Virgil to his lands.: for it does not seem to have been in his* power before. We. may weil believe, that now Virgil took the opportunity of fulfilling the promise, which he had made to Varus, in his. Moeris, of exalting his name to the skies, if he would preserve Mantua. This he performed, by composing one of his finest Eclogues called Silenus: