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had served under Julius Caesar in Gaul and Ger>v many, with singular courage, and conduct; and, perhaps in this war against Lucius Anthony j th'o" he is not particularly named by the Historians now extant. To these actions of his Virgil seems to at-' yey.vwhen he fays,

■fiinoWi Super tibi erunt, qui dicere laudes, Vare, tuas cupianr, et tristia condere bella.

This Eclogue was probably written at the command1 of Varus: for the Poet fays expressly, that he does not write it without being commanded (/). Virgil seems to have been elevated with the joy of repossessing his estate; and to have been strongly moved by a fense of gratitude to his benefactor. For, in the dedication of this Eclogue, he breaks out into a rapture; and tells his patron, that every tree and grove shall resound his name; and that Apollo himself cannot be more delighted with any poem, than that which is inscribed to Varus {m). We may observe, that Virgil writes this Pastoral, to oblige his patron, rather than to indulge his own inclination. He was ambitious of exerciling his genius in the higher forts of poetry: but as he had shewn, in his Moeris, how capable he was of excelling Theocri! tusj in Pastoral poetry; it is highly probable, that Varus insisted on his writing this sixth Pastoral. He hints at this himself, that he would willingly

s£) See "the note on ver. 6. of the sixth Eclogue.

{I) Non injufl'a cano. Ibid. ver. 9.

(n) '•'.■> —1— Te nostrae, Vase,, myricae, '"'1

kle nemus omne eanet: nec Phoebo gratior ulla est, Quam sibi quae V'ari praeseripsit pagina nomen..

Ibid. ver. 10, II, 12.

have 1

Year of have made war the subject of his Poetry: but that Rome w^s re^raiBed froin choosing a lofty subject j. and 7Mr, ordered to keep within his pastoral sphere (k). We may reasonably believe, that Varus was an Epicurean; and that Virgil in compliment to him, made that Philosophy the subject of his poem. It .would have been improper to have made a shepherd run through a whole system of Philosophy: he therefore takes advantage of a famous story, that the old demi-god Silenus was found drunk and asleep, by some shepherds, who carried him bound to king Midas j where he gave answers to several questions relating to Philosophy. Virgil therefore avoids the censure of putting into the mouth of a herdman things above his capacity, by introducing two shepherds, who with the assistance of a Nymph, catch $ilenus in one of his drunken sits, and compel him to give them a long promised song. The old Deity sings a succinct account of the Natural and Moral doctrine of Epicurus; the formation of the world from Atoms j and the necessity of avoiding perturbations of the mind. Here he takes an opportunity of paying a very fine compliment to Cornelius Gallus, another favourite of Caesar; representing him as a pattern of Epicurean wisdom, retiring from the distractions of the times, and amusing himself with Poetry. Gallus is wandering on the banks of Permessus, when one of the Muses conducts him to the Aonian mountains and introduces him to the court of Apollo. The whole assembly rises to do honour to this great man, and Linus presents him with the

, i (n) Cum canerem reges et proelia, Cynthius aurem ■ .
Vellit et admonuit: pastorem, T'tyre, pingues
Pascere oportet oves, deductum dicere carmen./

Ibid. ver'..3, 4, 5

pipe of oki Hesiod, with which he is to sing the Year of honours of the Grynean grove, sacred to Apollo. Rome Callus about that time wrote a poem on this grove, wherein he imitated the stile of Hesiod. Virgil therefore elegantly commends this poem, when he fays Gallus will cause this grove to become the favourite of Apollo (0).

Caesar did not remain long in quiet, after the Gompleat victory, which he had obtained over Lucius arid Fulvia (j>). This turbulent Lady fled to her hulband, and incited him to make war upon Caesar. Anthony, inflamed with rage, steered his course to Italy; and began a most furious and dangerous war. But the news of the death of Fulvia, whom he had left sick at Sicyon, coming opportunely, gave a favourable opportunity of settling a peace between these mighty rivals. Cocceius, a common friend to both, went between them, and projected a reconciliation: the Consul Pollio appearing on the part of Anthony, and Maecenas on the part of Caesar, to arbitrate the differences between them. The arbitrators proposed, that as Fulvia the wife of Anthony was just dead; and, Marcellus also, the husband of Octavia, half sister to Caesar; Octavia should be given in marriage to Anthony {q). This beifig agreed to, caused an universal joy: and the whole army expressed their joy by shouting, all that day, and the following night. Octavia was with child at the time of this marriage. Therefore, as 'his great Lady, who was also a person of a most unspotted character, was the cement of Co blessed a

(«) His tibi Grynaei nemoris drcatur origd:'

Ne quis sit lucus, quo fe plus jactet ApoHo. Rid. 72, 73. (p) Appian, lib. 5. Dio, lib, 48. (q) See the

notes on the fourth Eclogue.'


Year of peace, "and union between the two great Triumvirs, Rome wh0 Were upon the point of tearing the world in sunder by their divisions; Virgil was not backward in testifying his joy for so happy an event. The Sibylline Oracles had foretold, that a child was to be born about this time, who should rule the world, and establish perpetual peace. The Poet ingeniously supposes- the child with which Octavia was then pregnant, to be the glorious infant, under whose rule mankind was to be made happy; the Golden Age was to return again from heaven; and fraud and violence was to be no more. This is the subject of that Eclogue, of which the usual title is Pollio. In this celebrated Poem, the Author, with great delicacy, at the fame time pays his court p both the chiefs, to his patron Pollio, to Octavia, and to the unborn infant. It is dedicated to the great Pollio by name, who was at that time Consul (r): and therefore we are sure of the date of this Eclogue; as it is known, that he enjoyed that high office in the year of Rome 714. Many Cri: ticks think the stile and subject of this Eclogue.too high? to deserve the name of a Pastoral. But that the Author himself intended it for a Pastoral is very plain; because at the very beginning he invokes the Sicilian Muses (j). But as he intended to offer this poem to so eminent a person, as a Roman Consul, he thought, that some attempt should be made to soar above the common level of Pastoral rwf itirsg: and that if a rural poem was offered to a 'Consul,' it ought to be composed in such a manner;

-I Tequc adeo decus hoc aevi, te Consule, inibit
Pollio, et incipient magni procedere menses. i

% \ 11 IV. ?w\ 1 r, 12.

* (?) SiceUdfes Musae paulo majora canamus. Ibidi ver. I.

a as to be worthy of the ear of so great a magi- Year of strate (t). Yet he does not lose sight of the coun- Rome;' try: the goats, the cows, and the sheep have their I1*' share in these blessings of peace; and the sponia.-neous plants, which are to spring up at the renovation of the golden age, are suited very well to Pastoral Poetry. - . ■...

Caesar and Anthony now made a new partition of the world: all toward the East, from Codropoli$,a town of Illyricum within the Adriatick, being assigned to Anthony; and all toward the West to Caesar («). Africa was left to Lepidus: and the war with Sextus Pompey was to be managed by Caesar; and the Parthian war by Anthony. Each of them sent armies, under the command of their respective friends into different parts of the world: amongst whom it appears, that Pollio was sent into Illyricum; for it appears that he obtained a triumph for his victory over the Parthini, :a .people in that part of the world, at the latter end of the year of Rome 715. It was during this march of Pollio, 715. that Virgil published his Pharmaceutria, which , is dedicated to that noble person (w). This beautiful Eclogue was partly written in imitation of one under the fame name in Theocritus. It consists of two, parts; the first of which contains the complaints of a shepherd, who was despised by his mistress; and the second is full of the incantations used, by a sorceress to regain the lost affection of her lover. It seems probable, that Pollio had engaged Virgil' in an attempt to imitate the $«p|u.«>t£u/Tpj« of

(t) Si canimus sylvas, sylvae sint Consule dignae. Ibid. ver. 3.

(u) Appian. de Bell. Civ. lib. 5.

(w) Tu mihi, feu m'agni superas jam saxa Timavi:

Sjve oram Ulyrici legis aequoris. Ed. VIII. ver. 6, 7.

,-r. 1 Theocritus,

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