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healed. And the poet had considered, that the dittany which she brought from Crete, could not have wrought so speedy an effect, without the juice of ambrosia, which she mingled with it. After all, that his machine might not seem too violent, we see the hero limping after Turnus. The wound was skinned; but the strength of his thigh was not restored. But what reason had our author to wound Æneas at so critical a time? and how came the cuisses to be worse tempered than the rest of his armour, which was all wrought by Vulcan and his journeymen? These difficulties are not easily to be solved, without confessing that Virgil had not life enough to correct his work; though he had reviewed it, and found those errors, which he resolved to mend: but, being prevented by death, and not willing to leave an imperfect work behind him, he ordained, by his last testament, that his Æneis should be burned. As for the death of Aruns, who was shot by a goddess, the machine was not altogether so outrageous, as the wounding of Mars and Venus by the sword of Diomede. Two divinities, one would have thought, might have pleaded their prerogative of impassibility, or at least not have been wounded by any mortal band; beside that the ίχως which they shed, was so very like our common blood, that it was not to be distinguished from it, but only by the name and colour. As for what Horace says in his Art of Poetry,' that no machines are to be used, unless on some extraordinary occasion,

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Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus

that rule is to be applied to the theatre, of which he is then speaking, and means no more than this; that when the knot of the play is to be untied, and no other way is left for making the discovery-then, and not otherwise, let a god descend upon a rope, and clear the business to the audience; but this has no relation to the machines which are used in an epic poem.

In the last place, for the Dira, or flying pest, which, flapping on the shield of Turnus, and fluttering about his head, disheartened him in the duel, and presaged to him his approaching death, I might have placed it more properly amongst the objections; for the critics, who lay

want of courage to the charge of Virgil's hero, quote this passage as a main proof of their assertion. They say our author had not only secured him before the duel, but also, in the beginning of it, had given him the advantage of impenetrable arms, and in his sword (for that of Turnus was not his own, which was forged by Vulcan for his father, but a weapon which he had snatched in haste and by mistake, belonging to his charioteer Metiscus); that, after all this, Jupiter, who was partial to the Trojan, and distrustful of the event (though he had hung the balance, and given it a jog of his hand to weigh down Turnus), thought convenient to give the Fates a collateral security, by sending the screech-owl to discourage him: for which they quote these words of Virgil:

Non me tua fervida terrent

Dicta, ferox: dî me terrent, et Jupiter hostis.

In answer to which, I say, that this machine is one of those which the poet uses only for ornament, and not out of necessity. Nothing can be more beautiful or more poetical than his description of the three Diræ, or the setting of the balance, which our Milton has borrowed from him, but employed to a different end: for first he makes God Almighty set the scales for Gabriel and Satan, when he knew no combat was to follow; then he makes the Good Angel's scale descend, and the Devil's mount, quite contrary to Virgil, if I have translated the three verses according to my author's sense

Jupiter ipse duas æquato examine lances
Sustinet; et fata imponit diversa duorum:

Quem damnet labor, et quo vergat pondere lethum

for I have taken these words, quem damnet labor, in the sense which Virgil gives them in another place--damnabis tu quoque votis-to signify a prosperous event. Yet I dare not condemn so great a genius as Milton: for I am much mistaken if he alludes not to the text in Daniel, where Belshazzar was put into the balance, and found too light. This is digression; and I return to my subject. I said above, that these two machines of the balance and the Dira were only ornamental; and that the success of the duel had been the same without them: for when

be about the sixth of July; and about that time it is, that he either causes or presages tempests on the seas.

Ségrais has observed further, that when Anna counsels Dido to stay Æneas during the winter, she speaks also of Orion

Dum pelago desævit hyems, et aquosus Orion.

If therefore Ilioneus, according to our supposition, understand the heliacal rising of Orion, Anna must mean the achronical, which the different epithets given to that constellation seem to manifest. Ilioneus calls him nimbosus; Anna, aquosus. He is tempestuous in the summer, when he rises heliacally; and rainy in the winter, when he rises achronically. Your lordship will pardon me for the frequent repetition of these cant words, which I could not avoid in this abbreviation of Ségrais, who, I think, deserves no little commendation in this new criticism.

I have yet a word or two to say of Virgil's machines, from my own observation of them. He has imitated those of Homer, but not copied them. It was established, long before his time, in the Roman religion as well as in the Greek, that there were gods; and both nations, for the most part, worshiped the same deities: as did also the Trojans, from whom the Romans, I suppose, would rather be thought to derive the rites of their religion than from the Grecians; because they thought themselves descended from them. Each of those gods had his proper office, and the chief of them their particular attendants. Thus Jupiter had in propriety Ganymede and Mercury, and Juno had Iris. It was not for Virgil then to create new ministers: he must take what he found in his religion. It cannot therefore be said that he borrowed them from Homer, any more than Apollo, Diana, and the rest, whom he uses as he finds occasion for them, as the Grecian poet did: but he invents the occasions for which he uses them. Venus, after the destruction of Troy, had gained Neptune entirely to her party: therefore we find him busy in the beginning of the Eneis, to calm the tempest raised by Eolus, and afterwards conducting the Trojan fleet to Cumæ in safety, with the loss only of their pilot, for whom he bargains. I name those two examples (amongst

a hundred which I omit), to prove that Virgil, generally speaking, employed his machines in performing those things which might possibly have been done without them. What more frequent than a storm at sea, upon the rising of Orion. What wonder, if, amongst so many ships, there should one be overset, which was commanded by Orontes, though half the winds had not been there which Æolus employed? Might not Palinurus, without a miracle, fall asleep, and drop into the sea; having been overwearied with watching, and secure of a quiet passage, by his observation of the skies? At least Æneas, who knew nothing of the machine of Somnus, takes it plainly in this sense:

O nimium cœlo et pelago confise sereno,
Nudus in ignotâ, Palinure, jacebis arenâ.

But machines sometimes are specious things to amuse the reader, and give a colour of probability to things otherwise incredible. And, besides, it soothed the vanity of the Romans, to find the gods so visibly concerned in all the actions of their predecessors. We, who are better taught by our religion, yet own every wonderful accident, which befals us for the best, to be brought to pass by some special providence of Almighty God, and by the care of guardian angels: and from hence I might infer, that no heroic poem can be writ on the Epicurean principles; which I could easily demonstrate, if there were need to prove it, or I had leisure.

When Venus opens the eyes of her son Æneas, to behold the gods who combated against Troy in that fatal night when it was surprised, we share the pleasure of that glorious vision (which Tasso has not ill copied in the sacking of Jerusalem). But the Greeks had done their business; though neither Neptune, Juno, nor Pallas, had given them their divine assistance. The most crude machine which Virgil uses, is in the episode of Camilla, where Opis, by the command of her mistress, kills Aruns. The next is in the twelfth Æneid, where Venus cures her son Æneas. But, in the last of these, the poet was driven to a necessity; for Turnus was to be slain that very day; and Æneas, wounded as he was, could not have engaged him in single combat, unless his hurt had been miraculously

healed. And the poet had considered, that the dittany which she brought from Crete, could not have wrought so speedy an effect, without the juice of ambrosia, which she mingled with it. After all, that his machine might not seem too violent, we see the hero limping after Turnus. The wound was skinned; but the strength of his thigh was not restored. But what reason had our author to wound Æneas at so critical a time? and how came the cuisses to be worse tempered than the rest of his armour, which was all wrought by Vulcan and his journeymen? These difficulties are not easily to be solved, without confessing that Virgil had not life enough to correct his work; though he had reviewed it, and found those errors, which he resolved to mend: but, being prevented by death, and not willing to leave an imperfect work behind him, he ordained, by his last testament, that his Æneis should be burned. As for the death of Aruns, who was shot by a goddess, the machine was not altogether so outrageous, as the wounding of Mars and Venus by the sword of Diomede. Two divinities, one would have thought, might have pleaded their prerogative of impassibility, or at least not have been wounded by any mortal hand; beside that the ίχως which they shed, was so very like our common blood, that it was not to be distinguished from it, but only by the name and colour. As for what Horace says in his Art of Poetry,' that no machines are to be used, unless on some extraordinary occasion,

Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus

that rule is to be applied to the theatre, of which he is then speaking, and means no more than this; that when the knot of the play is to be untied, and no other way is left for making the discovery-then, and not otherwise, let a god descend upon a rope, and clear the business to the audience; but this has no relation to the machines which are used in an epic poem.

In the last place, for the Dira, or flying pest, which, flapping on the shield of Turnus, and fluttering about his head, disheartened him in the duel, and presaged to him his approaching death, I might have placed it more properly amongst the objections; for the critics, who lay

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