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"Arms and the Man I fing; the first who driv'n "From Trojan Shores, the Fugitive of Heav'n, "Came to th' Italian and Lavinian Coaft ;——


"Arms and the Man I fing, the first who bore "His Course to Latium from the Trojan Shore.

The first Translation is exact in every respect: You have in it the Sufpence and Majefty of Virgil. The fecond is a good Tranflation, though not at all like Virgil, but exactly like Homer: There is no Hefitation, but the Verse and the Matter hurry on together as fast as poffible.

I have now shown you what is a rapid, and what is a majestick Stile. But a few more Lines of the Beginning both of the Iliad and of the Eneid will make it still more plain.


"The Anger of Achilles, Goddess, fing; "Which to the Greeks did endlefs Sorrows bring; "And fent untimely, to the Realms of Night,

The Souls of many Chiefs, renown'd in Fight: "And gave their Bodies for the Dogs to tear, "And every hungry Fowl that wings the Air. "And thus accomplish'd was the Will of Jove, "Since firft Atrides and Achilles ftrove. "What God the fatal Enmity begun? "Latona's, and great Jove's immortal Son. "He through the Camp a dire Contagion fpread, "The Prince offended, and the People bled: "With publick Scorn, Atrides had difgrac'd "The Reverend Chryfes, Phæbus' chosen Priest.


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"He to redeem his Daughter, fought the Shore, "Where lay the Greeks, and mighty Prefents bore: "Deckt with the Enfigns of his God, he stands, "The Crown, the golden Sceptre in his Hands; "To all he fu'd, but to the Princes moft, "Great Atreus's Sons, the Leaders of the Hoft: "Princes! and Grecian Warriors! may the Gods "(The Pow'rs that dwell in Heav'ns fublimeAbodes) "Give you to level Priam's haughty Tow'rs, "And fafely to regain your native Shores.

But my dear Daughter to her Sire restore, "Thefe Gifts accept, and dread Apollo's Pow'r; "The Son of Jove; he bears a mighty Bow, "And from afar his Arrows gall the Foe,

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Arms and the Man I fing, the first who driv'n
From Trojan Shores, the Fugitive of Heav'n,
Came to th' Italian and Lavinian Coaft
Much o'er the Earth was He, and Ocean toft,
By Heavenly Powers, and Juno's lasting Rage;
Much too He bore, long Wars compell'd to wage
E'er He the Town could raife, and of his Gods,
In Latium fettle the fecure Abodes;
Whence in a long Defcent the Latins come,
The Albine Fathers, and the Tow'rs of Rome.

Sept. 6. 1736.

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P. S.


Should not part with the Paffage in Homer a bove-mentioned without obferving that the Speech of Apollo's Priest is wonderfully Peinturefque, and in Character. We plainly fee the Priest holding up his Hands, and pointing with his Crown and Sceptre to Heaven.

"Princes! and Grecian Warriors! may the Gods "(ThePow'rs that dwell in Heav'ns fublime Abodes)

It is a Prieft that speaks, and his Audience is compofed of Soldiers who had liv'd ten Years in a Camp. He does not only put them in mind of the Gods, but likewife of the Place where they dwelt, and at the fame time points up to it. Neither is the Conclufion of the Speech lefs remarkable than the Beginning of it: The Prieft of Apollo does not end in an humble fupplicant manner like a common Şuitor; but he frankly offers his Presents, and threatens the Generals and Princes he addreffes himfelf to, with the Vengeance of his God if they refufe his Requeft: And he very artfully lets them know that his God is not a Deity of inferior Rank, but the Son of Jove; and that his Arrows reach from a great Distance. The next Line to those last mentioned I cannot omit taking notice of, because it contains, in my Opinion, one of the most beautiful Expreffions in all the poetical Language. To give to do a thing.

"Princes! and Grecian Warriors! may the Gods "(The Pow'rs that dwell in Heav'ns fublime Abodes) "Give you to level Priam's haughty Tow'rs, $6 And fafely to regain your native Shores,

Virgil was fo fenfible of this charming Expreffion, that he has used it in the three following Paffages, and I believe in one or two others in the very firft Eneid.

<Tibi Divum pater atque hominum rex "Et mulcere dedit fluctus & tollere vento.

·Tu das epulis accumbere Divum.

“O regina, novam cui condere Jupiter urbem Juftitiaque dedit gentes frænare fuperbas: →→→



Salvini in his Italian Tranflation in 1723, dedicated to his late Majefty, is attentive to all the Beauties of the Paffage in Homer laft mentioned.


A voi gl' Iddii, "Che l'Olimpie magioni abitan, dieno "Efpugnar ilio e a cafa far ritorno."

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Should now go upon the Comparison of Virgil's and Milton's Verfification, in which you will meet with that Paradox, as you thought it at firft, namely, that the principal Advantage Virgil has over Milton is Virgil's Rhyme. But I beg leave to poftpone that matter at prefent, because I have a mind to make fome Remarks upon the fecond Line in the Tranflation of the beginning of the Iliad mentioned in my former Letter, in which the auxiliary Verb did (as our Grammarians call it) is made ufe of. The Line runs thus.

"Which to the Greeks did endless Sorrows bring.

It is commonly apprehended from a Paffage in Mr. Pope's Efay on Criticism, that all auxiliary Verbs are mere Expletives.

"While Expletives their feeble Aid do join,
"And ten low Words oft creep in one dull Line.

But this I believe Mr. Pope never intended to advance. Milton has used them in many Places, where he could have avoided it if he had pleased. I will produce one.


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