« PreviousContinue »
As the Editors of the Cambridge Edition of Virgil, printed in Quarto in the Year 1701, and Father de la Rue, have, by the Help of various Manuscript Copies, improved on the Edition published by the learned Nicholas Henfius, he thinks it can prove no ingrateful Tribute to the Publick, if he offers an Improvement on them: Where he differs from them in the Text, he gives such Reasons, he belieyes, in the Notes, as will establish the Credit of his Readings.
He has, he tells us, made many and considerable Alterations of La Rue's Prose Interpretation for the Ufe of the Daupbin, the Necesfity of which he evinces by three Instances, one from the Eclogues, another from the Georgics, and a third from the Æneis. The Interpretation of recubans, in the first Verfe of the first Eclogue, La Rue gives in the Word jacens; which is not the Meaning, for jacens does not convey the Idea of the recumbent Posture which Virgil intended. Again, in the first Verse of the first Book of the Georgics, La Rue gives copiofas for the Interpretation of lætas; which is too poor a Word, without a Note, to explain the Metaphor contained in letas : ThePoet calls them fegetes lætas, because plentiful Crops give Joy to the Poffeffors, and are figuratively called joyful themselves, as in the 14th Verse of the lxvth Pfalm, The Valley's Mall stand fo thick with Corn, that they Mall laugh and fing. Thirdly, In the first Verse of the first Book of the Æneis, hominem is for virum; which is entirely wrong, homo being either Man or Woman ; and virum needs no Explanation by another Word. Mr. Cooke fays, he gives thefe Examples to shew, that it is wrong to change the Words of the Poet, wlien no better Word can be had to express his Meaning ; and it is surely very wrong, he adds, to change them for Words not fo expressive of his Meaning. .
He has endeavoured also to correct the pointings, of the best Edicions, as he did in his Edition of
Terence; and has done it, he affures us, in Thou-
In his Notes, he likewise tells us, he has corrected
thinking it impons of, fuch Worconimon Dicts
He has indeed entered into an Explanation of many Words and Things which he did not at first intend; as considering this Edition is designed for the Use of Youth as well as Persons of some Learning. He has written his Notes in English; becaule, when we endeavour to explain to young Minds what needs an Explanation, we cannot be too clear: And, as
he he Life of very man History of the Lear
Poet than we have heretofore had, he hopes he has adapted it to the Service of those who are learned, as well as of those who are inclined to be fo. .
I will, for the embellishing of this Article, add to the foregoing Account of Mr. Cooke's Edition of Virgil, the Memoirs which he has compiled of that illustrious Poet, as also the fabulous Accounts which he has collected concerning him.
The Life of this incomparable Person has been attempted by very many ; but none, our Author says, have delivered his History in a Manner deserving the Attention or Applause of the Learned, excepting Father de la Rue and Mr. Bayle: Even that by our great Dryden is such a Mixture, as discovers the Talents of a fine Writer tainted with extraordinary Weakness and Credulity. Mr. Cooke follows Father de la Rue's Method in what he has here represented, so far as consists with the Brevity he proposes, not omitting any thing requisite towards giving a compleac Account of his illustrious Subject. The Year of ROME * 684, of VIRGIL I.
Confuls. Cn. POMPEY THE GREAT, 1.† M. LICINIUS
* 684 Years after the Foundation of Rome, 69 Years before the Birth of Christ.
+ 1, after the Name of a Consul, fignifies the first Time of kis being Coniul; 2, the second, &c.
Publius : Publius Virgilius Maro was born at Andes, near Mantua, on the 15th of Detober: The Name of his Father was Maro, the Name of his Mother Maia. Servius tells us, that his Father was a Citizen of Mantua; Probus says he was a Husbandman; Donatus, or he that assumes the Name of Donatus, affirms, that he was a hired Servant ; and fome say he was a Porter: From all which Relations the only Inference to be made is, that our Poet was born of mean Parents.
The Year of Rome 691, of Virgil 8.
Confuls. 1. M. Tullius Cicero. C. ANTHONY.
Octavius, afterwards called Augustus, was born in this Year; which is mentioned, that the Reader may know the Age of Augustus Cæfar, who was afterwards so great a Patron to our Poef,
.: The Year of Rome 696, of VIRGIL 13.
· Virgil was educated at Cremona, where he profe. cated his Studies feven Years , which, according to Scaliger on Eusebius, were from the eleventh Year. of his Age to the sixteenth. He studied the Greek Language, Physick, and Mathematicks: He likewise studied Philosophy under Tyro the Epicurean. While a Boy he writ his Ciris, his Ætna, his Culex or Gnat, and several other small Pieces: But the Culex now extant, is too mean to be admitted as Virgil's, and is of a later Date.
Recomment againt Bruiuides was given
The Year of Rome 699, of Virgil 16.
Consuls. Cn. POMPEY THE GREAT, 2. M. LICINIUS
In this Year a Division of Lands was made ; and Virgil's Patrimony at Andes was given to Arius, who fought against Brutus and Cassius. By a strong Recommendacion to Octavius Cæfar, Virgil recovered his Lands. He was at this Time in the Friendship of Pollio, Gallus, and Varus ; to the last of which he inscribed his sixth Eclogue on the Epicurean Doctrines: He continued his Intimacy with Varus from the Time of their being FellowStudents together under Tyro the Epicurean: But through which of these great Men, perhaps by the Intercession of more than one, he recovered his Land, is not certain. On this Occasion he is faid to have writ his first Eclogue. A Story is told of his going to demand his Land of Arius the Centurion, who was then in. Poffeffion of it; and that Arius noć only refused him Admittance, but used him so roughly, that he was forced to swim cross the River Mincius to fave his Life : But he afterwards gained a quiet Poffeffion of his Eftate. The Eclogue, which is placed the ninth in the Order as they stand, is said to be the second which he writ; and we are rold it was occasioned by the Treatment he mec with from Arius,