The Preface to the Aeneis of Virgil (1718)

The Preface to the Aeneis of Virgil (1718)

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Excerpt: one of the greatest Men that ever lived; and for whom I have an exceeding Love, and Veneration. I think he is unjustly censured by my Lord Roscommon, and Others, for his Railing Heroes, and Wounded Gods. The one was agreeable to the Manners of those Ages, which he best knew: And as to the other, Those who are thus wounded are subordinate Deities, and supposed to have Bodies, or certain Vehicles equivalent to them. Indeed, as Jupiter is invested with Omnipotence, and other Attributes of the supreme God; I know not how to account for his being bound and imprisoned by his Subjects, and requiring the Assistance of a Giant to release him: And tho' the Wound of Mars may be no Impropriety; yet his Behaviour upon it is very strange: He roars, and runs away, and tells his Father; and the God of War is the veriest Coward in the Field. Nor can I forbear thinking, notwithstanding all the Refinements of Criticks, and Commentators, that the Figure which Vulcan makes in the Synod of Pg xxv the Gods is a little improper, and unheroical. But, as I said, I care not to insist upon these Things; nor do I deny that Virgil has Faults, and that too in his first Six Books, which are most correct, and least liable to Exception. I shall in my Remarks take Notice of some Passages, which I think to be such. No Mortal was ever yet the Author of a Work absolutely perfect: There are but Two such in the World; if we may properly say so: For the World it self is one of them. Virgil then greatly excelled Homer in Judgment: So much, that had he been greatly excelled by him in Fire, the Advantage, upon the Comparison in these two Respects, would have been on his Side. But I shall not consider, on the other hand, how far Homer exceeded Virgil in Fire; because I utterly deny that he exceeded him in it at all. This, I am sensible, will seem a bold Assertion. Many who, upon the Whole, prefer Virgil, give him up here: Many, I say; for Some do not. And never was any Author more injured, more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 68g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236691970
  • 9781236691972