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the gods are not fo valuable in Virgil, as the heroes? In Lucan, the heroes equal the gods. After all, it must be allowed, that most things throughout the whole Pharfalia are greatly and justly said, with regard even to the language and expreffion: but the fentiments are every where fo beautiful and elevated, that they appear, as he defcribes Cæfar in Amyclus's cottage in the Fifth Book, noble and magnificent in any drefs. It is in this elevation of thought that Lucan justly excels this is his forte, and what raifes him up to an equality with the greatest of the ancient Poets.

I cannot omit here the delicate character of Lucan's genius, as mentioned by Strada, in the emblematic way. It is commonly known that Pope Leo the Tenth was not only learned himself, but a great patron of learning, and used to be prefent at the conversations and performances of all the polite writers of his time. The wits of Rome entertained him one day, at his villa on the banks of the Tiber, with an interlude in the nature of a Poetical Masquerade. They had their Parnaffus, their Pegafus, their Helicon, and every one of the ancient poets in their feveral characters, where each acted the part that was fuitable to his manner of writing, and among the rest one acted Lucan. "There was none, fays he, that was placed in a "higher station, or had a greater profpect under him, "than Lucan. He vaulted upon Pegasus with all

the heat and intrepidity of youth, and feemed defirous of mounting into the clouds upon the back

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"of him. But as the hinder feet of the horse stuck


the mountain, while the body reared up in the "air, the poet with great difficulty kept himself from "fliding off, infomuch that the fpectators often gave "him for gone, and cried out now and then, he was "tumbling." Thus Strada.

I shall fum up all I have time to fay of Lucan, with another character, as it is given by one of the most polite men of the age he lived in, and who under the protection of the fame Pope Leo X. was one of the first reftorers of learning in the latter end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the fixteenth century I mean, Johannes Sulpitius Verulanus, who, with th affiftance of Beroaldus, Badius, and fome others of the first form in the republic of letters, published Lucan with notes at Rome in the year 1514, being the first impreffion, if I mistake not, that ever was made of him. Poetry and Painting, with the knowledge of the Greek and Latin tongues, rofe about that time to a prodigious height in a fmall compass of years; and whatever we may think to the contrary, they have declined ever fince. Verulanus, in his dedication to Cardinal Palavicini, prefixed to that edition, has not only given us a delicate fententious criticism on his Pharfalia, but a beautiful judicious comparison between him and Virgil, and that in a stile which in my opinion comes but little short of Salluft, or the writers of the Auguftine age. It is to the following purpose.

I come now to the author I have commented upon, fays Sulpitius Verulanus, and fhall endeavour to de

fcribe him, as well as obferve in what he differs from that great poet. Virgil. Lucan, in the opinion of Fabius, is no less a pattern for orators than for poets; and always adhering ftrictly to truth, he feems to have as fair a pretence to the character of an historian ; for he equally performs each of thefe offices. His expreffion is bold and lively; his fentiments are clear, his fictions within compafs of probability, and his digreffions proper: his orations artful, correct, manly, and full of matter. In the other parts of his work, he is grave, fluent, copious, and elegant; abounding with great, variety, and wonderful erudition. And in unriddling the intricacy of contrivances, defigns and actions, his ftile is fo mafterly, that you rather feem to fee, than read of those transactions. But as for enterprizes and battles, you imagine them not related, but acted: towns alarmed, armies engaged, the eagerness and terror of the feveral foldiers, feem prefent to your view. As our author is frequent and fertile in defcriptions; and none more skilful in difcovering the secret springs of action, and their rise in human paffions as he is an acute fearcher into the manners of men, and moft dextrous in applying all forts of learning to his fubject: What other cofmographer, aftrologer, philofopher or mathematician do we stand in need of, while we read him? Who has more judicously handled, or treated with more delicacy, whatever topics his fancy has led him to, or have cafually fallen in his way? Maro is, without doubt, a great poet; fo is Lucan. In fo apparent an equality,

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it is hard to decide which excels: For both have juffby obtained the highest commendations. Maro is fich and magnificent; Lucan fumptuous and fplendid : The firft is discreet, inventive, and fublime; the lat ter free, harmonious, and full of spirit. Virgil feems to move with the devout folemnity of a reverend prelate: Lucan to march with the noble haughtiness of a victorious general. One owes most to labour and application; the other to nature and practice: one lulls the foul with the fweetnefs and mufic of his verfe, the other raises it by his fire and rapture. Virgil is fedate, happy in his conceptions, free from faults; Lucan quick, various and florid: He feems to fight with ftronger weapons, This with more. The first furpaffes all in folid strength; the latter excels in vigour and poignancy. You would think that the one founds rather a larger and deeper toned trumpet; the other a less indeed, but clearer. In fhort, fo great is the affinity, and the struggle for precedence between them, that though nobody be allowed to come up to that Divinity in Maro; yet had He not been poffeffed of the chief feat on Parnaffus, our author's claim to it had been indifputable.

Feb, 26, 1718 19.





In the First Book, after a propofition of his fubject, a fhort view of the ruins occafioned by the civil wars in Italy, and a compliment to Nero, Lucan gives the principal caufes of the Civil War, together with the characters of Cæfar and Pompey: after that, the ftory properly begins with Cæfar's paffing the Rubicon, which was the bound of his province towards Rome, and his march to Ariminum. Thither the Tribunes and Curio, who had been driven out of the city by the oppofite party, come to him, and demand his protection. Then follows his fpeech to his army, and a particular mention of es the feveral parts of Gaul from which his troops were drawn together to his affiftance. From Cæfar, the poet turns to defcribe the general confternation at Rome, and the flight of great part of the fenate and people at the news of his march. From hence he takes occafion to relate the foregoing prodigies, which were partly an occafion of thofe panic terFors, and likewise the ceremonies that were used by the priests for purifying the city, and averting the anger of the gods; and then ends this Book with the infpiration and prophecy of a Roman matron, in which the enumerates the principal events which were to happen in the courfe of the Civil War.


MATHIAN plains with flaughter cover'd o'er, And rage unknown to civil wars before, Establish'd violence, and lawless might,

Avow'd and hallow'd by the name of right;

A race

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