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Nor nearer does he wind, nor farther stray,
More yet remote from day's all-cheering source,
Farthest and last, scarce warm'd by Phoebus' ray,
Who there inhabit must have other pow'rs,
Strange and amazing must the disference be,
Wond'rous art thou, O God, in all thy ways! 1
Ye sons of men! with fatisfaction know, God's own right hand dispenses all below: Nor good nor evil does by chance befall; He reigns supreme, and he directs it all.
At his command, affrighting human-kind. Comets drag on their blazing lengths behind: Nor, as we think, do they at random rove, But, in determined times, through long ellipses move,
And tho' sometimes they near approach the sun.
We are now to speak os those preceptive poems that treat of the business and pleasures of mankind; and here Virgil claims our sirst and principal attention, who in his Georgia has laid down the rules of husbandry in all its branches with the utmost exactness and perspicuity, and at the fame time embellished them with all the beauties and graces of poetry. Tho' his subject was husbandry, he has delivered his precepts, as an ingenious author observes, not with the simplicity of a ploughman, but with the address of a poet. The meanest of his rules are laid down with a kind of grandeur, and he breaks the clods, and toffes ahout the dung wrth an air of gracefulness *. Of the disferent ways of conveying the fame truth to the mind, he takes that which is pleasentest; and this chiefly distinguishes poetry from prose, and renders Virgil's rules of husbandry more, delightsul and valuable than any other.
These poems which are elteemed the most persect of the author's works are, perhaps, the best that can be proposed for the young students imitation in this manner of writing; for the whole of his Georgics is wrought up with wondersul art, and decorated with all the flowers of poetry.
In the first of the four books, he proposes the general design of each Georgic, and after a solemn invocation of all the heathen deities, who are supposed to be any ways concerned in rural affairs, he addresses himself particularly to Augustus Car/ar, whom he compliments with Divinity: then falling in with his subject, he speaks of the disferent kinds of tillage, that are suitable to different soils; traces out the origin of agriculture; presents us with a catalogue of the implements of husbandry, and points out the business peculiar to each season. He next describes the changes of the weather, and the signs in the heavens and the earth, by which the approaching change may be foretold; and in compliment to Augustus, introduces some prodigies which are faid to have pre
* Mr. Addifm. I J
ceded the death of Julius Catfar. This naturally lead* him to implore the gods, for the preservation of Augustus and of Rome, and with this supplication he concludes his sirst Georgic.
After the signs in the heavens, portending the change of weather, which are too many to be here inserted, the prodigies that are supposed to have preceded Cesar* death, and the destructive war occasioned by it, are very artsully introduced; and, tho' no one can believe that Nature susfered these commotions in behalf of a mart who had enflaved his country, yet all will be pleased with the poet's address, and the circumstances he has ailimulated on the occasion.
The sun reveals the secrets of the sky;
Nor was the fact foretold by him alone:
Blood sprang from wells, wolves howl'd in town by night,
With Roman bodies, and just heaven thought good
Then aster length of Time, the lab'ring swains,
The subject of the second book is planting, in whiih the poet points out all the disferent methods of raising trees; speaks of their variety, and lays down rules for the management of each He then describes the foils that are suitable to the disferent plants; makes a digression in praise of his native country ; gives some directions for discovering the nature of each foil; lays down rules for dressing vints, olives. Sec. and concludes with a sine panegyrick on rural lise.
As this Georgic abounds with beauties, we shall consider it more particularly, and give the reader some examples of the manner in which he has treated the subject. What he has said with respect to the grasting and management of trees, is worthy of our admiration.
'Tis usual now, an inmate graff to see
But various are the ways to change the states
Here Virgil, in considering the esfects of the union between trees of disferent kinds, attends particularly to those circumstances that seemed the most wondeisul, and which not only expressed the capacity and tendency of trees to be thus united, but excited at the fame time admiration and pleasure in the mind.—His method of transplanting trees is altogether as beautisul, and concludes with a sine reflection on the force and power of custom.
Some peafants, not t'omit the nicest care,
But because precepts laid down one aster another, notwithstanding all the poet's endeavours to make them entertaining, would by degrees tire, Virgil suffers the reader sometimes to rest for the sake of a pertinent and