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tacit implication of conscious guilt; which, upon all occasions, is observed to be remarkably apparent by downcast eyes, and by the silence of a distracted and uneasy mind, whose horrible sensations dread to give themselves utterance.

The modern annotators have run into the same error: and Doctor Trapp, in pointing out the several imitations of Homer throughout the sixth Æneid, particularly mentions the sullen silence of Ajax, transferred to that of Dido. Give me leave to differ from him, and to observe that the chief beauty consists, in turning the proud and sullen silence of Ajax, into the confusion and speechless horror of Dido. Guilt stopped her tongue. She stood self-condemned before the chaste priestess of Apollo. She was convinced that no subterfuges, no pretence of marriage (arts which she practised in her life time), could be prevalent, or could deceive the Cumaan prophetess.

Æneas supplicates, and, with great eloquence, addresses the unhappy queen; who, incapable of hearing one word he says, becomes, for some time, motionless and inanimate; not from rage, that must have had another effect; but from the misery she feels in being in the front and personal view of a woman whose conduct was a reproach to frailty; and, therefore, to me Virgil

seems evidently to imply that Dido's guiltiness had in a manner turned her into stone, and rendered her as deaf as flint or marble. Doctor Trapp's translation takes in the whole passage sufficiently to let the English reader see the foundation upon which I have chosen to build this new superstructure:

With tears and blandishments, Æneas sooth'd;
She bends her eyes averse upon the ground.
And by his speech begun, is mov'd no more
Than a hard flint, or fix'd Marpesian rock.

But I have still a farther discovery to propose, which, I believe, has hitherto escaped all the annotators. Flight was the immediate resource of Dido, as soon as she recovered herself from the tumultuous impulse of shame and surprise :

Then, where the woods their thickest shades display,
From his detested sight she shoots away:

There from her dear Sichæus, in the grove,
Found all her cares repaid, and love return'd for love.

PITT.

Her flight into the most recluse part of the Elysian woods, seems to be a confirmation of what I have already advanced guilt always seeking gloom and solitude, and being particu

larly desirous to hide itself from the sight of eminent merit, or unspotted virtue. But this is not my point. I imagine that I see the particular drift of Virgil in hastening her away to Sichæus. The affrighted queen dreaded that the Trojan prince and the Phoenician monarch might meet; the sight of Æneas, the successor to his nuptial bed, must have been more irksome to Sichæus, than the sight of Pygmalion, the successor to his throne. He might possibly forgive the injuries done to himself, but he never could have forgiven the injurious treatment to his consort. Had the two princes met, their altercations must have run high, and the Cumæan Sibyl, the dread object of Dido's sight, must have interposed. The cunning queen therefore shews great presence of mind. She prevents Sichæus from coming towards her, by hastening to find him, and then detains him at a distance from Æneas, by all the enticing blandishments of connubial love.

I must look upon this hint which Virgil has given us, as a particular beauty, and as one of the many instances of delicacy and address in the Mantuan poet, who, although perspicuous and noble in the great and important parts of his Æneid, never fails to glance obscurely, and to touch lightly upon such natural minute pas

sages, as by too full an explanation might lose their dignity, be improper, or give offence.

As I look upon myself to be a kind of Sibyl, I hope these observations may not be thought out of character, or be unacceptable to the public; especially as an author who does not shew some turn towards criticism is esteemed little better than an ignorant gamester, who knows not how to shuffle his cards.

OLD MAID, No. 8

No. XCVIII.

But o'er the twilight groves and dusky caves,
Long sounding aisles, and intermingled graves,
Black Melancholy sits, and round her throws
A death-like silence, and a dread repose;
Her gloomy presence saddens all the scene,
Shades ev'ry flower, and darkens ev'ry green,
Deepens the murmur of the falling floods,
And breathes a browner horror on the woods.

POPE.

Madam,

As the incomparable authors of the Spectators did not think it beneath them to criticise Chevy Chase, and the Children in the Wood, and condescended to the labour of drawing forth the natural and beautiful thoughts in those antiquated pieces, which had long lain buried under the rubbish of rustic and unmusical language; I hope it will not be unacceptable either to you or your readers, that I offer to your observation the following song from a play of Beaumont and Fletcher, in which the images are not only fancied with the greatest beauty, strength, and propriety, but are heightened with all the colouring and ornament of the most exquisite poetry; and the versification, allowing for the distance of time, surprisingly smooth and har

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