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rS ILIAD.



'SLATED BY



IDER POPE,



MENTARIES, AND SEVERAL PAPERS
IN ANY OTHER EDITION.



^ITED BY



IMSTRONG.



W YORK :
UBLISHING HOUSE,

21 ASTOR PLACE AND I42 EIGHTH ST.
1877.



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PREFACE.



HomB m nnhrenany aDowed to hare had the greatest imrentkiD of any
writer whaterer. The praise of judgment Virgil has justly contested with him,
and others may have their pretensions as to particular excellences; but his
invention remains yet unrivalled. Nor is it a wonder if he has ever been
acknowledged the greatest of poets, who most excelled in that which is the
very foundation of poetry. It is the invention that in different degrees distia-
guiahes all great geniuses: the utmost stretch of human study, learning, and
industiy, which masters every thing besides, can never attain to this. It
iumishes Art with all her materials, and without it Judgment itself can at
best but steal wisely: for Art is only UIlc a prudent steward, that lives on
managing the riches of Nature. Whatever praises may be given to works of
judgment, there is not even a single beauty in them to which the invention
must not contribute: as in the most regular gardens. Art can only reduce tht
beauties of Nature to more regularity, and such a figure, which the common
eye may better take in, and is therefore more entertained with. And periiaps
the reason why common critics are inclined to prefer a judicious and methodical
genius to a great and fruitful one, is, because they find it easier for themselvea
to pursue their observations through an unlfonn and bounded walk of Art,
than to comprehend the vast and various extent of Nature.

Our author's work is a wild Paradise, where, if we cannot see all the
beauties so distinctly as in an ordered garden, it is only because the number
of them is infinitely greatet. It is like a copious nursery, which contains the
seeds and first productions of every kind, out of which those who followed
him have but selected some particular plant, each according to his fancy, to
cultivate and beautify. If some things are too luxuriant, it is owing to the
richness of the soil ; and if otheis are not arrived to perfection or maturity, it
is only because they are overrun and oppressed by those of a stronger nature.

It is to the strength of this amazing invention we are to attribute that
unequalled fire and rapture which is so forcible in Homer, that no man of a
true poetical ^irit is master of himself while he reads him. What he writes,
is of the moet animated nature imaginable ; every thing moves, every thing
bves, and is put in action. If a council be called, or a battle fought, you are
not ooidly informed of what was said or done as from a third person ; tht



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Vi PREFACE.

reader h hurried out of himself by the force of the poet* s iraagiiuition, 4nd
tarns in one place to a hearer, in another to a spectator. The cooiae of hia
▼eraes reaemblea that of the army he describes,

"They poor along like a fire that sweeps the whole earth before it." It is;
however, remarkable that his fiincy, which is every where vigorous, is not
discovered immediately at the beginning of his poem in its fullest splendour:
it grows in the progress, both upon himself and others, and becomes on fire,
like a chariot-wheel, by its own rapidity. Exact disposition, just thought,
correct elocution, polished numbers, may have been found in a thousand ; but
this poetical fire, this '* vivida vii animi," in a very few. Even in works where
all those are imperfect or neglected, this can overpower critidsm, and make us
admire even while we disapprove. Nay, where this appears, though attended
with absurdities, it brightens all the rubbish about it, till we see nothing but its
own splendour. This fire is discerned in Virgil ; but discerned as through a
glass, reflected from Homer, more shining than fierce, but every where equal
and constant: in Lucan and Statins, it bursts out in sudden, short, and inter-
rupted flashes : in Milton, it glows like a furnace kept up to an unconunon ardour
by the force of art: in Shakspeare, it strikes before we are aware, like an
accidental fire from heaven ; but in Homer, and in him only, it bums every
where cleariy, and every ¥^ere irresLstibly.

I shall here endeavour to show how this vast invention exerts itself in a
manner superior to that of any poet, through all the main constituent parts of
his work, as it is the great and peculiar characteristic which distinguishes him
from all other authors.

This strong and ruling fiiculty was like a powerful star, which, in the violence
of its course, drew all things within its vortex. It seemed not enough to have
taken in the whole circle of arts, and the whole compass of nature, to supply
his maxims and reflections: all the inward passions and affections of mankind,
to furnish his characteis ; and all the outward forms and images of things
for his descriptiotis ; but wanting yet an ampler sphere to expatiate in, he
opened a new and boundless walk for his imagination, and created a world
for himself in the invention of fable. That which Aristotle calls *' the soul of
poetry," was first breathed into it by Homer. I shall begin with considering
him in this part, as it is naturally the first ; and I speak of it, both as it means
the design of a poem, and as it is taken for fiction.

Fable may be divided into the Probable, the Allegorical, and the Marvellous.
The Probable Fable is the recital of such actions as, though they did not
happen, yet might in the common course of nature ; or of such as, though they
did, become fables by the additional episodes and manner of telling them. Of
this sort is the main story of an Epic poem, the return of Ulysses, the settle-
ment of the Trojans in Italy, or the like. That of the Iliad is the anger of
Achilles, the most short and single subject that ever was chosen by any poet.
Vet this he has supplied with a vaster variety of incidents and events, and
crowded with a greater number of councils, speeches, battles, and episodes,



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PREFACE. vii

of an knds, dMo an to be foued eren In those poems wliose idheiaes are of
die utmoBt latitmle and irregularity. The actbn it hurried on vrith the most
vehement spirit, and its whole daretioB employs not so much as fifty days.
Viilgil, for want of so warm a genius, -aided himself by taking in a more
ezteoaiTe subject, as well as a greater length of time, and contracting the
design of both Homefs poems into one, which is yet but a fourth part as large
as his. The other Epic poets have used the same practice, but generally
earned it so fiur as to superinduce a multiplicity of febles, destroy the unity o(
action, and lose their readeis in an ttareasonable length of time. Nor is it only in
the main design that they have been unable to add to his invention, but they have
fbUowed him in every episode and part of story. If he has given a regular cat«
alogue of an army, they all draw up their forces in the some order. If he has
funeral games ibr Patrodus, Virgil has the same for Anchises ; and Stattos (nither
than omit them) destrosrs the unity of his action for those of Archemorus. If
Ulysses visits the shades, the MnwB of Virgil, and Scipio of SiUus, are sent
after him. J£ he be detained from his retam by the atturements of Calypso,
BO is ^neos by Dido, and Rinaldo by Armida. If Aehities be absent from
the army on the score of a quarrel through half the poem, Rinaldo must absent
himself jnst as long on the like account. If he gives his hero a suit of celes-
tial armour, Virgil and Taaso make the same present to theirs. Virgil has not
only observed this close imitation of Homer, but, where he has not led the
way, supplied the want from other Greek authors. Thus the story of Simon
and the taking of Troy was copied (says Macrobius) abnost word for word
from Pisander, as the loves of Dido and JEaeu are taken from those of
Medea and Jason in ApoUonius, and several others in tfie same manner.

To proceed to the Allegorical Fable: if we reflect upon those innmnerable
knowledges, those secrets of nature and physteal philosophy, which Homer
is generally supposed to have wrapped up in his allegories, what a new and
ample scene of wonder may this consideration aflbrd us! how fertile will that
imagination appear, which was able to clothe all the properties of elements, the
qualifications of the mind, the virtues and vices, in forms and persons ; and to
introduce them into actions agreeable to the nature cf die things they shadowed!
This is a field in which no succeeding poets could dispute with Homer ; and
whatever commendations have been allowed them on this head, are by no
means for their invention in having enlarged his circle, but for their judgment
ie having contracted it. For when the mode of letiming changed in followlhg
ages, and science was delivered in a plainer manner, it then became as reason-
able in the more modem poets to lay it aside, as it was m Homer to make use
ol it. And perhaps it was no unhappy circumstance for Virgil, that there was
DOt in his time that demand upon him of so great an invention, as might be
eapable of fiimishjng all those allegorical parts of a poem.

The Marvellous Fable includes whatever is sopematuial, and especially the
machines of the gods. He seems the first who brought them*into a syste n of
machinery for poetry, and such a one as makes its greatest importance and
dignity. For we find those authors who have been ofiended at the literal
notions of the gods, constantly laying their accusation against Homer as the
chief support of it. But whatever cause there might be to blame his machines



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riii PREFACE.

in a philosopbical or refigious view, they are so perfect in the poetic, that man*
kind have heen ever since conterted to follow them: none have been able to
enlarge the sphere of poetry beyciid the limits he has set: every attempt of
this nature has proved nnsaccessiii^: and after all the various changes of times
and religion, his gods continue to ttis day the gods of poetry.

We now come to the characters of his persons ; and here we shall find no
author has ever drawn so many, with so visible and surprising a variety, or
given us such lively and affecting impressions of them. Every one has some-
thing so singularly his own, that no painter could have distinguished them
more by their features than the poet has by their manners. Nothing can be
more exact than the distinctions he has observed in the different degrees of
virtues and vices. The single quality of courage is wonderfully diversified in
the several characters of the Hiad. That of Achilles is furious and intractable ;
that of Diomede forward, yet listening to advice, and subject to command ;
that of Ajaz is heavy and self-confiding ; of Hector, active and vigilant: the
courage of AgamemAOD is inspirited by love of empire and ambi^^on ; that of
Menelaus mixed with sofhiess and tenderness for the people: we find in
Idomeneus a plain direct soldier; in Sarpedon, a gallant and generous one.
Nor is this judicious and astonishing diveraity to be found only in the principal
quality which constitutes the main of each character, but even in the under-
parts of it, to which he takes care to give a tincture of that principal one. For
example, the main characters of Ulysses and Nestor consist in wisdom ; and
they are distinct in this, that the wisdom of one is artificial and various;
of the other, natural, open, and regular. But they have, besides, characteis
of courage, and this quality also takes a different turn in each torn the differ-
ence of his prudence : ' for one in the war depends still upon caution, the other
upon experience. It would be endless to produce instances of these kinds.
The characters of Virgil are fitr firom striking us in this open manner; they
lie in a great degree hidden and undistinguished, and where they are marked
most evidently, affect us not in proportion to those of Homer. His characteis
of valour are much alike : even that of Tumus seems no way peculiar, but as
it is in a superior degree ; and we see nothing that diflerences the courage of
Mnestheus torn that of Sergesthus, Cloanthus, or the rest. In like manner it
may be remarked of Statius's heroes, that an air of impetuosity runs through
them all ; the same horrid and savage courage appears in his Capaneus, Tydeus,
Hippomedon, dec. They have a parity of character, which makes them seem
brodiers of one fiimily. I believe when the reader is led into this track of
reflection, if he will pursue it through the Epic and Tragic writers, he will bo
convinced how infinitely superior, in this point, the invention of Homer was to
that of aH others.

The speeches are to be considered as they flow from the characters, being
perfect or defective as they agree or disagree with the manners of those who
utter them. As there is more variety of characters in the Biad, so there is of
speeches, than in any other poem. Every thing in it has manners (as Aris-
totle expresses it); that is, every thing is acted or spoken. It is hardly credible
in a work of such length, how small a number of lines are employed in nar-
ration. In Virgilf the dramatic part is less in proportion to the narratife ; and



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PREFACE. i3l

ffae ipeeches often consist of general reflections or thoughts, whidi mi^l be
equally just in any person's mouth upon the same occasion. As many of hii
peraons have no a];^>arent characters, so many of his q>eeches escape being
applied and judged by the rule of propriety. We oftener think of the authoi
himself when we read Virgil, than when we are engaged in Homer: all which
are the efiects of a colder invention, that interests us lees in the action described:
Homer makes us hearers, and Virgil leaves us readers.

If, in the next place, we take a view of the sentiments, the same presiding
liicalty is eminent in the sublimity and spirit of his thoughts. Longinus hai
given his opinion, that it was in this part Homer principally excelled. What
were alone sufficient to prove the grandeur and exceUence of his sentiments
in general, is, that they have so remarkable a parity with those of the Scxip-
tare : Duport, in his Gnomologia Homerica, has collected innimierable instances
of this sort. And it is with justice an excellent modem writer allows, that
if Virgil has not so many thoughts that are low and vulgar, he has not so
many that are sublime and noble ; and that the Roman author seldom r sea
into very astonishing sentiments, where he is not fired by the Diad.

If we observe his descriptions, images, and similes, we shall find the inven-
tion stiD predominanL To what else can we ascribe that vast comprehension
of images of every sort, where we see each circumstance of art, and individual
of nature, summoned together by the extent and fecundity of his imagination ;
to which ail things, in their -various views, presented themselves in an instant*
and had their impressions taken off to perfection, at a heat? Nay, he uoi
only gives the full proq>ect8 of things, but several unexpected peculiaritica and
side-views, unobserved by any painter but Homer. Nothing is so surprising
as the descriptions of his battles, which take up no less than half the Iliad,
and are supplied with so vast a variety of incidents, that no one bears a Uke-
iiesB to another ; such different kinds of deaths, that no two heroes are wounded
in die same manner ; and such a profusion of noble ideas, that every battle
rises above the last in greatness, horror, and confusion, it is certain there is
Dot near that number of images and descriptions in any Epic poet ; though
every one has assisted himself with a great quantity out of him : and it is
evident of Virgil especially, that he has scarce any comparisons which are not
drawn fix}m his master.

If we descend firom hence to the expression, we see the bright imagination
of Homer shining out in the most enlivened forms of it. We acknowledge
him the fiither of ppetical diction — the first who tau^t that language of tho
gods to men. His expression is like the colouring of some great masters,
whkh. discovers itself to be laid on boldly, and executed with mgiditj. It is
indeed the strongest and most 'glowing imaginable, and touched with the .
greatest qnrit. Aristotle had reason to say, '* He vras the only poet who had
found out living words ; there are in him more daring figures and metaphors
diao in any good author whatever. An arrow is impatient to be on the wing, a
weapon thirsts to drink the blood of an enemy, and the like. Yet his expres-
Doo is never too big for the sense, but justly great in proportion to it. It ii
the K&tiiaent that swells and fills out the diction, which rises with it, and forms
la^ about ! t: for in the same degree that a thought is warmer, an expreasioQ
I*



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X PREFACE.

will be brighter; aa that k more strong, thia will become more penpleoout
tike glaas in the Aimaoe, which growa to a greater magnitude and refines to i
greater cleameas, only aa the breath within ia more powerful, and the heal
more intense.

To throw his language more out of prose. Homer seems to have afiected
the compound epitheta. This was a sort of composition pecuharlf proper to
poetry, not only as it heightened the diction, but aa it assisted and filled the
numbers with greater sound and pomp, and likewise conduced in some measure
to thicken the images. On this last consideration I cannot but attribute these
also to the fruitfulness of his invention ; since, aa he haa managed them, they
are a sort of si:4)emumerary pictures of the persons or things to which they are
joined. We see the motion of Hector's plumes in the epithet mpwOaUXotf the
landscape of Mount Neritus in that of tbo«<^«XX*(, and so of others ; which
particular images could not have been insisted upon so long as to express them
in a description, though but of a single line, without diverting the reader too
much from the principal action or figure. As a metaphor ia a short simile, one
of these epithets is a short description.

Lastly, if we consider his versification, we shall be sensible vdiat a share of
praise is due to his invention in that. He was not satisfied with his language
as he found it settled in any one part of Greece, but searched Ihroo^ its
different dialects with this particular view, to beautify and perfect his numbers:
he considered these as they had a greater mixture of vowels and consonants,
and accordingly employed them as the veise reijuired either a greater smooth*
neSB or strength. What he most effected was the Ionic, which has a peculiar
sweemess, from its never using contractions, and from its custom of resolving
the diphthongs into two syllables, so as to make the words open themselves
with a more spreading and sonorous fluency. With this he mingled the Attie
contractions, the broader Doric, and the feebler ^olic, which often rejects its
aspirate or takes off iu accent ; and completed this variety by altering some
letters with the license of poetry. Thus his measures, instead of being fetters
to his sense, were always in readiness to run along with the warmth of his
rapture, and even to give a ferther representation of his notions, in the
correspondence of their sounds to what they signified. Out of all these, he
has derived that harmony, which makes us confess he had not only the richest
head, but the finest ear in the world. This is so great a truth, that whoever
will but consult the tune of his verses, even vnthout understanding them, with
the same sort of diligence as we daily see practised in the case of Italian
operas, wilP imd more sweetness, variety, and majesty of sound, than in any
oiher langbdge or poetry. The beauty of his numbers is allowed by the critics to
be copied but fiiintly by Virgil himself, though they are so just to ascribe it to the
nature of the Latin tongue : indeed, the Greek has some advantages, both fiom
the natural sound of its words, and the turn and cadence of its verse which
Agree with the genius of no other language. Virgil was very sensible of this,
and used the utmost diligence in working up a more intractable language to
whatsoever graces it was capable of; and, in particular, never foiled to bring
the sound of his line to a beautiful agreement with ita sense. If the Grecian
poet has not been so frequently celebrated on this account as the Roman, ths



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PREFACE. ^^

only r(-a»oa is, that fewer critics have understood one langaage than the other.
Dionyaias, of Ualicamaasus, has pointed out many of our author's beauties In
this kind, in his treatise ot the Composition of Words. It suffices at present
to obeerre of his numbers, that they flow with so much ease, as to make one
imagine Homer had no other care tlian to transcribe as fiist as the Musea
dictated : and at the same time with so much force and inspiriting vigour, that
they awaken and raise us like the sound of a trumpet. They roll along as a
plentiful river, always in motion, and always full ; while we are borne away
by a tide of verse, the most rapid, and yet the most smooth imaginable.

Thus, on whatever side we contemplate Homer, what principally strikes us
is his invention. It is that which fbims the character of each part of his



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