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CORPUS PROFESSOR OF LATIN IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD;
LATE FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, OXFORD.
CONTAINING THE FIRST SIX BOOKS OF THE AENEID.
The following remarks comprise the greater part of the original Preface prefixed to this volume on its publication in 1863, with some alterations and one or two additions.
Like its predecessor, this volume is the result of considerable labour, labour too of a kind which tends to diminish an author's confidence in his work. A commentator on Virgil is not likely to feel that those difficulties which weighed heavily on him while engaged on the Eclogues and Georgics have become fewer or less formidable when he passes to the Aeneid. To grapple with his subject thoroughly, he is still required to be an aesthetical judge of language, a Latin scholar, if not a philologer, a competent textual critic; and though no longer expected to display a knowledge of agriculture and rural life, he has to exhibit instead an acquaintance with mythology and legend, with Roman antiquities and Roman history. Virgil is confessedly one of the most learned of poets : and a commentator who would do him justice ought to be still more learned. The learning of a poet, even when extensive and multifarious, may be desultory, uncritical, inexact: he may show