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fly without his father were impiety. Flame plays around Ascanius' brow, an omen confirmed by Jove's thunder at Anchises' prayer. Now the old man sees heaven's will, and is eager to set forth. His son bids him carry the Penates, which his own battle-stained hands are impure to touch,' those Penates which it was the hero's highest care to bring to Latium.'
After the company of Trojans set sail, they chance on Thrace, from which they are warned by the ill-omened crime done there. Then the guidance of Apollo at Delos is sought, and he bids them seek the ancient home of the race. Anchises declares that to be Crete, whither they sail. But there a plague comes on them, and at last, in a dream, the sacred images of his gods rise before Æneas and declare that Italy is the ancient source of the race and its destined seat. Again sailing over the sea, they reach Epirus, where the seer Helenus is found reigning, united by strange turn of destiny to Andromache. He declares more particularly what regions of Italy must be sought, and again they sail and sail, till Juno's storm casts them on Dido's shores. This incident constitutes the formal opening of the epic. It is emblematic of the whole poem. The sadness and the sorrow of the struggle for Italy are seen in the storm-tossings of the helpless Trojans. A hostile goddess would have destroyed them all, had not a juster god come to the rescue. But they were helpless. In weariness and dejection they throw themselves on the beach-the tired Æneadæ. Æneas cheers them with human encouragement-"We have borne ills before, and greater; perhaps hereafter it will please us to remember this one too." Then he recalls the divine aid and assurance of reaching Italy, where shall be rest and where Trojan fortunes shall rise again. Thus he shows a hopeful face while he presses down his grief. That reached farther than the present ill-his loved city destroyed, his loved wife perished, all 2 Cf. i, 6; vii, 229; viii, 11.
1 ii, 717.
that was dearest to him gone, except Ascanius.
He was as heartsick as a man can be, who is submissively reliant on the gods, as often and again appears in his tale of Troy's destruction, in his parting from Dido,-that was but a deepening of the shadows which had long filled his heart:
Me si fata meis paterentur ducere vitam
Hic amor, hæc patria est. Si te Carthaginis arces
This is his answer to the passionate queen. have been forgetful of his destiny for a few sweet days,many men have been-but his reply justifies at least his departure. Had fate left him free to lead his life and still his grief, he had remained to raise again the towers of Troy and tend the relics of his dead. But the divine will pointed to Italy, which must be love and fatherland to him. If the sight of Libya held her, a Phoenician, I iv, 340-361.
seek a kingdom there.
why envy Trojans Italy? It is ordained that they should The shade of Anchises had admonished him, and the injury to his boy Ascanius,and now the messenger of the gods had brought him Jove's command. Not of his free will was Italy his
Every poet is of his time, and reflects its spirit, its loves and interests. A poet of the Augustan age could hardly have written an epic without introducing a love episode. Virgil's greatness as an epic poet was shown in the fitness of the love episode which expands and humanizes and furthers the action of his poem. Apollonius Rhodius' episode of the love of Jason and Medea was great only as a drawing of love's passion. Virgil's episode of Dido is great in many ways. It is admirable as a delineation of passionate love; it was traditionally fit for the epic of the Æneid, explaining the enmity between Rome and Carthage; it was a great ethical lesson of the pathos of unhappy love, its impotence, its vain striving against stronger might, against fate. Finally, it showed, for those who would so regard it, Æneas obeying the divine call of duty and forsaking his happiness.
The sadness of forsaking Dido is but a closing note. From the hour of the wretched casting of the fleet on African shores, the words and incidents of the sojourn emphasize the weariness and sorrow of The Gods the leader, the helplessness of the band of Trojans, and the ready obedience of all to Jove's commands. The wretched Trojans ! Reliquiæ Danaum! These words lay bare the motive of the poem ;—the leavings of the Greeks! what power was theirs to establish them in Italy, big with unborn empires, shouting war?1 No power but Jove's, and their humble spirit of obedience firm and ready. At Mercury's coming, Æneas is astounded at his own delay; he is eager to obey Jove.' When the tragic parting is over, when all is ready, he 2 iv, 279, etc.
1 iv, 229.
snatches a brief sleep on his ship. A god in likeness of Jove's messenger appears and bids him haste; the hero breaks from his sleep, calls to his men, and to the god he speaks his gladdest word of the whole poem: We follow thee, holy god, whichever of the gods thou art, and again obey the command rejoicing.'
Likewise, the story of their establishment in Italy is a story of Æneas's reliance on Jove and of the efforts of human strength to oppose him, efforts rendered vain through divine providence and interposition. Once more, even before their arrival, comes misfortune; Juno incites the women to fire the ships. Eneas prays to Jove:
In Italy he asks of Apollo only his destined kingdom,' and the Trojan embassy demands of Latinus a little scanty home for their gods. Juno knows that she cannot foil the Trojan destinies, yet will hinder as she may." She rouses opposing forces ample to crush the hated band; but providence provides allies, and there is a pervading consciousness among the hostile forces that resistance is unavailing. Diomede expresses this, when wisely refusing to join against the pious hero who is sustained by gods and fate. Turnus, the bold infatuate leader, ever and anon feels dismay; his mightiest ally is Mezentius, "despiser of the gods."' Æneas is throughout calm, obedient, reliant, faith-keeping with his faithless enemies: "It is lawful for me alone to fight," he shouts to his men when Turnus's side has broken truce. He knows that the pact sworn before Jove, which not he but Turnus has broken, insures his victory. Then he is wounded, endeavoring to restrain the fight; amid the tears of all he is unmoved, patient," awaiting his destiny ;-says to Ascanius:
Disce, puer, virtutem ex me verumque laborem
Fortunam ex aliis.'
And when at last the combat with Turnus comes, the heavy hand of Jove bears down the headstrong man. Turnus knew his fate; his heart had fallen at thought of the inevitable; still he would fight: Is it then so miserable to die?' says he to his sister, the nymph Juturna; and he prays that the gods below may be gracious. At last his fate is on him:
Jam, jam, fata, Soror, superant ! absisti morari.
A fury drives Juturna away and terrifies the unhappy Turnus. He exclaims to Eneas in the encounter: "Not thy fiery words terrify me; the gods terrify me, and my enemy is Jove." The human heart of the reader turns towards the unhappy man whose hand the gods palsy, just as the reader's heart turns to the unhappy woman whose lover the gods have commanded to forsake her. But Æneas must fare onward, and Turnus must die, and the lesson of it all is obedience to god.
Æneas is victorious; his destiny is to be accomplished. But the Trojans did not conquer the Latins, perish the thought! Æneas thinks not of conquest in his prayer and pact before the combat: in case he overcomes, let Trojans and Italians, both unconquered, with equal rights join in lasting alliance; his be it to ordain the worship of the gods, Latinus shall be king; the Teucrians shall build a city which shall bear Lavinia's name.
As the Past Declares, so Let its
So the Georgics of Virgil, Horace's ode, and again Virgil's Eneid disclose the past as Augustan Rome would fondly think of it. The elements of the Roman character thus idealized were the homely domestic virtues of a rustic people, industry, frugality, chastity, upright- Guard the ness, then the hardier virtues, bravery and a fortitude enduring all except defeat; and finally
1 xii, 435.
2 xii, 646.
3 xii, 676.
4 xii, 894.