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FOREWORD

The 1919 edition of Ronsard's works by M. Paul Laumonier has been used for the Ronsard texts, because it is at present the best complete edition. The modern letters, however, are used for &, i as a consonant, and other peculiarities of sixteenth century printing. At times reference is also given to the older but less scholarly edition of Prosper Blanchemain.

For the sake of brevity the following abbreviations have been deemed advisable :

En., the Eneid of Virgil.

Bl., Blanchemain's edition of Ronsard's works.

Ec., the Eclogues of Virgil.

Geor., the Georgics of Virgil.

Lau., Laumonier's edition of Ronsard's works.

Rev. de la Ren., Revue de la Renaissance.

Rev. d'Hist. litt., Revue de l'Histoire littéraire de la France.

I wish to express my thanks to the members of the Departments of Romance Languages and of the Classics at the University of Illinois for the instruction I have received from them. In particular my thanks are due Professor Kenneth McKenzie and Professor David H. Carnahan for their suggestions in regard to the subject of this dissertation and for their kind assistance in the preparation of the work. I have also received much assistance from the librarian of the Modern Language Seminar, Miss Amelia Krieg.

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I

RONSARD'S KNOWLEDGE OF VIRGIL

It is probable that Ronsard's first knowledge of Virgil came from his father or uncle, both of whom were scholars. The former was a poet and admirer of Virgil1; the uncle, Jean de Ronsard 2, seems to have been the tutor 33, mentioned by Ronsard's biographer, Binet 4, who began to instruct his nephew when the latter was but five or six years old. He naturally taught Pierre the indispensable Latin and very probably started him to study Virgil 5. When he was nine, the poet attended the collège of Navarre and without doubt gained some knowledge of Virgil there. At any rate we have his own words as proof that he not only read Virgil at an early age, but knew him by heart:

1. Cf. Laumonier in Revue de la Renaissance, 1901, vol. I, p. 102. 2. In his funeral oration for Ronsard (Paris, 1584, fol. 12), Jacques Velliard speaks of the influence of the uncle and of his library, which was bequeathed to Ronsard. Cf. Nolhac, Ronsard et l'humanisme, p. 11.

3. In his edition of the Vie de Ronsard, p. 70, Laumonier suggests Guy Peccate as the tutor, but Longnon's argument in his Pierre de Ronsard, p. 127, note 1, in favor of Jean de Ronsard seems stronger because the year (1535) of Jean's death coincides with Ronsard's tenth year.

4. Binet says that the tutor was kept until Ronsard was nine (Ed. of Lau., pp. 4-5). The original text of Binet's Vie de Ronsard appeared in 1586. Two augmented editions were published during Binet's lifetime in 1587 and 1597.

5. Cf. Laumonier in the Revue de la Renaissance, 1901, vol. I, p. 170: Tout ce qu'on peut dire, c'est qu'en allant à neuf ans au collège de Navarre, il aurait dû savoir assez de latin pour traduire Virgile comme les camarades de son âge (ce qui n'avait rien de prodigieux pour l'époque).

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