chapter  55
1 Pages

Mary Delariviere Manley, 'The New Atalantis' [1710, 1711], 1736

I, who can't be properly named a Judge of the Greek, find yet such Inchantment in Maro's Strain, (1) that feeling how I my self, a foreigner, am ravished, must thence conclude his better Judges, the Grecians, entranced by him. I could not behold him in Julius Sergius's Gallery, (2) without something of Ejaculation, an Oblation due to Maro's Shrine from all that can read him. 0 Pity! that Politicks and sordid Interest should have carried him out of the Reach of Helicon, snatched him from the Embraces of the Muses, to throw him into an old withered artificial Statesman's Arms! (3) Why did he prefer Gain to Glory? Why chuse to be an idle Spectator, rather than a Celebrator of those Actions he so well knows how to design and adorn? Virgil himself, nor Virgil's greater Master, Homer, could not boast of finer Qualifications than Maro: Maro! who alone of all the Poets, truly inspired, could cease to be himself; could degenerate his godlike Soul, and prostitute that inborn Genius, all those noble Accomplishments of his, for Gold; could turn away his Eyes