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A SERIES OF ESSAYS,
CRITICAL, MORAL, AND MISCELLANEOUS.
BY JOHN OLDBUG, Esq.
Ecce Somniator venit !
Vulgate, Gen. xxxvii. 19.
PUBLISHED BY PERKINS & MARVIN.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1836,
By PERKINS & MARVIN, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
The critics have been very much perplexed to know the design and connection of the ninth eclogue of Virgil. Some of the lines are exquisite; but, like a heap of flowers, they seem to be thrown together without order or sequence. I think I know the secret; and I have discovered it by being in somewhat of a similar condition to that of the great poet. The case was, that he had on his note-book a collection of splendid fragments; lines, which he had laid by, partly translated and partly original, to be worked into some of his more elaborate poems; but not finding a convenient place for them, and believing that they were too good to be thrown away, he was driven to the awkward expedient of telling the story of a poet, turned from his home, who sung these lines and
this fragment and that; and thus he found a string to tie his discordant flowers together. Such was the expedient which Virgil invented, to introduce unity into the midst of variety.
Will poor John Oldbug violate the laws of modesty, if he should hint a comparison between himself and the first of poets? The resemblance, after all, is only in an