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Title: De Carmine Pastorali (1684)
Author: Rapin, René, 1621-1687
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "De Carmine Pastorali (1684)" ***

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            Series Two:
        _Essays on Poetry_

              No. 3

    Rapin's _De Carmine Pastorali_,
prefixed to Thomas Creech's translation
of the _Idylliums_ of Theocritus (1684)

      With an Introduction by
          J.E. Congleton
       a Bibliographical Note

The Augustan Reprint Society
July, 1947
Price: 75c

  *       *       *       *       *


RICHARD C. BOYS, University of Michigan
EDWARD NILES HOOKER, University of California, Los Angeles
H.T. SWEDENBERG, JR., University of California, Los Angeles


EMMETT L. AVERY, State College of Washington
LOUIS I. BREDVOLD, University of Michigan
BENJAMIN BOYCE, University of Nebraska
CLEANTH BROOKS, Louisiana State University
JAMES L. CLIFFORD, Columbia University
ARTHUR FRIEDMAN, University of Chicago
SAMUEL H. MONK, University of Minnesota
JAMES SUTHERLAND, Queen Mary College, London

Lithoprinted from copy supplied by author
        Edwards Brothers, Inc.
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

  *       *       *       *       *


Recent students of criticism have usually placed Rapin in the School
of Sense. In fact Rapin clearly denominates himself a member of that
school. In the introduction to his major critical work, _Reflexions
sur la Poetique d'Aristote_ (1674), he states that his essay "is
nothing else, but Nature put in Method, and good _Sense_ reduced to
Principles" (_Reflections on Aristotle's Treatise of Poesie_, London,
1731, II, 131). And in a few passages as early as "A Treatise de
Carmine Pastorali" (1659), he seems to imply that he is being guided
in part at least by the criterion of "good _Sense_." For example,
after citing several writers to prove that "brevity" is one of the
"graces" of pastoral poetry, he concludes, "I could heap up a great
many more things to this purpose, but I see no need of such a
trouble, since no man can rationally doubt of the goodness of my
Observation" (p.41).

The basic criterion, nevertheless, which Rapin uses in the "Treatise"
is the authority of the Ancients--the poems of Theocritus and Virgil
and the criticism of Aristotle and Horace. Because of his constant
references to the Ancients, one is likely to conclude that he (like
Boileau and Pope) must have thought they and Nature (good sense) were
the same. In a number of passages, however, Rapin depends solely on
the Ancients. Two examples will suffice to illustrate his absolutism.
At the beginning of "_The Second_ Part," when he is inquiring "into
the nature of _Pastoral,_" he admits:
  And this must needs be a hard Task, since I have no guide,
  neither _Aristotle_ nor _Horace_ to direct me.... And I am of
  opinion that none can treat well and clearly of any kind of
  _Poetry_ if he hath no helps from these two (p. 16).

In "_The Third_ Part," when he begins to "lay down" his _Rules for
writing_ Pastorals," he declares:
  Yet in this difficulty I will follow _Aristotle's_ Example, who
  being to lay down Rules concerning _Epicks_, propos'd _Homer_
  as a Pattern, from whom he deduc'd the whole Art; So I will
  gather from _Theocritus_ and _Virgil_, those Fathers of
  _Pastoral_, what I shall deliver on this account (p. 52).

These passages represent the apogee of the neoclassical criticism of
pastoral poetry. No other critic who wrote on the pastoral depends so
completely on the authority of the classical critics and poets. As a
matter of fact, Rapin himself is not so absolute later. In the
section of the _Réflexions_ on the pastoral, he merely states that
the best models are Theocritus and Virgil. In short, one may say
that in the "Treatise" the influence of the Ancients is dominant; in
the _Réflexions_, "good _Sense_."

Reduced to its simplest terms, Rapin's theory is Virgilian. When
deducing his theory from the works of Theocritus and Virgil, his
preference is almost without exception for Virgil. Finding Virgil's
eclogues refined and elegant, Rapin, with a suggestion from Donatus
(p. 10 and p. 14), concludes that the pastoral "belongs properly to
the _Golden Age_" (p. 37)--"that blessed time, when Sincerity and
Innocence, Peace, Ease, and Plenty inhabited the Plains" (p. 5).
Here, then, is the immediate source of the Golden Age eclogue, which,
being transferred to England and popularised by Pope, flourished
until the time of Dr. Johnson and Joseph Warton.

In France the most prominent opponent to the theory formulated by
Rapin is Fontenelle. In his "Discours sur la Nature de l'Eglogue"
(1688) Fontenelle, with studied and impertinent disregard for the
Ancients and for "ceux qui professent cette espèce de religion que
l'on s'est faite d'adorer l'antiquité," expressly states that the
basic criterion by which he worked was "les lumières naturelles de
la raison" (_OEuvres_, Paris, 1790, V, 36). It is careless and
incorrect to imply that Rapin's and Fontenelle's theories of
pastoral poetry are similar, as Pope, Joseph Warton, and many other
critics and scholars have done. Judged by basic critical principles,
method, or content there is a distinct difference between Rapin and
Fontenelle. Rapin is primarily a neoclassicist in his "Treatise";
Fontenelle, a rationalist in his "Discours." It is this opposition,
then, of neoclassicism and rationalism, that constitutes the basic
issue of pastoral criticism in England during the Restoration and the
early part of the eighteenth century.

When Fontenelle's "Discours" was translated in 1695, the first phrase
of it quoted above was translated as "those Pedants who profess a
kind of Religion which consists of worshipping the Ancients" (p.294).
Fontenelle's phrase more nearly than that of the English translator
describes Rapin. Though Rapin's erudition was great, he escaped the
quagmire of pedantry. He refers most frequently to the scholiasts and
editors in "_The First Part_" (which is so trivial that one wonders
why he ever troubled to accumulate so much insignificant material),
but after quoting them he does not hesitate to call their ideas
"pedantial" (p. 24) and to refer to their statements as grammarian's
"prattle" (p. 11). And, though at times it seems that his curiosity
and industry impaired his judgment, Rapin does draw significant ideas
from such scholars and critics as Quintilian, Vives, Scaliger,
Donatus, Vossius, Servius, Minturno, Heinsius, and Salmasius.

Rapin's most prominent disciple in England is Pope. Actually, Pope
presents no significant idea on this subject that is foreign to
Rapin, and much of the language--terminology and set phrases--of
Pope's "Discourse" comes directly from Rapin's "Treatise" and from
the section on the pastoral in the _Reflections_. Contrary to his own
statement that he "reconciled" some points on which the critics
disagree and in spite of the fact that he quotes Fontenelle, Pope in
his "Discourse" is a neoclassicist almost as thoroughgoing as Rapin.
The ideas which he says he took from Fontenelle are either
unimportant or may be found in Rapin. Pope ends his "Discourse" by
drawing a general conclusion concerning his _Pastorals_: "But after
all, if they have any merit, it is to be attributed to some good old
authors, whose works as I had leisure to study, so I have not wanted
care to imitate." This statement is diametrically opposed to the
basic ideas and methods of Fontenelle, but in full accord with and no
doubt directly indebted to those of Rapin.

The same year, 1717, that Pope 'imitated' Rapin's "Treatise," Thomas
Purney made a direct attack on Rapin's neoclassic procedure. In the
"Preface" to his own _Pastorals_ he expresses his disapproval of
Rapin's method, evidently with the second passage from Rapin quoted
above in mind:
  _Rapine's_ Discourse is counted the best on this Poem, for 'tis
  the longest. You will easily excuse my not mentioning all his
  Defects and Errors in this Preface. I shall only say then, that
  instead of looking into the true Nature of the Pastoral Poem,
  and then judging whether _Theocritus_ or any of his Followers
  have brought it to it's utmost Perfection or not. _Rapine_
  takes it for granted that _Theocritus_ and _Virgil_ are
  infallible; and aim's at nothing beyond showing the Rules which
  he thinks they observ'd. Facetious Head! (_Works_, Oxford,
  1933, pp. 51-52. The Peroy Reprints, No. XII)

The influence of Rapin on the development of the pastoral,
nevertheless, was salutary. Finding the genre vitiated with wit,
extravagance, and artificiality, he attempted to strip it of these
Renaissance excrescencies and restore it to its pristine purity by
direct reference to the Ancients--Virgil, in particular. Though Rapin
does not have the psychological insight into the esthetic principles
of the genre equal to that recently exhibited by William Empson or
even to that expressed by Fontenelle, he does understand the
intrinsic appeal of the pastoral which has enabled it to survive, and
often to flourish, through the centuries in painting, music, and
poetry. Perhaps his most explicit expression of this appreciation is
made while he is discussing Horace's statement that the muses love
the country:
  And to speak from the very bottome of my heart... methinks he
  is much more happy in a Wood, that at ease contemplates this
  universe, as his own, and in it, the Sun and Stars, the
  pleasing Meadows, shady Groves, green Banks, stately Trees,
  flowing Springs, and the wanton windings of a River, fit
  objects for quiet innocence, than he that with Fire and Sword
  disturbs the World, and measures his possessions by the wast
  that lys about him (p. 4).

René Rapin (1621-1687), in spite of his duties as a Jesuit priest and
disputes with the Jansenists, became one of the most widely read men
of his time and carried on the celebrated discussions about the
Ancients with Maimbourg and Vavasseur. His _chef-d'oeuvre_ without
contradiction is _Hortorum libri IV_. Like Virgil, Spenser, Pope, and
many aspiring lesser poets, he began his literary career by writing
pastorals, _Eclogae Sacrae_ (1659), to which is prefixed in Latin the
original of "A Treatise de Carmine Pastorali."

 J.E. Congleton
   University of Florida

Reprinted here from the copy owned by the Boston Athenaeum by

   *       *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *
   *       *       *       *       *




            Written by RAPIN.

_The First Part_.

To be as short as possible in my discourse upon the present Subject,
I shall not touch upon the Excellency of _Poetry_ in general; nor
repeat those high _Encomiums_, (as that tis the most divine of all
human Arts, and the like) which _Plato_ in his _Jone_, _Aristotele_ in
his _Poetica_, and other Learned men have copiously insisted on: And
this I do that I might more closely and briefly pursue my present
design, which, no doubt will not please every man; for since I treat
of that part of _Poetry_, which (to use _Quintilian's_ words,) by
reason of its Clownishness, is affraid of the Court and City; some may
imagine that I follow _Nichocaris_ his humor, who would paint only the
most ugly and deform'd, and those too in the meanest and most
frightful dress, that real, or fancy'd Poverty could put them in.

{2} For some think that to be a Sheapard is in it self mean, base, and
sordid; And this I think is the first thing that the graver and
soberer sort will be ready to object.

But if we consider how honorable that employment is, our Objectors
from that Topick will be easily answer'd, for as _Heroick_ Poems owe
their dignity to the Quality of _Heroes_, so _Pastorals_ to that of

Now to manifest this, I shall not rely on the authority of the
_Fabulous_, and _Heroick_ Ages, tho, in the former, a God fed Sheep in
_Thessaly_, and in the latter, _Hercules_ the Prince of _Heroes_, (as
_Paterculus_ stiles him) graz'd on mount _Aventine_: These Examples,
tis true, are not convinceing, yet they sufficiently shew that the
employment of a Sheapard was sometime look'd upon to be such, as in
those Fabulous times was not alltogether unbecomeing the _Dignity_ of
a _Heroe_, or the _Divinity_ of a _God_: which consideration if it
cannot be of force enough to procure excellence, yet certainly it may
secure it from the imputation of baseness, since it was sometime lookt
upon as fit for the greatest in Earth or Heaven.

But not to insist on the authority of _Poets_, _Sacred Writt_ tells
us that _Jacob_ and _Esau_, two great men, were Sheapards; And _Amos_,
one of the Royal Family, asserts the same of himself, for _He was_
among _the Sheapards of Tecua_, following that employment: The like by
Gods own appointment {3} prepared _Moses_ for a Scepter, as _Philo_
intimates in his life, when He tells us, _that a Sheapards Art is a
suitable preparation to a Kingdome_; the same He mentions in the Life
of _Joseph_, affirming that the care a Sheapard hath over his Cattle,
very much resembles that which a King hath over his Subjects: The same
_Basil_ in his Homily de _S. Mamm. Martyre_ hath concerning _David_,
who was taken from following the Ews great with young ones to feed
_Israel_, for He says that the Art of feeding and governing are very
near akin, and even Sisters: And upon this account I suppose twas,
that Kings amongst the _Greeks_ reckoned the name of Sheapard one of
their greatest titles, for, if we believe _Varro_, amongst the
Antients, the best and bravest was still a Sheapard: Every body knows
that the _Romans_ the worthiest and greatest Nation in the World
sprang from _Sheapards_: The Augury of the Twelve Vulturs plac't a
Scepter in _Romulus's_ hand which held a Crook before; and at that
time, as _Ovid_ says,

  His own small Flock each Senator did keep.

_Lucretius_ mentions an extraordinary happiness, and as it were
Divinity in a _Sheaperd's_ life,

  Thro Sheapards ease, and their Divine retreats.

And this is the reason, I suppose, why the solitude of the Country,
the shady Groves, and security of that happy Quiet was so grateful to
the Muses, for thus _Horace_ represents them,

 {4} The Muses that the Country Love.

Which Observation was first made by _Mnasalce_ the _Sicyonian_ in his
Epigram upon _Venus_

  The Rural Muse upon the Mountains feeds.

For sometimes the Country is so raveshing and delightful, that twill
raise Wit and Spirit even in the dullest Clod, And in truth, amongst
so many heats of Lust and Ambition which usually fire our Citys, I
cannot see what retreat, what comfort is left for a chast and sober

And to speak from the very bottome of my heart, (not to mention the
integrity and innocence of Sheapards upon which so many have
insisted, and so copiously declaimed) methinks he is much more happy
in a Wood, that at ease contemplates this universe, as his own, and
in it, the Sun and Stars, the pleasing Meadows, shady Groves, green
Banks, stately Trees, flowing Springs, and the wanton windings of a
River, fit objects for quiet innocence, than he that with Fire and
Sword disturbs the World, and measures his possessions by the wast
that lys about him: _Augustus_ in the remotest East fights for peace,
but how tedious were his Voyages? how troublesome his Marches? how
great his disquiets? what fears and hopes distracted his designs?
whilst _Tityrus_ contented with a little, happy in the enjoyment of
his Love, and at ease under his spreading Beech.

  Taught Trees to sound his _Amaryllis_ name.

{5} On the one side _Meliboeus_ is forc't to leave his Country, and
_Antony_ on the other; the one a Sheapard, the other a great man, in
the Common-Wealth; how disagreeable was the Event? the Sheapard could
endure himself; and sit down contentedly under his misfortunes, whilst
lost _Antony_, unable to hold out, and quitting all hopes both for
himself and his Queen, became his own barbarous Executioner: Than
which sad and deplorable fall I cannot imagine what could be worse,
for certainly nothing is so miserable as a Wretch made so from a
flowrishing & happy man; by which tis evident how much we ought to
prefer before the gaity of a great and shining State, that Idol of the
Crowd, the lowly simplicity of a Sheapards Life: for what is that but
a perfect image of the state of Innocence, of that golden Age, that
blessed time, when Sincerity and Innocence, Peace, Ease, and Plenty
inhabited the Plains?

Take the Poets description

  Here Lowly Innocence makes a sure retreat,
  A harmless Life, and ignorant of deceit,
  and free from fears with various sweet's encrease,
  And all's or'e spread with the soft wings of Peace:
  Here Oxen low, here Grots, and purling Streams,
  And Spreading shades invite to easy dreams.

And thus Horace,

  Happy the man beyond pretence
  Such was the state of Innocence, &c.

{6} And from this head I think the dignity of _Bucolicks_ is
sufficiently cleared, for as much as the Golden Age is to be preferred
before the _Heroick_, so much _Pastorals_ must excell _Heroick_ Poems:
yet this is so to be understood, that if we look upon the majesty and
loftiness of _Heroick_ Poems, it must be confest that they justly
claim the preheminence; but if the unaffected neatness, elegant,
graceful smartness of the expression, or the polite dress of a Poem be
considered, then they fall short of _Pastorals_: for this sort flows
with Sweet, Elegant, neat and pleasing fancies; as is too evident to
every one that hath tasted the sweeter muses, to need a farther
explication: for tis not probable that _Asinius Pollio_, _Cinna_,
_Varius_, _Cornelius Gallus_, men of the neatest Wit, and that lived
in the most polite Age, or that _Augustus Cæsar_ the Prince of the
_Roman_ elegance, as well as of the common Wealth, should be so
extreamly taken with _Virgils Bucolicks_, or that _Virgil_ himself a
man of such singular prudence, and so correct a judgment, should
dedicate his Eclogues to those great Persons; unless he had known that
there is somewhat more then ordinary Elegance in those sort of
Composures, which the wise perceive, tho far above the understanding
of the Crowd: nay if _Ludovicus Vives_, a very learned man, and
admired for politer studies may be believed, there is somewhat more
sublime and excellent in those _Pastorals_, than the Common {7} sort
of Grammarians imagine: This I shall discourse of in an other place,
and now inquire into the Antiquity of Pastorals.

Since _Linus_, _Orpheus_, and _Eumolpus_ were famous for their Poems,
before the _Trojan_ wars; those are certainly mistaken, who date
Poetry from that time; I rather incline to their opinion who make it
as old as the World it self; which Assertion as it ought to be
understood of Poetry in general, so especially of _Pastoral_, which,
as _Scaliger_ delivers, was the most antient kind of Poetry, and
resulting from the most _antient_ way of Liveing: _Singing first began
amongst Sheapards as they fed their Flocks, either by the impulse of
nature, or in imitation of the notes of Birds, or the whispering of

For since the first men were either _Sheapards_ or _Ploughmen_, and
_Sheapards_, as may be gathered out of _Thucydides_ and _Varro_, were
before the others, they were the first that either invited by their
leisure, or (which _Lucretius_ thinks more probable) in imitation of
Birds, began a tune.

  Thro all the Woods they heard the pleasing noise
  Of chirping Birds, and try'd to frame their voice,
  And Imitate, thus Birds instructed man,
  And taught them Songs before their Art began.

In short, tis so certain that Verses first began in the Country that
the thing is in it self evident, and this _Tibullus_ very plainly

  {8} First weary at his Plough the labouring Hind
  In certain feet his rustick words did bind:
  His dry reed first he tun'd at sacred feasts
  To thanks the bounteous Gods, and cheer his Guests.

_In certain feet_ according to _Bern Cylenius_ of _Verona_ his
interpretation _in set measures_: for _Censorinus_ tells us, that the
antient Songs were loose and not ty'd up to any strict numbers, and
afterwards by certain laws and acknowledged rules were confin'd to
such and such measures: for this is the method of Nature in all her
works, from imperfect and rude beginnings things take their first
rise, and afterwards by fit and apposite additions are polish't, and
brought to perfection: such were the Verses which heretofore the
_Italian_ Sheapards and Plough-men, as _Virgil_ says, sported amongst

  Italian Plough-men sprung from antient _Troy_
  Did sport unpolish't Rhymes--

_Lucretius_ in his Fifth Book _de Natura Rerum_, says, that Sheapards
were first taught by the rushing of soft Breezes amongst the Canes to
blow their Reeds, and so by degrees to put their Songs in tune.

  For Whilst soft Evening Gales blew or'e the Plains
  And shook the sounding Reeds, they taught the Swains,
  And thus the Pipe was fram'd, and tuneful Reed,
  And whilst the Flocks did then securely feed,
  The harmless Sheapards tun'd their Pipes to Love,
  {9} And Amaryllis name fill'd every Grove.

From all which tis very plain that _Poetry_ began in those days, when
Sheapards took up their employment: to this agrees _Donatus_ in his
Life of _Virgil_, and _Pontanus_ in his Fifth Book of Stars, as
appears by these Verses.

  Here underneath a shade by purling Springs
  The Sheapards Dance, whilst sweet _Amyntas_ sings;
  Thus first the new found Pipe was tun'd to Love,
  And Plough-men taught their Sweet hearts to the Grove,

Thus the _Fescennine_ jests when they sang harvest-home, and then too
the Grape gatherers and Reapers Songs began, an elegant example of
which we have in the Tenth _Idyllium_ of _Theocritus_.

From this birth, as it were, of _Poetry_, Verse began to grow up to
greater matters; For from the common discourse of _Plough-men_ and
_Sheapards_, first _Comedy_, that Mistress of a private Life, next
_Tragedy_, and then _Epick Poetry_ which is lofty and _Heroical_
arrose, This _Maximus Tyrius_ confirms in his Twenty first
dissetation, where he tells us that Plough-men just comeing from their
work, and scarce cleansed from the filth of their employment, did use
to flurt out some sudden and _extempore_ Catches; and from this
beginning Plays were produc'd and the Stage erected: Thus {10} much
concerning the _Antiquity_, next of the _Original_ of this sort.

About this Learned men cannot agree, for who was the first Author, is
not sufficiently understood; _Donatus_, tis true, tells us tis proper
to the Golden Age, and therefore must needs be the product of that
happy time: but who was the Author, where, what time it was first
invented hath been a great Controversy, and not yet sufficiently
determined: _Epicharmus_ one of _Pythagoras_ his School, in his
*alkyoni* mentions one _Diomus_ a _Sicilian_, who, if we believe
_Athænæus_ was the first that wrote _Pastorals: those that fed Cattle
had a peculiar kind of Poetry, call'd Bucolicks, of which Dotimus a
Sicilian was inventer:_

_Diodorus Siculus_ *en tois mythologoumenois*, seems to make
_Daphnis_ the son of _Mercury_ and a certain _Nymph_, to be the
Author; and agreeable to this, _Theon_ an old _scholiast_ on
_Theocritus_, in his notes upon the first _Idyllium_ mentioning
_Daphnis_, adds, _he was the author of Bucolicks_, and _Theocritus
himself_ calls him _the Muses Darling_: and to this Opinion of
_Diodorus Siculus Polydore Virgil_ readily assents.

But _Mnaseas_ of _Patara_ in a discourse of his concerning _Europa_,
speaks thus of a Son of _Pan_ the God of Sheapards: _Panis Filium
Bubulcum à quo & Bucolice canere:_ Now Whether _Mnaseas_ by that
_Bubulcum_, means only a _Herds-man_, or one skilled in _Bucolicks_,
is uncertain; but if _Valla's_ {11} judgment be good, tis to be taken
of the latter: yet _Ælian_ was of another mind, for he boldly affirms
that _Stesichorus_ called _Himeræus_ was the first, and in the same
place adds, that _Daphnis_ the Son of _Mercury_ was the first Subject
of _Bucolicks_.

Some ascribe the Honor to _Bacchus_ the President of the _Nymphs,
Satyrs_, and the other Country Gods, perhaps because he delighted in
the Country; and others attribute it to _Apollo_ called _Nomius_ the
God of Sheapards, and that he invented it then when he served
_Admetus_ in _Thessaly_, and fed his Herds: For, tis likely, he to
recreate himself, and pass away his time, applied his mind to such
Songs as were best suitable to his present condition: Many think we
owe it to _Pan_ the God of Sheapards, not a few to _Diana_ that
extreamly delighted in solitude and Woods; and some say _Mercury_
himself: of all which whilst _Grammarians_ prattle, according to their
usual custome they egregiously trifle; they suffer themselves to be
put upon by Fables, and resign their judgment up to foolish
pretentions, but things and solid truth is that we seek after.

As about the Author, so concerning the place of its Birth there is a
great dispute, some say _Sparta_, others _Peloponesus_, but most are
for _Sicily_.

_Valla the Placentine_, a curious searcher into Antiquity, thinks
this sort of Poetry first appear'd amongst the _Lacedemonians_, for
when the _Persians_ had wasted allmost all _Greece_, the _Spartans_
say {12} that they for fear of the _Barbarians_ fled into Caves and
lurking holes; and that the Country Youth then began to apply
themselves in Songs to _Diana Caryatis_, together with the Maids, who
midst their Songs offerd Flowers to the Goddess: which custome
containing somewhat of Religion was in those places a long time very
scrupulously observed.

_Diomedes_ the Grammarian, in his treatise of _Measures_, declares
_Sicily_ to be the Place: for thus he says, the _Sicilian_ Sheapards
in time of a great _Pestilence_, began to invent new Ceremonies to
appease incensed _Diana_, whom afterward, for affording her help, and
stopping the Plague they called *Lyên*: _i.e._ the _Freer_ from their
Miserys. This grew into custom, and the Sheapards used to meet in
Companies, to sing their deliverer _Diana's_ praise, and these
afterwards passing into _Italy_ were there named _Bucoliastæ_.

_Pomponius Sabinus_ tells the story thus: When the Hymns the Virgins
us'd to sing in the Country to _Diana_ were left off, because, by
reason of the present Wars, the Maidens were forc't to keep close
within the Towns; the Shepherds met, and sang these kind of Songs,
which are now call'd _Bucolicks_, to _Diana_; to whom they could not
give the usual worship by reason of the Wars: But _Donatus_ says, that
this kind of Verses was first sung to _Diana_ by _Orestes_, when he
wandred about _Italy_; after he fled from _Scythia Taurica_, and had
{13} taken away the Image of the Goddess and hid it in a bundle of
sticks, whence she receiv'd the name of _Fascelina_, or _Phacelide_
*apo tou phakelou* At whose Altar, the very same _Orestes_ was
afterward expiated by his Sister _Iphigenia_: But how can any one
rely on such Fables, when the inconsiderable Authors that propose them
disagree so much amongst themselves?

Some are of Opinion that the Shepherds, were wont in solem and set
Songs about the Fields and Towns to celebrate the Goddess _Pales_; and
beg her to bless their flocks and fields with a plenteous encrease and
that from hence the name, and composure of _Bucolicks_ continued.

Other prying ingenious Men make other conjectures, as to this mazing
Controversy thus _Vossius_ delivers himself; _The Antients cannot be
reconcil'd, but I rather incline to their opinion who think_ Bucolicks
_were invented either by the_ Sicilians _or_ Peloponesians, _for both
those use the_ Dorick _dialect, and all the_ Greek Bucolicks _are writ
in that_: As for my self I think, that what _Horace_ says of _Elegies_
may be apply'd to the present Subject.

  But who soft Elegies was the first that wrote
  Grammarians doubt, and cannot end the doubt:

For I find nothing certain about this matter, since neither _Valla_ a
diligent inquirer after, and a good judge in such things, nor any of
the late writers produce any thing upon which I can safely rely; yet
what beginning this kind of Poetry {14} had, I think I can pretty well
conjecture: for tis likely that first Shepherds us'd Songs to recreate
themselves in their leisure hours whilst they fed their Sheep; and
that each man, as his wit served, accommodated his Songs to his
present Circumstances: to this Solitude invited, and the extream
leisure that attends that employment absolutely requir'd it: For as
their retirement gave them leisure, and Solitude a fit place for
Meditation, Meditation and Invention produc'd a Verse; which is
nothing else but a Speech fit to be sung, and so Songs began: Thus
_Hesiod_ was made a Poet, for he acknowledges himself that he receiv'd
his inspiration;

  Whilst under _Helicon_ he fed his Lambs.

for either the leisure or fancy of Shepherds seems to have a natural
aptitude to Verse.

And indeed I cannot but agree with _Lucretius_ that accurate Searcher
into Nature, who delivers that from that state of Innocence the Golden
Age, Pastorals continued down to his time, for after he had in his
fifth book describ'd that most happy age, he adds,

  For then the Rural Muses reign'd.

From whence 'tis very plain, that as _Donatus_ himself observ'd,
Pastorals were the invention of the simplicity and innocence of that
Golden age, if there was ever any such, or certainly of that time
which succeeded the beginning of the World: For tho the Golden Age
must be acknowledged {15} to be only in the fabulous times, yet 'tis
certain that the Manners of the first Men were so plain and simple,
that we may easily derive both the innocent imployment of Shepherds,
and Pastorals from them.

{16} _The Second_ PART.

Now let us inquire into the nature of _Pastoral_, in what its
excellencies consist, and how it must be made to be exact: And this
must needs be a hard Task, since I have no guide, neither _Aristotle_
nor _Horace_ to direct me; for both they, whatever was the matter,
speak not one word of this sort of Verse. And I am of opinion that
none can treat well and clearly of any kind of _Poetry_ if he hath no
helps from these two: But since they lay down some general Notions of
_Poetry_ which may be useful in the present case, I shall follow their
steps as close as possible I can.

Not only _Aristotle_ but _Horace_ too hath defin'd that _Poetry_ in
general is Imitation; I mention only these two, for tho _Plato_ in his
Second Book _de Rep._ and in his _Timæus_ delivers the same thing, I
shall not make use of his Authority at all: Now as _Comedy_ according
to _Aristotle_ is the _Image and Representation of a gentiel and City
Life_, so is _Pastoral Poetry_ of a County and _Sheapards_ Life; for
since _Poetry_ in general is Imitation; its several _Species_ must
likewise Imitate, take _Aristotles_ own words _Cap._ 1. *pasai
tynchanousin ousa mimêseis*; And these _Species_ are {17} differenc't
either by the subject matter, when the things to be imitated are quite
different, or when the manner in which you imitate, or the mode of
imitation is so: *en trisi dê tautais diaphorais hê mimêsis estin, en
hois kai ha, kai hôs*: Thus tho of _Epick_ Poetry and _Tragedy_ the
Subject is the same, and some great illustrious Action is to be
_imitated_ by both, yet since one by representation, and the other by
plain narration imitates, each makes a different _Species_ of
imitation. And _Comedy_ and _Tragedy_, tho they agree in this, that
both represent, yet because the Matter is different, and _Tragedy_
must represent some brave action, and _Comedy_ a humor; these Two
sorts of imitation are _Specifically different_. And upon the same
account, since _Pastoral_ chooses the mannes of Sheapards for its
imitation, it takes from its matter a peculiar difference, by which it
is distinguish'd frõ all others.

But here _Benius_ in his comments upon _Aristotle_ hath started a
considerable query: which is this; Whether _Aristotle_, when he
reckons up the different _Species_ of Poetry _Cap_ 1. doth include
_Pastoral,_ or no? And about this I find learn'd men cannot at all
agree: which certainly _Benius_ should have determin'd, or not rais'd:
some refer it to that sort which _was sung to Pipes_, for that
_Pastorals_ were so _Apuleius_ intimates, when at the marriage Feast
of _Phyche_ He brings in _Paniscus_ singing _Bucolicks_ to his Pipe;
But since they did not seriously enough consider, what _Aristotle_
{18} meant by that which he calls *aulêtikên* they trifle, talk idly,
and are not to be heeded in this matter; For suppose some _Musitian_
should sing _Virgils Ænæis_ to the Harp, (and _Ant. Lullus_ says it
hath been done,) should we therefore reckon that divine and
incomparable Master of _Heroick_ Poetry amongst the _Lyricks_?

Others with _Cæsius Bassus_ and _Isacius Tzetzes_ hold that that
distribution of _Poetry_, which _Aristotle_ and _Tully_ hath left us,
is deficient and imperfect; and that only the chief Species are
reckoned, but the more inconsiderable not mention'd: I shall not here
interest my self in that quarrel of the _Criticks_, whether we have
all _Aristotles_ books of Poetry or no; this is a considerable
difficulty I confess, for _Laertius_ who accurately weighs this
matter, says that he wrote two books of _Poetry_, the one lost, and
the other we have, tho _Mutinensis_ is of an other mind: but to end
this dispute, I must agree with _Vossius_, who says the Philosopher
comprehended these Species not expressly mentioned, under a higher and
more noble head: and that therefore _Pastoral_ was contain'd in
_Epick_. for these are his own words, _besides there are Epicks of an
inferior rank, such as the Writers of Bucolicks_. _Sincerus_, as
_Minturnus_ quotes him, is of the same mind, for thus he delivers his
opinion concerning _Epick Verse_: _The matters about which these
numbers may be employed is various; either mean and low, as in
Pastorals, great and lofty, as when {19} the Subject is Divine Things,
or Heroick Actions, or of a middle rank, as when we use them to
deliver precepts in:_ And this likewise he signifys before, where he
sets down three sorts of _Epicks_: _one of which, says he, is divine,
and the most excellent by much in all Poetry_; the _other the lowest
but most pure, in which Theocritus excelled, which indeed shews
nothing of Poetry beside the bare numbers_: These points being thus
settled, the remaining difficultys will be more easily dispatched.

For as in _Dramatick_ Poetry the Dignity and meanness of the
_Persons_ represented make two different _Species of imitation_ the
one _Tragick_, which agrees to none but great and Illustrious persons,
the other _Comick_, which suits with common and gentile humors: so in
_Epick_ too, there may be reckoned two sorts of _Imitation_, one of
which belongs to _Heroes_, and that makes the _Heroick_; the other to
_Rusticks_ and _Sheapards_ and that constitutes the _Pastoral_, now as
a _Picture_ imitates the Features of the face, so _Poetry_ doth
action, and tis not a representation of the Person but the Action.

From all which we may gather this definition of Pastoral: _It is the
imitation of the Action of a Sheapard, or of one taken under that
Character_: Thus _Virgil's Gallus_, tho not really a _Sheapard_, for
he was a man of great quality in _Rome_, yet belongs to _Pastoral_,
because he is represented like a Sheapard: hence the Poet:

  {20} The Goatherd and the heavy Heardsmen came,
  And ask't what rais'd the deadly Flame.

The _Scene_ lys amongst Sheapards, the _Swains_ are brought in, the
_Herdsmen_ come to see his misery, and the fiction is suited to the
real condition of a _Sheapard_; the same is to be said for his
_Silenus_, who tho he seems lofty, and to sound to loud for an oaten
reed, yet since what he sings he sings to _Sheapards_, and suits his
Subject to their apprehensions, his is to be acknowledged _Pastoral_.
This rule we must stick to, that we might infallibly discern what is
stricktly _Pastoral_ in _Virgil_ and _Theocritus_, and what not: for
in _Theocritus_ there are some more lofty thoughts which not having
any thing belonging to Sheapards for their Subject, must by no means
be accounted _Pastoral_, But of this more in its proper place.

My present inquiry must be what is the _Subject Matter_ of a
_Pastoral_, about which it is not easy to resolve; since neither from
_Aristotle_, nor any of the _Greeks_ who have written _Pastorals_, we
can receive certain direction. For sometimes they treat of high and
sublime things, like _Epick Poets_; what can be loftier than the whole
_Seaventh Idyllium of Bias_ in which _Myrsan_ urges _Lycidas_ the
Sheapard to sing the Loves of _Deidamia_ and _Achilles_. For he
begins from _Helen's_ rape, and goes on to the revengful fury of the
_Atrides_, and shuts up in one _Pastoral_, all that is great and
sounding in _Homers Iliad_.

  {21} Sparta was fir'd with Rage
  And gather'd Greece to prosecute Revenge.

And _Theocritus_ his verses are sometimes as sounding and his
thoughts as high: for upon serious consideration I cannot mind what
part of all the _Heroicks_ is so strong and sounding as that
_Idyllium_ on _Hercules_ *leontophonô* in which _Hercules_ himself
tells _Phyleus_ how he kill'd the Lyon whose Skin he wore: for, not to
mention many, what can be greater than this expression.

  And gaping Hell received his mighty Soul:

Why should I instance in the *dioskouroi*, which hath not one line
below Heroick; the greatness of this is almost inexpressible.

  *anêr hyperoplos enêmeros, endiaaske
    deinos idein*

And some other pieces are as strong as these, such is the _Panegyrick
on Ptolemy_, _Helen's Epithalamium_, and the Fight of young _Hercules_
and the Snakes: now how is it likely that such Subjects should be fit
for _Pastorals_, of which in my opinion, the same may be said which
_Ovid_ doth of his _Cydippe_.

  Cydippe, Homer, doth not fit thy Muse.

For certainly _Pastorals_ ought not to rise to the Majesty of
_Heroicks_: but who on the other side {22} dares reprehend such great
and judicious Authors, whose very doing it is Authority enough? What
shall I say of _Virgil_? who in his Sixth _Eclogue_ hath put together
allmost all the particulars of the fabulous Age; what is so high to
which _Silenus_ that Master of Mysterys doth not soar?

  For lo! he sung the Worlds stupendious birth,
  How scatter'd seeds of sea, of Air, and Earth,
  And purer Fire thro universal night
  And empty space did fruitfully unite:
  From whence th' innumerable race of things
  By circular successive order springs:

And afterward

  How Pyrra's Stony race rose from the ground,
  And Saturn reign'd with Golden plenty crown'd,
  How bold _Prometheus_ (whose untam'd desire,
  Rival'd the Sun with his own Heavenly Fire)
  Now doom'd the _Scythian_ Vulturs endless prey
  Severely pays for Animating Clay:

So true, so certain 'tis, that nothing is so high and lofty to which
_Bucolicks_ may not successfully aspire. But if this be so, what will
become of _Macrobius, Georgius Valla, Julius Scaliger, Vossius,_ and
the whole company of Grammarians? who all affirm that simplicity and
meanness is so essential to _Pastorals_, that it ought to be confin'd
to the State, Manners, Apprehension and even common phrases of
Sheapards: for nothing can {23} be said to be _Pastoral_, which is not
accommodated to their condition; and for this Reason _Nannius
Alcmaritanus_ in my opinion is a trifler, who, in his comments on
_Virgils Eclogues_, thinks that those sorts of Composures may now and
then be lofty, and treat of great subjects: where he likewise divides
the matter of _Bucolicks_, into _Low_, _Middle_, and _High_: and makes
_Virgil_ the Author of this Division, who in his Fourth _Eclogue_, (as
he imagines) divides the matter of _Bucolicks_ into Three sorts, and
intimates this division by these three words: _Bushes_, _Shrubs_ and

  Sicilian Muse begin a loftier strain,
  The Bushes and the Shrubs that shade the Plain
  Delight not all; if I to Woods repair
  My Song shall make them worth a Consuls Care.

By Woods, as he fancys, as _Virgil_ means high and stately Trees, so
He would have a great and lofty Subject to to be implyed, such as he
designed for the _Consul_: by Bushes, which are almost even with the
ground, the meanest and lowest argument; and by Shrubs a Subject not
so high as the one, nor so low as the other, as the thing it-self is,
And therefore these lines

       If I to Woods repair
  My Song shall make them worth a _Consuls_ care.

{24} are thus to be understood, That if we choose high and sublime
arguments, our work will be fit for the Patronage of a _Consul_, This
is _Nanniu's_ interpretation of that place; too pedantial and subtle
I'me affraid, for tis not credible that ever _Virgil_ thought of
reckoning great and lofty things amongst the Subjects of _Bucolicks_
especially since

  When his _Thalia_ rais'd her bolder voice
  And Kings and Battles were her lofty choice,
  _Phoebus_ did twitch his Ear, mean thoughts infuse,
  And with this whisper check't th' inspiring Muse.
  A Sheapard, Tityrus, his Sheep should feed,
  And choose a subject suited to his reed,

This certainly was a serious admonition, implyed by the twitching of
his Ear, and I believe if he had continued in this former humor and
not obey'd the smarting admonition. He had still felt it: so far was
he from thinking Kings and Battels fit Themes for a _Sheapards_ song:
and this evidently shows that in _Virgils_ opinion, contrary to
_Nanniu's_ fancy, great things cannot in the least be comprehended
within the subject matter of _Pastorals;_ no, it must be low and
humble, which _Theocritus_ very happily expresseth by this word
*Boukoliasdên* _i.e._ as the interpreters explain it, sing humble

Theefore let _Pastoral_ never venture upon a {25} lofty subject, let
it not recede one jot from its proper matter, but be employ'd about
Rustick affairs: such as are mean and humble in themselves; and such
are the affairs of Shepherds, especially their Loves, but those must
be pure and innocent; not disturb'd by vain suspitious jealousy, nor
polluted by Rapes; The Rivals must not fight, and their emulations
must be without quarrellings: such as _Vida_ meant.

  Whilst on his Reed he Shepherd's stifes conveys,
  And soft complaints in smooth Sicilian lays.

To these may be added _sports_, _Jests_, _Gifts_, and _Presents_; but
not _costly_, such are yellow Apples, young stock-Doves, Milk,
Flowers, and the like; all things must appear delightful and easy,
nothing vitious and rough: A perfidious Pimp, a designing Jilt, a
gripeing Usurer, a crafty factious Servant must have no room there,
but every part must be full of the simplicity of the _Golden-Age_, and
of that Candor which was then eminent: for as _Juvenal affirms_

  Baseness was a great wonder in that Age;

Sometimes _Funeral-Rites_ are the subject of an _Eclogue_, where the
Shepherds scatter flowers on the Tomb, and sing Rustick Songs in honor
of the Dead: Examples of this kind are left us by _Virgil_ in his
_Daphnis_, and _Bion_ in his _Adonis_, and this hath nothing
disagreeable to a Shepherd: In {26} short whatever, the decorum being
still preserv'd, can be done by a _Sheapard_, may be the Subject of a

Now there may be more kinds of Subjects than _Servius_ or _Donatus_
allow, for they confine us to that Number which _Virgil_ hath made use
of, tho _Minturnus_ in his second Book _de Poetâ_ declares against
this opinion: But as a glorious _Heroick_ action must be the Subject
of an _Heroick_ Poem, so a _Pastoral_ action of a _Pastoral_; at least
it must be so turn'd and wrought, that it might appear to be the
action of a _Shepherd_; which caution is very necessary to be
observ'd, to clear a great many difficulties in this matter: for tho
as the Interpreters assure us; most of _Virgils_ Eclogues are about
the Civil war, planting Colonys, the murder of the Emperor, and the
like, which in themselves are too great and too lofty for humble
_Pastoral_ to reach, yet because they are accomodated to the Genius of
Shepherds, may be the Subject of an _Eclogue_, for that sometimes will
admit of Gods and Heroes so they appear like, and are shrouded under
the Persons of Shepherds: But as for these matters which neither
really are, nor are so wrought as to seem the actions of Shepherds,
such are in _Moschus's_ _Europa_, _Theocritus's_ _Epithalamium of
Helen_, and _Virgil's_ _Pollio_, to declare my opinion freely, I
cannot think them to be fit Subjects for _Bucolicks_: And upon this
account I suppose 'tis that _Servius_ in his {27} Comments on
_Virgil's_ _Bucoliks_ reckons only seven of _Virgil's_ ten Eclogues,
and onely ten of _Theocritus's_ thirty, to be pure Pastorals, and
_Salmasius_ upon _Solinus_ says, that _amongst Theocritus's_ _Poems
there are some which you may call what you please Beside Pastorals_:
and _Heinsius_ in his _Scholia_ upon _Theocritus_ will allow but Ten
of his _Idylliums_ to be _Bucoliks_, 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11.
for all the rest are deficient either in matter or form, and from this
number of pure pastoral _Idylliums_ I am apt to think, that
_Theocritus_ seems to have made that Pipe, on which he tun'd his
_Pastorals_ and which he consecrated to _Pan_ of ten Reeds, as
_Salmasius_ in his notes on _Theocritus's_ Pipe hath learnedly
observed: _in which two Verses always make one Reed of the Pipe,
therefore all are so unequal, like the unequal Reeds of a Pipe, that
if you put two equals together which make one Reed, the whole
inequality consists in ten pairs_; when in the common Pipes there were
usually no more then seven Reeds, and this the less curious observers
have heedlessly past by.

Some are of opinion that whatever is done in the Country, and in one
word, every thing that hath nought of the City in it may be treated of
in _Pastorals_; and that the discourse of Fishers, Plow-men, Reapers,
Hunters, and the like, belong to this kind of Poetry: which according
to the Rule that I have laid down cannot be true for, as I before
hinted nothing but the action of a {28} Shepherd can be the Subject of
a Pastoral.

I shall not here enquire, tho it may seem proper, whether we can
decently bring into an Eclogue Reapers, Vine-dressers, Gardners,
Fowlers, Hunters, Fishers, or the like, whose lives for the most part
are taken up with too much business and employment to have any vacant
time for Songs, and idle Chat, which are more agreeable to the leisure
of a Sheapards Life: for in a great many Rustick affairs, either the
hardship and painful Labor will not admit a song, as in Plowing, or
the solitude as in hunting, Fishing, Fowling, and the like; but of
this I shall discourse more largely in another place.

Now 'tis not sufficient to make a Poem a true _Pastoral_, that the
Subject of it is the action of a Shepherd, for in _Hesiods_ *erga* and
_Virqils Georgicks_ there are a great many things that belong to the
employment of a Shepherd, yet none fancy they are Pastorals; from
whence 'tis evident, that beside the _matter_, which we have defin'd
to be the action of a Sheapard, there is a peculiar _Form_ proper to
this kind of _Poetry_ by which 'tis distinguish'd from all others.

Of Poetry in General _Socrates_, as _Plato_ tells us, would have
_Fable_ to be the _Form_: _Aristotle_ Imitation: I shall not dispute
what difference there is between these two, but only inquire whether
Imitation be the _Form_ of _Pastoral_: 'Tis certain that _Epick_
Poetry is differenc't from _Tragick_ only by {29} the manner of
imitation, for the latter imitates by _action_, and the former by bare
_narration_: But _Pastoral_ is the imitation of a _Pastoral_ action
either by bare narration, as in _Virgil's_ _Alexis_, and
_Theocritus's_ 7th _Idyllium_, in which the Poet speaks all along in
his own Person: or by action as in _Virgil's_ _Tityrus_, and the first
of _Theocritus_, or by both mixt, as in the Second and Eleventh
_Idylliums_, in which the Poet partly speaks in his own Person, and
partly makes others speak, and I think the old _Scholiast_ on
_Theocritus_ took an hint from these when he says, that Pastoral is a
mixture made up of all sorts, for 'tis Narrative, Dramatick, and mixt,
and _Aristotle_, tho obscurely, seems to hint in those words, _In
every one of the mentioned Arts there is Imitation, in some simple, in
some mixt_; now this latter being peculiar to _Bucolicks_ makes its
very form and Essence: and therefore _Scaliger_, in the 4th Chapter of
his first Book of Poetry, reckons up three Species of _Pastorals_, the
first hath but one Person, the second several, which sing alternately;
the third is mixt of both the other: And the same observation is made
by _Heinsius_ in his Notes on _Theocritus_, for thus he very plainly
to our purpose, _the Character of_ Bucolicks _is a mixture of all
sorts of Characters, Dramatick, Narrative, or mixt_: from all which
'tis very manifest that the manner of _Imitation_ which is proper to
_Pastorals_ is the mixt: for in other kinds of Poetry 'tis one and
simple, at least {30} not so manifold; as in _Tragedy Action_: in
_Epick_ Poetry _Narration_.

Now I shall explain what sort of _Fable_; _Manners_, _Thought_,
_Expression_, which four are necessary to constitute every kind of
Poetry, are proper to this sort.

Concerning the Fable which _Aristotle_ calls, *synthesin tôn
pragmatôn*, I have but one thing to say: this, as the Philosopher
hints, as of all other sorts of Poetry, so of Pastoral is the very
Soul. and therfore _Socrates_ in _Plato_ says, that in those Verses
which he had made there was nothing wanting but the _Fable_: therefore
Pastorals as other kinds of Poetry must have their Fable, if they will
be Poetry: Thus in _Virgil's_ _Silenus_ which contains the Stories of
allmost the whole Fabulous Age, two Shepherds whom _Silenus_ had often
promis'd a Song, and as often deceived, seize upon him being drunk and
asleep, and bind him with wreath'd Flowers; _Ægle_ comes in and
incourages the timorous youths, and stains his jolly red Face with
Blackberries, _Silenus_ laughs at their innocent contrivance, and
desires to be unbound, and then with a premeditated Song satisfies the
Nymph's and Boys Curiosity; The incomparable Poet sings wonders, the
Rocks rejoyce, the Vales eccho, and happy _Eurotas_ as if _Phoebus_
himself sang, hears all, and bids the Laurels that grow upon his Banks
listen to, and learn the Song.

  {31} Happy _Eurotas_ as he flow'd along
  Heard all, and bad the Laurels learn the Song.

Thus every Eclogue or Idyllium must have its Fable, which must be the
groundwork of the whole design, but it must not be perplext with
sudden and unlookt for changes, as in _Marinus's_ _Adonis_: for that,
tho the _Fable_ be of a Shepherd, yet by reason of the strange Bombast
under Plots, and wonderful occurences, cannot be accounted _Pastoral_;
for that it might be agreeable to the Person it treats of, it must be
plain and simple, such as _Sophocles's_ _Ajax_, in which there is not
so much as one change of Fortune. As for the Manners, let that
precept, which _Horace_ lays down in his Epistle to the _Pisones_, be
principally observed.

  Let each be grac't with that which suits him best.

For this, as 'tis a rule relateing to _Poetry_ in general, so it
respects this kind also of which we are treating; and against this
_Tasso_ in his _Amyntas_, _Bonarellus_ in his _Phyllis_, _Guarinus_ in
his _Pastor Fido_, _Marinus_ in his _Idylliums_, and most of the
_Italians_ grievously offend, for they make their _Shepherds_ too
polite, and elegant, and cloth them with all the neatness of the Town,
and Complement of the Court, which tho it may seem very pretty, yet
amongst good _Critics_, let _Veratus_ {32} say what he will in their
excuse, it cannot be allowed: For 'tis against _Minturnus's_ Opinion,
who in his second Book _de Poetâ_ says thus: _Mean Persons are brought
in, those in Comedy indeed more polite, those in Pastorals more
unelegant, as suppos'd to lead a rude life in Solitude_; and _Jason
Denor_ a Doctor of _Padua_ takes notice of the same as a very absurd
Error: _Aristotle_ heretofore for a like fault reprehended the
_Megarensians_, who observ'd no _Decorum_ in their _Theater_, but
brought in mean persons with a Train fit for a _King_ and cloath'd a
Cobler or Tinker in a Purple Robe: In vain doth _Veratus_ in his
Dispute against _Jason Denor_, to defend those elaborately exquisite
discourses, and notable sublime sentences of his _Pastor Fido_, bring
some lofty _Idylliums_ of _Theocritus_, for those are not acknowledged
to be Pastoral; _Theocritus_ and _Virgil_ must be consulted in this
matter, the former designdly makes his Shepherds discourse in the
_Dorick_ i. e. the Rustick Dialect, sometimes scarce true Grammar; &
the other studiously affects ignorance in the persons of his
Shepherds, as _Servius_ hath observ'd, and is evident in _Melibæus_,
who makes _Oaxes_ to be a River in _Crete_ when 'tis in
_Mesopotamia_: and both of them take this way that the Manners may
the more exactly suit with the Persons they represent, who of
themselves are rude and unpolisht: And this proves that they
scandalously err, who make their Shepherds appear polite and elegant;
nor can I imagine what _Veratus_ {33} who makes so much ado about the
polite manners of the _Arcadian_ Shepherds, would say to _Polybius_
who tells us that _Arcadians_ by reason of the Mountainousness of the
Country and hardness of the weather, are very unsociable and austere.

Now as too much neatness in _Pastoral_ is not to be allow'd, so
rusticity (I do not mean that which _Plato_, in his Third Book of a
Commonwealth, mentions which is but a part of a down right honesty)
but Clownish stupidity, such as _Theophrastus_, in his Character of a
_Rustick_, describes; or that disagreeable unfashionable roughness
which _Horace_ mentions in his Epistle to _Lollius_, must not in my
opinion be endur'd: On this side _Mantuan_ errs extreamly, and is
intolerably absur'd, who makes Shepherds blockishly sottish, and
insufferably rude: And a certain Interpreter blames _Theocritus_ for
the same thing, who in some mens opinion sometimes keeps too close to
the _Clown_, and is rustick and uncouth; But this may be very well
excus'd because the Age in which he sang was not as polite as now.

But that every Part may be suitable to a Shepherd, we must consult
unstain'd, uncorrupted Nature; so that the manners might not be too
Clownish nor too Caurtly: And this mean may be easily observed if the
manners of our Shepherds be represented according to the _Genius_ of
the _golden Age_, in which, if _Guarinus_ may be believ'd {34}, every
man follow'd that employment: And _Nannius_ in the Preface to his
Comments on _Virgil's_ _Bucolicks_ is of the same opinion, for he
requires that the manners might represent the Golden Age: and this was
the reason that _Virgil_ himself in his _Pollio_ describes that Age,
which he knew very well was proper to _Bucolicks_: For in the whole
course of a Shepherds life there can be no form more excellent than
that which was the practise of the Golden Age; And this may serve to
moderate and temper the affections that must be exprest in this sort
of Poetry, and sufficiently declare the whole Essence of it, which in
short must be taken from the nature of a Shepherds life to which a
Courtly dress is not agreeable.

That the Thought may be commendable, it must be suitable to the
_manners_; as those must be plain and pure that must be so too: nor
must contain any, deep, exquisite, or elaborate fancies: And against
this the _Italians_ offend, who continually hunt after smart witty
sayings, very foolishly in my opinion; for in the Country, where all
things should be full of plainess and simplicity who would paint or
endeavor to be gawdy when such appearances would be very disagreeable
and offend? _Pontanus_ in this matter hath said very well, _The
Thought must not be to exquisite and witty, the Comparisons obvious
and common, such as the State of Persons and Things require_: Yet tho
too scrupulous a Curiosity in Ornament ought to be rejected, {35} yet
lest the Thought be cold and flat, it must have some quickness of
Passion, as in these.

  Cruel _Alexis_ can't my Verses move?
  Hast thou no Pitty? I must dye for Love_.

And again,

  He neither Gods, nor yet my Verse regards.

The Sense must not be long, copious, and continued, For _Pastoral_ is
weak, and not able to hold out; but of this more when I come to lay
down rules for its Composure: But tho it ought to imitate _Comedy_ in
its common way of discourse, yet it must not chose _old Comedy_ for
its pattern, for that is too impudent, and licentiously abusive: Let
it be free and modest, honest and ingenuous, and that will make it
agreeable to the Golden Age.

Let the Expression be plain and easy, but elegant and neat, and the
purest which the language will afford; _Pontanus_ upon _Virgils_
Bucolicks gives the very same rule, _In Bucolicks the Expression must
be humble, nearer common discourse than otherwise, not very Spirituous
and vivid, yet such as shows life and strength_: Tis certain that
_Virgil_ in his _Bucolicks_ useth the same words which _Tully_ did in
the _Forum_ or the _Senate_; and _Tityrus_ beneath his shady Beech
speaks as pure and good _Latin_ as _Augustus_ in his Palace, as
_Modicius_ in his _Apology_ for _Virgil_ hath excellently observ'd:
{36} This rule, 'tis true; _Theocritus_ hath not so strictly follow'd,
whose Rustick and Pastoral Muse, as _Quintilian_ phraseth it, _not
only is affraid to appear in the_ Forum, _but the City_, and for the
very same thing an _Alexandrian_ flouts the _Syracucusian Weomen_ in
the Fifteenth _Idyllium_ of _Theocritus_, for when they, being then in
the City, spoke the _Dorick_ Dialect, the delicate Citizen could not
endure it, and found fault with their distastful, as he thought,
pronunciation: and his reflection was very smart.

  Like Pidgeons you have mouths from Ear to Ear.

So intolerable did that broad way of pronunciation, tho exactly fit
for a Clowns discourse, seem to a Citizen: and hence _Probus_ observes
that 'twas much harder for the _Latines_ to write _Pastorals_ than for
the _Greeks_; because the _Latines_ had not some _Dialects_ peculiar
to the Country, and others to the City, as the _Greeks_ had; Besides
the _Latine_ Language, as _Quintilian_ hath observ'd, is not capable
of the neatness which is necessary to Bucolicks, no, that is the
peculiar priviledge of the _Greeks_: _We cannot_, says he, _be so low,
they exceed us in subtlety, and in propriety they are at more
certainty than We_: and again, _in pat and close Expressions we cannot
reach the Greeks_: And, if we believe _Tully_, _Greek is much more fit
for Ornament than Latin_ for it hath much more of that neatness, {37}
and ravishing delightfulness, which _Bucolicks_ necessarily require.

Yet of Pastoral, with whose Nature we are not very well acquainted,
what that _Form_ is which the _Greeks_ call the _Character_, is not
very easy to determine; yet that we may come to some certainty, we
must stick to our former observation, _viz._ that _Pastoral_ belongs
properly to the _Golden Age_: For as _Tully_ in his Treatise _de
Oratore_ says, _in all our disputes the Subject is to be measur'd by
the most perfect of that kind_, and _Synesius_ in his _Encomium_ on
_Baldness_ hints the very same, when he tells us that Poetry fashions
its subject as Men imagine it should be, and not as really it is:
*pros doxan, ou pros alêtheian*: Now the Life of a Shepherd, that it
might be rais'd to the highest perfection, is to be referr'd to the
manners and age of the world whilst yet innocent, and such as the
Fables have describ'd it: And as Simplicity was the principal vertue
of that Age, so it ought to be the peculiar Grace, and as it were
_Character_ of _Bucolicks_: in which the Fable, Manners, Thought, and
Expression ought to be full of the most innocent simplicity
imaginable: for as Innocence in Life, so purity and simplicity in
discourse was the Glory of that Age: So as gravity to _Epicks_,
Sweetness to _Lyricks_, Humor to _Comedy_, softness to _Elegies_ and
smartness to _Epigrams_, so simplicity to _Pastorals_ is proper; and
one upon _Theocritus_ says, _that the Idea of his Bucolicks is in
every part pure, and in all {38} that belongs to simplicity very
happy_: Such is this of _Virgil_, unwholsome to us Singers is the

  Of Juniper, 'tis an unwholsome shade:

Than which in my opinion nothing can be more simply; nothing more
rustically said; and this is the reason I suppose why _Macrobius_ says
that this kind of Poetry is creeping and upon mean subjects; and why
too _Virgils Tityrus_ lying under his shady Beech displeaseth some;
Excellent Criticks indeed, whom I wish a little more sense, that they
might not really be, what they would not seem to be, _Ridiculous_:
_Theocritus_ excells _Virgil_ in this, of whom _Modicius_ says,
_Theocritus deserves the greatest commendation for his happy
imitation of the simplicity of his Shepherds_, Virgil _hath mixt
Allegories, and some other things which contain too much learning, and
deepness of Thought for Persons of so mean a Quality_: Yet here I must
obviate their mistake who fancy that this sort of _Poetry_, because in
it self low and simple, is the proper work of _mean_ Wits, and not the
most _sublime_ and _excellent_ perfections: For as I think there be
can nothing more elegant than easy naked simplicity, so likewise
nothing can require more strength of Wit, and greater pains; and he
must be of a great and clear judgment, who attempts _Pastoral_, and
comes of with Honor. For there is no part of _Poetry_ that requires
more spirit, for if any part is not close and well compacted the whole
Fabrick will be ruin'd, and the {39} matter, in it self humble, must
creep; unless it is held up by the strength and vigor of the

Another qualification and excellence of _Pastoral_ is to imitate
_Timanthes's_ Art, of whom _Pliny_ writes thus; _Timanthes was very
Ingenious, in all his peices more was to be understood than the
Colours express'd, and tho his Art was very extraordinary yet his
Fancy exceeded it_: In this _Virgil_ is peculiarly happy, but others,
especially raw unexperienced Writers, if they are to describe a
Rainbow, or a River, pour out their whole stock, and are unable to
contain: Now 'tis properly requisite to a Pastoral that there should
be a great deal coucht in a few words, and every thing it says should
be so short, and so close, as if its chiefest excellence was to be
spareing in Expression: such is that of _Virgil_;

  These Fields and Corn shall a Barbarian share?
  See the Effects of all our Civil War.

How short is that? how concise? and yet how full of sense in the same

  I wonder'd why all thy complaints were made,
  Absent was _Tityrus_:

And the like you may every where meet with, as

  _Mopsus_ weds _Nisa_, what may'nt Lovers hope?

and in the second _Eclogue_,

  {40} Whom dost thou fly ah frantick! oft the Woods
  Hold Gods, and _Paris_ equal to the Gods.

This Grace _Virgil_ learn'd from _Theocritus_, allmost most all whose
Periods; especially in the third _Idyllium_, have no conjunction to
connect them, that the sense might be more close, and the Affection
vehement and strong: as in this

  Let all things change, let Pears the Firs adorn
    Now _Daphnis_ dyes.

And in the third _Eclogue_.

  But when she saw, how great was the surprize! &c.

And any one may find a great many of the like in _Theocritus_ and
_Virgil_, if with a leisurely delight he nicely examines their
delicate Composures: And this I account the greatest grace in
_Pastorals_, which in my opinion those that write _Pastorals_ do not
sufficiently observe: 'Tis true Ours (the _French_) and the _Italian_
language is to babling to endure it; This is the Rock on which those
that write _Pastorals_ in their _Mother_ tongue are usually split, But
the _Italians_ are inevitably lost; who having store of _Wit_, a very
subtle invention and flowing fancy, cannot contain; everything that
comes into their mind must be poured out, nor are they able to endure
the least restraint: as is evident from _Marinus's_ _Idylliums_, and a
great many of that nation who have ventur'd on such composures; For
unless there are many {41} stops and breakings off in the series of a
_Pastoral_, it can neither be pleasing nor artificial: And in my
Opinion _Virgil_ excells _Theocritus_ in this, for _Virgil_ is
neither so continued, nor so long as _Theocritus_; who indulges too
much the garrulity of his _Greek_; nay even in those things which he
expresseth he is more close, and more cautiously conceals that part
which ought to be dissembled: And this I am sure is a most admirable
part of Eloquence; as _Tully_ in his Epistle to _Atticus_ says, _'Tis
rare to speak Eloquently, but more rare to be eloquently silent_: And
this unskillful _Criticks_ are not acquainted with, and therefore are
wont oftner to find fault with that which is not fitly exprest, than
commend that which is prudently conceal'd: I could heap up a great
many more things to this purpose, but I see no need of such a trouble,
since no man can rationally doubt of the goodness of my Observation.
Therefore, in short, let him that writes Pastorals think brevity, if
it doth not obscure his sense, to be the greatest grace which he can

Now why _Bucolicks_ should require such Brevity, and be so
essentially sparing in _Expression_, I see no other reason but this:
It loves _Simplicity_ so much that it must be averse to that Pomp and
Ostentation which _Epick_ Poetry must show, for that must be copious
and flowing, in every part smooth, and equal to it self: But
_Pastoral_ must dissemble, and hide even that which it would {42}
show, like _Damon's_ _Galatea_, who flies then when she most desires
to be discovered.

  And to the Bushes flys, yet would be seen.

And this doth not proceed from any malitious ill-natur'd Coyness, as
some imagine, but from an ingenuous modesty and bashfulness, which
usually accompanies, and is a proof of _Simplicity: Tis very rare_,
says Pliny, _to find a man so exquisitely skillful, as to be able to
show those Features in a Picture which he hides_, and I think it to be
so difficult a task, that none but the most excellent Wits can attempt
it with success: For small Wits usually abound with a multitude of

The third Grace of _Bucolicks_ is _Neatness_, which contains all the
taking prettiness and sweetness of Expression, and whatsoever is
call'd the Delicacies of the more delightful and pleasing _Muses_:
This the Rural _Muses_ bestow'd on _Virgil_, as _Horace_ in the tenth
_Satyr_ of his first Book says,

  And _Virgils_ happy Muse in Eclogues plays,
  soft and facetious;

Which _Fabius_ takes to signify the most taking neatness and most
exquisite Elegance imaginable: For thus he explains this place, in
which he agrees with _Tully_, who in his _Third Book de Oratore_,
says, the _Atticks_ are Facetious _i.e._ elegant: Tho the common
Interpreters of these words are not of the same mind: But if by
_Facetious Horace_ had meant _jesting_, and such as is design'd to
make men laugh, and apply'd that to _Virgil_, nothing {43} could have
been more ridiculous; 'tis the design of _Comedy_ to raise laughter,
but _Eclogue_ should only delight, and charm by its takeing
_prettiness_: All ravishing _Delicacies_ of Thought, all sweetness of
Expression, all that Salt from which _Venus_, as the Poets Fable,
rose; are so essential to this kind of _Poetry_, that it cannot endure
any thing that is scurillous, malitiously biteing, or ridiculous:
There must be nothing in it but _Hony, Milk, Roses, Violets_, and the
like sweetness, so that when you read you might think that you are in
_Adonis's_ Gardens, as the _Greeks_ speak, _i.e._ in the most pleasant
place imaginable: For since the subject of _Eclogue_ must be mean and
unsurprizing, unless it maintains purity and neatness of Expression,
it cannot please.

Therefore it must do as _Tully_ says his friend _Atticus_ did, who
entertaining his acquaintance with Leeks and Onions, pleas'd them all
very well, because he had them serv'd up in wicker Chargers, and clean
Baskets; So let an _Eclogue_ serve up its fruits and flowers with
some, tho no costly imbellishment, such as may answer to the wicker
Chargers, and Baskets; which may be provided at a cheap rate, and are
agreeable to the Country: yet, (and this rule if you aim at exact
simplicity, can never be too nicely observ'd,) you must most carefully
avoid all paint and gawdiness of Expression, and, (which of all sorts
of Elegancies is the most difficult to be avoided) {44} you must take
the greatest care that no scrupulous trimness, or artificial finessess
appear: For, as _Quintilian_ teaches, _in some cases diligence and
care most most troublesomly perverse_; and when things are most sweet
they are next to loathsome and many times degenerate: Therefore as in
Weomen a careless dress becomes some extreamly. Thus _Pastoral_, that
it might not be uncomely, ought sometimes to be negligent, or the
finess of its ornaments ought not to appear and lye open to every
bodies view: so that it ought to affect a studied carelessness, and
design'd negligence: And that this may be, all gawdiness of Dress,
such as Paint and Curls, all artificial shining is to be despis'd, but
in the mean time care must be taken that the Expression be bright and
simply clean, not filthy and disgustful, but such as is varnisht with
Wit and Fancy: Now to perfect this, _Nature_ is chiefly to be lookt
upon, (for nothing that is disagreeable to Nature can please) yet that
will hardly prevail naked, by it self, and without the polishing of

Then there are three things in which, as in its parts, the whole
_Character_ of a _Pastoral_ is contain'd: _Simplicity_ of Thought and
expression: _Shortness_ of Periods full of sense and spirit: and the
_Delicacy_ of a most elegant ravishing unaffected neatness.

Next I will enquire in to the _Efficient_, and then into the _Final_
Cause of _Pastorals_.

{45} _Aristotle_ assigns two efficient Causes of _Poetry_, The
natural desire of Imitation in Man whom he calls the most imitative
Creature; and Pleasure consequent to that Imitation: Which indeed are
the _Remote_ Causes, but the _Immediate_ are _Art_ and _Nature_; Now
according to the differences of _Genius's_ several _Species_ of
Poetry have been introduced. For as the _Philosopher_ hath observ'd,
*diespathê kata ta oikeia êthê hê poiêsis* Thus those that were lofty
imitated great and Illustrious; those that were low spirited and
groveling mean Actions: And every one, according to the various
inclination of his _Nature_, follow'd this or that sort of _Poetry_:
This the _Philosopher_ expresly affirms, And _Dio Chrysostomus_ says
of _Homer_ that he received from the Gods a Nature fit for all sorts
of Verse: but this is an happiness which none partake but, as he in
the same place intimates, Godlike minds.

Not to mention other kinds of _Poetry_, what particular Genius is
requir'd to _Pastoral_ I think, is evident from the foregoing
Discourse, for as every part of it ought to be full of simple and
inartificial neatness, so it requires a Wit naturally neat and
pleasant, born to delight and ravish, which are the qualifications
certainly of a great and most excellent Nature: For whatsoever in any
kind is delicate and elegant, that is usually most excellent: And such
a _Genius_ that hath a sprightfulness of Nature, and is well
instructed {46} by the rules of Art, is fit to attempt _Pastorals_.

Of the end of Pastorals tis not so easy to give an account: For as to
the end of Poetry in General: The Enemies of Poets run out into a
large common place, and loudly tell us that Poetry is frivolous and
unprofitable. Excellent men! that love _profit_ perchance, but have no
regard for _Honesty_ and _Goodness_; who do not know that all
excellent _Arts_ sprang from _Poetry_ at first.

  Which what is honest, base, or just, or good,
  Better than _Crantor_, or _Chrysippus_ show'd.

For tis _Poetry_ that like a chast unspotted Virgin, shews men the
way, and the means to live happily, who afterward are deprav'd by the
immodest precepts of vitiated and impudent _Philosophy_. For every
body knows, that the _Epick_ sets before us the highest example of the
Bravest man; the _Tragedian_ regulates the Affections of the Mind; the
_Lyrick_ reforms Manners, or sings the Praises of Gods, and Heroes; so
that there's no part of _Poetry_ but hath it's proper end, and

But grant all this true, _Pastoral_ can make no such pretence: if you
sing a _Hero_, you excite mens minds to imitate his Actions, and
notable Exploits; but how can _Bucolicks_ apply these or the like
advantages to its self? _He that reads {47} Heroick Poems, learns what
is the vertue of a Hero, and wishes to be like him; but he that reads
Pastorals, neither learns how to feed sheep, nor wishes himself a
shepherd:_ And a great deal more to this purpose you may see in
_Modicius_, as _Pontanus_ cites him in his Notes on _Virgil's_

But when tis the end of _Comedy_, as _Jerom_ in his Epistle to
_Furia_ says, to know the Humors of Men, and to describe them; and
_Demea_ in _Terence_ intimates the same thing,

  To look on all mens lives as in a Glass,
  And take from those Examples for our Own,

so that our Humors and Conversations may be better'd, and improv'd;
why may not _Pastoral_ be allow'd the same Priviledge, and be admitted
to regulate and improve a _Shepherd's_ life by its _Bucolicks_? For
since tis a product of the Golden Age, it will shew the most innocent
manners of the most ancient Simplicity, how plain and honest, and how
free from all varnish, and deceit, to more degenerate, and worse
times: And certainly for this tis commendable in its kind, since its
design in drawing the image of a Country and Shepherd's life, is to
teach Honesty, Candor, and Simplicity, which are the vertues of
_private_ men; as _Epicks_ teach the highest Fortitude, and Prudence,
and Conduct, which are the vertues of _Generals_, and _Kings_. And tis
necessary {48} to Government, that as there is one kind of _Poetry_ to
instruct the _Citizens_, there should be another to fashion the
manners of the _Rusticks_: which if _Pastoral_, as it does, did not
do, yet would it not be altogether frivolous, and idle, since by its
taking prettinesses it can delight, and please. It can scarce be
imagin'd, how much the most flourishing times of the _Roman_ Common-
wealth, in which _Virgil_ wrote, grew better and brisker by the use of
_Pastoral_: with it were _Augustus_, _Mecænas_, _Asinius Pollio_,
_Alphenus Varus_, _Cornelius Gallus_, the most admired Wits of that
happy Age, wonderfully pleas'd; for whatever is sweet, and ravishing,
is contain'd in this sweetest kind of Poetry. But if we must slight
every thing, from which no _profit_ is to be hop'd, all pleasures of
the Eye and Ear are presently to be laid aside; and those excellent
Arts, _Musick_, and _Painting_, with which the best men use to be
delighted, are presently to be left off. Nor is it indeed credible,
that so many excellent Wits, as have devoted themselves to Poetry,
would ever have medled with it, if it had been so empty, idle, and
frivolous, as some ridiculously morose imagine; who forsooth are
better pleas'd with the severity of _Philosophy_, and her harsh,
deform'd impropriety of Expressions. But the judgments of such men are
the most contemptible in the world; for when by _Poetry_ mens minds
are fashioned to generous {49} Humors, Kindness, and the like: those
must needs be strangers to all those good qualites, who hate, or
proclaim _Poetry_ to be frivolous, and useless.

{50} _The Third_ PART

_Rules for writing_ Pastorals.

In delivering Rules for writing _Pastorals_, I shall not point to the
_streams_, which to look after argues a small creeping _Genius_, but
lead you to the _fountains_. But first I must tell you, how difficult
it is to write _Pastorals_, which many seem not sufficiently to
understand: For since its matter is low, and humble, it seems to have
nothing that is troublesome, and difficult. But this is a great
mistake, for, as _Horace_ says of _Comedy_, "It is by so much the more
difficult, by how much the less pardonable are the mistakes committed
in its composure": and the same is to be thought of every thing, whose
end is to please, and delight. For whatsoever is contriv'd for
pleasure, and not necessarily requir'd, unless it be exquisite, must
be nauseous, and distastful; as at a Supper, scraping Musick, thick
Oyntment, or the like, because the Entertainment might have been
without all these; For the sweetest things, and most delicious, are
most apt to satiate; for tho the sense may sometimes be pleas'd, yet
it presently disgusts that which is {51} luscious, and, as _Lucretius_
phraseth it,

  E'en in the midst and fury of the Joys,
  Some thing that's better riseth, and destroys.

Beside, since _Pastoral_ is of that nature, that it cannot endure too
much negligence, nor too scrupulous diligence, it must be very
difficult to be compos'd, especially since the expression must be
neat, but not too exquisite, and fine: It must have a simple native
beauty, but not too mean; it must have all sorts of delicacies, and
surprizing fancies, yet not be flowing, and luxuriant. And certainly,
to hit all these excellencies is difficult enough, since Wit, whose
nature it is to pour it self forth, must rather be restrain'd than
indulg'd; and that force of the Mind, which of it self is so ready to
run on, must be checkt, and bridled: Which cannot be easily perform'd
by any, but those who have a very good Judgment, and practically
skill'd in Arts, and Sciences: And lastly, a neat, and as it were a
happy Wit; not that curious sort, I mean, which _Petronius_ allows
_Horace_, lest too much _Art_ should take off the Beauty of the
_Simplicity_. And therefore I would not have any one undertake this
task, that is not very polite by _Nature_, and very much at leisure.
For what is more hard than to be always in the _Country_, and yet
never to be _Clownish_? to sing of _mean_, and _trivial_ matters, {52}
yet not _trivially_, and _meanly_? to pipe on a _slender_ Reed, and
yet keep the sound from being _harsh_, and _squeaking_? to make every
thing _sweet_,  yet never _satiate_? And this I thought necessary to
premise, in order to the better laying down of such Rules as I design.
For the naked _simplicity_ both of the Matter and Expression of a
_Pastoral_, upon bare Contemplation, might seem easily to be hit, but
upon trial 'twill be found a very hard task: Nor was the difficulty to
be dissembled, lest _Ignorance_ should betray some into a rash
attempt. Now I must come to the very Rules; for as nothing excellent
can be brought to perfection without _Nature_, (for Art unassisted by
that, is vain, and ineffectual,) so there is no _Nature_ so excellent,
and happy, which by its own strength, and without _Art_ and _Use_ can
make any thing excellent, and great.

But tis hard to give _Rules_ for that, for which there have been none
already given; for where there are no footsteps nor path to direct, I
cannot tell how any one can be certain of his way. Yet in this
difficulty I will follow _Aristotle's_ Example, who being to lay down
Rules concerning _Epicks_, propos'd _Homer_ as a Pattern, from whom he
deduc'd the whole Art: So I will gather from _Theocritus_ and
_Virgil_, those Fathers of _Pastoral_, what I shall deliver on this
account. For all the Rules that are to be given of any Art, are to be
given of it as excellent, and perfect, and {53} therefore ought to be
taken from them in whom it is so.

The first Rule shall be about the _Matter_, which is either the
_Action_ of a _Shepherd_, or contriv'd and fitted to the _Genius_ of a
Shepherd; for tho _Pastoral_ is simple, and bashful, yet it will
entertain lofty subjects, if it can be permitted to turn and fashion
them to its own proper Circumstances, and Humor: which tho
_Theocritus_ hath never done, but kept close to _pastoral_ simplicity,
yet _Virgil_ hath happily attempted; of whom almost the same
_Character_ might be given, which _Quintilian_ bestow'd on
_Stesichorus_, who _with his Harp bore up the most weighty subjects
of_ Epick _Poetry_; for _Virgil_ sang great and lofty things to his
Oaten Reed, but yet suited to the Humor of a Shepherd, for every thing
that is not agreeable to that, cannot belong to _Pastoral_: of its own
nature it cannot treat of lofty and great matters.

Therefore let _Pastoral_ be smooth and soft, not noisy and bombast;
lest whilst it raiseth its voice, and opens its mouth, it meet with
the same fate that, they say, an _Italian_ Shepherd did, who having a
very large mouth, and a very strong breath, brake his Pipe as often as
he blow'd it. This is a great fault in one that writes _Pastorals_:
for if his words are too sounding, or his sense too strong, he must be
absurd, because indecently loud. And this is not the rule of an
unskilful {54} impertinent Adviser, but rather of a very excellent
Master in this _Art_; for _Phoebus_ twitcht _Virgil_ by the Ear, and
warn'd him to forbear great Subjects: but if it ventures upon such, it
may be allow'd to use some short _Invocations_, and, as _Epicks_ do,
modestly implore the assistance of a Muse. This _Virgil_ doth in his
_Pollio_, which is a Composure of an unusual loftiness:

  _Sicilian_ Muse begin a loftier strain.

So he invocates _Arethusa_, when _Cornelius Gallus Proconsul of
Ægypt_ and his _Amours_, matters above the common reach of _Pastoral_,
are his Subject.

  One Labor more O _Arethusa_ yield.

Why he makes his application to _Aretheusa_ is easy to conjecture,
for she was a _Nymph_ of _Sicily_, and so he might hope that she could
inspire him with a _Genius_ fit for _Pastorals_ which first began in
that _Island_, Thus in the seventh and eighth _Eclogue_, as the matter
would bear, he invocates the Nymphs and Muses: And _Theocritus_ does
the same,

  Tell Goddess, you can tell.

From whence 'tis evident that in _Pastoral_, tho it never pretends to
any greatness, _Invocations_ {55} may be allow'd: But whatever Subject
it chooseth, it must take care to accommodate it to the Genius and
Circumstances of a Shepherd.

Concerning the Form, or mode of _Imitation_, I shall not repeat what
I have already said, _viz._ that this is in it self _mixt_; for
_Pastoral_ is either _Alternate_, or hath but _one Person_, or is
_mixt_ of both: yet 'tis properly and chiefly _Alternate_. as is
evident from that of _Theocritus_.

  Sing _Rural_ strains, for as we march along
  We may delight each other with a Song.

In which the _Poet_ shows that _alternate_ singing is proper to a
_Pastoral_: But as for the _Fable_, 'tis requisite that it should be
simple, lest in stead of _Pastoral_ it put on the form of a _Comedy_,
or _Tragedy_ if the _Fable_ be great, or intricate: It must be _One_;
this _Aristotle_ thinks necessary in every _Poem_, and _Horace_ lays
down this general Rule,

  Be every _Fable_ simple, and but one:

For every Poem, that is not _One_, is imperfect, and this _Unity_ is
to be taken from the _Action_: for if that is _One_, the Poem will be
so too. Such is the Passion of _Corydon_ in _Virgil's_ second Eclogue,
_Meliboeus's_ Expostulation with _Tityrus_ about his Fortune;
_Theocritus's_ _Thyrsis, Cyclops_, and _Amaryllis_, of which perhaps
in its proper place I may treat more largely.

{56} Let the third Rule be concerning the _Expression_, which cannot
be in this kind excellent unless borrow'd from _Theocritus's_
_Idylliums_, or _Virgil's_ _Eclogues_, let it be chiefly simple, and
ingenuous: such is that of _Theocritus_,

  A Kid belongs to thee, and Kids are good,

Or that in _Virgil's_ seventh Eclogue,

  This Pail of Milk, these Cakes (_Priapus_) every year
  Expect; a little Garden is thy care:
  Thou'rt Marble now, but if more Land I hold,
  If my Flock thrive, thou shalt be made of Gold,

than which I cannot imagine more simple, and more ingenuous
expressions. To which may be added that out of his _Palemon_,

  And I love _Phyllis_, for her Charms excell;
  At my departure O what tears there fell!
  She sigh'd, Farewell Dear Youth, a long Farewell.

Now, That I call an ingenuous Expression which is clear and smooth,
that swells with no insolent words, or bold metaphors, but hath
something familiar, and as it were obvious in its Composure, and not
disguis'd by any study'd and affected dress: All its Ornament must be
like the Corn and fruits in the Country, easy to {57} be gotten, and
ready at hand, not such as requires Care, Labor, and Cost to be
obtain'd: as _Hermogenes_ on _Theocritus_ observes; _See how easie and
unaffected this sounds_,

  Pines murmurings, Goatherd, are a pleasing sound,

_and most of his expressions, not to say all, are of the same
nature_: for the ingenuous simplicity both of Thought and Expression
is the natural _Characteristick_ of _Pastoral_. In this _Theocritus_
and _Virgil_ are admirable, and excellent, the others despicable, and
to be pittied; for they being enfeebled by the meanes of their
subject, either creep, or fall flat. _Virgil_ keeps himself up by his
choice and curious words, and tho his matter for the most part (and
_Pastoral_ requires it) is mean, yet his expressions never flag, as is
evident from these lines in his _Alexis_:

  The glossy Plums I'le bring, and juicy Pear,
  Such as were once delightful to my Dear:
  I'le crop the Laurel, and the Myrtle tree,
  Confus'dly set, because their Sweets agree.

For since the matter must be low, to avoid being abject, and
despicable, you must borrow some light from the Expression; not such
as is dazling, but pure, and lambent, such as may shine thro the whole
matter, but never flash, and blind. {58} The words of such a _Stile_
we are usually taught in our Nurses armes, but 'tis to be perfected
and polished by length of time, frequent use, study, and diligent
reading of the most approved Authors: for Pastoral is apt to be
slighted for the meaness of its Matter, unless it hath some additional
Beauty, be pure, polisht, and so made pleasing, and attractive.
Therefore never let any one, that designs to write _Pastorals_,
corrupt himself with foreign manners; for if he hath once vitiated the
healthful habit, as I may say, of Expression, which _Bucolicks_
necessarily require, 'tis impossible he should be fit for that task.
Yet let him not affect pompous or dazling Expressions, for such belong
to _Epicks_, or _Tragedians_. Let his words sometimes tast of the
Country, not that I mean, of which _Volusius's_ Annals, upon which
_Catullus_ hath made that biting _Epigram_, are full; for though the
Thought ought to be rustick, and such as is suitable to a Shepherd,
yet it ought not to be Clownish, as is evident in _Corydon_, when he
makes mention of his Goats.

  Young sportive Creatures, and of spotted hue,
  Which suckled twice a day, I keep for you:
  These_ Thestilis _hath beg'd, and beg'd in vain,
  But now they're Hers, since You my Gifts disdain.

For what can be more Rustical, than to design those _Goats_ for
_Alexis_, at that very time when {59} he believes _Thestylis's_
winning importunity will be able to prevail? yet there is nothing
Clownish in the words. In short, _Bucolicks_ should deserve that
commendation which _Tully_ gives _Crassus_, of whose Orations he would
say, _that nothing could be more free from childish painting, and
affected finery_. So let the Expression in _Pastoral_ be without gawdy
trappings, and all those little fineries of Art, which are us'd to set
off and varnish a discourse: But let an ingenuous Simplicity. and
unaffected pleasing Neatness appear in every part; which yet will be
flat, if 'tis drawn out to any length, if not close, short, and
broken, as that in _Virgil_,

  He that loves _Bavius_ Verses, hates not Thine:

And in the same _Eclogue_,

    --It is not safe to drive too nigh,
  The Bank may fail, the Ram is hardly dry:

And in _Corydon_,

  To learn this Art what won't _Amyntas_ do?

And in _Theocritus_ much of the same nature may be seen; as in his
other _Pastoral Idylliums_, so chiefly in his fifth. Thus _Battus_ in
the fourth _Idyllium_, complaining for the loss of _Amaryllis_,

  {60} Dear Nymph, dear as my Goats, you dy'd.

And how soft and tender is that in the third _Idyllium_,

  And she may look on me, she may be won,
  She may be kind, she is not perfect Stone,

And in this _concise_, close way of Expression lies the chiefest
Grace of _Pastorals_: for in my opinion there's nothing in the whole
Composition that can delight more than those frequent stops, and
breakings off. Yet lest in these too it become dull and sluggish, it
must be quickned by frequent lively touches of Concernment: such as
that of the Goatherd in the third Idyllium,

  --I see that I must die:

Or _Daphnis's_ despair, which _Thyrsis_ sings in the first

  Ye Wolves, and Pards, and Mountain Bores adieu,
  The Herdsmen now must walk no more with You.

How tender are the lines, and yet what passion they contain! And most
of _Virgil's_ are of this nature, but there are likewise in him some
touches of despairing Love, such as is this of _Alphesiboeus_,

  Nor have I any mind to be reliev'd:

{61} Or that of _Damon_,

  I'le dy, yet tell my Love e'en whilst I dy:

Or that of _Corydon_,

  He lov'd, but could not hope for Love again.

For tho _Pastoral_ doth not admit any violent passions, such as
proceed from the greatest extremity, and usually accompany despair;
yet because Despairing Love is not attended with those frightful and
horrible consequences, but looks more like _grief to be pittied_, and
a _pleasing madness_, than _rage_ and _fury_, _Eclogue_ is so far from
refusing, that it rather loves, and passionately requires them.
Therefore an unfortunate _Shepherd_ may be brought in, complaining of
his successless Love to the _Moon, Stars_, or _Rocks_, or to the
Woods, and purling Streams, mourning the unsupportable anger, the
frowns and coyness of his proud _Phyllis_; singing at his _Nymphs_
door, (which _Plutarch_ reckons among the signs of Passion) or doing
any of those fooleries, which are familiar to Lovers. Yet the Passion
must not rise too high, as _Polyphemus's_, _Galateas's_ mad Lover, of
whom _Theocritus_ divinely thus, as almost of every thing else:

  His was no common flame, nor could he move
  In the old Arts, and beaten paths of Love,
  No Flowers nor Fruits sent to oblige the Fair,
  {62} His was all Rage, and Madness:

For all violent Perturbations are to be diligently avoided by
_Bucolicks_, whose nature it is to be _soft_, and _easie_: For in
small matters, and such must all the strifes and contentions of
Shepherds be, to make a great deal of adoe, is as unseemly, as to put
_Hercules's_ Vizard and Buskins on an Infant, as _Quintilian_ hath
excellently observ'd. For since _Eclogue_ is but weak, it seems not
capable of those Commotions which belong to the _Theater_, and
_Pulpit_; they must be soft, and gentle, and all its Passion must seem
to flow only, and not break out: as in _Virgil's Gallus_,

  Ah, far from home and me You wander o're
  The _Alpine_ snows, the farthest Western shore,
  And frozen _Rhine_. When are we like to meet?
  Ah gently, gently, lest thy tender feet
  Sharp Ice may wound.

To these he may sometimes joyn some short Interrogations made to
_inanimate Beings_, for those spread a strange life and vigor thro the
whole Composure. Thus in _Daphnis_,

  Did not You Streams, and Hazels, hear the Nymphs?

Or give the very Trees, and Fountains sense, as in _Tityrus_,

  Thee (_Tityrus_) the Pines, and every Vale,
  The Fountains, Hills, and every shrub did call:

for by this the Concernment is express'd; and of the like nature is
that of _Thyrsis_, in _Virgil's_ _Meliboeus_,

  {63} When _Phyllis_ comes, my wood will all be green.

And this sort of Expressions is frequent in _Theocritus_, and
_Virgil_, and in these the delicacy of _Pastoral_ is principally
contain'd, as one of the old _Interpreters_ of _Theocritus_ hath
observ'd on this line, in the eighth _Idyllium_,

  Ye Vales, and Streams, a race Divine:

But let them be so, and so seldom us'd, that nothing appear vehement,
and bold, for Boldness and Vehemence destroy the sweetness which
peculiarly commends _Bucolicks_, and in those Composures a constant
care to be soft and easie should be chief: For _Pastoral_ bears some
resemblance to _Terence_, of whom _Tully_, in that Poem which he
writes to _Libo_, gives this Character,

  His words are soft, and each expression sweet.

In mixing _Passion_ in _Pastorals_, that rule of _Longinus_, in his
golden Treatise *peri hypsous*, must be observ'd, _Never use it, but
when the matter requires it, and then too very sparingly_.

Concerning the _Numbers_, in which _Pastoral_ should be written, this
is my opinion; the _Heroick_ Measure, but not so strong and sounding
as in _Epicks_, is to be chosen. _Virgil_ and _Theocritus_ have given
us examples; for tho _Theocritus_ hath in one Idyllium mixt other
Numbers, yet that can be of no force against all the rest; and
_Virgil_ useth no Numbers but _Heroick_, from whence it may be
inferr'd, that those are the fittest.

{64} _Pastoral_ may sometimes admit plain, but not long _Narrations_
such as _Socrates_ in _Plato_ requires in a Poet; for he chiefly
approves those who use a plain _Narration_, and commends that above
all other which is short, and fitly expresseth the nature of the
Thing. Some are of opinion that _Bucolicks_ cannot endure Narrations,
especially if they are very long, and imagine there are none in
_Virgil_: but they have not been nice enough in their observations,
for there are some, as that in _Silenus_.

  Young _Chromis_ and _Mnasylus_ chanct to stray,
  Where (sleeping in a Cave) _Silenus_ lay,
  Whose constant Cups fly fuming to his brain,
  And always boyl in each extended vein:
  His trusty Flaggon, full of potent Juice,
  Was hanging by, worn out with Age, and Use, &c.

But, because _Narrations_ are so seldom to be found in _Theocritus_,
and _Virgil_, I think they ought not to be often us'd; yet if the
matter will bear it, I believe such as _Socrates_ would have, may very
fitly be made use of.

The Composure will be more suitable to the Genius of a Shepherd, if
now and then there are some short turns and digressions from the
purpose: Such is that concerning _Pasiphae_ in _Silenus_, although tis
almost too long; but we may give _Viogil_ a little leave, who takes so
little liberty himself.

{65} Concerning _Descriptions_ I cannot tell what to lay down, for in
this matter our Guides, _Virgil_, and _Theocritus_, do not very well
agree. For he in his first _Idyllium_ makes such a long immoderate
description of his _Cup_, that _Criticks_ find fault with him, but no
such description appears in all _Virgil_; for how sparing is he in his
description of _Meliboeus's_ Beechen Pot, the work of Divine
_Alcimedon_? He doth it in _five_ verses, _Theocritus_ runs out into
_thirty_, which certainly is an argument of a wit that is very much at
leisure, and unable to moderate his force. That _shortness_ which
_Virgil_ hath prudently made choice of, is in my opinion much better;
for a Shepherd, who is naturally incurious, and unobserving, cannot
think that tis his duty to be exact in particulars, and describe every
thing with an accurate niceness: yet _Roncardus_ hath done it, a man
of most correct judgment, and, in imitation of _Theocritus_, hath,
considering the then poverty of our language, admirably and largely
describ'd _his_ Cup; and _Marinus_ in his Idylliums hath follow'd the
same example. He never keeps within compass in his Descriptions, for
which he is deservedly blam'd; let those who would be thought
accurate, and men of judgment, follow _Virgil's_ prudent moderation.
Nor can the Others gain any advantage from _Moschus's_ _Europa_, in
which the description of the _Basket_ is very long, for that Idyllium
is not _Pastoral_; yet I confess, that some {66} descriptions of such
trivial things, if not minutely accurate, may, if seldom us'd, be
decently allow'd a place in the discourses of _Shepherds_.

But tho you must be sparing in your _Descriptions_, yet your
_Comparisons_ must be frequent, and the more often you use them, the
better and more graceful will be the Composure; especially if taken
from such things, as the Shepherds must be familiarly acquainted with:
They are frequent in _Theocritus_ but so proper to the Country, that
none but a _Shepherd_ dare use them. Thus _Menalcas_ in the eighth

  Rough Storms to Trees, to Birds the treacherous Snare,
  Are frightful Evils; Springes to the Hare,
  Soft Virgins Love to Man, &c.

And _Damoetas_ in _Virgil's_ _Palæmon_,

  Woolves sheep destroy, Winds Trees when newly blown,
  Storms Corn, and me my _Amaryllis_ frown.

And that in the eighth _Eclogue_,

  As Clay grows hard, Wax soft in the same fire,
  So _Daphnis_ does in one extream desire.

And such _Comparisons_ are very frequent in him, and very suitable to
the Genius of a Shepherd; as likewise often _repetitions_, and
doublings of some words: which, if they are luckily plac'd have an
unexpressible quaintness, and make the Numbers extream sweet, and the
turns ravishing and delightful. An instance of this we have in
_Virgil's_ _Meliboeus_,

  _Phyllis_ the Hazel loves; whilst _Phyllis_ loves that Tree,
  {67} Myrtles than Hazels of less fame shall be.

As for the _Manners_ of your _Shepherds_, they must be such as theirs
who liv'd in the Islands of the Happy or Golden Age: They must be
candid, simple, and ingenuous; lovers of Goodness, and Justice,
affable, and kind; strangers to all fraud, contrivance, and deceit; in
their Love modest, and chast, not one suspitious word, no loose
expression to be allowed: and in this part _Theocritus_ is faulty,
_Virgil_ never; and this difference perhaps is to be ascrib'd to
their Ages, the times in which the latter liv'd being more polite,
civil, and gentile. And therefore those who make wanton Love-stories
the subject of Pastorals, are in my opinion very unadvis'd; for all
sort of lewdness or debauchery are directly contrary to the
_Innocence_ of the _golden_ Age. There is another thing in which
_Theocritus_ is faulty, and that is making his Shepherds too sharp,
and abusive to one another; _Comatas_ and _Lacon_ are ready to fight,
and the railing between those two is as bitter as _Billingsgate_: Now
certainly such Raillery cannot be suitable to those sedate times of
the Happy Age.

As for _Sentences_, if weighty, and Philosophical, common Sense tells
us they are not fit for a _Shepherd's_ mouth. Here _Theocritus_ cannot
be altogether excus'd, but _Virgil_ deserves no reprehension. But
_Proverbs_ justly challenge admission into _Pastorals_, nothing being
more common in {68} the mouths of Countrymen than old Sayings.

Thus much seem'd necessary to be premis'd out of _RAPIN_, for the
direction and information of the Reader.

      *       *       *       *       *


p.  13. l. 15. _read_ the wind.
p.  15. l. 16. _read_ fight.
p.  60. l.  4. _read_ Shoes.
p.  95. l. 17. _read_ whilst all.
p. 112. l.  9. _read_ of my Love.

[ Transcriber's Note: The listed errata appear to belong to the
translation of Theocritus, not included in this reprint. The
following uncorrected words in the Rapin text are probably

p.  9 dissetation.
p. 17 mannes.
p. 24 theefore.
p. 25 stifes.
p. 44 finessess [uncertain reading].
p. 64 Viogil. ]

      *       *       *       *       *
          *       *       *       *
      *       *       *       *       *

Rapin's _Discourse of Pastorals_ was first published in Latin,
with his eclogues, under the title: Eclogae, cum dissertatione de
carmine pastorali. Parisiis, apud S. Cramoisy, 1659.

The English translation by Thomas Creech, prefixed to his translation
of the _Idylliums_ of Theocritus, appeared in 1684. A second
edition "to which is prefix'd, The Life of Theocritus. By Basil
Kennet", was printed at London for E. Curll, at the Dial and Bible
against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street, in 1713, and a third
edition, also printed for Curll, appeared in 1721.

 Ella M. Hymans

   Curator of Rare Books,
   General Library,
   University of Michigan

      *       *       *       *       *





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(1716), and Addison's _Freeholder_ No. 45 (1716).

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and a section on Wit from _The English Theophrastus_. With an
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translated by Creech. With an Introduction by J. E. Congleton.

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Tragedy of Hamlet_. With an Introduction by Clarence D. Thorpe.

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True Standards of Wit_, etc. With an Introduction by James L.

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