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petus. 2dly, If the words mean only simulated emotion, then Virgil represents Sinon as of such heroic constancy and resolution as to look upon instant violent death without blenching; which is to hold him up, for so far at least, as an object of respect, and even of admiration, to Eneas's hearers as well as to Virgil's readers, and thus to contradict the intention (evidenced by the terms dolis, arte, insidiis, crimine, scelerum tantorum, perjuri,) of representing him as a mean-minded man entering upon a dishonourable and dangerous enterprise, with an audacious confidence (fidens animi, atque paratus, &c.,) in his own cunning and duplicity. 3dly, It is altogether unlikely that Virgil should here employ to express simulated, the very same words which he employs, En. III. 612, in a similar context and similar circumstances, to express real emotion. 4thly, There is a perfect harmony between fidens animi, atque paratus, &c., and turbatus understood to mean real agitation, because a man may enter upon a dangerous undertaking with confidence, and even with courage, (which latter quality, however, it will be observed, is not expressed either by fidens animi, or paratus, &c.) and yet quail before the instant, imminent danger, as exquisitely shown by Homer in his most natural and touching account of Hector's flight before Achilles: how much more, then, the wretch Sinon 5thly, Turbatus means real, not simulated agitation, because real agitation was more likely to move the Trojans to pity than any simulation of it. Virgil, therefore, taking the most effectual method of moving the hearts of the Trojans, and recollecting perhaps the advice of his friend Horace, Si vis me flere, primum flendum est ipsi tibi, presents Sinon to them in a state of real agitation, pleading for his life with all the eloquence of unaffected fear. So Davos, (Ter. And. 4, 5,) instead of acquainting Mysis with his plot, and instructing her what answers she should give to Chremes, prefers to place her in such a situation, that, speaking the truth, and in entire ignorance of his design, her answers must yet of necessity be the very answers which he desired; and when Mysis afterwards inquires why he had not schooled her as to his intentions, replies, Paullum interesse censes ex animo omnia ut fert natura facias, an de industriá 2 It was inconsistent with Virgil's plot, to make Sinon speak the truth, but he could with perfect consistency, and therefore did, represent him as actuated by real emotion; which real emotion is in express terms contrasted with his false words at v. 107, Prosequitur pavitans, et ficto pectore fatur. The reader will, however, observe that Virgil, always judicious, carefully avoids ascribing extreme fear or agitation to Sinon; he is turbatus (agitated, ) pavitans (trembling, ) but he does not, like Dolon, his undoubted original, become XX0000; ūtra, 2=1003, nor do his teeth chatter, apago; 3s 3:2 atopa Tovst odovrov. Such extreme degree of terror, although beautifully consistent with the simple undisguised confession of Dolon, would have been wholly incompatible with the cunning and intricate web, which Sinon, almost from the first moment he opens his mouth, begins to wrap round the Trojans. It is therefore with the strictest propriety and observance of nature that Virgil represents Sinon, at first bold and confident; then disconcerted and agitated at the prospect of immediate death ; then re-assured by the encouragement he received; then again, losing confidence when the Trojans manifest the vehement impatience expressed by the words Tum vero ardemus scitari, &c. and, with renewed fear and trembling (pavitans,) pursuing his feigned narrative; and then, finally, when he had received an absolute promise of personal safety, going on, without further fear or hesitation, to reveal the pretended secret of his compatriots. Throughout the whole story, the reader must never forget that, although it was Virgil's ultimate object to deceive the Trojans, by means of Sinon, with respect to the horse, yet he had another object also to effect, (prior in point of time, and not less important than his ultimate object, because absolutely indispensable to the attainment of that ultimate object,) viz. to save Sinon's life, or, in other words, to assign to his reader sufficiently probable and natural reasons why the Trojans did actually spare his life, and did not, as might have been expected, execute such summary judgment upon him as Diomede and Ulysses executed upon Dolon under similar circumstances. Accordingly, the first words which he puts into the mouth of Sinon are a thrilling exclamation of despair, a piteous cry for mercy, Hew quae nunc tellus, &c. This has the effect of staying the uplifted sword, of averting the first and instant danger, compressus et omnis Impetus; they encourage him to speak, to tell who he is, and why he should not meet the captive's doom; Sinon respires, recovers his self-possession, and endeavouring to make good his ground, and strengthen the favourable impression produced by his first words, says, that he was the friend of that Palamedes, of whose unjust condemnation and death they might have heard, and the principal cause of which was the opposition given by him to the undertaking of the war against Troy; and that he had not, like the other Greeks, come to the war out of hostility to the Trojans, or even voluntarily, but had, when a mere boy, (and, therefore, irresponsible,) been sent by his father, who was so poor as not otherwise to be able to provide for his son. He then enters upon an account of his quarrel with, and persecution by, Ulysses, their most dreaded and implacable enemy; but, perceiving that they begin to take an interest in what he is saying, suddenly stops short, and artfully begs of them to put him out of pain at once, as he knew that, no matter how great or undeserved his sufferings had been, they could have no pity or forgiveness for one, who was guilty of the crime of being a Greek. The Trojan curiosity is inflamed, and they insist to know the sequel. He proceeds pavitans, (whether because he had not yet entirely recovered from his first alarm, or whether alarmed afresh by the vehemence and impatience of the Trojans, or whether from both these causes conjointly,) and relates how, by the villanous concert of the priest Calchas with Ulysses, he was selected to be offered up as a victim to appease the offended Gods; how he escaped from the altar, and lay hid during the night (the preceding night,) in a morass; and then lamenting that his escape from death by the hands of the Greeks had only led him to death by the hands of the Trojans, and that he was never more to see his country, home, or relatives, concludes with a pathetic adjuration, in the name of the Gods above, and of inviolable faith, that they would yet pity such unexampled, such undeserved misery, and spare his life. His tears, his agony of fear, the plausibility of his story, their sympathy with the object of the hatred and persecution of the Greeks and of Ulysses, prevail; they grant him his life; and so closes the first act of the interlude of Sinon. In nothing is the admirable judgment of Virgil more remarkable, than in the skill with which he has all this while kept the wooden horse, as it were, in abeyance. No act has been done, no word uttered, which could excite in the Trojan mind, or in the mind of the reader, ignorant of the sequel, the slightest

suspicion that Sinon has any thing whatsoever to do with the
horse, or the horse with Sinon. So careful is the poet to avoid
every, even the slightest, ground for a suspicion, which would
have been fatal to the entire plot, that it is from a distance, and
by the agency of the Trojans themselves, he brings Sinon into
the vicinage of the horse; and that, in the whole course of the
long history which Sinon gives of himself, and which the reader
will observe is now concluded, the horse is never so much as
mentioned, or even alluded to, except once, and then so artfully,
(as it were only for the purpose of fixing a date,) that themention
which is made, while it stimulates the Trojans to question him
on the subject, seems less remarkable than absolute silence would
have been, inasmuch as it proves that Sinon does not de industriá
eschew all notice of an object, which must have attracted his
attention, and of the purport of which he could not but be sup-
posed to have some knowledge.
In the second act of the interlude, or that part which commen-
ces with v. 152, we find Sinon totally changed; “now more bold,
The tempter . . . . . New part puts on ;” his life secure, gua-
ranteed by the King himself, he is no longer the abject, cringing,
hesitating, trembling wretch, but the successful and exulting
villain. He loudly and boldly invokes the Gods to witness his
abjuration of the Greeks and acceptance of the Trojan cove-
nant; and makes his revelation of the important secret which
is to be the rich reward of the Trojan clemency, not, as he had
pleaded for his life, in broken passages, leaving off at one place
and commencing at another, but uno tenore, explaining in un-
interrupted sequence, the absence of the Greeks; their intended
return ; the object for which they built the horse; and why
they built it of so large dimensions; the evil consequences to
the Trojans if they offered it any injury, and to the Greeks if it
were received into the city, &c.; the impostor is fully credited,
the generous, unwary, and fate-devoted Trojans are caught in
the toils so delicately woven and so noiselessly drawn around
them, and the curtain falls.
If the reader happen to be one of those critics, who think the
story of the wooden horse deficient in verisimilitude, he will re-
ceive with the greater favour an interpretation which tends to
increase the verisimilitude, by representing the falsehood and
cunning of Sinon as united, not with that quality with which
falsehood and cunning are so inconsistent, and so rarely united,

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heroic fortitude, but with their very compatible and nearly allied quality, audacity. It is impossible to leave this subject without remarking how favourably to Trojan faith and generosity, (as might be expected, Virgil being the poeta and Eneas the narrator,) the conduct of the Trojans towards Sinon contrasts with that of the Greeks towards Dolon. Ulysses and Diomede encourage Dolon, and tell him not to think of death, on which ambiguous pledge he tells the whole truth; they reward him by coolly cutting off his head, as the last word of his revelation passes his lips; Sinon tells the Trojans a tissue of lies, and not only has his life spared, but is treated with kindness and hospitality. That most rigid and terrific of all the dispensers of the socalled divine retributive justice, Dante, (see Inferno, xxx. 46, et seq.) punishes Sinon in hell with an eternal sweating fever, in company (according to the great poet's usual eccentric manner of grouping his characters,) on the one side with Potiphar’s wife, whom he punishes with a similar fever, and on the other with a famous coiner of base money at Brescia, whom he torments with a never-dying thirst and dropsy, and between whom and Sinon ensues a contention in none of the gentlest billingsgate, which of the two is the greater sinner. V. 79. Fortuna . . . finait ... improba fingit.—See Comment. En. II. 552. V. 83. Falså sub proditione Pelasgi.—“Falsá sub proditione; h. e. sub falso crimine proditionis.” Servius; followed by Heyne, and all the other commentators and translators. To this interpretation I object, 1st, That no authority has been adduced, to show that proditio may be used for crimen proditionis ; the act committed, for the charge founded upon the commission of the act. 2dly, That if Virgil had intended to say that the Pelasgi had condemned Palamedes, on or by means of a false charge of treason, he would more probably have used the words falsā proditione, in the same manner as infando indicio, without a preposition; or if he had used a preposition, it would have been per, not sub. 3dly, That Virgil could scarcely have been guilty of the fade tautology, falsā, insontem. 4thly, That this interpretation represents the whole Greek nation at Troy (“Pelasgi") as conspiring against Palamedes; which is (a) contrary to all verisimilitude; (b) deprives infando indicio of its force, because, if all were conspiring against Pala

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