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when they crowd on the mind so thickly. But later in the Aeneid the harmonies become yet more massive, the music yet deeper.
Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram Perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna; Quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna Est iter in silvis, ubi caelum condidit umbra Iuppiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem.
Beyond this, it might seem impossible for art to go; it might seem impossible to add anything of poise or swell or cadence with the utmost resources of the Latin language in the conquered and perfected hexameter. But Virgil went further. In passages like
Me pulsum patria pelagique extrema sequentem
Multae illam frustra Tyrrhena per oppida matres Optavere nurum; sola contenta Diana
Aeternum telorum et virginitatis amorem
Interea extremo bellator in aequore Turnus
Commixtum clamorem, arrectasque impulit auris
the feet of the verse have become wings, the exquisite mechanism ceases to be a mechanism and flashes into air and fire. In that final perfection and that final imperfection - still to the last reaching out to an infinite progress and an etherealized embodiment the art of Virgil yields its ultimate secret.
NOTE ON THE SPELLING OF
The family name Vergilius or Virgilius seems to have been fairly common both in the Latin and in others of the Italic races. portant magistracies in the last century of the Republic. Three at least of the name held imThe fluctuation between e and i in spelling no doubt corresponds to an actual difference in pronunciation at different times or by different owners of the name. Republican and early imperial inscriptions invariably give Vergilius; and this is the spelling of the earliest and best MSS. of Virgil, both in titles and in the text of Georg. IV. 563, where the poet mentions himself by name. The nickname of Parthenias given him by the Neapolitans in his lifetime shows, however, that the pronunciation, if not the spelling, Virgilius, was also then current; it may have been a provincialism. By the fifth century A.D. it had become prevalent, and established itself in common usage throughout the Middle Ages. In spite of the protests of Politian and other scholars, this usage remained unchanged during the Renaissance and until quite recently: and it is as Virgil, not Vergil, that the poet is familiarly known in all the languages of modern Europe. It would be pedantry to attempt to alter this now; and the English-speaking world will probably continue to speak and write of Virgil, though in their Latin texts they will find him called Vergilius.