« EdellinenJatka »
and Prince of his people *. Hence it has been observed, that the employment of a shepherd is a suitable preparation to the government of a kingdom. This is confirmed, by the history of David, who was taken away from the sheep-folds as he was following the ewes great with young, to feed the chosen people of God' f.'I Thus Gode himself is often compared to a shepherd, in holy writ ll; and Homer, one of the most ancient, of, the prophane writers, gives the title of shepherd of the people, to the great king of kings, 7:Agamemnon $.
20 JA LOI SW oro ci: In the most ancient times, those who applied themselves to Agriculture, naturally became hardy and robust their laborious' life fitted them for the toils of war; but afforded them no leisure for the mild and quiet enjoyments of peace. Those who inhabited the sea-coasts and discovered the art of Navigation, applied themselves rather to pi + tions being the ravaging of the neighbouring coun tries, and stealing the women from each other to But those who followed the Pastoral life, having no other employment, than the care of their
* Exod. iii. 1.
U Ibid. xxiii, 1xxvii, 1xxx, &c. και Ειπείν Ατρείδη, Αγαμέμνονα ποιμένι λαών. 9. dyft, XIV. * See Herodotz tibl si
harmless flocks and herds, led an innocent and peaceable life, living in tents, and resting themselves under the shade of trees or rocks, whilst their cattle fed at large, wheresoever they found the greatest, plenty of grass and water. They lived happy, and free from want; their cattle supplied them with milk and cheese for food, and with skins for cloathing: and served them, instead of money, to exchange for any other commodities, that they had a mind to purchase: whence the most ancient money was stamped with the figure of a sheep * This quiet and peaceable life gave them leisure to amuse themselves with Musick and Poetry: their time being chiefly spent in composing Hymns in honour of the Deity, and Songs, in which they described their soft passions and inňocent employments. Thus we find, that those two ancient Royal Shepherds, Mofes and David were Poets: and that Solomon, the son of the latter, in his celebrated Song, represents himself under the character of a shepherd.
Among the Greeks, the Arcadians were the most famous for having devoted themselves to the Pastotal life. Their country, was remote from the sea,
*. Et quod aes antiquiffimum, quod eft flatum pecore, pecore eft notatum. Varro de re ruft, lib. 2.C.I.
mountainous; atid almost inaccessible: they had plenty of sheep, and good pasturage; they were much given to singing; and Musick was the only science, which was esteemed by them to be new cessary. Their chief Deity was Pan, who was faid to be the inventor of the shepherd's pipe; and was fabled to be in love with the Nymph Echo, because there were many echoes in that woody and mountainous country. From these poetical compositions of the Arcadians, or at least from the tradition of them, the Bucolical or Pastoral Poetry feems to have taken it's rise. . It is called Bucolical, from fouxómos a neatherd; though it relates to the affáirs; not only of neatherds, but also of fhepherds and goatherds. In like manner we commonly use the word shepherd, for Pastor : but Paftor signifies all the three forts of feeders of cattle: whence Pastoral seems a more proper word to express the species of Poetry, which we now treat of, than the Greek word Bucolick. Our English word Herdmán might with great propriety be used for the Latin word Pastor, instead of Shepherd: For though we commonly understand Herdmån to mean no more than a Neatherd; and though we say a Herd.of oxen, and a Flock of sheep or goats: yet, since we always compound Herd with the nanie of any animal, to denote a
feeder of that species; as Neat-herd fignifies a feeder of Neat-cattle or kine; Shepherd a feeder of sheep; and Goatherd a feeder of goats; the word Herdman may well be used to signify all the several Paftores, or feeders of cattle.
Theocritus, of Syracuse, who lived in the reign of Hiero, and was contemporary with Ptolemy Philadelphus king of Egypt, is generally looked upon as the father of Pastoral Poetry. And yet it is' no less generally asserted, that his Idyllia cannot be said to be all Pastorals. The Criticks, who often form to themselves imaginary rules, which the Ancients never dreamed of, will not allow above ten or eleven out of the thirty Idyllia of that Author, to belong to that species of Poetry. Those who would have a Pastoral to be entirely conformable to the manners of the Golden Age, in which nothing is to be found but Piety, Innocence, and Simplicity, will exclude almost all the Idyllia of Theocritus, and Eclogues of Virgil. The dying groans of Daphnis, in the first Idyllium, will be judged too melancholy for the peace and happiness of that state: the witchcraft made use of in the second, is inconsistent with piety: in the third, the goatherd wickedly talks of killing himself: the railing, and gross obfcenity in the fifth is contrary to good manners: and
the tenth is not a Pastoral; because it isia dialogue between two Reapers. Thus, sif we adhere strict-1 ly to the rules laid down by most of our Criticks, we shall-find, that no more than-fix, out of the eleven first Idyllia of Theocritys are to be admitted into the number. The like objections have been, or may be, framed against most of the Eclogues of Virgil. But there are other Criticks, who are fol far from requiring the purer manners of the Gol-! den Age in Paftoral writings; that nothing will please them but downright rustiçițy, .They tell us, that Herdmen are a jude, unpolished ignorant fet of people: that Pastorals are an Imitation: of the median af. e Herdman, or of one represented. under that character * : wherefore any deviation from that character is unnatural, and unfit for Pastoral Poetry.21 But surely, this affertion, that Herdmen are rude, unpolished, and ignorant, is tog general: for it cannot be affirmed of them universally, The Patriarchs, Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, must be excepted : and Moses, also, who was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians t: not to mention the Royal Plalmift, who must have received his education, before he was called from tending his father's fhecpart; We find also that the Prophet Amos, who was contemporary * This is Rapin's Definition of a Paftoral. 11:7 'A'es vii. 22.