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o write the life of a man who flourished two thou. sand years before us, and in a distant country, when ages of barbarity and ignorance have intervened, can be no very easy or pleasing task to the biographer. Facts containing novelly and importance, cannot be supposed, at this remote period, to be procured, or those that are already in our possession authenticated. To collect, therefore, the most probable incidents from former works, and to satisfy the curiosity of the uninformed, has been the principal aim of the writer of this sketch ; while, by an unremitting attention to classical information, he has endeavoured to render it amusing to the scholar, and instructive to the illiterate.

MANTUA, the capital of new Etruria, itself buili three centuries before Rome, had the honour of giving birth to Publius Virgilius Maro. This great event happened on or near the 15th of October, seventy

years B. C. or during the first consulship of Pompey the Great and Licinius Crassus. Who his father was, and even to country he belonged, has been disputed by the greatest writers of which literature has to boast. Some assert that he was a potter of Andes; but the most probable account is, that he was either a wandering astrologer, who practised physic, or a servant to one of this learned fraternity. It is observed by Juvenal, that medicus, mizo

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