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Rickard A Parker wrote:

> Virgils's deathbed wish was that the Aenid be burned, destroyed at any rate.
> Instead it was published after his death.
>
> Shades of Emily Hale!

Dear Rick,
    Thanks for the tale.  I mis-asked for it and you provided the facts
consistent with my mis-asking.  The deathbed was not the scene of the wish, as I
suggested--and I quote:

     On leaving Italy for Greece, [Virgil] had instructed Varius to burn
     the Aeneid ‘if anything should happen to him’.  On his death-bed, he
     seems to have wavered a little: he asked for the manuscript in order
     to burn it, yet he did not insist when no one complied with his
     request. [Brooks Otis, _Virgil: A Study in Civilized Poetry_ (Oxford:
     Clarendon Press, 1963) 1.]

    I appreciate the shade of Eliot being brought in, as the allusiveness of
both V and E are of interest to me.  Both were steeped in literary traditions
and both had to find ways to become part of it.  Virgil worked hard to find a
way to write an epic that would not be second-rate Homer.
    However, Virgil's misgivings about the Aeneid were not based matters of
privacy.  Varius played Max Brod to Virgil's Kafka.  Only, as far as I know,
Kafka has had no way of knowing Brod didn't comply.  How lucky we are for the
squeamishness of friends!


Marcia