Richard Maitland, 4th Earl of Lauderdale

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Richard Maitland, 4th Earl of Lauderdale (20 June 16531695) was a Scottish politician.


  • Infernal Gods, who rule the Shades below,
    Chaos and Phlegethon, ye Realms of Woe,
    Grant what I've heard I may to light expose,
    Secrets which Earth, and Night, and Hell inclose.
    • The Works of Virgil, Translated Into English Verse (1709), Aeneid, Book VI, lines 328–331, p. 210

Quotes about Lord Maitland[edit]

  • The late Earl of Lauderdale sent me over his new translation of the Æneis, which he had ended before I ingag'd in the same design. Neither did I then intend it; but, some proposals being afterwards made me by my bookseller, I desir'd his Lordship's leave that I might accept them, which he freely granted; and I have his letter to shew for that permission. He resolv'd to have printed his work; which he might have done two years before I could publish mine; and had perform'd it, if death had not prevented him. But having his manuscript in my hands, I consulted it as often as I doubted of my author's sense; for no man understood Virgil better than that learned nobleman. His friends, I hear, have yet another and more correct copy of that translation by them, which had they pleas'd to have given the public, the judges must have been convic'd that I have not flatter'd him. Besides this help, which was not inconsiderable, ...
  • The names alone of Vicars and Ogilby (the latter of whom has equally violated the Muse of Homer and of Virgil) will supersede the necessity of any further notice of their performances: but the work of Lord Lauderdale is of a much higher character, and is entitled to considerable respect. Though finished before Dryden commenced his Virgilian undertaking, its publication was subsequent to that great man's; and did not take place till after the decease of its noble author, when it was offered to his memory by the just regard of his family. Dryden, to whom it was communicated in MS. by Lord Lauderdale, availed himself very largely of its beauties; having transplanted from it not fewer than three hundred and seventy entire verses into his own page, beside more than double that number, which he has made his own at the expense of no very laborious variation.
  • His Translation is pretty near to the Original; tho' not so close, as [its] Brevity would make one imagine; and it sufficiently appears that he had a right Taste of Poetry in general, and of Virgil's in particular. He shews a true Spirit; and in many Places is very beautiful.
    • Joseph Trapp, Preface to The Aeneis of Virgil (1718), p. xlviii

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