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[77] Mota loci fama. Ovid's descriptions are generally consistent with truth and nature. There is nothing more common, when any disaster happens to us, than to trace in our mind all the little circumstances and particulars that concurred to it. We are apt to imagine a certain fatality in things, and see ourselves hurried on by a train of circumstances that rendered it unavoidable. As almost every one has some time or other felt this to be his own case, he will be the better able to judge how far the poet in this description copies nature. Cydippe, from a reflection upon her misfortune, is led to run back to its first origin, and the several steps by which it arrived. The narration is enlivened with very apt reflections, and all the particulars that served either to promote or retard it, are mentioned with great exactness. Delos was an island of the aegean sea, and chief of the Cyclades, famous especially for the birth of Apollo and Diana, to whom it was therefore in a particular manner sacred. It was formerly a floating island, concealed mostly under water; hence it is called by our poet in his Metamorphoses, Delos erratica.

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