Page images
PDF

simile; the figure of Dido, indistinctly seen in the gloom, is compared to the crescent of the new inoon, faintly seen through the clouds.

456 - 7. •verus nuntius'; referring to the flames of Dido's funeral pile, the light from which Æneas had seen when leaving Carthage, and which caused him to suspect her death. 'extinctam,'' te esse 'understood : ferro -- secutam,' and had perished by the sioord.

460 - 4. •Invitus cessi,' I came away unwillingly. quæ nunc egére me suis Imperiis,' which now compel me by their authority: 'senta situ,' rugged by neglect, or want of cultivation : 'me - ferre,' that by my departure I should cause.

466-8.extremum,' the last time torva,' used adverbially; angrily. • Lenibat,' by syncope, for • leniebat'; sought to pacify: lacrymnas'; shed by Æneas, not by Dido.

470 – 3. incepto sermone,' by the commencement of his speech : 'vultum,' Gr. § 234. II. 'stet' for • fuisset ': 'Marpesia cautes '; pat for any rock whatever; Marpesus is a mountain on the island of Paros. *corripuit sese,' hurried away : 'conjux pristinus,' her former husband Sychæus. Heyne wickedly remarks, that it is doubtful whether she told hiin the whole truth about Æneas.

477-8. • Inde – iter,' then he prosecutes his appointed journey : "tenebant,' they arrived at : secreta'; apart from the others.

479-8). Here Tydeus meets him, here Parthenopaus, renowned in war, here the spectre of the pale Adrastus. Tydeus was the father of Diomed. The two others were respectively king of the Arcadians, and of the Argives. All three were distinguished in the war against Thebes, the most noted military event before the siege of Troy. 'multùm — superos,' much mourned among the living

483-5. These names are taken almost literally from Homer, and, as the men were not very conspicuous in the war, it is useless to give their history. Polyphætes was a priest of Ceres. Idæus was the charioteer of Priam, and is here represented accordingly.

487 - 8. juvat - gradum,' they are delighted to tarty some time, and to walk by his side, &c.

491 – 3. The poet gives a fine idea of the honorable part, which Æneas had borne in the war, by representing the ghosts of the Greeks as terrified by his appearance. trepidare'; Gr. $ 209. Rem. 5. •Ceu

- rates,' as formerly, when they fled to their ships : vocem Exiguain,' a faint cry: inceptus - hiantes,' but the shout, when begun, dies away on their lips, fear impeding their utterance.

494 - 7. laniatum,' mangled : • lacerum - ora,' cruelly mutilated in his countenance ; Ora'; Gr. $ 324. 17: 'populata – Auribus,' and the temples laid bare, the cars being cut off : inhonesto,' unscemly, frightful. This is a graphic, but shocking description.

498-500. éet - Supplicia,' and trying to conceal the frightful wounds : . notis, familiar, since they were old acquaintances. genus – Teu. cri,' descended from the noble rare of Teucer.

501 - 3. optavit sumere,' was willing to inflict. Cui - licuit,' who has been permitted to mangle thee thus? Mihi - tulit,' report informed me, that on the last night : Pelasgům,' of the Greeks.

505. inanem tumulum,' a cenotaph : Rhæteo'; see Book III. 108.

507-11. servant,' mark out : ponere,' te' understood; to bury you. “relictum,' omitted : tibi’; Gr. § 225. II. •funeris,' dead body. Lacænæ'; Helen, who was of Lacedæmonian origin.

513-5. .ut- nôsti,' you know how we passed the last night in mis. taken rejoicings: saltu venit,' mounted.

517-8. Making a pretence of festire rites to Bacchus, she led round the Trojan women, celebrating with shouts the orgies ; she herself in the midst raised a torch, as a signal to the Greeks without

521 - 3. jacentem,' me' understood : “quies,' slumber. Egregia conjux,' my excellent wife; said ironically.

526-7. Hoping, that is, that this would be a great service to her loving husband, and thus the recollection of her former crimes might be destroyed.

529. Æolides,' Ulysses, whose father was Sisyphus, the son of Æolus, Laërtes being only his step.parent.

530 – 2. • Instaurate,' requite : pio ore,' with just cause. Sed Attulerint,' but tell me, in turn, what chance has brought you here alive?

535-7. Hâc — sermunum,' in this interchange of words, conversation. Aurora precedes the sun in his diurnal journey through the heavens, and had now passed - medium axem,' the zenith. No mortal was allowed to remain in the infernal regions more than one day, and as they had entered at early dawn - see line 255 - the Sibyl reminds Æneas, that it is already past noon, and he has no time to lose. fors' for · fortè' : 'traherent,' they would have spent.

540. . partes — ambas'; having now arrived at the end of the 'campi lugentes,' the road separates into two branches; the one to the right leading past the palace of Pluto to Elysium; the other conducting to Tartarus, where the wicked are punished. Æneas does not enter the latter place, but the Sibyl describes to him what is to be seen there.

542-5. Hâc,' parte' understood : 'at - pænas,' but the left path serves for the punishment of the wicked : mittit,' conducts to. Ne sævi,' be not angry: 'explebo numerum,' I will stay out the appointed term of years ; see lines 749 -51.

546. Ğo, thou ornament of our family; may you meet with happier fates than I have encountered. 549. • Mænia lata,' broad space enclosed within walls.

553-5. Vis - valeant,' so that no power of men, not even the gods themselves, could cut it down. Compare “ Paradise Lost," Book II. 643-8. Stat,' rises : " Tisiphone'; see note to Geor. III. 551. _558-60. Verbera,' scourges : stridor ferri,' the clank of fetters. This brief, but forcible sketch of the sights and sounds of Tartarus, as perceived from without, excites the imagination to picture forth the terrible scene within. hausit,' eagerly listened to; as we say, drank in the sounds. 'facies,' sort, or kind, as in line 104.

563 – 6. No pure person is permitted to cross the accursed threshold. • Hecate'; see line 118. deum pænas,' punishments appointed by the gods. "Gnosius Rhadamanthus,' the Cretan Rhadamanthus; he was the brother of Minos, and while on earth exercised the duties of a judge with such inflexible severity, that after death he was appointed to the same office in hell.

567. Scant justice, indeed, first to punish, then investigate the crime, and then compel a confession ; Gr. § 323. 4. (2.)

568 - 9. apud superos,' among the living : • furto inani,' in the pain concealment of his guilt: 'commissa piacula,' expiation of his crimes.

571 - 2. torvos — angues,' brandishing in her left hand the fright-
ful snakes : "sororum,' the two other Furies.
573.

"On a sudden open fly
With impetuous recoil and jarring sound
The infernal doors, and on their hinges grate

Harsh thunder." - Milton, 575-6. facies — servet,' what shape guards the entrance ? Hydra'; see note to line 287. The one that Hercules killed being at the entrance to the infernal regions, this must be another of the same species.

578 -80. Opens downwards, and ertends to the darkness beneath twice as far as — suspectus cæli,' the view is through the air, from earth up to lofty Olympus. Hic - Terræ, here the ancient progeny of Earth; see note to Book IV. 178.

582. • Aloidas'; Otus and Ephialtes, twin giants, sons of Aloeus in name, but really the offspring of Neptune ; see note to Geor. I. 280.

585. I saw Salmoneus also suffering cruel punishment. He was king of Elis, and aspiring to be called a god, imitated thunder by driving his chariot over a brazen bridge, and darted about burning torches to imitate the lightning. Jupiter struck him down with a real thunderbolt.

589–94. • Ibat ovans, journeyed in pomp : 'cornipedum pulsu equorum,' with the clatter of horses' hoofs. non faces,' no iurches, but real thunderbolts : præcipitem adegit,' hurled him down headlong.

595 - 7. Necnon et Tityon Cernere erat,' Tityus might also be seen. alumnum,' the foster-son. He was a giant son of Jupiter, born under the earth, where Jove concealed his mother from the anger of Juno. Attempting to violate Latona, he was killed by Apollo, and was punished in hell by a vulture feeding upon his liver, which was constantly renewed. per — Porrigitur,' whose body is stretched out over nine ichole acres of ground.

598-9. fecunda pænis,' abounding in the means of punishment, because constantly renewed : ‘rimatur epulis,' searches for food.

601. See notes to Geor. II. 457. and III. 38; and line 122 of this book.

602 - 4. Their punishment is to sit under a rock, which perpetually threatens to fall and crush them. Others are tormented by hunger, while a rich banquet is constantly before thein. "Lucent - toris,' there shine the golden frames of lofty festal couches.

608- Jl. The magnificence of these verses, as far as line 627, is well suited to the pure and noble morality inculcated in them. quibus fratres,' those who hated their brothers. "fraus --- clienti'; the relation between patron and client was deemed such a sacred obligation of protection and friendship, that no penalty was too severe for one who wronged the other. qui — repertis,' who clung selfishly to the wealth they had obtained : 'suis, for their friends and relatives.

613 - 7. This refers to treason on the part of slaves and freedmen. Giving the right hand was a pledge of good faith, and those who broke the engagement were said ' fallere dextras.' 'Ne – penam,' do not ask to be informed what punishment is inflicted : 'mersit,' hath come upon them. .radiis --- pendent,' or hang stretched upon the spokes of wheels

618-20. · Theseus'; see note to line 122, his punishment was to remain for ever seated in one spot. Phlegyas was a robber-king, who even dared to plunder and burn ihe temple at Delphi. He was destroy. ed with all his people by fire froin heaven. The idea of making him, in the darkness of his place of punishment, constantly utter a solemn monition against impiety and wrong, rises to the height of the sublime. moniti,' admonished by my example.

622. Laws were inscribed on brazen tablets and set up in public places ; 'fixit atque refixit,' enacted and repealed: pretio,' by bribery.

624. All who attempted any great crime, and those who succeeded in the attempt. It is pure morality to measure the guilt, not merely by the wrong actually accomplished, but by the criminal intent.

629 - 31. .carpe – munus,' pass on, and finish the affair which you have undertaken. Cyclopum — portas,' I see the walls constructed in the furnaces of the Cyclops, and the entrance under the archway orer against us. The palace of Pluto is meant, the iron walls of which were forged by the Cyclops. Æneas does not enter the building, but hangs up the golden branch on the doorpost, and passes on.

633-5. 'opaca viarum'; Gr. § 205. Rem. 9. Corripiunt - medium,' they hastily pass over the intervening ground. Æneas sprinkles himself with fresh water, by way of purification, before he approaches the palace. Such was the custom on entering a temple.

637. divæ,' to Proserpina.

640-1. * Largior – Purpureo,' here a purer atmosphere and one of bright light surrounds the fields : 'norunt,' they enjoy.

644 - 7. A part strike their feet in the dance, and recite verses. ThreYcius sacerdos'; Orpheus, who was both poet and priest. Accompanies his poetical numbers with the seren musical notes, noro beating them with his fingers, now with the ivory stick. The lyre had seven strings, and was played upon by the ivory instrument called a plectrum.

649 - 52. melioribus annis,' in happier years. Ilus,' &c.; see " In. troduction to the Story." 'inanes,' empty; the war-chariots were kept only for amusement, the spears were stuck in the ground, and the steeds grazed at liberty in the fields.

653-5. Quæ — repôstos,' whatever delight, when alive, they had in chariots and arms, whatever taste for keeping fine horses, the same pleas. ure abides with them, when their bodies are laid in the ground. currům,' by syncope, for curruum.'

657 - 61. Vescentes,' feasting: Pæana,' a hymn in honor of Apollo, or of the other gods, sung in chorus.'unde — amnis,' whence the abundant river Po flows through the wood up to the world above; the source of this river is placed in the nether regions ; see Geor. IV. 366 - 73. Hic manus,' here the patriotic bands : casti,' upright.

663 – 4. Or those whó improved the modes of living by the arts, which they invented, and those who by their merits have caused their names to be remembered on the earth.

667 – 8. Musæus was an early Greek bard, of whom little is known in true history. 'atque — altis,' and looks up to him rising above them with his lofty shoulders ; conformably to the common notion of the de. generate stature of men in modern days.

670. illius ergo,' on his account ; ergo' is here a substantive.

673 - 8. Nulli -- domus, no one has a fixed habitation : 'et - rivis,' and meadows fresh with running streams. «si — voluntas,' if your heart's desire is such : 'et - sistam,' and I will bring you to him by an easy path. Musæus then goes before them along the ridge of the hill, till he can point out the spot where Anchises is. dehinc'; Gr. $ 306.

680 - 1. Inclusas — recolens,' was surveying the souls that were shut up apart, and who were soon to return to the light of the world above, observing them with much interest. Virgil here adopts the old philosophical opinion, that the souls of deceased persons, after spending a certain time in the world below, returned to the earth, animated new bodies, and went through a fresh career. Anchises is naturally most occupied with those, who were to appear on earth as his own descend. ants, and to support the glory of Rome. 'suorum,' of his descendants.

633 - 4. moresque, manusque,' their characters and exploits : tendentem adversum,' coming towards him.

686 - 8. 'et - pietas!' and the words dropped from his mouth : You have come at last, and your noble filial affection has overcome the difficulties of the journey to your parent!

690 – 1. • Sic — dinumerans,' thus, indeed, I considered in my mind, and supposed that it would be so, reckoning up the time of your arrival.

694. Houd did I fear, lest the Libyan kingdom should do thee some injury. Anchises dreaded the effect of his son's stay at Carthage.

696 - 7. hæc – lendere,' to visit those abodes. “Stant - classes,' my ships are in the Tuscan sea, on the west of Italy

100-2. Repeated from Book II. 792-4.

704 - 6. sonantia,' as they were moved by the wind : 'Lethæum'; see note to Geor. 1: 78. gentes' is the generic, populi' the specific term; the Greeks, for example, are a 'gens,' the Athenians, the members of a particular state, are called 'populus.'

707-11. As on the meadows, when the bees, on a clear summer's day, light on the different flowers, and swarm around the white lilies; the whole field is noisy with their buzzing. • porrò,' flowing far.

713-8. • Animæ — debentur,' the souls to rohom nero bodies are appointed by fate. 715. Drink potions that free them from fear, and bring deep oblivion. 'memorare-coràm,' to narrate to you, and show you face to face. "Qui – repertà,' that you might the more rejoice with me at having arrived in Italy.

719-20. ' anne putandum est,' am I to believe, aliquas animas ire Sublimes hinc,' that some souls mount up from this place?

721. What frantic desire of life possesses the wretched ghosts? 723. 'atque - pandit,' and explains every thing in due course.

724 - 7. Anchises begins by instructing his son in the philosophical doctrine of Pythagoras and his followers respecting the 'anima mundi,' or pervading spirit of the universe, whence all things receive their life; see note to Geor. IV. 220; — and the metem psychosis, or transmigration of souls. These speculative dogmas, from their sublime and recondite nature, are particularly suited for the embellishments of poetry, and Vir. gil has set them forth with diction and imagery, that equal the finest passages of Lucretius. The episode deserves attention and study from the curious exposition of doctrine, that it contains, no less than from its extraordinary poetical merits. In this order ; Principio, Spiritus intus alit cælum ac terras,' &c. "alit,' vivifies and supports : carnpos liquentes,' the liquid fields of ocean, put for water in general. • Titania astra'; an epithet applied to the stars, which is more commonly given to the sun; Heyne, indeed, thinks that this phrase is intended for the sun, as in Book IV. 119; see note ; more probably, for all the hearenly bodies, they borrowing the epithet of the largest. per artus,' through all the parts: 'agitat molem, actuates the whole mass. Spiritus' is the vital, • Mens' the intelligent principle. Wordsworth supplies a commentary on this whole passage.

"I have felt ...... a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things." 728-9. Inde,' oritur' understood ; from this spirit proceeds, &c. vitæ volantûm,' the vital principle of birds : 'monstra quæ'; that is, fishes : ‘marmoreo sub æquore,' under its marble-like surface.

730 – 1. These seminal principles have a fiery power — struck out from the pervading'anina,' like sparks from a fire, and a celestial source, in so far as the hurtful body does not impede the effect.

733 - 4. Hinc,' hence, from this contagion of the body, are generated all baneful passions and desires. neque - cæco,' nor are they sensible of their etherial origin, being shut up in the darkness and gloomy prison. house of the body.

735. Even when life has left them in their last hour, though they are then freed from the body, all the stains brought upon the soul by its connexion with matter do not de part along with it; but they must undergo a purgation of many years in Hades, before they are fitted to return to earth.

737 - 8. .penitùs — miris,' it is absolutely necessary, that the many pollutions, which have long thickened upon the soul, should adhere to it with wonderful power.

740 -2. The purgation takes place by air, water, and fire. This notion is evidently borrowed from the process of initiating persons in the mysteries. 'Aliz -- ventos,' some are exposed, being hung up before the bodiless winds.

743. · Quisque — Manes,' each one of us suffers his own appropriate punishments ; Manes,' usually signifying the disembodied spirit,' is here put for the treatment to which that spirit is subjected.

745. Until the long period of years, the appointed amount of time hating elapsed, &c. The first and violent purgation was not complete ; the process was perfected during a long abode in the Elysian fields.

747. • sensum,' for "animum : atque - ignem,' by hy pallage; and the spirit instinct with pure fire, uncontaminated ; • aurai'; Gr. § 43. 1.

748 - 50. ubi --- annos,' when they huve passed through the period of a thousund years. Scilicet - revisant,' in order that they may revisit the upper convex world, having no recollection of their former life.

« PreviousContinue »