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breezes," i. e. they are now ready for departure, and wait only for the wind.-418. Puppibus et læti, &c. On the departure and arrival of vessels garlands were hung at the stern, the images of the tutelary deities being kept there.-419. Hunc ego si potui, &c. “Since I was able to foresee this so heavy an affliction.” This is all said to deceive her sister. Dido wishes her to believe that she knew all along the Trojans must depart from Africa for Italy, and was therefore prepared for the pang which she knew their departure would cost her. Some commentators give a very different turn to the sentence by making potui equivalent to potuissem, and potero to possem. If this be correct, the use of the tenses becomes a mere nullity.
421. Solam te colere. “Was accustomed to show deference to thee alone.” Supply solebat to govern colere and credere, or, what is better, regard these two last as historical infinitives.—422. Arcanos sensus, &c. “ His secret thoughts.”—423. Viri molles aditus et tempora. “Thé soft approaches unto, and the moments (that are most favourable for addressing, the feelings) of the man," i. e. the manner and the time of working upon his feelings.
427. Aulide. At Aulis. A town and harbour of Boeotia on the shores of the Euripus, and nearly opposite to Chalcis. It was celebrated as the rendezvous of the Grecian fleet when about to sail for Troy. Here, also, they bound themselves by an oath never to return to their native land until they had taken the city of Priam.-427. Nec patris Anchisce, &c. “Nor have I disturbed the ashes or the shade of his father Anchises.” Literally, “nor have I torn away." The expression revellere cineres refers to the rude violation of a tomb by removing from it the ashes of the dead and scattering them to the winds. As this disturbance of the ashes was also a disturbance of the manes, the expression manes redelli is also employed, and so far only is it proper.
428. Mea dicta demittere. “To let my words descend.”—431. Non jam conjugium antiquum, &c. “ I ask not now for that once-promised union, in which he has deceived me.”—432. Ut careat. “That he forego.”— Regnumque relinquat. “And relinquish his (destined) kingdom.”-433. Tempus inane peto, &c. “I only seek for a brief period, that he well can spare.” Observe the beautiful effect of the epithet inane. A period entirely empty for him, entirely disengaged, which he well can spare me from his present employment.
Requiem spatiumque furori, &c. “ As a respite, and an interval of time for my maddening passion to abate ; until my (hard) lot may teach me, at present quite overcome by sorrows, the proper way to grieve," i. e. may teach me the lesson of resignation.
436. Quam mihi cum deileris, &c. “Which when thou shalt have granted to me, I will send thee away fully requited (only) when I die,” i. e. I will return thy kindness during all the rest of my existence, and will not consider the favour fully recompensed until the moment of my death. What the true reading or meaning of this passage is can hardly be determined. We have given the reading of Servius, and the interpretation of Heyne. Quam mihi cum dederit, cumulatum morte remittam, is the worst lection of any. When Didó was solicitous, by her fond message, to delay at least the departure of Æneas, it was a strange argument to induce his assent, to say that, after all, she would send him away loaded with her death,
437. Fletus. “ Mournful messages." Anna, in repeated inter
views, pourtrays to Æneas the tears and sorrows of her sister, and communicates to him the entreaties of the latter.
442. Alpini Boreæ. In Virgil's native country, the north winds descended from the Alps.-445. Ipsa. “ The tree itself.”—446. In Tartara. “ Towards Tartarus.” Mr. T. A. Knight observes, that the oak in few soils roots more than four or five feet.
448. Et persentit curas. “And feels deep anguish."-449. Lacrimce volountur inanes.“ Unavailing tears are poured forth,” i. e. by Dido and Anna.
450. Fatis exterrita. “ Deeply terrified at her fearful destiny." Her misfortunes seemed now but too surely the decrees of fate.-451. Tædet coeli convexa tueri. “She is tired of beholding the arch of heaven.” Cicero first employed this form of expression in his translation of Aratus, and was imitated afterward by Virgil and Ovid. Ennius, however, long before, had spoken of the “ Coli ingentes fornices.”—Contexa. Not put for concada, but referring to the skies as swelling upward and forming the pavement of heaven.
452. Quo magis inceptum, &c. The poet now mentions various evil omens as seen by Dido, and which all operate as so many inducements unto her to commit the act of self-destruction.—454. Latices nigrescere sacros, &c. “The sacred liquors begin to turn black.” This refers to the lustral water, and the offerings of milk.–456. Non ipsi effata sorori. A beautiful touch of nature, by which the poet heightens the interest and mysterious nature of the event.
457. De marmore templum, &c. “A chapel of marble (in memory) of her former husband ” (Sychæus).-459. Velleribus niveis, &c. “ Snow-white fillets and festal garlands.” Festa does not so much indicate anything joyous as rather what is connected with ceremonious observances.-460. Hinc. “From this.” Referring to the chapel.—Exaudiri coces, et terba, &c. “Voices seemed to be distinctly heard (by her), and the words of her husband calling upon her." Observe the force of ex in composition.–462. Culminibus. “On the palace-tups.”-463. Queri. The historical infinitive, in the sense of querebatur. - Et longas in fletum, &c. “And lengthened out a long and mournful note.” Servius says that Virgil, in this passage, gives bubo a wrong gender ; so that, according to Heyne, sola bubo will be, in fact, sola avis bubo. Other grammarians, however, make it also feminine, and this, no doubt, is the better way of regarding it here.
465. Agit ipse furentem, &c. Nothing can be truer to nature than this description of a troubled dream. For they who are oppressed by heavy sorrow, seem to themselves, in their dreams, to be travelling along through fearful solitudes, or to be for ever roaming through lonely palaces and long-drawn halls.
469. Eumenidum veluti, &c. Alluding to the legend of Pentheus, king of Thebes, who for his contempt of the rites of Bacchus was driven to frenzy by the god. This is borrowed from the Bacchæ of Euripides (o. 916, seqq.), where the frenzied Pentheus exclaims,
Και μην οράν μοι δύο μέν ηλίους δοκώ,
Δισσάς δε θήβας, και πόλισμ’ επτάστομον. 471. Aut Agamemnonius, &c. “ Or, (as) Orestes, son of Agamemnon, excited to phrensy on the stage, when he seeks to flee from his mother armed with torches,” &c. Orestes slew his mother, Clytemnestra, on account of her infidelity with Ægisthus, and was pursued
for this crime by the shade of his parent and by the Furies. He became phrensied in consequence. This story was often dramatized by the ancient poets, and we have the “Orestes ” of Euripides remaining at the present day, in which the madness of the young prince is powerfully pourtrayed. Here, however, Virgil follows a tragedy of Pacuvius, in which Orestes, on the advice of his friend Pylades, goes to Delphi, in order to avoid the Furies and the shade of his parent ; but the latter pursues him even within the precincts of the sanctuary, while the Furies sit without waiting for him at the threshold. We have followed in agitatus scenis the order of Wunderlich.
Scenis. In the plural, because this subject was often represented on the stage.—472. Facibus. The Furies were commonly represented with torches in one hand, and darting serpents with the other.
474. Concepit Furias. “She took the Furies to her bosom."Evicta. “ Completely overcome."-476. Exigit. “ She weighs." --477. Consilium cultu tegit, &c. “ She conceals her design with her look, and wears on her brow the calmness of hope."
480. Oceani finem juxta, &c. i. e. near the very extremity of the Western Ocean. Virgil here follows the geographical ideas of an age much earlier than his own, according to which Mount Atlas, and the adjacent regions of Africa, formed the limits of the world to the west. This is Homer's idea, and the ocean alluded to in the text is the Homeric 'Ikeavós, or the vast river that encircles the earth.481. Ultimus locus. “The furthest region.” We must not be surprised to find Æthiopians in this quarter. Homer divides this great race into the Eastern and Western. The former are the people of India, the latter of Africa. The term “ Æthiopian," in fact, according to its etymology, means any nation of a dark-brown complexion.
482. Avem humero torquet, &c. “Turns on his shoulder the axis of the sky, fitted with blazing stars." Heyne makes aptum equivalent to distinctum, “studded." Wagner, to instructum. The latter is nearer the truth.—Torquet. Atlas supports the heavens on his shoulders, but as the sky, while thus supported, had its diurnal motion, he is said also to impart this.
483. Hinc mihi Massylce, &c. “A priestess of the Massylian nation has been pointed out to me from this quarter.” The Massyli, strictly speaking, were a people of Numidia to the east of Cape Tretum. Here, however, as this Massylian priestess has charge of the temple and gardens of the Hesperides, the epithet must be taken in a very general sense ; in other words, Massyle would seem to be equivalent to Libycce. — 484. Hesperidum. The gardens of the Hesperides are placed, by those geographical writers who seek to convert a fable into reality, in the neighbourhood of the ancient Berenice, in Cyrenaica. Virgil, however, gives them a poetic locality near Mount Atlas, in the furthest west.
485. Ramos. The boughs containing the golden apples.—486. Spargens humida mella, &c. The commentators, in general, make spargens equivalent to præbens, or objiciens, so that honey and poppyseed would, according to them, form the entire food of the dragon. The truth is, however, that spargens is to be taken merely in its literal sense of “sprinkling." The food of the dragon was not honey and poppy-seed, but these were sprinkled upon it, and formed an agreeable condiment.
487. Hæc se carminibus, &c. “ This female engages to free by (magic) charms whatsoever minds she may please (from the passion of love). -489. Sistere aquam fluviis, &c. The poet here enumerates some of the usual wonders performed by the sorceresses of early times.490. Nocturnosque ciet manes. “She summons also from the tomb the nocturnal manes,” i. e. she evokes also the shades of the departed by night.
492. Caput. “ Person.” Consult note on line 354.493. Magicas invitam, &c. “ That I hare recourse against my will to magic arts." Literally, “ that I am girded or tucked up,” in allusion to the Roman custom of tucking up the toga, or shortening it by means of the umbo, or knot, in front, preparatory to active exertion. - Incitam. Because such practices were offensive to the gods.
494. Secreta. “In secret." For secreto.—Tecto interiore. “ In the inner court.” This reminds us of the description of Priam's palace. (Consult note on ii. 454.) The poet seems to have had the Roman impluvium partly in view.-Sub auras. “Beneath the open air.” Wunderlich and Wagner make this equivalent to in altum, or in sublime,“ on high,” « to a great height.” The ordinary interpretation, however, is far superior.
495. Arma viri. Referring to the sword of Æneas. (Compare lines 507, 607.)-496. Exuviasque omnes. “And all the garments that he hath left behind." This, though a somewhat homely direction, is still, however, in strict accordance with the requirements of magic rites. In cases where the emotion of love was to be extinguished, everything was destroyed that could have recommended itself to the feelings by having ever been brought into contact with the perfidious lover.
498. Cuncta monumenta, i. e. every thing that may remind me of.500. Novis prætexere, &c. “ That her sister, under these strange rites, is concealing her own death.” More literally, “is weaving a covering (or blind) before her own death by means of unusual rites.” –501. Nec tantos mente, &c. “ Nor does she conceive in her mind such madness (on her sister's part), or fear worse results than had occurred at the death of Sychæus.”—502. Quam morte. Supply contigerant, or some similar verb.
504. Penetrali in sede. “ In the interior of the palace.” Equivalent to tecto interiore. The “ pile” was erected ostensibly for magic rites, in order that the image, the sword, and the “exudice” of Æneas might be consumed upon it. In reality, however, it was for her own funeral pile.—506. Intenditque locum sertis. “Both hangs the place with garlands.” A choicer expression than intenditque serta per locum.-Fronde funerea. Alluding particularly to the cypress.-507. Super, toro locat. “She places on the top, upon a couch.”—Ensemque relictum. “And the sword left (as a gift).” (Consult note on line 647.)
508. Effigiem. A very important part of magic rites was to prepare an image of the person against whom the enchantment was designed. This was either of wax or wood, more commonly the former. If the object of the rite was to recall the affections of an individual, the latter was supposed to melt with love as the wax of his image melted. If, on the other hand, the rite was intended as a punishment, he was devoted to death as his effigy was destroyed amid the flame. The object of the present ceremonies is the extinction of the love of Dido, and the punishment of her faithless lover.-Haud ignara futuri, i. e. well aware that, under all this semblance of magic ceremonies, her own death was the object in view.
509. Crines effusa. “With dishevelled locks.” The Massylian priestess is here meant. (Compare line 483.)-510. Ter centum tonat ore, &c. " In loud-toned accents thrice invokes a hundred gods." We have adopted the emendation of Wagner, as far superior to the common reading, tercentum deos, “three hundred gods." The number three was all-important in sacred and in magic rites.
511. Tergeminamque Hecaten, &c. “And threefold Hecate, the three aspects of the spotless Diana,” é. e. the three forms under which she is wont to appear; namely, as Luna in heaven, Diana on earth, and Hecate in the world below.
512. Sparserat et latices, &c. “She had sprinkled, also, imitated waters of the Avernian fountain," i. e. of the Avernian Lake, which was supposed to be one of the entrances to the lower world. “ In sacrificing,” remarks Valpy, “ when the fittest materials were not at hand, a substitution of others imitating them was permitted."
513. Falcibus et messce, &c. “Full-grown herbs also, cut by moonlight with brazen sickles, are sought for, with the juice of black poison," i. e. herbs covered with the ripened down of maturity, and swelling with poisonous juices.
515. Quæritur et nascentis, &c. “The mother's love, too, is sought for, torn away from the forehead of a new-foaled colt, and snatched away from the dam.” Amor is more commonly rendered “the hippomanes.” “The classic writers," observes Symmons, “mention two species of hippomanes, both of which were regarded as powerful ingredients in filters and poisonous potions. One of these was a tongue-like excrescence, sometimes seen on the forehead of a newborn foal, which, according to a popular notion (not yet extinct), the mare immediately seizes and eats; or, if prevented in her design, refuses to suckle her offspring. Hence, in this passage of Virgil (the effect, in the poetic dialect, being substituted for the cause), it is called the mother's love.' The other hippomanes was a fluid distilling from mares, of which Virgil speaks in the third book of the Georgics (line 280, seqq.).”
517. Mola. “ With the salted meal.” Roasted barley-meal mixed with salt. Consult note on ii. 103. Observe the ablative of the manner, as it is grammatically called, in “molâ manibusque piis," where some erroneously supply cum; and compare also book vii. 187. -518. Unum exuta pedem vinclis, &c. “Having one foot bared of the sandal, with robe ungirt.” Literally, “ freed as to one foot,” &c. This was one of the costumes of those who sacrificed. On Etrurian vases one foot of the sacrificer is often seen unshod. It is incorrect to confine this merely to magic rites.-519. Fati. “Her approaching fate.” There is no reference here to any thing astrological ; the stars are merely called “conscia," as æther is termed “conscius” in verse 167.
520. Tum, si quod non cequo, &c. “ Then if any deity, both just and mindful, has for a care those who love beneath an unequal compact," i. e. where one proves faithless.-521. Curæ habet. The full expression would be curve sibi habet.
522. Nox erat. This beautiful description of a still night, and of the repose of nature, contrasted with the sleepless and tumultuous agopies of the death-devoted queen, is closely copied from a very fine passage in the Argonautics of Apollonius.-523. Quiérant. “Were