Page images

servant. “Thy name and arms préserve (for thee) the spot,” i. e. thy name engraven on the tomb, and thy arms fixed up thereon, ever recall thee to remembrance.

Te.“ Thy remains themselves.” Equivalent to tuum corpus. Æneas could not find the dead body of Deïphobus, in order to give it proper interment. The cenotaph, however, sufficed to exempt the soul of the Trojan warriór from the penance of wandering a hundred years on the banks of the Styx.

509. Tibi relictum est. “ Has been left (undone) by thee.”_510. Et funeris umbris. “And to the shade of his dead body.” Funeris, equivalent to cadateris. Compare ix. 491 : “ Quæ nunc funus lacerum tellus habet ?"-511. Sed. Equivalent to sed quoniam ista qucris ).

-511. Lacænæ. “Of the Spartan woman,” i. e. Helen. Deïphobus had married Helen after the death of Paris. According to the same authorities, he received her from Priam as the prize of valour (Lycophr. 168, seqq.-Schol. ad Il. xxiv. 251).-512. Monumenta, i.e. these ghastly wounds, received by me through her perfidy.

513. Ut supremam, &c. Compare ii. 25, 248, seqq.4515. Saltu renit. “ Came with a bound.” “Poetic exaggeration. The horse came over the ramparts, so far as they were levelled to admit it into the city.-516. Gravis. Equivalent to gravidus, or foetus.

517. Illa, chorum simulans, &c. “She, feigning a (sacred) dance, led around the Trojan females, celebrating with Bacchic cries the orgies (of the god).”—Euantes orgia. Equivalent to cuando orgia celebrantes, i. e. “ celebrating the orgies with wild gesticulations and cries.” The term euans, of which we have here the nominative plural, is the present participle of the deponent euari, answering to the Greek cváleiv. The root of both verbs is eŭa, a cry of the Bacchantes, of kindred origin with the ejaculation dia.-518. Flammam media ipsa, &c. Helen, while leading around pretended orgies in honour of Bacchus, made torch-signals to the Greeks from the citadel of Troy.

520. Confectum curis.“ Worn out with cares." Curis refers to the events and movements of the day which had just drawn to a close, when the Trojans were not as yet fully certain whether their foes had finally departed, and which day, therefore, Deïphobus had spent amid anxious cares and the customary employments of warfare.—521. Pressit.“ Overpowered.”

523. Egregia conjux. “My incomparable spouse." Said, ironically, of Helen.-524. Amodet. Wagner, on the authority of some of the best manuscripts, instead of the common reading emodet.--Et fidum capiti, &c. The ancient warriors were wont to lay their swords under their pillows when they retired to rest.-526. Scilicet id magnum sperans, &c. “Hoping, namely, that this would prove a very acceptable favour to her loving spouse." — Amanti. Said, ironically, of Menelaus, her first husband, and containing a speer at both his expense and Helen's.

528, Thalamo. The dative, poetically for in thalamum.--529. Æolides. “The grandson of Æolus." Alluding, sarcastically, to Ulysses, who was said to have been, not the son of Laertes, but of Sisyphus, the famous robber, the son of Æolus.-530. Instaurate. “ Repay.” Equivalent to rependite, or retribuite.Pio ore, i. e. on just grounds.-533. An quæ, &c. “Or what (other).” Wagner regards this as a double interrogation moulded into one : thus, “an alia te fatigat fortuna ? et quo est ea?We have adopted the idea.

535. Hac vice sermonum. “During this mutual converse.” This expression is compared by one of the commentators with the Homeric või uèvüs & TÉEGOLV å ueißóueda Heyne makes a great difficulty with this passage as regards the time that Æneas spent in the world below. According to him, the grammatical view of the case requires that the Trojan hero should have remained there merely during the interval between early dawn (the time when he descended) and the rising of the sun. This period, however, is too short to contain the whole action of the present book. The best explanation is that given by Voss, and in which Wagner coincides. According to this writer, Æneas, as before stated, descends along with the Sibyl at early dawn (line 255), and remains in the lower regions one entire day. The first half of this day is taken up with what occurs until the interview with Deïphobus. While Æneas is conversing with the latter, Aurora has reached the mid-heavens, that is, one half of the day has been consumed (for Aurora travels over the same path with the sun, and merely precedes that luminary), and the Sibyl now warns Æneas that the day is declining, or, in other words, that night is rushing on, and that he must hasten, therefore, to accomplish what remains to be done, since he would have to return to the upper world at eve, no mortal being allowed to spend more than one day in Pluto's realms. Æneas thereupon proceeds on his destined journey, and emerges from the world below at nightfall.

537. Ét fors traherent. “And they would, perhaps, have spent.” ---540. Ambas. Equivalent to duas.

541. Ditis magni moenia. “ The palace walls of mighty Pluto." Compare line 637, seqq.-542. Hac iter Elysium nobis. « By this (is) our route to Elysium.” With hac supply parte.Malorum exercet poenas, &c. “ Carries on the punishments of the wicked, and leads to impious Tartarus.” Literally, “ sends (them).” Heyne contends that we cannot correctly join via exercet pænas et mittit ad Tartara. Wagner, however, remarks, that this is merely an instance, of by no means uncommon occurrence, where two propositions connected by a copula are blended into one. Thus, the left path, by sending the wicked to Tartarus, carries on their punishments, i. e. the left path conducts to Tartarus, where the wicked are punished.

544. Ne sævi. “Be not angry.”_545. Explebo numerum, s. e. I will go back again to the shades whom I have just left, and will complete their number, which was lessened by my departure from among them in order to commune with Æneas.-546. Melioribus, &c. “ Enjoy a happier destiny (than was mine).”

550. Flammis ambit torrentibus. “Encircles with torrents of flame." Compare Milton's “torrent-fire,” and Voss's “ Mit dem Stürz aufstrudelnder Flammen.”—55). Phlegethon. The river of fire in the lower world.—552. Porta adversa, &c. “The portal fronts the view, vast of size.”-Solidoque adamante columnæ. “ And its door-posts (are) of solid adamant." By “adamant” is here meant, in poetic parlance, the hardest kind of iron. Compare the Homeric description of the entrance to Tartarus : Žvoa oldýpriai abai, kai xálkaos oúdós:--554. Stat ferrea turris, &c. “ (There) stands an iron tower (rising) to the air," i. e. rearing its head on high. Auras, of course, is mere poetic embellishment, borrowed from the upper world.-555. Palla succincta cruentâ. “With her bloodstained robe tucked up arvund her.Succinctus properly refers to a tucking or holding up by means of a cincture, or by a gathering of the robe around the waist. This tucking up was always required when persons were about entering on

any active employment. In the present instance, Tisiphone is all prepared for action.

557. Hinc. “From this quarter.” Referring to the whole prisonhouse generally.-559. With hausit supply auribus.—560. Quæe scelerum facies? “What aspects of guilt (are here) ?" i. e. what species of crimes are here taken cognizance of

563. Sceleratum. Contaminated with crime, from the wicked within, and therefore unfit for the pure in heart to tread.—564. Lucis Adernis. The Sibyl, as priestess of Hecate, presided over the Avernian groves.--565. Deúm poenas. “ The punishments inflicted by the gods on the wicked.”—-566. Gnosius. “ The Cretan.” See note on iii. 115.-567. Castigatque auditque dolos. “And punishes, and (for that purpose) hears the story of their crimes.” A construction precisely similar to that in ii. 351: “Moriamur et in media arma ruamus.In both these cases grammarians talk of a íotepov apótepov, but in neither is so clumsy an expedient at all necessary. In th e present instance, the verb castigat comes first, because the attention of the reader is to be particularly called to the subject of punishment, and then the character of that punishment is dwelt upon. It is not of an arbitrary or tyrannical nature, but inflicted after a careful examination of each case, and after a full revealing of all, even the most secret, deeds that may have been perpetrated in the upper world. Hence the passage, when paraphrased, will stand as follows : “ Rhadamanthus inflicts punishment on the guilty; ay, and before inflicting, gives a patient hearing to their case, and compels each one to make a full disclosure of all his offences. How dreadful, then, and yet how just must that punishment be!"

Dolos. Equivalent to crimina per dolum commissa.—568. Quce quis apud superos, &c. “What offences committed in the world above, and demanding expiation, any one, exulting in their unavailing concealment from man, has delayed (atoning for) even to the late hour of death,” i. e. has put off atoning for until death has closed the scene. The individual during life neither confesses nor is accused, and therefore escapes punishment in the world above. But this concealment avails him nothing in the world below, where all crimes stand fully revealed. Piacula equivalent to crimina expianda.-Furtum. All secret acts of vice or deception go under the name of furtum.

570. Sontes quatit insultans. “With insulting air makes the guilty quake beneath its blows.”—572. Agmina sæca sororum. Commonly supposed to apply merely to two furies, namely Alecto and Megæra, the ordinary number of the furies being only three. The poet, however, would seem to have had troops of these avenging deities in view.

573. Horrisono stridentes cardine, &c. Compare Milton's wellknown description : "the infernal doors ... on their hinges grate harsh thunder.” Commentators generally suppose that the words Tum demum horrisono, &c. are uttered by the poet himself. In this, however, they are wrong, and the words in question must be supposed to be spoken by the Sibyl in continuation of her narrative. Tisiphone guards the entrance to Tartarus. The guilty pass from Rhadamanthus into her hands, and she drives them before her with her lash into the very gates of Tartarus, or the place of punishment. Here she calls upon her sisters, and, at the call, the fearful portals are thrown open to receive the condemned. This is all, as Symmons remarks, in the natural course of the narrative: immediately follows, Cernis, custodia qualis, &c. The Sibyl directs the attention of Æneas to the guard without the gate, and then proceeds to tell him of the more terrible monsters within.

574. Custodia qualis. “What kind of sentinel.” Referring to Tisiphone. When feminines are formed of nouns terminating in os and es, they assume another form; as custos, custodia ; nepos, neptis; hospes, hospita.-577. Serior is commonly rendered, “ fiercer (than that of Lerna),” but this allusion to the Lernæan monster is too abrupt, and not at all warranted by the connexion of ideas in the text. Translate “More cruel still than any fury.”-578. In præceps. “Headlong downward."— Tenditque. Supply tantum.—579. Suspectus. “The view upward.” Supply est.

580.' Titania pubes. « The Titan brood.” The Titans were the giant offspring of Cælus and Terra, and warred against the gods. They must not be confounded, however, with the giants, the later offspring of Earth, who are mentioned immediately afterward.-581. Fundo rolountur in imo, i. e. roll in agony in the lowest abyss of Hell, -582. Aloïdas geminos. “The twin sons of Aloeus." The giants Otus and Ephialtes.-583. Rescindere. “To break into and tear down the mighty heavens.” Observe the double idea involved in rescindere, and compare the remark of Heyne (ad Georg. i. 280): “ Est autem rescindere pro exscindere, cum notione perrumpendi, uti si callum, porta, rescindi dicitur.

585. Crudeles carries with it here the idea of severity merely, not of injustice.-586. Dum imitatur. “ While he imitates," i. e. for having dared to imitate.--588. Mediæque per Elidis urbem. “And through (his) capital in the very heart of Elis," i.e. Salmonia, founded by this monarch, and situate on the river Alpheus. According to Apol. lodorus (i. 9, 7), it was destroyed by lightning. Some commentators think that the city of Elis is meant, but this place was founded at a later period.

591. Ære. “ With his brazen car.”

595. Nec non cernere erat. “(There) one might also see.” So the Greek nv ideiv.-Alumnum. If we follow the Homeric account, wherein Tityos is called yains tolkvdéoç vióv, the term alumnum becomes equivalent merely to filium, or “son.” Virgil, however, seems rather to have had in view the later account, which made Tityos the son of Jupiter and Elara. According to this version of the legend, Jupiter, fearing the anger of Juno, concealed Elara beneath the earth, where she gave birth to Tityos, who is hence called Earth's foster-child. (Apollod. i. 4, 1.- Apoll. Rhod. i. 761.)

596. Per tota nodem cui, &c. Imitated from Homer (Od. xi. 576): ó o & T'évvéa keito TéléOpa.-Jugera. The term jugerum, though for convenience sake commonly translated “ acre,” is in reality the appellation of a measure, 240 feet in length, and 120 in breadth, and containing 28,800 square feet. It was the common measure of land among the Romans.—598. Immortale jecur tondens, &c. “Pecking at his imperishable liver, and his entrails (ever) fruitful for (fresh) inflictions of punishment, both ransacks (these) for its (daily) banquet.” The offence of Tityos was incontinence the liver, therefore, as the seat of desire, becomes also the principal seat of punishment. -600. Fibris. Servius : “ Fibræ sunt eminentice jecoris."

601. Quid memorem Lapithas, &c. “Why need I mention Ixion and Pirithoüs, the Lapithæ ! (why) those over whom the dark flinty rock just about to fall, and very like to one actually falling, hangs threatening ?" Several commentators suppose that the line quos

super, &c. refers back to Ixion and Pirithoüs. This, however, is both in direct opposition to the ordinary mythology respecting these two personages, and besides clashes, as far as the former is concerned, with line 616 : “radiisque rotarum districti pendent.” We have, therefore, considered quos super, &c. as containing an allusion to Tantalus, and other offenders like unto him, who are all similarly punished. We have also placed a dash after Pirithoümque, which saves the trouble of any lengthened ellipsis before quos super, and yet serves to keep up the connexion with quid memorem.

603. Lucent genialibus altis, &e. Another feature in the punishment of Tantalus and those who resemble him. The expression genialis torus is elsewhere applied to the nuptial bed; here, however. it denotes the banqueting couch. Both the bedsteads and festal couches of the Romans were high, and the latter were always elevated above the level of the table. These high beds and couches were entered by means of steps placed beside them. The body of the bed. stead or couch was sometimes made of metal, and sometimes of costly kinds of wood, or veneered with tortoise-shell or ivory. The feet (fulcra) were frequently of silver or gold. .

605. Furiarum maxima, &c. “ Near (them) reclines the eldest of the Furies." Accubat is here used in accordance with the Roman custom of reclining at meals. Our corresponding expression would be “ sits.”—Maxima. Supply natu. Compare Euripides, Iph. in T. 963 : péoßelp' tep mv 'Epivúwv; and Statius (Theb. vii. 477): Eumenidum antiquissima." 'An expression precisely similar to the one in the text has been employed by the Harpy Celano in speaking of herself (iii. 252). Some commentators refer the whole passage from Lucent genialibus altis down to intonat ore, to the punishment of the voluptuous generally, and make it distinct from that of Tantalus. The view which we have taken, however, seems preferable.

609. Innexa. “ Devised and practised." The relation between patron and client among the Romans was a very intimate one, and held in respect next to that between guardian and ward. According to the law of the Twelve Tables, if a patron defrauded his client, he was to be held accursed : “ Patronus si clienti fraudem facit, sacer esto.-610. Aut qui divitiis, &c. “ Or they who brooded by themselves over their acquired riches, or assigned a portion to their kindred.”-613. Nec veriti, &c. “Nor dreaded to violate the faith which they had plighted to their masters.” Most commentators refer this to contests against one's native land, or in other words, to civil wars. But if this were Virgil's meaning, he would be indirectly censuring Augustus himself. It is better to refer the passage, with Wagner, to a servile war, where slaves are in open insurrection against their masters.

615. Aut quce forma, &c. “Or what form (of suffering).”-Fortuna. This is in accordance with the idea of destiny, so firmly believed in by many of the nations of antiquity.-616. Saxum ingens colount alii. This was properly the punishment of Sisyphus ; but others equally guilty are here made to share it along with him. Compare line 602.-617. Districti not only implies here that they are

fast bound,” but also that their limbs are stretched out on the wheel. It is, therefore, a much superior reading to destricti, as given by some MSś. The punishment alluded to in the text was properly that of Ixion, but it was inflicted, according to the poet, on others also equally guilty. Compare note on line 602.

Sedet æternumque sedebit. Theseus and Pirithoüs were placed by

« PreviousContinue »