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TURNING to M. Ribbeck's remarks on the Aeneid, which are comprised in a single long chapter, I am happy to find myself agreeing with him in regarding as highly probable a theory propounded by Conrads in his “Quaestiones Virgilianae” (Trêves, 1863), that Virgil did not write the several books of the poem in the order in which he eventually left them. This theory had not been promulgated at the time of the publication of the second volume of my edition : but it certainly seems to clear up some things which are not satisfactorily accounted for on the ordinary hypothesis. One or two of these I will mention, making use of Conrads’ remarks, but not necessarily confining myself to them. The apparent discrepancies between the story of Palinurus as told by himself in the Sixth Book and as told by the poet in the Fifth have often been remarked upon. Palinurus speaks of something like a storm as happening at the time of his falling overboard : in the Fifth Book we are merely told that the vessel became unsteady in passing the breakers near the coast of the Sirens, and that Aeneas then was made sensible of his loss. Palinurus talks of himself as living till the third or fourth day from the time of his misfortune : if we followed the narrative alone, we should suppose that Aeneas finds him in the shades after a shorter interval. Again, the voyage in which Palinurus was lost is called “Libyco cursu,” whereas it would more properly be spoken of as the voyage from Sicily. All these points can be explained on the ordinary hypothesis, but not without effort: and as soon as it is suggested that the Fifth Book may have been written some time after the Sixth, we feel that the solution is far easier. “Libyco cursu " in particular is at once accounted for, if we suppose that when Virgil wrote the words he intended to bring Aeneas from Carthage to Cumae without halting by the way. There are other appearances which point in the same direction. When Aeneas tells the Sibyl that it was Anchises who bade him seek her out, it is generally explained by referring to the words of Anchises himself in the Fifth Book. Yet the imperfect “dabat” (Book 6, v. 117), following closely on “ferebat” (v. 114), looks as if Virgil was thinking when he wrote the passage of advice given by Anchises when alive: in other words, that the apparition of Anchises had not then been devised. It is true that Aeneas says later in the book (v. 695) that it was the repeated appearance of his father which compelled him to visit the shades : but it may be replied that though Virgil, having talked of a repeated appearance, might think himself bound to describe a single visit, he is not equally likely first to have described a single visit and then to have talked of a repeated appearance. Not wishing however to push such reasonings into mere refinement, especially in the case of an author like Virgil, who is fond of telling the subordinate parts of his story by incidental hints, I will merely notice that the question which we know to have been entertained by the early critics, whether the two first lines of Book 6 really belong to that Book or to Book 5, is at once explained if we suppose those lines to have been added to Book 6 later, at the time when Book 5 was written. I need not say that Book 5 is precisely one of those parts of the story which might most naturally be supplied as an after-thought, as the conception of his work gradually opened upon the poet. Another book, the peculiarities of which are best accounted for by supposing it to have been written at a different time from those among which it is found, is Book 3. Probably no book of the twelve contains so many discrepancies from
the rest of the story. There is the inconsistency between Aeneas' ignorance where he . is to settle, as exemplified throughout the earlier part of the book, and his having heard from Creusa at the end of the Second Book about the land of Hesperia and the river Tiber. There is the inconsistency between the attribution of the prophecy of eating the tables to Celaeno and its attribution in the Seventh Book to Anchises : not to mention that in the former case it is predicted as an infliction consequent on landing in Italy, in the latter as a token that the unknown land on which they will have disembarked is to be their home. There is the inconsistency between the white sow as a token that they have reached their home, which is Helenus' prediction, and the white sow with her young as a symbol of the number of years that are to elapse before the foundation of Alba, which is the purpose it actually serves. There is the inconsistency between the promise, that Aeneas shall be instructed about the war in Italy by the Sibyl, and the fact, that he is instructed about it by Anchises. I do not know whether we are to follow Conrads in adding to these that the Third Book, as read naturally, represents Aeneas' wanderings as lasting two years, while in other parts of the poem they are made to extend over seven. At any rate, enough has been adduced to make it probable that the Third Book was not written immediately after the Second : though it may still be doubted whether it was an early composition, containing intimations on which the poet afterwards improved, or a late production, embodying hints to which, had Virgil lived, he would have accommodated his narrative. On the whole, I cannot doubt that Conrads' theory throws real light on the composition of the Aeneid, though here as in other instances we doubtless need be on our guard against carrying the spirit of hypothesis too far.
I now come back to M. Ribbeck's own criticisms : and here I am afraid my differences with him recommence.
After examining the notices of the composition of the Aeneid preserved by Donatus and others, he discusses the several books in detail, beginning with the Fourth, which is one of those that Virgil is said to have read to Augustus. Besides the five hemistichs occurring in the book, he finds other traces of imperfection. V.53 he thinks was originally incomplete, the last clause being due to an interpolator. He does not say why: nor does his note on the passage help us to a reason. All that we are told is “sequentia " (i. e. “dum non tractabile caelum”) “ ferri omnino non possunt, ut ficta videantur ex Georg. 1. 211.” Most students of Virgil, I apprehend, find no difficulty in tolerating the clause, and are not likely to think it suspicious because Virgil has talked elsewhere about “bruma intractabilis." In his note he goes on “ceterum optimum erat v. 51 Annae orationem concludere, et poterat interpolator pannos desumere ex Aen. 1. 535 et 551.” We can only meet assertion by assertion, maintaining that Anna's speech would read very badly without the lines in question, and that the partial verbal similarity to the expressions in Book 1 is Virgilian enough. We are also told, after Peerlkamp, that the latter part of v. 343 is spurious. I have elsewhere remarked that the use of “ manerent” there in the sense of restoration to permanence may very well intimate that the restoration would efface the memory of the fall, and may probably have been intended to remind us of the passage from which M. Ribbeck supposes the interpolator to have borrowed it, Book 2, v. 56. Other charges follow : “hiare orationem circa v. 418, paulo durius abrumpi v. 160, etiam v. 98 fortasse imperfectum esse.” In the first of these passages M. Ribbeck arbitrarily supposes a gap, attempts to fill it by two lines torn from a later speech of Dido's, vy. 548, 549, and finding naturally enough, that the passage, so re-arranged, is not symmetrical, declares “ quoniam vel sic hiat oratio, non absolvisse locum putandus est poeta.” That there is some abruptness in v. 360 we may safely concede, as the' next line, being a hemistich, shows that the poet could not finish the speech to his mind. V. 98 is not unfinished : the apparent difficulty arises from a rare construction of “ quo” with the ablative, which I
have illustrated in my commentary. Lastly, M. Ribbeck finds an indication of two draughts in vv. 382 foll. The cause of his perplexity appears to be v. 387: he cannot understand how Dido can say in one line that her spectre shall constantly baunt Aeneas, and in the next line that the news of his punishment shall reach her in the lower world. The solution seems to be that Virgil regarded the spectre and the spirit (so to call them) as different things, just as he makes Anchises in Book 6, vv. 687 foll., unaware that his spectre has appeared to Aeneas.
M. Ribbeck next proceeds to the Sixth Book, as having been also read to the emperor by the poet. Here again he finds various tokens of incompleteness, over and above the discrepancies with the Fifth Book, already noticed. He thinks there is a hiatus after v. 254, as “superque,” the reading of all the best MSS., cannot be otherwise explained. Yet in Book 1. 668, where there is almost as great authority for “que,” he omits it, doubtless as sufficiently accounted for by the metrical scruples of transcribers. Here the evident imitation of Hom. Il. 11. 775 is decidedly in favour of supposing that Virgil wrote the line as it stands in the majority of modern editions, and consequently that the passage is complete. Next come two instances of "dittographia," vv. 586 and 716. The latter passage is certainly rather awkward : the former, though much vexed by modern editors, really only requires explanation, the meaning being that Salmoneus, while engaged in his impious imitation of Jupiter, was struck with the vengeance from which he still suffers. He goes on "narrationis lacunam indagavi post v. 361.” Boot, a Dutch scholar, has also found a difficulty in the passage ; but there can be little doubt that both are wrong. Palinurus intimates plainly enough that he was killed by the natives and thrown back into the sea : they rush on him with the sword, and now the wave holds him. Why are we to suppose that Virgil would have made him dilate on the circumstances of the murder ? Deiphobus, whose end was still more cruel, speaks of it still more briefly. About vv. 602 foll. there is some difficulty, as the torments spoken of do not seem to have been specifically appropriated to Ixion and Pirithous; but the rhetorical structure of the passage shows that the poet, after having enumerated various sufferers and their sufferings in detail, is at length hurrying on and dealing with the subject more promiscuously, mentioning here a criminal and there a form of punishment, but not caring to assign the one to the other. M. Ribbeck concludes by intimating that vv. 93, 94, 826—835, may very probably have been added in revising the book. The two first-mentioned lines are unoffending enough : as for the others, it is perhaps sufficient to say that M. Ribbeck in his text inserts them after y. 807 (a most inappropriate place, interfering with the feeling of the whole passage, without really satisfying the chronological order); so that the theory of “curae secundae” may be said to prove little more than the critic's dissatisfaction with his own arbitrary re-arrangement of the lines as found in the MSS.
In Book 1 M. Ribbeck finds one lacuna after v. 550. “Post hunc versum,” he says in his critical commentary, “poetam suspicor et de gratia per Acesten referenda plura additurum et eis quae v. 551 rogat Ilioneus paulo accuratius praefaturum fuisse.” This assumes, what is by no means certain, that Acestes is introduced as one who is able to requite any kindness Dido may show even if Aeneas should be dead. It is more probable from the context that Ilioneus mentions Sicily as a devtepos adolls, if the death of Aeneas and his heir should cut off the hope of Italy. Thus there will be no need of a preface to the request which follows, that being in fact the point of Ilioneus' speech. He asks to be allowed not to settle, but to refit the ships for either of the voyages which await them in the two alternative contingencies. M. Ribbeck quarrels with the latter part of v. 188, “ fidus quae tela gerebat Achates," though he is not sure whether it is an interpolation or a stop-gap of Virgil's own. I must profess myself unable to see anything inappropriate in it: it is simply one of those little incidental details which the poet from time to time introduces. Surely we are not obliged to think with Servius
that Achates was occupied all this time in keeping up the fire he had lighted. V. 426 is at first sight a little incongruous: but it is not un-Virgilian, as the mention of political and civil institutions in similar connexions, Books 3. 137, 5. 758, is sufficient to show. Vv. 367, 8 again seem unjustly suspected: there was no occasion to introduce the detail, but there is nothing unnatural in doing so: and there is perhaps something lively in Venus' interrupting herself as she seemed about to continue her story. V. 711 also is harmless, if unnecessary: it is a piece of epic surplusage, such as Virgil not unfrequently indulges in after Homer's example. M. Ribbeck is anxious to identify the twenty ships with which Aeneas (v. 381) tells Venus he originally embarked. Seven are still with Aeneas : thirteen remain to be accounted for. He turns to the description of the storm, and can find only twelve, Aeneas' own ship (vv. 102 foll.), three driven on rocks (v. 108), three on quicksands (v. 110), Orontes’ ship (v. 113), and those of Ilioneus, Achates, Abas, and Aletes (vv. 120 foll.). Either then Virgil has been careless, or we must create a thirteenth by emending “illam” v. 116 into “aliam.” It is evident on a comparison of v. 584 of this Book with Book 6. 334, that only one ship was sunk, and that Orontes', so that the emendation breaks down. But the fact is that the twelve ships mentioned as suffering from the storm are not necessarily identical with the thirteen that are missing. The missing ships did not fare worse than the others, though they parted company with them: those that were with Aeneas are said by him to be “convolsae undis Euroque.” All the ships doubtless suffered more or less : all, but Orontes', were eventually recovered. How would M. Ribbeck account on his theory for Aeneas and Achates getting to land with the seven ships, after their own vessels had been disabled among the thirteen ? Does he suppose that they left their own ships when they found them becoming unseaworthy, and got on board others ?
M. Ribbeck's remarks on the Second Book are few. The celebrated passage about Helen (vv. 567—588) he considers to be the work of an interpolator, though he does not explain how an unknown author should have written verses which Virgil need not have disowned. With Conrads, he is surprised at the appearance of Iphitus and Pelias in v. 535, and suspects that if Virgil had finished his poem he would have mentioned them among those named in vv. 339–346, as if this incidental and allusive mode of narration were not one of Virgil's most salient characteristics. Three other lines he regards as spurious, vv. 76, 749, 775. Of these the first and third have more or less external authority against them: the second is unobjectionable, as though we are not told where Aeneas left his armour, it is natural enough that he should require it when searching for his wife, not having worn it while carrying his father. Vv. 46, 47 he thinks a “dittographia” of v. 45, failing to see, what surely is plain enough, that it is one thing to regard the horse as a receptacle for soldiers, as it actually was, another thing to look upon it as a means for scaling the walls from outside. He is “almost sorry” to have marked in his text a lacuna after v. 25; a feeling which it may be hoped further reflection will confirm. The latter part of v. 360 appears to him a stopgap: vv. 383, 409 he thinks too like each other to have occurred at so short an interval in a finished poem.
The Third Book, as is well known, contains a line (v. 340), the only one in the poem, „where not only the metre but the sense is imperfect. M. Ribbeck is of course quite right in treating the passage as unfinished; but there was no reason why he should fancy, however hesitatingly, that an interpolator had been at work. The apÔTOV YEūdos of his criticism is the adoption of the false reading “quae” for “quem”in Quem tibi iam Troia.” Wagner had introcluced it from the “ Menagianus alter;” M. Ribbeck asserts repeatedly that it is found in the Medicean. I do not know what his authority may be; but I know that my friend Mr. A. 0. Prickard of New College examined the MS. for me in this place at Florence last year, and found “quem” written in the clearest and most unmistakable way, just as it stands in Foggini's transcript. All is plain
sailing enough ; we do not know how the line would have ended, but we know pretty well what the sense must have been; and we know from the next line that Andromache, no matter how, was aware that Creusa was no more. Quite as arbitrary are M. Ribbeck’s observations on the passage following Andromache's speech. No rational cause, he says (following Peerlkamp), can be imagined why Helenus should be said to shed many tears between his words, when nevertheless we are told that he conducts Aeneas with joy to his home. Are tears of joy unknown in Germany or in Holland ? As to the objection that Helenus' words ought to be mentioned when his speech is not given, I need only refer to Book 5, v. 770. What M. Ribbeck asks us to accept in place of the passage as we are accustomed to read it is a “dittograpbia,” “Haec multum lacri. mans verba inter singula fundit,” supposed to be left by the poet as an alternative for “ Talia fundebat lacrimans longosque ciebat Incassum fletus.” V. 135 is not free from difficulty; but there is greater difficulty in believing that Virgil left “Iamque fere,” and that “sicco subductae litore puppes was added by an interpolator. Vv. 595 and 603 are treated as a “dittographia,” as if Virgil could not first say that Achemenides looked like a Greek who had served at Troy and then make him own that he was one. Vv. 128 foll. give M. Ribbeck trouble, as they have given trouble to other modern editors: they need trouble no one who is not disposed to bind down the poet to a formal sequence of narration. He is surprised that no objection has been made to the stop-gap in v. 256, “nostraeque iniuria caedis," as he thinks it harsh to couple “fames” and “iniuria” as reducing the Trojans to eat their tables. Virgil, I need scarcely say, never scruples to co-ordinate two nouns either of which separately might have been the subject of the verb he happens to be using: and in the present case “ fames” and “iniuria" are related as effect and cause. V. 486 M. Ribbeck judiciously defends, as also vv. 472, 3: I wish he had extended his protection to vv. 470, 471, which he agrees with Peerlkamp in condemning. V. 230 may very possibly be an interpolation from Book 1, v. 311, as the agreement of the best MSS. in "clausam " is suspicious: it is strange, however, in that case that no copy should omit it. To M. Ribbeck’s “languere admodum sentio v. 262," I can only answer that I for one have no such feeling. Vv. 690, 691 he condemns by a simple reference to Wagner's arguments against them: I must defend them by an equally simple reference to the reply to Wagner in my commentary. Vy. 684—686 are no doubt full of difficulty. Whatever may be the case with other parts of the poem, there can scarcely be a question that here the poet's last hand is wanting. This may obviate the only serious objection which M. Ribbeck makes to the common reading of the lines as explained by most recent commentators, that to sail between Scylla and Charybdis was not to sail “leti discrimine parvo," but to encounter certain destruction on one side or the other. M. Ribbeck's own solution, to restore “Scylla atque Charybdis” from the Vatican fragment and to transpose vv. 685, 686, understanding the alternative to be between running upon Scylla and Charybdis and running back upon the coast of the Cyclops, seems to me at once more violent and less plausible.
On the Fifth Book M. Ribbeck discusses Conrads' opinion, to which I have already alluded, that when Virgil wrote Book 3 he intended Aeneas' wanderings to occupy a much shorter period than they are represented to have done in Books 1 and 5. I will only say that while the narrative in Book 3 can be reconciled to a seven years' period, it would certainly, if standing by itself, suggest something shorter, and consequently, that supposing it to be probable on other grounds that Virgil would be inconsistent with himself in these particular portions of his work, we may well believe that he is so in this special instance. The difficulty of his talking about summer in Book 5, v. 625, I think I have obviated by the suggestion made in any commentary that we should prove the sense of “vertitur,” which may surely mean “is passing into winter.” I do not agree with M. Ribbeck in thinking it certain that the Episode of Nisus and Euryalus