Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

pite from one fibrous root;' i. e. thickly matted together, so as to form a kind of turf. M.

274. Aureus ipse: the disk of the flower is yellow.'-In foliis 'the radiating petals.'

275 Viola nigra: the play of light, under such circumstances, may be remarked in a piece of purple silk, when a little crumpled. 276. Nexis.. torquibus: in festoons.'

277. Tonsus in vallibus: in pastured valleys;' non silvosis. Serv. Nivei tondent dumeta juvenci, Geo. i. 15.

278. Melle: this name is common to several rivers; one in the north of Italy, and near the Mantuan territory, is mentioned by Catullus, 66. 279. Odorato.... Baccho: 'in fragrant wine;' vady, Theocritus, xiv. 16.

285. Insincerus: 'corrupted; in a state of putrefaction.'

287. Gens fortunata: the epithet is applied to the people, on account of the productiveness of their country.-Canopi: this city was built on the western mouth of the Nile, and termed Pellæan from its vicinity to Alexandria, the illustrious founder of which was a native of Pella in Macedonia. In this passage the Egyptian Delta is poetically described. Canopus is the west angle of that triangular region; Pelusium is the east angle, being nearest to Persia; and the south angle is the point where the Nile is divided to form the Delta. M.

289. Faselis: the small boats used during the inundations of the Nile. 290. Persidis: not of Persia itself, but of the region once subject to the Persian monarch.-Urget: 'presses on.'


291. Nigra.... arenâ: mud.'

293. Amnis devexus ab Indis: the river Nile rises from the Mountains of the Moon in Ethiopia; all of which country was called India by the Romans. This passage has been the subject of much criticism, and is variously explained. The most natural construction seems to be this: Quêque amnis devexus usque ab coloratis Indis urget vicinia pharetrata Persidis, et nigra arena fæcundat viridem Egyptum, et ruens discurrit in septem diversa ora. Here vicinia is considered as in the accusative plural, from vicinium.

296. Imbrice: probably a kind of tiled roof.'

299. l'itulus: the opinion that bees may be produced from a putrefied carcass seems to have been general, Judges xiv. 8. Varro says, that they had the name Bovyovot from this circumstance, Ovid. Met. xv. 361, seqq.

305. Hoc geritur: this is done when the zephyrs first begin to stir the waters; i. e. early in February, according to Pliny.

307. Hirundo the swallow visits Italy at an earlier period in the year than with us. Columella, xi. 2, 22, says about the 20th or 23d of February.

310. Trunca pedum: without feet; hence some etymologists derive apes; quasi anodes: others, from the ancient verb azw, алтw. D. 315. Quis deus: Donatus, in his Life of Virgil, says that the whole episode of Aristæus was introduced here by the poet, in place of a pas. sage in praise of Gallus, which had been expunged by the command of Augustus. No trace of this passage has been preserved; Voss thinks it more probable that the omission was merely of an incidental compliment to Gallus, prefixed to the passage, verse 281, relating to Egypt, the government of which had been confided to Gallus.-Extudit: invented a metaphor taken from fashioning with a hammer, En. viii. 665.

316. Ingressus: 'its origin.' Here follows the fable of Aristæus, the son of Cyrene, by Apollo, according to Virgil. His lamentation to his mother commences at the 321st verse.

317. Penera Tempe quitting the valley of Tempe, in Thessaly, through which the river Peneus flowed, he stood at the head of that stream; his mother Cyrene, celebrated by Pindar, ix. Pyth. was daughter of Peneus, the deity presiding over it.

323. Thymbraus: Apollo had this epithet from Thymbra, a town of Troas, where he had a temple of much celebrity.



327. Quem mihi.... extuderat: which my watchful care of fields and flocks had with difficulty gained for me, after trying every expedient.'

335. Hyali.... colore: a sea-green,' or 'glass colour;' from vados, which signifies' glass.' M.

344. Et tandem. ... Arethusa sagittis and Arethusa, the swift huntress, having at length laid her arrows aside. According to the fable, Arethusa was the daughter of Nereus and Doris, and one of Diana's companions. Being pursued by the river god Alpheus, she was changed into a fountain by Diana. M.

347. Aque chao.. .... amores: and was enumerating the frequent amours of the gods down from chaos.'

362. Accepit.... misit: accipere is applied to a place into which we enter; mittere to that through which we pass. H.

364. Lacus clausos: not the waters forming the Peneus alone, but apparently an immense subterraneous reservoir of all the rivers on earth.

373. Purpureum ès d'aλa ToQqvoέny, Il. π. 391. This epithet probably means dark-coloured, when applied to the ocean. Mare illud qui Favonio nascente, purpureum videtur, nunc flavum. Cic. Tusc. Quæst. iv. 33.

dem nunc,

375. Inanes: occasioned by a slight cause.' 377. Tonsis.... villis: repeated, En. i. 702. Whether the mate rial of these towels was woollen or coarse linen, by taking off the nap, they became more fit for use.

382. Oceanum: represented by Homer, . 246, as the father of all the gods; as water is by Thales, as the origin of all things.

383. Centum: used for a considerable indefinite number; centum complexa nepotes, En. vi. 786.

384. Nectare: Voss supposes that the goddess is represented drinking not wine, but nectar; as, Calypso, Odyss. ε. 199.

[ocr errors]

385. Subjecta: in a middle sense, for subjiciens se; rising.'

386. Omine quo: the flame thrice rising to the roof gave a favourable omen.

387. Carpathio: Carpathus, now called Scarpanto, is an island in the Mediterranean, over against Egypt, from which the neighbouring sea was called Carpathian. M. A similar fable, Odyss. d. 364-384, is there imitated. Menelaus there attacks Proteus in the island of Pharos.

388. Piscibus: the chariot of Proteus is represented as drawn by animals, in their fore parts shaped like horses, and in their hinder parts like fishes.

389. Metitur: travels over.'

391. Pallenen: to this peninsula of Macedon, Aristæus had not far to travel from the sources of the Peneus.

393. Trahantur: in a middle sense, which bring on one another.' 395. Turpes: huge and ugly.' Turpe carut, Geo. iii. 52.

[ocr errors][merged small]

397. Expediat.... secundet: that he may explain the cause of this malady, and point out the means of cure.'

400. Circum hæc.... inanes:

found unavailing.'

407 Atra: for sæva. Serv.

[ocr errors][subsumed]
[ocr errors]

against these his tricks will be


486. Veniebat: was coming.

489. Manes: if the infernal divinities know how to pardon.'

500. Diversa: in an opposite direction.'

511. Philomela: Odyss. T. 518-524.-Sub umbrâ: the darkness under the foliage of the poplar may be expressed by umbra, even by night, when the nightingale sings.

519. Lustrabat: wandered over,' Ecl. x. 55.

520. Sprete....matres: the Ciconian matrons, who thought themselves despised by this constant grief and attachment to the memory of Eurydice. Voss.

529. Vortice: under the whirling water.'

530. Non Cyrene: sc. reliquit.

533. Illa: sc. Eurydice.

535. Tende: offer, present.' En. ii. 674.

535. Napaas: the Napa

ván, a grove. M.

were the nymphs of the groves, from

538. Eximios: the appropriate term for cattle 'selected' for sacrifice. Cerda.

547. Revises: Voss changes the position of this and the preceding line, and for revises has revisens. According to the present arrangement, to Eurydice are made the offerings of a calf or heifer, and of a black sheep; to Orpheus, of poppies only.

[ocr errors]

548. Facessit: 'executes quickly.' In the narration, the words in

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Ir can hardly be supposed that any youth will commence the study of the Eneid who has not previously acquired some knowledge of the history of the siege of Troy, and of the circumstances which led to that event.*

It will be remembered that all the states of Greece united in one common cause to avenge the insult offered to Menelaus, king of Sparta, by Paris, the son of Priam, king of Troy. Paris had been hospitably entertained at the court of Menelaus, but abused this hospitality by eloping with Helen, the wife of his host, whose affections he had treacherously gained, and whom he carried with him to Troy. After a siege of ten years, the city was taken and destroyed by the Greeks. A few of the Trojans, who escaped, under the guidance of Æneas, son of Anchises and Venus, sailed from Asia in quest of a new settlement. With an account of these, after they had survived many toils and dangers, in the seventh year of their wanderings, the poet opens the subject of his poem, verse 34. In the words of Mr. Addison, Eneas makes his first appearance in the Tyrrhene seas, and within sight of Italy, because the action proposed to be celebrated was that of his settling himself in Latium.

[ocr errors]

'But because it was necessary for the reader to know what had happened to him in the taking of Troy, and in the preceding parts of his voyage, Virgil makes his hero relate it, by way of episode, in the second and third books of the Eneid; the contents of both which books come before those of the first book, in the thread of the story; though, for preserving the unity of action, they follow them in the disposition of the poem.

The four verses, which in some manuscripts appear prefixed to the Eneid, are considered by the best commentators as spurious, and inconsistent with the dignity of the Epic Muse..

1. Arma virumque: the wars consequent on the arrival of Eneas in Italy, and the hero himself.'-Primus: the first who came from Troy to Lavinium; not the first Trojan who came to Italy; for Antenor arrived in Italy before Eneas, verse 242.

* But to prevent confusion, and in order to understand fully the history of the Trojan war, the student is advised to make himself acquainted, once for all, with the stories of the following persons, by consulting the Classical Dictionary. This is the more important, as continual reference is made throughout the classics to this event, and to the characters concerned in it.

Agamemnon, Menelaus, Achilles, Patroclus, Ajax Telamonis, Ajax Oilei, Ulysses, Diomedes, Nestor, Pyrrhus, Philoctetes, Palamedes, Idomeneus, Helena, Iphigenia, Teucer of Crete, Dardanus, Erichthonius; Tros and his two sons, Ilus and Assaracus ; Laomedon; Priam, under whom Troy was Lurned; Hector, Paris, Helenus, Deiphobus, Dolon, Rhesus, Sarpedon, Capys, Anchises, Eneas, Ascanius, Hesione, Hecuba, Cas sandra, Polyxena, Andromache.

« PreviousContinue »