Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ft, “longum, formose, vale, vale,” inquit, Iola.

DA. Triste lupus stabulis; maturis frugibus imbres; 80
Arboribus venti; nobis Amaryllidis iræ.

ME. Dulce satis humor; depulsis arbutus hædis,
Lenta salix fæto pecori: mihi solus Amyntas.

Da. Pollio amat nostram, quamvis est rustica, Musam. 86. Pascite taurum illi, Pierides, vitulam lectori pascite vestro.

85 qui jam

ME. Pollio et ipse facit nova carmina ; pascite taurum,

Jam cornu petat, et pedibus qui spargat arenam. 88. Veniat quoque quò DA. Qui te, Pollio, amat ; veniat quò te quoque gaudet: gaudet eum te pervenisse. Mella fluant illi, ferat et rubus asper amomum.

Me. Qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina, Mævi . Atque idem jungat vulpes, et mulgeat hircos.

91 92. O pueri, qui legitis DA. Qui legitis flores, et humi nascentia fraga, flores et fraga nascentia Frigidus, ô pueri! fugite hinc, latet anguis in herbâ. humi, tugite

Me. Parcite, oves, nimiùm procedere : non benè ripa
Creditur : ipse aries etiam nunc vellera siccat. 95

DA. Tityre, pascentes à flumine reice capellas :
Ipse, ubi tempus erit, omnes in fonte lavabo.

ME. Cogite oves pueri : si lac præceperit æstus,
Ut nuper, frustrà pressabimus ubera palmis.

DA. Eheu, quàm pingui macer est mihi tauros in arvo100 102. Neque est amor

Idem amor exitium pecori est, pecorisque magistro. certè causa his meis ovi- ME. His certè neque amor causa est : vix ossibus hæ bus, cur sint tam macra. Nescio quis teneros oculus mihi fascinat agnos. [rent

NOTES.

79. Longum, formose, &c. These are not learned men of his time. See Ech. IV. 12. the words of Phillis, addressed to Iolas, but 89. Amomum. An aromatic fruit of great of Menalcas; and first addressed to Me- value. The Assyrian was considered the nalcas by Phillis. They made a deep im- best. Rubus : the blackberry bush. pression on his mind-they stole his affec- 90. Qui Bavium non odit. Bavius and tions. O beautiful youth, said she, farewell Mævius were two conteniptible poets, and -farewell, a long time. Stabulis : sheep- very inimical to Virgil and Horace. These folds. By meton. the sheep. Triste is to two lines are wonderfully satirical. Let be supplied with each member of the sen- the same persons yoke oxen and milk hetence following, as also the verb est. goats. But this would be a useless, as well

82. Arbutus: the strawberry tree, so call- as a ridiculous employment. ed from the resemblance of its fruit to a 93. Frigidus: deadly, by meton. or cold, strawberry. Depulsis : the words à lacte descriptive of the nature of the snake. are understood.

95. Creditur. It is not easy to translate 82. Satis. The dat. plu. a substantive impersonal verbs always literally. They from the part. pass. of the verb sero, I sow. frequently occur in sentences, when such a It signifies any thing sown or planted-stand- version would be very awkward English. ing corn. Depulsis hædis: to the weaned This is the case here. "Menalcas is cautionkids. Dulcis is to be supplied in each mem- ing his sheep not to proceed too far; and ber of the sentence; as also the verb est.

a reason for so doing, that it is 85. Pierides. The Muses are so called not well to trust to the bank. To give force from Pieria, the place of their birth. See to this caution, he mentions the case of the

ram that had just recovered of a fall from 86. Pollio. A noble Roman, the friend it into the river, and was then drying his and patron of Virgil. See next Ecl. Nova: fleece. good-excellent.

96. Reice. Imp. of the verb reicio, by 88. Veniat quò gaudet, &c. May he also syncope for rejicio:drive back. arrive at those honors to which it delighteth 98. Præceperit: If the heat should dry up him that thou hast arrived. Pollio was in the milk-should take it before us, then in vested with the consulate in the year of vain, &c. Rome 714, and in the following year he re- 103. Quis oculus : what evil eye bewitchceived a triumph. He was also a poet and es my tender lambs. Mihi: in the sense of historian; and considered among the most

adds as

60. supra.

meos

Da. Dic quibus in terris, et eris mihi magnus Apollo, Tres pateat cæli spatium non ampliùs ulnas. 105

ME. Dic quibus in terris inscripti nomina regum Nascantur flores : et Phyllida solus habeto.

109. Et tu es dignus Pa. Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites. vitulà, et hic. Et vitulâ tu dignus, et hic: et quisquis amores

110. Quisquis aut me

tuet dulces amores, aui Aut metuet dulces, aut experietur amaros.

110

experietur amaros amoClaudite jam rivos, pueri : sat prata biberunt.

Tes.

NOTES.

105. Spatium cæli pateat. Damætas here to settle, &c. Est is to be supplied. Paleproposes a very intricate riddle. Various mon declares his inability to determine the have been the conjectures to solve it. It is controversy between them; but pronounces most generally thought that the place in them both worthy of the prize. tended is the bottom of a well, from whence 110. Meluet dulces : shall fear successful the space of the heavens appears no broad- love shall fear that it would not be lasting. er than its mouth, which in the general may Experretur amaros : shall experience disapbe taken for three ells.

pointed love love not returned or recipro107. Flores nascantur inscripti. Without cated, solving the riddle of Damotas, Menalcas 111. Claudite. This is a beautiful line : proposes this one, and it is an equal match shut up your streams, O swains, the meads for his. The solution of it is all conjec- have drunk enough. It is a metaphor taken ture. It is generally supposed that the hy- from rivers refreshing the meadows through acinth is the flower alluded to. Nomina which they pass ; to music and poetry, deinscripti : inscribed as to the names of lighting the ear, the fancy, and the judge kings—or with the names of kings. See ment. It implies that it was time to cease Ecl. 1. 55.

their song; they had given sufficient proofs 108. Non nostrum : it is not in my power of their skill in music.

QUESTIONS.

What is the subject of this pastoral? What did he do to recover his lost EuryDoes Virgil here imitate Theocritus? dice?

Who is to be understood under the cha. What became of him at last ? racter of Damætas ? Who under that of In what consists the carmen amæbæum. ? Menalcas? Who under that of Palæmon? Who were the Muses? How many were

Who was Conon? Who was Archimedes? they in number? What were their names ?
What did he do against the Romans ? Who was Diana ? Where was she born?
What became of him afterwards? Over what did she preside?
Who was Orpheus? Whom did he marry?

3

ECLOGA QUARTA.

POLLIO.

Virgil's design in this pastoral is to celebrate the birth of a son of Pollio, as appean

from verse 17; on which account he dedicated it to that noble Roman. But it is evident that he ascribes to the son of his friend, what cannot be attributed, with any propriely, to a being merely human. On examination, it will be found that there are several expressions and passages, which remarkably correspond with the prophecies and predictions of the Messiah, contained in the scriptures of the Old Testament; and parti.

cularly with those of the prophet Isaiah. That the poet was inspired is not pretended. We are assured, on the most credible testimony, that about this time there was a general

expectation of the Messiah's appearance. This was partly from the dispersion of the Jews over the Roman empire, who carried with them their scriptures; and partly from the Sibylline oracles then much in repute. What, therefore, was generally said, and was the common opinion concerning the Messiah, the poet applies to the son of Pollio. It was not fulfilled in him. For he died on the ninth day after his birth. It was, how

ever, actually fulfilled in about forty years afterwards, when the Savior appeared. Some suppose that the poet hath in view Marcellus, the son of Octavia, the sister of

Augustus, whose birth corresponds with the consulship of Pollio. Augustus adopted him, and designed him for his successor in the empire. This is the same Marcellus whom Virgil highly compliments in the sixth book of the Æneid. He died soon after he arrived at manhood.

SICELIDES Musæ, paulò majora canamus.
Non omnes arbusta juvant, humilesque myricæ.
Si canimus sylvas, sylvæ sint consule dignæ.
Ultima Cumæi venit jam carminis ætas :

'NOTES.

1. Sicelides : an adj. from Silicia, the residence of a sityl. There were several island of Sicily, the country of Theocritus, others of the same name; but the most disthe father of pastoral poetry. Hence Sice- tinguished were, a city of Æolis, in Asia lides Musa, pastoral inuses.

Minor, and a city of Eubea, an island in 2. Arbusta-myricæ. Trees and shrubs the Ægean sea : hodie, Negropont. The reseem to be put here for pastoral subjects, or sidence of this sibyl was a cave or vault the style and manner in which they are dug into a rock. Justin Martyr informs us, sung, by meton. Myrica: a shrub called that he visited the spot, and was shown a the lamarisk. The poet here proposes to kind of chapel in the rock, into which the write in a style different from the usual inhabitants told him (as they received it style of pastoral; for that does not please from their forefathers) she retired whenever every ear. A more elevated strain he will she gave out her oracles. He also mennow atteinpt.

tioned several other particulars. Onuphrius 3. Sylvas : the woods. By meton. pas. tells us, that the cave or residence of the toral or rural subjects. If we sing of pas- sibyl remained in the same state Justin toral subjects, those subjects should be Martyr described it, until 1539, when it was worthy of a consul's ear.

entirely destroyed by an earthquake which 4. Ultima ætus : the last age of the sibyl- shook all Campania. See Prideaux's Con. line prophecy hath now arrived the last Part 2. Lib. 9. The sibyls were women age, which was the subject, &c. I would said to have been endued with the spirit of here observe that the last daysthe latter prophecy, and to have foretold the destinies days, or times, are common expressions in of states and kingdoms. They lived at the scriptures to denote the age of the Gos- different periods of time, and in different pel, which is the last dispensation of grace. countries. They took the name of Sibyllo, Cumæi : an adj. from Cumæ, a city of Cam- or Sibyls, from the first, who was thus enpania, in Italy, famous for having been the dued, her name being Sibylla. Varro edu

Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo.
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna :
Jam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.
Tu modò nascenti puero, quo ferrea primùm
Desinet, ac toto surget gens aurea mundo,
Casta, fave, Lucina : tuus jam regnat Apollo.

5

8. Tu modò, casta Lucina, fave nascenti puero, sub quo ferrea gens primum desinet, ac

aurea gens surget toto 10 mundo.

NOTES.

merates ten: The Delphica, Erythræa, Cu- set at liberty by Jupiter. But Saturn did mæa, Samia, Cumana, Hellespontica, Libyca, not long remain mindful of this favor. Persica, Phrygia, and the Terburtina. Of He conspired against him to dethrone him, these, the one most noted was the Cumæan. and possess the empire himself. Upon this, She seems to have been the same that the Jupiter banished him from heaven. He Greeks called Erythræa, from the circum- came to Italy, which was afterwards called stance of her being born at Erythræ in Ionia, Latium, from the circumstance of its being of the Lesser Asia ; from whence she re- the place of his concealment; from the verb moved to Cumæ, in Italy. Carminis: in the lateo. Janus, who was then king, received sense of vaticinii.

him with hospitality, and made him partner 5. Magnus ordo. Some suppose that the in his kingdom. Saturn employed his time poet here hath reference to the great Plato- in civilizing his subjects, teaching them agrinic year; of which Claudius says, Ch. 1 culture, and the several arts and sciences. of the sphere: Omnia, quæcunque in mundo His reign was so mild, so beneficent and sunt, eodem ordine esse reditura, quò nunc virtuous, that it came to be denominated the cernuntur. This would embrace the period Golden Age, to intimate the happiness and of 25,920 of our years; when the equinoxes tranquillity which then were enjoyed. The will have made the circuit of the ecliptic, and Silver Age succeeded, when men began to the same stars, which describe the equator, degenerate, and their peace to be disturbed tropics, and polar circles, by the diurnal by feuds and animosities. The Brazen Age motion of the earth, will describe them over followed, when avarice and licentiousness again. Ruæus, however, is of a different took possession of the heart. To this sucopinion, and very justly understands by ceeded the Iron Age, when the world became magnus, great and illustrious; implying that sunk into a general and total depravity. the period of which the poet spake as then These four ages are much spoken of by the commencing, should be distinguished by poets, but particularly the first. By this great and illustrious characters. Sæclorum, time men had become so wicked and degeby syncope for sæculorum. Sæculum properly nerate, that they were all destroyed by a signifies the period of a hundred years. deluge, which took place in the reign of It is also used to denote an indefinite period, Deucalion, king of Thessaly. He and his as in the present instance.

wife Pyrrha were the only survivors. 6. Virgo. The poet here means Astræa, 8. Fave nascenti puero : favor, or be prothe goddess of justice, the daughter of Ju- pitious to the infant boy. Nascens does not piter and Themis. See nom. prop. under refer here so much to his birth, as to his inAstræa. Saturnia regna: the reign of Sa- fant years. As Lucina had safely brought turn. According to fable, Saturn was the the child into the world, it is the desire of son of Cælus and Terra, or Vesta. Cælus the poet that she should continue her attenconfined in Tartarus all his sons, except tion and regard to him during the dangers Saturn; who with the assistance of his of infancy. mother, banished his father, and set his bro- 9. Gens : in the sense of ætas. thers at liberty. He succeeded to the king- 10. Casta Lucina. Lucina was the goddom by the consent of his brother Titan, on dess supposed to preside over child-bearing, the condition that he should raise no male and called Lucina from lux, because through offspring. He accordingly devoured his her means children were brought to see the sons as soon as they were born. But when light. This office was attributed both to Jupiter was born, his wife Rhea, or Ops, un- Juno and Diana; the latter of whom is the willing to see all her sons perish, concealed one here meant, as appears from Tuus jam him; giving to her husband a stone in room regnat Apollo: now thy Apollo reigus.-of the child, which he devoured, without This hath led some into a singularity. By discovering the cheat. In the same way she Apollo they would understand Augustwa preserved Neptune and Pluto.

and by Lucina his sister Octavia. Virgii Titan being informed that his brother had was fond of complimenting his prince, but broken the terms of their contract, made there can be no necessity of such an interwar upon him, and made both him and his pretation here. Ruæus understands it ut wife prisoners; they were, however, soon Apollo himself, who may be said to reiredo

11. Adcò hoc decus Teque adeò decus hoc ævi, te consule, inibit, evi inibit, to, te consule, Pollio : et incipient magni procedere menses. O Pollio.

Te duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri,
Irrita perpetuâ solvent formidine terras.
Ille Deûm vitam accipiet, Divisque videbit
Permixtos heroas, et ipse videbitur illis :
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.

15

NOTES.

because it is now manifest that his predice as magnus ordo saclorum, verse 5, supra. tions are true. Apollo was the god, under Pollio. A very distinguished Roman. He whose influence the Sibyls were, when they arrived to the highest honors that the people prophesied, or gave out

their oracles. could bestow. He was appointed Præfectus Apollo was the son of Jupiter and Latona, of Hispania Ulterior by Julius Cæsar. On and brother of Diana. Juno, in order to some occasion or other, being in Cis-alpine vent her rage against Latona, sent the ser- Gaul, he became acquainted with Virgil, pent Python, to vex and torment her. She for whom ho conceived a very high regard, was unable to find a place where she could and recommended him to Mæcenas, who be delivered of her children in peace, 'till was then at Rome. A way was thus openNeptune, taking pity on her, raised the island ed to our poet for the recovery of his lands. Delos, where she was safely delivered of In the year of Rome, 714, Pollio was apApollo and Diana at a birth. As soon as pointed consul, and in the following year he was born, Apollo slew the serpent Python, he triumphed over the Partheni, a people from which circumstance he is sometimes of Illyricum, who adhered to the party of called Pythius. He was accounted the god Brutus and Cassius. He wrote the history of medicine, music, poetry, and eloquence, of the civil wars, and was both a poet and all of which, it is said, he invented. His orator. He died in the eightieth year of his son Æsculapius being killed by Jupiter for age, and in the year of Rome, 757. raising the dead, he in turn slew the Cy- 13. Siqua testigia, &c. The poet here clops, who had made the thunderbolt that alludes, most probably, to the perjury of slew him. Jupiter being much enraged at Laomedon, king of Troy; to which the this piece of conduct, banished him from Trojans attributed their misfortunes and heaven, and deprived him of his dignity. calamities. See Geor. I. 502 ; or to the He came to Admetus, king of Thessaly, civil wars which were carried on between and hired himself as a shepherd, in which Cæsar and Pompey. Or lastly, to the death employment he served nine years. Hence of Julius Cæsar, who was slain by Brutus he is sometimes called the god of shepherds. in the senate house ; which was the cause Apollo was amorous, and had many chil- of a second civil war, between Brutus and dren. His worship was very general. At Cassius on the one part, and Octavius and Delphi, Delos, Claros, Tenedos, Patara, &c. Anthony on the other. It terminated in he had celebrated oracles. He had several the ruin of the Republic, and in the esta. names: Pythius, already mentioned; Delius, blishment of the Empire. from the island Delos, where he was born; 14. Irrita : being effaced, or done away, Cynthius, from Cynthus, the name of a will free the earth, &c. Irrita, of in negamountain on the same island ; Pæan, from tivum, and ratus ; agreeing with vestigia. a Greek word which signifies to strike, or 15. Ille accipiet vitam : he shall partake wound, in allusion to his killing the Python ; the life of the gods, &c. Here is an alluDelphicus, from Delphi, in Phocis, where sion to the Golden Age, when, the poets he had his most famous temple and oracle; say, the gods had familiar intercourse with Clarus, &c. He was called Phobus, or Sol, men, and dwelt on the earth. That happy in heaven. There were several among the period was again about to retu-n. ancients, who went under the name of 17. Reget, &c. He shall rule the peaceApollo. Cicero mentions three, besides the ful world by his father's virtues. Meaning son of Jupiter and Latona.

that the child should arrive at the highest 11. Hoc decus ævi : this glory of the age, honors of the state, that is, should be a coni. e. this glorious age, shall commence in your sul. Or, he shall rule the world, reduced to consulship.

peace by his father's virtues. Pollio and 12. Magni menses. Servius and Pompo- Mecenas effected a reconciliation between nius think we are to understand the months Octavius and Anthony, which gave hope of July and August, because they bore the of a lasting peace. Orbem here means the names of Julius and Augustus. But we Roman Empire; which, in the height of its are undoubtedly to understand the magni greatness, comprehended the greater part lenses here, in the same manner and conse, of the world that was then known.

.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »