« PreviousContinue »
458. Hâc via evado
Sæpiùs Andromache ferre incomitata solebat
457. Soceros : her parents-in-law-Priam palace, on which the tower stood, and to and Hecuba. Astyanacta : a Greek acc. of which it was fastened: or perhaps the highAstyanaz. Some say he was carried off by est story, or part of the tower only, was Ulysses, others say by Menelaus, in the ab- overthrown. Labantes : in the sense of sence of Pyrrhus, and thrown over a preci- infirmas. pice, to evade the prophecy, which imported 464. Dabant : in the sense of habebant. ihat, if he lived, he would avenge his pa 469. Ante ipsum: before the very enrents and country. The name is of Greek trance, or vestibule. The vestibulum proorigin, and signifies, a king of a city. perly was the court yard or space before
458. Evado ad fustigia: I ascend to the the door of the house. By primo limine, top of the highest roof. The word evado we may understand the outer gate; perhaps marks the danger of the enterprise, and the the one that gave admittance into the veshazard he ran of being intercepted by the tibulum. enemy.
470. Coruscus ahenâ luce : gleaming in It is probable that by fastigia here, we arms, and brazen light; the brass of his are to understand the battlements, or watch armour reflected the light. tower, which had been built upon the high Pyrrhus. He was the son of Achilles est part of the palace. We may suppose and Deïdamia, so called from the color of the palace to have been of different heights, his skin, which was red. He was sometimes or to have consisted of several buildings, called Neoptolemus, from two Greek words, differing in height, and connected together which together signify a new war. He inso as to form one mass, each of them with herited much of the spirit and temper of its respective roof; hence the propriety of his father. He slew Priam while holding the expressions : summi tecti-summi cul- the altar, to which he had fled for refuge; minis, &c.
and sacrificed his daughter Polyxena at the 460. In præciputi : in a dangerous place tomb of his father. After the destruction -in a projecting situation.
of Troy, he carried off Andromache, whomy 461. Summus tectis : with its highest roof, he married; at least he had a son by her, or simply, with its top. It is plain that tec- named Molossus. He afterwards married tum here means the roof, or ridge of the her to Helenus, the son of Friam, upon his tower.
falling in love with Hermione, the daughter 463. Ferro. Ferrum properly signifies of Menelaus and Helen. iron. Hence any instrument made of iron Pyrrhus was slain in the temple of -any edged tool; such as swords, axes, &c. Apollo, at Delphi, by Orestes, to whom With these instruments they cut the tower Hermione had been promised. He was also loose, where the topmost story gave weak called Pelides, from Peleus, his grandfather. joints. Mr. Davidson observes, it is some 471. Pustus mala: having fed upon poiwhat difficult to determine the meaning of sonous herbs. It is said that serpents, when summa in this place; because the poet they lie in wait for either man or beast, eat speaks as if the whole tower had been torn poisonous herbs and roots, to make their from its place, and not one story of it only. bite more fatal.. He therefore thinks we may understand by 472. Bruma : properly the shortest day the summa tabulata, the highest story of the of winter--the winter solstice ; hence bi
Nunc positis novus exuviis, nitidusque juventâ,
Lubrica convolvit, sublato pectore, terga 475. Unà cum Pyrrho Arduus ad Solem, et linguis micat ore trisulcis. ingens Periphas,
et Unà ingens Periphas, et equorum agitator Achillis Automedon Armiger Pyrrhi, quondam agita
Armiger Automedon ; unà omnis Scyria pubes tor equorum Achillis,
Succedunt tecto, et flammas ad culmina jactant. unà etiam omnis Ipse inter primos, correptâ dura bipenni,
479. Pyrrhus ipse in- Limina perrumpit, postesque à cardine vellit ter primos
Æratos; jamque excisâ trabe firma cavavit
Apparent Priami et veterum penetralia regum : 485. Danai vident ar- Armatosque vident standes in limine primo. matos custodes stantes At domus interior gemitu miseroque-tumultu
Miscetur: penitùsque cavæ plangoribus ædes
Tum pavidæ tectis matres ingentibus errant: 490. Figunt oscula Amplexæque tenent postes, atque oscula figunt. illis
Instat vi patriâ Pyrrhus ; nec claustra; neque ipsi
synec. the whole winter. Tumidum: swol or crosspiece, or other impediments, on the len, or bloated with poison.
inside of the door, to secure it. - By limina, 473. Novus exuviis : now, renewed, his we may understand the impediments or deskin being cast off, and sleek with youth, he fences on the outside of the door;
and by rolls, &c. It is well known that the snake postes, the door itself, by meton. The perchanges, or creeps out of his skin, in the rumpit dura limina, and the vellit postes à spring of the year. Aristotle informs us cardine, show Pyrrhus breaking through all that they begin at the head, and having di- obstructions, and tearing down the doors ; vested themselves of their old garment, and cavavit being in the perf. tense, marks they appear renewed in youth and beauty. the ease and rapidity with which the effect This is effected in about the space of twenty- was produced. Dedit: in the sense of fecit. four hours.
484. Penetralia. Penetrale properly sig475. Arduus ad solem : raised or elevated nifies the interior or private apartments of to the sun; in order to receive his heat, es a house, as here—that part of the temple pecially in the spring, when his warm beams where the images stood-the place whence are the most cherishing. Trisulcis. The the responses of the oracles were givenpoets represent serpents as having three- the shrine. Ruæus says, recessus. forked tongues, probably on account of the 487. Cavæ ædes: the rooms with concave volubility of their tongues, in which they 'arches, or ceilings. Ululant: in the sense are said to exceed all other animals. Micat: of resonant. Plangoribus: shrieks, or lain the sense of vibrat.
mentations. Thes rooms, or apartments 477. Scyria: an adj. from Scyros, one of of the females, were in the middle, or intethe Cyclades. Achilles was placed here rior part of the palace. This is expressed in the habit of a woman, under the care of by penitùs. Lycomedes, king of the island, where he 490. Amplexe tenent, &c. This is an aldefiled his daughter Deïdamia, who brought lusion to a superstitious opinion among the him Pyrrhus. Some say Lycomedes gave Romans, that the door-posts, gates, &e. him his daughter in marriage. Pubes : in possessed a kind of divinity. These, there. the sense of juventus.
fore, the poet represents as being seized and 478. Succedunt tecto: come up to the pa- embraced by the Trojan matrons, who hoped lace, so that they could reach the roof with by these means to recommend themselves the flames. They advance up to a proper to the protection of the deities that were distance, to throw flames upon the roof. supposed to preside over them. Figunt os
481. Cavavit firma robora : 'and now hath cula : fix their lips to them-kiss them. he pierced, or cut through the firm wood, 489. Ingentibus tectis : in the spacious &c. This change of tense is very expres- apartments—halls. sive and beautiful. It marks the violence 492. Sufferre: in the sense of impedire. of Pyrrhus, and the rapidity of his progress. Crebro ariete : with the frequent strokes of By trabe here, we may understand the bar, the ram. This was an engine used in the
Janua, et emoti procumbunt cardine postes.
495. Danai rumpunt Non sic, aggeribus ruptis cùm spumeus amnis
aditus, immissique Exiit, oppositasque evicit gurgite moles,
496. Amnis, cùm exiit Fertur in arva furens cumulo, camposque per omnes
spumeus, aggeribus rup
tis, evicitque oppositas Cum stabulis armenta trahit. Vidi ipse furentem moles gurgite, non fertur Cæde Neoptolemum, geminosque in limine Atridas: 500 in arva sic furens Vidi Hecubam, centumque nurus, Priamumque per aras
498. Cumulo aquaruni Sanguine fvedantem, quos ipse sacraverat, ignes. Quinquaginta illi thalami, spes tanta nepotum, Barbarico postes auro spoliisque superbi, Procubuere: tenent Danai, quà deficit ignis. 505
505. Danai tenent loForsitan et, Priami fuerint quæ fata, requiras.
509. Senior nequicUrbis ubi captæ casum, convulsaque vidit
quam circumdat arma Limina tectorum, et medium in penetralibus hostem ; diu desueta humeris treArma diu senior desueta trementibus ævo
mentibus ævo, et
attack of towns and fortified plaoes, to make one wife each; who, in the whole, might a breach in the walls. It was a long beam make the exact number of a hundred. This or piece of timber, one end of which was last is the best, or most probable explanaprepared with iron, soinewhat resembling in tion. form the head of a ram, whence it took its 502. Fædantem : defiling with his blood
This was suspended in the middle the fires which, &c. In the open court of by the help of ropes, to another beam, ex his palace, Priam had an altar consecrated tended across two posts, and thrown forward to Jupiter Hercæus, or the Protector: on by the besiegers with great violence against this altar, we are told that hallowed fire was the wall.
kept perpetually burning. 493. Postes: the door, or gate, by meton.
503. Illi thalami : those fifty bed-cham494. Rumpunt aditus : they force a pas- bers, the so great hope of posterity. These sage, or entrance.
were the separate rooms where his sons 496. Non sic fertur: a river, when it hath lodged with their wives. Homer tells us rushed forth foaming, its barriers being burst, that Priam had twelve daughters, who, with and hath overcoine the opposing mounds their husbands, lodged over against his sons. with its whirling current, is not borne into He had therefore sixty-two children by his the fields so furious with its flood, &c. The several wives, nineteen of whom Hecuba poet here gives us a very lively idea of the bore him. The rest he had by his other rage of the Greeks. It exceeded that of a
wives. All these bed-chambers were in river pent up; at length, bursting its barri, Priam's palace. ers, overflowing the adjacent country, and spreading desolation and destruction every with foreign gold and spoils.
504. Superbi barbarico auro : decorated
The Romans where in its course. Cumulo: auctů aqua- frequently called Phrygia, Barbary. Some rum, says Rumus.
501. Hecubam. She was the wife of Pri- therefore understand by barbarico auro, am, and daughter of C'isseüs, king of Thrace. Phrygian gold. It is better to understand She was carried into slavery by the Grecks. it of the gold, which had been taken from Centum nurus. Homer informs us that Priam their vanquished enemies; more especially
since spoliis immediately follows it. Sú had only fifty sons, Iliad vi. He could not therefore have a hundred daughters-in-law, perbi: in the sense of ornati
, or decorati.
Postes : unless we suppose each one to have had two
: in the sense of portæ : doors. wives. This might have been the case; but
505. Danai tenent, &c. The Greeks are there is no mention made of it. To explain here beautifully represented more cruel than this difficulty, some take the definite num
the flames. The fire abated, and fell from ber centum, for an indefinite one. Others, its rage: but the more merciless Greeks among whom is Ruæus, take nurus for an press on till all is destroyed. attendant, or waiter, understanding by cena
507. Casum : in the conse of ruinam. tum nurus, the hundred servants, or waiters 508. Limina tectorum conrılsa: the door of Hecuba. But there is no impropriety in of his palace torn down-brokea through. supposing that the sons of Priam, imitating Penetralibus : in the inner or private apart the example of their father, had more than ments of his palace.
Circumdat nequicquam humeris, et inutile ferrum 510
Ædibus in mediis, nudoque sub ætheris axe
Incumbens aræ, atque umbrâ complexa Penates. 515. Condense sunt Hic Hecuba et natæ nequicquam altaria circùm,
51E circum altaria præcipi. tes, ceu columbee volant Præcipites, atrâ ceu tempestate columbæ, ab atra tempestate, et Condensæ, et Divûm amplexæ simulacra tenebant. amplexe
Ipsum autem sumptis Priamum juvenilibus armis 518. Autem Hecuba, Ut vidit : Quæ mens tam dira, miserrime conjux, ut vidit Priamum ipsum, Impulit his cingi telis ? aut quò ruis ? inquit.
520 juvenilibus armis sump- Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis tis, inquit: 520. Impulit le cingi Tempus eget : non, si ipse meus nunc afforet Hector.
Huc tandem concede: hæc ara tuebitur omnes;
Insequitur, jam jamque manu tenet, et premit hastâ. 530
, ac multo vitam cum sanguine fudit. parentum
Hìc Priamus, quanquam in mediâ jam morte tenetur,
510. Circumdat : in the sense of induit. or wife; from the verb conjungo. Mens : Cingitur: in the sense of cingit.
thought-purpose, 512. Sub nudo axe: under the naked
522. Ipse mers Hector: if my Hector him(open) canopy of heaven. Axis, properly self were now here, he could be of no avail. the pole, by synec. the whole heaven or sky. 523. Concede : betake yourself hither now, This altar was situated in the middle, or in this last extremity. This altar will procentre of the palace-mediis ædibus. On tect us all. Altars and other consecrated this altar, Priam had consecrated the per- places were looked upon as sanctuaries and petual fire. Here he was slain. If we sup- places of refuge: to which it was usual to pose the palace of such form and dimen- fice for safety. sions as to admit a large space or area in 525. Longævum: in the sense of senem. the centre, exposed to the open air above, 526. De cæde Pyrrhi: not from the death there will be no difficulty in understanding of Pyrrhus; but from death by the hand of
Pyrrhus. 514. Compleca Penates : embracing the 528. Jongis porticibus : in the long pas Penates with its shade. La Cerda would sages. Mr. Davidson renders the words, understand by Penates, the palace, or house, the long galleries. Lustrat: in the sense of as the word sometimes signifies; because pererrut. this was not the place of the Penates, or 52). Inifesto vulnere : with the hostile household gods. But others think the sta wear on. Pulrus is here used hy meton. tues of the Penates were placed here, on the for the wouring instrument—the weapon same altar with that of Jupiter Hercæus. that inflicts e wound. 515. Natæ : in the sense of filiæ, vel 534. Jam jan.que: almost seizos him with
his hand, and presses upon him with his 516. Præcipites: quick-in haste.
spear. 517. Condensæ circùm : crowded around 531. Evasit: in the sense of pervenit the altars. Simulacra: in the sense of 534. zbstinur': in the sense or con!icuit. statuas.
535. l'ro scelere, poto
for such wicked519. Miserrime: in the sense of infel cis- ness, for such augsc:cus deeds, may_tho sime, the voc. Conjux is either a husband gode rake vou suitable relurr... &c. Page
Persolvant grates dignas, et præmia reddant
539. Funere ejus filii At non ille, satum quo te mentiris, Achilles
540 540. A quo mentiris Talis in hoste fuit Priamo; sed jura fidemque
te satum esse Supplicis erubuit; corpusque exsangue sepulchro Reddidit Hectoreum, meque in mea regna remisit. Sic fatus senior, telumque imbelle sinè ictu Conjecit: raucu quod protinùs ære repulsum, 545 545. Quod repulsum Et summo clypei nequicquam umbone pependit.
est protinûs Cui Pyrrhus : Referes ergo hæc, et nuntius ibis
547. Cui Pyrrhus rePelidæ genitori : illi mea tristia facta,
549 Degeneremque Neoptolemum narrare memento.
549. Memento narraNunc morere.
re illi mea tristia facta, Hæc dicens, altaria ad ipsa trementem
553. Ac abdidit eum Extulit, ac lateri capulo tenus abdidit, ensem.
lateri Priami tenùs caHæc finis Priami fatorum : hic exitus illum
sometimes signifies, in proportion to-cor
Virgil, however, forbears to responding to. In the present case it is also mention these circumstances, and attributes emphatic. Ausis. Āusum is properly a the restoration of Hector's corpse to the part. of the verb audeo; used as a sub. generosity, justice, and sense of honor, of
538. Qui fecisti me coràm, &c. Priam Achilles, in order to set the character of does not complain of his killing his son; Pyrrhus in a more forcible light. but for the barbarity in making him to be Achilles had it in his power to have dethe witness of so shocking à sight-for tained the aged monarch, or to have put him slaying him before his eyes.
to death; but he blushed (erubuit) at the 539. Fædâsti patrios : hast defiled a fa- thought of violating the laws of nations, ther's face with the dead body of his son.
which forbid all violence to the person of a Funus, says Servius, is a carcass or dead king; which require the forms of burial to body, warm and newly slain. When car be allowed to the dead, and the laws of ried out to receive funeral rites, it is called humanity to be observed even to an eneiny, Ersequiæ; the ashes of it, when burned, when disarmed: those laws he observed, are called Reliquiæ; and the interment of and that faith (fidem) which is due to a it is called sepulchrum.
suppliant, whose person has always been 540. Al Achilles ille, quo: but Achilles held sacred by the laws of hospitality hiinself, by whom, you falsely say, you was
544. Ictu : in the sense of impetu. begotten, was not such toward Priam, his 545. Repulsum : it was so repelled, that enemy.
it fell short of wounding him. It, however, This is a severe sarcasm; as if he had pierced the boss of his buckler, and hung said:
: you claim descent from Achilles, but there harmless, having produced no effect. your actions give you the lie; no man of 546. Umbone. Umbo was the middle part humanity could beget such a son. Satum: of the shield. This rose or projected forin the sense of genitum.
ward from the plane of the shield, in a curved 542. Erubuit jura: he blushed at the or circular form. By summo umbone, we laws of nations, and the faith due to a sup are to understand the farthest point of propliant-he had regard to the laws, &c. The jection; which was also the centre of the word crriburt is extremely beautiful and ex shield. Here the spear of Priam stuck. It pressive.
is sometimes taken for the whole shield, by After the death of Hector, Achilles bound synec. his dead body to his chariot, and drew it 547. Ibis nuntius: you shall go a mes round the tomb of Patroclus, whom Hector senger to my father Achilles, whom you had slain, and around the walls of Troy, for so much praise, and tell him that his son several days in succession. At this piteous has degenerated from the virtues of his fasight, Priam was induced to go to Achilles, ther. and beg the body, that it might receive the 548. Tristiu : foul-horrid. Ruæus says rites of sepulture; who, after inrch en- indigna. treaty, and many rich presents giv in him, 554. Falorum: in the senso of vitæ. This restored the body on the twelfth day after it was the end of the life of Priam. Hic exia