Page images



618. Ejus domus in- Deseruere. Domus sanie dapibusque cruentis, tus est opaca, ingens, et Intus opaca, ingens : ipse arduus, altaque pulsat plena sanie

Sidera ; Di, talem terris avertite pestem!
Nec visu facilis, nec dictu affabilis ulli.

Visceribus miserorum, et sanguine vescitur atro.
623 Egomet vidi, cùm Vidi egomet, duo de numero cùm corpora nostro,
ille resupinus in medio Prensa manu magnâ, medio resupinus in antro,
intro frangeret duo cor-
pora de nostro numero,

Frangeret ad saxum, sanieque aspersa natarent drensa magnâ manù, ad Limina: vidi, atro cùm membra fuentia tabo

Manderet, et tepidi tremerent sub dentibus artus.
628. Fecit id quidem Haud impunè quidem: nec talia passus Ulysses,
haud impunè: nec Ulys- Oblitusve sui est Ithacus discrimine tanto.
ses passus est talia

Nam simul expletus dapibus, vinoque sepultus
Cervicem inflexam posuit, jacuitque per antrum
Immensus, saniem eructans ac frustra cruento
Per soinnum commixta mero; nos, magna precati
Numina, sortitique vices, unà undique circùm
Fundimur, et telo lumen terebramus acuto
Ingens, quod torvå solum sub fronte latebat,






visited Sicily, and the straits of Messina. 632. Immensus. Some read immensum, He lost a part of his fleet in the whirlpool to agree with antrum.

But immensus is preof Charybdis. This was a dangerous place ferahle, referring to the dimensions of Poto all who attempted to pass the straits. It lyphemus. Frusta commixta : pieces (of gave rise to this proverb: Incidit in Scyllam, human bodies) mingled with bloody wine. qui vult vitare Charybdim, implying that in Per somnum is to be connected with erucavoiding one evil, we frequently fall into lans. a greater. But no whirlpool is now to be 634. Sortiti vices : haying drawn by lot found, sufficiently large to answer to the our parts to act, all at once, we surround description given by the poets and other an him from all quarters, and dig out, &c. cient writers. It is probable some change Donatus thinks it should be tenebramus, inqas been effected in this part of the sea in stead of terebrcmus: we darken, or extinThe course of time.

guish the light of his eye : which would 621. Nec facilis visu: nor is he easy to express, as he thinks, the quickness and be looked upon, nor easy to be spoken to celerity of their action. But Homer, by any one. His terrific aspect fills you whom Virgil here follows, expressly men. with dread, and deprives you of the power tions the circumstance of the boring out of of speech. Servius says: Cujus possit etiam the monster's eye; and compares the acaspectus ferre formidinem ; and Stephens : tion of Ulysses and his companions to a Cujus ne aspectum quidem facile quis sus carpenter boring a piece of timber. Cir. tineat.

cùmfundimur, is probably here used in the 625.

Limen properly sense of the middle voice of the Greeks. signifies the threshold of the door; also the 636. Latebat : lay concealed ; because door itself, by meton. If it be taken in this his eye was shut in sleep. Quod solum, sense here, then limina aspersa sanie natareni &c. The Cyclops are represented as havmay mean : the door being bespattered ing only one eye, and that one in their with the

blood, trickled or ran down. Ruæus forehead. This is doubtless a fiction. No says, porta. It may be taken either way. such people ever existed. Eustathius er

627. Manderet : in the sense of devoraret. plains the fable thus : that in violent pas.

629. Ithacus : a name of Ulysses, from sion, men see only one single object, as that Ithaca, his native island. Tunto discrimine: passion directs; in other words, see with in so important a crisismin so great dan one eye only: and further, that passion ger.

transports men into savages, and renders 631. Inflexam : bent, or reclined. Per- them brutal and sanguinary, like Polyphesons in a complete state of intoxication are mus; and he, who by reason cxtinguishes unable to hold their heads erect. They re that passion, may be said to put out that cline them either upon their shoulders or eye, Others explain it by alleging that breast. This was the case with Polyphe- Polyphemus was a man of uncommon wis

His head was reclined before he lay dom and penetration, who is therefore re down to sleep.

presented as having only one eye, and thar

Limina aspera.


[ocr errors]

Argolici clypei aut Phæbeæ lampadis instar:
Et tandem læti sociorum ulciscimur umbras.
Sed fugite, ô miseri, fugite, atque ab litore funem

Nam, qualis quantusque cavo Polyphemus in antro
Lanigeras claudit pecudes, atque ubera pressat ;
Centum alii curva hæc habitant ad litora vulgò
Infandi Cyclopes, et altis montibus errant.
Tertia jam Lunæ se cornua lumine complent, 645
Cùm vitam in sylvis, inter deserta ferarum
Lustra domosque traho, vastosque ab rupe Cyclopas
Prospicio, sonitumque pedum vocemque tremisco.
Victum infelicem, baccas, lapidosaque corna
Dant rami, et vulsis pascunt radicibus herbæ. 650
Omnia collustrans, hanc primùm ad litora classem
Conspexi venientem : huic me, quæcunque fuisset,
Addixi : satis est gentem effugisse nefandam.

653. Satis est mihi, Vos animam hanc potiùs quocunque absumite leto. effugisse Vix ea fatus erat, summo cùm monte videmus 655

655. Cûm videmus Ipsum inter pecudes vastâ se mole moventem

summo monte, pastoPastorem Polyphemum, et litora nota petentem

rem Polyphemum ip

sum, moventem se Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen

ademptum. Trunca manuni pinus regit, et vestigia firmat. Lanigeræ comitantur oves : ea sola voluptas, 660

660. Comitantur eum

ea est sola voluptas ipsi Solamenque mali : de collo fistula pendet.


near his brain, to denote his superior wis 649. Infelicem: poor-scanty. Corna : dom and sagacity ; but that Ulysses out- the fruit of the corneil tree. It is round, witted him, and was said, for that reason, and protected by a hard shell. to put out his eye.

650. Pascunt : in the sense of nutriunt. 637. Phæbec lampadis : the lamp of Phe- Dant: in the sense of præbent. bus-the orb of the Sun. The Grecian

651. Collustrans : in the sense of circumshield was large enough to cover the whole spiciens. man: and as that was of an oval form, the

652. Addixi me huic: I have surrendered comparison denotes both the figure and mag- myself to it, whatever it may be—I have nitude of this eye.

given myself up into your hands; do with 639. Miseri. He calls them miserable, or

me as you please. unfortunate, in having come to this coast, life of mine by any death, rather than leave

654. Vos potiùs absumite: take away this and being exposed to such danger. Sed fugite. This interruption in his speech is

me behind to die by the hands of these monextremely beautiful. The fear of the Cy- of perdite.

sters of rapacity. Absumite : in the sense clops, and the recollection of the dangers, which he had escaped, rush upon his mind, taken out.

658. Cui lumen : whose' eye had been

Cui: in the sense of cujus. and stop him for a moment, to give the Trojans advice to flee immediately. He

The dat. is frequently used by the poets in then resumes the subject.

the sense of the gen. Est is to be supplied

with ademptum. He informs then that there were on the

659. Trunca pinus : a cut pine guides his island a hundred other infandi Cyclopes, hand. From this we may form some idea horrid Cyclops, such, and as huge as Poly- of his stature. His staff is the trunk of a phemus.

pine. Heyne reads manu : in his hand. 645. Tertia cornua Lunæ, &c. By this wo 661. Mali : in the sense of miserice vel are to understand that it had been about doloris. Fistula pendet de collo. These three lunar months since he had been in that words are probably spurious. They are unhappy situation : cùm traho vitam, &c. left out in some editions. Heinsius, Do

647. Deserta lustra: the deserted dens, or natus, and Heyne reject them. Nor does haunts.

Homer mention any such circumstance

[ocr errors]

Postquàm altos tetigit fluctus, et ad æquora venit,
Luminis effossi fuidum lavit inde cruorem,'
Dentibus infrendens geinitu : graditurque per æquor

Jam medium, necdum fluctus latera ardua tinxit. 665 666. Nos trepidi ccepi- Nos procul inde fugam trepidi celerare, recepto mus celerare fugam pro- Supplice sic merito, tacitique incidere funem merito, recepto à nobis Verrimus et proni certantibus æquora remis.

669. Polyphemus sen- Sensit, et ad sonitum vocis vestigia torsit. sit hoc, et toi sit

Verùm ubi nulla datur dextrâ affectare potestas, 670 670. Nulla potestas Nec potis lonios fluctus æquare sequendo ; datur illi affectare nos dextrâ ; nec potis est

Clamorem immensum tollit, quo pontus et omnes 673. Exterrita fuit

Intremuere undæ, penitùsque exterrita tellus penitùs

Italæ, curvisque immugiit Ætna cavernis.
At genus è sylvis Cyclopum et montibus altis 675
Excitum ruit ad portus, et litora complent.
Cernimus adstantes nequicquam lumine torvo

Ætnæos fratres, cælo capita alta ferentes,
679. Tales quales cùm Concilium horrendum : quales cùm vertice celso
aërie quercus, aut coni- Aëriæ quercus aut coniferæ cyparissi

680 fera 682. Acer metus agit

Constiterunt, sylva alta Jovis, lucusve Dianæ. socios præcipites excu

Præcipites metus acer agit quòcunque rudentes tere

Excutere, et ventis intendere vela secundis.


whom Virgil here imitates. Ea sola voluptas, 677. Lumine : in the sense of oculo. Neo &c. probably refers to his sheep.

quicquam : in vain; because we were out of 663. Inde : in the sense of deinde. Or, their reach. perhaps it may be considered merely ex

679. Concilium : in the sense of turbam. pletive. 665. Fluctus : in the sense of aqua.

680. Conifere cyparissi : such as when

the aërial oaks, or cone bearing cypresses 668. Certantibus : in the sense of laboran- stand together with their lofty tops, &c. tibus. 669. Sonitum vocis. This may refer to

The cypress tree bears a fruit resembling the the sound of their voices. For though it is figure of the cone; hence called conifera. said they went off silently, this can only sylva Jovis : and the cypress was sacred to

quercus was sacred to Jove; hence alta mean, they did it with as little noise as pos- Proserpina or Diana; hence lucus Dicna. sible. There must have been some,

to give the necessary orders. But more probably to

682. Præcipites : in the sense of celeres. the sound of their oars; for voc sometimes Quocunque: for quocunque modo, in any signifies any sound whatever.

direction or way whatever. 670. Afeclare dextrâ : to grasp or seize 683. Excutere rudentes.

Rudentes may with his right hand.

be taken for those ropes, which seamen call The comır.on reading is dextram, but this the sheeis. By the help of these, they draw is more difficult. Heyne reads dextra ; in the sail when they wish to go near the which is approved by Valpy, although he wind; or let it out when they sail before it, retains dextram. Davidson observes some or with a fair wind. It is usually fasten anci nt copies have dextrâ altrectare. ed to the extremity of the sail, or to the

671. Fluctus : in the sense of mare. He boom or yard which extends the sail. That could not equal the depth of the sca. it does not here mean the cables, will ap

673. Undæ intremuere. Dr. Trapp says, pear, when we consider that they had althis is a most noble hyperbole. Some there ready cut their cables, incidere funem, verse are, who think it too bold. But they not 667 supra, and were out at sea. Excutere only forget the prerogative of poetry, but the rudentes, therefore, will be, to let out, to loose real rature of fear; which always swells or extend the sheets, so as to sail before the and heightens its object. Penitůs: in the wind, This is more fully expressed by sense of intimè.

intendere vela secundis vintis, to spread the 574. Immugiit : in the sense of remugiit. sails to the favorable winds. It was not so 675. Genus : in the sense of gens. Some much the object of Æneas, in this juncture,

to proceed on his direct course, as to sail in

es read gens,

Contrà, jussa monent Heleni Scyllam atque Charybdim :
Inter utramque viam, leti discrimine parvo,

Ni teneant cursus ; certum est dare lintea retrò.
Ecce autem Boreas angustâ à sede Pelori

690. Relegens retrorMissus adest : vivo prætervehor ostia saxo

sùm litora errata jam Pantagiæ, Megarosque sinus, Tapsumque jacentem.

antè à se Talia monstrabat relegens errata retrorsùm


694. Fama est AlpheLitora Achemenides, comes infelicis Ulyssei.

um amnem Elidis egis

se sibi occultas vias huc Sicanio prætenta sinu jacet insula contra

subter mare; qui amnis Plemmyrium undosum : nomen dixere priores

exiens è tuo ore, 0 AreOrtygiain. Alpheum fama est huc, Elidis amnem, thusa, nunc

NOTES. any direction, so as to escape the hands of closed on each side with a steep rock. The the Cyclops. Heyne says, explicare, inten- prep. è, vel ex, is understood before vivo dere, evolvere rudentes. See 267. supra. saxo. Megaros Sinus : the bay of Megara.

684. Contrà jussa Heleni: on the other This bay lies between the river Terias and hand, the commands of Helenus warn (my Syracuse. In this bay was Tapsus, a penincompanions) of Scylla and Charybdis. That sula, which lay low, and almost level with they may not hold their course in either the sea. way, in so great danger (small a distance) 690. Monstrabat: Achemenides pointed of death, it is determined to sail backward. out to us these things, as he was sailing That we may not pass near Scylla and Cha- back along the shores, along which he had rybdis, nor near the monster Polyphemus, wandered before. and his associates; in either


we should Virgil here follows the opinions of those be in imminent danger of death, we deter- who make Ulysses to have sailed from the mine to spread our sails backward. The country of the Lolophagi in Africa, to the usual explication of this passage refers southern part of Sicily; and turning the utramque viam, to Scylla and Charybdis : promontory of Pachynum, sailed along the implying that the passage between the rock eastern shore, and visited Ætna, and the Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis was country of the Cyclops. The course of dangerous, and parùm à morte distare. The Æneas being to the south, was the reverse explanation, referring utramque viam both of that of Ulysses. Achemenides, therefore, to the straits of Messina, and the Cyclops, might be said to sail back again, with the appears the easiest. In order to shun the greatest propriety. Dr. Wharton observes, dangers of each, they deterınined to sail that Virgil is an exact observer of probabiliback into the open sea, or from whence they ty. If it should be objected by any one,

The wind probably at that moment that Æneas was a perfect stranger to this blew from the south, and prevented them coast, and could not be supposed acquainted from pursuing their direct course. But with the several places, which he passed; shifting to the north, they changed their an answer is at hand: Achemenides, who purpose, and sailed down the eastern shore had lately passed along the same shores, of Sivily. This, and the two following lines, pointed them out to him. Heyne conjectures are an interpolation.

691. Infelicis: unfortunate. 685. Discrimine : in the sense of spatio, refer in general to the disasters he suffered vel distantia: also, of periculo.

in his return from Troy; and particularly 686. Ni: in the sense of ne. Lintea : the loss of a part of his feet in the straits of in the sense of vela.

Messina. The return of Ulysses from Troy, 687. Pelori. Pelorus is the northern pro- is the subject of the Odyssey. montory of Sicily, forming, with Italy, the straits of Messina, so called from a city of front of the Sicilian bay, over against bois

692. Insula prætenta : an island lies in that name on the Sicilian shore. These

terous Plemmyrium. This was a promonstraits are about one mile and a half wide. The wind blowing from them, was fair for tory near Syracuse, against which the waves him to sail down the eastern shore of Sicily, from the sea beat. Hence the epithet undo

Between this promontory and Syraaccording to the direction of Helenus. It is here called Boreas, because it came from

cuse lay the island of Orlygia. the north. Æneas speaks of this wind as a

693. Priores: in the sense of majores. person sent, or commissioned by Heaven to 694. Alpheum. Alpheus, a celebrated river aid and assist him : Missus adest. Angusta of the Peloponnesus, rising from the mounsede. Ruæus says: angusto frelc.

tain Stymphalus, running in a westerly di 689. Pantagic ostia. Pantagia was a rection, passing through a part of Arcadia small river, whose mouth (ostia) was on. and Elis, falls into the Sinus Cyparissæus.


This may


Occultas egisse vias subter mare; qui nunc

695 Ore, Arethusa, tuo Siculis confunditur undis. 697. Ül eramus jussi Jussi numina magna loci veneramur: et inde Heleno, veneramur

Exsupero præpingue solum stagnantis Helori.
Hinc altas cautes projectaque saxa Pachyni
Radimus ; et fatis nunquam concessa moveri

Apparet Camarina procul, campique Geloi,
Immanisque Gela, fluvii cognomine dicta.
Arduus inde Agragas ostentat maxima longè
Mænia, magnanimùm quondam generator equorum.
Teque datis linquo ventis, palmosa Selinus :

Et vada dura lego saxis Lilybeïa cæcis.
Hinc Drepani me portus et illætabilis ora
Accipit. Hic, pelagi tot tempestatibus actus,

Heu! genitorem, omnis curæ casûsque levamen, 710. Hic, O optime Amitto Anchisen : hìc me, pater optime, fessum 710" pater, doseris mo fessum Deseris, heu! tantis nequicquam erepte perîclis.


NOTES. 696. Arethusa. This was a fountain on of Gelas, or Gela, a river not far from Cathe west side of the island of Ortygia. The marina, near the mouth of which stood Gepoets feigned that Alpheus, the river-god, la, once a large (immanis) and respectable being in love with the nymph Arethusa, city, founded by the Rhodians and Cretans. rolled his stream from Elis under ground, It was destroyed by the Agrigentini. pasing through the sea, without intermin 702. Dicta cognomine : called after the gling with it, and arose up in this fountain, name of the river. Iningling his waters with those of the nymph. 703. Agragas : a city situated at the mouth What makes this fable the more absurd, is, of a river of the same name. It was built that the distance between the Peloponnesus on the summit of a hill, or mountain: hence and Sicily is not less than 450 miles. Egisse: called arduus, high. It was one of the largest in the sense of fecisse. Ore: in the sense cities of Sicily. Its horses were celebrated of fonte. Undis: in the sense of aquis. for their performance ai the Olympic games.

698. Exsupero: in the sense of prætereo. Hence, quondam, &c. once the breeder of It is sometimes written, exupero. Helori. generous horses. Helorus, or Elorus, was a river falling into 705. Selinus : a city whose plains aboundthe sea, a little to the north of the promon- ed in palm-trees. Hence the epithet palmotory Pachynum. It overflowed its banks Datis : in the sense of faventibus. like the Nile of Egypt, and rendered the 706. Lilybeža : an adj. from Lilybeum, country fertile, through which it passed. the western promontory of Sicily. The Hence the epithet stagnans, overflowing water here is said to be shoal to the distance stagnating.

of three miles from the land, and the bottom 699. Pachyni. The southern promonto- rocky. Hence lego: I coast along the Liry of Sicily was called Pachynum. Hodie, lybeian shallows, dangerous (dura) with Capo Passaro.

latent rocks. Ruæus interprets dura by as701. Camarina. The name of a lake at pera. In this sense it will allude to the ine southern part of Sicily, near a city of roughness of the sea, occasioned by the the same name,

built by the people of Syra- rocks lying on the bottom. In the time of a plague, which the 707. Portus Drepani. Drepanum (hodie, inhabitants imagined originated from its Trepani) a city and harbor a few miles to the stagnant waters, they consulted the oracle of north of the promontory just mentioned Apollo concerning the expediency of drain- Here Æneas lost his father. He therefore ing it. The oracle advised them to let it calls it illælabilis ora : an unjoyous coast. reinain, alleging it would be better to endure It is said the inhabitants still show his tomb. its noxious vapors, than to remove it. This 708. Actus : in the sense of jactatus. explains the words : nunquam concessa mo 709. Juevamen: in the sense of solatium. veri fatis ; never permitted by the fates to 710. Fessum: weary-worn out with toils be removed. However, the people inade and misfortunes. the experiment, and they found the words of 711. Erepte : voc. agreeing with optime the oracle true. For the enemy entered on pater. In placing the death of Anchises the ground where the lake stood, and took here, Virgil differs from Strabo, who reprcthe city. Hodie, Lago di Camarina. Campi sents Æncas as arriving in Italy with his Gslai: the plains of Gelas. Geloi: an adj. father, and his son Ascanius.


« PreviousContinue »