Page images
PDF
EPUB

docuit nos,

ME. Hâc te nos fragili donabimus antè cicutâ. 85 86. Hæc eadem cicuta
Hæc nos, Formosum Corydon ardebat Alexim :
Hæc eadem docuit, Cujum pecus ? an Melibei?

83. Sume podum forMo. At tu sume pedum, quod, me cùm sæpe rogaret,

mosum paribus nodis Non tulit Antigenes (et erat tum dignus amari)

atque ære, quod Anti

gines non tulit, cùm Formosum paribus nodis atque ære, Menalca. 90 sæpe rogaret me, et

NOTES.

85. Nos dor imus: I wi present thee pecus? i. e. with this same pipe I sang the with this, &c. Cicula : properly a pipe third Eclogue. made of the stalk of the hemlock. See Ecl. 1. 10.

88. Sume pedum : take this crook, as a 86. Hæc eadem docuit : this same pipe

testimony of iny regard. taught me: formosum Corydon, &c. i. e. with 90. Formosum: beautified with equal knobs this same pipe I sang the second Eclogue. and brass—with knobs at equal distances : Hæc docuit : this same taught me : Cujum or uniform, in regard to size.

QUESTIONS.

What is the subject of this pastoral? By whom were they introduced into Who probably is meant by Daphnis ? Greece? and from what country?

Who is to be understood under the cha- What were his votarios called ? racter of Menalcas? Who under that of What were some of the names of Bacchus? Mopsus?

How is he represented as drawn? When does Ruæus suppose it to have What is the word Bacchus frequently been written?

used for? Where is the scene laid?

Who were the Satyri? How did they Into how many parts is the pastoral die distinguish themselves? vided ?

Who was Ceres ? What is said of her? Who was Alcon ? and what is said of

Is she supposed to be the same with the him?

Who was Codrus ? and what is said of Egyptian Isis ? him?

By whom was her worship introduced Who was Bacchus ? What is said of him? into Greece ? and at what time? What were his festivals called ?

When were her festivals celebrated ?

[blocks in formation]

The subject of this fine pastoral is Silenus. He had promised the swains Chromis and

Mnasilus a song; but had put it off from time to time. Wearied with the delay, they surprised him asleep in his grotto, just recovering from his intoxication. His garlands lay at some distance from him : with these they bind him fast; and in this condition they demand of him the fulfilment of his promise. At this moment, Ægle, one of the nyniphs, joins them. Upon which he begins, and explains to them the origin of the world upon the principles of the Epicurean philosophy; and concludes with several

interesting fables by way of episode. It is generally supposed this pastoral was designed as a compliment to Syro the Epicu

rean, who taught Virgil the principles of thut philosophy. By Silenus we are to understand Syro, and by the swains Chromis and Mnasilus, his two pupils, Virgil and Varus.

PRIMA Syracosio dignata est ludere versu 2. Nostra Thalia pri- Nostra, nec erubuit sylvas habitare, Thalia. ma dignata est

Cùm canerem reges et prælia, Cynthius aurem
Velit, et admonuit: Pastorem, Tityre, pingues

Pascere oportet oves, deductuin dicere carmen. 5 6. Namque, o Vare, Nunc ego (namque super tibi erunt, qui dicere laudes, supererunt tibi alii poetæ Vare, tuas cupiant, et tristia condere bella) qui cupiant

Agrestem tenui meditabor arundine Musam.
Non injussa cano: si quis tamen hæc quoque, si quis

NOTEJ.

1. Syracosio versu : in pastoral verse. 7. Vare. It is generally thought that the - fracosio: an adj. from Syracusa, the birth poet here means Quintilius Varus, who price of Theocritus, the first pastoral poet arose to the highest honors under Augustus. of eminence; the chief city of Sicily, and He was consul in the year of Rome 741; famous for its defence against the Romans after which he was præfect of Syria eight under Marcellus.

years. Having returned home, he was sent 2. Thalia. One of the Muses. See Ecl. into Germany with three legions, which he iii. 60. Nec erubuit, &c. Nor did she blush lost, being drawn into an ambush. This to inhabit the woods. This verb here is mortified him so much, that he killed himboth expressive and beautiful; the perf. of self. This happened in the year 762. Conerubesco. Thalia was supposed to preside dere: to write--record. over comedy and pastoral poetry. Virgil was the first pastoral writer among the Ro- 9. Non injussa cano: I do not sing things mans; which explains the words, nostra forbidden by Apollo. He permits me to Thalia prima: my muse first deigned, &c. sing of pastoral subjects, but not of kings

3. Cum canerem, &c. Virgil is said to and battles. Si quis tamen, &c. The tamen have begun a work upon the affairs of Alba does not refer to the words, non injussa cano, Longa, but afterwards relinquished it, and but to the third and fourth lines, where commenced the Bucolics. Cynthius: a Apollo forbids him to write in the lofty name of Apollo. See Ecl. iv. 10. Vellit: style of heroic poetry. The meaning seems pinched my ear; a proverbial expression, to be this : though he forbid me to describe implying admonition.

your actions in heroic verse, he perrnits me 5. Deductum: a part. of deduco, humble, to do it in the humble style of pastoral. or slender. A metaphor taken from wool And if ar.y should be taken, captus amore, spun out till it is made fine or slender. with the Inve of this kind of writing, and

6. Supererunt: in the sense of erunt alii should read these pastorals, he shall here moetæ. The parts of the verb are separated find them. Hæc: these things—these my Tmesis.

Bucolics. Quoque: in the sense of etiam.

10 10. Nostræ myricæ

canent te, O Vare, omne nemus canet te : nec est ulla pagina gratior Phebo, quàm illa quæ

14. Pueri Chromis et 15 Mnasilus videre

15. Ut semper est mos illi YA

20

Captus amore leget; te nostræ, Vare, myricæ,
Te nemus omne canet : nec Phæbo gratior ulla est,
Quàm sibi quæ Vari præscripsit pagina nomen.
Pergite, Pierides. Chromis et Mnasilus in antro
Silenum pueri somno vidêre jacentem,
Inflatum hesterno venas, ut semper,

Iaccho.
Serta procul tantùm capiti delapsa jacebant :
Et gravis attritâ pendebat cantharus ansâ.
Aggressi (nam sæpe senex spe carminis ambo
Luserat) injiciunt ipsis ex vincula sertis.
Addit se sociam, timidisque supervenit Ægle:
Ægle Naïadum pulcherrima : jamque videnti
Sanguineis frontem moris et tempora pingit.
Ille dolum ridens : Quò vincula nectitis ? inquit.
Solvite me, pueri : satis est potuisse videri.
Carmina, quæ vultis, cognoscite: carmina vobis ;
Huic aliud mercedis erit : simul incipit ipse.
Tum verò in numerum Faunosque ferasque videres
Ludere, tum rigidas motare cacumina quercus.
Nec tantùm Phæbo gaudet Parnassia rupes,
Nec tantùm Rhodope mirantur et Ismarus Orphea.
Namque canebat utì magnum per inane coacta

2

24. Satis est me po. tuisse videri sic vobis. 25

25. Sunt carmina vobis : huic Ægle erit aliud mercedis.

30

NOTES.

others say,

ass,

10. Nostre myricæ : in the sense of nostra on him cords of these very garlands—they Bucolica. The omne nemus in the following bind him with cords made of them. line probably means every elevated com- 20. Ægle. The name of a nymph, deposition, such as epic or heroic. We are rived from a Greek word signifying splendor, led to this interpretation from the declara- or brightness. Naïadum. See Ecl. ii. 46. tion of the poet in the sixth line, that there Videnti : to him just opening his eyes. would be other poets, who would celebrate Timidis : to the trembling swains. the praises of Varus in heroic verse, though 22. Moris. Morus was the fruit of the he himself would prefer to do it in the mulberry-tree. It is here called sanguineus, humbler style of pastoral.

red, or bloody. It is said to have been ori14. Silenum. Silenus was one of the rural ginally white; but assumed the red or deities, the god of mysteries and knowledge, purple color, in memory of the two lovers, and the foster-father of Bacchus. He is Pyramus and Thisbe, who slew themselves said, by some, to have been the son of Pan; under a mulberry-tree. See Ovid. Met.

the son of Mercury. Malea, in Lib. 4. the island of Lesbos, is the supposed place 23. Quò: why—for what purpose. of his nativity. He is represented as a fat 25. Cognoscite : in the sense of audite, and merry old man, riding on an

26. Aliud mercedis. The same as alia crowned with flowers, always intoxicated. merces : another reward.

15. Inflatum, &c. Swollen as to his veins, 27. Ludere in numerum : to dance, or with his yesterday's wine. See Ecl. i. 55. leap about in regular time, or laccho: a name of Bacchus; here put, by Their motions exactly corresponded to the meton. for wine. It is derived from a Greek notes or measure of the verse. Faunos. word signifying a shout or confused noise. The Fauni were demi-gods of the country, It was given to him on account of the riot to whom the first fruits of all things were and vociferation of his inebriated followers. generally offered. See Ecl. v. 73. See Ecl. v. 69.

29. Parnassia rupes. The mountain Par16. Serta : plu. of sertum, a garland, or nassus in Phocis; a country in Grecia Prowrcath of flowers. To be crowned with a pria, much celebrated by the poets, and garland, was an indication of drunkenness. sacred to the Muses. Here Apollo had a Silenus had all the signs of being in such a famous temple. state. He was lying down-he was sleep- 30. Rhodope-Ismarus. Two mountains, ing ; but his garlands were not on his head; or rather ranges of mountains, in Thrace, luntùm delapsa : they had only fallen off the country of Orpheus. thcy were neither broken nor bruised.

31. Namque canebat, &c. For he sung how 18. Aggressi, &c. The swains, seizing, put the seeds, both of the earth, and of the ai

measure.

35

Semina terrarumque, animæque, marisque fuissent, 33. Ut er his primis Et liquidi simul ignis : ut his exordia primis omnia susceperunt Omnia, et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis. 35. Tum canebat

quo

Tum durare solum, et discludere Nerea ponto modo solum cæperit Cæperit, et rerum paulatim sumere formas.

37. Jamque canebat Jamque novum ut terræ stupeant lucescere solem, ut terræ stupeant

Altiùs utque cadant submotis nubibus imbres :
38, Utque imbres ca
dant è nubibus submo. Incipiant sylvæ cùm primùm surgere, cùmque
tis altiùs à terra. Rara per ignotos errent animalia montes.

Hinc lapides Pyrrhæ jactos, Saturnia regna,
Caucaseasque refert volucres, futrumque Promethei.

40

NOTES.

and of the sea, &c. Silenus here relates channel. Ruæus says, Dispellere aquas à the origin of the world, according to the se in mare. system of Epicurus, who taught that incor

38. Utque. Some copies have atque, but poreal space, and corporeal atoms, were the utque is the easier. first principles, or elements, of all things.

40. Rara : few in number, or thinly disThe former he denomenated Inane, the latter Plenum. The Inane or Vacuum, he

persed. considered space, every way indefinitely

41. Hinc refert lapides, &c. After that he extended. By the Plenum, he understood relates the thrown stones of Pyrrha, &c. the atoms or minute particles of matter Pyrrha was the danghter of Epimetheus, moving in every direction through the Inane, and wife of Deucalion, the son of Promewhich Virgil here calls the semina, because theus, and king of Thessaly. The poets it was thought by their fortuitous concur

say, that some time during his reign the inrence arose what we call the four elements, habitants of the earth were destroyed by a earth, air, water, and fire. Epicurus held universal deluge, except himself and his many other erroneous notions, particularly wife Pyrrha. They were preserved in a concerning the nature of God. He was an

small ship, and carried by the waters to Athenian, and born about 340 years before

mount Parnassus, which was the only place the Christian era. He had many followers. not overwhelmed. Here they consulted the

32. Animæ : in the sense of aëris. With oracle of Themis concerning the restoration nat air, there could be no animal existence. of the human race; when they were in

33. Liquidi ignis: of pure fire. His pri- formed, to cast behind them the bones of mis: of these first principles or elements their great mother ; by which they under(earth, air , water, and fire) all things sprang command of the oracle, and those thrown

stood stones. They immediately obeyed the had a beginning. The Epicureans maintained that, though their atoms and by Deucalion became men, and those by incorporeal space were the first principles Pyrrha, women. See Ovid. Met. Lib. i. or elements of earth, air, water, and fire, Saturnia regna : the reign of Saturn, or the yet these last were the principles or elements Golden age. See Ecl. iv. 6. of all other things, or out of which all other 42. Furtum Promethei : the theft of Prothings sprang. Omnia exordia : all things metheus. The poets say that he stole fire received or took a beginning. The verb from heaven, with which he animated a susceperunt, or some other of the like im

man of clay, made by himself. At this, port, is plainly understood, and to be sup- Jupiter was so much enraged, that he orplied. Ut: how.

dered Mercury to chain him to a rock on 35. Nerea : acc. sing of Nereus, a god of mount Caucasus. He did so, and placed the sea, the son of Oceanus and Terra. He a vulture to prey upon his liver ; which, married Doris, by whom he had fifty daugh- however, grew as fast as it was consumed. ters who were called Nereïdes. He possess- Hence Caucaseas volucres : the vultures of ed the gift of prophecy, and is said to have Caucasus. This is a very celebrated moun. informed Paris of the fatal consequences of tain, or rather_range of mountains, lying his carrying off Helen, the wife of Menelaus. between the Euxine and Caspian seas. It was by the direction and assistance of Promethei : the word Prometheus is of Nereus, that Hercules obtained the golden Greek origin, and properly signifies foreapples of the Hesperides. The word Nereus sight, or an anxious care or solicitude. is often put, by meton. for the sea, as in this This is a key to the story. It conveys a place. Solum, &c. Then he sang how the strong idea of the troubles men create to land began to grow hard and to separate the themselves, by taking too much care and

ters from itself, and confine them to their thought for the morrow.

or

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

45

50 turpes

His adjungit, Hylan nautæ quo fonte relictum
Clamâssent : ut litus, Hyla, Hyla, omne sonaret.
Et fortunatam, si nunquam armenta fuissent,
Pasiphaën nivei solatur amore juvenci.

46. Et solatur Pasi Ah, virgo infelix, quæ te dementia cepit?

phaën amore nivei ju Prætides implêrunt falsis mugitibus agros :

venci, fortunatam, si

49. At tamen non ulla At non tam turpes pecudum tamen ulla secuta est

earum secuta est tam Concubitus ; quamvis collo timuisset aratrum, Et sæpe in levi quæsisset cornua fronte. Ah, virgo infelix, tu nunc in montibus erras! Ille, latus niveum molli fultus hyacintho,

53. Ille taurus fultus Ilice sub nigrâ pallentes ruminat herbas,

quoad niveum latus mola' Aut aliquarn in magno sequitur grege. Claudite, Nymphæ, li hyacintho, ruminat

55. Aut aliquam vacDictææ Nymphæ, nemorum jam claudite saltus : 56 Si quà fortè ferant oculis sese obvia nostris

58. Forsitan aliqua Errabunda bovis vestigia. Forsitan illum,

vaccæ perducant illum, Aut herbâ captum viridi, aut armenta secutum,

aut captum viridi herba, Perducant aliquæ stabula ad Gortynia vaccæ.

60 aut secutum armenta ad Tum canit Hesperidum miratam mala puellam : Tum Phaëthontiadas musco circumdat amaræ

[ocr errors]

cam

NOTES.

[ocr errors]

43. Hylan. Hylas was the companion of of my bull may present themselves to my Hercules in the Argonautic expedition, and eyes. Obvia : an adj. from obvius, agreeing much beloved by him. Having gone on with vestigia. The sense is complete withshore to obtain water, by some means or out it. Šaltus, is properly a lawn, or openother, he was lost. The poets say he was ing in a grove or park, where cattle have carried off by the nymphs. Hercules and room to sport and play; from the verb salio. his companions were much grieved at the 59. Captum : delighted with, desirous of, loss of the boy, and went along the shores, the green pastures. Ruæus says, cupidum. when they found he was missing, calling 60. Gortynia : an adj. from Gortyna, a him by name, Hyla, Hyla. Clamâssent : in city of Crete, famed for its excellent pasthe sense of vocavissent. See Ecl. iv. 35. tures.

46. Pasiphaën: a Greek acc. the daugh- 61. Tum canit puellam, &c. Then he ter of the sun, and wife of Minos, king of sings the damsel admiring the apples of the Cretc. See Æn. vi. 24.

Hesperides. This was Atalanta, the daugh47. Virgo. The poet here calls Pasiphaë ter of Schoeneus, king of the island of Scya virgin, though she was the mother of rus, in the Ægean sea. She consented to Phædra, Ariadne, and Androgeus. The an- marry the man who should outrun her, but cients sometimes called any woman in early if he were beaten, he should lose his life. life a virgin.

Several had lost their lives. At length she 48. Prætides : the daughters of Pretus, was beaten by Hippomenes, the grandson king of the Argives, who vied with Juno in of Neptune or Mars. At the suggestion of beauty. The goddess, by way of punish- Venus, Hippomenes cast three apples, taken ment, caused them to imagine they were from the garden of the Hesperides, on the changed into heifers. Their lowings, mu- ground, one at a time, when she was gaingilus, are here called false, because they ing upon him; which so captivated the were not in reality heifers. Secuta est: in virgin, that she stopped to pick them up; the sense of quæsivit.

and by this means he obtained the beauteous 50. Quamvis timuisset : although each one prize. Hesperidum. The Hesperides were bad feared the plough upon her neck—the three in number, Ægle, Arethusa, and Hespeyoke from which the plough was hung or rethusa, the daughters of Hesperus, the brosuspended.

ther of Atlas. They resided in Mauritania, 53. Fultus: supported—resting or recli- in Africa, where it is said they had gardens, ning.

in which were trees that bore golden apples. 56. Dictææ : an adj. from Dicte, a moun- These gardens were watched by a dragon cain of Crete. Silenus turns again to the that never slept. Hercules slew him, and story of Pasiphaë, whom he here introduces stole the apples. See Æn. iv. 484. as speaking, and calling upon the nymphs 62. Tum circumdat, &c. Then he encloses to shat up the openings of the groves. Per- the sisters of Phaëthon in the moss of bitter haps some where or other the wandering steps bark-he sings them transformed into pop

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »