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P. VIRGILII MARONIS
At the termination of the civil war, which placed Augustus securely on the Imperias
throne, to reward his soldiers for their services, he gave them the lands lying about Mantua and Cremona, dispossessing the former owners. Among the unfortunate sufferers, was Virgil himself; who, however, by the interest of Mecenas with the Emperor,
received his lands again. In the character of Tityrus, the poet sets forth his own good fortune; and in that of Meli.
bæus, the calamity of his Mantuan neighbors. This is the subject of the pastoral. The scene is laid in a beautiful landscape. A shepherd, with his flock feeding around him, is lying at ease under a wide-spreading beech-tree: the sun is approaching the horizon: shadows are falling from the mountains: the air is tranquil and serene : the smoke is ascending from the neighboring villages. This scenery a painter could copy.
MEL. TITYRE, tu patulæ recubans sub tegmine fagi,
5 Tit. O Melibee, Deus nobis hæc otia fecit. ? 8. Sæpe tener agnus
ab nostris Namque erit ille mihi semper Deus : illius aram
9. Ille permisit meas Sæpe tener nostris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus.
boves errare, et me ipIlle meas errare boves, ut cernis, et ipsum
ludere carmina, Ludere, quæ vellem, calamo permisit agresti, Mel. Non equidem invideo : miror magis : undique 14. Namque, modò
connixa gemellos, spem Usque adeò turbatur agris. En ipse capellas [totis
gregis, ah! reliquit eos Protenùs æger ago : hanc etiam vix, Tityre, duco : hic
inter densas corylos, Hic inter densas corylos modò namque gemellos, in nuda silice.
1. Fagi: gen. of Fagus, the beech-tree. 9. Errare. To feed at large. It is glandiferous.
10. Calamo agresti : upon a rural reed. 2. Sylvestrem musam. A pastoral song. Musical instruments were at first made of Avena : properly oats. By Met. the straw; and hence an oaten, or oat-straw pipe. Me- oat, or wheat straw; then of reeds and box
afterwards of the leg bones of the ditaris : you practice or exercise. 3. Arva. neu. plu. properly cultivated crane; of the horns of animals, &c. Hence
they are called avena, slipula ; calamus, fields : from the verb aro. 4. Tu lentus: thou at ease in the shade, arundo, cicuta, fistula ; butus, tibia, cornua,
&c. dost teach the woods, &c. Amaryllida, a Greek acc. of Amaryllis. See 31. infra. 12. Turbatur usque adeò totis, &c. Lit.
6. Deus. A god, namely Augustus, who It is disturbed so much in the whole counhud reinstated him in his possessions; and try all around. There is so much cornmowhom the Romans had deified. Hæc otia : tion in the whole country, I wonder that this rest or ease, Otium is opposed to labor you should enjoy such peace and quiet. in signification.
14. Corylos : hazles-Gemiellus : twins.
Spem gregis, ah! silice in nudâ connixa reliquit. 15
Sæpe malum hoc nobis, si mens non lava fuisset, 17. Memini quercus De cælo tactas memini prædicere quercus : tactas de cælo sæpe præ- Sæpe sinistra cavâ prædixit ab ilice cornix. dicere
Sed tainen, ille Deus qui sit, da, Tityre, nobis. 20. Ego stultus puta- Tit. Urbem, quam dicunt Romam, Melibee, putavi vi urbem, quam dicunt Stultus ego
huic nostræ similem, quò sæpe solemus Romain esse similem huic Pastores ovium teneros depellere fætus.
22 nostræ Mantuæ,
Sic canibus catulus similes, sic matribus hædos homebirth
Nôram : sic parvis componere magna solebam. 25. Hæc Roma extulit Verùm hæc tantùm alias inter caput extulit urbes, 25
MEL. Et quæ tanta fuit Romam tibi causa videndi ? sig
Tit. Libertas : quæ sera, tamen respexit inertem ; Candidior postquam tondenti barba cadebat: Respexit tamen, et longo pòst tempore venit,
30 Postquam nos Amaryllis habet, Galatea reliquit.
enim me Galatea tenebat,
NOTES 16. Hoc malum nobis. There seem to be inanimate. We have introduced it into our required here, to make the sense complete, language without any variation. Teneros the words : and I might have understood it; fætus ovium, simply, our lambs. si mens, &c. If my mind had not been foolish. 23. Sic canibus, &c. This passage Ser
18. Sinistra cornix : the ill-boding crow. vius thus explains : I thought before that The Romans were very superstitious. They Rome resembled Mantua and other cities, considered every thing as ominous. The as I knew whelps and kids resemble their flight of some kinds of birds, the croaking dams or mothers, differing only in size. In of others, the darting of a meteor, a peal this I was mistaken: I find it to be of a of thunder, were signs of good or bad luck. different species from other cities, as the Those that appeared on their left hand, for cypress differs from the shrub. the most part, they considered uniucky. 24. Componere : in the sense of comparare. Hence sinister and lævus caine to signify 25. Extulit caput: hath raised its head. A unlucky, ill-boding, &c. And those that ap- figurative expression,butextremely beautiful. peared on their right hand, they considered 26 Viburna, plu. of viburnum, a species to be lucky. Hence, dexter came to signify of shrub. Some take it for a withy, others fortunate, lucky, &c. The best reason that for the wild-vine. can be given, why they used sinister and 28. Libertas. Virgil here speaks of himlævus, sometimes in a good, at other times self as being an old man, having a hoary in a bad sense, is, that they occasionally beard, and as having been a slave. Neiinterpreted the omens after the manner of ther of which was the case. But it was not the Greeks, who considered those that ap- necessary for him to describe himself in all peared in the eastern part of the heavens to his circumstances. That would have been be lucky; and turning their faces to the too plain, and would have taken from the north, as their custom was, they would be beauty of the pastoral. Inertem : indolent, seen on the right hand. The Romans, on inactive. Sera : late in life. the contrary, turned their faces to the south 29. Candidior barba: my gray, or hoary in observing the omens; and consequently, beard. The comp. is here plainly to be their left hand would be toward the east, taken in the sense of the pos.Tondenti : to me corresponding to the right hand of the shaving it. Greeks. Iice : the holm-oak.
31. Amaryllis-Galatea. Some think these 19. Qui sit Deus : who may be that God of are to be taken allegorically; the former for yours-of whom you speak? Da nobis : tell Rome, the latter for Mantua. But this is not me. Nobis : in the sense of mihi.
necessary; nor will it be easy to support the 20. Romam. Rome, a city of Italy, situ- allegory throughout. It is better to take ated on the river Tiber, founded by Romu- them literally, for the names of the poet's lus 753 years before Christ. Mantua was mis sses. Servius thinks nothing in the a city of the Cis-Alpine Gaul, now Lom- Bucolics is to be taken allegorically. Dr. bardy, situated on the eastern bank of the Trapp thinks Virgil insinuates that his old river Mincius, which falls into the Pó. mistress Galatea was in favor of Brutus,
22. Fætus. This word signifies the young and his new one Amaryllis in favor of Auof any thing or kind, whether animate or gustus ; and by changing mistresses, he de
her er Schau dividit tuum agrum ab
libertatis erat, nec cura peculì : spes Quamvis multa meis exiret victima septis,
moterivant Pinguis et ingratæ premeretur caseus urbi,
i to na 135 Non unquam gravis ære domum mihi dextra redihat. patel
MEL. Mírabar, quid mæsta Deos, Amarylli, vocares, 37. Mirabar, quid tu whes Cui pendere suâ patereris in arbore poma.
mesta, Amarylli, vocaTityrus hinc aberat." Ipsæ te, Tityre, pinus,
res Deos ei cui patereris Ipsi te fontes, ipsa hæc arbusta vocabant. imej yaan 40
Mel. Fortunate senex! ergo tua rira manebunt :
54. Hinc sepes, quæ Non insueta graves tentabunt pabula fætas, Nec mala vicini pecoris contagia lædent.
limite, seinper Fortunate senex! hic inter flumina nota,
depasta quoad fiorem
Contact salicti Hyblæis apibus, Et fontes sacros, frigus captabis opacum. af
sæpe suadebit tibi inire Hinc tibi, quæ semper vicino ab limite sepes
levi · Hyblæis apibus florem depasta salicti,
NOTES. licately hints at his changing political sides, nominatives preceding, and fo govern the and in consequence thereof leaving Mantua, pronoun te. and going to Rome.
42. Præsentes : propiticus or favorable.From the circumstance of Augustus de- Alibi : in any other place any where else. priving the Mantuans of their lands, we -Cognoscere : to experience, or find. may infer that they were generally in favor 43. Hic. Here, at Rome.-Juvinem : Ocof the Republic, and Virgil might have been tavius, who was then about twenty-two of that party, till all hope of liberty was years of age; afterward by a decree of the Jost, and prudence dictated a change of senate called Augustus.- Cui nostra : for politics. Galatea reliquit, is for reliqui Ga- whom our altars smoke, -in honor of, &c. lateam, by Euphemismus. After he had 46. Pueri. Swains. The word
puer proleft Galatea, and transferred his affections perly signifies a boy, in opposition to a girlto Amaryllis, he obtained liberty and pro- also a male slave or waiter. perty : that is, after he had changed politi 49. Obducat omnia pascua, &c. Ruæus cal sides.
understands this not of Virgil's own lands, 33. Peculi. By apocope for Peculii. This but of the lands of his neighbors. Dr. word properly denotes the property of a Trapp very justly rejects this interpretation, slave-that which his master suffers him to The poet is felicitating himself on his good possess, and call his own. In this sense, it fortune under the character of an old man. is peculiarly proper, as Virgil here speaks of And, though his farm was covered over himself as having been in that humiliating partly with rocks and stones, and partly condition.
with a marsh; yet no unusual or improper 35. Urbi. The city Mantua.
pasture should injure his (grares fætas) preg36. Non unquam, &c. Never did my nant ewes; nor any noxious contagion of a right hand return home heavy with money. neighboring flock should infect or hurt them. - Mihi : in the sense of mea.
-Fæta : the female of any kind big with 40. Arbusta : the groves themselves, &c. young—a breeder. There is a great beauty in the personification 52. Inter flumina nota. The Mincius and of inanimate things; or attributing to them Po. the actions of real life. The Arbusta were 55. Sæpes depasta florem, &c. This conlarge pieces of ground set with elms or other struction frequently occurs among the poets, trees, commonly at the distance of about 40 and is in imitation of the Greeks; who feet, to leave room for corn to grow between sometimes placed the noun or pronoun in them. They were sometimes pruned, and the acc. case, omitting the governing prep. served for stages to the vine. The verb vo Fed upon as to, or with respect to, its fluer cabant is to be repeated with each of the of willow, &c.-Hyblæis: an adj. from Hy.
pu w **** Hinc altâ sub rupe canet frondator ad auras.
Sæpe levi somnum suadebit inire susurro.
Nec tamen interea raucæ, tua cura, palumbes,
gemere aëriâ cessabit turtur ab ulmo.
Antè, pererratis amborum finibus, exul
MEL, At nos hinc alii sitientes ibimus Afros, pars nostrûm venieinus Pars Scythiam, et rapidum Cretæ veniemus Oaxem, ad Scythiam,
68. En unquam mi- Et penitùs toto divisos orbe Britannos. rabor videns patrios En unquam patrios longo pòst tempore fines,
bla, a town and mountain in Sicily, famous divided the opinions of commentators, apfor honey.-Vicino limite : from the neigh- pears to be this: that these two nations, boring field. Hinc: on the one hand. It the Germans and the Parthians, shall.exis opposed to the Hinc in line 57. infra ;, change countries with each other (finibus which is to be rendered : on the other hand. amborum pererratis) sooner than (ante quam)
57. Ad auras : to the air—aloud, so as to the image of that youth should be effaced pierce the air.
from his breast. But the former could never 60. Antè. The ante in this line is mere be; therefore, the latter would remain. Per. ly expletive; the sense is complete without erratis, in the sense of permutatis. it.
65. Sitientes: thirsting or parched. This 61. Destituent : in the sense of relinquent. epithet is peculiarly proper for the inhabi
62. Antè, pererratis, &c. Parthus, by tants of Africa, the greater part of which lies Synec. for the Parthians collectively. They between the tropics. were a people descended from the Scythians, 66. Scythiam. The Scythians were and possessed that part of Asia, which is brave and warlike people, leading a wanbounded on the west by Media, on the north dering life. They extended their conquests by the Caspian sea, on the east by Bactri over a very considerable part of Europe and ana, and on the south by the deserts of Car- Asia. Hence the term Scythia came to mania. In process of time, they became be used indefinitely, to denote any part or very powerful, and were the most formida- the whole of the northern parts of Europe ble enemies of the Persians: and from their and Asia. Oaxis: a river of Crete; a large frequeni conquests over that people, are island in the Mediterranean. It is celebra sometimes confounded with them. Germa- ted for having been the birth-place of Jupi nia. An extensive country in Europe, put, ter, and for its having once had a hundred by meton. for the inhabitants of that coun cities. Veniemus, in the sense of ibimus. try. Ararim. A river of France arising 68. En unquam. Alas! shall I ever wonfrom mount Vogesus (hodie Vauge) and run- der, beholding, &c. Germanus, Ruæus and ning in a southern direction, falls into the Davidson connect aliquot aristas with mea Rhodanus at Lyons, and along with it, into regna. But Dr. Trapp takes post aliquot the Mediterranean. It is famous for the aristas to mean after some years; and conbridge built over it by Julius Cæsar. Its strues mea regna with culmen tuguri. It is present name is the Soane. Tigrim. This is true, aristæ may be taken for years. But a very rapid river of Asia, rising in Arme- aliquot aristas does not very well answer to nia, and taking a southerly direction, pass- the longo tempore pòst, mentioned just being by Mesopotamia and Assyria, unites fore. And if it did, it would be only a usewith the Euphrates, and with it falls into less repetition. But connect aliquot aristas the Sinus Persicus. The Araris is not in with mea regna, as in the ordo; any improGermany properly so called. But it is well priety of this kind is removed; and we have known that the Germans extended their a beautiful representation of Melibeus's conquests beyond that river, and effected possessions; which consisted in a few acres settlements among the Sequani, and other of land, lying adjacent to liis cottage, the nations of Gaul. Nor is the Tigris in Par- roof of which just rose above the corn that
But the Parthians extended was planted around it, and might not im. their conquests as far west as the Euphra- properly be said to be concealed among it, tes. Not far from this river they vanquished or behind it. Tuguri, by apocope, for tuCrassus, the Roman general. The mean- gurii. Congestum cespiti : covered over with ing of this passage, which hath so much turf.
Pauperis et tugurî congestum cespite culmen,
fines longo tempore post, Post aliquot, mea regna, videns mirabor aristas? 70 et culmen pauperis tuImpius hæc tam culta novalia miles habebit ?
guri, congestum cespite,
stans post aliquot arisBarbarus has segetes ? En quò discordia cives
tas, tola mea regna. Perduxit miseros!' en queis consevimus agros ! Insere nunc, Melibee, pyros, pone ordine vites :
Ite'meæ, felix quondam pecus, ite capellæ. *** 75 14 Non ego vos posthac, vīridi projectus in antro,
76. Ego posthac proDumosâ pendere procul de rupe videbo.'
jectus in viridi antro, Carmina nulla canam : non, me pascente, capellæ
non videbo vos procul
pendere Florentem cytisum et salices carpetis amaras. 79
Tit. Hic tamen hanc mecum poteris requiescere nocu
71. Novalia : fallow-ground.
had labored, and had improved his lands, to 72. Quò: whither-to what state of mi- ' be now possessed by a cruel soldier. sery. Perduril: hath reduced, or brought. and cheese. "Molles, may here mean ripe, or
82. Copia pressi luctis : a plenty of curds 74. Insere nunc, &c. Melibæus says this soft and smooth, in opposition to the hirsuironically to himself, being vexed that he tæ, or rough.
What is the subject of this pastoral?
To reward his troops, what did Augustus do?
Who is represented under the character of Tityrus ?
Who under that of Melibæus ?
Where is the scene of the pastural laid?
Were the Romans a superstitious people?
The subject of this charming pastoral is the passion of the shepherd Corydon for the
beautiful youth Alexis. The shepherd complains of the cruelty of the boy in slighting his overtures; and withal advises him not to trust too much to his complexion and beauty. He endeavors to prevail on him to visit the country, where he promises to entertain him with music, nuts, apples, and flowers. But when he finds nothing will avail, he resolves to seek another lover. By Corydon sorne understand Virgil himself, and by Alexis a beautiful slave, belonging to his friend and patron, Mæcenas. In several parts of this pastoral, the poet is indebted to Theocritus. The scene is laid in Sicily.
FORMOSUM pastor Corydon ardebat Alexim, Delicias domini : nec, quid speraret, habebat.
1. Ardebat: he greatly loved-he burned 2. Delicias : the darling--th delight of for. This word very forcibly marks the his master. It is placed in apposition with degree of his passion.
Alexim. It is used only in the plural.