Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

P. VIRGILII MARONIS

GEORGICA.

LIBER PRIMUS.

This Book opens with the plan of the whole work: and in the four first lines informs us

of the subject of each book. The poet then proceeds to invoke the gods, that were thought to have any concern in the affairs of tillage or husbandry; and particularly, he compliments Augustus with divinity. After which, he goes on to show the different kinds of tillage proper for the different soils. He traces out the origin of agriculture. He describes the various implements proper for that use. He notices the prognostics of the weather. And concludes, by relating the prodigies which happened about the time of Julius Cæsar's death; and by invoking the gods for the safety of Augustus,

his prince. *The whole is embellished with a variety of other matter, so judiciously blended with the

subject, that, besides preventing languor and fatigue under the dryness of precept, it contributes to our pleasure and delight.

QUID faciat lætas segetes; quo sidere terram Vertere, Mæcenas, ulmisque adjungere vites, Conveniat: quæ cura boum ; qui cultus habendo Sit pecori; atque apibus quanta experientia parcis; Hinc canere incipiam. Vos, ô clarissima mundi Lumina, labentem cælo

quæ

ducitis annum : Liber et alma Ceres, vestro si munere tellus Chaoniam pingui glandem mutavit arista, Poculaque inventis Acheloïa miscuit uvis :

2. O Mecenas, incipiam canere hinc, quid faciat lætas segetes, quo

sidore conveniat vertere 5 terram

3. Quæ sit cura boum; qui

7. O Liber, et alma Coros, si

NOTES.

tus.

1. Latas: in the sense of copiosas vel fer- vorn the seasons; rather than Ceres and tiles.

Bacchus, as some imagire. 3. Qui cultus, &c. What management is 7. Liber et alma Ceres. Ruæus considers necessary for raising cattle. It is plain that these as the Clarissima Lumina mundi in necessarius, aptus, or some word of the like the preceding line. But the reason which import, is to be supplied, agreeing with cul- he gives for so doing appears insufficient.

Habendo may be a future part. pass. Alma: an adj. cherishing-nourishing. In or a gerund in do, of the dat. case.

this sense it is a very appropriate epithet of 4. Quanta experientia, &c. How great Ceres, as being the goddess of husbandry. care, or attention, is necessary to rear the It also signifies, pure-holy, &c. frugal bees. Or, it may mean; how great 8. Chaoniam glandem: Chaonian acorns, experience, foresight, and regular manage or mast: here put for mast in general; the ment, in their affairs, there may be to the species for the genus. Chaoniam: an adj. frugal bees. When sentences are very ele from Chaonia, a part of Epirus, in which liptical, it is sometimes difficult to fall upon was the famous grove Dodona,that abound. the meaning of the author.

ed in mast-trees. 6. Lumina. We are here to understand, 9. Acheloïa pocula : draughts of pure waI apprebend, the sun and moon, as they go- ter. Pocula, properly the cups, here put

ner.

10. Et vos, o Fauni, Et vos, agrestům præsentia numina, Fauni,

10 præsentia numina agres- Ferte simul Faunique peden Dryadesque puellæ ; tùm; O Faunique Dry- Muñéra vestra cano. adesque puellæ, ferte

Táqueocumpringa tip trentem pedem sing

Figi tum magno tellus percussa tridenti, 14. Et, tu o Aristæe, Neptune: et cultor nemorum, cui pinguia Cææ cultor nemorum, cui ter Ter centum nivei tondent dumeta juvenci:

15 centum nivei juvenci Ipse nemus linquens patrium, saltusque Lycæi,

16. Tu ipse, o Tegeæe Pan ovium custos, tua si tibi Mænala curæ, Pan, custos ovium, linquens patrium nemus, Adsis, ô Tegeæe, favens : oleæque Minerva

NOTES. meton. for the water itself. Acheloïa: an of wisdom and the liberal arts. She is said adj. from Achelous, a river of Ætolia, sup- to have been produced from the brain of Juposed by the ancients to have been the first piter full grown, and immediately adınitted that arose out of the earth : hence put, fre- into the assembly of the gods; where she quently, for water in general. Ceres, it is distinguished herself by her wise counsel. said, taught inen husbandry, and Bacchus, Her power was very great. She could hurl the cultivation of the vine: to which the the thunderbolts of Jupiter, prolong the lives words vestro munere allude. At the first, of men, and bestow the gift of prophecy. men lived upon the spontaneous productions Arachne, the daughter of Idmon, a Lydian, of the earth.

challenged the goddess to a trial of skill in 10. Præsentia: in the sense of propitia. embroidery. She represented on her piece

11. Dryades. Nymphs or goddesses of the the amours of Jupiter in a masterly manwoods, froin a Greek word signifying an She was, however, outdone, and haoak. See Ecl. ii. 46.

ving hung herself through chagrin, was 14. Neptune. Neptune, god of the sea, changed into a spider by the victorious god. and father of fountains and rivers. He was dess. Minerva took a very active part in the son of Saturn and Ops, and brother of support of the Greeks at the siege of Troy, Jupiter and Pluto. In the division of the and protected her favorite Ulysses in all his world with his brothers, he obtained the em- dangers. Her worship was universally espire of the sea. He is said to have married tablished. She had magnificent temples Amphitrite, the daughter of Nereus or Oce- dedicated to her in most countries. Sais,

He is said to have been the first who Rhodes, and Athens, were her favorite platamed the horse. Hence the poets feign, ces. She was variously represented acthat when a dispute arose between him and cording to the characters in which she apMinerva, respecting the name to be given peared; but most generally with a helmet to the city Athens, it was referred to the on her head, and a large plume waving in gods for their decision ; who declared it the air; with one hand holding a spear; should be called by the name of the party with the other a shield, having the head of that should confer on mankind the greatest Medusa upon it. This shield was called benefit; whereupon Neptune struck the earth the Ægis. When she is represented as the with his trident and produced the horse, a goddess of the liberal arts, she is covered warlike animal; and Minerva with her with a veil called the Peplum. She had a spear produced the olive, the emblem of very celebrated statue called the Palladium, peace: upon which the case was given in said to have been about three cubits in her favor. Neptunus, by meton. is often height, and represented her sitting, and holdput for the sea. Cultor nemorum. The per- ing in her right hand a pipe, and in her left son here meant is Aristous, the reputed son a distaff and a spindle. It is said to have of Apollo and thenymph Cyrene, the daugh- fallen from heaven near the tent of Ilus, ter of Peneus, the god of the river Peneus as he was building the citadel of Troy, on in Thessaly. After his son Actæon was torn the preservation of which, the safety of that to pieces by dogs for looking upon Diana, city depended. It was carried off by Ulysas she was bathing, Aristæus left Thebes, ses and Diomede, who privately found a way and took up his residence in the island Cæa, into the temple. It is said, however, that one of the Cyclades. He is said to have the true palladium was not taken away, been the first, who taught mankind the cul- but only a statue of similar shape ; and tivation of bees. See Geor. iv. 317. that Æneas carried the true one with him to

17. Si tua Manala, &c. The meaning is: Italy. The olive-tree, the cock, the owl, if you have a regard for Mænalus, Lycæus, and the dragon, were sacred to her. She and the rest of your mountains in Arcadia, had various names, and as various offices come and be propitious to my undertaking. and functions attributed to her. She was These mountains were sacred to Pan. called Athena, from the city of Athens, of

18. Tegeæe : an adj. from Tegen, a city of which she was the tutelar goddess : Pallas, Arcadia, sacred to Pan. Minerva. Goddess from a giant of that name whom she slew;

anus.

Inventrix, uncique puer monstrator aratri :
Et teneram ab radice ferens, Sylvane, cupressum:
Dîque, Deæque omnes, studium quibus arva tueri,
Quique novas alitis non ullo semine fruges,
Quique satis largum cælo demittitis imbrem.
Tuque adeò, quem mox quæ sint habitura Deorum
Concilia, incertum est, urbesne invisere, Cæsar,
Terrarumque velis curam: et te maximus orbis
Auctorem frugum, tempestatumque potentem
Accipiat, cingens maternâ tempora myrto:
An deus immensi venias maris, ac tua nautæ
Numina sola colant: tibi serviat ultima Thule,
Teque sibi generum 'Tethys emat omnibus undis.
Anne novum tardis sidus te mensibus addas,
Quà locus Erigonen inter Chelasque sequentes
Parditur : ipse tibi jam brachia contrahit ardens

[blocks in formation]

NOTES.

or rather, from a Greek word signifying to 27. Potentem : the ruler-one who has vibrate, because as goddess of war, she power over: reclorem, says Ruæus. It has braudished a spear in her right hand: Par- here the force and efficacy of a substantive. thenos, because she preserved her chastity: Tempestatum: in the sense of temporum. Tritona, because she was worshipped near a 28. Materna myrto. The myrtle tree was lake of that name in Africa: Glaucopia, be- sacred to Venus, the mother of Æneas, from cause she had blue eyes: Agorea, because whom, according to Virgil, Cæsar descended. she presided over markets: Hippia, because

30. Thule. One of the Shetland islands she taught mankind to manage the horso:

on the north of Scotland, the farthest land Stratia, and Area, because of her martial

westward known to the ancients. The poet, character. 19. Puer. Triptolemus the son of Celeus, therefore, calls it ultima. Colant: in the

sense of adorent, vel precentur. king of Elusina, a city of Attica. He is said to have taught the Greeks agriculture,

31. Tethys. The daughter of Cælus and having himself been previously instructed Terra, and wife of Oceanus. She was moby Ceres. See Ecl. v. 79.

ther of the nymphs Oceanides ; elegantly 20. Sylvane. One of those denii-gods that put, by meton. for the sea itself. go under the general name of satyrs. He is 32. Anne addas, &c. Or whether you said to have been passionately fond of the boy would add yourself a new constellation to the Cyparissus, who having, through mistake, slow summer months. The months are called killed a deer, of which he was very fond, slow, because the days in the summer are pined away and died. He was changed into the longesi, and so their motion appears the the Cypress tree. See Ecl. 5. 73.

slower; or rather, to speak philosophically, 21. Studium: in the sense of cura. because the earth moves slower in her orbit,

22. Non ullo semine. Some read nonnullo during the summer months. semine. But the former appears to be the better; and it is supported by several an

33. Erigonen. Erigone, the daughter of cient manuscripts, as Pierus informs us.

Icarus, who, on account of the murder of her Nonullo semine: from no seed, that is, such father, hung herself for grief; but was as spring up spontaneously. Heyne, after translated to heaven, and made the constelHeinsius, reads non ullo semine.

lation Virgo. Sequentes Chelas: the follow24. Adeò: in the sense of præcipuè.

ing claws--the claws following the sign 25. Urbes. The common reading is urbis; Virgo. The Chele were the claws or arms but as all interpreters agree that it is for the sign of Libra. The ancients at first

of Scorpio, extending over, and occupying urbes, the acc. plu. I have ventured so to

divided the Eclipticinto eleven parts, leaving write it. The nom. and acc. plu. of the third declensions sometimes ended in eis, out the sign Libra, and giving to Scorpio å which was contracted into is; as, omneis, ducing it to an equality with the rest of the

space of the Zodiac equal to 60°. By recontracted omnis-urbeis, contracted urbis. But there is no reason that it should be re

signs, a space of 30° remained for Cresar, if

he chose to occupy it. tained in preference to the regular termination. Valpy reads urbes.

34. Ardens: impatient-greatly desirous 26. Maximus: the sup. in the sense of of thy coming; rather than ardent, burnthe pos.: the great world.

ing, &c. as it is sometimes rendered.

Scorpius, et cæli justâ plus parte reliquit.

35 36. Quicquid Numen Quicquid eris (nam te nec sperent Tartara regem, eris, da

Nec tibi regnandi veniat tam dira cupido:
Quamvis Elysios iniretur Græcia campos,
Nec repetita sequi curet Proserpina matrem)

Da facilem cursum, atque audacibus annue cæptis: 40 41. Tuque miseratus Ignarosque viæ mecum miseratus agrestes agrestes ignaros viæ, me- Ingredere, et votis jam nunc assuesce vocari. cum ingredere

Vere novo, gelidus canis cùm montibus humor
Liquitur, et Zephyro putris se gleba resolvit;
Depresso incipiat jam tum mihi taurus aratro 45
Ingemere, et sulco attritus splendescere vomer.
Illa seges demum votis respondet avari
Agricolæ, bis quæ solem, bis frigora sensit:
Illius inmensæ ruperunt horrea messes.
At priùs ignotum ferro quàm scindimus æquor, 50

Ventos et varium cæli prædiscere morem
52. Cura sit nobis præ- Cnra sit, ac patrios cultusque habitusque locorum :
discere

Et quid quæque ferat regio, et quid quæque recuset.
Hìc segetes, illìc veniunt feliciùs uvæe :
Arborei fætus alibi, atque injussa vireseunt

55 Gramina. Nonne vides, croceos ut Tmolus odores, 58. At nudi Chalybes India mittit ebur, molles sua thura Sabæi ? mittunt ad nos ferrum At Chalybes nudi ferrum, virosaque Pontus

NOTES,

Ruæus says:

39. Proserpina. See Ecl. v. 79.

the fields are most exposed, and whether 42. Ingredere: enter upon your office of a the climate be moist or dry, cold or hot. god, and even now accustom yourself to be Morem cæli: naturam vel temperiem aëris, invoked by vows.

says Fleyne. 43. Gelidus humor: here, ice or snow. 52. Patrios cultus : the culture of our Humor is properly any kind of moisture or fathers. This is the sense of Davidson and liquor. Novo vere. The poet advises the Heyne. Colendi rationeri probatam usu husbandman to begin his ploughing in the majorum, says the latter. early part of the spring, as soon as the snow Propriam culturam. Habitus locorum : the melts from the mountains, and the earth be habits of the places-the habit or peculiar sufficiently softened, that he may be in due nature of the various soils. Land, by being season with the work of the year.

tilled in a certain way, acquires an aptitude: 45. Depresso aratro : in the plough put, to produce some kinds of grain better than or Jaid, deep in the earth. Or the words others. This is what is meant here. may be put absolutely: the plough being 54. Feliciùs: more luxuriantly. put deep in the earth.

55. Arborei fætus: nurseries, or young 48. Quæ bis sensit, &c. Which feels twice trees. Fætus signifies the young of any the summer, and twice the winter; that is, kind, animate or inanimate. Injussa: not lies fallow for two years together, or with- sown--spontaneously. out tillage. Seges: in the sense of terra, 56. Tmolus. A inountain in Phrygia, in vel ayer, says Heyne.

the confines of Lydia, famous for its saffron: 49. Ruperunt. The sense seems to re hence the epithet croceos. quire the present; accordingly Ruæus hath 57. Molles Sabæi: the effeminate Sabe.. interpreted it by rumpunt: his immense These were a people inhabiting Ara. harvests burst his barns his barns are not bia Felix, which abounded in frankincense. capable of containing his crops.

58. Chalybes nudi: the naked Chalybes. 50. Æquor : properly any plain or level send us iron, and Pontus, &c. The Chalysurface, whether land or waier. Here used · bes were a people of Spain, according to in the sense of ager or campus. Ignotum: Justin; but of Pontus, according to Strabo, cujus natura ignota est nobis.

said to have wrought naked, on account of 51. Prædiscere ventos, &c. To learn before the heat of their furnaces, or forges. Hence hand the winds and the various qualities Chulibs came to signify the best kind of of the weather--to observe, to what winds iron and steel. Pontus. See Ecl. viii. 95.

ans.

« PreviousContinue »