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Haud facilem esse viam voluit, primusque per artem
agros, curis acuens mortalia corda :
135 Tunc alnos primùm fluvii sensêre cavatas :
Navita tum stellis numeros et nomina fecit,
Tum laqueis captare feras, et fallere visco,
138. Appellans Pleiadas
NOTES. for safety to Italy, where Janus was king. found necessary to man. Decussit : he After this, Jupiter divided the empire of the shook off the honey from the leaves, i. e. he world with his two brothers, reserving to him- caused the honey to cease. self the empire of heaven and earth. The 133. Ut usus extunderet : that experience, Giants, the offspring of the earth, to avenge by observation, might find out the various the death of the Titans, whom Jupiter slew, arts by degrees. rebelled against him. Piling mountains, one 134. Sulcis: by agriculture—by the plough. upon another, they hoped to scale heaven 136. Cavatas alnos: simply, boats; beitself, and attack Jupiter in person. He, cause, at first, they were made of the alderhowever, completely vanquished them, and tree. inflicted on them the severest punishment 138. Pleïadas: acc. plu. of Greek termifor their crimes. He married his sister Juno, nation. They are seven stars in the neck who was very jealous of him, and sometimes of Taurus, and are called Pleïades, from a very troublesome. His power was the most Greek word signifying, to sail; because by extensive of any of the gods. His worship their rising, they indicated the proper time was general, and surpassed that of any of to put to sea. They were sometimes called the gods in dignity and solemnity. He had Atlantides, from Atlas, a king of Mauritaseveral celebrated oracles, but that at Do- nia, whose daughters they were fabled to dona, in Epirus, and at Ammon, in Lybia, per- be, by the nymph Pleżone. The Romans Haps took the lead. He had several names, sometimes called them Vergiliæ. Their chiefly derived from the places where he was names were, Electra, Alcynoë, Celæno, Steworshipped, and from his offices and func- rope, Taygeta, Maia, and Merope. Hyadas. tions. He was called Hospitalis, because These are seven stars in the front of Taurus, he was the protector of strangers; Optimus, so called from a Greek word signifying, to because he was the best; Maximus, because rain. They were fabled to have been the he was the greatest; Olympius, because he daughters of Alias and Æthra. Refusing was worshipped at Olympia, &c. Jupiter, consolation for the death of their brother is sometimes put for the air, or weather. Hyas, who was slain by a lion, Jupiter, ta
123. Movil : in the sense of coluit. king pity on them, changed them into as
124. Gravi veterno. Veternus, or veternum, many stars. Their names are Ambrosia, is a disease causing a stupor both of mind Eudoxa, Pasithoë, Cirone, Plexauris, Pytho, and body, something like the lethargy. and Syche. Arolon. A constellation near Torpere gravi veterno, is highly metaphorical. the north pole, called the Ursa Major. LyVeterno: in the sense of otio, vel desidia, caon was a king of Arcadia, whose daughsays Ruæus.
ter Calisto, out of jealousy, was transform131. Removit ignem: he removed fire from ed by Juno into a bear; and Jupiter, for his the sight of men, and concealed it in the regard to her, translated her in that form to ins of the flint. Prometheas is said to heaven, and made her the constellation e stolen it from heaven, because it was Arcton.
144. Primi homines
Alta petens, pelagoue alius trahit humida lina.
Prima Ceres ferro mortales vertere terram
Dicendum, et quæ sint duris agrestibus arma :
160 160. Dicendum
nobis, et que
162. Primùm vomis, et grava
142. Petens alta : seeking the deep parts 159. Solabere famem, &c. The poet asof the sea, or river. Al!um, when it is used sures the farmer that, unless he follow the for the sea, properly signifies the channel, directions just given, he will behold the or the deepest part of it; while pelagus pro- abundant crops of hiş neighbor, while his perly signifies that part of the sea near the will fail him, and he be under the necessity land.
of allaying the craving of nature upon no143. Tum rigor ferri ; then the hardening thing better than acorns. of iron, and the blade of the grating saw, 160. Arma : implements, tools, &c. ncceswere invented.
sary to the farmer. Et: in the sense of 145. Improbus labor : constant, perseve- quoque. ring labor overcomes all difficulties. Du 163. Tarda volventia : the slow-moving ris rebus : in poverty. Egestas : in the sense wagons of mother Ceres. Elusinæ : an adj. of neccssitas. Venere : in the sense of in- from Elcusis, a city of Attica, where she venta sunt.
was worshipped. Inflexi: in the sense of 148. Arbuta : the fruit of the arbute tree. curvi. Dodona: a famous grove in Epirus, abound 164. Tribula. This was a kind of sledge ing in mast trees. See Ecl. ix. 13.
or carriage, used among the ancients to thresh 150. Labor: in the sense of morbus, dis- their corn with. It was pointed with iron. ease. Mala rubigo esset : that the noxious and drawn over the grain by oxen. Trahea mildew should consume the stalks. Esset, This was an instrument something like the for ederet.
tribulum, and made use of for the same 152. Segnis carduus: the useless thistle purpose; a sledge. wave, or loo's rough. Sylva. See 76, supra.
164. Iniquo : Ruæus says, magno.
165. Vilis virgeaque supellex: the cheap 153. Lappe: burrs, a species of herb.
or common wicker-baskets. Celei : Celeus Tribuli : the brambles-land-caltrops. In
was the father of Triptolemus, whom Ceres, feliz: noxious—irjurious.
it is said, instructed in the art of tillage and 154. Dominantur : bear rule—have the husbandry. See Ecl. v. 79. ascendency.
166. Arbuteæ crates : hurdles of the ar157. Premes umbras: you should trim off bute tree. Vannus : a sieve, or winnowing the limbs (of the trees) of a shaded field, machine. It is called mystica, mystic, be&c. Umbras : in the sense of ramos, by cause used in the mysteries of Bacchu meton.
lacchi : lacchus, a name of Bacchus.
multò antè memor provisa reponcs,
Si te digna manet divini gloria ruris. 169. Continuò in syl- Continuò in sylvis magnâ vi flexa domatur vis flexa ulmus domatur In burim, et curvi formam accipit ulmus aratri. 170 magna vî in burim, et Huic à stirpe pedes temo protentus in octo, accipit 171. Huic buri temo
Binæ aures, duplici aptantur dertalia dorso. prðtentus à stirpe in octo Cæditur et tilia antè jugo levis, altaque fagus, pedes aptatur ; binæ Stivaque, quæ currus à tergo torqueat imos ; aures, et dentalia cum Et suspensa focis explorat robora fumus.
175 duplici dorso aptantur. Possum multa tibi veterum præcepta referre,
Ni refugis, tenuesque piget cognoscere curas. 178. Cum primis rebus Area cum primis ingenti æquanda cylindro,
cst æquanda in- Et vertenda manu, et cretâ solidanda tenaci : genti
Ne subeant herbæ, neu pulvere victa fatiscat: 180
Aut oculis capti fodêre cubilia talpæ. 184. Bufo inventus est Inventusque cavis bufo, et quæ plurima terræ cavis, et plurima mon- Monstra ferunt: populatque ingentem farris acervum
Curculio, atque inopi metuens formica senectæ. 186
167. Omnia quæ memor: all which things, upon wheels, which is the reason of the being provided long before hand, you should poet's calling it currus, a carriage. Ruæus be mindful to lay up.
says: quibusdam in regionibus aratrum in. 168. Divirti ruris. The country is here struitur rolis; but commentators are by no called divine, either on account of its inno- means agreed as to the form and construccence and happiness, or because it was ori- tion of this plough of the poet. ginaliy the habitation of the gods. Gloria:
175. Fumus explorat. Wood seasoned in reward. Ruæus says, laus ; for divini, he the way here mentioned will be less liable
to crack or split, than if seasoned in the 171. Stirpe: from the back part, or bot- usual way, in the sun and open air. tom. 172. Binæ aures : two mould or earth
180. Victa pulvere: overcome with dry
ness, should crack. Pulvere. Ruæus says: boards, one on each side of the temo, or beam. The poet here mentions the several siccitate, quæ creat pulverem. parts of the plough. The buris, or bura,
181. Tum : in the sense of prætereà. was the part which the ploughman held in
183. Tulpæ capti oculis. Talpa, the mole, his left hand—the plough tail
. The dentale, and living chiefly under the ground.
a small animal, supposed to have no eyes, the chip, or part of the plough to which the vomer, or share, is fastened. Duplici dorso : 184. Bufo: the toad. Monstrum, prowith a double back. Some understand du- perly signifies any thing contrary to the plex in the sense of latus; but there is no ordinary course of nature ; also, any misneed of this. The plough, which the poet chievous animal, whether man or brute ; is describing, is altogether of a singular which is the meaning here. kind to us.
It had two inould-boards; two 186. Curculio : the weavel; a mischievous chips or share-beams we might supposed it animal among grain. to have had, one on each side of the temo, 187. Contemplator item, &c. Observe in or main beam, which, being joined together, like manner when the nut-tree in the woods might not improperly be said to form a clothes itself abundantly with blooms. Of double back. Stiva : the handle, which the the nut-tree, there are several kinds. The ploughman holds in his right hand.
one here meant is supposed to be the Ar173. Et levis tilia. Tilia, the linden, or mygdala, or almond-tree, because its flowlime-tree. It is a light wood, and therefore ers or blossoms were supposed to be an ininore suitable for the plough.
dication of the fertility of the year. Plue 174. Quæ torqueat : which may turn the rima: an adj. sup. agreeing with nuz. lowest wheels from behind—may turn the This construction frequently occurs, and is extreme or hinder part of the plough. The more elegantly translated by its correspondplough here described we may suppose run ing adverb.
Induet in florem, et ramos curvabit olentes :
Prætereà tam sunt Arcturi sidera nobis,
196. Quamvis semina
properata. exiguo igni 195
maderent; tamen vidi ea lecta diu, et spectata multo labore, degenerare; ni
199. Sic vidt omnia 1, fatis ruere in pejus, ac 200 sublapså referri retrò.
202. Si forte remisit brachia, ruit et sublapsus refertur retrò, atque alveus rapit illum in preceps prono amni.
206. Quàm iis vectis 205
per ventosa æquora in suam patriam quibus Pontus et ostriferi fauces Abydi
NOTES. 189. Fætus: in the sense of flores.
198. Humana vis: human care. 190. Magno calore. Calor here seems to sense of homines. Unless men should semean the sweat and heat of the laborer or lect with the hand, &c. Ruæus says, homithresher, rather than the heat of the summer. num industria.
191. At si umbra: but if the boughs 201. Adverso flumine: against the curabound in a luxuriancy of leaves, in vain, rent. &c. The meaning seems to be this: that
203. Atque. Ruæus, on the authority of if the blossoms upon the tree shall exceed Gellius, takes atque in the sense of statim. the leaves, then you may expect a plentiful Davidson and Heyne take it in its usual crop. But if, on the contrary, the leaves be signification as a conjunction, supposing an the most numerous, you may expect a scan- ellipsis of the words: ille ruit ac sublapsus ty crop--a crop rich only in husks and refertur retrò. And carries him headlong chaff. Umbra: in the sense of rami.
down the stream. Alveus : properly the 193. Serentes: part. of the verb, sero, channel or bed of a river; here, the river in taken as a substantive: Sowers. The poet general: the current, or impetus of the wahere gives the husbandınan to understand ter; by meton. that the greatest care is to be taken in se
205. Hædi. Two stars in the shoulder of lecting his seeds; that it is sometimes useful to impregnate them with other qualities Lucidus Anguis: a constellation called Dra
Auriga, a constellation in the heavens. to prevent them from degenerating; and sometimes to soak and steep them over a
co. The poet here intimates thai it is the slow fire, in order to hasten their sprouting the various signs of the weather; and that
duty of the farmer to observe the stars, and and coming forward. And although care be taken in the selection, they will be found he will find it as useful to him in the course nevertheless to degenerate: and all that of his business, as it is to the mariner. reinains for him to do, is, to select every
207. Fauces Abydi. The Hellespont or year with his own hand the fairest and best straits, which separate Europe from Asia: seeds; and in this way only he may keep called ostriferi, because abounding in Oyohus crops from degenerating to any great ters. Abydus: a city on the Asiatic shore, extent. This advice is worthy the atten
over against Sestus. Tentantur : in the tion of every farmer.
sense of navigantur. 194. Perfundere: this may either mean 208. Die : for Diei. The gen. of the to sprinkle them (semina) over with, or put fifth declension was sometimes thus written, them into. Ruæus says, spargere.
Somni, is elegantly put for noctis. Ubi Li195. Fallacious. The pods or ears are bra fecerit. Libra is one of the signs of the called fallacious, because they are some- zodiac, which the sun enters the 23d of times large, when there is very little in September; at which time he is on the equathem. Fetus: the grain or produce. tor, and makes the days and nights equal.
Et medium luci atque umbris jam dividit orbem ·
Necnon et lini segelem et Cereale papaver
Vere fabis satio : tum te quoque, Medica, putres 215 214. Dum licet tibi facere id, tellure sicca, Accipiunt sulci ; et milio venit annua cura : et duin
Candidus auratis aperit cùm cornibus annum 215. Satio fabis est in Taurus, et averso cedens canis occidit astro.
At si triticeam in messem robustaque farra
anni spem credere terræ.
Expectata seges vanis elusit aristis.
211. Brumæ: properly the shortest day month of March: but Virgil dissents from of winter, or the winter solstice: this is its the received opinion, and assigns it to Taumeaning here. By synec. it is sometimes rus, or the month of April; because, as the put for the whole winter. The ineaning is, etymology of the word implies, all nature that the farmer may extend his sowing as seems to be released from the fetters of winlate as the winter solstice, which is about ter, and vegetation opens and shoots forth. the 21st of December. Intractabilis : in the Canis cedens, &c. The dog giving way to sense of duræ, vel aspere.
the retrograde sign, sets. Sirius (commonly 212. Cereale: an adj. from Ceres. The called the dog star) is a star in the mouth of poppy was so called, most probably, because the great dog, a constellation in the hea. it was consecrated to her. Her statues
Averso Astro. Astrum here is the were generally adorned with it. Necnon: constellation or sign Argo, which immediin the sense of quoque.
ately follows the dog, and sets after him. 213. Incumbere rastris: to ply the har. It rises with its stern foremost, and in that
The poet is speaking of sowing, or manner goes through the heavens, contrary committing to the earth the several crops: to the ordinary motion of a ship. The epiwhich could not be done til after the thet averso, inverted, or turned about, is ploughing. Besides it requires dry weather very proper. to use the harrow: to which reference is 221. Eow Atlantides. The morning Plemade in the following line. But the plough iades; that is, when they set in the mornmay be used in wet weather. Heyne reads ing, or go below the horizon about the riaratris. But he informs us that Heinsius, sing of the sun. This is called their cosmiPierius, and others read rastris, which the cal setting. See 138. supra. sense seems to require.
222. Corona. The Corona is a constella. 214. Pendent: in the sense of suspensa tion in the heavens called Ariadne's Crown. sunt.
Gnossia: an adj. from Gnossus, a town in 215. Medica. A species of grass, or plant, the island of Crete, where Minos reigned, brought into Greece by the Medes in the whose daughter Ariadne was carried off by time of the Persian wars. Hence called Theseus, and left in the island Naxus, where medica, now lucerne. It made the best pro- she married Bacchus. At the time of their vender for cattle, and when sown, it is said nuptials, among the other presents she reto last in the ground thirty years.
ceived from the gods, was a Corona or 216. Milio. The milium was a species of crown from Venus; which Bacchus transgrass, or plant, which required to be sown lated to the heavens. Ardentis : in the every year. Hence annua cura. Now call sense of splendentis. ed millet.
225. Maiæ. The name of one of the Plez218. Cum candidus Taurus. Taurus is a ades, by synec. put for the hole of them. of the ecliptic. The sun enters it about 227. Ficiam. The vicia is a species of st of April. The year was coinmonly pulse called the vetch. Faselum: the fasct to be opened by Aries, or the Jus was a kind of pulse, common and