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Hic vertex nobis semper sublimis; at illum
Possumus, hinc messisque diem tempusque serendi,
242. Hic vertex nobis semper sublimis, this pole (the northern) is always elevated to us ;' that is, is always visible. At illum, but the other;' that is, the south pole.-243. Styx, one of the rivers of Erebus-put for the whole region. Profundi, Voss regards as the genitive, and translates, 'die Geister der Tiefe' (the spirits of the deep). It is, however, better to construe it as an epithet of Manes. On account of the personality of the manes, he uses sub pedibus, which means simply 'below,' 'under.' -244. Maximus hic-Arctos, here the huge snake, with tortuous coil, glides along like a river around and between (per) the two bears' -because it goes round Ursa Minor, and Ursa Major lies outside it.246. Metuentes tingui = non tinguuntur; that is, they never set.247. Ut perhibent, as they say:' the southern hemisphere was unknown to the ancients. Intempesta nox, unseasonable night,' as trespassing on the time which in more favoured regions is bright and warm.248. Semper tenebrae, and darkness ever thickens in dismal night' (as the long polar night advances).-249. Redit a nobis, returns from us (to them); that is, to those regions near the south pole.-250. Oriens, sc. sol, and when the Dawn (has breathed) breathes upon us with his panting steeds, for them blushing Hesperus kindles his evening fires; that is, the constellations.-251. Vesper, the evening-star.' The idea of the evening-star in the south frigid zone is of course mere conjecture on Virgil's part. He has, however, wisely avoided giving name to any other luminary in that part of the sky.-252. Hinc, hence;' that is, from this change of seasons throughout the year-from this regular progress of the sun through the zodiac, we can foresee the kind of weather we are likely to have, and regulate the operations of agriculture and navigation accordingly. Tempestates dubio coelo, the various kinds of weather in the changeable sky.'-254. Infidum marmor, the treacherous sea,' from its resemblance to polished marble when calmly reflecting the rays of the sun. Cf. Homer's άλα μαρμαρέην, Π. 14, 273; and Lucretius, 2, 766.-255. Armatas, rigged,' fitted out." Deducere, to launch.' During the winter, the ancients drew their vessels up on the shore. Cf. Hor. Od. 1, 4, 1.
Nec frustra signorum obitus speculamur et ortus,
Frigidus agricolam si quando continet imber,
Vomeris obtusi dentem; cavat arbore lintres;
Atque Amerina parant lentae retinacula viti.
Balantumque gregem fluvio mersare salubri.
257. Nec frustra, nor in vain ;' that is, not without advantage in the management of the farm. Obitus occasus, the settings.'258. Temporibus, 'seasons.' Parem, equally divided.' The adjective he joins in his usual manner with annum, instead of with temporibus: the seasons are equal, not the year.
259. Frigidus imber, cold rainy weather.' He now instructs the husbandman how he may employ himself to advantage in the inclement wintry weather.-260. Quae properanda, which (if not attended to in bad weather) must be hurried through' (and therefore probably badly done). Mox, by and by:' in a short time, when the more important labours of the farm come round.-261. Maturare, 6 to prepare time.' Carefully note this difference between properare and maturare, and consult Gell. 10, 11. Datur, sc. occasio = licet, you may." 262. Cavat, &c., another 'hollows out troughs or bowls from the trunk of a tree.' These lintres were boat-shaped troughs used in the vintage. Cf. Tibull. 1, 5, 23; and Cato, 11. Some would here understand linter in its original sense of canoe,'' skiff.'-263. Aut pecori signum impressit, 'or marks the sheep,' which was done by putting on the owner's name with hot pitch (Colum. 11, 2, 14 and 38; Calp. 5, 84). Numeros, tablets on his sacks or vessels which contain his grain,' indicating the quantity contained in them.-264. Furcas bicornes, two-pronged forks.'265. Amerina, an ornative epithet: Ameria, in Umbria, near the Tiber, was noted for fine willows. 266. Facilis fiscina, (light) handy basket.' Facilis properly should belong to virga; cf. the mode of using parem in verse 258.-267. Frangite saxo, grind it.' Cf. note on A. 1, 179; and Lucr. 1, 881.-268. Quippe etiam. The connection seems to be: "You should not be idle on wet days, for on holidays even some kinds of work are permitted.'-269. Fas et jura, laws divine and human.* Rivos-vetuit, no precept of religion prohibits from drawing off the streams' which had been let in (inductu) upon the meadows for the sake of irrigation.-270. Segeti praetendere sepem, to repair fences in the corn-fields.'-271. Avibus; destructive birds alone are meant (Voss). Cf. verse 119.-272. Balantum gregem, 'sheep;' literally, bleaters
Saepe oleo tardi costas agitator aselli
Vilibus aut onerat pomis, lapidemque revertens
Ipsa dies alios alio dedit ordine Luna
Felices operum. Quintam fuge: pallidus Orcus
an onomatopoetic epithet, as already employed by Lucretius, 2, 379, &c. In using it here, Virgil alludes to the unusually loud bleating of sheep when they are washed. It was allowed on a sacred day to immerse sheep in water for their health's sake, and not merely for the sake of cleansing the fleece. Hence salubri is peculiarly appropriate here as an epithet of fluvio.-273. Saepe, &c. Rustics busy at other times in cultivating their farms, were permitted to attend market on sacred days for the purpose of selling oil and fruit, and buying such articles as their immediate wants required. Such is still the practice on Sundays in the south of Europe. Agitator aselli, not merely the asinarius, but the peasant who thus employs his ass to carry oil and fruits to market. -274. Vilibus,cheap,' 'common.' Lapidem incusum, the indented mill-stone.' The Roman mill-stones which have been dug up in this country are indented with the chisel, as here alluded to, and are generally formed of blue German stone, such as is still used in some of our own manufactories. There is no authority for making incusus = non cusus, rudis, asper, as Heyne has done. The Latin agricultural writers never use the verbs compounded with in in a negative sense. Cf. inocco, infodio, insero, inaro: in or on is always part of the signification. See verse 83.275. Massam picis, a lump of pitch,' for marking his sheep, repairing his wooden vessels, coating vessels; and, besides, pitch was generally thrown into boiling must for the purpose of improving the flavour of the wine.
276. The days reckoned lucky or unlucky by the ancients are now described. Hesiod is the authority our poet follows: "Egy. 765, et sequen. Ipsa-operum, 'the moon herself has given different days in different order auspicious for our labours.' For alios, Voss reads alias, on account of quintam. He should have remembered the verse in which the two genders meet: Venit post multos una serena dies (Tibullus, 3, 6, 32). Felices, with the genitive, is more poetical than with the dative. Cf. dives opum, A. 2, 22, for the prosaic dives opibus. In Statius we find felix several times with the genitive; for example-Felix curarum! cur non Helicona cordi Serta.-Silv. 4, 4, 46.
Orcus of the Romans answers to
-277. Pallidus Orcus, sc. satus est. the Hades or Pluto of the Greeks, and is always a person, never a place. He is the oath personified, and son of Eris. Hence he is the divinity who punishes the false and perjured (Hesiod, "Egy. 804). But remark that Virgil very strangely misunderstands the passage of Hesiod which he is imitating. He confounds the Greek "Ogzos, oath,' with the Latin Orcus, and makes the Eumenides also to be born on this day; whereas Hesiod merely says that they go about on the fifth to punish the wicked. Virgil says, avoid the fifth' (quintam fuge); that is, the fifth day of the lunar month; but Hesiod has it, avoid the fifths' (TEμTTas izaλéαola); that is, every fifth day, sc. the fifth day of each
Eumenidesque satae; tum partu Terra nefando
Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam
Scilicet, atque Ossae frondosum involvere Olympum :
Multa adeo gelida melius se nocte dedere,
decade of the month of thirty days; or, in plain terms, the fifth, fifteenth, and twenty-fifth day of each month. Göttling's note on Hesiod, "Egy. 803, is the most satisfactory that has yet appeared as regards the unlucky or the not lucky character of the number 5.278. Partu nefando, by an unholy birth.'-279. Coeumque Iapetumque creât, the Titans; a part for the whole, by synecdoche. Creût = creavit, as creâsse for creavisse, &c. Cf. Ecl. 6, 30; 8, 45; A. 9, 266. Such contraction of the preterite is frequent in Lucretius. Typhoea, pronounced Ty-pho-ya, as Orphea in Ecl. 6, 30. See also A. 6, 33; 10, 116.-280. Rescindere, to tear down' (the rampart of); as A. 9,524. Fratres, Otus and Ephialtes,' the reputed giant sons of Alõeus, or rather of Neptune and Canace.-281. Ter sunt, &c. The slowness of movement in this and the preceding verse is evidently intentional, in order to express the mighty effort. The feet of verse 280 are all but one spondees; and in this verse the i of conati is not elided, and is long, being in the arsis; while the o of Pelio is not elided, but being in the thesis, is short.-282. Scilicet = en, 'ay!' 'yea, and to roll up on Ossa the leafy Olympus.'-283. Pater, Jupiter.' Disjecit, scattered.'284. Septima post decimam may be rendered in two ways: 1. "The tenth is lucky, and next to it the seventh;' or, 2. The seventeenth is lucky.' The latter seems to us to be the correct rendering here. In Manilius, 4, 449, tertia pars post decimam is the thirteenth;' and in verse 462, septima post decimam is the seventeenth,' as here. The Greek mode of calculation is adopted in such modes of expression; that is, the seventh day after the first decade.' Hesiod has these both among his lucky days. Ponere vitem, to set out the vine.'285. Prensos, caught,' as they had previously been in some measure wild: cf. 3, 207. Licia telae addere, to attach the leashes to the warp ;' that is, to begin to weave.'-286. Nona-furtis, the ninth is more advantageous for a runaway slave (as there is then sufficient moonlight to enable him to see his way), while the darkness would suit the thief much better.'
287. Not only by day has the farmer occupation; there are many things best done at night. Multa adeo, &c., many things, too, have succeeded better in the cool night.' Nocte-nocte-nocte-noctes, anaphora; the change from singular to plural affects not the figure. It is rare to find the word so often repeated.-288. Sole novo, at sunrise." Eous = 'Eos, sc. άore, the morning-star,' Lucifer. Cf. 4. 3, 588.—
Nocte leves melius stipulae, nocte arida prata
At rubicunda Ceres medio succiditur aestu,
Et medio tostas aestu terit area fruges.
Nudus ara, sere nudus: hiems ignava colono.
289. Stipulae, stubble.' In reaping, the Romans usually cut the grain about the middle of the stalk, a little below the head, leaving the straw or stubble (stipulae) to be cut or burned about a month after harvest-time. This stubble was best cut down during the night, as it was then moistened and crisped by the dew (Colum. 6, 3, 1; and 11, 2, 54; Varro, 1, 50, &c.). Arida prata, upland meadows,' as opposed to irriguous ones.-290. Noctes-humor, the subtle moisture (=ros, dew) fails not by night.' Pliny (18, 27) says that a dewy night is fittest for mowing; and also mentions the practice of watering the meadows before cutting, in order to facilitate the operation by rendering the grass crisp.-291. The occupations just described are those of the summer nights; he now proceeds to mention those that belong to the winter nights. Et quidam, &c., some even remain awake by the late fires of the winter light, and point their torches with a sharp knife;' that is, the fires that afford light during the winter nights; or, sit up late by the light of a winter fire. Ad seros ignes, &c. ad sera lumina hiberni ignis.-293. Longum solata laborem = solata se ob longum laborem, solacing herself, on account of her long toil, with singing (cantu).' So in 4. I, 238, we have occasum solabar = solabar me ob occasum, I was consoling myself on account of the downfall of Troy,' &c. While the husband is busied with his occupations, his wife is occupied with her loom-spinning and weaving being the chief domestic occupation of women in ancient times. With cantu, cf. A. 7, 12; Hom. Od. 10, 221.-295. Aut-aëni, or boils down the juice of sweet must on the fire, and skims the bubbling liquor of the caldron with leaves.'-296. Undam, properly, water in motion; here the must on the fire boiling. Undam trepidi aëni (hypallage) = trepidam undam aëni.
297. Rubicunda Ceres, 'the ripe grain.' From the mention of works to be done during the night, the poet now passes to those to be performed during the daytime-reaping and thrashing. Medio aestu-medio aestu, anaphora; an anaphora, as here, by a phrase, is less common in Latin than in English poetry. Succiditur, is cut down,' 'is mowed,' 'is reaped.' The mode of reaping referred to here is that of cutting the whole straw with the grain.-298. Tostas, parched' by the heat; opportunis solibus torrefacta (Colum. 2, 21).-299. Nudus ara, sere nudus; that is, plough and sow in spring and autumn when you can go without your outer garments. Ploughing and sowing commenced at the