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Exspectant et viva sua plantaria terra;
Quare agite, O, proprios generatim discite cultus, 35
the mode most applicable to the vine.—27. Viva suă plantaria terrő, * nurseries all alive in their native soil.' Viva refers to their living as yet unsevered from their parent stock. Sua terra refers to the earth in which the parent stem stands.-28. Nil radicis egent aliae. Virgil now proceeds to describe propagation by cuttings; that is, by planting cuttings taken from the uppermost shoots.—29. Referens, restoring, because it came originally from the earth, through the medium of the parent stock. Summum cacumen, the topmost shoot.'— 30. Quin et caudicibus sectis, “nay, even after the trunks are cut in pieces;' alluding to the mode of dividing the trunk itself, and planting it in pieces, as is done with the olive. -32. Et saepe, &c. He now speaks of propagation by grafting, and gives two instances of the results of this process. Alterius, sc. arboris or generis arborum.-33. Vertere, sc. se, 'to change.' Mutatam, by this process having been altered.' Insita, ingrafted.' -34. Et-corna, "and the stony cornels to redden on the plums;' that is, the cornelian cherry to bear, by grafting, red plums. Corna. The fruit is here put for the tree itself. Modern physiologists say it is impossible to obtain plums from cherry-trees. All experiments teach us that it is fallacious what the ancients tell us of having successfully grafted the olive on the fig, plums on pears, and the like. Success in grafting depends on the tree to which the graft is to be applied being within certain limits of physiological affinity to that which is grafted upon it, so as to form a vital union.
35. Proprios generatim cultus ; that is, the culture proper to each kind of tree.-36. Mollite, 'tame.'—39. Tuque ades, &c. Having invoked Bacchus, and stated the subject of this Book, the poet now entreats his patron, Maecenas, to favour him with his aid. When the subject was trees produced by the power of nature, a deity, Bacchus, was invoked; but now, when the subject is the rearing of trees by human art and skill, a mortal is invoked. Decurre is here used metaphorically in its nautical sense, and has no reference to the movements in the circus.—41. Pelayo-patenti; that is, animate me by thy favouring regard, and take a kind interest in my strains, so shall my work
Non ego cuncta meis amplecti versibus opto,
45 Atque per ambages et longa exorsa tenebo.
Sponte sua quae se tollunt in luminis oras,
55 Crescentique adimunt fetus, uruntque ferentem.
Jam, quae seminibus jactis se sustulit arbos,
be brought to a rapid and successful close, and so shall I, with thee as my patron, brave all the difficulties and dangers of this boundless theme.—42. Non ego opto, 'I aspire not.'. Cuncta, “the whole range of so extensive a subject;' that is, the whole science of the cultivation of trees.-44. Primi lege litoris oram, 'coast along the nearest shore.' The poet thus invites his patron to accompany him in making a brief survey of the most important parts of the extensive subject.-45. In manibus, ' at hand. Carmine ficto, with a fictitious strain ;' that is, with the fictions of epic verse. This poem is a didactic one, and deals in realities, not in the creations of the imagination.-46. Longa exorsa, 'a tedious exordium.'
47. Sponte sua, &c. He now recapitulates the various modes by which wild trees can be produced, and then goes on to shew by what culture each sort may be improved. — 48. Laeta, luxuriant.' 49. Quippe-subest, 'since a native principle subsists in the soil;' that is, since it is their native soil.-50. Mutata, 'changed' in situation,
removed;' that is, changed from their original position by being thus transferred to trenches. Subactis, well dug,' dug for the purpose,' carefully prepared.—53. Sterilis, sc. arbos, which is expressed soon after in verse 57, the tree, too, which springs unproductive from the parent stem;' that is, a tree proceeding from a sucker.-54. Hoc fuciet, will do the same;' that is, will lay aside its wild and unproductive nature. -55. Nunc, at present;' that is, in its wild native state.—56. Crescenti --ferentem, steal its vigour as it grows, and parch its produce.' Fetus is the shoots and leaves,' not = fructus, as Heyne would have it.
57. Jam marks transition, and is = porro, “again.' Seminibus jactis, from seeds scattered' (by the parent tree). He now comes to the third class of wild trees—those that spring from seeds scattered by the parent tree.—58. Tarda venit,'comes on slowly,' slowly rises 'to form a bower for remote posterity,
Pomaque degenerant, succos oblita priores,
Scilicet omnibus est labor impendendus et omnes
Nec modus inserere atque oculos imponere simplex.
75 Fit nodo sinus: huc aliena ex arbore germen
59. Poma degenerant, 'fruits degenerate.' Poma is here used in its general sense for any kind of fruit.—60. Uva, poetically = vitis. Some, however, maintain that as racemos is part of the uva, it may liere be taken in its usual sense.
61. Scilicet—impendendus, to all of course attention must be paid.' Scilicet contains a general reference to what has just gone before.63. Truncis, by truncheons,' which are the thick branches sawn in pieces of a foot or a foot and a half in length. These should be planted as fresh as possible.—64. Solido de robore, 'from the solid wood;' that is, by fixing the large branches like stakes into the earth, or by settings. Paphiae. Myrtles are called “ Paphian,' from Paphos, a city of Cyprus, where Venus was specially worshipped.—66. Herculeae arbos
The poplar is meant; it was sacred to Hercules: with it he bound his head when he descended to Erebus.—-67. Chaonië patris ; that is, of Jupiter,' to whom the oak was sacred. The famous oracle of Dodona was situated in Chaonia, in Epirus. Cf. pater Lemnius = Vulcan,' in A. 8, 454. Etiam nascitur, is also thus produced.'68. Abies. The abies is our yew-leaved fir-tree. The ancients used its wood extensively in ship-building.–69 and 70. The truth of these assertions is utterly denied by all modern physiologists. Hence we must conclude, that either the trees now known by these appellations are different from those so designated in the poet's time, or that Virgil so speaks merely for the sake of embellishment. Cf. note on verse 34.
73. Inserere and imponere are poetic for inserendi and imponendi. The only kind of grafting that Virgil describes is what we call cleft-grafting, which is performed by cleaving the head of the stock, and placing the scion of another tree in the cleft.—74. Gemmae, the buds.75. Tenues tunicas, the thin coats or membranes of the bark.' Angustus—sinus, a small slit is made in the knot itself.' The nodus is the protuberance on the bark beneath which the gemma lies; hence they
Includunt, udoque docent inolescere libro.
Praeterea genus haud unum, nec fortibus ulmis,
are here in one sense synonymous.—77. Udo inolescere libro, to grow into and become united with the moist bark.'—78. Aut rursum.
He now describes the process of ingrafting. Enodes trunci, knotless stocks :' truncus here is the stem of the young tree after the head has been lopped off, and must not be confounded with the trunci of Verse 63. Resecantur refers to the incision made in the stock.-79. In solidum, sc. lignum vel truncum, “into the solid wood.' Feraces plantae ; that is, cuttings from a fruitful tree, “fruitful scions.'81. Ramis felicibus, ' with productive branches.'—82. Non sua poma, fruit not its own.'
83. Praeterea, &c. There are great varieties in every species of plant; as in the elm, willow, lotus, and the cypress. It is thought that the lotus here means the jujube,' a native of the south of Europe. The pulp of the fruit is honey-sweet, and of the size and shape of an olive. —84. Idaeis, Idean,' from Mount Ida, in Crete, whence it was first brought to Tarentum, and thence spread over all the Italian peninsula (Plin. N. H. 16, 33, 60). In cyparissus we have the Greek form, xurrágiooos; the regular Latin form is cupressus. Cf. A. 3, 680.85. Nec pingues olivae. Out of the almost innumerable varieties of the olive, the poet mentions only three-the orchades, the radii, and the pausia, with bitter berry. The orchades were of a round form ; the radii, long (like a shuttle); the bitter berry of the pausia is men. tioned, as it was gathered before it was quite ripe. When it is ripe, however, it has a very pleasant flavour. It is supposed that orchis is the Spanish olive ; radius, the streaked olive, as found in Languedoc ; and pausia, the Lucca or Florence olive. -87. Silvue = arbores. For the description of the garden of Alcinõus, see Hom. Od. 7, 112, &c. Alcinous was king of Phaeacia, another name for the island of Corcyra. --88. The Crustumian' pears were considered the best kind. Crustumium, whence they derived their name, was a town of the Sabines, near Fidenae. The Syrian ' pears were also called Tarentina. The volemi have their name from their size, being so large as to fill the palm (vola) of the hand. The three kinds are by many rendered respectively: Warden, Bergamot, and Pound Pears.-90. "Methymna was a city of Lesbos, an island famed for both the abundance and the 95
Sunt Thasiae vites, sunt et Mareotides albae,
excellence of its wines.—91. Thasiae vites. Thasian wine is mentioned by Pliny as being highly esteemed. Thasus was an island in the
Aegean, off the coast of Thrace, and opposite the mouth of the Nestus. Mareotides albae, 'the white Mareotic ones.' These vines grew near the Lake Mareotis, in the vicinity of Alexandria, in Egypt, and furnished a light, sweetish, easily digested white wine, with a delicate perfume.-92. Habiles, adapted.' -93. Passo, sc. vino, the Psithian better adapted for raisin-wine.' The passum was a wine made of half-dried grapes (Colum. 12, 39; and Plin. 14, 9, 14). Tenuis Lageos, “thin Lageos,' said to be so designated from the grape being the colour of a hare, acyclos, from dozóss, a hare;' hence Servius terms it leporaria. It is not now known exactly what its peculiarities were. 94. Tentatura ; that is, make people drunk, of which consequences were staggering and stammering. 95. Preciae, early ripe.'. 96. Raetica. Raetian wine was produced in Raetia, an Alpine country lying to the north of Italy, and east of Helvetia. The orthography here adopted is better than Rhaetica, the common reading. This wine was a favourite with Augustus; hence Virgil allows it to yield only to Falernian. The grapes here praised grew in the neighbourhood of Verona (Plin. 14, 6). Contende, 'presume to vie with.' Falernis. The Falernian was the most famous and highly prized of all the Italian wines. Of this, the best growth was the Massic.-97. Aminaeae vites. These seem to have flourished originally at Aminaeum, a district in Thessaly, whence they were transplanted into Italy. Firmissima vina,
very strong-bodied wine :' observe the peculiar apposition between vites and vina.–98. Tmolius-Phanaeus, 'to which the Tmolian mountain and the Phanaean king himself arise;' that is, do homage. The produce of Tmolus, in Lydia, and that of the country adjacent to Phanae, a promontory in the island of Chios, are both here said to acknowledge their inferiority to the Aminaean wine; yet that of Mount Tmolus was famed for its quality; while the Phanaean was so much esteemed as to be honoured with the name of royalty, the Phanaean king,' the king of wines, the Ariusian. Cf. Ecl. 5, 71.99. Argitis minor. This wine, of which there were two kinds, a major and a minor, from the size of the grape of which it was made, is said by some to derive its name from ágyós,white;' by others, from Argos, the capital of Argolis. The former is the more probable derivation of the epithet. Certaverit, will feel inclined to contend.' The perf. subj. has here the force of a softened future. Cf. Zumpt, Lat. Gram. $ 527.-100. Tantum fluere, “in yielding so much juice.'