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P. VIRGILII MARONIS
PRINTED BY T. BENSLEY, BOLT COURT.
PUBLISHED BY ROBERT JENNINGS, No. 2, POULTRY,
P. VIRGILII MARONIS
M.TITYRE, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi
Sylvestrem tenui musam meditaris avena :
a Meliboeus and Tityrus are two shepherds, but whether under these names any real persons are represented, is not known.
After the battle of Philippi, when Brutus and Cassius were overthrown by Augustus Caesar and Mark Antony, Augustus, on his return to Italy, rewarded his soldiers by dividing certain lands among them belonging to several cities, among which were Cremona and Mantua. This eclogue describes the unhappy state of those who were thus deprived of their possessions, in the person of Melibocus; and Tityrus represents one who was so fortunate as to have his farm restored to him by the favour of Augustus, and employs his pastoral eloquence to praise him as a deity for his munifiThese lands were divided among the soldiers in the year Consequently this eclogue may be supposed to be written in that year, or soon after.
▸b The musical instruments used by shepherds were at first made
Nos patriae fines et dulcia linquimus arva;
Nos patriam fugimus: tu, Tityre, lentus in umbra
T. O Meliboee, Deus nobis haec otia fecit.
Namque erit ille mihi semper Deus ; illius aram
Saepe tener nostris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus.
Ille meas errare boves, ut cernis, et ipsum
Ludere, quae vellem, calamo permisit agresti.
M. Non equidem invideo; miror magis: undique totis Usque adeo turbatur agris. En ipse capellas Protenus aeger ago; hanc etiam vix, Tityre, duco. Hic inter densas corylos modo namque gemellos, Spem gregis, ah! silice in nuda connixa reliquit. Saepe malum hoc nobis, si mens non laeva fuisset, De coelo tactas memini praedicere quercus. Saepe sinistra cava praedixit ab ilice cornix. Sed tamen, iste Deus qui sit, da, Tityre, nobis.
of oat and wheat straw; then of reeds, and hollow pipcs of box; afterwards of the leg-bones of cranes, horns of animals, metals, &c. Hence they are called, avena, stipula, calamus, arundo, fistulas buxus, tibia, cornu, aes, &c.
c Amaryllis appears to be only a poetical name for a shepherdess d Deus, here means Augustus Cæsar. e Quercus ilex, fig. 1. e This verse is of doubtful authority, not being to be found in the most ancient manuscripts. Among the ancient Romans a su→ perstition prevailed, that a raven on the right hand, and a crow on the left, made an augury certain. Quid augur, cur a dextra corves, a sinistra cornix faciat ratum.' Cicero de Divinatione.