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Necdum illis labra admovi, sed condita servo.
Si ad vitulam spectas, nihil est, quod pocula laudes.
M. Numquam hodie effugies; veniam, quocumque vocaris.
D. Quin age, si quid habes, in me mora non erit ulla,
Pliny 18. 19," Arator, nisi incurvus, prae- hodie effugies, quin mea manu moriare.” varicatur," quoted by Voss. 43.] Theocr. 1. 59.
45.] Molli,' 'flexible;' Theocr. 1. 55, Пlavrã ȧμpì dénuç meρiménтaτaι vypòs akavooç. The epithet, as Forb. remarks, besides being characteristic of the acanthus, reminds us of the art of the workman, like "mollis imitabitur aere capillos," Hor. A. P. 33. Contrast the detail of Menalcas with the brevity of Damoetas, who merely mentions enough to show that his cups are a fair match for his rivals, and then proceeds to depreciate them.
46.] 'In medio:' comp. 5.40. 'Sequentis,' Ov. M. 11. 2, of Orpheus, "Et saxa sequentia ducit."
47.] There may be some mockery in the repetition, as Voss suggests, or Damoetas may be carrying out his affected depreciation by not stopping to select words of his
48.] Compared with the heifer, the cups deserve no praise.' Most of the commentators suppose the construction to be 'si spectas (pocula) ad vitulam:' but though 'ad' may undoubtedly express 'comparison,' it does not appear to be used in that sense with 'specto,' which indeed in such phrases as "tuum animum ex anima spectavi meo" (Ter. And. 4. 1. 22), implies positive observation rather than relative estimate. On the other hand, “spectare ad aliquid occurs not uncommonly in the sense of 'adspicere' or 'respicere ad aliquid,' as we might say 'If you once look at the heifer, you will find nothing to say for the cups.' So Forb. Nihil est quod :' Madvig, § 372 b. obs. 6.
49.] Damoetas had spoken as if Menalcas wished to get off. Menalcas retorts on him, 'I will stake a heifer, if you will have it so rather than you should get off the wager.' Macrob. 6. 1 says that nunquam hodie effugies' is from Naevius, "Nunquam
'Nunquam hodie' occurs again, A. 2. 670, "Nunquam omnes hodie moriemur inulti." The phrase is found in the comic writers (Plaut. Asin. 3. 3. 40; Ter. Phorm. 5. 3. 22; Adelph. 4. 2. 31), as an arch way of saying that a thing shall not be; and 'hodie' seems to be a sort of comic pleonasm. 'Veniam,' &c., 'I will meet you on any ground.'
50.] Vel' goes rather with 'qui venit' than 'Palaemon.' Comp. Theocr. 5. 50 foll., where Lacon wishes for a particular judge, but Cometes says that a woodcutter close by will do. Here Menalcas begins as if he wished for some one in particular, but corrects himself, and offers to take the chance of a man just then approaching, whom he identifies at the end of the verse as Palaemon: 'The man who is coming up-there! Palaemon it is.' Palaemon, the grammarian, as Suetonius tells us (Ill. Gramm. 23), used to quote this line as showing that he was destined to be a critic before his birth: an opponent might easily have retorted that he is mentioned merely as a synonyme for ò ruxwv.
51.] Posthac' with 'lacessas.' 'Voce lacessas,' 'challenge in singing,' i. e. challenge to sing.
52.] Damoetas, as the original challenger, had the right of beginning (Theocr. 6. 5, πρᾶτος δ' ἄρξατο Δάφνις, ἐπεὶ καὶ paros puodev), which he offers to waive: but Palaemon does not permit this, v. 58. Si quid habes,' ɛï rɩ Xéyɛıç, Theocr. 5. 78, is apparently contemptuous, though a reference to 5. 10., 9. 32, will show that it is not necessarily so. In me mora non erit ulla' is a phrase, as in Ov. M. 11. 160, "In judice, dixit, Nulla mora est." 'Per' is also used; as in Ter. And. 3. 4. 14; Juv. 12. 111.
53.] Nec quemquam fugio,' 'I am content with any judge.' 'Vicine,' Damoetas
Sensibus haec imis, res est non parva, reponas.
D. Ab Iove principium, Musae; Iovis omnia plena; 60 Ille colit terras; illi mea carmina curae.
M. Et me Phoebus amat; Phoebo sua semper apud me
D. Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella,
54.] Res est non parva' seems better referred to the importance of the contest than to the magnitude of the wager.
56.] Arbos' is right, not 'arbor;' the first form is found everywhere in the Medicean, the second no where. So it is always 'honos,' not honor.' On the other hand it is always labor,' except in one place, A. 6. 277, where 'Labos' is the name of a person." Wagn. With the language comp. G. 2. 323, 330. Emmen. refers to Bion 6. 17, εἴαρι πάντα κύει, πάντ ̓ εἴαρος ἁδέα βλαστεῖ.
57.] Now the year is at its fairest.'
58.] Since we are seated on the soft grass, and all around us invites to song.' Juv. 4. 34, "Incipe, Calliope, licet et considere," is perhaps an allusion to this line.
59.] Comp. 7. 18, 19, note. 'Alternis,' di apoißaiwv, Theocr. 8. 61. 'Amant alterna Camenae,' Hom. Il. 1. 604, Movσάων θ' αἳ ἄειδον ἀμειβόμεναι ἐπὶ καλῇ.
60-63.] 'D. I begin with Jove, the filler of all things: he makes the country fruitful, and is the shepherd's patron. M. And I with Apollo, the poet's patron, for whom I rear bays and hyacinths in my garden.'
60.] Theocr. 17. 1, 'Ek Aiòç áρxwμsola, Kai is Aía AnyεTE, Motoaι. But Virgil seems to have had in his mind Aratus, Phaen. v. 1:
Εκ Διὸς ἀρχώμεσθα, τὸν οὐδέποτ ̓ ἄνδρες ἐῶμεν
*Αῤῥητον μεσταὶ δὲ Διὸς πᾶσαι μὲν ἀγυιαί,
Πᾶσαι δ ̓ ἀνθρώπων ἀγοραί, μεστὴ δὲ θάλασσα,
Καὶ λιμένες· πάντη δὲ Διὸς κεχρήμεθα πάντες
Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν.
Heyne makes' Musae' the genitive, which is supported by Cicero's translation of Aratus (De Leg. 2. 3): "Ab Iove Musarum primordia:" but Theocr. 1. c. and Ov. M. 10. 148,"Ab Iove, Musa parens ('cedunt Iovis omnia regno') Carmina nostra move," defend the vocative.
61.] 'Ille colit terras,'' Jupiter (the sky) impregnates the earth and makes fruitful' (comp. G. 2. 326), so that he is here said to cultivate the earth. 'Illi mea carmina curae,' because they celebrate the gifts of earth. Serv. however renders 'colit,' 'amat,' misquoting A. 1. 15, “ unam posthabita coluisse Samo," where see note.
62.] Damoetas had secured as his patron the father of the gods and the giver of the plenty which, as Palaemon remarked, they saw around them: Menalcas meets him by naming a god who has specially to do with poetry, and referring not to the general bounty of nature, but to the produce of his own special labour, which he offers to that god as his due. In Theocr. 5. 80-83, Cometes names the Muses, Lacon Apollo, each mentioning his offerings as the ground of his favour with his patron.
63.] The bay and the hyacinth are the gifts of Apollo to man, and so are appropriately restored to him in sacrifice. Menalcas has a garden, like Corydon, 2. 45, where he always keeps these plants with a view to Apollo.
64-67.] 'D. My mistress pelts me and runs away, like a rogue as she is. My favourite does not avoid me; even my dogs know him well.'
64.] 'Mala,' as Keightley says, included all fruit with pips. They were sacred to Venus, whence μήλῳ βάλλειν, μηλοβολεῖν, was a mode of flirting. Theocr. 5. 88, Aristoph Nub. 997.
M. At mihi sese offert ultro, meus ignis, Amyntas,
M. Quid prodest, quod me ipse animo non spernis, Amynta, Si, dum tu sectaris apros, ego retia servo?
D. Phyllida mitte mihi: meus est natalis, Iolla;
66.] 'Ignis,' of the beloved object. "Pulcrior ignis," Hor. Epod. 14. 13. Comp. "tua cura,' "E. 10. 22.
67.] 'Delia' may be understood of Diana, who assists the shepherd's hunting (7. 29, comp. 10. 55), and so is known by his dogs. Amyntas too knows the dogs, being Menalcas' hunting companion, v. 75. The other interpretation, which is more commonly adopted, makes Delia Menalcas' mistress, or contubernalis,' who, on visiting him in the evening (7. 40), is recognized by the watch-dogs, so that Menalcas may mean indirectly to boast that he is beloved by two persons, not merely by one, like Damoetas. The language of v. 66 is rather in favour of this latter view, as otherwise we should have expected some allusion to hunting.
68-71.] 'D. I have marked a woodpigeon's nest as a present for Galatea. I have sent Amyntas ten apples, and send ten more to-morrow.'
68.] Theocr. 5. 96. 'Veneri,' "Tun meam Venerem vituperas?" Plaut. Curc. 1. 3. 36. Notare,' i. q. ‘animadvertere,' as in G. 3. 100, A. 5. 648, &c. 'Ipse' denotes that he has observed it himself, instead of trusting to hearsay, so that he will be sure to remember it, and recognize the place where the young are ready to be taken. Thus there is no reason to understand 'notavi' with Wagn. of actually setting a mark on the spot.
69.] Wood-pigeons are sacred to Venus. 'Aeriae' occurs in Lucr. 1. 12., 5. 825, as an epithet of 'volucres,' as we say 'birds of the air:' here, however, it means making their nests high in air, like "aeria turtur ab ulmo," 1. 59, so that it reminds us that the intended gift is hazardous. Congessere,' a brief expression for nidum congessere' (Plaut. Rud. 3. 6. 5), as we say 'to build.' Apes in alvearium congesserant," Cic.
Oecon. in Charis. p. 82 P. So 'tendere' for 'tentoria tendere' A. 2. 29, &c.
70, 71.] Theocr. 3. 10. Aurea,' as in 8. 52, 'golden,' i. e. ripe and ruddy; not a particular kind of 'malum,' such as quinces or pomegranates. Propertius 3. 26. 69, referring to this passage, has simply 'mala.' Spohn well observes that 'quod potui' corresponds to aeriae,' both denoting difficulty. He has done his best for to-day (referring to the quality, not to the quantity of his presents), and promises to give the same to-morrow. 'Altera,' ' a second batch of ten.' "Totidem altera," Hor. 1 Ep. 6. 34.
72-75.] 'D. O the things that Galatea says to me; things that the gods might listen to! M. Amyntas, you love me; do not separate from me in hunting.'
73.] Let not such precious words be wholly lost, but convey some part at least to the ear of the gods.' Comp. Theocr. 7. 93. So Apollo listens to the nightingale's song, Aristoph. Birds, 217. Those who, like Heyne and Voss, suppose that the gods are requested to hear Galatea's vows and punish her perjury, quite mistake the passage.
75.] To carry the toils for another, or watch them while he was hunting (voтãσ0αι) seems to have been a common compliment. Tibull. 1. 4. 50., 4. 3. 12. Ovid, Art. Am. 2. 189. He complains that he is separated from Amyntas, who takes the more attractive and dangerous part of the adventure; and this untoward circumstance is opposed to 'ipse animo non spernis.' 'What is your affection to me, if you will not give me your company?'
76-79.] D. Send me Phyllis for my birthday, you can come on the next holiday. M. I send you Phyllis ? She is my love, and cries at parting from me.'
Cum faciam vitula pro frugibus, ipse venito.
M. Phyllida amo ante alias; nam me discedere flevit,
D. Triste lupus stabulis, maturis frugibus imbres,
M. Dulce satis humor, depulsis arbutus haedis,
D. Pollio amat nostram, quamvis est rustica, Musam :
M. Pollio et ipse facit nova carmina: pascite taurum,
77.] The birthday was a season for
78.] Menalcas retorts in the person of Iollas-Phyllis, whom you bid me send to you is in love with me, and wept when I left her.' This Phyllis seems to be a female slave and mistress of Iollas, whom Damoetas pretends to rival in her affections. So Corydon 7.30 speaks in the person of Micon. 'Flevit' with an object clause, as in Prop. 1. 7. 18, "Flebis in aeterno surda jacere situ."
79.] 'Longum, vale, inquit:' she lengthened out her farewell, saying 'Vale, vale,' in her reluctance to part. So Wagn. rightly interprets it. In other words 'longum' goes with 'inquit,' not with 'vale.' So "longum clamet," Hor. A. P. 459, and the Homeric μакρòv åÛTεiv. With the metre comp. 6.
80-83.] D. Everything in nature has its bane: mine is the wrath of Amaryllis. M. Everything in nature has its delight: mine is Amyntas.'
80.] Theocr. 8. 57. 'Triste' and 'dulce,'
v. 82, are virtually nouns, like poßɛpòv Kaкóv in Theocr. Lupus,' A. 9. 59. 'Imbres,' comp. G. 1. 322 foll.
81.]Venti:' G. 1. 443. Damoetas seems to have three mistresses, Galatea, Phyllis, and Amaryllis. They can scarcely be fancy loves, because Menalcas sticks to Amyntas. 82.] Depulsis' ('a matribus,' 'ab ubere,' or 'a lacte'): comp. 1. 22. The leaves of the arbutus would tempt the young kids. "Frondentia capris Arbuta sufficere," G. 3. 300.
83.] Cattle were fond of the willow leaves (1. 79), and after yeaning or during pregnancy their favourite food would be especially grateful (1. 50).
84-87.] D. Pollio is my patron, and the prince of critics. M. Pollio is more -he is the prince of poets.'
84.] Pollio and Virgil's book (lectori) crop out very awkwardly here; and therefore the want of propriety need not restrain us from taking vitulam' and 'taurum' as the prizes of different kinds of poetry. But the nova carmina' were tragedies, and the bull was the prize of dithyrambic contests. Probably the victim rises with the rise from critic and patron to poet. There seems no occasion to suppose that a sacrifice for Pollio's safety is intended. Observe how studiously Virgil avoids shortening the last syllable of Pollio, unlike Hor. 2 Od. 1. 14., 1 S. 10. 42.
86.] Some take 'nova carmina' to mean tragedies on Roman subjects, not borrowed from the Greek (Dict. Biogr. Pollio); but this is too specific. If anything, 'nova' means original;' but it may be merely a carrying out of the notion of 'ipse,' he makes verses himself, and does not merely criticize those of others.'
87.] Repeated A. 9. 629.
88-91.] 'D. May Pollio's admirers be
Mella fluant illi, ferat et rubus asper amomum.
like him! M. May Bavius' and Maevius' admirers be like them!'
88.] Veniat, quo te quoque gaudet (venisse),' may your lot be his, and may he enjoy with you the dreamy felicity of the golden age.' Such seems the simplest way of taking this difficult passage, and the one best corresponding to vv. 90, 91. Heyne quotes Theocr. 1. 20, Kai rãç ẞwкoλiкãçiπì τὸ πλέον ἵκεο Μώσας. Even if the ellipse were supplied it would be sufficiently cumbrous to say, 'the lot which he is glad that you also have attained' for 'your lot,' so that there is some temptation to believe the passage corrupt, though Burmann's 'laudet' would not mend it much.
89.] The shepherd naturally dwells on the rural glories of the golden age, as existing in fable (G. 1. 131), and in prophecy (E. 4. 25. 30). The poet and his admirer are apparently supposed to live together in dreamland. Possibly, as Forb. thinks, honey may be specified as a common emblem of poetical sweetness (Hor. 1 Ep. 19. 44, &c.), while the image of the bramble bearing spices may mean that the meanest rustic argument is to produce a sense of beauty. Comp. 4. 2. All we know of 'amomum is, that it grew in the east, and yielded a fragrant spice. It occurs in cinnamomum' and 'cardamomum.' Keightley. There may be a reference to Theocr. 1. 132, where Daphnis, like Damon, Ecl. 8. 52, prays for a change in the course of nature, võv ïa μèv popέoire βάτοι, φορέοιτε δ ̓ ἄκανθαι κ.τ.λ. Thus the blessing is put into a form which had been used by the Greek poet for a curse, and we are prepared for the counter wish in v. 91. 90.] For these worthies see Dict. Biog. 91.] Iungat vulpes' is explained 'yoke for ploughing,' the expression being apparently proverbial. Suidas has ἀλώπηξ Tòv Bouv lavval. Demonax, according to Lucian (Vit. Dem. 38), said of two
foolish disputants that one was milking a he-goat, and the other catching the milk in a sieve. Here, however, 'jungere vulpes' and 'mulgere hircos' appears to be a sort of comic purgatory, opposed to the paradise of v. 89.
92-95.] 'D. Strawberry gatherers, beware of snakes. M. Sheep, beware of
going too near the water.'
93.] The confused order of the words and the rapidity of the measure are noted as expressive. 'Frigidus anguis,' 8.7. Yuxpòv opiv, Theocr. 15. 58.
94.] Theocr. 5. 100. Non bene ripae creditur,' "Aliis male creditur," Hor. 2 S. 4. 21.
96-99.] D. Keep the goats from the river: I'll wash them in time. M. Get the ewes into the shade, or they will run dry again.'
96.] Reice,' so 'eicit' for 'eiicit,' Lucret. 3. 877. Ramshorn, Lat. Gr. 212. 1.b. From Gell. 4. 17 there seems to have been a tendency in his time to write compounds of 'iacio' with a single 'i,' even where the preceding syllable required to be lengthened. Statius, Theb. 4. 574, "reicitque canes," 'calls off the dogs.' Virg. has apparently imitated Theocr. 4. 44, ẞáλλe káτWOε тà μooxía, which is explained by the custom of shepherds flinging their crooks among the cattle, Hom. II. 23. 845. Plautus however has "in bubilem reiicere (boves),' Pers. 2. 5. 18. Tityrus is addressed as a herdsman, as in v. 20., 9. 23.
97.] Theocr. 5. 4. 145.
98.] 'Cogite,' 'in umbras,' which is expressed in v. 107 of the spurious Culex. The sheep are driven into the shade at midday that they may be fit for milking at evening.
99.] Observe the reality which 'ut nuper gives to the injunction.