Billeder på siden

34. pinguis] 'rich,' and therefore good. ingratae: 'ungrateful,' because though he brought all his best things to the city he never carried back any money from it in return, spending it all doubtless on Galatea.

36-45. M. I used to wonder why Amaryllis was so melancholy; it was your absence that she and all the country round regretted. T. I could not help being absent: my only hope was to go to Rome. There beheld the youth whom I shall ever worship, for he first gave a favourable answer to my prayer.

37. cui...] Apples were a favourite gift especially with lovers (cf. 3. 64, 70): the fact of Amaryllis leaving certain choice apples ungathered naturally made Meliboeus wonder who they were being kept for. sua: 'their own,'' their native.'

38. aberat ipsae] For the lengthening of a short final syllable by ictus, cf. 3. 97 erit, omnes; 6. 43 fultus hyacintho ; 7. 23 facit: aut; 9. 66 puēr, et; 10. 69 amōr; et; G. 1. 138 Pleiadas, Hyadas; 2. 5 gravidūs autumno; 211 enituit inpulso; 3. 118 labōr; aeque; 189 invalīdūs, etiamque; 332 Iovis antiquo; 4. 92 meliōr, insignis; 137 tondebat hyacinthi; 453 nulliūs exercent. See Excursus to Aen. 12 by H. Nettleship in Conington, vol. 3.

ipsae...] Meliboeus banteringly pretends to realise the feelings of Amaryllis: to her the whispering pines, the murmuring fountains, the rustling groves seemed all to be calling for the return of Tityrus. The exaggeration of emphasis in Tityrus...ipsae te Tityre...ipsi te...ipsa seems clearly intentional. 40. quid facerem] 'what (else) was I to do?' imperfect of the deliberative subj.

neque...] 'neither could I (otherwise) escape from slavery': some word like 'otherwise' must be supplied in this clause from the 'elsewhere' of the next. Notice how Tityrus, who wishes to obtain his freedom from his young master, disappears in these lines and makes room for Virgil, who wishes to recover his farm from the young Emperor. The transmutation is effected with such delicate skill that, if it were not for the painful diligence of commentators, we should hardly notice that line 45 is an absurd answer to Tityrus seeking for freedom.

41. praesentes divos] The adj. praesens is often applied to deities, and implies not only 'presence,' but also that they are present with the wish and ability to assist, cf. G. 1. 10 agrestum praesentia numina Fauni. So it is used of an antidote or remedy = 'efficacious,' G. 2. 127; 3. 452.

42. iuvenem] Octavian he was born 63 B.C.


43. bis senos] The 'twice six days' clearly describe a monthly sacrifice, possibly on the Calends of each month.

44. responsum] The word is a stately one, being commonly used of the reply' of an oracle (e.g. Aen. 6. 82 vatis responsa), or the formal reply given to suppliants (cf. Hor. C. S. 55 iam Scythae responsa petunt superbi | nuper).

45. submittite] 'rear'; cf. G. 3. 73, 159.

46-58. Happy man! your farm then will remain yours, a small one no doubt and poor, but you will be free from all the hazards of a strange place, and will enjoy all your old delights, the murmur of the bees soothing to slumber, the song of the vinedresser, the cooing of your favourite doves.

46. ergo] and so,' an exclamation of wonder tinged with melancholy, cf. Hor. Od. 1. 24. 5 ergo Quintilium perpetuus sopor urget! tua: predicative.

47. quamvis...]although bare rock and marsh with muddy reeds overspread all the pastures, (yet) no strange food.... There is no need to assume a zeugma, as Sidgwick does, and render though bare rock mars the pastures,' for surely the rock which crops up to the surface all over may fairly be said to 'overspread' or 'cover' all the pastures.

Conington speaks of the pastures as covered with 'stones,' but this totally neglects the epithet nudus. He also places a comma after satis, and a full stop after iunco, spoiling Virgil's beautiful antithesis-'a poor place but home.'

49. graves fetas] 'the sickly' or 'drooping mothers,' who would find strange food trying': for graves cf. morbo gravis, gravis vulnere, and similar phrases. Others take fetas= 'pregnant ewes' or 'goats' and graves=gravidas 'heavy with young,' but if so the expression is tautological.

52. sacros] All fountains were supposed to be under the special guardianship of some nymph. frigus captabis opacum: 'you will court coolness in the shade.'

53. hinc tibi...]

6 on this side, as of yore,

Yon hedge along your neighbour's boundary,
Whose willow-bloom is sipped by Hybla's bees,
Shall oft persuade you with its whisper light
To welcome slumber.'-Kennedy.

hinc on this side' corresponds to hinc (on that side') in 56, and is further defined by the words vicino a limite. tibi is emphatic; for you' but not for me. quae semper: 'as ever,' lit. ' which ever (persuaded you)'; suasit is to be supplied

from suadebit, 'the hedge, which ever (persuaded), will still persuade.'

54. Hyblaeis apibus] The bees are called 'Hyblaean' in order to give a Theocritean flavour to the eelogue, cf. 2. 21 Siculis in montibus.

apibus florem depasta] 'having the flower of its willows fed on by bees.' Virgil is peculiarly fond of using an acc. with the past part. passive: this used to be called an acc. of respect (i.e. here fed on as to its flower'), but it is more probable that the participle has a certain active or middle force; cf. 3. 106 inscripti nomina 'having names written on them'; 6. 15 inflatum venas having his veins swollen'; 6. 53 latus fultus having his side supported'; 6. 68 crines ornatus; 6. 75; 7. 32 suras evincta; G. 1. 349 redimitus tempora; 3. 307 incocta rubores; 4. 337 caesariem effusne 'having ringlets streaming'; 357 percussa mentem; 482 caeruleos inplexae crinibus angues 'having snakes entwined in their hair.' For other middle uses of the passive cf. (. 3. 46 accingar I will gird myself'; 383 velatur corpora 'have their bodies covered.'

55. saepe...] Notice the soft and sleepy sound of the line.

56. frondator] His business was to trim the superfluous leaves not only from the vine but also from its supporting elm, in order that the sun might not be kept from the grapes (cf. 2. 70; 9. 60; G. 2. 400, 410). The time referred to is probably the beginning of July, the cooing of the wood-doves during incubation, mentioned in the next line, being reckoned a sign that the summer solstice had passed (Pliny 18. 28).

ad auras: with canet; his song seems wafted on the breeze. 59-64. T. Yes, and therefore stags shall leave the earth to feed in air, and fishes the sea to live on land, all nations shall quit their own countries sooner than his image shall vanish from my heart.

[ocr errors]

59. ante... ante (61)... quam (63)] sooner... sooner... than' notice how Virgil makes his sentences perfectly clear by the use of guiding words placed in conspicuous positions.

leves: Kennedy gives 'fleet,' but surely in this connection 'light' (i.e. not heavy, but capable of moving in the air, cf. Aen. 6. 16) is the true rendering.

60. Virgil clearly does not mean that the fish will be thrown up on shore to perish, but that the sea will leave the fish to live unprotected by the water (nudos) on dry land.

61. pererratis amborum finibus] lit. 'the boundaries of

both having been wandered over,' i.e. each having roamed over the boundaries of the other' and so changed places.

64-83. M. But we shall wander to far-distant lands. 0, shall I ever again, at some distant day, see my country, my humble cottage, and the farm once my domain? What! shall some barbaric soldier possess my well-tilled fields? Was it for this I sowed corn and grafted pears and planted vines? Onward, my poor flock, onward: never again shall I lie at ease and watch you browsing happily as I sing. T. And yet you might better stay to-night with me and share my simple fare: the smoke of the farmhouses and the lengthening shadows show that it is supper-time.

64. nos...alii...ibimus, pars...veniemus] ημeîs.....oi μèv..... oi dé... The nominative nos is broken up into its component parts ('we...some...others') and in the second clause pars is substituted for alii, but the verb veniemus is in the first person plural, the construction following the sense.

Afros: to the Africans,' a poetical extension of the use of the acc. of the 'place to which'; cf. below Britannos.

65. rapidum cretae... Oaxen] 'the chalk-rolling Oaxes'; Servius says hoc est lutulentum, quod rapit cretam.

There seems about equal authority for reading Cretae and rendering the rapid Oaxes of Crete.'

The objections to the first rendering are (1) that there is no well-known river called Oaxes, to which it is replied that Virgil is thinking of the Oxus, which is a turbid stream, and has mixed up the name with that of the famous Araxes in Armenia ; (2) that rapidus is almost always passive (=qui rapitur) and not active (qui rapit), but on the other hand it certainly sometimes has an active force, cf. 2. 10 n., and rapidus cretae qui rapit cretam seems decidedly justified by the analogy of such phrases as cupidus vitae qui cupit vitam.

[ocr errors]

The objections to the second rendering are (1) that, though there is a small town in Crete called Axus or Oaxus, we know nothing of any river Oaxes, and that, if there were such a river near the town Oaxus, it must be so insignificant that Virgil could not mention it here side by side with three such great districts as Africa, Scythia, and Britain; (2) that, as Africa is in the South, Scythia in the North, and Britain in the far West, to complete the balance we want a reference to some famous river in the far East.

The reading cretae is supported in a powerful Excursus by Kennedy, and the objections to it certainly seem less formidable than those to Cretae.

66. toto divisos orbe] 'parted from all the world.' To the Roman poets of the Augustan period the Britons are the regular type of remote barbarism; cf. Hor. Od. 1. 35. 29 ultimos orbis Britannos, 4. 14. 47 remotis Britannis. In both these passages and also 1. 21. 15 and 3. 5. 3 he places them in direct contrast with Persia and the East, a fact which is strongly in favour of Kennedy's view that Oaxen here is some great Eastern river. His opinion, however, that toto divisos orbe means 'cut off by the whole world (from the Oaxes)' seems less tenable, the language of Horace showing that the popular idea of the Britons was that they were cut off from all the world, so that the same meaning naturally attaches to Virgil's words here though the other rendering is grammatically possible.

67-69. en umquam...] 'O! shall I ever, at some distant day, (beholding) my country's borders and the turf-piled roof of my humble cot, (shall I,) beholding what was once my empire, marvel at a few scanty ears?' He means, 'shall I ever return to find the home, which though poor was my pride, neglected and forlorn?' The curiously disjointed character of the sentence is an attempt to reproduce the broken utterance of the lamenting shepherd (cf. 3. 93 n. ; 9. 2 n.).

videns governs both fines and culmen, but is placed with regna, which is in apposition to them, in order to bring it closer to mirabor-'when I see shall I marvel?' regna is used purposely to describe the pride he took in his farm and cottage; the words patrios fines do not of course strictly describe the farm, but the connection makes it clear that when he talks of returning to his country he is thinking especially of that portion of it which was once his own. post (69) is an adverb and pathetically repeats longo post tempore.

Many render 'shall I wonder when I see my country and... cottage, a domain, once mine after many harvests?" (quasi rusticus per aristas numerat annos, Servius). It seems impossible however that arista in the sing. can mean 'a harvest,' as it ought to do if the plural is to be used=‘harvests,’ 'years.'

71. barbarus] A contemptuous word to describe one of the foreign troops serving in the Roman armies. discordia: (civil) discord, as the juxtaposition of cives shows.

72. his nos] Observe the antithesis-' for these men we.... 73. nunc] 'now,' i.e. now that you have the experience you have. This sarcastic nunc is especially common in the phrase i nunc et 'go now and (do so and so)'; e.g. Juv. 12. 57 i nunc, et ventis animam committe.

« ForrigeFortsæt »