« ForrigeFortsæt »
SANNAZARIUS, in his Pifcatory Eclogues, gives frequent defcriptions of fhells; as indeed it might be expected from the nature of his subject. In his firft eclogue, Mycox exclaims,
En tibi cærulei mufcum æquoris: en tibi conchas
In the third Idyllium of SANNAZARIUS, MOPSus rewards CHRONIS and IOLAS with a conch and a branch of coral; juft as the umpire-fhepherd in this Idyllium prefents MENALCAS and DAPHNIS with a conch and a club. The principal excellence of this club (by the way) feems to be described by the word AutoQua -It was a fingle plant.
O that she fill'd my foft melodious hours!
VIRGIL's are charming lines
Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta,
Not bubbling fountains to the thirty fwain,
IDYLLIUM the TENTH.
F meagre vinegar I've fcarce a flask!
Thou, rich in wine, canst pierce the purple cask!
JOHN UPTON reads Пλ (inftead of Anλo) in this place-an old word for wine.
Ah! hence it is, my fallows are unfown.
Toure would read Σποδῳ for Σπορῳ, the common reading. But this paffage does not feem to want emendation.
Go, clasp her! hug thy little chirping fright.
See the original. Espipos ypaus was a proverbial expreffion, equivalent to anus quæ in virginitate confenuit: metaphora fumta eft a fylveftri locufta, quam vocant yeavy Cepiony μarliv.
If you marry this old and loquacious virgin, (fays MILO) you will have a Cicada (or locuft) to disturb you all night.' The vulgar perfonages of THEOCRITUS are full of adages. It is remarkable, that the common people, in general, manage the proverbs of their country with great adroitnefs. The harvestfield is a fine scene for ruftic humour:
Delightful girl! how beauteous are thy feet!
In SOLOMON'S Song we read: How beautiful are thy feet with 'fhoes!' JUDITH's fandals ravished the eyes of HOLOFERNES.', And a fine-shaped foot was thought a point of beauty, among the lowest ruftics in Sicily.
The following ftanzas from a ballad, remarkable for its ease and vivacity, and curious felicity of expreffion, will shew the ideas of the moderns on this fubject.
Her foot-it was fo wondrous Small,
And feem'd to fink it with the weight.
Where many an eye did often glance,
And feen by ftealth, and feen by chance,
Stood like love's heralds.
Hah, mouthing it so big.
Mɛya uue immediately afterwards-in the original. The word mouth was probably derived from Mulos.
Yet, in my eyes, a honey-colour'd maid.
In the original μελιχλωρον---Such epithets fhould always be literally tranflated. Though they may appear uncouth to the English reader, they contribute to give him an idea of the manner of the original.
But haft thou LYTIERSES' numbers heard?
LYTIERSES was a baftard fon of MIDAS, king of Phrygia. He reigned after his father, at Celana, the chief city of Phrygia;
and is defcribed as a ruftic, inhuman tyrant; of an infatiable appetite; devouring in one day three large baskets of bread, and drinking ten gallons of wine. He took great pleasure in agriculture: but, as acts of cruelty were his chief delight, he used to oblige fuch as passed by, while he was reaping, to join with him in the work; and then, cutting off their heads, he bound up their bodies in the fheaves. For thefe and fuch-like cruelties he was put to death by HERCULES, and his body thrown into the Maander: Yet his memory was cherished by the reapers of Phrygia, and an hymn, from him called "LYTIERSES," fung in harvest-time, in honor of their fellow-labourer.
Univ. Hift. vol. iv. 8vo. p. 459.
The above anecdote is taken from one of the tragedies of SOSIBIUS, an ancient Syracufian poet, who, according to Vossius, flourished in the 166th Olympiad. Mr. FAWKES hath printed the original paffage, together with a tranflation-but it only contains the information already given." LYTIERSES" seems to be a fet of formulary maxims, as HEINSIUS obferves. MENANDER fpeaks of this song in his Carchedonium :
from the corn
When in brisk eddies the light chaff is borne.
See, in Scripture, the ox that treadeth out the corn.' This custom exists in modern Italy. Mr. SWINBURNE tells us, that the corn at Canofa is feparated from the ear by the trampling of a great number of mares tied in a ftring by their tails, and whipped round and round. This operation is performed in the Terra di Otranto by a pair of oxen, who drag between them a very heavy rough ftone that breaks the fheaves, and shakes out the grain.
IDYLLIUM the ELEVENTH.
than the curd more white!
the English reader, perhaps, an inelegant comparison. It was, at first, omitted (with some others of the like nature) by the translator: But a critical friend who perused the MS. advised him to preferve fuch ideas with a fcrupulous exactness, as they were evidently characteristic of the original.
When wandering round the hyacinthine hill.
Thus VIRGIL, in imitation:
Sepibus in noftris parvam te rofcida mala,
SCALIGER thinks VIRGIL's apples preferable to our poet's hyacinthine leaves. WARTON, however, prefers the latter; and difcovers an agreeable fimplicity in the leaves of the hyacinth, to which the flowers have no pretenfion. Though it appears, from numberless inftances, that the fimplicity of particularizing conftitutes one principal charm in the compofitions of THEOCRITUS, yet fuch criticism as the above will strike moft readers as too minute and trivial.
Thy eye-brows, ftretch'd fo fhaggy and fo wide!
Hirfutumque fupercilium, prolixaque barba.
Many of the critics have obferved, that VIRGIL's judgment hath here forsaken him, in transferring to his little Italian shepherd the fhaggy eye-brow, &c. of POLYPHEMUS. LE CERDA thinks, that the meaning to be conveyed by this paffage in VIRGIL, is, my violent love hath made me neglect my perfon.'