Billeder på siden

It does not appear that the modern Greeks have preferved this

[blocks in formation]

Full oft hath love with wild disorder sway'd
The roving confort, and the frenzied maid!
Venom'd alike, the dark contagion fpreads
Through Virgin chambers, or through bridal beds.

Παρθενον εκ θαλαμοιο.

Oahapo fignifies the inner chambers, appropriated to unmarried ladies. The rooms, where PRIAM's daughters lived, were called Tεy aλuo-the uppermoft rooms in the house. The EUROPA of MOSCHUS is described in one of the upper chambers of the dome.

The men and women among the modern Greeks have separate apartments, called Andronitis and Gynæconitis. The latter, for the fecurity of the women, is always in the interior quarter of the building. From fuch prifons the modern ladies of Turkey very frequently make their efcape, actuated by the fame phrenzy, and the fame roving difpofition that our poet hath described. The confequences of this paffion, BARON DE TOTT hath ftrikingly reprefented. It is impoffible (fays he) to confider, without ⚫ horror, the dismal confequences of the blind paffions to which the • Turkish women are sometimes a prey. I do not fpeak here of 'those women who fo frequently fell their charms, and whose ' mutilated dead bodies I have often feen in the environs of Con• ftantinople; but of others, of a more exalted rank, whom an irrefiftible fury overpowers, and who efcape fecretly from their prifons. These unfortunate creatures always carry off with them their jewels, and think nothing too good for their lovers, Blinded by their unhappy paffion, they do not perceive that this very wealth becomes the cause of their deftruction. The villains to whom they flee, never fail, at the end of a few days, to punish their temerity, and enfure the poffeffion of their effects, by a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

crime, which, however monftrous, the government is least in hafte to punish. The bodies of these miserable women, stripped ⚫ and mangled, are frequently seen floating in the port, under the very windows of their murderers; and these dreadful examples, • fo likely to intimidate the rest, and prevent such madness, neither terrify nor amend.'

LINE 198.

'Of flowery garlands many a gay feftoon

Here we fee that it was ufual for lovers to adorn their own houses also, with flowers and garlands, in honor of their mistresses. Thus OVID:

Largis fatiantur odoribus ignes
Sertaque dependent teclis.

And thus CATULLUS:

Mihi floridis corollis redimita domus erat,
Linquendum ubi effet orto mihi fole cubiculum.

LINE 213.

And, ye attendant orbs, farewell-that light
With many a twinkling ray, the car of night.

Ludite, jam nox jungit equos, currumque fequuntur
Matris lafcivo fidera fulva choro.

[merged small][ocr errors]



AND TITYRUS, guide them to their wonted rill.

VIRGIL hath tranflated this paffage:

TITYRE, dum redeo, brevis eft via, pafce capellas;
Et potum paftas age, TITYRE; & inter agendum,
Occurfare capro, cornu ferit ille, caveto.

Hence Dr. MARTYN conjectures, that the Mantuan bard was engaged in tranflating the IDYLLIA OF THEOCRITUS.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

O were a humming bee's my happier lot, &c. Thus the Pfalmift: O that I had wings like a dove! then would I flee away, and be at reft!'

LINE 19.

-Through its fern and ivy creep.

The ancient shepherds had a notion that the smell of fern was offenfive to ferpents: Hence they made themselves beds of this weed, for their greater fecurity. Neither fnakes nor adders, however, have at present any antipathy to fern; fince they have been often observed lying in the midst of it.

LINE 27.

Sweet fmiling nymph, whofe ebon eye-brows own.

The fair-ones in THEOCRITUS are often characterized by the fable eye-brow, as the moft diftinguishing feature of female beauty. FAWKES hath tranflated xvavoogu black-eyed.

[ocr errors]

LINE 35.

This wreath of ivy pale, and parsley wove.

Floribus atque apio crines ornatus amaro.

The ancients attributed to ivy and parsley the virtue of diffipating the fumes of wine.

LINE 38.

A wretch undone, I'll rush into the wave, &c.


Jam faxo me me ex illo demittere in undas
Præcipitem jubet ipfe furor

LINE 39.

Where, yonder, OLPIS, on the rocky steep,
His tunnies marks, reflected from the deep.

In order to catch tunnies, (which were very frequent on the coafts of Sicily) the fishermen were used to place a sort of specula on the highest rocks that projected over the fea, whence they might obferve them in the water. STRABO calls it Θυννοσκοπεια. And OPPIAN gives us a very particular description of it.

See WART. THEOCR. vol. 2. p. 48.

For the hiftory of Tunnies, fee PLINY and ÆLIAN. Var. Hist. B. ix. c. 42. and B. xiii. c. 16.

Of the Tunny-fishery Mr. SWINBURNE gives the following description:

The nets are fpread over a large space of fea, by means of ⚫ cables fastened to anchors, and are divided into several compart⚫ments. The entrance is always directed, according to the season, towards that part of the fea, from which the fish are known to come. A man, placed upon the fummit of a rock high above the water, gives the fignal of the fish being arrived; for he can difcern from that elevation what paffes under the waters, infinitely ⚫ better than any perfon nearer the furface. As foon as notice is


f given that the shoal of fish hath penetrated as far as the inner compartment, or the chamber of death, the paffage is drawn close, and the flaughter begins.'

LYCIDAS, in the firft eclogue of SANNAZARIUS, appears to have been fishing for tunnies.

Mirabar vicina, Mycon, per littora, nuper,

Dum vagor, expectoque leves per pabula Thynnos

The above defcriptive paffage of our poet, VIRGIL hath thus imitated:

Præceps aërii fpeculâ de montis, in undas


This, (among many other inftances of VIRGIL'S copies) is very inferior to its archetype. It is general, indeterminate imagery. Our Sicilian, like a true original as he is, always prefents us with real places and customs. The tranflator here takes an opportunity of remarking, that he hath seldom noticed the Virgilian copies from THEOCRITUS, merely with a view of pointing out the imitation. Every school-boy, in his perufal of our author, recalls those imitative paffages to memory. Mr. MARTYN might have fpared himself the pains of collecting them; and Mr. FAWKES, of tranfcribing the collection.

LINE 43.

Soon by the withering orpine-leaf, I found

Some change: ftruck hollow, yet it gave no found.

Tλpo is probably orpine, a low plant, whofe branches trail on the ground: The leaves are fmall, roundish, and of a glaucous color; the flowers fmall, and of a whitish


Cool Violets, and orpine growing ftill,
Embathed balm, and cheerful galingale-

fings our poet SPENSER.


[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »