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P. VERGILI MARONIS

GEORG ICON

LIBER SECUNDUS.

The main subject of the Second Book is the culture of trees, especially of the vine. But there is no great regularity in the mode of treatment. Virgil opens with an enumeration of the different ways of propagating trees, natural and artificial, so as to give some notion of the magnitude of the theme; then shows how art can improve upon nature, and recurs again to the manifoldness of his subject, dwelling especially on the innumerable varieties of vines. Without much relevancy he talks of the trees which are indigenous to different countries, and is thence drawn off into an eulogy of Italy, which he does not fit with any practical application. The question of the aptitudes of various soils is treated far more widely than the subject of the book requires, embracing the choice of corn and pasture land, as well as of ground for planting vines and other trees. For the next 160 lines the poet seems to be thinking exclusively of the vine or of the trees planted in the • arbustum' as its supporters. He does not distinguish between the different modes of rearing the vine, but in general appears to assume that the 'arbustum’ will be the means adopted. He speaks of the vine and its supporters almost indifferently, as objects more or less of the same culture, so that while keeping the former prominently before him he feels himself at liberty to use general language, or even to confine his language to the latter, as metrical convenience or poetical variety may suggest—a manner of speaking which renders this part of the book peculiarly difficult, at least to an unprofessional commentator. The olive, which was put forward prominently in the programme of the book, is actually disposed of in a very few lines, as requiring hardly any culture at all, while the other fruit-trees are dismissed even more briefly. The remaining trees receive a very hasty recommendation to the cultivator, backed however with an assurance that they are even more useful to man than the vine. In the celebrated digression which concludes the book the laborious aspect of a country life, elsewhere so prominent, is studiously kept out of sight, and we hear only of ease, enjoyment, and plenty. Its interest as bearing on the tastes of the poet himself has been noticed in the general introduction to the Georgics.

The beauties of this book have always been admired, and deservedly so. They are most conspicuous in the digressions; but the more strictly didactic part contains innumerable felicities of expression, though it may be doubted whether in general they do not obscure the practical meaning as much as they illustrate it- whether in fact they do not constitute the strongest condemnation of that school of poetry of which they are so illustrious an example.

As in the case of Book 1, we can say nothing of the date. All that we know is that vv. 171, 172 seem to have been written just after the battle of Actium; but the passage to which they belong is precisely one which may have been introduced after the rest of the poem was composed.

HACTENUS arvorum cultus et sidera caeli,
Nunc te, Bacche, canam, nec non silvestria tecum
Virgulta et prolem tarde crescentis olivae.
Huc, pater o Lenaee; tuis hic omnia plena
Muneribus, tibi pampineo gravidus autumno
Floret ager, spumat plenis vindemia labris ;
Huc, pater o Lenaee, veni, nudataque musto
Tingue novo mecum dereptis crura cothurnis.

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1-8.] .Thus far of tillage and seasons: showing his ritual learning, and giving the now of the vine, the trees of the plantation, invocation an air of pontifical solemnity, and the olive. May the patron of the vine doubtless thought of Bacchus as patron of assist me, helping the poet as he helps the men and giver of increase to the fruits of the vine-dresser.'

earth. •Tuis hic omnia plena muneribus :' 1.] · Arvorum cultus' is the general sub. Virgil fancies himself surrounded by the ject of Book 1. 'Sidera caeli' refers to v. gifts of autumn, of which he is going to 204—258, and perhaps also to the prognos- sing. To conceive of him as meaning that tics which occupy the latter part of the book, he actually writes in autumn would be less down to the conclusion. Hactenus,' sc. natural, though a modern poet (Keats at . cecini.' Comp. Aesch. Cho. 143, ņuiv the opening of his Endymion is an instance) μεν ευχάς τάσδε, τοις δ' εναντίοις Λέγω, might introduce such a personal specificaκτλ.

tion. 2.] • Silvestria virgulta :' Voss and Wagn. 5.] . Tibi :'comp. Lucr. 1. 7 foll. “Tibi' have rightly observed that the forest trees can hardly be taken in these two passages are introduced principally as forming the as the dative of the agent, but in each case supporters of the vine, so that there may it seems to express the acknowledgment of be a special propriety in tecum.' • Vir- nature to its author and sustainer. See on gulta' for 'virguleta,' a number of twigs, ' 1. 14. It is a question whether autumno hence applied to bushes or low or young is temporal, or constructed with 'gravidus' trees, which here seem to be taken as the in the sense of the fruits of autumn, like type of such trees as the husbandman ótrúpa. cultivates. • Silvestria' seems to be used 6.] ‘The vintage is foaming in the brim. vaguely, as elsewhere in this book.

ming vats.' 3.) Hesiod, as reported by Pliny 15. 1, 8.] Tingue,' like Bártw, means both said that the sator' (perhaps the sower) 'to immerse' and dye.' For " mecum of an olive never saw its fruit. Theophr. compare “ Ignarosque viae mecum miDe Caus. Plant. 1. 9 called the olive Zvo. seratus agrestis," i. 41, and “una,' v. avens, contrasting it as such with the 39 below. * Dereptis' is the reading of vine. For this reason Varro 1. 41 recom. four MSS. The common reading is dimends that it should not be raised from reptis.' 'De' and di' are often seed (see below, v. 56 foll.).

founded in MSS. Cothurnis :' Paterc. 2. 4.] . Huc' may be elliptical, like deūpo: 82, of Antonius, “Cum redimitus hedera but . veni,' v. 7, smooths over the ellipse, coronaque velatus aurea et thyrsum tewhich is at least unusual in Latin. Pater :' nens cothurnisque succinctus curru velut “ Omnem deum necesse est inter sollennes Liber pater vectus esset Alexandriae.' ritus patrem nuncupari ; quod Lucilius in Bacchus was represented with hunting busdeorum concilio irridet (Sat. 1.3, Gerlach): kins, which would naturally form part of Ut nemo sit nostrum quin pater optimu' his fawn-skin dress. Virgil, professing to divum, Ut Neptunu' pater, Liber, Saturnu' write with a view to practice, identifies the pater, Mars, Ianu', Quirinu' pater, nomen poet with the husbandman, and invokes dicatur ad unum,” Lactant. 4. 3. Compare Bacchus at the opening of his subject, as if or contrast the equally general application the assistance be actually required were in of ävať to the gods of Greece. Virgil, while the vine-dresser's occupation.

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Principio arboribus varia est natura creandis.
Namque aliae, nullis hominum cogentibus, ipsae
Sponte sua veniunt camposque et flumina late
Curva tenent, ut molle siler, lentaeque genestae,
Populus et glauca canentia fronde salicta ;
Pars autem posito surgunt de semine, ut altae
Castaneae, nemorumque Iovi quae maxuma frondet
Aesculus, atque habitae Graiis oracula quercus.
Pullulat ab radice aliis densissima silva,
Ut cerasis ulmisque ; etiam Parñasia laurus
Parva sub ingenti matris se subiicit umbra.
Hos natura modos primum dedit; his genus omne
Silvarum fruticumque viret nemorumque sacrorum.

Sunt alii, quos ipse via sibi repperit usus.

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9–34.] *Trees are propagated in various sowing by the hand, we may suppose ways, some natural, some artificial.'

that he regarded it as virtually mentioned 9.] · Varia est natura' includes all the in the mention of dropped seed, and not modes by which trees are generated, down worth particularizing separately, being the to v. 34. Of these modes there are two lowest form of human co-operation with divisions, v. 10-21 and v. 22–34. The nature. first division, generation without the help 15.] 'Nemorum' is either partitive, of man, is subdivided into spontaneous maxuma nemorum' being equivalent to generation (v. 10–13), generation by seed maxuma arborum nemorensium,' or con(v. 14-16), and generation by suckers (v. structed as a kind of local genitive, chief over 17–19). • Nullis hominum cogentibus the woods,' like ő aros xópas, Aesch. Ag. really specifies the first division, though it 509. See on v. 534 below. Iovi' like nominally belongs only to its first sub. ' tibi,' v. 5. division. • Arboribus creandis,' like “ha- 16.] 'Quercus,' the oakgroves of Dodona. bendo pecori,” 1. 3 note. • The law of the The oracles were drawn either from the production of trees is various.'

murmuring of the foliage or from the notes 10.] Virgil is supposed by Heyne and of the pigeons. others to refer here to production by in- 17.] Pullulat ab radice,' &c. : propagavisible as distinguished from visible seeds, tion by natural suckers, called 'pulli' by agreeably to a distinction made by Varro 1. Cato 51, 'pulluli' by_Pliny 17. 10. 40, but from v. 49 it seems as if he believed 19.] •Se subiicit,' E. 10. 74. in strictly spontaneous generation.

20.] ‘Primum,' in the first instance,' i.e. 11.] Ipsae' and sponte sua,' in spite before man had tried experiments. "Naof a subtle distinction attempted by Voss, tura' here seems used strictly, opposed to are a tautology. “Veniunt' for proveniunt,' 'usus,' not generally, as in v. 9, where it 1. 54.

means the natural principle of growth, 12.] •Curva,' by calling attention to the whether assisted by cultivation or not; or bends of the river, shows that the trees we may lay the stress on dedit' and make grow along its side. The scanty notices of the contrast between what is asked or exthe siler' do not enable us to identify it ; torted from nature, and what she gives unbut it is conjectured to be the osier. See solicited. Lucretius (5. 1361 foll.) speaks Keightley, Flora Virg: 8. v.

similarly, though in less detail, of sowing 13.] • Salicta' saliceta,' for salices.' and planting as suggested by nature. •His,'

14.] • Posito de semine,' from seed de- ' by these modes.' *To these they owe their posited casually, dropping from trees. The verdure.' words themselves, like “seminibus iactis,' 21.] • Fruticum,' shrubs,' that is, trees v. 57, might refer to any kind of sowing, without trunks. Nemorumque sacrorum but in each case they are determined by the does not denote a botanical, but merely a context. At the same time, as Virgil says poetical division. nothing in the rest of the passage about 22.] Artificial modes—suckers, sets, lay

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Hic plantas tenero abscindens de corpore matrum
Deposuit sulcis ; hic stirpes obruit arvo,
Quadrifidasque sudes, et acuto robore vallos;
Silvarumque aliae pressos propaginis arcus
Exspectant et viva sua plantaria terra;
Nil radicis egent aliae, summumque putator
Haud dubitat terrae referens mandare cacumen.
Quin et caudicibus sectis-mirabile dictu-
Truditur e sicco radix oleagina ligno.
Et saepe alterius ramos inpune videmus
Vertere in alterius, mutatamque insita mala
Ferre pirum, et prunis lapidosa rubescere corna.

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ers, cuttings, pieces of the cleft wood, and rently treated. Quadrifidas' implies that engrafting. Comp. Pliny 17.10.“ Aut enim the bottom is cut across to form a root, semine proveniunt, aut plantis radicis, aut acuto robore' that it is brought to a single propagine, aut avulsione, aut surculo, aut point. insito in consecto arboris trunco." " Via :' 26.) Some forest-trees yearn for the “Nam antea neminem solitum via nec arte arch of the depressed layer, and for slips sed accurate tamen et de scripto plerosque which partake of their life, and spring from dicere,

;" Cic. Brutus, 12. •By a regular their soil.' * Silvarum' for • arborum :' see course or process.' Comp. mélodos. “Usus' on v. 15. Arcus,' the bow which the deseems to mean practical experience. The pressed layers form. word is frequently used in connexions which 27.] 'Viva,' unseparated from the parent suggest the notion of want,' 1. 133, E. stem. • Sua,' in which they themselves 2. 72, Lucr. 4. 852., 5. 1452., 6. 9.

• Plantaria' seems to be from ‘planit is clear from the context in these cases, tare' (" exiguis laetum plantaribus horti," especially in the whole passage Lucr. 4. Juv. 13. 123), though it may possibly be 822–857, that the original notion is still from plantarium, which might very well prominent. In passages like Cic. Tusc. 4. stand in poetry for plantae.' 2, it may be rendered • occasion,' as in the 28.] Putator,' the gardener, only called common phrase “usus' or usu venit.'

putator' here because he has lopped the Ipse usus, experience alone, without the shoot from the tree. example of nature. • Via' though gram

29.] • Referens,' restoring it to its native matically connected with repperit,' denotes earth. • Summum cacumen,' a cutting from not so much the process of invention as the the very top of the tree. Palladius 3. 25 process invented.

($ 28), [Morus] serenda est taleis vel 23.] • Plantas,' suckers.' Heins. and cacuminibus." Heyne read abscidens, but the MSS. *Caudicibus sectis' = 'concisione.' authority (including Med.) is in favour of When you have lopped off the roots and • abscindens.' Wagn. supposes that there branches and left the mere stump.' is a distinction in the sense of the words, 31.] ‘Radix oleagina' is mentioned as a the former being restricted to separation by specimen of the several kinds of trees which the knife, while the latter is equivalent to are grown in this manner-the myrtle is

avellere.' 'Tenero’ is not for teneras,' mentioned by Servius as one of them. Comp. but expresses the violence done to the tree A. 3. 21, 46, the prodigy of the bleeding by the artificial separation, thus contrasting myrtle. “Pliny (16. 43) tells us that oliveit with natural propagation by suckers, vv. wood wrought and made into hinges for 17—19; as we might say, “from the bleed- doors has been known to sprout when left ing stem.'

some time without being moved.” Keightley. 24.] “ Hic altius deponit validiores cum * Sicco ligno' is a further description of radicibus plantas" is Servius' paraphrase • caudicibus sectis.' of hic stirpes obruit arvo.' Stirpes 32.] ‘Inpune,' without damage to the may, however, be used merely for stipites,' quality of either tree. We might render and in this case stirpes,' sudes,' and by harmless magic.' vallos' may denote the same thing diffe- 34.] • Pirum' is the subject of 'ferre.'

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Quare agite o, proprios generatim discite cultus,
Agricolae, fructusque feros mollite colendo,
Neu segnes iaceant terrae. Iuvat Ismara Baccho
Conserere, atque olea magnum vestire Taburnum.
Tuque ades, inceptumque una decurre laborem,
O decus, o famae merito pars maxuma nostrae,
Maecenas, pelagoque volans da vela patenti.
Non ego cuncta meis amplecti versibus opto,
Non, mihi si linguae centum sint, oraque centum,
Ferrea vox ; ades, et primi lege litoris oram;

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Prunis,' on prunes. The epithet ‘lapidosa' Lucretius, is invited as a patron and reader shows that .corna' is not put for cornos.' to give his attention. Decurre,' a naval ** Rubescere,' too, would be inapplicable to a metaphor. Comp. A. 5. 212, “pelago change from the redder fruit to the less decurrit aperto,'

," where • aperto' will il. red. At the same time the difficulty of lustrate patenti,' v. 41.

Catull. 62 (64). supposing a fruit-bearing tree to have a 6, “Ausi sunt vada salsa cita decurrere 'victus infelix' (A. 3. 649) grafted on it puppi." Laborem' is a cognate accus. remains unexplained.

Comp. A. 5. 862, “ Currit iter tutum.” 35–46.] Listen to me then, husband. It is not easy to say whether “laborem' is men, bend to the work, and learn to sub. to be understood of the whole subject of due this part of nature also; and you, Mae- the Georgics, 'inceptum' referring to Book cenas, join me in coasting along this bound. 1, or inceptum decurre' regarded as equiless main.'

valent to *incipe et decurre,' or, lastly, 35.] Having opened out the subject in 'inceptum' understood of the beginning its manifoldness, he seizes that as an op- already made in the present Book. portunity for bespeaking his readers' and 40.) The words imply an acknowledg. patron's attention. For this and the fol- ment, to which “merito' refers. Comp. lowing lines comp. Lucr. 5. 1367, “ Inde Epictetus 15, atiws Deloite joav kai aliam atque aliam culturam dulcis agelli è éyouto. So Prop. 2. 1. 74 calls Maecenas Temptabant, fructusque feros mansuescere “ Et vitae et morti gloria iusta meae.” terra Cernebant indulgendo blandeque co- 41.] · Da vela,' set sail ; 'pelago patenti' lendo." ' Generatim,' after the kinds of on or over the open sea. The metaphorical trees; a Lucretian word.

reference of the epithet may possibly be to 37.] ‘Neu segnes iaceant terrae :' comp. the unbrokenness of the field (comp. v. 1. 124, where the feeling is the same. * Iu- 175) rather than to its extent; but, however vat:' Virgil is exhorting to exertion, and understood, it still clashes with the imagery accordingly stimulates enthusiasm by point- of vv. 44, 45. Volans,' at full speed. So ing to two great triumphs of industry- A. 1. 156, “curruque volans dat lora seMount Ismarus, planted all over with vines, cundo," which shews that Burm. and Voss Mount Taburnus, with olives. Comp. v. are wrong in preferring 'volens' here, the 260, "magnos scrobibus concidere montis," reading of one MS. and note on 1. 63. Thus the words. con- 42.] ‘Cuncta,' the whole subject. Comp. serere,' magnum,' vestire,' are emphatic. v. 103. Opto' seems to be used here of * Iuvat' then will have its full sense, ex- undertaking boldly, as apparently A. 6.501, pressing a delightful occupation, not as “Quis tam crudeles optavit sumere poenas?" Keightley and Bothe seem to think, a mere where ' optavit' seems equivalent to črin. repayment of labour.

• What joy to plant 43.] An obvious imitation of Homer, Il. Ismarus all over with the progeny of the 2. 488. Macrobius, Sat. 6. 3, says that wine-god, and clothe the mighty sides of Hostius, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, Taburnus with a garment of olives !' had already made a translation of the pas

39.] Heyne has remarked the propriety sage, from which he quotes “non si mihi of separating the invocation to Maecenas linguae Centum atque ora sient totidem from that to Bacchus. There is, however, vocesque liquatae." Non,' sc. 'optem the obvious difference that while Bacchus, amplecti,' or amplectar.' like Augustus in G. 1, is invoked as a god 44.] Primi litoris oram = 'primam to give his aid, Maecenas, like Memmius in litoris oram.'

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