« ForrigeFortsæt »
Tondentur cytisi, taedas silva alta ministrat,
Quas animosi Euri adsidue franguntque feruntque,
place for tame birds, here the woods. Comp. Lucr. 1. 18," Frondiferasque domos avium" for silvas.' 'Sanguineis' such as the elder, E. 10. 27, &c.
431.] Tondentur,' 'form food for cattle.' "Tondent dumeta iuvenci," 1. 15. For the fact comp. E. 1. 79. 'Taedas,' torches of pine-wood, so that 'alta' is appropriate.
432.] Pascunturque ignes nocturni et lumina fundunt' is a poetical amplification of 'taedas ministrat.' It may be questioned whether 'ignes' mean 'torchlights' or 'fires.' 'Nocturni' and 'lumina' may seem to point to the former; but the parallel words "Urit odoratam nocturna in lumina cedrum," A. 7. 13, apparently refer to fires, as is shown by their original, Hom. Od. 5. 59. At the same time it must be borne in mind that the custom of kindling fires for the sake of light by night (see Hom. Il. 9. 467 foll.) belongs rather to the heroic age than to Virgil's day.
433.] This line is wanting in Med. Its meaning seems to be when nature offers so much to the planter and cultivator, can man hesitate to plant and cultivate? Heyne justly says "Sententia versum absolvens facile excidere potuit. Versus per se est praeclarus." With the structure of it comp. A. 1. 48., 6. 807.
434.]Quid maiora sequar :' Wagn. contends that the conjunctive in direct interrogations cannot refer to a thing which the speaker has already begun to do; in such cases he says the indicative is used, as in A. 2. 101, "Sed quid ego haec autem nequiquam ingrata revolvo?" If this be true, we must either understand by 'maiora' greater things than have been mentioned already, or suppose that sequar' denotes a more detailed enumeration than has been given in vv. 431, 432,' maiora' being used in contradistinction to the smaller trees which follow.
435.] Aut illae: Serv. says that many in his time read 'Et tiliae.' For the pleonastic use of the pronoun comp. among other passages A. 6. 593, Hor. 4 Od. 9. 51. "Pastoribus umbras,' E. 2. 8 note. Med. and others have 'umbram.'
436.] Satis,' probably including plantations. Saepemque satis et pabula melli :’ comp. E. 1. 54, 55, "Hic tibi quae semper vicino ab limite saepes Hyblaeis apibus florem depasta salicti." 'Pabula melli ' not for 'pabula apibus,' but a poetic confusion of 'pabula apibus' and 'materiam melli.'
437.] Virgil continues his enumeration of the uses of the various forest trees, but is led to adopt a different mode of expression, as if he were not thinking of the products yielded by box or pitch trees, but of the mere pleasure of looking at them as they flourish in their most congenial spots, and reflecting that nature does all this unaided, so that art may help to do more. Cerda quotes from Eustathius a saying πúξον εἰς Κύτωρον ἤγαγες, one of the many equivalents of our carrying coals to Newcastle.' So Catull. 4. 13, "Cytore buxifer."
438.] Naryciae' for Locrian, Narycia being a town of Opuntian Locris, the mother country of the Italian Locri. Comp. A. 3. 399,"Illic Narycii posuerunt moenia Locri." Bruttian pitch is mentioned by Pliny 14. 20; as also by a Schol. on this passage quoted by Heinsius on Ovid. Remed. 264. 'Picis,' i. e. 'piceae.' The tree is identified by Keightley with the firs from the description of Pliny 16. 10.
440.] 'Steriles' opp. to 'frugiferae.' Comp. v. 79. 'Caucasio in vertice' gives the picture of wildness. Strabo (11, p. 497) speaks of Caucasus as covered with woods.
441.] The wildest woods in the region of storms.' 'Animosi Euri:' it is not easy to say how far this use of animosus '
Dant alios aliae fetus, dant utile lignum
Comp. Ovid, Amor. 1. 6. 51, inpulsa est animoso ianua vento;" Statius, Theb. 9. 459, "animosaque surgit Tempestas;" 7. 87, "pontumque iacentem Exanimis iam volvit hiemps." Frangunt que feruntque:' an analogous expression to 'agere et ferre.' For 'ferre' in the same sense without 'agere' comp. A. 2. 374, "Alii rapiunt incensa feruntque Pergama."
442.] Fetus,' 'products.' The word is probably antithetic to 'steriles.' Connect 'utile navigiis.' Vitruvius recommends the cedar and cypress for their durability, saying that the bitterness of their sap is antiseptic, 2. 9., 7. 3.
443.] Cedrosque' was the reading before Heins., while on the other hand some MSS. give cupressumque.'
444.] Trivere' = 'tornavere,' Serv. Comp. Pliny 36. 26, "[Vitrum] aliud flatu figuratur, aliud torno teritur." The tense gives something of a historical character to the passage, which consequently rises in poetical dignity. So in vv. 454 foll. the effects of the vine are spoken of in the past tense, and a tale of legendary antiquity glanced at. Tympana: wheels either of solid wood or boards shaped like a drum. See Dict. Ant. Plaustrum.' 'Hinc' in both places refers to 'silvae' generally, not to different kinds of wood, from this treefrom that.'
445.] Posuere,' 0ŋkav. Virgil expresses himself as if the farmer built ships, meaning no more than that the trees which the farmer is encouraged to plant and cultivate are turned to that use.
446.] Viminibus,' 'frondibus,' the abl., not the dat. Each are actual products of the trees, not things made from their products. So, in the next line, hastilibus' are not the actual spear-shafts, but the shoots as they grow on the tree. Comp. A. 3. 23,
quo cornea summo Virgulta et densis hastilibus horrida myrtus." 'Frondibus:' comp. Cato 6, " Ulmos serito-uti frondem ovibus et bubus habeas." Serv. speaks of another punctuation, 'Viminibus salices, fecundae frondibus ulmi,' which Heyne prefers; but the present pointing is simpler, and not less rhythmical. Comp. 1.453,"Caeruleus pluviam denuntiat, igneus Euros," where the same doubt might be raised.
447.] The construction is 'myrtus et bona bello cornus fecundae validis hastilibus.' So in 1. 58 the verb is carried on from one part of a sentence to the other, though they are separated by 'at.' 'Bona bello occurs at the end of a line in Lucilius (30. 37, ed. Gerlach).
448.] Ituraeos:' Cic. Phil. 2. 44, " Cur homines omnium gentium maxime barbaros Ituraeos cum sagittis deducis in forum?" Flavius Vopiscus, quoted by Pierius, "Habes sagittarios Ituraeos trecentos (Valerian to Aurelian). The epithet here is a literary one, the geographical or historical association being simply intended to add to the poetry.
449.]Tiliae leves' in 1. 173 it is "Caeditur et tilia ante iugo lěvis." "Torno rasile' to be combined as one epithet, like 'bona bello.' The epithets seem proleptic. 450.] Ferro acuto,' sc. 'torno,' Keight
Quid memorandum aeque Baccheia dona tulerunt?
classed together by Pliny 16. 8, who says that the latter was called by some 'ilex femina,' and was generally used in default of the former. 'Corticibus' seems to point more particularly to the 'suber,' the bark of which was called 'cortex' par excellence, as in Greek φελλός, φλοιός. And so Col. 9. 6 recommends bark, after Varro, for beehives, if the country is 'ferax suberis.' Thus in construing 'corticibus' with 'ilicis,' we may suppose the 'ilex' to include the 'suber.' Another kind of beehives was made from hollow trees, Col. 1. c. 'Alveo:' 'alveus,' or 'alvus,' is used both by Col. and Varro, 3. 16, for alveare.' Here it has probably a double reference both to the natural hollow and to the beehive which is to be made of it, not to be represented in English. Comp. alveus' for 'linter.' 'Vitiosae' shows how nature suggested the beehive. All the MSS. but Rom. have alvo.'
454.] Virgil sets out to show that the wild trees have their merits as well as the vine, and at last is carried away into showing that they are better than the vine. • Baccheia, Βακχήια.
455.] Comp. Hom. Od. 21. 295, Olvoc καὶ Κένταυρον, ἀγακλυτὸν Εὐρυτίωνα, “Λασ ̓ ἐνὶ μεγάρῳ μεγαθύμου Πειριθόσιο.
456.] Leto domuit:' comp. knoi caμείς. 'Leto' is no doubt the abl. instrum., though in Homer the dat. after dapáw appears to be rather the dat. of reference than of the instrument, being, with one exception, used convertibly with ὑπό τινι, not with ὑπό τινος. The use of 'domuit' with the author instead of the immediate agent is also Homeric, Il. 22. 270, άφαρ δέ σε Παλλὰς Αθήνη"Εγχει ἐμῷ Sapaa. For the Centaurs and Lapithae see Ovid, M. 12. 210, &c., where Rhoetus and Pholus are not killed but put to flight. 'Rhoetus' is said to be the usual spelling, at least in the MSS. of Latin authors, not 'Rhoecus,' if indeed Rhoecus is not the name of the giant as distinguished from the centaur. See Bentley on Hor. 2 Od. 19. 23, who inclines to Rhoetus ' as the name
457.] Cratere' keeps up the notion of a Bacchanalian fray. For the size of the 'crater' comp. A. 9. 346, where another Rhoetus lurks behind one. The vivid image in this line may have been suggested by sculpture.
458-474.] How happy the husbandman's life of ease and plenty! he has not power or luxury, but he has peace, simplicity, and the charms of nature all about him: he is one of a hardy race which still keep the traditions of ancient piety and justice.'
458.] 'Fortunatos nimium,' like “nimium felix," A. 4. 657. 'Happy beyond human happiness.'
459.] Discordibus armis' can hardly refer specially to civil war, as Keightley thinks, because the sufferings of the Italian husbandmen from civil wars were so much in Virgil's mind. He is speaking generally, and his own words below, vv. 495 foll., 503 foll., furnish a comment on his meaning.
460.] For 'fundit' we might have expected fundat;' but the clause is not intended so much to give a reason for the farmer's happiness, as to describe him, quibus-tellus 'being part of the subject of the sentence as well as ' agricolae.
' agricolae' been omitted, this would have been evident at once: comp. vv. 490, 493 below. It seems right therefore to include the relative clause in the exclamation, by removing the (!) to the end of this line.
Tellus is personified, and humo' is 'from her soil.' Fundit' and 'facilem' both seem to mark plenty without trouble, husbandry being natural and assisted by nature, as contrasted with the pursuits artificial life.
The tone of the presen passage is certainly opposite to that which prevails generally in the Georgics, where the laborious side of a farmer's life is dwelt on, if indeed the unlikeness does not amount to actual inconsistency. 'Iustissima,' not because she repays labour, but because she gives man all he really needs. Comp. Philem. 406 (Meineke), AtkαtóraτOV KTŇμ ἐστὶν ἀνθρώποις ἀγρός, ἂν ἡ φύσις δεῖται γὰρ ἐπιμελῶς φέρει.
Si non ingentem foribus domus alta superbis
461.] An imitation of Lucr. 2. 24-36, "Si aurea sunt iuvenum simulacra per aedes," &c. Connect 'foribus domus alta superbis,' not 'vomit foribus.'
462.] Mane:' these levees were held from six o'clock in the morning till eight. Comp. Martial 4. 8. 1, "Prima salutantis atque altera continet hora." Catiline's associates intended to go to Cicero's levee, ea nocte paullo post," Sat. Cat. 28. The poor client in Juvenal (5. 22) goes to his patron sideribus dubiis.' 'Totis vomit aedibus' is probably 'pours from the whole palace,' not 'lets in over the whole palace.' This is more picturesque and suits the metaphor better, though the word 'vomitoria,' denoting the entrances to the seats in the amphitheatre from the surrounding gallery, is explained by Macrob. Sat. 6. 4, because "homines glomeratim ingredientes in sedilia se fundunt."
463.] Inhiant' is used of a man gloating over his own property by Hor. 1 S. 1. 71, and Seneca, H. F. 167, the latter of whom clearly has an eye to this passage. Connect 'varios pulchra testudine.' There seems to be no necessity for taking 'postis' as 'foris.' It is possible however to refer 'inhiant' not to the owner but to others : 'nor do men gaze at their inlaid doors' = 'nor have they inlaid doors for men to gaze on.'
natem potantia vellera fucum," and Caius, Dig. L. 16. 236, "qui venenum dicit adiicere debet, malum an bonum sit: nam et medicamenta venena sunt, quia eo nomine omne continetur, quod adhibitum eius naturam, cui adhibitum est, mutat; quum id quod nos venenum appellamus, Graeci pápμακον dicunt.” But here the tone of the passage and 'corrumpitur' show that both words are used in a contemptuous sense, which may extend to 'inlusas' and inhiant,' and perhaps even to 'vomit.' A few MSS. give 'fuscatur.'
466.] Casia' is here not the Italian shrub of v. 213, E. 2. 49, but the bark of an eastern aromatic tree which grows to the height of twenty-five feet. Keightley.
Usus olivi:' the oil in respect to its use. Hor. 3 Od. 1. 42, "Nec purpurarum sidere clarior Delinit usus is not exactly parallel, as then usus would most naturally mean the wearing, which is just the thing that is expected to soothe, whereas it cannot be said properly that the use of the olive oil is corrupted. Perhaps we may render Nor is their clear oil's service spoiled by the bark of casia.'
467.] Nescia fallere:' it does not seem possible to separate the thought contained in these words from that of 'dives opum variarum.' But more than one interpretation is compatible with this connexion. We may render either free from chance and change' (comp. Hor. Epod. 16. 45, "Germinat et nunquam fallentis termes olivae"), or that needs no knavish arts,' because it gives every thing freely, a thought which would agree with "Fundit humo facilem victum iustissima tellus."
464.] Inlusas,' fancifully wrought. There are imitations of this use of 'inludere' in Prudentius and Avienus, but no independent parallel. 'Ludere however is used both of works of art and music. Inclusas' is given by Rom. and perhaps Med. a m. pr., and adopted by Ladewig, who understands it of embroidery, and comp. Lucr. 4. 1126,"grandes viridi cum luce zmaragdi Auro includuntur." 465.] Assyrio' here used loosely for Phoenician or Tyrian, as in E. 4. 25, for Armenian or Median. Neither fucatur ' 469.] Vivi lacus,' 'natural' or 'fresh;' nor veneno necessarily expresses con- opposed to artificial reservoirs, of which there tempt. Comp. Hor. 1 Ep. 10. 27, "Aqui- were many at Rome. 'Tempe,' for any
468.] Latis,' opposed to the confinement of the city. There is no allusion to 'latifundia.' 'The liberty of broad domains.'
Mugitusque boum, mollesque sub arbore somni
Me vero primum dulces ante omnia Musae,
valley like Tempe. Comp. Cic. Att. 4. 15,
472.] Exiguo' is the reading of Med. and Rom. supported by Macrob. Sat. 6. 2. Other MSS. (including Pal.), with Donatus on Ter. Andr. 1. 1. 48, read 'parvoque,' which seems to have come from A. 9. 607, as Burm. remarks.
473.] There is religion and there are reverend elders,' that is, there is reverence for age.' 'Extrema,' &c.: comp. Arat. Phaen. 127, Ὣς εἰποῦσ ̓ (Δίκη) ὀρέων ETEμaίETO. Justice is there said to have fled to the mountains in the days of the silver race, and fled from earth altogether in the days of the brazen race.
475-489.] 'While my first wish is that the Muses would reveal to me the whole system of nature's laws, my second, should that be denied me, is to lead a country life: my heart leaps up at the thought already.'
475.] We may either take ante omnia' with 'primum' or with 'dulces.' The first way most clearly brings out the sense of the whole passage, which is-'Above all things I would be the poet of philosophy-if I cannot be that, I would be the poet of the country.' Besides, there is not such authority for the use of ante omnia' intensively with an adjective as to warrant us in choosing this collocation when the passage may be construed otherwise. See Hand, Tursell. 1. 388. Heyne connects accipiant me primum ante omnia,' 'take me as their first favourite,' which seems clearly wrong. With 'dulces Musae' Heyne comp. Arat. Phaen. 16, χαίροιτε δὲ Μοῦσαι Μειλίχιαι μάλα πᾶσιν.
476.]Sacra fero:' it is hard to say whether this phrase properly means to carry the sacred symbols in procession like a Kavηpópos (see Hor. 1 S. 3. 11, and Orelli's note there), or to sacrifice as a priest, as apparently in A. 3. 19., 5. 59., 6. 810. Either sense would do equally well here, though the latter is perhaps recommended by Horace's "Musarum sacerdos" (3 Od.
1. 3), and Prop. 4. 1. 3, "Primus ego in-
477.] Virgil probably had in his mind here not only Lucretius and the Greek didactic poets, such as Xenophanes, Empedocles, and Aratus, but the legendary reputation of the poetic teachers of early Greece, such as Orpheus and Musaeus. His own notion of an ancient bard is that of a hierophant of nature, as shown in Iopas A. 1. 740, where he has partly repeated the present passage. The conception belongs not to Augustan Rome, but to primitive Greece, where science was theological and imaginative, and verse the natural vehicle of all knowledge and thought. It had, however, been partially realized by Lucretius, whose example exercised a strong influence on Virgil's imagination, and whose subject is evidently shadowed out by the following lines, as the references will show, while he is himself as evidently pointed at vv. 490-492. See Introduction to the Georgics, pp. 132. 136, 137. Propertius (4. 5. 23 foll.) sketches out a similar employment for his old age, when he can no longer be the poet of love; but his field is larger than Virgil's, including not only the laws of the physical world, but the mysteries of the world below, an addition which may have been suggested by Lucretius' third book, as the whole passage seems to have been by Virgil's aspiration here. Similar epitomes of the subjects of scientific study are given by other poets, Hor. 1 Ep. 12. 16 foll., Ov. M. 15. 69 foll. Caelique vias et sidera,' 'the stars in their courses through heaven'-probably to be explained as a hendiadys. In these words he may have been thinking of Aratus, or of Orpheus in Apoll. Rh. 205, öç pa πoρɛíaç Ovρavias ἄστρων ἐδάη κύκλους τε πλάνητας, as in the following enumeration of Lucr.