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Where the pale philtre
We read in the Argon. of ORPHEUS, V. 477.
IYNX, O force him, by thy myftic charms!
This bird is fuppofed by fome to be the Wry-neck: Though the original word has been varioufly tranflated-pafferculus, frutilla, regulus. It was much valued by enchanters. Its tongue was most efteemed, and was fuppofed to have a fovereign virtue in love potions. Sometimes the whole bird was fastened to a wheel of wax, which was turned over the fire, till both were confumed. POTTER.
But, in revenge, I give this laurel-bough. DAPHNIS me malus urit―ego hanc in DAPHNIDE laurum.
PLINY fays, that by its crackling noise the laurel was thought to exprefs a deteftation of fire. From the noise it makes in burning, fome tell us, it derived its name—Aapın, i. e. Da Qwvn. Mr. GAY hath happily imitated this paffage.
Two hazel-nuts I threw into the flame,
And to each nut I gave a fweetheart's name :
Ev'n as this wax evaporates in fumé,
May Myndian DELPHIS, fcorch'd by love, confume!
As the image confumed, fo did the perfon it represented !' Such was the common opinion in the days of THEOCRITUS and VIRGIL; nor was it less prevalent in this country, in the reigns of ELIZABETH and of JAMES. Dr. MARTYN obferves, that in the beginning of the laft century, many perfons were convicted of this practice, and were executed accordingly; as it was deemed to be attempting the lives of others. The burning in effigy' is often accompanied with the like malignity.
Hell's adamantine gates.
Kimoais gadaμarla-not rhadamanthus, according to the Κινησαις vulgar reading, but adamant.
Hark-the dogs howling-to the cymbals fly !
Tinnitufque cie, et matris quate Cymbala circum.
Among the Swedish Laplanders, there is, in every family, a drum-for confulting the devil.
See fmooth'd in calms the filent waves repose!
At this folemn scene, Mr, WARTON introduces a beautiful Night-Piece from APOLLONIUS RHODIUS, which has been thus finely tranflated:
Night on the earth pour'd darkness; on the fea,
The traveller forgot his toil; his charge
Had ceas'd his troublous bay: Each busy tumult
Fir'd by the Arcadian plant.
HIPPOMANES here fignifies a plant, described as having the fruit of the wild cucumber, and the leaves of the prickly poppy; perhaps a kind of mullein.
In VIRGIL, Georg. iii. 280, it means a poison. The reader may see a learned Differtation on the Hippomanes, at the end of Bayle's Dictionary.
Now, at his threshold, &c.
It was usual (fays POTTER) to fprinkle enchanted medicaments on fome part of the house where the perfon refided. Drugs have been, in all ages, very neceffary to the support of the magical art.
What time her offerings, &c.
The following paffage from PLAUTUS is very fimilar to SiMOETHA's narration.
Quo is homo infinuavit pacto fe ad te S. per DIONYSIA.
At thefe exhibitions, which were very frequent among the Greeks, there were such opportunities for love-intrigues as feldom occurred on ordinary occafions. It was not ufual to meet with young women of character any where but in their own houses. There
There, indeed, they were not commonly acceffible to their gal lants, having apartments appropriated to themselves.
What time her offerings fair ANAXO paid.
The Athenian virgins were presented to DIANA, before it was lawful for them to marry. On this occafion they offered baskets full of little curiofities to that Goddefs, to gain permiffion to depart out of her train, and change their state of life.
I went-in CLEARISTA's garments drest.
A good fatirical ftroke on the vulgar vanity of those women 'who borrow cloaths to fee the show.'
Ut fpetet ludos conducit Ogulnia veftem.
O Moon, his bofom as thy filver orb.
A point of beauty not very familiar to us, who dress so differently from the ancients.
Cervicem rofeam, et cerea Telephi
like Thapfus, dead.
Oaos-a Scythian wood, of a boxen or golden color: some take it to be the Indian Guiacum. The women who chose to look pale, tinged their cheeks with it.
Like fouthern damps, diftilling from my face!
Cum languidus Aufier
Non patitur glaciem refoluta vivere terra,
-What fudden tremors fhook my frame.
Very fimilar to SAPPHO's description of the effects of Love, in her Ode Eis Tny Egwuerny, fo finely tranflated by PHILIPS.
Thy poplar wreath with purple ribbons drest.
Whenever a young man was fmitten with the beauty of any lady, (especially a courtezan) he wrote her name in a place appointed for the purpose, with fome encomium on her. Having thus acknowledged his paffion, he fixed on the day following for a feftival, wgos Thy avan Civ, to crown her head with a wreath of flowers and ribbons. Thus in PLATO, ALCIBIADES, at a festival, reforts to AGATHO, with a crown and ribbons to adorn his head. Lovers used alfo to decorate with flowers the doors of their miftreffes. Hence the prefent custom of the Greeks to adorn the doors of the perfons they love, on the first of May, is derived. They fing and walk before the houses of their fair mistresses, to draw them to their windows; and fuch were the gallantries they practised in the days of HORACE. The young maidens dreffed their heads with natural flowers, with which, too, they made themfelves garlands; and the young men, who wished to be thought gallant, did the fame.
See Sentimental Journey through Greece, by Mr. Guys.
And many a flashing torch had turn'd thee pale.
Hic-bic ponite lucida