« EdellinenJatka »
THE STORY OF
“ Thus all my crew transform'd, around the Soon as the wood its leafy honours casts, fhip,
Blown off and scatter'd hy autumnal blasts, " Or dive below, or on the surface leap,
With such a sudden death lay Pentheus flain, " And spout the waves, and wanton in the deep. And in a thousand pieces ftrow'd the plain. “ Full nineteen sailors did the ship convey,
By so distinguishing a judgment aw'd, “ A shole of nineteen dulphins round her play. The Thebans tremble, and confess the god. " I only in my proper shape appear, (fear, “ Speechless with wonder, and half dead with « Till Bacchus kindly bid me fear no more. 6 With him I landed on the Chian shore, " And him shall ever gratefully adore.”
SALMACIS AND HERMAPHRODITUS. “ This forging Aave,” says Pentheus,“ would From the Fourth Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses.
prevail « O'er our just fury by a far-fetch'd tale;
How Salmacis, with weak enfeebling streams, Go, let him feel the whips, the swords, the fire Softens the body, and unnerves the limbs, “ And in the tortures of the rack expire."
And what the secret cause, shall here be showa; Th' officious servants hurry him away,
The cause is secret, but th' effect is known. And the poor captive in a dungeon lay.
The Naïads nurst an infant heretofore, But, whilst the whips and tortures are prepar’d, That Cytherca once to hermes bore : The gates fly open, of themselves unbarr'd;
From both th'illustrious authors of his race At liberty th' unfetter'd captive stands,
The child was nam'd; nor was it hard to trace And flings the loosen's shackles from his hands. Both the bright parents through the infant's
The boy had told, he left his native seat,
And fought fresh fountains in a foreign soil :
The pleasure lessen'd the attending toil. Bu'r Pentheus, grown more furious than before, With eager steps the Lycian fields he croft, Resolv'd to send his messengers no more,
And fields that border on the Lycian coast But went himself to the distracted throng,
A river here he view'd so lovely bright, Where high Cithæron echo'd with their fung. It fhew'd the bottom in a fairer light, And as the fiery war-horse paws the ground, Nor kept a fand conceal'd from human fight : And sports and trembles at the trumpet's found; The strcam produc'd nor slimy ooze, nor weeds, Transported thus he heard the frantic rout, Nor miry rushes, nor the spiky reeds; And rav'd and madden'd at the distant shout. But dealt enriching moislure all around,
A spacious circuit on the hill there stood, The fruitful banks with cheerful verdure Level and wide, and skirted round with wood;
crown'd, Here the rash Pentheus, with unhallow'd eyes, And kept the spring eternal on the ground. The howling danies and mystic orgies spies. A nymph preîdes, nor practis'd in the chace, His mother sternly view'd him where he stood, Nor skilful at the bow, nor at the race; And kindled into madness as the vicw'd :
Of all the blue-eyed daughters of the main, Her leafy javelin at her son the cast;
The only stranger to Diana's train : And cries, “ The boar that lays our country waste! Her sisters ofren, as 'tis said, wou'd cry, “ The boar, my lifters! aim the fatal dart, “ Fy, Salmacis, what always idle! fy: " And strike the brindled monster to the heart. " Or take thy quiver, or thy arrows seize,
Pentheus astonish'd heard the dismal sound, “ And mix the toils of hunting with thy ease.** And fees the yelling marrons gathering round; Nor quiver she nor arrows e'er would seize, He fees, and weeps at his approaching fate, Nor mix the toils of hunting with her ease. And begs for mercy, and repents too late.
But oft would bathe her in the chrystal tide, Help, help! my aunt Autunöe," he cry'd; Oft with a comb her dewy locks divide; " Remember how your own Adæon dy'd.” Now in the lin:pid streams she view'd her face, Deaf to his cries, the frantic matron crops
And dress'd her image in the floating glass : One stretch'd-out arm, the other Ino lops.
On beds of leaves she now repos'd her limbs, In vain does Pentheus to his mother sue,
Now gather'd flowers that grew about her streams; And the raw bleeding Itunips presents to view : And then by chance was gathering, as she stood His mother howl'd; and, and heedless of his To view the boy, and long for what she view'd. prayer,
Fain would she meet the youth with hasty feet, Her trembling hard she twisted in his hair,
Shc fain would meet him, but refus'd to meet " And this,' fe cried, “ shall be Agave's Before her looks were set with nicest care, " share."
And well desery'd to be reputed fair. When from the neck his struggling head she tore, Bright youth,” she cries, " whom all thy scae And in her hands the ghaftly visage tore,
tures prove With pleasure all the hideous trunk survey; “ A god, and, if a god, the god of love; Then pull'd and core the mangled linibs away,
, " But if a morral, bleft thy nurse's breast : A: liartirg in the range of death it lay..
• Blest are thy parents, and thy lifters bleft;
215 " But oh how blest! how more than blest thy “ He's mine, he's all my nun." the Naïad cries;
And Aings off all, and after him the fies. « Ally'd in bliss, if any yet ally'd.
And now she fastens on him as he swims, “ If so, let mine the stol'n enjoyments be; And holds him clofe, and wraps about his limbs. “ If not, behold a willing bride in me."
The more the boy resisted, and was coy, The boy knew nought of love, and touch'd with The more she claspt, and kist the struggling boy. shame,
So when the wriggling snake is snatch'd on high He strove, and blusht, but still the bluth became; In eagles claws, and hisles in the sky, In rising blushes still fresh beauties rose;
Around the foe his twirling tail he flings, The sunny side of fruit such blushes shows, And twists her legs, and writhes about her winge. And such che moon, when all her silver white The restless buy still obstinately strove Turns in eclipses to a ruddy light.
To free himself, and still refus'a her love. The nymph still begs, if not a nobler bliss, Amidst bis limbs she kept her limbs intwind, A cold falute at least, a lister's kiss :
“ And why, coy youth," she cries, " why thus And now prepares to take the lovely boy
s unkind? Between her arms. He, innocently coy,
" Oh may the gods thus keep us ever join'd! Replies, “ Or leave me to myself alone,
“ Oh may we never, never part again :" " You rude uncivil nymph, or I'll be gone." So pray'd the nymph, nor did she pray in vain : « Fair stranger then,” says she,
" it shall be so ;" For now she finds him, as his limbs the prett, And, for she fear'd his threat, the feign'd to go; Grow nearer still, and nearer to her breast; But, hid within a covert's neighbouring green, Till, piercing each the other's flesh, they run She kept him still in fight, herself unseen.
Together, and incorporate in one : The boy now fancies all the danger o'er,
Last in one face are both their faces join'd, And innocently sports about the shore;
As when the stock and grafted twig combin'd Playful and wanton to the stream he trips, Shoot up the same, and wear a common rind : And dips his foot, and shivers as he dips.
Both bodies in a single body mix, The coolness pleas'd him, and with eager haste A single body with a double fex. His airy garments on the banks he cast;
The boy, thus lost in woman, now survey'd His godlike features, and his heavenly hue, The river's guilty stream, and thus he pray'd, And all his beauties, were exposid to view. (He pray'd, but wonder'd at his softer tone, His naked limbs the nymph with rapture spies, Surpris'd to hear a voice but half his own) While hotter passions in her bofom rise,
You parent gods, whose heavenly names 1 bear, Flush in her checks, and sparkle in her eyes. Hear your Hermaphrodite, and grant my prayer; She longs, she burns to clasp hin, in her arms, Oh grant, that whomsoe'er these streams conAnd looks and sighs, and kindles at his charms.
The heavenly parents answer'd, from on high,
Then gave a secret virtue to the flood, Receive a gloffy lustre from the glass.
And ting'd its fource to make his withes good.
Ν Ο Τ Ε S
SOME OF THE FOREGOING STORIES IN OVID's METAMORPHOSES.
ON THE STORY OF PHAETON.
“ Effe quoque in fatis reminiscitur affore tempus The story of Phaeton is told with a greater air " Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia cæli of majesty and grandeur than any other in all 0. “ Ardeat, et mundi inoles opérola laboret;" vid. It is indeed the most important subject he treats of, except the deluge; and I cannot but be- (though the learned apply those verses to the fulieve that this is the conflagration he hints at in ture burning of the world) for it fully answers the first book ;
that description, it the
Cæli miserere tui, circumspice utrumque,
island upon his breast, and a vast promontory Og “ Fumat uterque polus
There are few books that have had worse como • Fumat uterque polus"--comes up to
comes up to “ correpta- mentators on them than Ovid's Metamorphoses. que regia cæli”- Besides. it is Ovid's cufton to Those of the graver sort have been wholly taken prepare the reader for a following story, by giv- up in the Mythologies; and think they have aping some intimations of it in a foregoing one, peared very judicious, if they have thewn us out which was more parcicularly necessary to be done of an old author that Ovid is mistaken in a pedi. before he led us into fu strange a story as this he is gree, or has turned such a person into a wolf that Dow upon.
ought to have been made a tiger. Others have P: 197. col. 2 1. 23. For in the portal, &c.] employed themselves on what never entered into We have here the picture of the universe drawn in the poet's thoughts, in adapting a dull moral to little.
every story, and making the persons of his poems
to be only nicknames for such virtues or vicese -Balænarumque prenentem
particularly the pious commentator, Alexander • Ægeuna suis immania terga lacertis."
Ross, has dived deeper into our author's design
than any of the reft; for he discovers in him the TEgeon makes a diverting figure in it.
greatest nysteries of the Christian religion, and
finds almost in every page some typical representa-- Facies non omnibus una,
tion of the world, the flesh, and the devil. But if “ Nec diversa tamen: qualen decet esse fororem." these writers have gone too deep, others have been
wholly enıployed in the surface, most of them fery. The thought is very pretty, of giving Doris and ing only to help out a school-boy in the construing licr daughters such a difference in their looks as is
part; or if they go out of their way, it is only to Jatural to different persons, and yet such a likeness mark out the gnome of the author, as they call as shewed their affinity.
them, which are generally the heaviest pieces of
a poet, distinguished from the rest by Italian cha• Terra viros, urbesque gerit, fylvasque, ferasque, racters. The best of Ovid's expositors is he that Fluminaque, et nymplas, et cætera numina
wrote for the Dauphin's use, who has very well « ruris."
shewn the meaning of the author, but seldom re
flects on his beauties or imperfections; for in most The less important figures are well huddled toge places he rather acts the geographer than the crither in the promiscuous description at the end, tic, and, instead of pointing out the fineness of a which very well represents what the painters call description, only tells you in what part of the a group
world the place is situated. I shall therefore only
consider Ovid under the character of a poet, and -Circum caput omne micantes
endeavour to shew him impartially, without the “ Deposuit radios; propiusque accedere juflit."
usual prejudice of a translator : which I am the
inore willing to do, because I believe such a comP. 198.c. 1. l. 11. And Aung the blaze, &c.] It
ment would give the reader a truer taste of poetry gives us a great image of Phæbus, that the youth
tban a comment on any other poet would do; for, was forced to look on him at a distance, and not
in reflecting on the ancient poets, inen think they able to approach him until he had lain aside the
may venture to praise all they meet with in somie, circle of rays that cast such a glory about his head.
and scarce any thing in others; but Ovid is confeft And indeed we may every where observe in Ovid, to have a mixture of boch kinds, to have something that he never fails of a due loftinefs in his ideas,
of the best and worst poets, and by consequence to shough he wants it in his words. And this I think
be the faireft fubject for criticisın. infinitely better than to have sublime expressions
ibid. c. I. 1. 24. My son, says he, &c.] Phar and mean thoughts, which is generally the true bus's speech is very nobly usher'd in, with the character of Claudian and Starius. But this is not
Terque quaterque concuciens illustre caput”confidered by them who run down Ovid in the and well represents the danger and difficulty of grofs, for a low middle way of writing. What the undertaling ; but that which is its peculiar can be more simple and unadorned, than his de
beauty, and makes it truly Ovid's, is the represente fcription of Enceladus in the fixch book?
ing them just as a father would to his young fon; “ Nicitur ille quidein, pugnatque resurgere sæpe, 6 Per tamen adversi gradieris cornua tauri, « Dextri. fed Aulonio manus est subjecta Peliro, “ Hæmoniosque arcus, violentique ora leonis, 66 Lava, Paclıync, sibi, Lilibæo crura premuntur, Sævaque circuitu curvantem brachia longo “ Degravat Etna caput, sub quâ relupinus are. « Scorpion, atque aliter curvantem brachia can
* crum” « Ejecłac, ilammamque fero vomit ore Typhæus." for one while he scares him with bugbears in the But the image we have here is truly great and
way, fublime, of a giant vomiting out a tempest of fire, -Vafti quoque rector Olympi, and heaving up all Sicily, with the body of an Qui fera terribili jaculetur fulmina dcxtrâ,
217 ti Non agat hos currus; et quid Jove majus ha- ; scription. Suotque oculis tenebræ per tantum " betur?"
“ lumen obortæ." “ Deprecor hoc unum quod vero nomine peena; P. 199. C. 1. 1. 33. Then the seven stars, &c.] « Non honor eft. Pænam, Phaeton, pro munere
I wonder none of Ovid's commentarors have taken poscis."
notice of the oversight he has committed in this
verse, where he makes the Triones grow warm And in other places perfe&ly tattles like a father, before there was ever such a sign in the heavens; which by the way makes the length of the speech for he tells us in this very book, that Jupiter very natural, and concludes with all the fondness turned Calisto into this constellation, after he had and concern of a tender parent.
repaired the ruins that Phaetoo had made in the
world: " ~Patrio pater esse metu probor; afpice vul- Ibid. c. 2. 1. 24
Athos and Tmolus, &c.]
Ovid has here, after the way of the old poets, gi« Ecce me'is : utinamque oculos in pectore posses ven us a catalogue of the mountains and rivers “ Inferere, & patrias intus deprendere curas ! &c." which were burnt. But, that I might not tire the
English reader I have left out some of them that P. 198. c. 2. 1. 27. A golden axle, &c.] Ovid make no figure in the description, and inverted has more turns and repetitions in his words than the order of the rest according as the smoothness any of the Latin poets, which are always wonder.
of my verse required. fully easy and natural in him. The repetition of P. 199. c. 2. 1. 49. 'Twas then, they say, the Aureus, and the transition to Argenteus, in the de- swarthy Moor, &c.] This is the only metamorphoScription of the chariot, give these verses a great fis in all this long story, which, contrary to cufsweetness and majesty :
tom, is inserted in the middle of it. The critics
may determine whether what follows it be not " Aureus axis erat, tomo aureus, aurea summa too great an excursion in him who proposes it as " Curvatura rotæ; radiorum argenteus ordo." his whole design to let us know the changes of
things. I dare say that, if Ovid had not religiIbid. c. 2. 1. 52. Drive them not on directly, oully observed the reports of the ancient mytho&c.] Several have endeavoured to vindicate Ovid
logists, we should have seen Phaeton turned into against the old objection, that he mistakes the an
some creature or other that hates the light of the nual for the diurnal motion of the sun. The Dau- fun; or perhaps into an eagle, that still takes pleaphin's notes tell us chat Ovid knew very well the sure to gaze on it. fun did not pass thrvugh all the signs he names in P. 200. C. 1. 1. 8. The frighted Nile, &c.] Ovid one day, but that he makes Phæbus mentiou them
has made a great many pleasant images towards only tó frighten Phaeton from the undertaking, The latter end of his story. His verses on the But though this may answer for what Phæbus lays in his first speech, it cannot from what is said in “ Nilus in extremum fugit perterritus orbem, this, where he is actually giving directions for his
Occuluitque caput, quod adhuc latet : oftia sepjourney, and plainly
" Pulverulenta vacant, feptem fine flumine valles.' " Sedus in obliquum eft lato curvamine limes, Zonarumque trium contentus sine plomumque
are as noble as Virgil could have written; but Effugit auftralem, junctamque aquionibus Arc
then he ought not to have mentioned the channel ton,”
of the sea afterwards, describes the motion through all the zodiac. “ Mare contrahitur, ficcaque eft campus arenæ,"
P. 199. c. s. I. 5. And got my chariot, &c.] Ovid's verse is, “ Consiliis non curribus utere nof
because the thought is too near the other. The " tris." This way of joining two such different
image of the Cyclades is a very pretty one; ideas as chariot and countel to the same verb, is mightly used by Ovid; but is a very low kind of
Quos altum texerat æquor wit, and has always in it a mixture of pun, because “ Existunt montes, et sparsas Cycladas augent." the verb must be taken in a different sense when it is joined with one of the things, from what it has
But to tell us that the swans grew warm in Cäyin conjunction with the other. Thus in the end
fter, of this story he tells you that Jupiter flung a thunderbolt at Phaeton" Pariterque, aninı que, ro- “-Medio volucres caluere Cäystro,"
tisque expulit aurigam," where he makes a forced piece of Latin (“ animæ expulit aurigan") that
and that the dolphins durft not leap, he
may couple the soul and the wheels to the same Verb.
« Ne se super æquora curvi Ibid. c. I. I. 30. The youth was in a maze, “ Tullere contuctas audent Delphines in auras," &c.] It is impossible for a man to be drawn in a greater confusion than Phaeton is; but the anti
is intolerably trivial cn fo great a subject as the thesis of light and darkness a little flattens the de- burning of the world.
P. 200. c. 1. 1. 30. The earth at length, &c.] | poet : if there be any faults in the narr
rration, We have here a speech of the earth, which will they are these, perhaps, which follow : doubtless seem very unnatural to an English P. 207. c. 2. 1. 10. Spire above spire, &c.] Ovid, reader. It is, I believe, the boldest prosopopeia to make his serpent more terrible, and to raise of any in the old poets; or, if it were never so the character of his champion, has given too natural, I cannot but think she speaks too much great a loose to his imagination, and exceeded all in any reason for one in her condition
the bounds of probability. He tells us, that when he raised up but half his body, he overlooked a
tall forest of oaks, and that his whole body was ON EUROPA'S RAPE.
as large as that of the serpent in the skies. None
but a madman would have attacked such a monP. 206. c. 2. 1. 9. The dignity of empire, &c.] ftes as this is described to be; nor can we have This story is prettily told, and very well brought any notion of a mortal's standing against him. in by those two serious lines,
Virgil is not ashamed of making Æneas fly and
tremble at the sight of a far less formiduble foe, « Non bene conveniunt, nec in upå fede morantur, where he gives us the description of Polyphemus, " Majestas et Amor. Sceptri gravitate relictâ, in the third book; he knew very well that a “ &c."
nionster was not a proper enemy for his hero
to encounter : but we should certainly have seen without which the whole fable would have ap- Cadmus hewing down the Cyclops had he fale peared very profane.
len in Ovid's way; or if Statius's little Tydeus Ibid. c. 2. 1. 49. The frighted nymph looks, had been thrown on Sicily, it is probable he &c.] This confternation and behaviour of Eu
would not have spared one of the whole brotherropa,
“ – Elusam designat imagine tauri
" --Phænicas, five illi tela parabant, « Europen : verum taurum, freta vera putaras. “ Sive fugam, five ipse timor prohibebat utrumque, “ Ipsa videbatur terras spectare relictas,
• Occupat :-". « Et comites clamare fuos, tactunique vereri " Asilientis aquæ, timidasque reducere plantas," P. 207. C. 2. I. 17. In vain the Tyrians, &c.]
The poet could not keep up his narration all is better described in Arachne's picture in the along, in the grandeur and magnificence of an sixth book, than it is here; and in the beginning heroic style : he has here funk into the flatness of of Tatius's Clitophon and Leucippe, than in either prose, where he tells us the behaviour of the Ty. place. It is indeed usual among the Latin poets rians at the light of the serpent : (who had more art and reflection than the Grecian) to take hold of all opportunities to describe
“ „Tegimen direpta leoni the picture of any place or action, which they « Pellis erat ; telum splendenti lancea ferro, generally do better than they could the place or “ Et jaculum; teloque animus præstantiur omaction itself; because in the description of a picture you have a double subject before you, either to describe the picture itself, or what is represent- and in a few lines after lets drop the majesty of ed in it.
his verse, for the sake of one of his little curns. How does he languish in that which seems a laboured line: « Tristia sanguineâ lambentem vul
nera lingua.” And what pains does he take ON THE STORIES IN THE THIRD BOOK.
express the serpent's breaking the force of this stroke, by shrinking back from it!
F A B. I.
“ Sed leve vulnus erat, quia fe retrahebat ab ictu,
“ Læsaque colla dabat retrò, plaganique federe There is so great a variety in the arguments of “ Credendo fecit, nec longiùs ire fincbat.” the Metamorphoses, that he who would treat of them rightly, ought to be a master of all styles, P. 208. c. 1. 1. 36. And fings the future, &c.] and every different way of writing. Ovid indeed The description of the men rising out of the Shows himself most in a familiar story, where the ground is as beautiful a passage as any in Ovid. chicf grace is to be easy and natural; but wants It strikes the imagination very strongly; we fee neither strength of thought nor expression, when their motion in the first part of it, and their mul. he endeavours after it, in the more fublime and titude in the “ Meflis virorum" at last. manly subjects of his poem. In the present fable, Ibid. c. 1. l. 41. The breathing harveft, &c. the serpent is terribly described, and his beha- “ Meflis clypeata virorum." The beauty in viour very well imagined; the actions of both these words would have been greater, had only parties in the encounter are natural, and the lan- “ Meflis virorum” been expressed without “ clyguage that represents them more strong and mal- peata;" for the reader's mind would have been culine than what we usually meet with in this delighted with two such different ideas com