Sivut kuvina

were unlike their parents; and therefore Hesiod | reckon* it among the felicities which attend good men, that

The wives bear sons resembling their own fires. lixTVfm ot -■■ toixorgt rtxtx yerixvu

Ver. 133.

Ver. ,<6.

Portitor has horrendus aquas at flumina servat Terribili squalorc Charon. Æu IS. 6. 298

Ver. 73. Virgil has something similar. At Venus Alcanio placiJam per membra quietem lriigat, &c. Æn. B. 1. 693.

Mi an time the goddess on Ascanius throws
A balmy slumber, and a sweet repose 4
Lull'd in her lap to rest, &c. Pitt,

Ver. 75. The personifying of this island is sublime and noble, and bear a great resemblance to that passage in Isaiah; *' Break forth into singing, •' yc mountains! O forest, and every tree there"in I" Virgil has,

Ipsi latitiS coces ad sidera jactant
Intonsi monies. Ec!.$.bz,
Ver 79. An island in the Ægean sea, where
I.atnna was delivered of Apollo and Diana; it
was once a floating island, but fixed by Apollo.
Quam pius Arcitcncns, &c ^'rg 3. 73.

W hich l'hcebus fix'd; for once she wander'd round

The shores, and floated on the vast profound; Tint now, unmov'd the peopled region braves The roaring whirlwinds, aud the furious waves.


Ver. 79. The Scholiast fays Triop-* was a king of Cos, lion* wh»>m the promontory near Cuidus took its denomination

Ver. 82. An island separated from Delos by a narrow strait about three imes as 'iig as Delos.

Ver. S6. 1 hus Calliniachus, Ex Si Ami {LartXws "kings arc from Jupiter9" which Virgil has translated, " Ab Jove flint reges;" but they all seem to have copied alter Heiiod. Thecg. ver. 96.

F.x Si A/if fcotrt>-YM. O a c-pA<e* ;.-ni iMlrj'flN

Kings are dcriv'd from J ve;
And blest the mortal whom the muses love.

Ver. 94. The Nile is the greatest wonder of J^gypt: as it seldom rahrs there, this river, which waters the whole country by its regular innundations, supplies that defect, by bringing, as a yearly tribute, the rains of the other countries, To multiply so beneficent a river, Egypt was cut into numberless canals, of a length and breadth proportioned to the different situatiou and wants us the lands; the Nile brought fertility every where with its salutary streams; it united cities one with another, and the Mediteranean with the Ked-fea; maintained trade at home and abroad, and fortified the kingdom against the enemy . so that it was at once the noutilher and pro

tector of Egypt. There cannot be a more i'J lightful prospect than the Nile affords at two seasons of the year; for if yoo ascend some mountain, or one of the great pyramids of Grand Cairo about the month, of July and August, you behold a vast sea, in which a prodigious number of town* villages, turrets, and spires appear, like the isle! in the Ægean sea, with causways leading Iron place to place, intermixed with groves and fruit trees, whose tops only are visible; this view ii terminated by mountains and woods,which,at; distance, form the most agreeable perspective th» can be imagined. But in the winter, that is, ii the months of January and February, the wbel country is like one continued scene of bcautifu meadows, enamelled with all kinds of slower) you fee on every fide herds and stocks scatterc over the plain, with infinite numbers of husluod men and gardeners: the air is then embalmed b the great quantity of blossoms on the oranp lemon, and other tree9; and is so pure, that wholcsomer and more agreeable is not to befoum in the world: so that nature, which is then as 1 were dead in so many other climates, seems to re vive only for the lake of so delightful an abode.

Ratlin', Am. H.j

Ver. 97. The original is extremely perpleiin; literally translated it would run thus, He ha« three hundred cities, - • 3 Add three thousand - jd To thirty thousand, - 300 Twice three Aud three times eleven,


I have made it the round nurvtbrr of thi thousand. We meet with an embarassed met] of numeration in the 14th Idyl. ver. 55.

Ver. 104. Waller has a passage resembling t

Where'er thy navy spreads her canvass wing?, Homage to thee, and peace to all she brings.

Which Creech stuck in his translation. Ptok intended to engross the whole trade of the and west to himself, and therefore fitted out great fleets to protect his trading subject*: or these he kept in the Fed sea, the other in Mediterranean: the latter was very numer and had lcvcral ihips of an extraordinary' two of them in particular had thirty oars 1 side, one of twenty, four of fourteen, two twelve, fourteen of eleven, thirty of nine, thv seven of seven, five of six, seventeen of five, besiiles thcle, an incredible number of vessels 1 four and three oars on a side. By this means whole trade being fixed at Alexandria, that j! became the chief mart of all the traffic that carried on hetweeu the east: and the west, contjnued to be the greatest emporium in world above seventeen hundred years, till ano passage was found out by the Cape of t Hope: but as the road to the Red lea lay 1 the deserts, where no water could be had, any convenience of towns ur hooses for lod SiSrajer», r*!o!emy, to remedy both these evils, npcacd a canal along the great road, into which he conveyed the water of the Nile, and built on it houses at proper distances; so that passengers focod every night convenient lodgings, and neceff«rj refreshments for themselves, and their bca&s of burden.

Univ. IJifi. vcj. ix. 8m./, 383. Ver. III. The amiable picture fheocritus here 1

gires us of the happiness the Egyptians enjoyed

under the mild administration of Ptolemy, very mcca resemble) thai which Paterculus gives of the happiness of the Ramans, in the reign of Au- j jufim, B. 1. ch. 89. ' Finita vicesirao anno! M beQa aviiia, fepulta externa, revocata pax, so"pitas ubibue armorum furor; rcstituta vis legi"bus, jndicii* auctoritas, senattii m • jcsta», lie.

"prisea ilia et antiqua reipublicx forma revocata;

H irdht caltus agris, sacris honos, fecuritas homi

"ac-as, certa cuiqiie rerum suarum posscssio; le"set emendatte utiliter, latx salubriter" * In 'tii twentieth year, all ware., both civil and fo'reign, w*-re happily extinguished: peace return. 1 ed; the rage os arms cealed; vigour was resto'red to the laws; authority to the tribunals; ma■ jefiy to the senate, &c. the ancient and venera'-41c form of the republic revived ; the fields were 'again cultrvated; religion honoured, and every 'enjoyed hi* own possessions with the utmost

'Security ; the old laws were revised and imptov

'ti,ind excellent new ones added.' Vtr. 118. Thus Horace;

Cwkk rerum Cæfare, non furor

Oviiis, aut vis exiget otium. B. 4. Odi 15.

VMe Cxsar reigns, nor civil jars
Sbali break onr peace, nor foreign wart.


Ver. I2X

Ore txahit quodcunque potest, atqnc addit acervo.

Hor. B. I. Sal. I.

1 ua largi

ixpe mann multisque oneravit limina dnnis.

Urg. Æn. B. IO. 6l0. T» thy great name due honours has he paid, And rich oblations on thy altars laid. Pill.

Ver. 131. The fame of Ptolemy's munificence

drew several celebrated poets to his court. Bee Note on verse Si Idyl XIV.

Ver. ) 39. The original is a little perplexed, but I follow Hcinlius, and take the tense t" be this: "Ptolemy alone treading close in the of "his forefathers, yet warm in the dust, defaced "and rose over them." Theocritus alludes to a contest usual amo:.g the ancients, where m the an. tagonill used to place his right sout in 'hi left sootllep r.f his competitor, who *'cnt before him, and his left loot in the 1 ight footstep, which it he could exceed, he would cry aloud, Er^siw em Txi^aiu i/it*, " I have Itcpt over you, t am bey->nd "you" Homer, speaking of Ulysses contending with Ajax in the !..<:, has - something very similar. Iliad. B. 13. 763.

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Graceful in motion thu\ his foe he plies

And treads each footstep e'er the duit can rise. .


Ver. Ito Virgil thus speaks of Venus embrac- . ing Vulcan,

—1 Niveis hince atque hinc, etc.

Æn. B 8. 387.

• Her arms, that match the wititer snows.

Around her unrcsolving lord she throws. Pitt*

Ver. 158. Juno, speaking of herself, says,

Ast ego, quæ divum incedo regina, Jovifque
Et sorur et conjux. Æn I. 47.

But I, who move supreme in hrrv'n's abodes,
Jove'a sister-wife, and empress of the gods.


Vtr.. 16a. Theocritus having already celebrated Ptolemy's riches and pi-^ver, wlurli were so great, that he could not even wish an increase of them, nobly concludes his poem with this sine precept, Aotrat ^1 fjtit ix Atsf airw," Aft virtue nf JupiM ter;" as if he could not have too large a share of virtue, though eminently renowned lor it: by this the poet proves himself an exrellent moralist, and plainly hints at that maxim of the Stoics, who maintained that virtue was entirely sufficient for a happy life.




7trti_Ti Spartan virgins of the first rank are here introduced singing this fung at the nuptials of Heleft, before the bride-chamber: first they arc jocular; then they congratulate Menclaus on his being preferred to so many rival princes, and made the lon-in law of Jupiter : they celebrate the beauty pf Helen, and conclude with wishing the marr.ed couple prosperity.

Wats Spirta's monarch, Menelaus, led
Tkc beauteous Helen lo his bridal bed,

ITwelve r.obb virgins,blooming, young, and fair, With hyacinthine wreaths adoru'ii their hair,

And pleas'd trie vocal bentson to shower,
To the soft cithern dane'd before the bower;
As bounding light in circling steps they move,
Their feet beat time, and every heart beat love:
This was the nuptial fung—' Why, happy groom,
Steal you thus early to the genial room? 10
Has steep or wine your manly limhs opprest.
That thus, thus soon you seek the bed of rest?
If drowsy slumbers lull you to a drone,
G take refreshing sleep, but sleep alone;
Leave Helen with hir maiden mates, to play
At harmless pastimes till the dawn of day:
This night we claim, then yield her yours for life,
From morn to night, from year to year your wife.
Hail happy prince! whom Venus wafted o'er,
With prosperous omens to the Spartan shore; 30
To bless her bed, from all the princely crowd,
Fair Helen chose you—Cupid snecz'd aloud.
Of all our demigods "ti". you aspire,
Al»ne, to call aaturnian Jove your sire:
Jove's daughter now your warm embraces meets,
The pride of Greece between two lily sheets.
Sute will the offspring from that soft caress,
The mother's charms in miniature express.
Thrice eighty virgins of the Spartan race,
Her equals we in years, but not in face, 30
Our limbs diffusing with ambrosial oil.
Were wont on smooth Eurota's banks to toil
In manly sports j and though each nymph was fair,
>Jone could with her in beauty'seharmscompare:
When winter thu* in longer lours,
And spring is ufhcr'd by the blooming hours,
The rising morning With her radiant eyes,
Salutes the world. a:;<l brightens all the fleies.
So shines fair Helen, by the Graces drest,
In face, shape, size, superior to the rest: 40
As corn the fields, as pines the garden grace,
As steeds of 1 hrflaly the chariot race;
So Helen's beauties bright encomiums claim,
And beam forth honour on the Spartan name.

What nymph can rival Helen at the toefll,
And make fair art like living nature bloom?
The blended tints in sweet proportion join'd,
Express the soft ideas of her mind.
What nymph like her of all the tuneful quire,
Can raise the voice, or animate the lyre? }i
Whether of Pallas great in arms (he fings, .n
Or Dian bathing in the silver springs.
A thousand little Loves in ambulh lie,
And shoot their arrows from her beaming eyei
O lovely Helen, whom all hearts adore,
A matron now you rile, a nnid no more!
Yet ere another fun shall gild the morn.
We'll gather flowers your temples to adorn,
Ambrosial flowers, as o'er the meads we stray,
And frequent sigh that Helen is away 60
Mindful of Helen still, as unwean'd lambs
Rove round the pastures bleating fur their dams;
Fair flo'.vers of lote we'll cull, that sweetly breathe,
And on yon spreading plane suspend the wreath.
But first from silver shells shall unguents slow,
Bedew the spreading plane and all che flowers

And on the rind we'll write, that all may fee,
"Here pay your honours, 1 am Helen's tree'
Joy to the bride, and to the bridegroom joy,
And may Latona bless you with a boy 1 f*
May Venus furnish both with equal love!
And lasting riches be the gift of Jove
May these descend and by posseflion grow,
From sire to son, augmenting as they flow I

Now sweetly slumber, mutual love inspire,
And gratify the fulness of desire:
Rise with the blushing morning, nor forget
"she due of Venus, and discharge the debt:
And, ere the day's loud herald has begun
To speak his early prologue to the fun, 80
Again we'll greet your joys with cheerful voice,
(J Hymen, Hymen, at this match rejoice '.


There are two sorts of Epithalamiums, or Nup. tial Songs amt-ng the ancients; the first was fung lo the evening, after the bride wan introduced inro the bride-chamber, it was named KamriTiKei, and intended to dispose the married couple to sleep ; the second was sung in the morning, ttrmed E>ijr<xw, and designed to awaken them. See the conclusion os thi> Idyllium. As Theocritus lived at the polite court of Ptolemy Fhiladelphus, duiing the time that the seventy interpreters resided there:, he would probably, by reading their translation of the Old I cstament, borrow some beautiful images from the Scrii.tures, conceived in oriental magnificence; a few specimens of these will be found in the notes on this Idyllium.

Ver. 6 Thus Horace,

Junctique Nymphis Gratiæ decentet

Altcrno terram quatiunt pede. B. I. OJt \.

Ver. 22 Sneezing was sometimes reckoned i lucky omen.—See Potter's Arcliaiulogia, ch. I 7 and Catullus ac Acme & Septimio;

Hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistram, ut ante
Dcxtram, sternuit approbationem.

See also the note on Idyllium 7. ver. 115.

That new-married persons were attended b singers and dancers, Homer acquaints us in b description of the shield of Achilles, Iliad, B. 18

Here sacred pomp and genial feast delight,
And solemn dance, and Hy.-nenseal rite;
Along the street the new-made brides are led.
With torches flaming, to the nuptial beta
The youthful dancers in a circle bound
To the loft flute and cithern's silver found:
Through the fair streets, the matrons in a row,
Stand in their porches,and enjoy the fl.ox. i>

Ver. 3s. Thus the handmaids of Nauficaa In Homer anoint themselves with oil. OdyC B. 6. Then with a short repast relieve their toil, AnJo'er their limbs diffuse ambrosial oil. Pefe.

Ter. 35. Thus Solomon's Song, ch. ii. ver, II

• Lo the wniter is past, the rain is overland gone." Ver. 37. " Who islhe that looketh forth as the

"morning," ch. vi. ver. 10. arid in the book of Job, ch. xli. ver. l8. speaking os the Leviathan, we read' " His eyes are like the eye-lids of the

• morning."

Here the marks of imitation appear very strong. Ver. 41. Virgil has, Friiinus in sylvis pulcherrima, pintle in hortis.

Eel. 7. 65.

Ver. 42. Theocritus still seems to borrow from tie royal author ; " 1 have compared thee, O my "kre to a company of horses in Pharoah's cha"riot*," Solomon's Song, ch. i. ver. 9 — The original literally signifies, " 1 have compared thee to "my mare, &c." Nor ought we to think the comparison coarse or vulgar, if we consider what aeaati/ul and delicate creatures the eastern horses ire, aod bow highly they are valued.

See Percy on S demon* t Seng. Ver. 53. Thus Hero is described in Musxus,

Ls et in Hrvc 0(fttc>.ff; ytXov). x. T. A.

Ver. 64.

Wees Hero smiles, a thousand Graces rife,
Sport cc her check, and rival in her eyes. F. F.

Ter. 63 Millar fays the leaves of the lote-tree, or nettle tree, are like those of the nettle; the tWcr consist* of five leaves, expanded in form of a rase, containing many short stamina, in the bof«i, the fruit, which is a roundish berry, grows fagie in the bosom of its leaves. Dr. Martyn fays,

it is more probable, that the lotus of the Lotophagi U what we c?ll zizyphus or the jujube-tree S The leaves of this are about an inch and a half in length, an inch in breadth, of a shining green colour and serrated, about the edges: the fruit is of the lhape and size of olives, and the pulp of it hat a sweet taste like honey; and theresore cannot be the nettle-tree, the fruit of which is far from that delicacy which is ascribed to the lo. us • f the an. cients. See Martyn on the Gror. B. » 84. But the lotus here spoken of is most probably an herb) the fame which Hooier describes in the Ooyffey, B. 9. and which hustathius takes to be an herb; he fays, there is an Egyptian totus which grows in great abundance along the Nile, in the time nf its inundations. Prosper Alpinui. an author of good credit, who travelled into tgypt, assures us, that the Egyptian lotus does not at all disser from our great white water-lily.

Ver. 67. The custom of writing on the bark of trees was very common among the ancients, thus Virgil;

Centum est in sylvis, inter spelaea ferarum
Malic pati, tenerisque meos incidere amores
Arboribus: crescent illz, cresectis amoris Eel 10.

See Ovid in Oenonc, Propertius, B. I. Eleg. 18. &c.

Nothing can be more beautifully pastoral than this inscription on the bark of the plane-tree, as also the simile at the 6 til and 62a verses.

Ver. 75.

Qua: sepirabat amorei. Her. B. 4. Ode 13.

Ver. 81. The chorus of virgins here promise to return early in the morning, and sing the carmen.

Ver. 8a. Thus Catullus, Carm. Nup. Hymen, O Hymenaee, Hymen ades, O Hymensce.




As Cupid Is stealing honey from a bee-hive, he is stung by a bee; on which he runs and complains ts> his mother, that so small an animal mould inflict so great a wound; file immediately answers, that he himself is but little like abee, yet the wounds he gives are grievous.

A« Cupid, the sliest young wanton alive,
Of ru hoard of sweet honey was robbing a hive,
The cenrinel b«e buzz;d with anger and grief,
Aod darted his sting in the hand of the thief.
He fctb'd. blew his fingers, stamp'd hard on the

Aad leaping in anguish thow'd Venui the wound;

Then began in a sorrowful tone to complain, That an insect so little should cause so great pain. Venus smiling, her son in such taking to see, Said, " Cupid, you put me in mind of a bee; to "You're just such a busy, diminutive thing, "Yet you make woful wounds with a desperat* "sting."


Tn this small poem Theocritus has copied the 40th Ode of Anacreon, in every thing but the measure of his verse: the original us this is in Hexameter, and therefore I thought it improper to give it Anacreontic numbers. I shall take the liberty to insert a translation of the Tcian bard's little poem, tha,t the English reader may have the pleasure to see the manner ui which tin ancient poets copied their predecessors.

Once, as Cupid, tir'd with play,
On a bed of roses lay,
A rude bee that dipt unseen.
The sweet breathing buds between,
Htung his finger, cruel chance!
With its little pointed lance.

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A notion neatherd complains of the pride and insolence of a city girl, who refused to let him kiiV her, and rallied'his aukward figure: he appeals to the neighbouring shepherds, and asks them it he is not handsome; if his voice is not sweet, and his songs enchanting . and relates examples ol goddesses that have been enamoured of herdsmen. In this Idyllium the poet is thought to be seven nn those who with arrogance despise the sweetness and simplicity of bucolic numbers. It i strange that the commentators will not allowthit piece to be styled a pastoral: surely it i&bucolica enough.

w Hen lately I ofser'd Eunica to kiss

She fieer'd, and she flouted, and took it amiss;

"Begone, you great booby, she cry'd with a

"frown, [clown?

"Do you think that I long to be kiss'd by a "The sparks of the city my kisses esteem; "You never shall kiss me, no, not in a dream. "How pleasing you look, and how gently you


"How soft is your voice! and what fine things "you fay!

"So neat is your beard, and so comely your hair! "Your hand- are so white, and your lips, a sweet

"pair! 10 "But on yur dear person, I never shall doat: "So pray keep your distance—you smell like a

'* goat"

Thus spoke the pert bussey, and vieiv'd me all round With an eye oi disdain, and thrice spit on the gmund,

Lnok'd Pr 'idol hercharms. with an insolent sneer,
And sen' me away with a flea in my tar
My ''lood quickly hoii'd in a violenb pique,
And red as a rose, paslion gkiw'd on my cheek;

For it vex'd me, that thus in derision she jeer'J-
My looks, and my voice, and my hair and in
beard. 2
But, am 1 nor handsome, ye shepherds, fay true
Or has any gi'd alter'd my person anew f
For lately on oaks, like the ivy, with grace
My hair and my beard added charms 10 my face
My eyebrows were fable, my sorehead milkwhit
Aud my eyes, like Minerva's, were azure ac

My lips, sweet as cream, were with music replet For from them flow tt founds as the honey-con sweet 1

My sengs are enchanting ; nor ought can exceo

The tunes of my pipe, or the notes of my reed.; The girls of the country, if they had their wills Would kiss me, and press me to stay on the hill For they lay that I'm fair; but this ilirt ot t town

Ri fus'd my sweet kisses, and call'd me a clown. Alas! stse forgot, »r perhaps did not know, Tha> Bacchus fed herds in the valley brlow; That a fwaiti Wd with hearty goovlwil Audheh/d him his tattle to tend on the hill;

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