« EdellinenJatka »
were unlike their parents; and therefore Hesiod I reckons it among the felicities which attend good men, that The wives bear sons resembling their own sires.
"tixtuti* 2ft yuvaiKis lotKora. rtxia ycuxut.
Ver. »33. Ver. ,<6.
Portitcr has horrendus aquas at flumipa scrvat Terribili Iqnalorc Charon. Æa B. 6. 198
Ver. 73. Virgil has something simitar. At Venus Alcsnio placidam per membra quietem lrrigat, &c. Æit. B. 1. 693.
Mean time the goddess on Aseanius throws
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, 44 yc mountains! O sorest, and every tree therc*■ in '." Virgil has,
Ipsi latitii coecs ad sidcra jactant
Intonsi mohtes. Ee'.. 5. 62,
Ver 79- An island in the Ægean sea, where Latona wi> delivered of Apoll" and Diana; it was once a floating island, but fixed by Apollo. Quani pius Arcitcnens, &c P'rg •"*"». 3. 75.
Which 1'hœbus fix'd; for once flic wander'd
round The fliorcs, and sioated on the vast profound; But now, unmov'd the peopled region braves The roaring whirlwinds, anil the furious waves.
Ver. 7.9. The Scholiast fays Triops was a king of Cos, iioni wh«ini the promontory near Cnidus took its denomination
Ver. 8a. In island separated from Drlns by a narrow stiait abou: three .imes as big as Delos.
Ver. 86. lhus Calliniaihus, K* Si A«s /«wm»i< "kings arc from Jupiitr;" which Vngil has translated, " Ab Jove sunt reges;" but they all seem to have copied aster Huiod. Thccg. ver. 96.
>'.* 3i Aur pstviirM- O a c-£X<«v oirttet Mvssxi
-Kings are dcriv'd f'om J; ve;
And blest ihe niortjl whom the muses love.
Ver. 94. The Nile is the greatest wonder of Egypt: as it seldom raim there, this river,-which waters the whole countiy by it& regular innundations, supplies that defect, by bringing, as a yearly tribute, the raiiu of the other countries, *i°i> multiply so beneficent a river, Egypt was cut into numberless canals, of a length and breadth proportioned to the different situatiuu and wants us the lauds; the Nile brought fertility every where with its salutary streams; it united cities cue with another, and the Meditrranean with the Red-sea; maintained trade at home and abroad, and fortified the kingdom against the enemy , so that it was at once the nouuslicr and pro
sector of Egypt. There cannot be a more At* lightful prospect than the Nile affords at twa seasons of the year; for if yon ascend some mountain, or one of the great pyramids of Grand Cairo about the month, of July and August, you behold a vail sea, in which a prodigious number of towns, villages, turrets, and spires appear, like the isles in the Ægean sea, with causways leading from place to place, intermixed with groves and fruittrees, whose tops only are visible; this view i« terminated by mountains and woods, which, at a distance, form the most agreeable perspective that can be imagined. But in the winter, that is, in the months of January and February, the whole country is like one continued scene of beautiful meadows, enamelled with all kinds of flowers: you fee on every fade herds and slocks scattered over the plain, with infinite numbers of husbandmen and gardeners: the air is then embalmed by the great quantity of blossoms on the orange, lemon, and other trees; and is so pure, that a wholesomer and more agreeable is not to be found in the world: so that nature, which is then as it were dead in so many other climates, seems to revive only for the lake of so delightful an abode. RJIini Ant. ff.fi.
Ver. 97. The original is extremely perplexing; literally translated it would run thus,
He has three hundred cities, - - 3°*
Add three thousand ... 3CCO
To thirty thousand, ... 30000
Twice three - 6
Aud three times eleven, ... 33
33339 • I have made it the round number of thirty thousand. We meet with an cmbaralscd method of numeration in the 14th Idyl. ver. 55.
Ver. 104. Waller has a passage resembling thii,
Where'er thy navy spreads her canvass wing?,
Which Creech stuck in his translation. Ptolemy intendsd to engross the whole trade of tbe cast and west to himself, and therefore sit'ed out two great fleets to protect his trading i"i.lject«: one of theso he kept in the Fed sea, the other in the Mtditcrram,ui: the latter was very numerous and had several ships of an extraordinary size; two of them in particular had thirty oars on a side, one of twenty, sour of fourteen, two of twelve, fourteen of eleven, thirty of nine, thirtyfeven of seven, five of six, seventeen of five, and besides these, an incredible number of vessels wi'h sour and three oars on a side. By this means, th: whole trade being fixed at Alexandria, that place became the chief mart of all the traffic that was carried on between the cast and the west, and : continued to be the greatest emporium in the world above seventeen hundred years, till another passage was sound uut by the Cape of Good Hope: but as the road to the Red lea Uy cross the deserts, where no water could be had, nor any convenience of towns ur houses for lodging
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
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 st-.ittti.ps 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.
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
But I, who move supreme in hrrv'n's abodes,
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.
THE EPITHALAM1UM OF HELEN. i
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
ITwelve r.obb virgins,blooming, young, and fair, With hyacinthine wreaths adoru'ii their hair,
And pleas'd the vocal benison to shower,
Has strep or wine yo:ir manly limbs opprest.
Our limbs diffusing with ambrosial oil.
As corn the fields, as pines the garden grace,
NOTES ON IDYLLIUM XVIII.
There are two sorts of Epithalamiums, or Nuptial Songs ann.ng the ancients; the first was fung !n the evening, after the bride wa« introduced into the bride-chamber, it was named Ktiuimiut, and intended to dispose the married couple to sleep ; the second was fung in the morning, termed £><•«*«, and designed to awaken them. See the conclusion of thin Idyllium. As Theocritus lived at the polite court of Ptolemy philadelphus, during the time that the seventy interpreters resided there, he Would probably, by reading their translation of the Old I estament, borrow some beautiful images from the Scriptures, conceived in oriental magnificence; a sew specimens of these will be found in the notes on this Idyllium.
Ver. 6 Thus Horace,
Junctique Nymphis Oratia dcccntcs
Altcrno lerram quatiunt pede. M. I. OJt 4.
What nymph can rival Helen at the loom,
And make lair art like living nature bloom f
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? ji
Whether of Pallas great in arms (he sings,
Or Dian bathing in the silver springs.
A thousand little Loves in ambush lie,
And shoot their arrows from her beaming eye*
0 lovely Helen, whom all hearts adore,
Rove round the pastures bleating for their dams;
below: And on the rind we'll write, that all may see, "Here pay your honour*, I am Helen's tree * J.iy to the bride, and to the bridegroom joy, And may l.atona bless you with a boy'. J9
May Venus furnish both with equal love '.
Now sweetly slumber, mutual love inspire,
1 he due of Venus, and discharge the debt:
To speak his early prologue to the fun, 80
Again we'll greet your joys with cheerful voice,
Ver. 21 Sneezing was sometimes reckoned a lucky omen. —See Potter's Arcliaiologia, ch. 1 7 and Catullus de Acme & Septimio;
Hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistram, nt ance
See also the note on Idyllium 7. ver. 115.
That new-married persons were attended h>y singers and dancers, Homer acquaints us in hi* description of the shield os Achilles, Iliad, B. 18
Here sacred pomp and genial feast delight,
Ver. 3T. Thus the handmaids of Nausicaa in Homer anoint themselves with oil. Odys. B. 6. Then with a fliort repast relieve their toil, And e'er their limbs diffuse ambrosial oil. Pefe.
Ver. 3J. Thus Solomon's Song, ch. ii. ver, if * Lo the waiter is past, the rain is overland gone."
Ver. J7. "Who is she that lonketh forth ai the "moramf,"* ch. vi. ver. 10. and in the book of Jot, ch. rlL ver. 18. speaking of the Leviathan, we read" " His eves are like the «ye-lids of the
Ho-e the mark* of imitation appear very strong. Ver 41. Virgil has, Fruicas in sylvis pulcherrima, pinus in hortis.
£el. 7. 65.
Ver. 41. Theocritus still seems to borrow from die royal author ; " 1 have compared thee, O my "Jen M a company of horses in Pharoah's cha** rises," Solomon's Song, ch. i. ver. 9 — sheori&a*l literally signifies, " 1 have compared thee to "asy mare, &c." Nor ought we to think the ecmjnrisun coarse or vulgar, if we consider what xrsuinl and delicate creatures the eastern horses ■re, and bow highly they are valued.
See Percy en Solemont Song. Ver. 53. Thos Hero is described in Muszus,
vVtea Hero smiles, a thousand Graces rife, Sfrr. oc V-T cheek, and rival in her eyes. F. F.
Ter <: Y.dlas fays the leaves of the lote-tree, me mtnktm, are like those of the nettle; the fcii 1 111 m of five leaves, expanded in form of a rote, containing many short stamina, in the bol-wj. the fruit, which is a roundish berry, grows fe sic u: the bosom of its leaves. Dr. Mart) 11 fays,
it is more probable, that the lotus of the Lotophagi in what we callzizyphusorthe jujube-tree; I he 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 shape and size of olives, and the pulp of it hat a sweet taste like honey; and therefore cannot be the nettle-tree, the fruit of which is far from that delicacy which is ascribed to the lotus'of the ancients. See Martyn on the Gror. B. » 84. But the lotus here spoken of is most probably an htrb the fame which Homer describes in the Oi.yfliy, B. 9. and which huftathius takes to be an herb; he fays, there is an Egyptian lotus which grows in great abundance along the Nile, in the time of its inundations. Prosper Alpinut, an author of good credit, who travelled into Egypt, assures us, that the Egyptian lotus does not at all differ 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 spelza serarum
See Ovid in Ocnone, Propertius, B. I. Eleg. 18. &c.
Nothing can be more beautifully pastoral than this inscription on the bark of the plane-tree, ai also the simile at the 61st and 6*d verses.
Ver. 81. The chorus of virgins here promise to return early in the morning, and sing the carmen Eyisrixo*.
Ver. 8a. Thus Catullus, Carm. Nup.
sa CnU is stealing honey from a bee-hive, he is flung by a bee; on which he runs and complain* to ha mother, that so small an animal should inflict so great a wound; she immediately answers, that I* himself is but little like a bee, yet the wounds he gives are grievous.
A« Csrpid, the sliest young wanton alive,
Then began in a sorrowful tone to complain,
NOTES ON IDYLLIUM XIX.
Id this small poem Theocritus has copied the 40th Ode of Anacreon, in every thing but the measure of his verse: the original os this is in Hexameter, and therefore 1 thought it improper to give it Anacreontic numbers. 1 shall take the liberty to insert a translation os the Tcian bard'h little poem, thijt the English reader may have the pleasure to see the manner ip which the au.iem poets copied their predecessors.
Once, as Cupid, tir'd with play,
Straight he fills the air with cries,
Imp'd with wings, and arm'd with dart,
Oil !—has stung me to the heart."
Venus thus replied, and sniil'd;
Dry those tears, for shame! my child;
If a bee can wound so deep,
Causing Cupid thus to weep,
Think, () think, what cruel pains
He that's stung by thee sustaini." F. £.
EUNICA, OR THE NEATHERD.
A notion neatherd complains of the pride and insolence of a city girl, who refused to let him kii'« her. and rallied' his aukward figure: he appeals to the neighbouring shepherds, and asks them if he is not handsome; if his voice is not sweet, and his songs enchanting . and relates examples of goddesses tbat have been enamoured of herdsmen. In this Idyllium the poet is thought to be severe on those who with arrogance despise the sweetness and simplicity of bucolic numbers. It is strange tbat the commentators will not allow this piece to be styled a pastoral: surely it is bucolicil enough.
VV utK lately I ofler'd Eunica to kiss.
"Do you think that I long to be kiss'd by' a
"you fay! '* So neat is your beard, and so comely your hair! "Your hand' are so white, and your lips, a sweet
"But on your dear person, T never shall doat:
For it vex'd me, that thus in derision she jeer'J-
But, am 1 nor handsome, ye shepherds, fay true t