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Mr. Warton observes, " That Euripides, in his Bacchantes, has given a very 6ne description of the Bacchanalian women tearing Pentheus in pieces, for secretly inspecting their mysteries, which is worked up with the greatest sire, and the truest poetical enthusiasm. Theocritus has likewise nobly described this event.
Ver. I. These were all sisters and the daughters of Cadmus and Harmonia.
Ver. 5. Anacreon, Epig. 4. describes three Bacchæ, and ivy is one of their oblations to Bacchus:
First Heliconias with a thyrsus past,
Ver. 8. Thus Virgil, Ed. 5.
En quatuor aras:
Ver. 15. The story of Pentheus is told by Ovid in the Metara. B. 3. in a manner something different, which I shall give in Mr. Addison's translation.
Here the rash Pentheus, with unhallow'd eyes,
"The boar, my sisters! aim the fatal dart,
"Help! help I my aunt Autonoe, he cry'd;
Quid .' caput absciffum demens cum portat Agave
Nor. B. 2. Sal. 3.
Ver. 34. There is great beauty in the original. EJ zri),(r:fuc, Kxi u Tlittr.x, ^.jooraj, which, arising from the similarity of the words nyfn/ui and iWna, cannot be kept up in the translation.
Ver 45. Ovid mentions the fame thing, Met. B. 3. 310.
Impersectus adhuc infans genetricis ab alvo
Ver. 46. She was the mother of Bacchus, and sister to Ino, Agave, and Autonoe.
Ver. jo. There is a similar thought in Bion, Idyl. 6. 8
It ill becomes frail mortals to define
What's best and fittest of the works divine, f. F. 0 mjTAi-r, friend to warp and woof,
Is by the commentators generally attributed to Moschus, and therefore I may well be excused from mnllaung as the work o£ Theocritus, Were that not the cafe, it is of such a nature that it cannot Se admitted into this volume: Scaliger, Casaubon, and Dan. Heinsius, have left more notes npon it in proportion than npon any of the other Idylliums. Creech has done it into English; but the spirit is evaporated, and nwthing remains but a caput martuum. Drydcn generally improves and expatiates upon toy subject that is ludicrous, and therefore the tenor us his translation will be found very different. The last five lines in Greek he has expanded into fourteen.
Tieockitcs, going to visit his friend Nicias, the Milesian physician, to whom he has addressed the nthaod 13th Idylliums, carries an ivory distaff as a present for Theugenis, hi* friend's wife, and accompanies it with these verses, in which he modestly commends the matron's industry and virtue.
Minerva's gift in man's behoof,
Is worshipp'd in the reedy bower.
1 Acer my course to meet my friend, 10 Kkias, the graces' honour'd child,
Acoru'd with sweet persuasion mild;
Tec I his kindness may requite,
Miy be delighted, and delight.
Tkee, ivory distaff I provide,
A present for his blooming bride.
With her thou wilt sweet toil partake, •
And aid her various vests to make.
For Theugenis, the shepherds shear
The sheep's soft fleeces twice a-year. ao
So dearly industry she loves,
And all that wisdom points approves.
I ne'er design'd to bear thee hence
To the dull house of indolence:
For in that city thou wert sram'd
Which Arcliias built, Corinthian fam'd,
Fair Syracuse, Sicilu's pride,
Where troops of famous men abide.
Dwell thou with him whose art can cure
Each dire disease that men endure; gsj
Thee to Miletus now 1 give,
Where pleasurecrown'd Ionians live,
That Theugenis by thee may gain
Fair honour with the female train;
And thou renew within her breast . .-. .
Remembrance of her muse-charm'd guest.
Admiring thee, each maid will call
The favour great, the present small;
For love the smallest gist commends;
All things are valued by our friends. 4c
NOTES ON IDYLLIUM XXVIII.
Ver. 6. That is, Miletus, a famous city of Ionia, lyitg south of the river Mæander on the sea-coast. It was founded, according to Strabo, by Nilius the Jon of Codrus, king of Athens, when he first settied in that part of Asia. See Universal History. The sine garments made of Milesian wool were is great esteem with the Roman ladies: Horace has, " Milt ti text am chlamydem," B. I. Ep. 17. and " Virgil, Milesia vcllera," Geor. 3.
Ver. 15. Syracuse, once the metropolis of all Sicily, and a most flounshir'g commonwealth, wa«,
according to Tully, the greatest and most wealthy of all the cities possessed by the Greeks. Tbucydides equals it to Athens, when that city was at the height of its glory; and Strabo calls it one of the most famous cities of the world for its advantageous situation, the statelincss of its buildings, and the immense wealth of its inhabitants. It was built by Archias, ene of the Heraclidæ, who came from Curinth into Sicily, in the second year of the eleventh Olympiad. Univ. Hist. Ver. 38. Inest sua gratia parvis.
ID YLLIUM XXIX.
THIS ii an expostulation with bit mistress for her inconstancy in love. In the original it is called TldiM. I have taken the liberty to make a change in the application of it, which render) it far more obvious aud natural.
lovely maid, and truth agree;
tut could my words your thoughts engage,
"Build in one tree a single nest,
Venus orders the Cupids to bring the boar that had slain Adonis before her: she severely upbraids him with his crime, but being satisfied that it was accidentally done, she' orders him to be releases. The measure of the vetse is Anacreontic.
When Venus saw Adonis dead, And from his cheeks the roses fled, , His lovely locks distain'd with gore: She bade her Cupids bring the boar,
The boar that had her lover slain.
The cat.fe of all her grief and pain.
Ar! when the guilty boar they sound,
With cords they bound him, doubly-bound; 10
Oae with a chain, secure and strong,
Haal'd him unwillingly along;
One finch d his tail to make him go,
Another beat htm with his bow:
The more they urg'd, the more they dragg'J,
The more reluctantly he lagg'd.
Gink in hi* conscious looks appear'd;
He much the angry goddess fear'd.
To Venu» soon the boar they lad—
'• O cruel, cruel beast! she said, 30
■ Poni thou that thigh with blood distain?
*' Haft thou my dearest lover slain i"
Submissive he replies; ' I swear
'By thee, fair queen; by all that's dear;
* By thy bed lover; by this chain;
'And by this numerous hunter train; 'I oe'er defign'd, with impious tooth,
* To wound so beautiful a youth:
'No; but with love and frenzy warm, '(So far has beauty power to charm!) 'I long'd, this crime I'll not deny , 'To kiss that fair, that naked thigh. ■ These tulks then punish, if you please,
* These arc offenders, draw out these. 'Of no more use they now can prove
* To me, the votaries of love!
'My guilty lips, if not content,
NOTES ON IDYLLIUM XXX.
This little poem is a fine imitation of Anacreon: Theocritus bad before, in his nineteenth Idyllium, cafied that delicate master in every thing but the measure of his verse. Bion has a most beautiful Uyliam on the fame subject. Longcpierre says e/ ties Ode of Theocritus, " Cette petite piece "jo'a toujours paru si jolie, que je croy qu'on me ** pardonnera eiiement si j'en donne icy une tra"election."
Ver. 14. Thus Ulysses drives the horse* of Rhesus with his bow, II. B. 10.
injtTn now the snowy steeds detains,
EPIGRAMS OF THEOCRITUS.
I. Ofrrlngt U tit Ms/u and As oil:
Tail wild thyme, and these roses, moist with
dews, , Are sacred to the Heliconian Muse , The bay, Apollo, with dark leaves is thine; Thus art thou honour'd at the Delphic shrine; And there to thee this shagg'd he-goat I vow, 1 hat krvu to crop the pine-tree's pendant bough.
II. A* Offering H Pan.
Daraxis the fair, who with bucolic song,
Aai pastoral pipccould charm the listening throng,
To Pan presents these emblems of his art,
III. To Da finis Sleeping.
On earth's soft lap, with leafy honours spread,
IV. A Vow to Priapui.
Ir by those oalti with roving step you winj.
Prompt for the pranks of pleasure he appears
V. The Concert.
Sat wilt thou warble to thy double flute,
And make its melody thy music suit?
Then, by the nymph: I swear, I'll snatch the quill,
And on the rural lyre essay my skill:
The herdsman, Daphnis, on his reed shall play, 5
Whose sprightly numbers make the shepherds gay,
Fast by yon rugged oak our stand, w e'U keep,
And rub th' Arcadian deity of sleep.
VI. Thyrsi, has lost hi, Kid.
What profit gain you, wretched Thyrsis, fay,
Thus, thus to weep and languish life away!
Lost is your favourite kid: the wolf has tore
Hit tender limbs, and feasted on his gore;
Your very dogs exclaim, and cry, " What gain, 5
* When neither bones, nor ashes now remain!" t
VII. On the Statue of Æsculaphu. At fam'J Miletus Pxon'sfon the wise Arriv'd, with learned Nicias to advise, Who to his shrine with daily offerings came, And rais'd this cedar statue to his fame; The cedar statue by Ection wrought, j Illustrious artist! for large sums he bought; The work is sinifh'd to the owner's will, For here the sculptor lavish'd all his skill.
VIII. Ortbom'i Epitaph. To every toping traveller that lives, Orthon of Syracuse this warning gives, With wine o'crhratid, and de;>riv'd of light, Forbear to travel on a winter's night; This was my fate, and for my native land J I now lie buried on a foreign strand.
IX. On tie Fate of Clecnicui,
O Stiancer I spare thy life so short and frail,
The Pleiads funk as he approach'd the shore; 5 With them he funk, to rife, alas! no more.
X. On a Monument EreCled to the\Mufei.
Hfrf. Xenocles hath rais'd this marble flirine,
XI. Epitaph on Eustbenes the Physiognomist.
To Eusthenes, the first in wisdom's list,
XII. On a Tripod dedicated to Baccbut,by Demttelei.
Demoteles, who near this sacred shrine
This tripod plac'd, wi th thee, O god »f wine!
Whom blithest of the deities we call,
In all things prov'd, was temperate in all;
In manly dance the victory he gain'd, J
And fair the tenor of his life maintain'd.
XIII. On the Image of tbe Heavenly Venue.
Here Venus, not the vulgar,you surrey;
XIV. Epitaph on Eurymedon,
Dead in thy prime, this tomb contains,
Eurymedon, thy dear remains;
Thou, now wi'h pious men enfhrin'd,
Hast Use an infant heir behind;
The state due care of him will take, * £
And love him for his father's fake.
XV. On the fame.
O TRAVELLER, I wifll tO knOW
If you au equal praise bestow
On men of honourable same,
Or to poltroons you give the fame:
Then '• rair belal this tomb," you'll cry, $
As oft you pass attentive by,
"Eurymedon, alas! is dead;
"Light lie the stone upon his head."
XVI. On Anacreons Statue.
With curious eye, O traveller, survey