Sivut kuvina

"When a Roman sold a house adorned with lostile spoils, either won by himself or his anceforn, the purchaser was not permitted to avail limsels us the honour they bestowed, but obliged o take theM down.

Ver. 81. The person allu'cd to in thi* passage f a> C. S sius, who being Prætor when the civil car broke out, was afterwards sent by M Anhony to command in Syria and Cilicia, when he rst subdued the Aradians; and then Antigonus, aving formerly butchered a Roman garrison fl: d, fterr his defeat, to Jerusalem, which Sosiui s on stcr took ; and using the Jew* with no les* cruelty han avarice, he beltowcd their kingdom on Heod of As«.alon Neither did Antigonus escape the onqueror, who not only whipped, but crucified beheaded him. These act ons of barbarity, lthough they dilgrace victors, yet prncure Soflus he honour of a triumphal Rome, A. IT C. 719.


Ver. 89. We fee, from this instance and many ucK occur in our poet), that elegy, as well as c<>nedy, sometimes ruses her vuicc ; and if sibullus's panegyric had not come down to us, critics, no doubt, would have hence corj-ctured, that his genius was no less suited to the lusty than the tender subjects of poesy

Ver 93. rhil pathetic circumstance Ovid has Lpplicd to Nemesis in his fine elegy on the death >f our poet.

Ver. 98 For the funerals of the ancients, fee jotes to LI ii. book 3

Of all the methedt practise d by different nations n their dilpcsal of the dead, the custom of the Caatian Indians, as Herodotus relates it, is the most extraordinary. Darius, fay* that elegant historian, having one day asked lomc of hts Grecian subjects, what sum would induce them to cat their deceased parents (fcac wttTlfmi atrstmrKttrat KaratiTttffSxA, they instantly rej lied, that no biihe should ever make them do so horrid an actii n. Upon this, the fame monarch, in the presence of the Greeks too, demanding, by an interpreter of some Calatian Indians, how much money they would rake not po eat, for that was their custom {it rout yeitae isrcr/iMin)) but to burn their dead parents; he

was entreated, with loud and earnest exclamations, not to compel them to do a deed which for ever must destroy their peace of mind! So justly, adds the historian, does Pindar call custom the sovereign of all. Mfut xKtT»t ixru.ut. Herod. Thai. C. 38.

Ver. 103. Those who indulged an immoderate grief for their deceased friends, were supposed by the ancients to injure their manes, and therefore Cornelia entreats her husband, Paulus the censor.

Define, Pauli, rneum lacrymis urgere jepuicrum.

Proptrt. L.4. E. II.

And I.ucian, in hi? excellent discourse on mourning (veifi TivhutJ, makes a departed youth thus answer the frantic sorrowings of his father, u KonKahatfAVt arfyent Tt xtufttyaf, &c. Unhappy mortal why do y. u thus lament aioud? Why do you cause me so much pain ? Cease to tear your hair and w<und your face, I am far more fortunate than you. Why then do you call me name , and term me wretched

Ver. 104. Turnebus was the first who explained this passage. The poet, though an enemy to ex ravagant grief, expected that Delia would show a tender concern when he died. BroMufius.

Ver. in. That pleasant versifier Malheibe, thus addressee the mules,

Qnand le Sang bouiihnt en mes veines
Jvle donnnit dc j< unes desires
Tantot vous foup riez mes peinei
Tantoi vnuschariticz mes plaisirs:
Mais aujnurahui que mes annees
Vers leur fin s'en vont ternm.cci,
Sercit il bicn a mes ecriti
D' Ennuyer les races sutures
Des ridicules avantures
D't.n Amcurcux en cheveux gris?

The reader may fee the miseries of an old man'r falling in love well described in the elegies commonly imputed t.> Virgil's friend, the famous Cornelius Gallus. These elegies are a modern com. p sition, the work of one Longinus Muiruiaa a physician.


Vv^itb wine, more wine, my recent pains deceive,
Till creeping slumber fend a soft reprieve:
Asleep, take heed no whisper stirs the air,
For wak'd, my boy, 1 wake to heart-felt care-
flow is my Delia watch'd by ruthless spies,
And the gate, bolted, all access denies.
Relentless gate! may storms of wind and rain,
\Vith mingled violence avenge my pain!

May forky thonders.hmTd by Jove's red hand,
Purst every bolt, and shatter every band! ]
Ah no! rage turns my brain; the curserecal;
On me, devoted, let the thunder fall!
Then recollect my many wreaths of yore,
How oft you've seen me weep, insensate door (
No longer then our interview delay,
And as you open let 00 noise betray.

In vain I plead !—Dare then my Delia rife! Love aids the dauntless, and will blind your spies! Those who the godhead's soft behests obey, Steal from the pillows unobserv'd away; 20 On tiptoe traverse unobserv'd the floor; The key turn noiseless, and unfold the door: In vain the jealous each precaution take, Their speaking singers assignations make. Nor will the god impart to all his aid; Love hates the fearful, hates the lazy maid; But through sly windings, and unpractis'd ways, His bold night-errants to their wish conveys: For those whom he with expectation fires, No ambufli frightens, and no labour tires; 30 Sacred the dangers of the dark they dare, No robbers stop them, and no bravocs scare. Though wint'ry tempests howl, by love secure, The howling tempest I with ease endure: No watching hurts me, if my Delia smile, Soft turn the gate, aud beckon me the while.

She's mine. Be blind, ye ramblers of the night, Lest angry Venus snatch your guilty sight: The goddess bids her votaries joys to be From every casual interruption free: , 40 With prying steps alarm us not, retire, Nor glare your torches, nor our names inquire: Or if ye know, deny, by Heaven above, Nor dare divulge the privacies of love. From blood and seas vindictive Venus sprung, And sure destruction waits the blabbing tongue!

Nay, should they prate, yon, Delia, need not tar
Your lord (a sorceress swore), should give no ca
By potent spells (he cleaves the sacred ground,
And shuddering spectres wildly roam around!
I've seen her tear the planets from the sky!
Seen lightning backward at her bidding fly!
She calls! from blazing pyres the corse k

And, re-enliven'd, clasps his wondering friends'
The fiends she gathers with a magic yell,
Then with aspersions frights them back to be])'
She wills,—glad summer gilds the frozen pole!
She wills,—in summer wint'ry tempests roll!
She knows ('tis true), Medea's awful spell!
She knows to vanquish the sierce guards of hell' M
To me Ihe gave a charm for lovers meet,
(" Spit thrice, my fair, and thrice the chirm K

Us, in soft dalliance should your lord surprise;
By this impos'd on he'd renounce his eyes!
But bless no rival, or th' affair is known j
This incantation me befriends alone.
Nor stopp'd Ihe here j but swore, is Pd agree,
By charms s>r herbs, to set thy lover free.
With dire lustrations flic began the rite!
(Serenely Ihone the planet of the night) 1
The magic gods she call'd with hellish sound,

A sable sacrifice disdain'd the ground

I stopp'd the spell: 1 must not, cannot part:
I begg'd her aid to gain a mutual hurt.


The foregoing poem was written by Tibullus upon his being disappointed in getting admittance to the apartments of Delia.

Ver. 7. It was customary with the Roman lovers to addrese the gates of their mistresses: Many instances of this occur in the elegiac poets.

Ver. 13. This kind of gallantry was much practised by the Romans.

At lacrimans cxdusus amator limina fæpe
Floribus, et sertis operit, postesque supetbus
Ungit amaracyno. Lucres.

Meantime excluded, and expos'd to cold,
The whining lover stands before the gate-,
And there with humble adoration waits;
Crowning with flow'rs the threshold and the floor,
And printing kisses on th' obdurate door.


The Romans decked their doors with garlands upon many public and private occasions.

Ver. 24. The best comment on all this passage, is that elegy of Ovid's which begins

Me specta, nutusque meos, &c.

Ver. 31. The civil wars, as they introduced a general dissolutenefo of manners, so they also in

creased the number of robbers; and welirt"'sical authority for asserting, that Rome. &a age of Cæsar, was as much infested with Us as modern Italy. Propertius has thus imps*upon this passage of our author:

Nec tamen est quifquam sacros qui Ixdit I*1 Scyronis media sic licet ire Via:

Quisquis Amator erit, Scythicis licet ambaletot*. Nemo adeo ut noceat, barbarus tsse potest,

Luna ministrat itcr, demonstrant Astra fakir* Ipse Amor accensas percutit ante faces.'1

Yet, after all, the thnughts of Tibuilus »Pf' more just. Mr. Prior has given us the fan" •* timent, bnt in a different manner, using logy with more address than even mo& > ■' ancients.

For love, fantastic power, that is afraid
To Hir abroad till watchfulness be laid;
Undaunted then through cliffs ard valleys 4"fl
And leads his votaries safe through pathless «j(
Not Argus with his hundred eyes shall St»
Where Cupid goes, though he, poor g«* *

■ star/W***

Ver. 36. Broekhusius's note on the original of. ■his passage if so curious, that the reader (hall lave it in hit own words: "Minus recte Turn-bus (nam et Turnebus homo suit) hanc digito-1 •um concrepationem exponit de re, quam facile mlloque negotio adsequimur, et levi quodam velut

000 et nutu jubemus et obtinemus." Adv. lib. 10. This explanation, adds our commentator,

1 urnebus confirms by a quotation from Martial, vhich, however, as Brockhusius sagaciously oberves, only intimates the gesture of a person, 'matulam poscentis." He then interprets the nssage, and bis interpretation the translator has idopted.

Ver. 38. This was a punishment supposed to be inflicted on those who beheld, though without design, any deity. The old priestess of the " bona Dea," in Propertius, thus addresses Alcidcs:

Parce oculis, hospes, lucoque age sede verendo,
Cede agedum, et tuta, limina linque, fuga.

Lit. iv. El. 9.

Venus, in the end of the hymn ascribed to Homer, threatens Anchiscs, if he blabbed their intercourse, to stride him with thunder. The youth, having disregarded this warning, was thus deprived of one of his eyes. See Callimachus' poem intituled the Bath of Diana.

Ver. 49. The first description of a witch to be sound in any Latin poet, is that which Virgil has given in hi9 eighth eclogue. Those critics who arc fond of tracing resemblances among poets, would be apt to. assert, that our author had that passage in his eye; and yet, if it is considered, that popular prejudice imputed those very effects to witchcraft, there is no occasion for supposing that Maro's Mxris assisted Tibulhu in hi* description of his "Saga Verax." However dissonant to sound sense and philosophy magical descriptions may be, yet they have an excellent effect in poetry, where admiration is to be excited.

According to Marcellas, " saga," in its primitive meaning, signified " turpis amorum conciliatrix;" and as such bawds used spells and drugs to effectuate tbeir illicit purposes, it came afterwards to be applied to a witch.

The Romans, according to Broekhusius, held magic in the utmost abhorrence Would the reader view the full force ascribed by the ancients to witchcraft, let him turn to Horace's fifth and seventeenth Epodes. Ovid's Epistle to Hypsipyle, ver. 83. and £1. viii. lib. t. and Metamorp. lib. vii. ver. 179. lib. xiv. ver. 43. Propertius, lib. iv. El. v. Seneca's Medea, ver. 675. and his Hercules Œta, ver. 454. Lucan, lib. vi. ver. 431. Apuleius, lib. i. ii. iii. of his Metamorphosis. Petronioa, Claudian, lib. i. in Rufin. ver. 146. Silius, lib. viii. ver. 496. Valerius Flaccus, lib. vi. ver. 439- and Nemesianus'a fourth Eclogue. But Virgil's description (lib. iv. Æn. 487.) of a witch, 'hough comprised in five lines only, is, by Broekhusius, preferred to all the rest.

However the moderns may be obliged in other respects, tes yield the poetical palm to the ancients, Tec the most bigoued to classical superiority must

confess, that the ancients themselves have been surpassed by us in the poetry of magic. Who, for instance, of the Greek or Roman poets, can be compared with our Shakspeare in this particular } Nay, they might be challenged to produce any magical rites equal in propriety and terror to those we find in Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdess; a poem from which, if Shakspeare did not trans* plant many a beauty, Milton certainly did.

Ver. 50. It was believed by the ancients, that magic could raise the manes of the dead, and that those ghosts could certainly inform inquirers concerning future events. Vid. Homer's Odyssey, lib. xi. Virgil's Æn. vi. Seneca's Œdip. Statins, lib. iv. Silius Italicus, lib. xiii. and Valerius Flaccus, lib. i. Nor did the Romans regard necromancy as an infamous or abominable art.

One of the usages practised to make the manes appear, was to shed human blood; and, if Cicero may be credited, (vid. Iuterrogat. Vatin.) the entrails of boys particularly were, on such occasions, offered up.

Ver. «»• Some editors read "fluminis;" and the reading is supported by MS. authority.

Ver. 55. These thoughts are thus assumed by Hammond.

A wizard dame, thy lover's ancient friend,
With magic charms has deaft thy husband's

At her command I saw the stars descend,
And winged lightnings stop in mid career.

I saw her stamp and cleave the solid ground,

While ghastly spectres round us wildly roam; I saw them hearken to her potent sound, Till scarr'd at day they sought their drear/ home.

At her command, the vigorous summer pines,

And wint'ry clouds obscure the hopeful year! At her strong bidding gloomy winter shines, And vernal roses on the snows appear.

She gave these charms, which I on thee bestow: They dim the eye, and dull the jealous mind; For me they make a husband nothing know; For me, and only me, they make him blind.

El. T.

The whole of this fifth elegy of Hammond's is indeed a beautiful imitation of this second of Tibullus.

Ver. 54. The aspersion used to send those " infernz catervae." back to hell was milk; and, if the translator is not mistaken, this is the only passage in the ancient poets where milk is taken notice of as used for this purpose. See note on the second elegy of the third book, for the use of milk at funerals; and elegy sixth of the fame book, for its virtue in dispelling diseases, when offered along with blood and wine to the infernal gods.

Ver. 60. The unusual hissing in the original of this line

Sola seros Hecates perdumuiffe canes,

was probably meant to give the reader a more terrible idea of chuse fierce attendants of Hecate; and hence the alteration of Sola ferns Hccatæ, &c.

offered by Broekhusius, seems improper.

Ver. 6a. The reader who wants to be inform, ed of the many u/es made of spittle in medicine, in magic, in expiations, in averting witchcraft, in omens, and in conciliating love, may consult Pliny the elder, and those commentators whom Broekhusius has quoted. We shall only observe, that the belies of its being a preservative against fascination is very ancient, for Theocritus makes Damsetas thus express himself in the sixth Idyl.

is fin CtLCjtarfu Si, rgi; ixœurx us ifts? xiXiroi.

Nor did only the shepherds of Sicily look upon spittle in this light, the Romans believed the fame of it. Accordingly, on the day when an infant was named (which for girls was on the eighth, for boys on the ninth, after birth), the graruimother or aunt, moving round in a circle, rubbed, with her middle singer, the child's forehead with spittle, which was hence called " JLultralis Saliva."

The number three was of great import in almost all the religious and magical ceremonies of antiquity; for though,a-Virgilexpressea it,thegods were supposed to be pleased with all odd numbers, yet three was deemed the most pleasing to them. The number four was also os some estimation, as Microbius, in his Commentary on the Sonin. Seipion. informs us. Vid. cap. 5, 6. Our pact also uses the number f ur in one of his elegies.

Ver. 63. Ovid, who, without any ceremony, adopts our poet's sentiments, whenever they suit his purpose, has made use of the same argument to au over vigilant keeper.

Viderit ipse licet, credet tamen tile neganti
Damnabit oculos, et sibi verba dabit.

Although it is with great reluctance that men credit any report injurious to the fame of one they love, yet nothing less than a spell was necessary to make a husband deny the testimony of his own fenses.

Ver. 69. The lustration mentioned in the original was a torch of pine-tree; to which were added sulphur and bitumen, and, as Brockhusius conjectures, blood. A solemn washing, and the sacrifice of a black lamb, preceded the use of the torch. These ceremonies were also performed on a dear night, " nocte serena." The ancients thought them equally powerful either to bind the lover, or free him from the influence of love.

Pontanus and Amaltheus among the moderns, not to mention others, have given us an ample detail of the ceremonies practised on these occasions: but as most of them are unadapted to modern superstition, their accounts show some learning, but little judgment. Ovid laughs at all these Ceremonies in his Remedy of Love.

Ver. 71. The best list of these deities is to be found in tb,e seventh bock os Ovid's Metamor

phosit, ver. 191. and in the two Spinifii pn Seneca, Med. ver. 140. and Lucan, 730. BnU Ver. 74. Though this be evidently the œ:v sion of the elegy, yet some editors have siruje; tacked to it,

Ferreus ille suit,

and the thirteen following lines, which otkcj 1 the first elegy. Nor content with this, thjy i.r forced

Num veneris magnx,

and the seven succeeding verses, from their at ral place in the fifth elegy of this book, ani ix added them to the other transposition. followed one of these editions

May it not have been this inaccuracy of ti tors which induced that great poet, as well critic, Mr. Dryden, to assert, that Tibuiiji a composing, seldom looked farther than th: ts line; that he rambles from his subject, lie1 excludes with something which is not of »fe with the beginning. Although it isgrimei,— no man understood the beauties of ancieEt tor and of course could draw the characters of Es poets, better than Mr. Dryden; yet it ii œ: that his sentiments on these subjects wert»> ways the result of mature deliberation. »4 general preface to the volume from vrbktB above censure on our author is taken, Mr. Drat complains of his want of leisure ; aud, this is too evident in the quotation above, n'i arguments to TibulUis's elegies will fhos 1 '•' ginning, a middle, and a conclusion, ewt^" than can be found in Propertius, whoyet,i=-' ing to that critic, had always a plan wteu« down to write.

Let not, however, the reader imagine Si'1 is meant as a censure on Mr. Dryden; t»* mortal genius had not time to correct ho «^"-' But what shall we say of the age which ii"'its first pen to be hackneyed through necta.' ■

However, if Dryden's circumstances 2 apology for his little incorrectnesses, Rapiaoc be pardoned on the fame account: and j« critic, who often characterizes books ht t& read, makes the following observation:

"Je scai, qu' il y a des onvrages qui par la quality de leur charactere eerc ferits' B air libre fans autre desscin, que eclui d'ajt»» vete naturelle, et saus contrainte, tcls qaefeff s hyranes d' Orphee- d' Homerc, de Caiurci -'" tels que font certaines Odes de Pindare, £ A* creon, et d' Horace, qui n' ont de regie que 1 °' thousiafme, tels que font aufsi la plopart dn gies de Tibulle et Properce; mais ii faut an"1', que ce ne font pas les plus belies, et qoand * * Reflexions aux Elegies d' Ovide on y troavejf» jours un tour secret qui en fait le deffein." TO shall one say to all this critical jargon, bst

Ten censure wrong, for one who writes axii

Jo. Antonius Vulpiut, a lawyer of Berp^' who published au edition of CatsllWi T^'-1 ad Propertius, A. D. I. IO. at Padua, concludes us second elegy with

— nec te posse carere vilim,

Broekhulius has done; but then he immediate

\y adds, though without any reason, " Videmut aliqua desiderari. Vulpitu observes, that " posse carere" was a Roman colloquial expression, of which he produces two instances from Martial.


I'hre you, Messala, plough th' Ægean sea,

sometimes kindly deign to think of me:

c, hapless me, Phæaciao shores detain,

iknown, unpitied, and oppress'd with pain.

* spare me, death, ah spare me and retire:

i weeping mother's here to light my pyre:

ire is no sister, with a sister's woe,

ch Syrian odours on the pile to throw:

it chief, my soul's soft partner is not here,

er locks to loose, and sorrow o'er my bier. IO

Wbat though fair Delia my return implor'd,

ich sane frequented, and each god ador'd:

fiat though they bade me every peril brave;

id fortune thrice auspicious omens gave:

! could not dry my tender Delia's tears,

ppress her sighs, or calm her anxious fears;

:n as I strove to minister relies,

conscious tears proclaim'd my heart-felt grief:

j'd slill to go, a thousand shifts I made,

ds now, now festivals my voyage staid: »0

, if I struck my foot against the door,

ait 1 return'd, and wisdom was no more.

bid by Cupid, let no swain depart,

pid is vengeful, and will wring her heart.

A'hat do your offerings now, my fair, avail.'

ur Isis heed not, and your cymbals fail!

bit,though array'd in sacred robes you stood,

'd man's embrace, and sought the purest stood?

life this I write, I sensibly decay,—

iflist me, Isis, drive my pains away: 30

'hat you can every mortal ill remove,

'he numerous tablets in your temple prove:

0 shall my I) lia, veil'd in votive white, efore your threshold sit for many a night; nd twice a day, her tresses all unbound,

.mid your votaries fam'd, your praises found: ife to my household gods may I return, tnd incense monthly on their altars burn." tow blest man liv'd in Saturn's golden days, r distant climes were join'd by lengthen'd ways, arc the pine upon the mountain grew, 41 f yet o'er billows in the ocean slew; in every clime a wild abundance bore;

1 man liv'd happy on his natal shore: then no steed to seel the bit was broke, tn had no steer submitted to the yoke;

huuse had gates, (blest times!) and, in the grounds

scanty landmarks parceU'd out the bounds:

•m every oak redundant honey ran,

d ewes spontaneous bore their milk to man; 50

No deathful arms were forg'd, no war was wag'd,

No rapine plunder'd, no ambition rag'd.
How chang'd, alas! Now cruel Jove commands;
Gold fires the foul, and falchions arm our hands:
Each day, the main unnumber'd lives destroys;
And slaughter, daily, o'er her myriads joys.
Yet spare me, Jove, I ne'er disown'd thy sway,
I ne'er was perjur'd; spare me, Jove, I pray.

But, if the sisters have pronoune'd my doom, Inscrib'd be these upon my humble tomb: , 60 "Lo! here inur'd a youthful poet lies, "Far from his Delia, and his native skies! "Far from the Iov'd Mtssala, whom to please "Tibullus follow'd over land and seas."

Then love my ghost (for love I still obey'd) Will grateful usher to th' Elysian shade: There joy and ceaseless revelry prevail; There soothing music floats on every gale; There painted warblers hop from spray to spray, And, wildly-pleasing, swell the general lay: 70 There every hedge, untaught, with cassia blooms, And scents the ambient air with rich perfumes: There every mead a various plenty yields; There lavish Flora paints the purple fields: With ceaseless light a brighter Phœbus glows, No sickness tortures,and no ocean flows; But youths associate with the gentle fair, And stung with pleasure to the shade repair: With them love wanders wheresoe'er they stray, Provokes to rapture, and inflames the play: 80 But chief, the constant few, by death betray'd,'d with myrtle, monarchs of the shade.

Not so the wicked; far they drag their chains,
By black lakes feverVI from the blissful plains;
Those should they pass, impassable the gate
Where ferb'rus howls, gTim sentinel of sate.
There snake-hair'd fiends with whips patrole a-

Rack'd anguish bellows, and the deeds resound:
There he, who dar'd to tempt the queen of heaven,
Upon an ever-turning wheel is driven: 90
The Danaids there, still strive huge casks to sill,
But strive in vain, the casks elude their skill:
There Pelop's sire, to quench his thirsty fires,
Still tries the flood, and still the flood retires:
There vultures tear the bow'ls, and drink the gore,
Of Tityus, stretch'd enormous on the shore.
Dread love, as vast as endless be their pain
Who tempt my fair, or wish a long campaign.

O let no rival your affections share,
Long M thi» bosom beats, my lovely ■ 109

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