Sivut kuvina

sViacreon honours Mm with "he epithet xx>.u, and Nalo nukes him the following fine compliment.

—'I'ibi enim inconsumpta juventus, Tu puer attemus, tu forniosislimui alto Conspiccril calo, tibi cum sine corn.bus adstas Virgineum caput est.

Apollo's b'auty is commonly known. Bacchus, s well as Cupid and Minerva, is always repre;nted with long yellow hair; and the epirict x^wioutt, which sonic of the poets have be:owtu on him.

Ver. 37. Co pl-ai J vihcrrer Jht go"-"] This thought is finely imitated by that sweet elegiac 1 poet Joannes Secundus.

Illius imperio vente« patitmur et imbres,

Ihimus et solas nocte siiente vias,
Nec grave frigus eiit, nec folstitium, licet in me

Fervidus ingeminet sidcta sicca puer i.fa volet comitcm fibi, me quoeunque sequemur

C£ua via nulla rotac per via null* rail.

lit iii. Lib. I.

Ver 48 the coy may flrupvle.] Horace has >eautifully applied this thought to l.ycimnia.

Dum nagratitia detorquet acl ofcula
Cerviccm, aut sacili sævitia negat.

Qua: posetnte magU gaudeat cripi
Intcrdum raperc occupat.

Bnil?au had done great justice to this thought in hit L'Art Poctique, Chant. a. and Mr. Francis srem« to have caught the foul of Horace when he translated it.

Ver. 65. If poetry bestows immortality on charm*, which would otherwise fa'de, it is eminently the interest of the fair sex to keep well with the poets. Properties and Ovid impute 10 •sir own verses, what ribullu* more modestly ascribe* to poetry in general. Indeed beauty is I the parent of poetry j and if the British hards have iarpafsdd their brethren on the continent, it is chufly owing tu the superior charms of our fair country women

The images, expressive of beauty, when immortalized by song, should here have been such Is were more appropriated to elegy; for those, our poet mentions on this occasion, would better have suited pastoral.

Ver. 74. Broekhusius is of opinion, that the Titius mentioned in the text, was Titius Septitnius, a man no less eminent for his friendship with Horace, than for his real poetical abilities; md whom that excellent judge of men, at wdl as il wilting, thus characterizes,

Qoid Titius Romans brevi ventures in ora?

1'imlarici fontia qui not expalui: haultus,
Fastidire lacus et rivos ausus ap:rtos:
Ut valet i ut neminit nostri? filibusiie htinis
Thebanos modos studrt auspice musa?
An tragica deszvit et ampullatur in arte.

B. l. £f. 3,

How fares my Titius? Say when he intends
To publish? Does lie not forget hjp friends?
He who disdains the springs of common fame,
And dauntless, quaffs the deep Pindaric stream:
Does he design, when all the muse inspires,
To tune to Theban sounds the Roman lyres?
Or, with the transports of theatric rage.
And its sonorous language shake the stage?


The old Scholiast accordingly informs us, that he published buth lyric poem« and tragedies. There is reason also to thiok, that he likewise wrote comedies; for the fame Scholiast observes, on the following line of Horace,

Ut vinusa jfomos furtive Pyrrhia lanae.

£p. 13. B. t.

that the poet Titius introduces a servjnt of the name of Pyrrhia, stealing a ball of wool from her mistress. All his works are unfortunately lost. He had a n.'ble monument erected to him in tho neighbourhood of Aricia, ten miles from Rome.

Barthitis, in his Adversaria, owns that he did not know who the Titius was, whom Horace mentions; and therefore Mr. Francis is the more excusably silent on this article.

After all, it is impossible for any modern to determine, whether Horace and Tibullus meant the fame Titius; and indeed it is of no consequence.

Ver. 85. WiJc stands my gatr all ] This is an image borrowed from the practice of the Roman lawyers. There is no word in the English, language which fully expresses the meaning of the Latin verb " deducerc." It implies that solicitous attendance which the younger paid to men of eminence, or clients to their patrons. To form a just idea of this custom, a modern must consult: Juvenal, and Cicero de petitione consulatus.


Tibullus probably had in his thoughts some verses of Callimachus, which Stobatiis (Scrm. 114) has preserved.

TOV QlklOt/ei. Ml It fttl WS*t TOKMC

X*'i*i oixuni *xttf «>•*'•*' ^f". Vvlp% 3 A »'j


Or lite I boasted I could happy be,

Resume the man, and not my Delia sec!

And boast* of manhood and of bliss are vain;

Sack to my bondage I return again!

And like a top am whirl'd, which boys, for sport,

JLash on the pavement of a level court!

What can atone, my fair, for crimes like these?
I'll bear with patience, use me as you please!
Yet, by love's shufts, and by your braided hair,
By all the joys we stole, your suppliant spare. IO
When sickness dimm'd of late your radiant eyes,
My restless, fond petitions won the lKies.
Thrice 1 with sulphur purified you round,
And thrice the rite with songs th' enchantress

The cake, by me thrice sprinkled, put to flight
The death-denouncing phantoms of the night:
And 1 nine times, in linen garbs array'd,
In silent night, nine times to Trivia pray'd.
What did 1 not.' Yet what reward have 1?
"You love another, your preserver fly! ac
He tastes the sweet effects of all my cares,
JVly fond lustrations, and my solemn prayers.

Are these the joys my madding fancy drew,
V young ey'd Health restor'd your rosy hue?
1 fondly thought, sweet maid, oh thought in vain!
With you to live a blithesome village swain.
When yellow Ceres asks the reaper's hand,
Delia (s.iid I) will guard the reaper's band;
IVlia will keep, when hinds unload the vine,
The choicest grapes for me, the richest wine: 3*
!My slocks she'll count, aod oft will sweetly deign
To clasp some prattler of my menial train:

With pious care will load each rural shrine, 1
For ripen'd crops a golden sheaf assign, >
Cates for my fold, rich clusters for my vine: 1
No, no domestic care (ball touch my foul;
You, Delia, reign despotic o'er the whole!
And will Mcssala fly from p imp of state,
And deign so enter at my lowly gate f
The choicest fruitage that my trees afford, 1
Delia will cull herself, to deck the board.
And wondering, such transcendent worth to fe,
The fruit present, thy blushing handmaid (h:
Such were the fond chimeras of my brain,
Which now the winds have wasted o'er the œfc

0 power of love, whom still my foul obej'd, What has my tongue against thy mother said! Guiltless of ill, unmark'd with incest's stain,

1 stole no garland from her holy fane:

For crimes like these I'd abject crawl thegrsEi Kiss her dread threshold, and my forehead waai

But ye who, falsely wise, deride my paini Beware; your hour approaches—lovehaiefe I've known the young, who ridicul'd hiin? Love's humblest vaflals, when opprefs'd «Hr Each art I've known them try to win theS* Smooth their hoarse voice, and dress thorax hair;

I've known them, in the street, her maiii^
And weeping, beg her to assist their pail
At such preposterous love each school bojetti
Shuns, as an omen, or purlues with Seen
Why do you crush your slave, fair c-sts1

Destroying me, your harvest you destroy!


Tibullds had unfortunately boasted, that Delia had not so great an ascendant over him as she imagined. Being willing to know the extent of her authority, she forbade him her presence. This he at first treated as an order which would jgive him no pain to comply with; but he was soon convinced of his error, and found that hit felicity consisted solely in her converse. To reinstate himself, therefore, in her good graces, the following elegy was composed.

Ver. 5. No poet, perhaps, ever used fewer si•niks than iibullus. Thy principal object al

ways employed him too much to think oW* blances. Virgil has applied the simile of iM to Amata, in the seventh Æneid; u I laccus does to Medea, in the eighth bod ri Argonautics. Things, of no dignity in 4* selves, become important in the hands csn* poet.

Ver. 9. When the ancient! begged a W they generally enforced their entreaties by ** ing to the objects which were held in the lif" esteem by those whom they petitioned, hi* rout coBiptfsitioBf, illusions to a perfw W-TM Mre Introduced With most propriety. The three preat elegiac poets abound with many happy instances of this kind.

Ver. II. Not only the poets, but the physi:ians, supposed, that sulphur possessed a purifying rirtue; whence probably it obtained the epithet r« Indeed, if the infection proceeds from

ilkalinc or putrid miasmata, the steams os brimtone may be antidotal.

Ver. 14. As many diseases were thought by he ancients to spring from supernatural causes, ncantation was early introduced into medicine. 1 his indeed was chiefly practised in Persia; but it soorr spread, insomuch, that, in the days of Puny the elder, it became so common a practice in Britain, that the Persian* themselves, according to that curium author, might seem to have borrowed incantation from our ancestors. "Britannia hodie tarn attonite celebrat tantis cetemoniis ut dedisse Persia videri poffit." Lib. XII. C. I.

But had Pliny maturely considered the assair, be would have found, that as this, as well as every other superstition, is the oss-pring of ignorance and imposture, there was no occasi on for making Persia its mother country.

Pomponius Mela informs us, that at Sena (which some call a maritime town in Britain, and others a British island opposite to France) there was a Gallic deity, whole virgin priestesses were called Barrigenae; and supposed to have the power, by incantation, (carminibut) of raising and laying storms, of curing diseases which none else could cure, and of predicting events. He adds, that they only exerted their magical abilities in compliance with the request of those seamen who came on purpose to consult them.

Lib. iii. C. 6. The use of magic, in the medical art, continued long even among the Christians: and there was a time, fays Broekhusius, when the inquisition regarded it a» a trifling trespass.

If the ancient music cured so many, and such Inveterate diseases, as Pliny, Aulus Ueltius, and others, pretend it did, it must have been very different from that of the modems.

Ver. It. This cake, which (as Servius, ad Ed. viii. ver. Si. informs us) was made three times a year by the vestal virgins, was a composition of flour and two kinds of salt.

Ver. 17. Scaligcr was mistaken, when he supposed that these were infernal sacrifices; for Diana, who was none of the Dii lnferi, was the object of them. Brotkbus.

Nothing was bound in sacrifices, fays Broekhusius, neither the victim nor the hair, the vestments nor feet: It is certain, too, that Servius has asserted the fame. (Æn. ii. ver. 133. &c.) And yet some passages may be quoted from clastic authors, and even from Virgil, where the hair appears to have been bound; as, for instance, the fallowing from the twelfth Æneid:

Alii fontemque ignemque ferebanr,
Velati lino, et verbena tempora vmcti.

VTc also sec that Dido sasrjficcd \ 4.) with

one foot bare only; and it is known, that fillett 1 were tied on the victim. Dart. I Ver. 18. Trivia or Diana was applied to in , \ diseases, on many accounts, but especially because infirm bodies were supposed to be greatly under { the influance of that planet. Oruterus has preserved many addresses to this goddess in his inscriptions. Lovers, in particular, implored her assistance. See Seneca's tragedy of Hippolitus and the second idyllium of Theocritus.


Ver. 25. No passion makes more frequent feasts on expectation, than love; and a wicked wit has said, that these are the most pleasing meals it enjoys. But, be that as it will, the whole of this passage exhibits a most amiable! picture of country retirement, wherein religion, love, and rural affairs, equally conspire to make life truly desirable. Philosophers contend, that we ought not to indulge too flattering prospects of futurity, because, in that case, disappointment! fall heavier. But although we may grant that it is an error to be too sanguine in our hopes, yet, when we consider that hope was implanted in uj by the all-wise Creator, it will appear little left than a direct contradicting of Providence, to suppress it entirely. Our author was of this opinion. There are few passages in the elegiac poets which surpass this of Tibullus, in the warmth, as well as delicacy of its colouring.

Ver. 32. If it be considered with what harshness even the better sort of the Romans treated their staves, the good-nature, so conspicuous in this sentiment of our poet, must give us an amiable idea of his benevolence.

The peasants, mentioned in the text, were slaves born on the estate. The Romans called them ftrnae.

Ver. 33. Tibullus's mistress was not to be employed solely in acts of economy; devotion was also to accompany her thrift. The several offerings, enumerated in the original, are preserved in the version.

Dipt, according to the ancient grammarians, signifies a sacred banquet; and in this sense Tibullus uses it here. Passages, however, occur in classic authors, where that word only means a common entertainment. M. Cato, in his treatise de Re Rustic*, 1. 83. tells us, that the offering for the health and fecundity of the herds, might be made either by a slave or by a freedman; but that, if they chose to succeed in their petitions, no woman should be permitted to be present at the ceremony. Tibullus therefore judiciously omits that circumstance of rural devotion.

Ver. 37. Martial improperly applies this lint to Nemesis.

Uffit AmatoremNemefis lasciva Tibullum,
In tota juvit quern nihil cssc domo.

Lib. tit. t<)%.

Ver. 38. Can any thing be more delicate than this compliment to his patron, that even Delia teals give him no complete satisfaction 3 Aiiij

without his company? His love, indeed, was the more violent paffi.ji; but friendship for Messala had also rooted itself deep in his heart. St;okes of this exquisite nature are only to be expected from those who have access to the great, but whom the great have not infected with selfishness. Mr. Hammond has applied this thought to Lord Chesterfield.

Stanhope (hall come and grace his rural friend;

Delta fhail wonder at her noble guest, With blushing awe the riper fruit commend,

And for her husband's patron cull the best.

El. i3.

It i- astonishing, that a late critic did not make Milton indebted to our author for the manner in which that great poet represented Eve attending on the angel Gabriel. Many of his alleged imitations are not half so well founded. But one who dealt iu the rubbish of Staphorstius and Foxius, c. uld have no taste for the elegancies of Tibullus

Ver. 48. This is such an appeal to heaven, as must appear very becoming in a person conscious of his own innocence The ancients imagined, that disasters were inst cted by the gods on mortals, as a punishment only for their failing in the duties of religion: But experience (hows us, that the best men ar« often exposed to the greatest calamities. Prior ha* put a fine appeal of thi* kind into the m< uth of Emma, in that beautiful poem of his, intituled Henry and Emma. Let envious jealousy, and canker d spight, Produce my actions to severest light, And tax my open day and secret night: Did e'er my eye an inward thought reveal, Which angels might not hear, or virgins tell? And hast thou in my conduct, Henry, known, That 1, of all mankind, have lov'd but you alone?

Ver. 50. Who can read these ancient superi. tious penances, and not agree with Dr. Middkton, that the Romish church it the daughter d the Pagan?

According to Broekhufius, the beating theko. against the sacred threshold, was an expiatory cr. remony brought from Ægypt along with i.: goddess* Ills. This it the only passage of td. quity, where this extraordinary rite is mums. ed; from whence that commentator concl&ci that it neither prevailed long, nor wa» genera.] received, at Rome.

Ver. 54 The original is variously readbjtfc tors: that which the translator has retained, va the correction of Scaliger, and is approved of bj Broekhufius.

Among the few natural descriptions to * sound in the Pastor Fido, the following, «bd expresses the nnferies to which an old man itfst ject, is one of the chief.

Non c pena maggiore

Cb' en vecchic membra il p:zzicor !' inuri.

—S'e ti guinge in quella fredda crate
Ove il proprio difetto
Piu che la colpa altrui fpeiTo si piagne
Al' hora insupportabili e xrrortali
Son le sue piagge, al' hor lr per.e axerbt:
Al' hor si pieta tu cerchi, male
Se non la trovi, e se la ttovi peggio, Sx

Ver. 61. Spitting, the reremony nsediia text, was supposed a preservative ^ omens, and is a gentler method than thofepn scribed by the profound authors of the fcarJ and sixteenth centuries as . hai ms a..,. craft, which was to give a gash with a bra any part of the face above the organs ofsin


With wine 1 strove to sooth my love-sick soul, But vengeful Cupid dafh'd with tc .rs the bowl: All mad with rage, to kinder nymphs I flew; But vigour fled me, when I thought on you. Balk'd of the rapture, from my arms they run, iiwear I'm devoted, and my convtffc shun I

By what dire witchcraft am I thus betray'd? Your face and hair unnerve me, matchless maid: Not more celestial look'd the sea-born fair, Kecciv'd by Peleus from her pearly chair. 10 A rich admirer his addrt sies paid, And bfib'd my inistrels by a beldam's aid. From you my ruin, curst procuress, rose; What imprecations shall avenge my woes I

May heaven, in pity to my sufferings, lVd
Its keenest mischief on your plotting head'
she ghosts us those y. u robb'd of Ion's «•'•

In horrid visions haunt your irksome night!
And, on the chimney, may the boding owl
Your rest disturb, and tsrrrify your loul 1 ■
By famine stung, to church-yards may you n£
There, feast on offals, hungry wolves would lii;
Or howling frantic, in a tatter'd t:own;
Fierce mastiffs bate you through etch cnrv.'j-

'Tis done! a lover's curse the gods approve; But keenest vengeance fire* the queen ot Jut*.

I eave then, my fair, the crafty venal jide:
What passion yields not, when such foes invade?

Your hearts, ye fair, does modest merit claim? Though small lii» fortune, seed his gentle flame: For, genuine love's soft raptures would you know? These raptures merit can alone bestow: 33

The sons of opulence are folly't care,

But want's rough child is fense, and honour's heir.

In vain we sing—the gate still bolted stands: Come, vengeance, let us burst its sullen bands. Learn, happy rival, by my wrongs to know Your fate, since fortune governs all below.


TuotLus's mistress had, it would seem, town too great a regard to a richer gallant. This gave our poet uncommon uneasiness; to lomrurr which, he not only had recourse to the bottle, though otherwise temperate, but even attempted to forget her ungenerous behaviour in the company of the fair. Experience, however, soon convinced him, that nothing could make him either forget, or be happy without her; and gave occasion to this poem.

Some editors have most injudiciousiy tacked this elegy to the former.

Ver. 6. "Dcvovere," the word of the original, properly signifies, "frigore ferire cam partem, qua viri fumus; ut quantumvis cupiamus, tamen minime polTumus." The French call it " nouer 1'eguiliclco;" and the doctors of the canon law fay, that such people are " 1rigidi et malificiati."


Ovid has informed us of the various means by which such an imbccillity may be produced. Num mea theffalico languent devota veneno

Corpora? Num miscro carmen et herba nocent? tagave punicea defixit m mina cera

Et medium tenues in jecur egit acus.

Lib. iii, £1. J. So similar is superstition in all ages.

Apuleius Celsus gravely prescribes a remedy, by which the "vincula vencris" may be untied. Lib. de Medic. Herb. c. 7. See a curious story of this kind, which Herodotus relates of Amasis, •he Egyptian king, in his Euterpe.

Ver. i. The hair here mentioned by our poet, is that of a yellow colour, " flavacunia;" and, indeed, yellowness may with propriety be cajled the classical colour of hair, since some of the greatest beauties of antiquiy, both men and women, arc represented by the poets with this fort of hair. So variable are our ideas of beauty! The Italians, however, even to this day, praise "chionic d'oro." See a curious dissertation on this subject by Jo. Arntzenius, intituled " Dc colore et tinctura comarum," &c.

Ver. 10. The heathen poets, in comparing a person to any os their deities, had a sure method »f giving the reader a picture os that person, as the statues of their god, were known :o every one, and their features ascertained; and this, lays the isgeuious author of the Pelynieti*, it one rca


sen, why similies of this kind are so frequent ia ancient authors. , It is to be regretted, that Tibullus has not left us more of these resemblance*. The sew he has given us, are exquisite; but hit heart was too engaged to wander abroad lor foreign ornaments. Propertius and Ovid abound with them. The modern poets also seem fond of the same kind of comparisons, though they hasre not the fame advantages, in this respect, as the ancients. Valerius Flaccus gives us a short but beaut'sul picture of Thetis, when going to be married, in the first bonk of hit Argonautics. The reader may also see Catullut's tine potm oa the fame subject. Pum. 6*.

Ver. 16. The original, literally interpreted, runs thus: May (he cat raw flesh with a bloody mouth, and drink melancholy liquors mixed with much gall. This was no small curse, if the procurdscs of old liked good cheer at well at the modern sisterhood. Ovid has concisely imitated this imprecation.

Di tibi dent nullos lares inopemque senectam,
Et longas hyemes, perpetuamque sitim.

Propertius carries his malice still farther.
Terra tuum spinis obducat lena sepnlcrum
Et tua, quod non vis, fentiat umbra sitim.

The ancients believed, that nothing could prevent the curses of a person, unjustly injured, from taking effect. Of all the moderns, no poet furpasses Olelham in these fort of imprecations. Vulpius is of opinion, that the poet wishes the biwd to be affected with that species of madness, which makes the diseased think themselvci metamorphosed into wolves. This is far-fetched.

Ver. 21 Commentators are greatly divided in their interpretations of this passage. The true meaning seems to be this: The Romans had private feasts upon the death of their friends, called "Silicernia," from '* Silex" and "Cxna," of supping upon a stone; part of which they eat, and left, the rest on the tomb for the ghostt to seed upon. And therefore it became proverbial, on extreme misery, to say, that one got his victual*, from the tombs. Dart.

Ver. ao. This thought is one of the least delicate in l ibullus; and therefore the translator haa not only emitted it, but given a d.sscrent turn ta the whole passage from " pauper crit," c...

« EdellinenJatka »