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Ver. 35. —lie gritsiitt UlieJJlanJs.] The word used in the original, Servitu (Ad. Lib. i. Æn. v. 127.) derives from " fatim hifeerc."
Ver. 36. The young people, both of Greece and Italy, when they went to visit their mistresses at night, often carried torches along with them, to burn the duars of those who should refuse to grant them admittance. This boisterous piece of jrallantry, which the modern spirits call beating the rounds, puts one in mind of the answer made by one of the family of Huntly, who was taken prisoner at the battle of Mussclburgh, to the
Duke of Somerset, in consequence of that Dofe'l having asked his prisoner, how he stood affected to the marriage between Edward VI. and tit young Mary of Scotland: "I have Do objeefe my Lord Duke, to the match, but like not jv£ method os courtship."
Ver. 37. Learn, tjffy rival.] The original, Mea furta timeto,
Broekhiifius thin wisely interprets, Bt assure! that fortune and woman are mutable, as j« yourself will soon experience.
I.ovt still invites me with a smiling eye!
What laurels canst thou gain from conquering me?
I, wretched I, first taught her to design!
1 first instructed her, her spies to foil '.
Back on myself my wanton arts recoil:
Herbs of rare energy my skill supplied,
All marks of too-fond gallantry to hide!
More artful now, alone the wanton lies;
And new pretexts her cozening brains devise. 10
Uncautious lord of a too cunning spouse I Admittance grant me, die shall keep her vows 1 Be warn'd, my friend, observe her when her tongue [young; Commends in wanton phrase the gay-dress'd O let her not her heaving bosom bare, Ixpos'd to every fop's immodest stare. When leaning on the board, with flowing wine, She seems to draw some inconsiderate line; Take heed, take heed (I know the warning true), These random lines allign an interview. 30 Nor let your wife to fanes so frequent roam, A modest wife's best temple is at home: But if your prohibitions are all vain, Give me the hint, I'll dodge her to the fane; What though the goddess snatch my curious sight, I'll bring her wanton privacies to light.
Some gem she wore, I'd oft pretend to view, But squeez'd her fingers unperceiv'd of you: Oft with full racy bowls I seal'd your eyes, Water my bcv'ridge, and «btain'd the prize. 40 Yet since I tell, forgive the pranks I play'd, Love prompts*) ail, »nd love must b; obey'd!
Nay. 'twas at me (be now the truth avow'J) Your watchful mastiff us'd to bark so loud; But now some other, with insidious wait. Intent observes each creaking of your gste, At which, whoever of the house appears, Passing, the mein of quick dispatch he wean; But comes again, the minute they remove, And coughs, sure signal of impatient love! (5
What boots, though marriage gave a wist » fair,
If careless you, or she eludes your care?
Cold to the raptures of the genial bed,
Then, then be warn'd, intrust her to rfSt; Whips, chains I laugh at,if you grant mypi«"Hence from my ward, ye sparkisli efe* "beaux;
"Illegal love oft springs from essene'd cIouW Where'er she walks, not distant I'll attend; And guard your honour from the casual fried' "Off, gallants, off: for so the gods ordain, "So, the dread priestess in unerring strain 1" (When holy fury fires the frantic dame, She mocks all torture, and exults in flams; Her snow-white arms and heaving breast fc tears;
And with the gushing gore Bellona smears; "• Deep in her side she plants the glittering s»ori; And the dread goddess prompt* each fateful wofA' "Ye youths beware, nor touch whom Cop«i "guards,
"Unpunifh'd none attempt hit gentle wards; "As my blood flows, and as these ashes fly; "Their wealth shall perish, and their maniw*1 "die."
She menae'd then the fair, with dreadful pair; E'en were yon guilty, may her threats be vain: Not on your own account; your mother's age, Your worthy mother, deprecates my rage; « When love and fortune fmil'd, her gentle aid Oft me conducted to the blromiog maid;
My footsteps, wakeful, from af»r she knew, Unbarr'd the gate, nor fear'd the nightly dew: Half of my life's long thread I'd pleas'd resign, My sweet conductress, could I lengthen thine! Still, still, though much abus'd, I Delia prize; She's still thy daughter, and enchants my eyes.
Yet though no coy cimarr invest the fair; Nor vestal fillet bind her auburn hair; 90 Teach her what decent modesty requires; To crown my fire, alone, with equal fires. Me too confine; and if, in wanton praise Of other maids, my tongue luxuriant strays; Let thy suspiciun then no limits know, Insult me, spurn me, as thy greatest foe '. But if your jealousies are built in air, And patient love your usage cannot bear j
What wrath may perpetrate, my soul alarms;
NOTES ON ELEGY VII.
Tut poet had taken it into his head, that he had a rival in the affections of Delia; and notwithstanding all her asseverations to the contrary, was so hurried on, in this elegy, as to let her husband into the whole secret of their intimacy. Had not Tibullus been under the influence of a maddened jealousy, he must soon have recollected, that this confession must for ever terminate all his hopes from th3t quarter; but so very far was our poet from perceiving this, that after an apology, which to every husband could not but appear highly impertinent, he proposes to him to be received into his family, and to become a spy on Delia's actions. Ovid justly observes on this overture of Tibullus, Denique ab incauto nimium petit ille marito.
Ver. 1. This censure of love is highly passionate. JeaLousy, like certain diseases, coaverts the most wholesome nourishment into bad humours. The description probably alludes to the masks worn by love on the stage, viz. an infant's face, with the head and claws of a lion behind.
Ver. 4. Virgil, in the following lines, seems to have imitated this passage of our poet.
Magnum et memorabile nomen Una, dolo divum, si firmina victa duorum est' .
Tbii Mr. Addison somewhere calls the wits thought in the Æneid. But is not the"
Attollena humeris famamque et fata nepotum
in the fame poem, even more epigrammatic'
Ver. 11. Ovid hints at this incredulity of our poet in his trist.
Credere juranti durum putat esse Tibullus.
These who have been jointly engaged in actions, Which it has been necessary to conceal by lies, or (etjury, (aa never afterwards have a tiierough
confidence in eaeb other. So void of foundation is the friendship of the wicked.
Ver. 14. These thoughts Ovid has copied in various places of his amorous writings. The laborious Broekhusitis having collected from Pliny the names of those herbs, which were supposed to produce the essects mentioned in the text, the reader, if he is curious in those matters, may consult him, p. 113.
The same critic is also very full on the " morriuncnl.v" of the original, calling them, no doubt, very sagaciously, the certain marks of solid joy.
Ver. a2. Some editors change the " minus" o£ the original into " nihil," and thus explain the passage. "If you keep your wife from the company of other men, I (hall be the less displeased t* be debarred her presence; it depends therefore entirely upon yourself, to prevent my approaching her." "Servare," understood in this manner, is the fame with " inspicere, observare, oculia uotare." But this interpretation, notwithstanding Virgil and Valerius Flaccus use " servare" in that sense, is more ingenious than just, being contradicted by the sequel os the elegy. One of the best methods of finding out the fense of any obscure passage, is to compare it with other parts of the original.
Q Ver. 31. It was not lawful for men to inform ,rniselvesef the real name of the " bona dea." yk faciifices, called by Cicero the most ancient and occult of any in Rome, were performed once a-year by the vestal virgins in that consul's house, where the fasces happened to be deposited, " quo mense sacrum fiebat pro populo universo." During the celebration of this solemnity, not only the master of the house, and all other men, were excluded, but their very pictures and statues were carefully concealed. It was believed, that a sudden blindness would be inflicted upon any mart, who, on that occasion, however accidentally, thouM view those mysteries. It is true indeed, that the adventure of Clodiu* might have convinced even the vulgar, of the folly and superstition os such an apprehension; yet was the attempt itself regarded by all at. the height of profanation; and if that turbulently trans ic nobleman committed, at that time, in Cæsar's house, the crimes with which Cicero charges him, CaTar was in the right to divorce Pompcia: as the reason he gave for it, viz. that Cælar's wife was not to be suspected, ought to be- looked upon as the result os that delicacy and superiority of genius, which raised him, even in domestic matters, above the Jevel of other men.
Ver. 34. Scaliger, from the word " aram," which is lound in many of the old MSS. and editions, conjectures, that the wcilhip mentioned in the text, must have been at the consul's house; and infers, that, as none but women of the first rank had admittance there, Delia must have been a woman of fashion. Broekhusius, on the other hand, supported by an almost equal number of editions and MSS. read " aras," and contends, that Tibullus meant by that expression, one of the two public temples in Home dedicated to the "bona dca," alleging, that Delia was a " muliercula imi orelinis." But fliould not Broikhusius have considered, that the poets often ule the plural number for the singular. Vid. El. ii. Lib. 1. Lin. I.
According to P. Victor, the " bona dca" had two temples, one in the nth, and the other in the 13th region of Rome. This stood on that part of the Aventic Hi'l, which was calhd Remuria; and that at the foot of the lame hill, whence, as Brockhufius remarks, it received the appellation of Subsaxana.
Ver. 37. In Helen's fine epistle to Paris, there is a thought us the larae kind.
Tu modo me speeHas oculis lafcive protervis
Quos vix inflames lumina nostra ferunt,
Sumis, quoque bihi, tu quoque parte bibis.
Signa supercilio penc loquenti dari,
Nod satis occultis crubuique notis.
Which is thus Englished by Dryden.
Sometimes you'd sigh, sometimes disorder'd stand,
We are not, however, to suppose, that Ovid borrowed the thought from Tibullus; for these are stratagems which have been practised by lovers in all ages.
Ver. 40. Broekhusius, whom few commentators have exceeded in the knowledge of ancient customs of no moment, informs ut, that the practice el challenging to drink, was a fashion derived
to Rome from Greece. See the vertn whit* ; 5tobceus (Serm xvi.) has preserved, said to W written by Panyasis the poet, who was either.uacle or coulin-german to Herodotus the historian.
According to sheophrastus, (as Piiny remark.', 1. j6. c. 21.) your boon companions of Greece, It their drinking-matches, used the .powder of ptmice, which had this recommendatory property, that they ran a rifle of their lives, unless thti swallowed after it an immense quantity of wiu for so cold is the pumice, adds he, that a little d it being thrown into must, will stop its fetmetr. ing.
Ver. 41. " Excusatio quam srequens, torn [rivoia," exclaims the good Broekhusius.
Ver. 61. Our poet's natural heat of difpofcioa, transports him to think, that he is again admitted to the guardianship of Delia ; and the more to influence her husband to intrust Delia to hi* cart, he makes heaven and Bellona denounce veogearc: against any gallant, who should make advancesu her whilst abroad.
In the description of Bellona's priestess (whid resembles what we are told of Baal's priests in its first book of Kings, c. 18.), our author's laorKf: riles, and shows, that what Qnintilian applied t? A'cacus, niay with equal propriety be said ol Tibullus. "Si in lulus et atnorcs descendat, m-j* ribus tamen aptior est."
The Bellonarii were fortune-tellers; mdow high priest, according to Juvenal, was an euci^ They strolled about the streets, forboding difealrt &c. These the superstitious were fain to by donations of eggs, and a particular culflt*'laiment, called zerampelina, which, wbenfisss up in the temple of their goddess, had, it lai the power of averting those calamities, wilh«'•' the donor had been menaced. Vid. Juv.ff.rj Lin. 516.
Ver. 68. Shi mech all tor tyre.] Literally,!* dreads not the twisted lash, which, accurctcfa Broekhusius, was the " flagcllum" with wta Bellona used to flog her votaries into miifcUi whence they received the appellations of * eni*' ati et fanarici."
Ver. 78. E'en -werejtm guilty ] In the original,
Si tamen admittas, sit tamen ilia levis. This passage is difficult. We have followed uV interpretation of Brockhufius. Vulpius tbuiti plairsit. "Conniveat delicto, nee extenipb «psupplicium sumere.
AVer. 86. The social and benevolent pasBoKi-t •< ry where resplendent in our poet; and theft
bine measure ought to compensate for his ■1 rous failings. Let it be considered, that Asguifue himself wrote some obscene poems: ample, however, is no justification of rice.
Ver. 8ej. By the " stola" and " vitta" mention ed in- the original, the good Cyllcnius" facersturn integritatem, et marronarum pudicitiam, » telligebat." But Broekhusius peremptorily *' sifts upon it, that Delia was ** libenina: conduits; is," because virgins and matrons" (matrooi) wore the " ftola" and !* »i«a." And jetit»«' tiin, thit dancers and citharxdi wore also chat garb.
Ver. 99. Wat -wrath may firMra/r."] The literal interpretation is as follows: And if I be thought to have committed any fault, and in consequence of this, am, though innocent, either to be undeservedly drazged by the hair, or pushed down a declivity, I would not, even on such an occasion, wisti to beat you; but should 1 become enraged, would sincerely wish to be deprived of hands. This will sound very odd in a modern fine lady's ears* and no wonder ; for from this we have an undeniable proof, that the present age, in point of gallantry, has many advantages over the Augustan.
Ver Ioj. The text fays, May she in poverty and in age draw twisted thicads with a trembling hand, or work on a borrowed loom, or gain a wretched subsistence by picking of wool. M Joannes Sccundua" hat happily imitated this imprecation.
Sera tihi veniet fastus vindicta prntcrvi
Ætatis tencra crimina fle'iis anus.
Luridus inficiet pallor anile caput. Conductamque trahens tremebutido pollice Jinan
Involves fufo st:irnin3 longa brevi. Adsoiciet lacrimas ripens Eryctna Scnilcs
Et ltvis excufsa plaudet amor pharetra. Et iuvenes omnes, et me. tua probra juvabunr. . Lux, precor, 6 fato sit prior ilia raeo.
L* ii. £. 8.
Ver. ill. This i« a most extraordinary conclusion. The original in Broekhusius is,
Exemplum cana ftemus uterque coma.
Other editions read " simus," which, for obvious; reasons, we have adopted.
Pcdo Albinovanus, and Juvenal, use the ward "exemplum" in the same sense.
This day, (the fates foretold in sacred song, "And singing drew the vital twine along), "He comes, nor shall the gods the doom recal, "He comes, whose sword shall quell the rebel "gaul.
"With all her laurels, him shall conquest crown, "And nations shudder at his awful frown; "Smooth Atur, now that flows through peaceful "lands,
"Shall fly affrighted at his hostile bands." 'Tii done! this prophecy. Rome joys to fee, Far-fam'd Messala, now sulfill'd in thee: 10 Long triumphs ravish the spectators eyes, And fetter'd chieftains of enormous size: An ivory-car, with steeds as white as snow, sustains thy grandeur through the pompous show.
Some little share, in those exploits, I bore; Witness Tarbella; and the Santoigne shore; Witness the land, where steals the silent Soane; Where rush theGaronne; and th' impetuous Rhone; Where Loire, enamour'd of Carnutian bounds, Leads his blue water through the yellow grounds.
Or shall his other acts adorn my theme; 21 Fair Cydnus, winding with a silver stream i Taurus, that in the clouds his fore head hides, And rich Cilicia from the world divides; Taurus, from which unnumher'd rivers spring, The savage seat of tempests, shall I sing Why should I tell, how sacred through the skies Of Syrian cities, the white pigeon flies? Why sing of Tyrian towers,which Neptune laves; Whence the first vessel, venturous, stemm'd the W»ve» i
Ho"? shall the bard the secret source explore, Whence, Father Nile, thou draw'st thy watery store?
Thy fields ne'er importune for rain the sky;
Osiris first contriv'd the crooked plough.
Thee sorrow flies, Osiris, god of wine! But songs, enchanting love, and dance arc thine: But flowers and ivy thy fair head surround, And a loose saffron mantle sweeps the ground. With purple-robes invested, now you glow; The shrine is shown, and flutes melodious blow r 6s* Come then, my god, b-.it come bedew'd with winct Attend the rilQs, and in the dance combine;