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Winds in progressive majesty along; [maste.
Nordcn in his travels relates the ceremony at present practised at Grand Cairo, at the opening the great canal of that city for the admission of the waters of the Nile. II the people express their gratitude by every in stance of licentious joy, the government, it wou.d seem from that traveller, is not profuse upon the occasion, though, indeed, AJpinus makes it a ver)' splendid affair.
Dt Medici a. Evyfl.
Norden also affirms, that notwithstanding the annual overflowing of the Nile, the e is no coun try which require.* more culture thin the land of £gypt. No rains fall there in summer. Hence •ur poet says,
Arida nec pluvio supplicat herba Jovi.
This line, Seneca, through mistake, attributes to Ovid: and indeed, as Broekl ulius will observes, Ovid much better suited the false epigrammatic turn of this philosopher, than • ur poet.
The Greeks hononred Jupiter l'luvius with a particular devotion. The friends of Polynices, who had united to restore that prince to the throne of Thebes, swore at the altar of this deity, that they would effectua'e their purpose, or die in the attempt. See Paufan. in Corinrh; who also informs us, in his Bceotia, that the worship of this deity was performed in the open air. According to Strabo, the Indians also worshipped Jupiter Plnvius, together wi;h the river Ganges, and the ■ Genii Indigitf." He war also honoured at Rome in a singular manner. It is said too, that in a great drought, the Romans i ragged into their city a certain large stone, which lay origiBally near the temple of Mars, beyond the ,l Ports Capena j" and a« rain immediately fell, the stone obtained the name of the 11 Saxuni manale," and the ceremony itself was called 11 Aq;:ælicium." See Festus. Was this stone a natural hygrometer? Even in our days, and in Romish countries, the catholic priests, in times of drought, seldom venture to lead forth their saints in procession till they have observed the sail of the mercury.
Ver. 35. The best comment on this and the twenty-five fallowing lines, are two passages, one from the first book of Diodorus Siculu-, and the other from the Thalia of Herodotus. That from Diodorus is as follows; /tsm It reevree (fays that curious and faithful historian) tet K,<,-v nut yitfiaeree m et&tXQnv Play, ymrai xec]ee fen rttctl rul ftatcXtytn (Vijjt xai &c. The other from
Herodotus has thus been translated. Apis, whom
the Greeks called tretpm, was the calf of 1 m nncapable of bearing another, ar.d no other* e: be impregnated than by thunder, 19 the Fpv tians affiimed. The marks that distinguished L; from all others were these. His body was erg and black, except erne square of white onthe fs* head: He had the fi^U'c of an eagle on hi- bw a double list of hair on his tail; and a fear&j under his tongue. 171 le nt yXeegne *x*h~i.
When this strange god manifested kirij among the Egyptians, they put on theirncW apparel, and feasted splendidly; and srtts 1 disappeared, their mourning was as extreme.
Ver. 37. Virgil and Ovid attribute the it>a tion of the plough to Ceres. Mythokriih fa she is rhe fame with lsis, the sister and*;!;! Osiris Triprolemus, whom Cere* instmi-l taught the natives of Greece and Asia the m hesbandry. Those of ancient Italy were ed in it by Saturn; and the Spaniards iaia their teacher in agriculture one Hebadet.
Ver. 65. The god mentioned in theteesM nius, or that power, who, as the Roman; iirsii, was the guardian of a man, from the heet£b birth to his death; hence called by the H e\eeiftm ;/.-■;et (&>w. These go<U the represent sometimes in the form of 3 we, sometimes in that of a hoy, and sometinstsa of an old man, crowned with leaves of p&sOn several coins of Trajan and Adrian, in holds in his hand a "patera," over es :A adorned with flowers; and, from hii kf:. !aj down a whip. The offerings presented»M deity, as Dirt justly observes, were gcoeni** salted cake (or ixohj, flowers, wine, aniU* cense
Ver. 76. Nothing, fays Mr. Dart ■s"St raises a higher idea among the mode***1 ancient Roman greatness, than their psrSxv^ When Augustus Caesar perceived that ^ ferent roads leading to Rome were, thrs^s glect, become of difficult passage, he wAty himself the reparation of the "via flmia. far as Arminium, and enjoined the fas mend the other roads. This happened A E 717. as Dio Cassius, in the sift y-third h***' history informs us. The way which fell share of Meffala, was a branch of the Utls* which that excellent Roman either paves** or repaired; for, from the situation of Ttfcdi and Alha, it could not he the " via nkra,' Pighius conjectured. See Bergerins, I » Roman Military-ways.
MesTala't road must have been ate* strong and durable work, since Martoi, a' present that perpetuity of fame, to • poet, he thought himself entitled, allwici» '1 these words:
Et cum tupta situ MsaTala: fan jacebott.
x vain would lovers hide their infant-smart rom me, a mailer in the amorous art; read their passion in their mien and ryes, I'erhear their whispers, and explain their Gghs. 'hit (kill no Delphian oracles bestow'd, lo augurs taught me, and no victims stiow'd; ut love my wrists with magic fillets bound, ilh'd me, and laming, mutter'd many a found.
0 more then, Marathus, indifference feign,
fe vengeful Venus will inhance your pain.' lo What now, sweet youth, avails your anxious care,
1 oft to essence, oft to change your hair? 'hit though cosmetics all their aid supply? nd every artifice of dress you try?
es not oblig'd to bredes, to gems, to clothes, T charms to nature Pholoe only owes. What spells devote you? fay, what philtres bind?
hat midnight sorceress fascinates your mind? :11s can seduce the corn from neighb'ring plains! e headlong serpent halts at magic strains! ao A did not cymbals stop thy prone career, spell thee Luna from thy orb would tear! Why do 1 magic for your passion blame, igic is useless to a perfect frame! [threw, n fqueez'd her hands, your arms around her n'd lip to lip, and hence your passion grew. £«se then, fair maid, to give your lover pain; ve hates the haughty, will avenge the swain. : youth vermillions o'er, his modest face! i riches equal such a boy's embrace? 30 tn aft no bribe—when age affects the gay, ir every smile let hoary dotage pay;
you your arms around the (tripling throw, 1 scorn the treasure monarchs can bestow.
she who gives to age her charms, for pay, y her wealth perish, and her bloom decay, n when impatience thrills in every vein, y manhoed shun her, and the young disdain, ilas! when age has silver'd o'er the head, I youth that feeds the lamp of love is fled, 40 ain the toilette charms; 'tis vain to try, y scanty locks with yellow nuts to dye;
strip the tell-tales vainly from their place; I vainly strive to mend an aged face, ben in thine eyes while youth triumphant glows,
I with his flowers thy cheeks my fair one sews, Tkans. II.
Incline thine heart to love, and gentle play,
Youth, youth has rapid wings, and flies away!
The fond old lover vilify, disdain;
What praise can crown you from a stripling's pain? JO
Spare then the lovely boy; his beauties die;
By no dire sickness sent him from the sky:
The gods are just; you, Pholoe, are to blame;
His sallow colour from your coyness came.
Oh, wretched youth ! how oft, when ahsent you,
Groans rend his breast, and tears his checks bedew i
"Why dost thou rack me with contempt? he cries,
No more complain; for, O! (he stops her ears.
Like vengeance waits you; trust ih' unnerring muse,
If still you're coy, and still access refuse!
Maratho-s, one of the poet's friends, had lately become enamoured of Pholoe; but as that youth had formerly affected an aversion to love, he now wanted to conceal his passion. This, Tibullus tells him, wj' to no purpose, as he knew from his own experience, all the lymptoms of an infant desire; among which he chiefly particu. larizes a sudden attention to dress. Tibullus informs his friend, that so extraordinary an application to finery was neither required in him, who ■was a fine figure, nor agreeable to Pholoe, who appears to have been a woman ol fense ; and alks him, how he expected that foppishness should make any impression on the hcatr of one who despised every thing else but an elegant simplicity in apparel? The poet next inquires, by what spells he insisted himself ur.der the banner of love' But immediately resolves the question himself, by cm. phu'ieally calling btauty the most powerful os en chantments.
From some parts of the poem, it would seem tha Ph loe had not always been so insensible to the merits of Marathus. 1 In- change of behaviour makes ihe poet warml) exposiulate with her for his ycuitg friend, whom he introduces pathetically lamenting the rigour ot his d< ftiny. The poem concludes with a prediction, that unless IVioloe altered her conduct heaven would un doubtedly punish her.
The commentators suppose that this is the Pholoe mentioned by Horace, in his beautitu! ode addressed to Tibulli.s; and, indeed, ii mufl be confessed, that these gentlemen have not at ways so good a foundation for thrir conjectures They also take it for granted, that the Cyru> spoken of in the same poem, was ur Marathus whom they represent as a foreigner, and fornirrl) a slave, t heir arguments, however, in defrnc. of this last supposition, are too trifling for confutation.
Ver. 6. The poet here mention> three forts of divination v the oracular, that of inlpecting the bowels of animals, and that called augury This last, which consisted in deducing nvents from the manner in which biros fed. and from their flight rr streaming, was so particularly regarded by the Romans, that few enterprises of consequence were begun, without the previous sanction os 'he holy chickens and as these were under the management of tho officers of state, ami leaders ot the atmy, they were employed generally to the pur poses of policy. This kind of divination was not peculiar to the Romans; for we find from the Iliad, that their supposed ancestors, the Trojans, believed also in augury. Hector, iiaeed, seems to place no confidence in the slight, &c, of birds;
and as Homer every where represents him m man of an excellent head and heart, we But r» dily suppose, that the old bard himself was of ^ fame way of thinking-.
Ver. 7. None but those who have felt lost rn be proper judges of that passion. Reading, «■ deed, may give some imperfect ideas of it;: experience it the only certain teacher. It* what Tibullus means by the magic fiUets. Si' masius, therefore, is mistaken in making the" a jicus nodus" of the text signify knots, such«!. mentioned in the notes upon the fifth elegy.
Ver. 10. There is a sentiment, as Vulpiui ly observes, similar to this in Euripides.
'H Tn MJtavtf' riruxn ftnic^ntr 1
Ver. 13. The original may be tbtuliteiVtterpreted: Oh! what avails it now that mircharged your cheeks with juices to miltus Imooth and ruddy? and what, that j« a* \our nails paired by the learned hand oir» pert artist? In vain you vary the parts et 1* dress, and in vain you confine your Cobk" foot within so neat a sandal.
The " suerns splendens" of the text,.'*"husiits justly interprets it, was not in create preparation; for, according to hin,*n 'ctassius sputum ex madido pane, quo 1!-'"' tur genx" Some editions of merit rcad,'^ ^sen-lenti."
Well-paired nails were regarded by the R^-" as lo essential to a genteel appearance, terrace, to ihock u* at the witch Canidu, introc^ nci with unpaired nails; and yet we fi^ * Mecsena? was sometimes out of humour bard himself, for the fame neglect.
Prave sectum ftomachcris ob unguem.
t/rom the text, the learned conjecture, thatm but the poorer fort of people paired thof nails, the rich having theirs cut by the o**1' yet Mr. Dacier, upon the following lioeiii 'i race,
Confpexit, ut aiont, Adrasum quemdam, vacua tonsoris in ombn. Cultello proptios purgantem Uniter unfK»_
remarks, that the Roman ladies hsd <txi''2 paired by their waiting-maids; in proof he cites this passage of our poet,
Quid fucco, &c.
Which he thus interpret*:
"Pourquoy pcindre vos eheveux? Pourquoy vous sjire couper les ongles par une femme adroite?" and confirm* this interpretation by adding, " Porcia s'etanc coupe un jnur, en sc faifant Irs Onglcs, Brutus la grunda d'avoir fait l'office Je fa femme de chambre." But all that is here advanced (as Brockhusius remarks), is a blunder. For, in the first place, the French critic unaccountably metamorphoses Marathus into a lady; again, Porcia used a barber's) pairing knife, as Plutarch assures us; and, lastly, Valerius Maximus thus relates the story of Porcia's wounding herself: "Q^æ cum Bruti viri sui consilium, quod de inttrficicndo Cæfare, ceperit ea nocte, qua dies teterrimi facti secuta est, cognovisset," &c. When Porcia was let into the secret by Brutus her husband, of his intention to assassinate Cxsar the next day, she, as soon as Brutus left the room, called for a barber's knife, as if the meant to pair her naHs; which being brought her, she let it fall as though by chance, and wounded her thigh. Brutus being brought back into her chamber, by the screams of her maids, mildly rebuked her for endeavouring to perform the barber'«. 6k c. But (he whispered him, I wounded niysclf on purpose, as a trial of my love for you; for should your enterprise fail, I wanted to know with what cquauimity 1 could kill myself. Lib. 3. The last line,
Ansaque compressos, £cc.
Signifies the extreme care Marathus took in making the sandal sit neat on his foot, by tightening the straps tied to the ansse or thongs, which came up nn every fide of'the foot, and were fastened over the instep.
Ver. 18. Many editions read "pallentibus," and it is certain, that the epithet is classical. But we shall not enter into the merits ol the two claimants, O and A; but refer those who are fond of such altercation to the Dutch commentator.
Although almost every poet of antiquity has left us his testimony as to the efficacy of spells in producing love, it must.not, however, be imagined, that they believed it in reality. For how should spells excite that harmony,
Attuning all their passions into love:
Where friendship full exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy os soul, [will
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing
With boundless confidence.
Which Thomson makes the essence of love to consist in. But though spells cannot excite love, yet philtres, by stimulating, may raise desire.
Ver. 11. When the moon was eclipsed, the ancients imagined that (he struggled with witchcraft; and, therefore, to relieve her, struck upon instruments of brass and other sonorous bodies, thinking that sounds would accompiilh her deliverance. In allusion to this custom, Ovid thus (peaks of the blushes of Hcrnuyhrodkus:
Hie color aprica pendentibus arbore pomis,
Met. lib. vi.
A red like this, the ripening apple shows;
And Juvenal, satirically describing a scold, says, that there was no need of a shrill noise of instruments to relieve the labours of the moon, the tongue of this woman bdng sufficiently qualified to produce such an effect. Dcrt.
Travellers inform us, that this superstition is still practised in several parts of the east, &c.
Ver. JI. These lines are not only extremely indelicate, but gives ut a displeasing picture of Pholoe's venality.
Ver. 39. Alitt ! tvben age.] When the fair sex sound their estimation upon beauty only, without aiming at any mental accomplishment, it is nor wonder, in that cafe, that they dread old age, and endeavour, by artifices, to repiy the decays of nature. Every stage of life has its proper bents and passions. A rational attachment to love and pleasure, is ornamental in youth, allowable in more advanced life, but preposterous in age. What character is more ridicalous than that of a coquette of sixty > But, fay the fair, can life be agreeable, when the power to raise love is gone? Are then the matronly virtues of no consideration? Are friendstiip and esteem, which can be enjoyed in full vigour even in the latest prtiod of life, of no avail? Mental perfection U the root from whence must spring all the duceurs of old age; and mental perfection must be planted in youth early, if it is ever meant to shoot up to ma-' turity.
'Tis vain to try,
Gray scanty locks with yellow nnts to dye.
Mcurfius and Duport are of opinion, that black is the dye which Tibullus mentions in the text; but Broekhusius, and especially Arntzenius, prove, that walnut dyed the hair yellow; which, as has b»en observed before, is the classical colour. Vid. Dissert, de Col. Com. p. 114.
Ver. 52. " Sontica causa" here is the fame as "morbus sonticus," which fignifie' any grfat tiis— order, such as the gods were lupposed to inflict on the wicked : and hence the Greeks call it Uf t i and because it prevented the unhappy sufferer from attending on business, they also gave it the epithet of aXr.int
Vulpius justly observes, that our author is not the only one who uses "causa" for a disease; for it is applied by Gratian, no contemptible poes of the Augustan age, to signify the fame thing in the followiug line:
Caufasquc affectosque canum tua cura tueri est. Hence those soldiers, who by infirmity were disabled from campaigning, were called " causarii milites," and their dismission " causaria missio."
When the superstitious among the Athenians, saw a mad or epileptic person, they, shuddering, spit into their bosom to avert the mischief Aud, indeed, while those disorders were reputed judgments of Heaven upon the persons affected, no wonder the poor sufferers were hated and shunned ; but a founder philosopher has taught us that 'such objects always deserve our pity, and have a right to all the relief human skill can procure them.
Ver. 70. AttitbM I he.ir her.'] J. Secundus has finely imitated this thought.
Dumque ego blanditeasquc tuas, et roscida mend
Dum vacuam faisis complexibus aera capto,
y.i quern cumque movet strepttum lcvis aura per aedes
Dilecto* dominæ suspicor esse pedes.
El. ii. B. %.
Tint Broekhtifius very justly prefers a description c>f the same kind in the seventh canto of the Orlando Furioso, (Stanz. 24. & 2j.)
Ver. 71. In rujsct iveeJi.'] Mattaire and others have injudiciously inserted the original of this line, and the two following ones, at the end of the third elegy of the second hook.
When that part of the Roman gown, which was commonly tucked under the right arm, and secured by the " umbo" on the left shoulder, was allowed to flow about the wearer; the " toga" was then said to be " laxa." This the Romans reputed a sign of effeminacy. Hence it is not surprising that Mecænas dressed in this manner; but that Julius Clsar should do so, is more unaccountable. And although many instances occur
in a neighbouring kingdom, sufficient to convbus, that the fop and the brave soldier ate us wholly incompatible; " Vx tamen iftis!" Ver. 88. All the ancient editions read,
Ni definis esse superba.
Although this may appear odd, fays Broekiksius, to those who have ears like King Midas, c is, nevertheless, the genuine reading.
The following quotation from Ariotto it: maskable:
Penso Rinaldo alquanto, e poi rispose:
* Cant. iv. Si.
Aster alt, if Pholoe could find no lovewr.tj qualities in Marathus, it was ungenerous in c~' poet to insult her with such a prognostic. Lint is the child of obsequiousness, and not the aspring of menace; accordingly, the fair Egyptian (in Prior) says, if not poetically, at k*! truly,
Soft love, spontaneous tree, its parted root Must from two hearts with equal vigour shoot; Whilst each delighted, and delighting, gives The pleasing ecstacy, which each receive*. Cherilh'd with hope, and fed with joy, it] grows; I Its cheerful buds their opening bloom disdoM And round the happy foil diffusive odour fcfij If angry fate that mutual care denies, ) The fading plant bewails its due supplies; ■ Wild with despair, or sick with grief, it da )
Wnv did you swear by all the powers above F
For gold the careful farmer ploughs the plain,
Soon shall you suffer greatly for your crime, A weary wanderer in a foreign clime;
Your hair sliail change, and boasted bloom dea*. By wintery tempests, and the solar ray.
"Beware of gold, how oft did I advise? "From tempting gold what mighty misehiefsrifc' "Love's generous power, I laid, witb teased "pain
M The wretch will rack, who fells her chaw "for gain. •* "Let torture all her cruelties exert, "Torture is pastime to a venal heart.
*' Nor idly dream your gallantries to hide, "The gods are ever on the sufferer's side. "With sleep or wine o'ercome, so fate ordjia, "You'll blab the secret os your impious gauss."