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[•rtsent ailed Tarbe. Charles Stevens soys, that it is the" Aqux Tarbellæ" of Ausonius, and proImiiijt the " Aqux Augusts" of Ptolomy.
liid. Sjuitotgru Star:.] A maritime province of Aijuitiin
Ver. 17. Witmtsi tin UnJ, vibirt Jteali tbe silent IM«r;
Ver. 18. Wlttt rujh the Gar am, and ti' impttu
These rivers are finely contrasted. Every body niws them.
Ver. 11. Our poet having particularised most of X battles fought by Mcssjla in Aquitain, in inch he himself signalized his courage, makes a ..-.«» tu the exploits performed by the some ^Ilrious general, three years before in Cilicia, i'ria, and Egypt. This leads him to expatiate i :hat wonder of Egypt, the Nile; and to invite frit, the great god of that country, to come and Hritc the birth-day of his patron.
Brotkhut. Ver. ax. fair Cydn-it.] A noble river of Cilicia, hich Curtius thus describes: ** Non spit 11 aqua•">, fed liquore memotabilis; quippe leni tractu, frmnbtis labens, puro solo excipitor; nee tor"t:iiscurrunt,quiplacide manantn alveum tur. Dt j itaqoe incorruptus, idemquc srigidillimus, ippe multa riparum amznitate inumbratus, uhi: loiitibus suis similis, in mare evadit." lib. 3. I So excellent a geographer is Iibullus; but probably was an eye-witness of what be deioes. Vide his life.
1". »j. Taurus.] So Broekhufius interprets the ti Arat in the original; " Ducta tralatione," 1 he, "a porca, qux grandioribus glebis lalior inent inter sulcos."
This is a vast range of mountains, which reachscmicircolariy from sea to sea, divides Cilicia "■• I'lmphilia, PiGdia, and the other surrounding tioaw. B'th Cilicia and Taurus are thus aci'cly described by Xtiiophon in his Anabasis. "'A»J, K«nC«iHr ui wtim/tiy*, »*X#» xtti iwi^vm ^'^rm warTottmTur i/irXm xaci */cVtA*>v al ttmt ->.» mat filXnsp tm, ttlyxfV **' Ivfevt Km x£r^«f,
t»- O/vj 01 Iivto sryii^n ox1?*** **» v*r*Z.<n> raven i/arni us IxAarrai. Then the army descendnto a spacious plain, which was beautiful and I watered, producing not only vines ill great 'y, but every other kind of fruit trees, and corn i forts. Thi* plain was surrounded from sea a, by a range os lofty mountains, of very dist access.
■ en the Persians were masters of Asia, soys threat Baron Montesquieu, they permitted ■ who conveyeda (pring to any place, which Dot been watered before, to enjoy the benefit
fur five generations; and as a number of ms flowed from Mount Taurus, they spared xpeoec in directing the course of their waters.
thus, at this day, without knowing how they : brought thither, streams arc found in great bert in the field* and gardens of Cilicia.
L'tsp. Jet Lcix. er. 18. Palacstinc was a province of Syria.
Svriuia a^lUiocd both from, nfl, and figeons
on a religious account. Hypinut has explained the reason of it in his 197th fable.
Broekhufius advises the reader, who is studious of Roman purity, particularly to observe, that in the original, the pigeon has three epithets bestowed on it, " Exemplo," soys he, " jion facile alias reperiundo."
Ver. 39. Although every nation may be sup. posed to have contrived and used veslxls of one kind or another, to pass their great rivers, &c. yet the Phœnicians were the first who greatly improved the art of ship-building, and who made distant voyages for commerce. Tyre, in particular, was for a long time the mart of the world; and even in the time of Tibullus, notwithstanding it had been ravaged, and almost destroyed by Alexander, that city had few rivals in trade. See a truly poetical description os its grandeur in one of Dr. Young's Odes.
The houses in Tyre were built very high, whence Tibullus calls them towers. This was a, circumstance which had more than once endangered the destruction of this city by earthquakes; as Strabo informs us, lib. 16. The reason assigned by Broekhufius, why the tyrants made their houses so lofty, is, that they might command x distant prospect of the sea. But might not also this be done for the fake of more accurately observing the motions of the heavenly bodies? especially if, with Mr. Glover, we look upon astronomy as the child of commerce. Sec Mr. Glover'* elegant poem, intituled, London. The truth, however, 1 believe is, that building on a rock in a limited compass, the Tyrians supplied, like us in London, the want of room, by multiplication of stories.
Ver. 31. The annual overflowing of the Nile was a phenomenon which long puzzled the naturalists; and a variety of hypothesis were formes j to explain the causes of it; all of which Diodomt I Siculus has judiciously refuted in the end of the I first bonk of his Universal History, except that ot" I Agathargines the Cnidian, which ascribes tbe rising of the Nile in summer, to the rains that fall in Ethiopia, the country where the Nile hath its source.
The overflowing and course of the Nile, is thus explained by Mr. Thomson, in a manner no less poetical than just.
•The treasures • these, hid from the bounded search Of ancient knowledge; whence, with annual
pomp, Rich king of floods, o'erflows the swelling Nile! From his two springs, in Gojam's funny realm, Pure welling out, he through the lucid lake Of fair Uambea rolls his infant stream. There by the Naiads nurs'd, he sports away His playful youth, amid the fragrant isles That with unfading verdure smile around: Ambitious, thence the manly river breaks, And gathering many a flood, aud copious fed With al! the mellowed treasures of the iky,
• Vi»- Tit r*(mt>
Winds in progressive majesty along; [maze.
Through splendid kingdomt now devolve* hii
Norden 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 thcii gratitude by every instance of licentious joy, the government, it would seem from that traveller, is not profuse upon the occasion, though, indeed, Alpinus makes it a ver)' splendid affair.
Dt Altdicin. Esyft.
Norden also affirms, that notwithlianclirig the annual overflowing of the Nile, the e is no coun try which requires more culture thin the land of Egypt. No rains fall there in summer. Hence «ur poet says,
Arida nee pluvio supplicat herba Jovi.
This line, Seneca, through mistake, attributes to Ovid: and indeed, as Broekt ulius well observes, Ovid much better suited the false epigrammatic turn of this philosopher, than • ur pott.
The Greeks honoured Jupiter Pluvius with a particular devotion. The friends r»f Polynices, who had united to restore that prince to the throne of Thebes, swore at the altar of this deity, that they would effectual their purpose, or die in the attempt. See Pausan. in Corimh; who also informs us, in his Bœotia, that the worstiip rf this deity was performed in the open air. According te> Strabo, the Indians also worshipped Jupiter PInvius, together with the river Ganges, and the "Genii IndigitfJ." He waF also honoured at Rome in a singular manner. It is said too, that in a great drrught, the Romans cragged into their city a certain large stone, which lay originally near the temple of Mars, beyond the " Porta Capena •" and as rain immediately fell, the stone obtained the name of the " Saxum manale," and the ceremony itself was called" Aquælicium." 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 fall of the mercury.
Ver. 35. The best comment en this and the twenty-five fallowing lines, are two passages, one from the first book of lliodorus Siculus and the other from the Thalia of Herodotus. That from Uiodorus is as follows; ftirit U T«ut« (fays that curious and faithful historian) rtv Kftvov *p£«i, *«j yrpaiTa. rrti *t\Xf*y Piatr, yvtivtn xa]st fit* rime rait ftatcXtytn Osisit xai Iirj», &c. The other from aicrodotus has thus been translated. Apis, whom
the Greeks called irmpn, wit tie calf of 1 a*
uncap^ble of bearing another, aednoothervi;^ be impregnated than by thunder, as the Fp> tians affirmed. The marks that dilViEvaifbriL; from all others were these. His body wai by and black, except one square of white en the b> head: He had the figu-e of an eagle on hi-Ki a double list of hair on his tail; and a Ionia under his tongue, in }i n yXmtn ««Jap>.
When this strange god minifenes h-; among the Egyptians, they put on their r.rM apparel, and feasted splendidly; and arkee i disappeared, their mourning was as extremc
Ver. 37. Virgil and Ovid attribute theirs? tion of the plough to Ceres. MytholtifiC. (he is the fame with lli», the sifter isa »3t Osiris Triptolemus, whom Ceres inSrss taught the natives of Greece and Asilth c husbandry. Those os ancient Italy were itfrii ed in it by Saturn; and the Spaniards badti their teacher in agriculture one Hebades.
Ver. 65. The god mentioned in the test3.' nius, or that power, who, a- rhe RomaBienftwas the guardian of a man, from the Sm birth to his death; hence called bythtSsa
Aziftir fivretyoytf film. These gods the ^=
represent sometimes in the form of if. sometimes in that of a hoy. and fometira' of an old m.in, crowned with leaves of r-i On several coins of Trajan and Adrœ. ■r-' holtJs in his hand a "patera," over v adorned with flowers; and, from his let !* down a whip. The offerings presct-toi" * deity, as Dirt justly observes, were geeav salted cake Qor 1*0/0 j, flowers, wine, nJ«Etcense
Ver. 76. Nothing, say* Mr. Dart as* raises a hieher idea among the mod**''* ancient Roman greatness, than their pa**r
When Augustus Cæsar perceived that'' ferent roads leading to Rome were, tkmp glrct, become of difficult passage, l<e tuat" himself the reparation of the "via fcasov*' far as Arminium, and enjoined the few*" mend the other rnads. This happened A C' 7*7. as Dio Caffius, in the fifty-third tee**1 history informs us. The way which fcB »' share of Mrssala, was a branch of the Uti" which that excellent Roman either pawd ** or repaired; for, from the situation of Tri"-* and Alha, it could not he the " viavitt* Pighius conjectured. See Bergerias, I« * Ruman Military-ways. £^
Messala'i road must have been rfrw* strong and durable work, since Martial, «*" present that perpetuity of fame, to atari • poet, he thought himself entitled, aJhafci!"" these words: Et cum lupta situ Massalz fan jaceboc
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!
Marathus, one of the poet's friends, had lately become enamoured of Pholoe; but a* that youth had formerly affected an aversion to love, he now wanted to conceal his passion. This, Tibuilus tells him, wi* to no purpose, as he knew from his own experience, all the lymptoms of an infant desire; among which he chiefly particularizes a sudden attention to dress. Tibullua informs his friend, that so extraordinary an application to finery was mither required in him, who was a sine figure, nor agreeable to Pholoe, who appears to have been a woman ot fense ; and asks him, how he expected that foppishness should make any impression on the hcarr of one who despised every tiling elle but an elegant simplicity in apparel? The poet next n quires, by what spells he inlisled himself ut.der the banner of love * But immediately resolves the question himself, by cm. pha'ically calling beauty the most powerful of en chantmenta.
f rom !nme parts of the poem, it would seem tha Pi: loe had not always been so insensible to the merits of Marathus. 1'hi*- change of behaviour makes the poet warml) expostulate with her fur hit young friend, whom he introduces pathetically lamenting the rigour ot his destiny. The poem concludes with a prediction, that tuile'..P/ioloe altered her conduct heaven would un doubtedly puuifk her.
The commentators suppose that this is the rholoe mentioned by Horace, in his beautihii ode addressrd to ribullu8; and. indeed, it muf be confessed, that these gentlemen have not ai ways so gi.od a foundation for their conjectures They alto take it for granted, that the Cyru> spoken os in the same poem, was ur Marathus whom they represent as a foreigner anil formrrl) a slave. "(heir argument, how ever, in defend of this last supposition, are too trifling for confutation.
Ver. 6. The poet here mentions tlree forts of divination; the oracular, that of inspecting the bowels of animals, and that called augury This last, which consisted in deducing «vents from the manner in which biros fed. and fr -m their flight *r screaming, was lo 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 the officers of state, ami leaders ol the at my, they were employed generally to the pur poles 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, h deed, seem* to place no confidence in the flight, &c, of birds;
and as Homer every where represents him »; mar. of an excellent head and heart, we may n> dily suppose, that the old bard himself was of L; fame way of thinking.
Ver. 7. None but those who have felt lonnbe proper judges of that passion. Reading, Bdeed, may give some imperfect ideas of it; V.' experience is the only certain teacher. This s what Tibullus means by the magic fillets. S*t masius, therefore, is mistaken in making the" mijicus nodus" of the text signify knots, fuchuiz mentioned in the notes upon the fifth elegy.
Ver. 10. There i» a sentiment, as Vulpittspt ly observes, similar to this in Euripides.
Kwr^ir yag ov <t>ognro< xoyxn gon
Ver. 13. The original may be thus liteiiiii interpreted: Oh! what avails it now thatyosfecharged your cheeks with juices to mikctt^ lniooth and ruddy? and what, that j oa !u= \our nails paired by the learned hand of report artist? In vain you vary the parrs of Oress, aud in vain you confine your coo?*-'loot within so neat a sandal.
The " suceus splendens" of the text.iJ"^' s usi'is justly interprets it, wag not an ...tie preparation; for, according to him, R 'ctasfius sputum ex madido pane, quo ilHsVutur geiiae." Some editions of merit rod, Iplendcnti."
Wtll-paircd nails were regarded by the R** as lo essential to a genteel appearance, tb»t race, to shock us at the witch Canidia, isjrelK' nei with unpaired nails; and yet we firai ■* Mecxnas was sometimes out of humour wii1^ bard himself, for the fame neglect.
Prave sectum slomachcris ob unguem.
from the text, the learned conjecture, status but the poorer fort of people paired their ^ nails, the rich having theirs cut by the ta^f' yet Mr. Dacier, upon the following lines of since,
Confpexit, ut aiunt,
remarks, that the Roman ladies had thoro'
Quid succo, &c.