Sivut kuvina
PDF

resent called Tarbe. Charles Stevens fays, that . i> the" Aqux Tarbellæ" of Ausonius, and proably the " Aqux Auguflæ" of Ptolomy. Ibid, f M^nt Share.] A maritime province of

quitaui.

Ver. I J. hVitxe/t tie land, inhere Jkedt tie silent

Ver. 18. Where rujh tie Garottne, and th* imfietu

R'cxe.

These rivers are finely contrasted. Every body Aw] them.

Ver. 11. Our poet having particularised most of : battles fought by Messjla in Aquitain, in lich he himself signalized his courage, makes a insition to the exploits performed by the fame uflrious general, three years before in Cilicia, ria, and Egypt. This leads him to expatiate that wonder of Egypt, the Niie; and to invite iris, the great god of that country, to come and rbratc the birth-day of his patron.

Broeibut.

Ver. 11. Fair CyJn-A noble river of Cilicia, lich Curtius thus describes: " Non spatia aquam, fed liquorc memotabilis; quippe leni tract*, fontibus labens, puro solo excipitur; nec torntes incurrunt, qui placide manantn alveum turot; itaqoe incorruptus, idemque frigidiOimus, fpc multa riparum amxnitate inumbratus, ubi: fontibus suis similis, in mare evadit." lib. 3. |. So excellent a geographer is I'ibullus; but probably was an eye-witness of what he deibes. Vide his life.

Ver. 15. Taurus.] So Broekhusius interprets the ri Arat in the original; " Ducta tralatione," s he, " a porca, quæ grandioribus glebis Utior inent inter fulcos,"

This is a vast range of mountains, which reach; semicircular!)' (rum sea to sea, divides Cilicia mPamphilia, Pisidia.and the other surrounding {domi. B th Cilicia and Taurus are thus acutely described by Xctiophon in his Anabasis.

it xanZ'ttitv us crthcvp'.yu, xaA.ii> xeti terippvre* Jidfa* iratTobaTw tfterkiot xati a.it.'rtXue ii xeti '*tt» xtti fi0.mjr xeti xty%fo* xeti *vptus xeti x£i$etsy

O/ot it eturo nftt%ii a^vf**, Xki verrr.Xwi rxtrn 'i>.xrrr,: tit (xXetTTxt. Then the army descendinto a spacious plain, which was beautiful and II watered, producing not only vines in great "'y, but every other kind of fruit tree*, and corn •U forts. This plain was surrounded from sea ca, by a range of lofty mountains, of very disIt access.

Men the Persians were masters of Asia, fays great Baron Montesquieu, they permitted le who conveyed a spring to any place, which I not been watered before, to enjoy the benefit it for five generations; and as a number of ams flowed from Mount Taurus, they spared "pence in directing the course of their waters, d thus, at this day, without knowing how they re brought thither, streams are found in great nbers in the fields and gardens of Cilicia.

ISh'fp' des Liix. "er. 18. Palestine was a province of Syria, t Syrians abstained beth sruijj ujh and pigeons

on a religious acconnt. Hypnos has explained the reason of it in his 197th table.

P.roekhusius 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," fays he, " non facile alias reperiundo."

Ver. 19. Although every nation may be supposed to have contrived and used vessels 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, l yre, 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 of 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 Broekhusius, why the tyrants made their houses so lofty, is, that they might command a 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, I 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 formed to explain the causes of it; all of which Diodorus Siculus has judiciously refuted in the end of the first book of his Universal History, except that of Agatharginea the Cnidian, which ascribes the 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 th«i 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 NUe!
From his two springs, in Gojam's funny realm,
Pure welling out, he through the lucid lake
Of fair Oambea 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, and copious fed
With al! the mellowed treasures of the &y,

•Viz- T&cfafmt.

Winds in progressive majesty along; [maste.
Through splendid kingdoms now devolves his
Now wanderi wild o'er solitary tracts
Of life-deserted sand; till, glad to quit
The juvltls oelcrt, ;own the Nubian rocks
From thundering steep to steep, he pours his urn,
And iigypt joys beneath the spreading wave.

Summer.

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.

M

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.

ELEGY IX.

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,
"The willing ever can elude their spies.
"Had you, O had you felt what now I feel, $9
"Venus would teach you from your spies to steal.
"I can breathe low; can snatch the melting kiss,
"And noiseless ravish loves enchanting bliss;
"At midnight can 1 securely grope my way;
"The floor tsead noiseless, noiseless turn the key.
"Poor fruitless skill! my skill if (he despise,
"And cruel from the bed of rapture fliee.
"Or if a promise hap'ly I obtain,
"That she will recompence at night my" pain;
"How am 1 dup'd' I wakeful listen round,
"And think I hear her in each casual sound. 70
"Perish the wiles of love, a^id arts of dress}
"In russet weeds I'll shrowd my wretchedness.
"The wiles of loVe, and arts of dress are vain,
"My fair to soften, and admittance gain."
Youth, weep no more; your eyes are fwoln
with tears;

No more complain; for, O! (he stops her ears.
The gods, I warn you, hate the haughty fair,
Reject their incense, and deny their prayer.
Thnyouth, this Marathus, who wears your chains,
Late laUgh'd at love, and ridicul'd its pains! So
Th' impatient lover in the street would stay!
Nor dreamt that vengeance would his crimes re-
pay- •
Now, now he moans his past misdeeds with teats,
A piey to love, and all its frantic fears:
Now he exclaims at female (corn and hate';
And from his foul abhors a bolted gate!

Like vengeance waits you; trust ih' unnerring muse,

If still you're coy, and still access refuse!
Then how you'lj wish, when old, contemo'd of alf,
Eut vainly wish, tliese moments to rocall! oi
3 B

[ocr errors]

NOTES ON

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;

[ocr errors]

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
Totrriy Xattvrm irttg 2t/nut KaJuZwu.

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,
Aut ebori tincto est; aut full cand re rubenti,
Cum frustra resonant zra auxiliariæ, lur>æ

Met. lib. vi.

A red like this, the ripening apple shows;
$•» with vermilion dyed, fair ivury glows:
Blushes like these do struggling Cynthia stain;
When aiding brass, and cymbals ring in vain.

AJdison.

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.

Ver. At.

'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.

« EdellinenJatka »