Sivut kuvina

y*{tilcnce; that yon will give increase to my fruits, cam, trees, and vint* That you will pre- , serve my shepherds and my flock" and give health and safety to ui all." Vid. Cat. de R R. c. 141.

Ver. 14. So stall tit bud.] 1 should not have ha zarded an explanation us this passage, if I had not observed, that the meaning of it had escaped the Doticeof all the commentators. One of them ha produced from Horace, by way of explanation,

Ædificare cafas, plostello adjungere mures.

And again,

Ædifkante casas qui senior. Lib. ii Sat. 3.

This is learning! this is that happy talent of criticism which exp ains a passage by authorities from his splendid fellow*. But could this solemn ttifler think that an action which Horace represents as the play of chiltlhood, which he stigmatizes as a glaring mark of an unsound head in any one that had attaiucJ to manhood, could be considered by so exact a writer as Tibullus, as a proper expression of gratitude from a country village to its divine protectors? The words we fee arc part of an address to the " Dii patrii," upyn a so. lemn lustration of the villagers and their fields First, 1 heir protection is invoked for their harvest and flocks., upon the grant of which, an assurance is given, that the happy farmer and his family would show their leiile of the blessing by heading high the hearth, and running uj> hasty huts of twigs; both of which must be suppostd to be done in honour of those very deities tu whom the promise is made. Consider then, thai the Lares, the guardians, and protectors of families, must be; especially d<si^ne.l by, or at lcasr included amongst he" Dii patrii" Now com fortable houses and warm fires, were confidertd a» iheir proper gilt», a* peculiarly under their tu telage: Aud nuthirg c uld be more in the spiri: os antiquity than for the farmer and his fportiv,family,in the midst of their festal joy, aud in gratitude to the bounteous givers, to exhibit the representation of the very gists whii h they were supposed to have received from them, she warm hut and the blazing fire were u proper expressions •f gratiude to the Lares, as arms wliich had been used succefifully to Hercules, the first fruits to Ceres, and the image of a restored limb to .l.fculapius, or the hermx to Mercury, the guide ana prorector of travellers.

Ver. 2*. Hii nutntrout bondJtjvei all in goodly rov>$.] These certain indications us a wealthy farmer, Horace, with his usual courtliness of expres lion, calls " Ditis examen Oomus;" but as that would have appeared flat in English, Mr. hrancis has judiciously passed it over in his version. So peculiar are languages!

The " vernx" were slave* born of slaves.

Ver. 35. The original of this cannot be rendered into intelligible English. The Romans marked their wine casks with the name of him who was consul at the time when they were

filled. They then fastened them down with chains. The older the Falernian and Chian wine« were, they became the more esteemed. They were often mixed together; and this heightened the flavour of both.

Might not these lines have convinced Dacier, and the other commentators, who represent Tibullus as an indigent person, of their mistake? A poor man could not have afforded to treat a whole village with old Falernian and Chian wines. G.

Though the Romans, by a very unlucky proverbial expression, used " Grxcari" for playing the good fellow, yet I think that debauchery and intemperance were the characteristic manner* neither of the Greeks nor Romans. At their festivals, they indeed thought them an indispensible part of their religious rejoicings: and if they were not wholly confined to these, it is certain, that by their mean1 they first got sooting amongst them. Athcnxu- Deipn. I. iii. ch. 3. tells us, that the ancients never indulged themselves with dainties, nor drank any quantity of wine, but at such times. As a convincing proof of which, he observes, that the very names for luxurious eating and drinking have some relation to their religions sacrifices. Thus ©wwi a banquet, is so called, because they thought themselves obliged J<* 0iv; tntrhei, to be drunk in honour of the gods; and to be drunk they called pilmn because they were most accustomed to do it, fi$rœ To eVw, after sacrifice. The Romans had adopted th; fame principles and practice, as appears from this very sober exhortation of the poet. B.

Ver. 38 Upon certain occasions the Roman* drank a bumper for every letter of their friend or mistress s name. ' Ihey received this custom from the Grecians.

Ver. 40. The first Romans wore beards, and were represented accordingly in their statue* and pictures. The '* inrcnsi* avis'* of the original, therefore, show the antiquity os Messala's family. Varro de R. R informs us, that Fianius Mena was the firs; who introduced barbers into Rome; and he brought them from Sicily, A. U. C 454. Such circumstances, though seemingly inconsiderab'e, are yet necessary for a thorough understanding of the classics

Ver. 48. And tbatcb it otr v/itb turf or leafy sprayi.] Such were the rude beginnings of architecture 1 and such wretched hovels are 0i 11 to be seen in the barren and movintainou parts of this great and civilized island! Sec Vitruv. Archit. I. ii. c. I.

Houses at first being only a defence from the weather, and built us whatever rude materials the country afforded, Rome was originally composed of mud-walled, siraw-thatched cottages. Even Romulus's palace was a hut, and as ill furnished as those of his subj"rcts.

Parva suit, si prima velis elcmenta referre,
Roma: fed in parva spes tamen luijti* erat.

Mænia jam stabant populis augusta futuris;
Crcdita fed tu: bx nunc nimis air.pla fins;

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yet many critics, arid especially Sealiger, bestow :hat honour on the shepherd: And, indeed, when we consider that flocks were tended before the rarth was ploughed, their opinion is not impro>ab!e. But as poetry is natural to man, and peuliar to no nation, who can ascertain its invenor?

Ver. 64. Blrji he lit esiwifry.] Broekhufios fays, he poet means the fun by the " calidum sidm" t seems rather that he meant the dog-star. Tiullus calls the growing corn the earth's annual Air. This metaphor will not dn in English.

Ver. 66. Tragedy was ac first nothing but an nnual hymn, fung by peasants, in honour of Bachus; and he who acquitted himself best upon his topic, was rewarded with a goat. Hence he Greek name T{«y»3m. But as the sameness if the subject must at last have proved irksome, iot only to the poet, but to the audience; it was o wonder th at this entertainment was afterwards iversified. Thefpis, a native of Icaria, a mounlinous part o>f Attica, where this ceremony first btained, interrupted the Bacchic chorus, A. Hund. 3530, by recitation, on pretence of easing he choius, and varying the amusement. He uppity succeeded; and what at first was only a uhfidiary interlude, soon became the principal ntertainmene. Rude, doubtless, it was; for Thesis, as Aristotle hints, employed but one interloutor. The entertainment yet scarce merited the ame of tragedy, which cannot subsist without ialogue. Succeeding poets saw this; and, by mproving on* one another, carried tragedy to perceiiou. she chorus was retained; but then it 'as no long«r a hymn in honour of Bacchus. The subject of the song arose from the subject of he play; ami those who performed it iti the chous, became e flential persons in the drama.

Although the Greeks fir upon Attica as the >lace whete tragedy made its first appearance, |« as man is an imitative animal, the source of this species of poetry, as well as of the other imitative arts, is to be sought for in human nature, she Chinese, from the earliest antiquity, have had Iramatic entertainments; and that excellent histo»n, Garcilasfo de la Vega, informs us, in the first >art of his Commentario* Reales, that the Peruians composed and acted several tragedies and omedies.

The reason for sacrificing a goat to the god of fine, the antiquarians tell us, was this: Bacchus, aving found out the secret of cultivating the ine, and ns making wine from the grape, taught is discovery to one Icarus (Vid. Bulinger. de ["heat. L i. c. I.) a native of Icaria, who successully continued the practice. One day, as lesrus »as visiting his vineyard, he caught a goat, which iad made great havoc among his vines. Interest, nd gratitude to his instructor, equally conspiring, te sacrificed the creature to Bacchus. His pcaants, who doubtless had been invited to fee the œ immolated, danced around the sacrifice, and pysully sung the praises of the god. Institutions •f this kinfl need but be begun to auave them


continual. Hence what at first ws« merely accidental, became a part of annual drvotion

Ver. 71. See a fine description os wool-shearing in Mr. Thomson's Summer.

Ver. 74. Weaving was held in such estimation by the ancien's, that the goddess of wisdom patronized that art. Hence not only the greatest queens of old, but Circe, the daughter of the. fun, and a goddess, practised it. 1 he reader who chooses to Ice this subject treated of, with all the importance ic deserves, must peruse that most elegant of didactic poems, the Fleece.

Vrr. 76. The author of that delicate poem, the Pervigilium Veoeris, also makes the god of love to have been born in the country.

Ipse amor, p'ucr, rure natus dicitur.

Hunc ag'-r, cum parturirec ipsa, suscepit sinu;

Ipsa sicrum delicatis educavit oscutis.

Which are tints elegantly translated by Parnell,

E'en lore (if fame the truth of love declare)

Drew first the breathings of a rural air.

Some pleasing meadow, pregnant beauty prest,

She laid her infant on its fl.iw'ry breast,

From nature's sweets he sipp'd the fragrant dew,

He smil'd, be kiss'd them, and by kissing grew.


This birth of Inve is prettily imagined; and the episodical address to him, ill a precatory hymn to the rural deities, is not without its propriety. We know, that to gratify the farmer's hopes, hitf cattle must increase, as well as his grain flourish, and that beasts as well as men were supposed to feel the influence of almighty love. Poetry animates every thing. In an heathen poet's creed, not only hills, trees, fountains, are inhabited by superior intclligencies, but the very passions themselves must be exalted into deities. If we strip the description of Tibullus of its poetical ornaments, it will be found to agree very well with truth and nature. The workings of the passion* in minds rude and uncultivated, such as an heathen poet must suppose the first man to have been, must needs be tumultuous and undistin^uifhing. Love in this cafe would be merr lust, without either choice or discernment, raised and pra. tisied by the first object that offered; a-d when exalted into a person, mjy justly be fii| posed to have his birth amongst beasts, or men little superior to them, and to throw his arrows a'*out at random. Cut when the mind begins to admit of refinement, becomes curious about its obj cts, and delicate in its pursuits, then love will only be excited in it bv excellence, either real or imagined; and. despiling prnmilcnous concubinage, ance the possession of easier gratifications, it will, with much pain and ai xiety, and severe distress upon miscarriage, confine itself to the pursuit of some savrurite object. Then it is that 'he deisi d passion must be sipposrd to become siilsul in itr business, to takj exact aim, and neglecting the bestial throng, to wound those hearts deepest that are capable of the most exquisite feeling, I"hu» does our poet keep dole to nature, even wb«a> his language is most figurative, and speaks of the I passions almost with as much precision as the most curious theorist. B.

Ver. 88. Ariosto, as Brockhtifius remark", has happily imitated our poet, in his fable of Jucondo and Astolphus.

II Greco, si come clla li disegna
Qnando sente dormir tulla la torma,
Viene a l'uscio, c lo spir^c.e qucl li cede.
Eotra pian piano, e va a temoo col picde.

Fa lunghi passi, e sempre in quel di dictro
Tutta si ferma, e l'altro par die mova
A Guisa, che di dar tema nel vetro
Non ch'l terrenn halibia calcar, ma l'uoua:
E tien la mano inanzi simil metro
Va brancolando in sin che'l letto trova, &c.

Cunt. 28. St. 6a, 63.

Which is thus rendered by a late translator,

The Greek, just a? she had designed at night,
When all the crowd he sleeping did perceive,
Came to the door, and pushM it, and it op'd;
He enter'd softly, and on tiptoe grop'd.

He makes long stride?, still on his foot behind
Rests firm, and scem'd as if he cautious led
His t'other foot, as searing glass to find,
And that an egg, not ground, he had to tread:
And forward, keeping time, his hand inclin'd,
Still tottering on, until he found the bed, &c.

This sweetness, however, the author of the Per. vigilum Veneris has attained to.

Ipsa Nymphat Diva luco jufsit ire Myrtco,
It puer comes puellis, nec tamen credi potest
F-sse amorem feriatum, si sagittas vexerit.
Ite Nymphx, posuit arma, feriatus est Amor.
Justus est inermis ire, nudus ire jussusest;
-Ncu quid arcu, neu fagitta, neu quid igne l.xderet.
Sed tanitn Nymphæ cavcte.quodC'upido pulccr est.
£11 in armis totus idem, quanco nudus est Amor.

Now fair Dionc tn the myrtle grove

Sends the gay nymphs, and fends her tender love.

And fliall they venture .' Is it safe to go? [bow?

While nymphs have hearts, and Cupid wears a

Yes, safely venture, 'tis his mother's will,

He walks unarm'd, and undesigning ill,

His torch extinct, his quiver useless hung,

His arrows idle, and his bow unstrung.

And yet, ye nymphs, beware, his eyes have charms,

And love that's naked, still is love iu arms.

And again,

Ruris hie erunt paellas, ice.

To fill the presence of the gentle court,
From every qnarter, rural nymphs resort.
From woods, from mountains, from their humble

From waters curling with the wanton gales.
Pleas'd with the joyful train, the laughing queerj
In circles feats them round the banks cf green,

And " lovely girls, <Se whisper*, guard your hem, "My boy, though stript of arms, abounds in uu"

Ver. 93. 0 cometattlrra.]

Come Cupid then, but throw thy shafts away,

I'hy burning shafts, &c.

"Hac sunt belliflima," as Broekhufia* justly remarks, " et amænæ sirnpticitatis lenocinio Kmbiliflima. Frustra ad hanc suavitatem idspira: illi, qui prrspicere Don poslunt, quid fit pukkritudo tuturalis-"

Ver. 97. When the superstitious among tit ancients were solicitous to obtain what morality forbade them to desire, they put up piivate ptritions to the g*<ds, and imagiued that the roil wire, in that cafe, obliged to grant their ref)ueli: more especially when the offerings they presented were sufficiently costly. See thi* abominable (sperstitinn, forcibly redargued by that great Imtj satirist Peisius, whom now the English resist may with pleasure peruse, in uo lest faithful thæ elegant poetical version. When the aocieuts wen particularly anxious about the attainment cf art thing, they used to bribe the keepers of the tem;le of their favourite god, to let them come nesrci his statue, in order that their petition might k the best heard. Senec. Ep. 41.

Ver. Jco. Evening aud night are vark>cflTrf presented by both poets and painters: la ose if the hymns usually ascribed by critics to Orplrti. the stars, as in our poet, are called the daugktn of night. And Theocritus names them


Mr Thomson's description of a summer'!* end night is exquisitely fine, containing awif?propriated and original images: Neither!* following picture, by Mr. Smart, destitute <si poetry.

Night, with all hrr negro train,
Took possession of the plain,
In a herlc she rode, reclin'd,
Drawn by screech-owls, slow and blind
Close to her, with printless feet,
Crept stillness, in a winding sheet.

Sa hi* Orig. P*t*t,t ^

Mr. Spcnre, in the notes on his Dialogue of 'Is Planets, Times, and Seasons, converts the * Mitris." of the original into " Martis," and soap-pEn it to the planet Mars, But as this reading is uauthorifed by any MSS. or good edition, amis truth has no fort of connection with the cow'E, night being there represented as the moths d the stars, we have been obliged to reject it.

Ver. 104. Statrus and Claudian make sleeps charioteer of night. But the post assigned S<wnus by our poet, is both more poetical, and more consonant to truth.

This night-piece is worthy the pencil as1 Claud: Lorraine or a Guiso Riicni.


Rim, happy morn, without a cloud arise!
Thi« morn, Cornutus blest hit mother's eyes!
Hence each unholy wish, each adverse sound,
A* we his altar's hallowed verge surround!
Let rich Arabian odour- scene the skiea,
And sacred incense from hi> altar rise;
Itnplor'd, thou tutelary god, descend!
And deck'd with flowery wreaths the rites attend!
Then as hit brows with precious unguents flow,
Sweet sacred cakes, and liberal wine bestow.

O genius, grant whate'er my friend desires;
The cake is scatter'd, and the flame aspires! I*
Ask then, my noble friend, whate'er you want:
What silest still ? your prayer the god will grant:
Uncovetous of rural wide domains,
You beg no woody hills, no cultur'd plains:

Not venal, your request no eastern (lores,
Where ruddy waters lave the gemmy shores:
Your wish I guess ; you wish a beauteous spouse,
Joy of your joy, and faithful to your vows.
'Tis dane .' my friend ! fee nuptial love appears!
See! in his hand a yellow zone he bears! %a
A yellow zone, that spite of years shall last,
And heighten fondness, even when beauty's past.
With happy sighs, great power, confirm our

With endless concord bless the married pair.
O grant, dread genius, that a numerous race
Of beauteous infants crown their fond embrace;
Their beauteous infants round thy feet shall play,
And keep, with custora'd rites, this happy day.


Tan elegy celebrates the birth-day of Cornutus; and is addressed to genius, a fort of divinity, who was supposed constantly to attend every man through the whole course of his life. It exhibits a description of the rites usually performed on that occasion.

In some less perfect editions, the person, on whose birth-day this elegy was written, is called Ceriuthus; but as the laborious Broekhusius has proved, that Cerinthus is the foreign name of a slave, and slaves, according to him, were not permitted to marry, " servis enim non uxores, fed concubernales erant;" a wife being mentioned by the poet at the chief boon his friend had to demand of his natal god: and as the oldest MSS. and least corrupted editions read Cornutus, we also have retained that name.

After al), as we know nothing certain of either Cerinthus, or Cornutus, the reader may adopt what name he shall think proper.

Ver. I. The god meant in th« text a* Genius. Plutarch (in Lib. de Oracul.) and Plato inform us, that being of a middle nature between gods and men, the genii wrre supposed to be the secret menitors, by whose insinuations mankind were inclined to the practice of goodness. According to Varro, in his book intituled Atticus, the ancients abstained from all bloody sacrifices at the festival of Genius. and the reason given lor this conduct l», iliac they might not deprive other beings ef


life, on that day, wherefdre they themselves joyfully commemorated the reception of it. They offered wine indeed, because that promotes hilarity ; as also pulse, which they call " tritilla," that being in ancient times a child's first spoon meat. Vid. Censor de Die natal. & Boxhora. Qusest. Rom. p. 91.

Genius is derived from " Gigno; and therefor* Horace styles him

Natale Comes qui temperat astrum,
Humanae Ptus Naturae.

Vid. Notes on Fl. viii. B. t. and El. v. B. 4.

Ver. 1. This Cornutus, if Broekhusius is not mistake* in his conjecture, is he who was prastor of Rome A. U C. 710. in the consulate of Hirtius and Panl'a; who, in their absence, enjoyed the consular authority, and was appointed by the senate " fupplicationes per 30 dies ad omnia pulvinaria constitucre," for the victory obtained at "Modena. Vid. Ciccr. Lib. 10. tp. fam. 11. &16. See also the notes on £1. v. B. 3.

However as this supposition is sounded upon the sameness of name only, so the person, whose birth our poet celebrates, may have been some young nobleman of the Sulpiciaft or Cœcilian families, Cornutis being a surname in both these houses.

It was the custom, lays Dart, to enjoin silence at all religious invocations; the priest began with the known expression of " Favcte linguit," leflf

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