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—Stimulsls, laminai, erucesquc compedesque, Nervos, catenas, carceres numellas, pedicas, beias, Indoctorcsque accrrimos, gnarosque nostri tergi.
"Laminas" here answers to " faces" in Tibulus. They were heated bars of iron used in the >unishmcnt of slaves. Thus Cicero, in his accuition of Verres, for treating a Roman ciriztn as i slave, charges him, " Quid, cum ignes et ardents laminx, ceterique cruciatus admovebantur?" io that when Tibullus cries out, " io remove, ;eva puella, faces," he is still describing the meiphorical slavery he was fallen into. We shall
w know what to do with the following line, It feu quid mcroi, feu quid peccavimus, uror.
One of the commentators thinking it hard that . man should be burnt for his good deserts, has iplained " quid merui" by " quid deliqui j" he night as well have said " peccavi;" but "peca»imus" followed, and the critic was resolved to ary the word, if he could not the image; but Tibullus well knew how to do both. His design ut to represent the hardness of his slavery; and o this purpose he declares, that such was the capricious cruelty of his mistress, such the severity >f love his talk-master and torturer, that he was >ot only closely kept in chains, but had the torare wantonly applied, whether he was faithful ) the offices love enjoined, or was rebellious, muinous, or negligent; that is, that his mistress ras cruel, and love a torment to him, as well rhen he attempted to please her, as when he was Jipatient under her harsh usage, and endeavoured > regain his ease and liberty. B.
Ver. io. As the ancients had but imperfect asirances of a suture slate, many of them regarded lere animal life, as the greatest of blessings, and edicated every hour to some sensual gratification, his manner of living, at least, was not unusual mong the Epicureans; a sect, from which, we l"t reason to think, Tibullus was not averse.
misery, therefore, must have been extreme, 'hen it forced him to wisli for such a metamorhoGs, as not only would have deprived him of 'cry satisfaction of sense, but rendered him an Vernal curse and reproach to all seafaring people.
Ver. 17. Some critics contend, that Tibullus :re ascribes to Apollo the invention of elegy, and ereby determines the dispute, which so warmly 'Raged the grammarians of the Augustan age; it others with more reason suppose that the poet,
this place, intended only in general to reprent this god as the author and pairon of poetry, he translator has given the line a fense distent from both; with what propriety the reader ill determine
Ver. ao. The " sacinus" and " cedes," in the 'iginal, allude to the many mafficres and proriptioni, which ware the dreadful effect* of those vil wars, which at last extinguished the liberty os ome. The butcheries by which Octavius aclired the sovereignty of the world, fixed such sgrace upon himself, and so deeply stained his mily with the imputation of cruelty, that even C mercies of Cæsar arc be :-me suspected. In
deed, neither Augustus nor Julius are to be accused of having been the first, who subverted the constitution of their country; for this was done in the days of Marius and Sylla: and if we con* sider the venality of the people, the luxury of the senate, the small number of good men, who survived the puhlic calamities; and add to this, the rapaciousness of the generals, and governors of provinces; we shall be induced, perhaps, to allow, that Augustus had it not in his power to comply with Agrippa's advice, of restoring Rome to its old plan of government.
Ver. 30. Our poet seems here unjustly to accuse the god of love; for no passion is less mercenary than that which he inspires. It must be 1 admitted, however, that Tibullus acts a gallant part at least, in endeavouring to remove an aspersion from his mistress; though his regard for Cupid may be called in quell ion, when he attempts to fix this odium upon him. He seems to be aware of this, and theref-ire involves also in his censure those who certainly better deserved it.
Ver. 35. Propertius derives female infidelity, and female avarice, from the fame sources. See Lib. iii. LI. 11. which is a keen aud witty, if not a just invective.
Ver. 42. A bawd, in Plautus, thus describe* the behaviour of a new lover.
————Ubi de pleno promitur
Volt placerc sese Arnica?,voltmihi, volt pcdiffequæ,
Jsin, ASi i. /. 5.
Andreas Maranus, a poet of Vicenza, seems ts> have had this passage of 1 ibullus iu his eye in one of his elegies.
Optamns sero, quz oblata remisimus ultro.
CJtere felici dum licet esse tibi.
Advigelat custos, advigelatque canis.
Blanditias nec fas dicere, nec facere.
But more correspondent to otir poet's sentiments is the following Greek Epigram:
Ev Tar. . , awl xuut It ITeOtlt/Mlf fSMTOM.
Will the reader pardon me on* quotation more? It is a humorou* epitaph, on a dog which belonged to a married lady of intrigue.
Latratu furcs excepi," mnfut amantes,
Ver- 48. By the pronoun *' tibi," in the tevf, the poet seems to have had some particular person in his eye.
1 he ancients looked upon it as one of the mod dreadful misfortune*, which enuid befal any persoa, to be deprived us fu-ieral noooura.
The inculcating of this, was one of the wisest contrivances of ancient legislation, and was transmitted originally from iigypt to Greece. By it, not only private murders, but vices of all kinds, were, in a great measure, checked or prevented, for, as an ingenious writer observes, it was a custom among the Egyptian', before they interred their dead, to canvass ever their actions, and to bring their whole past life to a trial, before judges appointed for that purpose. Those who, upon a fair and impartial examination, were sound to have lived a virtuous and good life, were dismissed from the tribunal, with praises proportionable to their merit, recommended as worthy-examples to posterity, and assigned over to the society of the blessed in the shades below; but others, in whose characters vice and mischief were predominant, were publicly branded with infamy, and assigned over to the regions of affliction, (Died. Sicul.) Ae every one was convinced, that he should undergo this impartial trial after death, wherein his former abilities, power, and fortune, could avail nothing to avert a proper and just sentence; such examples were powerful checks to vice, and pleasing incentives to virtue. The legislators having found their end in this institution, enforced the observance os it, by the superstition already mentioned, that those whose bodies were unburied, should wander in a state of restlessness a hundred years on the banks of the river Styx. Now, this was invented to obviAte by terror, the clandestine interment of thole whem the surviving parents or relations were afraid to bring to this test of justice, beir>£ desirous to shelter the memory of the defunct from ignominy, by an omission of this ceremony The public interment of the body, being first infilled upon, only as concomitant to the rites, and by corruption afterwards, made a necessary pirt of them.
Ver. bl- Joannes Baptists Pius (Annot poster, e. 115.) imagines that these garlands were composed solely of parsley; but Magius has shown the falsity of this. Brockhusius is of opinion, that the poet, in this place, meant garlands of roses; and indeed innumerable quotations might be brought from the classics to prove, that roses were used of old in the adorning of tombs.
Ver. 65. Propcrtius fays,
Sit sibi terra levis, mulier dignissima vita.
Hence we often meet with the initial fctttn! T. T. L upon ancient tomb-stones.
Ver. 9S. Upon such verses of our aothsr t these, have the comentaturs reared the trite ej. nion, that Tibullus, by his extravagance, (je* dered away his fortune. The text, however, not be construed into any such meaning. On, with more justice, might be said to have fpectb inheritance from the following lines;
Illud et illud habet, sec ca coatenta, rapisai
But, in truth, small stress is to be laid epeoItexpressions in the poets; and therefore Bratkb sius might have spared the censure he piffai Tibullus, on account of this passage, derr itlighting in imaginary distresses.
Ver. 69. Critics are greatly divided in the I opinions about the " hippomanes." Theopi» tus, Aristotle, and Theocritus mention a pit:1 that name, the smell of which made nuratz mad for the stallion. While some conunenK assert, that it was a fig-like excrescence »kc grew on the forehead of a foal; and which bei| bit off and swallowed by the mother, nude passionately fond of her offspring. Hence it ca to be used in philtres of old, and to be::; '■ metaphorically, to express love. Othen ecstffi, that it was a poison, " quod equz in libtdiEesa' citatx e loci* emittebanc"
Ver. IX. The The Italians being a wild sis civilized people, it is no wonder that tltjss addicted to the follies of witchcraft. IhtiiaEtry produced many powerful plants; aidm* the first physicians we read of were born tfe
The word " veneum" does not alms »■ poison, since Horace, and other approta"^ use it often to signify the juice of suchsf-1 herbs, as were proper to correct the nuip!1 poison. It aKo sometimes signifies a lore-p** In this place, however, it stands for poisoB,a»tlt a philtre; for our pott at present was in »•» of the latter, being already sufficiently fee1 Noniesis: but whether he would have beta« reality as good as his word, let the lots mine. t ,
Mr. Hammond's first elegy is an imitatethis.
To hear our solemn vows, O Phœbus deign-! I Deign mighty bard! to strike the vocal flea, A novel pontiff treads thy I'acrcd fane: I And praise thy pontiff; we, his praises for:
Nor distant hear, dread power I 'tis Home's request, I Around thy brows, triumphant lasrrls t*s'> That with thy golden lyre thou staed'st coniest; I Thine altar visit, aud thy rites divine:
Jew flash thy charms, new curl thy waving hair; ) come the god in vestment, and iu air! 10 .Vhen Siturn was dethron'd, socrown'd with bays, <i rob'd, thou songst th' almighty victor's praise. Chit sate, from gods and man, has wrapt in night, 'rophetic flashes on thy mental fight: rom thee, diviners learn their prescient lore,
0 reeking bowels, as they thoughtful pore: he seer thou t cache ft the success of things,
! flies the bird, or feeds, or screams, or sings: he sibyl-leaves if Rome ne'er sought in vain; hou gav'll a meaning to the mystic strain: ac hy sacred influence may this pontiff know, nd as he reads them, with the prophet glow. When great Æneas fnatch'd his aged sire, nd burning Lares, from the Grecian fire, he *, she foretold this empire fix'd by fate, nd ail the triumphs of the Roman state; et when he saw his Ilion wrapp'd in flame, le scarce' could credit the mysterious dame. (Q^iirinus had not plann'd eternal Rome, lor had his brother met his early doom, 30 fhere now Jove's temple swells, low hamlet's stood,
>nd domes ascend, whereheifers crop'd their food, prinkled with, milk, Pan grae'd an oak's dun shade,
nd feythe-arra'd Pales watch'd the mossy glade; ir help from Pan, to Pan on ev'ry bough pes hung, the grateful shepherd's vocal vow, f reeds, still lessening, was the gift compo~'d, nd friendly wax th' unequal junctures cloa'd.
1 where Velabrian streets like cities seem,
ne little wherry plied the lazy stream, 40 'er which the wealthy shepherd's favourite maid as to her swain, on holidays, convey'd; be swain, his truth of passim to declare, r lamb, or cheese, presented to the fair.)
The Cumscan Sibyl speaks. Fierce brother of the power of fi.ft desire, Who fly'st, with Trojan gods, the Grecian fire! Now Jove assigns thee Laureutinc abodes, Those friendly plains invite thy banifh'd gods! There shall a nobler Troy herself applaud, Admire her wanderings, and the Grecian fraud 1 There, thou from yonder sacred stream shalt rise A god thyself, and mingle with the skies! j1 No more thy Phrygians for their country sigh, See conquest o'er your shatter'd navy fly! See the Rutulian tents, a mighty blaze '. Thou, Turnus ! soon shalt end thy hateful days! The camp I fee, Lavinium greets my view! And^Vlba! brave Ascanius! built by you: I fee thee, Ilia! leave the vestal fire; And, clafp'd by Mars, in amorous bliss expire! On Tyber's bank, thy sacred robes I fee, 61 And arms abandon'd, eager god! by thee. Your hills crop fast, ye herds! while fate allows; Eternal Rome shall rife, where now ye brouze: Rome, that shall stretch her irresistlcss reign, Wherever Ceres views her golden grain; Tar as the east extends his purple ray, And where the west shuts up the gates of day.
* Tic Silyt.
"The truth I sinj»; so may the laurels prove '* Safe food, and I be screen'd from guilty love."
Thus fung the Sybil, and address'd her prayer, 71
With monstrous prodigies the year began:
pour, t Till vats are wanting, to contain their store. J Far hence, ye wolves'. the mellow shepherds
bring 10c Their gifts to Psles, and her praises sing. Now, In'J with wine, they solemn bonfires raise, And leap, untimorous, through the strawy blaze L From every cott unnumber'd children throng, Frequent the dance, and louder raise the song: And while in mirth the hours they thus employ, At home the grandsire tends his little boy; And in each feature pteas'd himself to trace, Foretells his prattler will adorn the race.
Thesylvan youth, their grateful homage paid, X la Where plays some streamlet, seek th' embowering
Or stretch'd on soft cnamell'd meadows lie,
But sober, deprecate whate'er they said. ut
Perish thy shafts, Apollo I and thy bow! If love unarmed in our forests go. Yet since be lcarn'd to wing th' unerring dart, Much cause has man to curse his fatal art: But most have I; the fun has wheel'd his round Since first I felt tie deadly festering wound;
Yet, yet I fondly, madly, wilh to burn,
O cruel love! how joyous should I be,
E'en now, the pontiff claims my loftiest lay, In triumph, soon he'll mount the sacred way.
Then pictur'd towns shall (how sucttf.fn! wir.Us
Messa Linos, to whom the following noble ele- I jjy is addressed, was the son of the illustrieus Messala. This young nobleman, whom both historians and poets represent, as inheriting his father's eloquence, had been appointed one cf the quindecemviral priests, to whole care the keeping and interpretation of the Sibylline oracles were intruded. As these venerable writings had been deposited by Augustus, under the statue of Ap"lIc, in his new temple, erected on Mount Palatine, and as Apollo was supposed to preside over vaticination, and in a particular manner, over these mysterious volumes, the poet begins his poem with an address to Apollo, whom he earnestly implores to be present at the inauguration of the new pontiff. Moreover, as these writings were never consulted, but in the greatest emer- , grncy, and then only when the senate passed a i decree for that purpose; and as their interpretation, even then, was thought to be suggested by Apollo, Tibullus entreats the god to assist hi* young friend, whenever public calamities should renoer it necessary for the priests to have recourse to them.
The Romans were proud of being thought the posterity of the Trojans; and their poet< embraced every opportunity of making their court to the people by adopting that notion. Mor was this prejudice confined to the meaner fort of Romans; Julius Cæsar, and his successor, either believed, or effected, from political motives, to believe that they were descendants of Æneas, (Vid. in Suet, in Vit. J. Casf. et Aug.) Nay, so far was this folly carried, that Augustus entertained a design of transferring the feat of empire from Rome to Troy; which city, by his and Julius's attention, was again in a flourishing situation. This, the Romans dreaded not a little; and to such a height did their apprehensions increase, A. U. C. 734, when Augustus was in Syria, that Horace, all courtier as he was, is supposed to have written that noble ode, " Justum et tenacem," lib. 3. ode 3, obliquely to dissuade the emperor from that
measure. As this, however, was a very deSee subject, and none knew better to flatlet * tron than Horace, he abruptly breaks off,
Non hæc jocofx conveniunt Lyra;.
Tibullus, however, not lying under tieisr obligation* to Augustus asthe lyric poet, au> ther courting the smiles, nor dreading therm of the court, he, like a true patriot, in silts; thusiafm of poerry, introduces the Sibyl on /i.neas to the new settlement, otifa;? Heaven for him and his followers, in half. T<» event, fays the prophetess, whenever i' ^ place' will effectually recompense youfa'present lots, and suture disasters, yon younc1'ing to become a god; as your posterity, !*1* mans are predestined to conquer the which Rome is to be the capital.
This surmise, which no commentate a touched on, throws a particular beasts « whole of the Sibyl's speech, which otberwa «• pears inaptly placed, where it now is Lasers!.
Shall we pay a compliment to Horace id > bullus (who probably let one another am':: full scope of their patriot-productions), ltd ,rr pose, that these had some weight with theet:-ror of the world! At all events, as AtfS'f professed a great veneration for the SsbySse books, and was anxious to be thought tot wJ Apollo (see the notes), who, he laid, fecf^l* him at the battle of Actium; the people ("ki prejudices, to the removing their le»t oftop" mult have been augmented by our peet'iv<»' timed prophecy), would have regarded ABfifo" breach of the Sybil's orders, as the moSintu of violations. Besides so flagrant a disre/pei.L'in one too of such eminence, might have pnx.'*^ the most fatal consequences to his gnveniiic*i *! weakening the reverence which his <s*ieoSo> tertained for the SybiUine writingi. Tin gustos was too sensible not to perceive, oi political not to avoid.
But if the translator 13 deceived in k» >"°'