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Ver. 101. Ovid, in that astonishing work of hit, intituled Fasti, gives us the following accurate description of the Palilia.
Certe ego de vitulo, cinerem, stipulasque fatales
Sxpc tuli plena februa caila manu. Certe ego tranfilii positas ter in ordine flammas;
Virgaque lauratas aurea misit aquas.
Turn licet, apposita veluti cratere camella,
lMoxque per ardcntes stipulat crcpitantis acervos, Trajicias celeri strcnua membra pcde. Lit. iv.
Ver. 104. The original of this passage cannot be expressed in poetical English. It describes a method of kissing, wherein the person to be kissed, was, by the saluter, held and pulled forward by the ears till his lips met the others. This, according to Brockhusius the Italians call a Florentine kiss. Vidi Kmp. D'prt. ie Ost*t.
Ver. 106. Such domestic descriptions are often more pleasing than the boldest flights of poetry! Tibullus abounds in them : They are certain signs ot the goodness of a writer's heart.
Ver. 1*1. The form of deprecation was this: To confess that the person injured did not deserve the curse; that they wished it had not been pronounced; and owned themselves actuated by a bad disposition: " Mente mala, mala fatebamur." xXennius, as Brockhusius remarks, was the first •who explained the former part of the Latin deprecatiou, as Douza did the last. This was a better method surely of making satisfaction than vrhat we moderns have subltiiuted in its place, che pistol and sword.
Ver. 114. The reader by this time must have perceived a frequent recurrence of ideas in Tibul
lus; yet are both Ovid and Propertius equally reprehensible on that account.
Ver. 139. Bacchus, or (as Sir Isaac Newton has proved) the Egyptian Scsoftris, after his return from his Indian conquest, gave the first instance of this ungenerous ceremony, which the Romans afterwards adopted. It is impossible to read the description of those arrogant exhibitions of prosperity, without being struck with indignation: and we can never think highly of the humanity of that people who could behold with pleasure such striking instances us calamity, and of the caprice of fortune, as those solemnities afforded; when the greatest monarchs of the earth were sometimes dragged from their thrones, to attend in chains the insolent parade os an insulting conqueror. But it was natural for the Romans to enjoy that with insolence which they gained by oppression.
Ver. 140. These were at first of wood; but in Cæsar's last triumph they were of silver.
Ver. 144. " Laureati milites (fays Festua Pempeius) sequebantur currum triumphantis, ut quasi purgati, a cxde hununa intrarent urbem."
Ver. ijt. The poet, as Viilpius observes, wishes) eternal chastity to Diana, because Orion, one of the giants, had endeavoured, but in vain, to ra< vifh her. •
Testis me arum centimanus Oyas
Lit. iii. OJ. 4,
1viace« campaigns; who how will thee obey,
My vaunts how Vain! debarr'd the cruel maidj
Psom wherree they conclude, that Pompeius Macer was a poet, and wrote the Paralipomena of Homer. This opinion is however unsupported by dailies! authority. But if there U no cause to believe that Theophanes was a poet, we know, that Æmiliut Macer was a considerable one ; and as he mide a distinguished figure in the court of Augustus, it is not unreasonable to conclude, he was the nobleman whom Tibullus mentions in tail elegy.
Æ nilius Macer then was born at Verona, a city famous for the births of Lucretius, Catullus, and the architect Vitruvius. Ovid informs us, that Macer was his senior, and that he travelled with him through Afta and Sicily. We also know from the same poet, as well as from Pliny, that Macer, besides the pieces already mentioned, wr«e likewise a poem on birds, serpents, and on the virtues of plants. Of this performance, which he used often to recite to Ovid, two or three lines only remain. In it he chiefly copied Nicander, a poet of Colophon. Nor were the/e his only yoeiica! performances: he composed a piece, intituled Theriaca, of which Isidorus and others have saved near half a dozen verses. Nonius Marccllus adds, that he wrote a Theogony, of which he mentions one verse: but some learned men think, that the line quoted must have belonged rather to lis Ornithology. Besides these useful works, he Jublifhcd something on bees (probably in verse'), 19 Pliny informs us, lib. xi. Qjiintilian allows »th Macer and Lucretius to have been elegant, Hit stigmatize* the one as obscure, and the other is creeping. *' Utinam" (fays Broikhulius) " holie de Macro et nobis arbitrnri liceret! Utinam altem Iliaca exstarent, quas tanti facit Naso, ut b his libris, honorificum dederit auctori cognoaemum;"
?Jtn foret et Marfus, magnique BabirhlS oris,
Lib. iv. Pont. £j>. 16
Water died in Asia, about the time that Augustus dopted Caius and Lucius, the ions vi Agrippa; rhich, according to the Eufebian Chronicle, hap. ened A. O. C- 737. in the consulate of C. Furius. and Jus. Silantis.
The p.jcm Ue Viribus Herbarum, which at resent passes under the name of Æm. Macer. is ac work of one Odo, who was as wretched a net, as he was a bad physician. Vide Lilio Gydd, J. C. Scaliger, and Gaudent. Mcrui. Ital. luSr. We therefore wonder how that elegant holar and excellent anatomist, Thomas Birthon, could be so far imposed upon, as to take this f liserable stuff for a poem, which was the delight f the Augustan age. See his Dissert, de Medii> Po«ticis.
Ver. 3. This passage in the original has mighily puzzled the interpreters. Scaliger and Broekusius explain it, as if the poet lamented the fate f little Cupid, who would now be obliged to ac■ nd Macer to the field, and to be his armourirarer. Vulpius, on the other hand, condemns icaliger's explanation, and fays, that the poet
seems to intimate, that Cupid himself should put on arms. This fense of the passage is what the translator has adopted, as the most poetical.
We learn from Ovid, that Macer was not averse to love, but even mixed strokes of gallantry in his heroic compositions.
Nec tibi (qua tutum vati, Macer arma canenti)
Et Paris est illic, et adultera nobile crimen;
Si bene te novi, non bella libentius istis
Lib. ii. El. 18. ver. is.
Ver. 14. Read, instead of " sacta," in the generality of editions,
& mihi grata tuba est.
Hammond has impreved upon this elegy in his second.
Adieu, ye walls, that guard my cruel fair!
No niore I'll fit in rosy setters bound; My limbs have learnt the weight of arms to bear,
My rouzing spirits fed the trumpet's found.
Fev.- are the maids that now on merit smile;
On sport and war is bent this iron age; Yet pain and death attend nn war and spoil,
Unsated vengeance, and remorseless rage.
To purchase spoil, ev'n love itself is fold: . v
And 1 through war, must feck detested gold;
That while she bends beneath the weight of dress4
And art mistaken, make her beauty less.
But if such"toys can win her lovely smile,
Iler's the bright gems that glow in India's foil,
To please her eye, let every horn contend;
For her be rifled ocean's pearly bed. But where, alas! would idle fancy tend,
And sooth with dreamsa youthful poet'shcad:
Let others buy the cold unloving maid,
While I their selfish luxury upbraid,
And scorn the person where I doibt the heart.
Thus warm'd by pride, I think I love no more,
In vain—Though reason fly the hated door.
Ver. 31. This, in the original, is, pes tamen ipsc redit. And, as Vulpius observes, it appears to have been a colloquial expression, equally idiomatical both to Greeks and Romans.
Horace has a thought of the fame nature, in, his eiccllcnt epoch: to Pettiui J where., complain-, 3 D iij
'njr of the cruelty of Inachia, whrm he had resolved to fee no more, he thus expresses his own impotence of will:
Ubi hacc feverus te palam laudavcram
Jussus abire domum
Ferebar incerto pede
I.imina dura, quibus
I.umbos, et infregi latos.
When thus, with vaunting air, I solemn said;
But are we, therefore, to conclude, that Horace was indebted to Tibullus for this thought? By no means. For, as one of the best critics that ever instructed this island, observes, " Many subjects 11 fall under the consideration of an author, which "being limited by nature, can admit only of flight "and accidental diversities. All definitions of the "fame thing, must be nearly the fame; and He11 feriptions, which are definitions of a more loose "and fanciful kind, must always have, in some "degree, that resemblance to each other, which "they all have to their object. Different potts, "describing the spring and the sea, would men"tion the zephyrs and the flowers, the billows TM and the rocks: reflecting on human life, they "would, without any communication of opinions, "lament the deceitfulness os hope, the fugacity "of pleasure, the fragility os beauty, and the Jre"quency of calamity; and, for palliatives of these 11 incurable miseries, they would concur in rc"commending kindness, temperance, caution,aud "fortitude." Rambler, No. 143.
Ver. 37. Would the reader know to what immense extravagance the Romans went in this ar
tide of sea-fiih-ponds, he may consult Virro, Dt Re Rust. cap. 17. where he treats of these * y& cin.t marina;."
Ver. 41. It is reported by historians, that D* metrius, the freed-nian of Fompey, by atttndxg that general in his conquests, amassed greittt wealth than his mafier himself. It i- prob.blf, h< wever, our poet, in this passage, glances at fen: of the Cæsarian party.
Ver. 43. Bl ouri tie jcyi if ecvu:U east.] FtCffl the original,
At mihi beta trahant Samix corvivia teflat
The translator approves of Sealiger's correfiits, In inserting" mihi." Although by rendering fe curt, he takes in also " tibi," which is ths otto pronoun that contends for a place here. Ttt poet particularly celebrates Samos ind Cumi. u marts of the best and cheapest earthen vnrt. Vide Pliny, lib XXXrii. cap. la.
Ver. 45. Pliny informs us, that gold was set coined at Rome till the year 64;, about sixty-'»» years after silver had been first coined thnf. Until ihis period, the Romans, it seems, subbed on the money of the nations they conquered.
Ver. jo. Emirtidery lobnrj, &c] This in 4t original is,
Ilia gerat vestes, &c.
The island Cos was remarkable of old for fti tissues and other luxuries of apparel. Thefts Hippocrates was born there.
Ver. 5J. Authors make a difference brtvte the Tyrian and Lybian dye, though they" sometimes used promiscuously by good tki w riters. The Tynan was the richest drefn*7 c ^uld wear. The " pretexta" of the Ron-ao. gittrates was of purple, a colour which they !®ttimes permitted such foreign princes as defetia on them to assume, but never till they toiezi exorbitant presents to the consuls.
Tnoos^NDS in death wonld seek an end of woe,
Yet, yet you treat me with the same disdain: O let not hope's soft whispers prove in vain I
Untimely fate your sister fnatch'd away; Spare me, Q spare me, by her (hade I pray! So shall my garlands deck her virgin tomb) So shall 1 weep, no hypocrite, her doom '■ So may her grave with rising flowers be dref, And the green turf lie lightly on her breast. w
Ah me! will nought avail'. the world I'll <5i . And, prostrate at her tomb, a suppliant ugh! To her attentive ghost, os you complain; Tell my long sorrowing, telW your disdain