Sivut kuvina

sacrifices were offered up to Juno by the Roman ladies, to whom also presents were then sent by their friends, in grateful remembrance of the interposition of the S>bine women betwixt their fathers and husbands. But it is not this custom which Tibullus alludes to. The beginning of the year in ancient times on the calends of March would have been an tele circumttance here, if the presents Tibullus speaks of, were not what we call new year's gifts, the " strcn;e" of ancient Rone, which flew about in every corner, and which emperors themselves did not disdain to accept <.f. Ovid, indeed, and Suetonius, expressly assign the calends of January for these expressions of benevolence: but even two such authorities arc not sufficient to convict Tibullus, in the judgment of one conversant with his writings, of either writing idly, or falsifying ancient cuilonii. It should seem, then, that the Romans continued to distribute these presents as earnests of their trood wishes for their friends, on the calends of March, according to the institution of Rornulus, even alter Numa had added two months to the year, and placed them at the head of it; that this remained thus, till the calendar took a more settled form, under Julius Cæsar, by whose directions the beginning •f the year being certainly fixed to the calends of January; and the emperors being jealous cf their authority, even in triiles, it became the court fashion to confine this distribution of new year's jnfis to that time only. No wonder then, that Ovid, who was a court-flatterer, and Suetonius, who wrote when the powers of the emperors had swallowed up all law and custom, should mention that observance only, which the first Cæsar had established; nor that Tibullus should honour that usage which prevailed when his darling liberty Nourished, and disdained to take notice of a change Tvhich was introduced by a tyrant. We know the obstinacy of many of our own countrymen ill favour of the old style; but amongst the Romans it had somewhat of virtue in it; it wa«a generous indignation against the authority which had robbed their country of every valuable privilege. Suetonius himself seems to confirm this opinion: we find Tiberius, who thought his power undersjnined by the slightest deviation from the institution of his predecessors, at the pains of making an edict to coniine the new year's gifts to the calends of January : " edicto prokibuit—strenaruni comaiercium, ne ultra caleud. Januariai exerceretur." The historian indeed assigns a different reason— that Tiberius did it for his own cafe, as numbers, who could not get at him .the first day, were plaguing him the whole month through: but what occasion for a solemn edict, extended to all the people, for the ease of the emperor, when the bare notice of his pleasure, supported by a few Prætorian guarofmen, would have sufficiently secured it? Might not then the edict remain upon record, and the reason of it be forgot at such distance os time ; or be thought improbable by the historian, when the caprices which usually attend the struggles betwixt prerogative and liberty were buried in oblivion? if.

Ver. 9. The whole beauty of this elegy is id, by Scaliger and Broekhusiua's 1

gaudeat il'.a meis.

Whatever the whs allege, wherever " metraT r' "tuum" contend for pre-eminence, it is a lt{! machia of teal importance.

Ver. II. To understand the original, it nrei fe considered, that the ancients had very few " &. quadrati," or square books, like ours; as they rurally wrote on " inerabranx," or such large 8:k asrescmhled our parchment: fastening these, tirsore, one to another, they rolled them up, simshed, on a long piece of wood, which smej ped at bo'h ends with hom or ivory, aecUaH. times decorated with paint. These are whit"'poet means by his " cornua." By " pfr. 1 frontes" are to be understood the two cadtofrji wood next the " cornua," where the autte name was inlcribed on a label.

As the ancients, therefore, only wr~te cn ■ side of their ** volumiua," the other was genrr;.* stained with yellow or purple, both to prefer them, and make the writing more legible. A£ to this, that they wrapped up the folded fersi: a proper envelope. That wherein our pott bt* was to fend his " volumina, was to be of afifi'-s colour, u lutea membrana."

The sheets were smoothed with pumice, Stl hence " pumex" came metaphorically to lift'' an elaborate performance. The " ftyUi>"»:'2 instrument with one end of which they 1"* and with the other erased inaccuracies; r!:" "invertere ftylom" signifies, in classical wlwn ■ correct. But when not words onry, sentences were to be changed, they used if*? and hence, to sponge out, even in oordayi^' to obliterate. The ink the ancients vmeW was the juice of the loligo.

Ver. 25. In the original it was,

Se°d priinum nympham laTga donate 6b*i till Scaligcr sirst changed it info

Scd primum meritam longa, &c. And afterwards, in his poetics, read

Sed dominana rara primum donate salute,

to avoid the word "nymphi," which, acceri-! to him, always signifies the daughter of island a mortal, or " vice versa.'' .Might, iWf!" the transistor make any farther akrratioc this unhappy passage, he would read

Scd nympham facili primum donate salute.

As n<»tp», in Greek.signifies " nupta;" anduf" some passages might be produced to lbov, etat "nympha" sometimes meant a wife, amour t Romans.

Ver. 3 j. The beauty of this passage has ca,: is presumed, been sufficiently attended to. W literal translation is, u the pale water of ft* shall ravish the hope of this title from aim he is dead," "extincto" Where it ihouklfc85' that Tibullus, in this assumed character of a Jos' ■nd discarded husband, in order to convince Ncæra of his fond attachment to her, assures her, that not only life, hut memory itself must sail him, before he can quit the pleasing hope of being again united in marriage to her, Plato's metempsychosis was at that time a fashionable doctrine at Home: which Virgil has thus represented, book vi. line 748, & seq.

Has oranes, ubi mille rotam volvere per annos, J.itb.tum ad flumen Deus evocat agmine magno: Scilicet immomores fupera ut convexa revifant, Rurfus & incipiant in corpora velle reverti.

And at Tibullus, even in the midst of a love talet

shows himself to be

of all the learning «f

his times, it is propable, that by " pallida Ditis aqua," is meant the river Lethe; and that the design of the whole passage it to assure Netera, that he should always, even in death, retain a fond remembrance of her charms; that in the separate state of hi.- soul, he should still indulge the hope* of a te-union with her, when they should enter again apon the scene of life: and that he would not suffer this hope to be ravished from him by any thing else but the same waters of oblivion, in which he should lose the memory of every thing; he had formerly been acquainted with. B.


I~lAt.D was the first, who ventur'd to divide
The youthful bridegroom, and the tender bride:
More hard the bridegroom, who can bear the day,
When force has torn his tender bride away.
Here too my patience, here my manhood fails;
I he brave grow dastards, when fierce grief assails:
Die, die I must! the truth I freely own;
VI f life too burdensome a load is grown,
shen, when I flit a thin, an empty (hade,
.V hen on the mournful pile my corse is laid, 10
A'lth melting grief, with tresses loose and

sVilt thou, Ncæra ! for thy husband morn?

\ parent's anguish will thy mother show.

For the lost youth, who liv'd, who dy'd for you?

But see the flames o'er all my body stray! And new my shade ye call, and now ye pray

In black array'd.; the flame forgets to sear;

And now pure water on your hands ye pour;

My lov'd remains next gather'd in a heap,

With wine ye sprinkle, and in milk ye steep. 30

The moisture dry'd, within the urn ye say

My bones, and to the monument convey.

Fanchaian odours thither ye will bring,

And all the produce of an eastern spring:

But what than eastern springs I held more dear,

O wet my ashes with a genuine tear!

Thus, by you bath lamented, let me die, Be thus perform'd my mournful obsequy '. Then shall these lines, by some throng'd way, relate

The dear occasion of my dismal fate: 3c

'* Here lies poor Lygdamns; a lovely wife,

"Torn from his arms, cut short his thread of life."


X.TCDAMDS having by force been deprived f Nexra, he fays in this elegy, that he can no jn ger support life ; and dwells, with such a seeruig satisfaction, on the rites which he desires may tcend his funeral, that we may suppose the loss ready affected him.

The beginning of this poem discovers a kind of r, i mated indifference, befitting his situation of nind; for here wit, or too much care about Ian. ruage, would have been extremely improper : beaule, as Cicero somewhere observes, " quxdam tiam negligentia est diligens."

Although the translator is afraid, that this elegy rill afford but small entertainment to the mere ingliia reader, the scholar will not be surprised


to be told, that it cost him more trouble to translate, than most os the other elegies.

Ver. I. Hard tvat ttc first, &',] This sentiment is finely expressed by Hammond, El. 9.

He who could first two gentle hearts unbind,
And robe a lover of his weeping fair,

Hard was the man; but harder, in my mind,
The lover still, who died not of despair.

With mean disguise let others nature hide,
And mimic virtue with the paint of art;

I scorn the cheat of reason's foolish pride.
And boast the graceful weakness of my heart.
• • • •

Sad is my day, and fad my lingering night,
When, wrapt in silent grief, I weep alone;

Delia is lost! and all my past delight
Is now the source of unavailing moan.

What follows is an improvement on Tibullus:

Where is the wit, that heightned beauty's charms?

Where is the face, that fed my longing eyes? Where is the shape, that might have blest my arms?

Where all those hopes, relentless fate denies?

Ver. 3. What fays the sagacious Brockhusiut? "Sic mulier mutet men tern non nolens, tralato in alium amore; an & tune moriendum misero ills, spreto, atque rejecto Quid C stupro alieno polluta fidem fallat.'"

Ver. 10. This rite, which is altogether foreign to English manners, Mr. Hammond has, we fear, rather injudiciously transferred into his ninth elegy:

Wilt thou in tears thy lover's corse attend?

With eyes averted light the solemn hre! Till all around the doleful flames ascend,

Then, slowly sinking, by degrees expire.

If the reader is desirous to know the manner in which the funeral pile was constructed, he may consult Boxhcrniut, Quæst. Rom. p. 99. who, by a figure explains the method the Romans took to distinguish between the ashes of the burnt body, and the alhes of the wood and other combustibles, which were thrown upon the fire: The solution of this formerly occasioned mighty controversies amongst the critics; which might have been prevented, had they considered, that burning, or, as the chemists call it, calcination, dues not change the figure of the bones.

Ver. 11. There is a thought similar to this, is that beautiful pastoral ballad called Ccl'm.

At the funeral of their parents, the sons attended " velatis capitibus," but the girls went uncovered and with dishevelled hair, wearing white garments and white fillets. See Plutarch's Vfft*iKx. Black, however, came afterwards to be the mourning colour, as it was in the time of our poet.

Ver. 15. When a person died at Rome, a branch of cypress was hung over the door of the house, that the pontiff, and others of the sacred college, might not pollute themsclve* by entering it. The old Commentator on Virgil says, that the bodies of the better fort were kept seven days, kuriit on the eighth, and buried on the ninth. By this, the most dreadful of calamities was prevented, that us coming to life on the pile, after it was set on fire. And that the bodies might not putrefy by being kept so long, they were washed with proper drenches, and anointed with antiseptic unguents; after this they were splendidly clothed, and some pieces of money put into their mouths.

The body was attended by the male and female relations of the deceased; and sometimes, as Homer mentions, by hired mourners. The attendants were called together by found of trumpet;

and the body, preceded by the statues of tk- i ceafed's ancestors, was carried through the lor.; to the place where it was to be burnt, Trowe were blown on at the funerals of the men, faij the procession; as were flutes at those of chiUis &c. The laws of the twelve tables Unites a number of musical instruments to twelve. VTs; the pile was erecting, the praises of the deces were fung in melancholy strains, accompia with music fad and solemn: and being Lithe nearest relations flung cypress aud peris upon it both to feed the flames, and abut stench, the dirge still proceeding- Whets body was burnt, the chief mourners, after ni ing their hands in water, separated theiai from the ashes; and, pouring new milk,;.. and sometimes blood upon them, wrapt ther, in fine lawn, and then inurned them, c.i. sometimes in the urn a bottle of tears 1 hence 1 old monuments; " cum lacrymis posoi)", ctfi ways some perfume, according to the q«i> the deceased, ,When inurned, they cstm them to a monument, in the building of «i: in the times of the old republic, a certain fiau not to be exceeded, without forfeiting so m sum to the state. These monuments the Gr= sometimes anointed with rich unguents. Tit' neral ceremony being fiaifhed, the relations 1: entertained with a supper: besides which, 12 quaries make also mention of three other kvei' mortuary banquets. The fullest. aawtUuw ancient account of funeral rites, is that etnas in the 23d Iliad.

The " Venus Infera, or Esrife/iCn, over funerals. The Roman undertaken Ew * a street called Libitina. If the reader to inform himself of the funeral cerenœf-'ferent nations, he may consult Luciui^'' discourse n.i{i srosvt, and the notes is fe Is" edition, an. 1563, as also Kircfirrunro "-*'■' neribus."

Ver. ix. Vopiusand others, anthoriiai tj11 the MSS. read

carbaseis humorem tollcre ventis.

And farther support their reading by the actety of that witty mimographer Publics !<s where the " carbasei venti" signify a tramp-'* covering of fine linen. Vulpius also fini f* fault with the common interpretation of t!af:; sage: Quid enim frigidius excogirari pst^ fays he, " quam ossa in linteo ventilari ftfc*.: exsugeretur humor, quo sparse eraat? N*^ tempore," adds he, no doubt very archly, l oleribus ita guttas excutiunt coqui." AacJ' in particular he censures Scaliger: "Nnlta p terea idoncutu auctorem producat, quo fatiam suam tueatur, fed quasi ex tripod e ac lion's sulentibus response daret, sibi credi jubet." * notwithstanding all this zeal, Broekhofa stands the passage in the same sense as Yjj"?* does, only he reads " carbaseis velis," ! supports by two passages from Cicero's ona* r gainst Verres; adding, that though such « * preslkn ai" caibasei vend" might be cfei * *

ge, or in satire, yet in serious compositions it juld be as cold as Varro't" vitrex togx." The rsion includes both meanings. Ver. aa. The monuments of the more wealthy :re erected of marble ; and io such a one Tibuli desire* Ncsera to place the alhei of Lygdamus. There are many inscriptions in Gruterus, and n« in Reinexius, which show, that the Romani lied a tomb " domui" (as in the original), with e adjective " xterna" annexed to it. Ver. 29. It i» certain that the Romans had ofn their monuments erected by some public road; id Urockhusius interprets the" celebri fronte" of ic original in this fense. Although the transla

tor has adopted that meaning, he is also of opinion, that the" celebri fronte" may signify the fore part of the monument, which was to be rendered famous by its architecture, and especially by the epitaph which was to be inscribed on it.

Ver. 31. The ancients, as Broekhusius observes, had the cause of their death inscribed on their tnmbs, sometimes that they might acquire glory hereby, and sometimes to gain companion. Theocritus affords us an instance of the latter, pretty similar to that in our pact:

Tj}m iwf ixttivtr cdctrosi fin wmaaBiurn;


Wht did I supplicate the powers divine? Why votive incense burn at every ihrine? Not that I marble palaces might own, so draw spectators, and to make me known; ot that my teams might plough new purchas'd plains,

taid bounteous autumn glad my countless swains:
I begg'd with you my youthful days to share,
I begg'd in age to clasp the lovely fair;
And when my stated race of life was o'er,
I begg'd to pass alone the Stygian Ihore. 10
Can treasur'd gold the urtur'd breast com-
pose f

Or plains, wide cultur'd, sooth the lover's woes?
Can marblc-piUar'd domes, the pride of att,
Secure from sorrow the possessor's heart?
Not circling woods, resembling sacred groves,
Not Parian pavements, nor gay-gilt alcoves.
Not all the gems that load an caltern Ihore,
Not whate'er else the greedy great adore,

Possesi'd, can shield the owner's breast from woe,

Since fickle fortune governs all below: ao>

Such toys, in little minds, may envy raise;

Stilliittle minds improper objects praise.

Poor let me be; for poverty can please

With you; without you, crowns could give no ease.

Shine forth, bright morn '. and every bliss impart. Restore Ncxra to my doating heart'. For if her glad return the gods deny, If I solicit still in vain the sley, Nor power, nor all the wealth this globe contains. Can ever mitigate my heart-felt pains; 30 Let others these enjoy; be peace my lot, Be mine Nexra, mine a humble cot'. Saturnia, grant thy suppliant's timid prayer! And aid me, Venus! from thy pearly chair '.

Yet, if the sisters, who o'er fate preside, My vows contemning, still detain my bride, Cease, breast, to heave! cease, anxious blood to slow! Come, death! transport me to the realms below.


. Tats elegy contains a fine picture of a true philosophical lover; such truly know the unsatissactorinds of riches or ambition, to remove the diseases of the' mind. Of this happy complexion was our poet; far a legitimate son of Apollo can scarce stoop to the mean pursuit* of sordid interest, but being enthusiastically enamoured of the muses, finds more rapture in their easy converse, than in all the preferments which kings can bestow (fee Mr. Hurd's excellent notes on Horace's Epistle to Augustus, p. 109). The genuine poet not only immortalizes himself, but hands down the vittue of others, a fair example to latest po

sterity, and thus he becomes the undoubted guardian of the temple of fame. But can wealth or grandeur effectuate this r Of difficult acquirement, and precarious in possession, death inevitably bereaves us of both. No wonder then that our poetical inamorato only requested of the gods success in his addresses to Ncxra. In that one wish all his happiness was centred: with her, any station of life could please; without her, no station, however splendid, could afford him the smallest comfort.

Ver. 3. How little these things are capable of making the possessors of them happy, has logo Veen known j and yet how keenly busy ire the (treat vulgar and the small in the pursuit of them? Had mankind estimated the value of possessions, or the extensivenefs of them, by the felicity they confer, and regulated their own conduct accordingly, how many disastrous wars and other calamities would have been prevented?

Ver. 10. Not so my Lord Lyttleton, in his fine eclogue, intituled, Possession:

When late aid age our heads (hall silver o'er,
And our slow pulses dance with joy no more;
When time no longer will thy beauties spare,
And only Damon's eye {hall think thee fair;
Then may the gentle hand of Welcome death.
At one fust stroke, deprive us both of breath:
Miy we beneath one common stone be laid,
And the fame cypress both our alhes shade.
Perhaps seme friendly muse, in tender verse,
Shall deign our faithful passion to rehearse;
And suture ages, with just envy mov'd,
Jj told how Damon and his Delia lov'd.

Ver. 13. Tibullus mentions three kinds of marble; the Phrygian, which was then most in esteem, the Lacedemonian, and the Eubzan. The Romans ran into immense expence in the article of marble pillars; although it appears, that the Julian law endeavoured, by taxes, to restrain that luxury; for they, no: content with the native colours of the marble, not only painted, but stained it. In the Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences, there is an account how the latter process toiay he performed. Pliny tells us, that Mimurra, who commanded Caifar's artificers (prafcibiisabromm) 3n Gaul, was the first who incrusted the whole inside of hi» house with marble. This Mamurra, ■who was a R-man knight, and b<m at Formix, is he whom Catullus lames in his verses.

Ver. 15. The ancients distinguished, according to Servius, between "nemus, lucu.-" (the words «>f the original), and "sylva;" the first signifying a regular plantation of trees; the second the same, hut devoted to religion; and the third a forest sjfffwfi et inculta arborum miltitudt). Roman writers, however, often use "Btniu>" and "sylva" synonymously.

she inhabitants of Rome were even more expensive in this article than they were with regard to marble itself. Take the following instance: Cheiui Dometius having objected to Luc:us Crassus, in a public debate, that tbe portico of his bouse was supported by Kymettian pillars, was alked by the latter, what price he put upon his own house? And being answered, " sexagies ses-i tertia;" Crassus again demanded, how much less it would be worth should he cut down the ten little trees that stood before it; " tricies sestertii," replied Domitius. To whom Crassus, Whether am I then, who bought ten columns " cencum miil.bus nummum," or you who value the

shade of ten Ihrubs at " tricies fesurttuin, * dt most extravagant mao? And yet, adds tac ksible miscellany writer, from whom I copj lt~, all this was nothing when compared to die lsxury of after-times, both in their buildings.. groves. And, indeed, if it is considered, ik, knight's house, in the upper part as Rome,**: fell for thirty thousand pounds Sterling, a per: sinall extent to such a house, must be rial; c pensive in a city, which, according to the mi moderate calculation, contained as many ft.;: as any city at present in Europe.

Ver. 17. Horace has illustrated this wiiL. usual felicity os expression:

Non enim Gazz, neque consulates
Summovet lictor miseros tamultus
Mentis, et curaj laqueata circum
Tecta vclantis.

Nor wealth, nor grandeur can cootroul
The sickly tumults of the foul;
Or bid grim care to stand aloof,
Which hovers ronnd the vaulted roof.

Tbe truth is, virtue is the sole parent oftei ness. See Mr. Johnson's admirable poca,tuled, the Vanity of Human Wishes.

Ver. 34. A critic of no small learning,* the Dutch editor mentions, supposes that** in this passage alludes to the statue of Isa. which Phidias made of gold and ivory, h* Elians. In this work of Phidias, the godirici represented as treading with one of her fa »» a tortoise ; by which symbol the onpolmctr meant to insinuate, that the ladies oujrkt a b> silence, and mind their domestic affair. I}> this, Broekhusius wisely observes, "w* sapimus horis omnibns;" and, indeed, His' sidered, that Venus was, by tbe mythobffc1? posed to spring from the se*, and often f*1 a chair of shell, what occasion was then ic11 inst Tibullus, who always thought njt«ni+' hide to so remote an object} But tsar'3 play the fool with learning! or, as in as--' poet better expresses it, we have here

Much hard study without sense or bnsofiaj, And all the grave impertinence of reading

If Venus had her shell of old, a mootrt Lr-t poet, Hadrian Marius, has bestowed a burr2 love, in a beautiful poem he calls Cymbi Ar ris, on which his brother, Johannes Secasdn,-•' compliments him:

Ingeniose Mari, ventura in szcula teroa
Me tua cymbat vehat, not, grave poodsn*

Cymba, renidentem qua mvtct Cyyria o*£ijr< (^uamque colvmbiao prxient ipis jogo.

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