« السابقةمتابعة »
I. 496; II. 51,) of presenting in the first clause of his sentence no more than the sketch, or skeleton, of his idea, and then, in the subsequent clause, filling it up and clothing it with flesh and life; and 3dly, Because it afterwards appears (v. 260 et seq.) that the horse contained only nine persons. I may add, that I understand the words delecta virum sortiti corpora to be equivalent to delecta ipsorum sortiti corpora, because sortiti is predicated of ductores Danaum, and we find at v. 260 et seq. that the delecta corpora were of the number of those who were properly comprehended under the term ductores Da72071702. Error being fruitful of error, the received erroneous interpretation of this passage has produced the Emperor Napoleon's erroneous criticism (see his essay quoted in comment. v. 5,) that the wooden horse, containing so great a number of men, could not have been brought up to the walls of Troy in so short a space of time as is implied in the account given by Virgil. “En supposant,” says the Emperor, “que ce cheval contint seulement cent guerriers, il devait etre d'un poids énorme, et il n'est pas probable qu'il ait pu Čtre mené du bord de la mer sous les murs d’Ilion en un jour, ayant surtout deux rivières à traverser.” The objection falls to the ground with the erroneous interpretation on which it is founded. See comment. En. II. 299. W. 30. Classibus hic locus.-In this passage Virgil, according to his custom, (see comment. En. I. 496; II. 18 and 51,) presents us first (v. 27, 28,) with the general idea, the deserted appearance of the places lately occupied by the Greeks; and then (v. 29, 30,) supplies the particulars, in the words of the Trojans pointing out to each other the various localities. The reader, however, must not be misled by the words Classibus hic locus to suppose that there was a place set apart for the ships. Innumerable passages in the Iliad, and especially the account of the battle at the ships, (Iliad, XIII.) render it perfectly clear that, the ships being drawn up on the shore, the tents were erected beside and amongst them; the ships and tents of one nation forming one group, those of another nation another group, and those of a third nation a third group; and so on, along the entire line of shore occupied by the encampment. Classibus means therefore, not the ships, as contra-distinguished from the tents, but the ships taken together with their dependencies, the tents; or in other words, it means the Grecian encampment, called classes by Virgil, and & vis: by Homer, from its most important, and, especially from a distance, most conspicuous part, the ships. Not only Dryden, but many of the other translators, render Classibus hic locus, “here the navy rode,” with what understanding of the Iliad, or of ancient naval expeditions, (see En. III. 71; IX. 69, 70,) or of the Grecian encampment, and mode of warfare, at Troy, and especially of the battle at the ships, let the reader judge. W. 34. Seu jam Trojae sic fata ferebant.—Jam ; now at last, after so many years of obstinate defence. V. 37. Subjectisque urere flammis.—The advice of Capys consists of two alternatives; either to destroy the horse, (by fire or water as they might prefer,) or to explore its contents. The copulative que is used to connect together the two parts of which the first alternative consists. The English language does not admit of a similar structure. W. 43. Aut ulla putatis Dona carere dolis Danaum ?—Admirably translated by Schiller:
“Ein griechisches Geschenk und kein Betrug verborgen?”
Such masterly touches, promissory of the future splendour of Schiller's genius, occur every now and then in his Freie Uebersetzung of the 2d and 4th books of the Eneis ; which is, however, on the whole, an inferior production, evincing not merely immaturity of poetical power, but a considerable want of perception of the delicacies of Virgil's expressions, and even some ignorance of the Latin language.
W. 49. Timeo Danaos etiam dona ferentes.—In this so oftquoted sentiment there is nothing new except its application to the Danai; Exopov ačopa 600pa za oux ovmas/12 was a proverb even in the days of Sophocles. See Ajaw Flagellif. 673.
V. 50. Validis ingentem viribus, &c.—The great size of the spear, and the force with which it is hurled, are not matters of indifference, but absolutely necessary to the production, on the huge mass of which the horse consisted, of the considerable effect described by the words
Of the five terms most frequently used by Virgil to express the casting of a spear, viz. jacio, conjicio, torqueo, intorqueo, and contorqueo, the two first are the weakest, and signify ;-jacio, simply to throw ; conjicio, to throw with the collected force of the individual, which, however, needs not be great, for the term is applied, v. 545, to Priam throwing his imbelle telum sine ictu. The three latter signify to hurl; torqueo, simply to hurl; intorqueo, to hurl forcibly: contorqueo, with all the collected strength of a powerfully strong man ; con, when applied in composition to the act of one, being no less intensive than when applied to that of a number of individuals; in the former case, indicating that the act is the result of the whole collected power of the one, in the latter that it is the result of the collected power of the several individuals concerned. Impello, although interpreted by Heyne in his gloss on En. I. v. 82, intorqueo, immitto, is neither there, nor anywhere else, used in that sense, but always in the sense of pushing; either physically pushing, as in the passage just quoted (see comment. Bn. I. 81; see also En. VII. 621; VIII. 239, &c.); or metaphorically pushing, as En. I. 11; II. 55, 520, &c. V. 51. In latus, inque feri curvam compagibus alvum.—In alvum is not, as maintained by Thiel, and after him by Forbiger, into the alvus ; 1st, Because there is much harshness in interpreting the in before alvum, so very differently from the in before latus, of which it is the mere repetition. 2dly, Because the word recusso, v. 52, plainly implies that the interior of the horse was only concussed, not perforated. 3dly, Because the expression ferro foedare, v. 55, almost expresses that the interior had not been previously foedata ferro. 4thly, Because the words tergo intorserit, v. 231, limit the lesion made by the cuspis, v. 230, to the tergum, a term never applied except to the exterior of the body. For all these reasons I reject Thiel's interpretation, and understanding (with Wagner,) que to be taken epexegetically (see comment. En. I. 496; II. 18,) render the pas-. sage, against that part of the side, which was the alvus or belly. Thus the precise position of the wound is determined to have been in the hinder part of the side, corresponding to the cavity of the belly, not of the chest; and in the lateral part of the belly, not the under part. Virgil chooses this position for the wound, with great propriety, because the portion of the horse's side corresponding to the belly, being much larger than that corresponding to the chest, not only afforded a better mark to
Laocoon, but was precisely the part where the enclosed persons were principally situated. V. 53. Insonwere cavae, gemitumque dedere cavernae.-Not cavae cavernae inson were, but cavernae insonwere cavao ; que is epexegetic, and the meaning is, not that the hollow caverns both sounded and groaned, but that the caverns sounded hollow, and their hollow sound was like a groan. See comment. II. 552. The editors, not understanding the structure, have omitted to place a comma at cavae. V. 60. Hoc ipsum ut strueret, Trojamque aperiret AchivisQue is here epexegetic (see comment. En. I. 496; II. 18); and the meaning is, that he might effect this very thing, and so open a way for the Greeks into Troy; aperiret being taken not in the sense of opening a door (“and open Troyé's gates unto the Greeks.” Surrey,) but in its equally usual sense, of opening a way or means, or clearing a passage, as En. X. 13 and 864. Accordingly Sinon aperit Trojam Achivis, 1st, Struendo hoc ipsum, viz., by telling so plausible a story as to induce the Trojans to take both himself and the horse into the city; and, 2dly, By letting his confederates out of the horse during the night. Virgil has not informed us whether it was Sinon himself, or some of those confederates, who actually opened the city gates; and from this circumstance alone (independently of the argument derivable from the more elegant structure and the more poetic meaning,) we might safely infer that Virgil did not use the word aperiret in the sense ascribed to it by Surrey. V. 65. Danaum insidias.-These words are plainly repeated from Dido's request to Eneas, En. I. 754. V. 67. Inermis.-As arma means not merely weapons, whether offensive or defensive, but all kinds and means of offence or defence, so its compound inermis means not merely without weapons, but without any means of offence or defence ; helpless, defenceless. The latter is the sense in which I think it is used in the passage before us; because, 1st, It is not to be supposed that Virgil, having told us that Sinon was a prisoner, with his hands bound behind his back, would think it necessary to inform us almost instantly afterwards that he was unarmed or without weapons. And, 2dly, Because, even if Sinon had not been bound, weapons could have been of no avail to him against the agmina by whom he was surrounded, and therefore the want of them made no real difference in his condition, and could not have been assigned, even by poetical implication, as a reason for his emotion or conduct. It is in this strong sense of utterly without means of offence or defence, and not in its literal sense of weaponless, that inermes is to be understood also in Tendentemque manus Priamum consperit inermes, En. I. 487; because, although it might have contributed to the pathos of the picture, to have represented a young warrior's hands as stretched out weaponless, it could have had no such effect to have so represented the hands of Priam, who was so old as to be unable to wield weapons, and was equally inermis, (helpless and defenceless, ) whether he had arms in his hands or not. See En. II. 509, 510, et seq. The same meaning follows inermis into the Italian: “I semplici fanciulli, e i vecchi inermi, El volgo delle donne shiggottite.” Gerus. Liber. III. 2. V. 76. Depositá tandem formidine.—I cannot agree with Heinsius and Brunck that this verse is objectionable, much less that it should be expunged, on the ground that it attributes jear to Sinon, whom Virgil but a few lines previously has represented as fidens animi, atque paratus, &c. Neither do I plead in its defence, with Heyne and some other commentators, that Sinon first pretends to be agitated with fear (turbatus), and then pretends to lay his fear aside, “fingit Sinon et hoc, quasi deposuerit formidinem.” Heyne. On the contrary, I think that Virgil, having represented Sinon as entering upon the execution of his plot with boldness and confidence, represents him as really turbatus, (agitated and frightened, ) when he comes to be actually confronted with the danger, and then as really recovering from his agitation when he finds that the immediate danger is over, and that the Trojans, instead of putting him to death instantly on the spot, are willing to hear what he has to say. Turbatus means really agitated, and depositá formidine, really recovering self-possession, because, 1st, If Virgil had intended to express by these words only simulated emotion, it cannot be doubted that he would have afforded some clue by which his intention might have been discovered; but he has not only not afforded any such clue, but has actually assigned sufficient cause for real emotion; Sinon is turbatus, because he stands inermis in the midst of the Phrygia agmina ; and, depositá formidine satur, because conversi animi, compressus et omnis Im