« السابقةمتابعة »
three, or four chariots abreast, and swept the spatia with the impetuosity of the whirlwind. In proof of the correctness of this opinion, I beg the reader, 1st, To observe that almost all the words of the description, and notably the words luctantes, imperio premit, frenat, fremunt, mollit animos, temperat iras, ferant rapidi secum, verrant per auras, are suitable to the manege; 2dly, To refer to Val. Flaccus, (1.611,) where, in a manifest copy of the scene before us, he will find the winds to be styled in express terms horses rushing from the carcer, “Fundunt se carcere lasti Thraces equi, Zephyrusque,” &c.; and, 3dly, To compare Virgil's whole description with the description which Sidonius Apollinaris (ad Consentium) has given of the chariot-race:
Illi (viz. the horses) ad claustra (carceris viz.) fremunt,
Let him compare, also, Ovid, Metam. II. 153; Lucret. VI. 194; Stat. Theb. VI. 397 et seq., and Virgil himself, En. v. 144. Hence new grace and beauty to the whole passage, and proof 'additional to those adduced above, that the winds were let loose, not through a breach made in the mountain from without, but through the accustomed claustra thrown open from within.— See Comm. En. I. 81. V. 85*. Una Eurusque Notusque ruunt.—
Nor slept the winds
Hå tu devois en la Troyenne guerre
Sans me sauver par une feinte ainsi,
Ronsard, La Franciade," c. 2.
Such is the only ground which it has occurred to the commentators to assign for Eneas's horror at the near prospect of death by shipwreck. There was, however, another ground for this horror, no less strong, and certainly more worthy of the hero, and especially of Eneas, the reflection that death by shipwreck was death lost and thrown away; death redounding neither to his own honour, nor to the advantage of his country or the world.—See Senec. Agam. 518. Nil nobile ausos pontus atque undae ferent? Ignava fortes fata consument viros? Perdenda mors est. And again, Hercul, OEtatus 1165: Hercules speaking, Morior, nec ullus per meum stridet latus Transmissus ensis . . . . . - - - - - perdidi mortem, hei mihil Toties honestam.
W. 100. —Ubi tot Simois correpta sub undis
Scuta virum galeasque et fortia corpora volvit. In justice to the Manes of Virgil, I shall place in juxta-position with this and two other passages, also in the first book of the Eneis, their English representatives; I say their English representatives, because Dryden's may be truly regarded as the only translation of Virgil which is known or read in England. The literal English of the above lines is—Where Simois rolls
* One of those innumerable, once altogether ad captum vulgi; in the same
fashionable, but now forgotten poems, which the poetasters of some two hundred years ago used to manufacture out of the Eneis, and pass upon the world as original works of their own. It is impossible not to be struck by the resemblance between those professedly original poems, but really semi-translations of the Eneis, and our modern professed translations, but really semioriginal poems. Both are composed
easy, flowing, and often sweet style, and with the same total, either ignorance or disregard, of Virgil's meaning; the sole difference between them being the greater antiquity of the language of the former, and such change in the names of the actors, and in the places, times, and order of action, as was necessary to give to the former some colour of originality.—J. H.
so many shields and helmets and brave bodies of heroes, snatched wnder his waves. There is not one word more or less, or different from these, in the original; now hear Dryden:— Where Simois rolls the bodies and the shields Of heroes, whose dismembered hands yet bear The dart aloft, and clench the pointed spear. Again, v. 166:— Fronte sub adversa scopulis pendentibus antrum, Intus aquae dulces vivoque sedilia saxo, Nympharum domus. Under the opposite front, a cave in the hanging crags ; within, sweet water, and seats of the living stone; howse of the nymphs. Hear Dryden:A grot is formed beneath with mossy seats, To rest the Nereids and exclude the heats ; Down through the crannies of the living walls The crystal streams descend in murmuring falls. Once more, v. 416: Ubi templum illi, centumque Sabaeo Ture calent arae sertisque recentibus halant. Where a temple and hundred altars glow for her, and breathe of fresh garlands. Hear Dryden:— Where garlands ever green and ever fair With vows are offered and with solemn prayer; A hundred altars in her temple smoke, A thousand bleeding hearts her power invoke. Such, from beginning to end, with scarcely the exception of a single line, is Dryden's translation of the Eneis, “the most noble and spirited translation,” says Pope, “which I know in any language,”—that translation, whose very announcement, we are informed by Sir W. Scott, (see his life of Dryden,) put all literary England into a ferment of expectation—that translation which Johnson tells us, “satisfied Dryden's friends, and for the most part silenced his enemies”—that translation which, up to the present day, is the only recognised representative at the court of English Literature, of the sweet, modest, elegant, and always correct muse of Virgil. V. 107. Furit astus arenis.-AEstus; Germanicë, die Bramdung. The English language possesses no corresponding term. W. 111. In brevia et syrtes urget, i. e. in brevia syrtium. See En v. 220. In scopulo alto brevibusque vadis.
W. 116. Ast illam ter fluctus ibidem, &c.
“Tre volte il fe' girar con tutte l'acque;
W. 126. Alto prospiciens.—As the adjective altus signifies properly neither height nor depth, but perpendicular distance, which may be either wowards (suspiciens altam Lunam, En. Ix. 403,) downwards (alta theatris Fundamenta, 1.427,) or horizontally inwards (Portu secondidit alto, v.243); so altum taken substantively, and applied to the sea, is properly neither the high sea (i.e. the sea considered solely in respect of the height of its surface above its bottom, or, adopting the idea explained in commentary on Prona petit maria, En. v. 212, above the shore or land,) nor the deep sea (i. e. the sea considered solely in reference to the depth of its bottom below the surface,) but (if I may invent a term where the English language possesses none,) the deep-height or the high-deep, i. e. the sea considered in reference to the perpendicular distance between its two surfaces. In numerous instances where (as En. I. 3. III. 11,) there is no occasion that the reader should be specially informed of the depth of the water below the surface, or where the idea suggested to the mind should be that of height, (in the passage before us, height from which a view might be taken,) this interpretation (viz. high-deep,) will, I think, be found to accord better with the context than the ordinarily received interpretation the deep. In his gloss on this passage, Heyne, contrary to his wont, has gone a step beyond other commentators in the wrong direction, and rendered alto not merely the deep, but the very bottom, “alto prospiciens, e fundo maris in quo regia dei est,”—taking a view from the bottom of the sea 1 In confirmation of the above interpretation of Altum as applied to the sea, I may observe that, unless in this word, the Romans possessed no term for the idea which modern nations express by the terms, high sea, high water, high flood, high tide, high river, das hohe Meer, die hohe See, &c. V. 127. Placidum caput.—Not “placidum Trojanis” (Schirach), because Neptune (see next verse) had raised his head placidum from the water before he became aware that the Trojans were suffering from the storm ; but placidum, because he was about to still or make placid the waves; the gods, according to the opinion of the ancients, always assuming a countenance corresponding to the work in which they are engaged, placid if it be a work of peace, turbid if the contrary. Compare “Vultu quo coelum tempestatesque serenat.” (I. 255.) Haec ubi dicta dedit terras horrenda petivit, (VII.323.) W. 146. Vastas aperit syrtes.—All the commentators and translators adopt Heyne's interpretation of this passage, “via ex arenosis vadis facta, ut naves exire possent;-refer ad tres naves.” (vv. 110, 111.) But the addition of vastas to syrtes shows plainly that the action of aperit is not merely on that part of the syrtes where the three ships were imbedded, but on the vast syrtes, or the syrtes generally. I therefore take the meaning to be, that the god opened the syrtes, i.e. made them “apertas,” open or safe for ships, by levelling them where they had been raised into partial inequalities by the storm, and by spreading the water evenly upon them of such depth that vessels could sail over them without danger: the three imbedded ships were thus set afloat again. Vastas aperit Syrtes, so understood, harmonises well with temperat acquor; for the sea ceased to break on the syrtes when they were levelled and deeply covered by the water. It is probable that apertas was the term ordinarily applied by seafaring men to express the safe state of the syrtes, or that state in which they were covered by water of depth sufficient for vessels to sail in. The same term is applied to the sea itself, both in our language and in Latin ; Aperto mari navigare. (Plin. Hist. Nat. 1, 2. c. 46.) The poet, having stated the precise manner in which the god removed the other three ships from the rocks, judiciously avoids a similar particularity of description with respect to those which had been imbedded in the sand, leaving his reader to conclude that the ships were not neglected, when the shoals, in which they were imbedded, were made open and navigable. The account which Sallust (Bell. Jugurth. c. 80,) gives of the syrtes, goes to confirm this explanation—“duo sunt sinus prope in extrema Africa impares magnitudine, pari natura: quorum proxima terrae praealta sunt; caetera, uti fors tulit, alta; alia in tempestate vadosa: nam ubi mare magnum esse et savire capit ventis, limum arenamgue et saxa ingentia fluctus trahunt; ita facies locorum cum ventis simul mutatur: Syrtes ab tractu nominate.” Sallust's account of the Syrtes, dressed in poetis