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as described by our author (vv. 83, 84.) towards the ground and the sea, but directly upwards, towards the sky. 6thly, Valerius Flaccus, in his manifestimitation of this passage, (Argon. I. 610,) distinctly describes Eolus as opening the cave from the inside. For all these reasons, I understand the words “celså sedet AEolus arce” to be descriptive of Eolus seated on an eminence inside the cave; an interpretation remarkably confirmed by the following passage of Albricus Philosophus, (De Deorum imaginibus libellus,) “AEolus autem in Deorum numero computatus et qui ventorum Deus dictus est, cujus taliserat imago depicta ; stabat enim IN antro linea veste indutus, tenens sub pedibus flabra, instrumenta fabrilia; in manu autem utrāque tenebat cornua, quae ori admovens, ea subflare, et ab unoquoque cornuum sex ventos emittere videbatur.” V. 60. Abdidit.—Not hid, as commonly rendered, but stowed away, or put away in a place by themselves ; Jupiter's intention not being to put the winds in a place where they could not be found, but in a place where they might be under control. So abde is to be understood in Georg. III. 96, and numerous other places, where it is commonly rendered hide. Abdo, to put or stow away; this is not only the literal, but the more usual meaning of the term, its secondary or derived meaning, to hide, being comparatively rare. W. 81. Cavum conversä cuspide montem Impulit in latus.“Egregie dei et potentia et impetuosum obsequium declaratur, uno sub ictu monte non (ut olim accipiebam) in latus dimoto, verum latere montis percusso hasta dei, perrupto et sic patefacto” . . . . “hastam intorquet, immittit, ruptaque rupe viam ventis facit qua erumpant.”—Heyne. This interpretation, also tacitly accepted by Wagner, is no less erroneous than that of Celsa sedet AEolus arce, (see note v. 56,) because, 1st, the act described by Heyne, viz. that of making with a cast of a spear such an opening in the side of the mountain as would allow the winds to rush out in a body, is impossible; the spear, cast with such force as we may suppose a god to have exerted, might indeed penetrate the side of the mountain, but could not by any possibility break it down, or make the considerable opening in it which is indicated by the words qua data porta, and agmine facto ; 2dly, if Eolus had thus flung his spear against the side of the mountain, it was incumbent on Heyne at least, if not on Virgil, to have explained what became of the spear; whether it
“stetit tremens,” like Laocoon's in the side of the wooden horse, in which case, the spear filling up the opening made by itself, there would have been no passage for the winds; or whether, having penetrated the cavity, it fell on the inside, or passed clear through the mountain; in either of which cases, the further explanation would have been required, how it happened that none of the winds were wounded; 3dly, it is little likely that Virgil would either have represented the winds, (who should necessarily be let loose every time a storm was required, and be brought back to their confinement as soon as their business was done,) as confined in a place without vent or outlet; or if the place had outlets, that he would have described Eolus as making no use of them, but unnecessarily breaking down the walls, and destroying the security of the enclosure for the future; 4thly, if the cave had no outlets, the claustra mentioned at vers. 56, must mean the solid resisting sides of the mountain itself; in which case it is but a sorry, un-Virgilian picture which the winds afford, frementes not about outlets, through which they had before frequently obtained their liberty, and hoped soon to pass free again, but every where round the solid hopeless parietes of their enclosure; 5thly, That the cave had outlets closed by claustra, which Eolus struck or pushed open, not merely on this occasion, but whenever he wished to give egress to the winds, clearly appears from Statius, Theb. 1.346:
Subtexit nox atra polos; jam claustra rigentis
6thly, Impello never means intorqueo, immitto, but always simply to push, (see Comment. En. II. 50,) and (see Burmann on Waler. Flacc. I. 610,) is especially used to express the forcibly pushing open of doors, gates, barriers, &c. As prima est virtus vitium fugere, so these objections to the received, lead directly to the correct, interpretation. Impulit, he (viz., being inside the cave, see note vers. 56) pushed, cuspide, with the point of his spear, cavum montem in latus, the hollow mountain on the side, or the side of the hollow mountain, viz. that part of the side of the mountain which, (being moveable and serving like a door or shutter to close, claudere, the vent or outlet,) is at vers. 56, called claustra; see B. II. vers. 259. Conversä cuspide, with the point of his spear turned (viz. from the position in which he had previously held it,) towards the side of the mountain; so, (En. IX. 427,) in me convertite ferrum. The poet, no doubt, imagined Eolus holding his spear in an upright position with the reverse end resting on the ground, while Juno addressed him, and by the words conversä cuspide, describes his changing its position from upright to horizontal, so as with the point to push open the claustra. Conversä cuspide is to be carefully distinguished from versá hastā, (vers. 478,) versa meaning simply turned ; conversa, turned towards. Nor is cuspide to be taken figuratively, for the whole of the spear, but literally, for the point, which part alone came into contact with the claustra. The calm words and composed demeanour of Eolus, who uses only such moderate force (expressed by the word impulit) as was necessary to throw open the claustra, are not only in good keeping with the dignity of the god, and prison-governor, but in fine contrast with the furious rush and uproar made by the winds the next moment.—If it be asked why I have thought it necessary to adduce a long series of arguments to establish an interpretation, which a single argument (No. 6. above) is sufficient to set beyond the possibility of doubt, I beg to reply that my object was less to establish my own interpretation, than to show the numerous absurdities involved in that proposed by Heyne, and sanctioned by Wagner, and by thus taking some little, here in the very outset, from the prestige attaching to those justly esteemed authorities, to render the reader less unwilling to accompany me, when on some future occasions I shall invite him to enter upon paths widely divaricating from those which they have marked out, and rendered almost classical. V. 85. Und Eurusque Notusque ruunt, &c.—There can, I think, be little doubt that the whole of this fine picture of the winds indignantly roaring about the claustra of the carcer in which they are confined, and upon the opening of those claustra rushing out and furiously sweeping over land and sea, was suggested to Virgil by the chariot races of the Ludi Cireenses, in which the horses, ready yoked, were kept confined until the moment of starting, within a carcer separated only from the spatia of the circus by claustra, for the opening of which the horses used to be seen testifying their impatience by neighing and snorting, and pawing against them with their feet, and on the opening of which they rushed forth (agmine facto) two, 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. W. 85*. Una Eurusque Notusque ruunt.—
Nor slept the winds
Ha 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. CEtacus 1165: Hercules speaking, Morior, nec ullus per meum stridet latus Transmissus ensis . . perdidi mortem, hei mihil Toties honestam.
Ubi tot Simois correpta sub undis Scuta virum galeasque et fortia corpora volcit. 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 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
altogether ad captum rulgi; in the same 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.