« السابقةمتابعة »
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 Brandung. 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 ( ! 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. W. 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,” (1. 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 ; castera, uti fors tulit, alta; alia in tempestate vadosa: nam ubi mare magnum esse et savire caepit ventis, limum arenamque et saxa ingentia fluctus trahunt; ita facies locorum cum ventis simul mutatur: Syrtes ab tractu nominatae.” Sallust's account of the Syrtes, dressed in poetical language, becomes Virgil's; and Virgil's turned into plain prose, becomes Sallust's. The historian describes the winds and waves as rendering the Syrtes now vadosas, now altas; while the poet ascribes the same effect to the agency of Eurus and Neptune, the former of whom illidit (naves viz.) wadis, atque aggere cingit arenae, i. e. makes the Syrtes vadosas, and dashes the ships upon them; the latter aperit syrtes, i.e. makes the vadosas, (the shallow and impassable, and therefore, closed) altas, (deep and passable, and therefore, open, apertas) and thus frees and sets afloat the ships. Our author makes a precisely similar use of aperio, (En. X. 13,) Earitium magnum atque Alpes immittet apertas ; and thus we come round to that very common phrase, and use of the verb aperio, apertus campus. W. 150. Furor arma ministrat.—Quod cuique repertum, Rimanti telum ira facit, (En. VII. 507). W. 161. Sinus reductos.-As it is impossible for a wave to cut itself (scindere sese) except into parts of itself, sinus must be, (not as understood by some commentators and translators, sinus litoris, but) as rightly understood by Heyne, sinus wridae, viz. the hollows or sinuosities into which the wave cuts itself on the projections of the island. Heyne is, however, as I think, widely astray in his interpretation of reductos, which expresses, not the reflua, of the wave, but the depth or concavity of the sinus which is formed in the wave by the island; or, to make my meaning more clear, that part of the wave which is opposite to the island, is held back by the obstacle which the island opposes to its progress, while those parts of it which are on the right and left of the island proceed uninterruptedly onwards towards the mainland. The even parallel line of the wave is thus broken and formed into an arch or sinus, the concavity of which is at the island, and the cornua of which extend on both sides past the island towards the mainland. The word reductos, expresses as clearly as possible the effect of the island to draw or keep back that part of the wave which is opposite to it, and thus forms a sinus. It is used in a similar sense in the following passages. Reductá valle, En. VI. 703. Reductis alis constiterant, Liv. XXII. 47. Ut qui singulis pinxerunt coloribus, alia tamen eminentiora, alia reductiona fecerunt, sine quo ne membris quidem suas lineas dedissent, Quinctil. Instit. xi. 3, 46: in all which instances reductus is used adjectively, and signifies the backward position of an object or part of an object, in comparison with the prominent or forward position of another object, or different part of the same object. V. 164. AEquora tuta silent.—The commentators understand tuta in its passive sense, of being safe or protected, viz. ipsa aequora ; “a ventorum vi defensa,”—Forbiger; “als particip. passiv. gesichert”—Thiel. But, 1st, It were foreign to his subject, and little short of puerile in Virgil, thus to assign a reason for the silence of the sea within the cove. 2dly, This is not the meaning of aequora tuta, where it occurs again, En. v. 171. I therefore understand tuta to be here taken, if I may so say, actively; and to mean, as in En. v. 171, (and in Nepos, Themist. c. 2, “Praedones maritimos consectando mare tutum reddidit,”) safe for ships. So understood, tuta is not only in the best harmony with Virgil's subject, and especially with lines 168, 169, but with its own verb; the sea was not merely safe for ships, but so safe for ships as to be even silent. W. 176. Rapuitgue in fomite flammam.—Rapio is here used, not in its secondary, or derived, and most common sense, to rap, snatch, or seize, but in its original and more abstract sense of hurrying, or performing with rapidity, the act (of whatever kind,) indicated by the context; as in Seneca (Hippol. 962,)
Qui sparsa cito sidera mundo
W. 178. Fessi rerum.—Not simply wearied, but fessi, wearied; rerum, of their condition, of the world. V. 180. Eneas scopulum, &c.
Up to a hill anon his steps he reared,
V. 181. Anthea si quem.—Neither quemdam Anthea, nor (with Wagner) “si forte quem eorum qui amissi videbantur ut Anthea aut Capyn videat,” but simply aliquem Anthea. The expression is perfectly English; “If by chance he might see any Antheus or any Capys, &c. Compare verse 321, “mearum si quam sororum,” i.e. si quam (aliquam) sororem mean.