صور الصفحة
PDF

Et frustra cupies mollem componere versum,

Nec tibi subjiciet carmina seras Amor. Turn me non humilem mirabere saepe poetam;

Tunc ego Romanis praeferar ingeniis; Nec poterunt juvenes nostro reticere sepulcro:

Ardoris nostri magne poeta jaces. Tu cave nostra tuo contemnas carmina fastu:

Sarpe venit magno fenore tardus Amor.

20

25

VIII.

Tune igitur demens, nec te mea cura moratur?

An tibi sum gelida vilior Illyria? Et tibi jam tanti, quicumque est, iste videtur,

Ut sine me vento quolibet ire velis?
Tune audire potes vesani murmura ponti

Fortis, et in dura nave jacere potes?
Tu pedibus teneris positas fulcire pruinas?

decay, the more usual sense of the latter word.

22 Prceferar, i.e. tuo judicio. But, from the general sense which the words will bear, the poet passes to the prediction of his popularity with other youths in the same circumstances as Ponticus.

24 Jaces. An expression of regret, like S> <f>[\e, Kelaat, Theocr. xxiii. 44.

35 Cave. Similarly used i. 10, 21; iii. 4, 41.

VIII.—This elegy is addressed to Cynthia (with what success appears from v. 27, &c.), to deter her from going a voyage to a half-civilised province with a certain Prsetor, whom Propertius appears equally to hate and to fear as a rival. See on iii. 7, 1. 'Prsetor ab Ulyricis venit modo, Cyn

thia, terris.' Ibid. v. 8, he calls him 'stolidum pecus.' The circumstance affords us so clear an insight into Cynthia's real character, that it is truly surprising the editors should have generally failed to understand it.

3 Iste, 'whoever the fellow is.' See sup. 2,25. Varronianus, p. 311, ed. 2.

4 Vento quolibet, i.e. without even waiting for a reasonable prospect of fair winds.

7 Fulcire, 'to press ;' ipeiSeiv. This is a remarkable use of a word which usually means to ' support,' as a pillar props a roof. It may be explained on the statical principle that resistance is equal to thrust, i.e. if the roof presses on the pillar, the pillar presents the same counter-thrust both to the roof above and to the earth below. The explanation given by Barth

Tu potes insolitas, Cynthia, ferre nives? 0 utinam hibernse duplicentur tempora brumae,

Et sit iners tardis navita Vergiliis! Nec tibi Tyrrhena solvatur funis arena,

Neve inimica meas elevet aura preces, Atque ego non videam tales subsidere ventos,

Cum tibi provectas auferet unda rates;— Et me defixum vacua patiatur in ora

Crudelem infesta saepe vocare manu! Sed quocumque modo de me, perjura, mereris,

Sit Galatea tuae non aliena viae; Ut te felici praevecta Ceraunia remo

is

is absurd:—'qui enim per pruinas nivesque incedunt, eorum pedes hauriuntur, atque ita recte pruinas superjectas fulcire dicuntur.' This double sense of a verb, arising from the association of ideas, is not without examples. Thus arceo to kecp off or away, means to kecp in (coerceo) as a flock of sheep from a wolf: recludo implies, as it were, the contrary action to claudo, not so much from its real meaning, as from the idea inseparable from it. Hertzberg reads ruinas with the best MSS. i.e. 'omne quod e coelo ruit.'

10 'That the sailor may remain inactive from the late rising of the Pleiads.' This constellation rises in spring and sets in autumn, so that while it is invisible the season is unfavourable for sailing.

ii Tyrrhena arena, i.e. from the west side of Italy. The rhyming sound of these words induced Scaliger (followed, as usual, by Kuinoel), to introduce the correction in ora. They ought at least to havo read ab ora. A similar instance is absentiventi, i, 17, 5.

12 Elevet, 'carry aloft,' i. e. irrita

reddat. The use of this verb for 'to disparage,' Persius Sat. 1, 6; inf. iii. 26, 58, is slightly different, being a metaphor from the lighter scale of the balance.

15 Patiatur, i.e. unda. 'undam poeta precatur, ne committere velit, ut in litore desertus ipse—amicam crudelem frustra vocet.' Hertzberg; who reads patietur on the conjecture of Passerat. Nothing can be more awkward than 'non videam ventos subsidere, cum auferet unda et (cum) patietur,' &c., nor is it easy to agree with him in explaining infesta manu by 'despecta et ludibrio habita' a Cynthia. It is quite natural, that a lover, when his mistress persists in leaving him in spite of all his entreaties, should make angry gestures to her with his hand, by way of finally denouncing her. The sense is:— 'may the unfavourable state of the sea give me the opportunity as I stand on the shore, to reproach her and call her many times over (smpe vocare), before the ship can get clear of the land.' Kuinoel's reading ut me patiaris is without authority.

19 Pravecta is the vocative; ac

Accipiat placidis Oricos aequoribus. Nam me non ullae poterunt corrumpere tsedae,

Quin ego, vita, tuo limine verba querar; Nec me deficiet nautas rogitare citatos:

Dicite, quo portu clausa puella mea est? Et dicam, licet Autaricis considat in oris,

Et licet Eleis, illa futura mea est.— Hic erit! Hic jurata manet! Rumpantur iniqui!

Vicimus! Assiduas non tulit illa preces!

20

2.5

cipiat te, Cynthia, prsevecta Ceraunia. This is more frequently substituted for the nominative than for the accusative, as Persius v. 124, unde datum hoc sumis, tot subdite rebus P' Id. 1, 123, 'audaci quicunque afllate Cratino Iratum Eupolidem praegrandi cum sene palles.' Id. iii. 29, 'Stemmate quod Tusco ramum milesime ducis, Censoremve tuum vel quod trabeate salutas.' Barth quotes Tibullus, i. 7, 53, "ic venias hodierne.' Jacob, for once departing from the bestMSS., admits the correction of Pucci, as possibly from the Valla MS., per sceva. Oricos was a city of Epirus a little above Corcyra and the 'infames scopuli Acroceraunia.' (Hor. Od. i. 3, 20.)—Ta aKpa Ts>v opav & Kepavvia ovojta^ova-i. Pausan. Att. 1, 13.

22 The MSS. reading cerba querar has been altered with much probability into vera querar, which Lachmann labours to refute, and corrects fida for vita. The meaning is, 'no new object shall engage my affections in your absence, or prevent me from throwing myself on your threshold and giving utterance to my grief.'— verba queri is thus opposed to tacite queri. Hertzberg admits vera; but his explanation of it is far-fetched:— 'non alienus amor me ita corrumpet, ut tibi injuriam faciam, et ante tuas fores (ut solet improba turba) inique

querar,' which, he adds, really means: - querar quidem in limine, sed non nisi justa.' A simpler rendering would be, No other engagement shall prevent me from upbraiding you justly.' For a new love would induce him to resign ? former one with indifference.

23 The impersonal use of deficiet is worthy of attention. — citatos, i.e. quamvis festinantes. Hertz. Others uuderstand it to mean vocatos et compellatos. I rather incline to the latter, on the ground of testem citare being a conventional phrase.

25 'Whether she is staying, from stress of weather, among the Autarii in niyria, or on the coast of Elis, she will yet be mine.' The common reading is Atraciis; but as Atrax was a mountain in Thessaly, and the Autarii are mentioned by Strabo vii. v., 'iXXupifi» 8e Avrapiarai Kal 'AptStmoi xal AapSdvioi, Hertzberg is probably right in admitting the shrewd conjecture of Pucci in the edition of 1481. With this verse Laehmann and others conclude the present elegy, though in all the MSS. it is continued as in the text. Jacob fancifully suggests that jurata in the next line appears to imply that the poet had just extorted from her own lips a promise to remain, as if the request had been preferred by him personally. The fact probably is, that the whole of the elegy was

Falsa licet cupidus deponat gaudia livor:

Destitit ire novas Cynthia nostra vias. 3°

Illi carus ego, et per me carissima Roma

Dicitur, et sine me dulcia regna negat.
Illa vel angusto mecum requiescere lecto,

Et quocumque modo maluit esse mea,
Quam sibi dotatae regnum vetus Hippodamiae, 35

Et quas Elis opes ante pararat equis.
Quamvis magna daret, quamvis majora daturas,

Non tamen illa meos fugit avara sinus.
Hanc ego non auro, non Indis flectere conchis,

Sed potui blandi carminis obsequio. 4°

Sunt igitur Musas, neque amanti tardus Apollo;

Quis ego fretus amo: Cynthia rara mea est.
Nunc mihi summa licet contingere sidera plantis:

Sive dies seu nox venerit, illa mea est;
Nec mihi rivalis certos subducet amores. 45

Ista meam norit gloria canitiem.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Ecce jaces, supplexque venis ad jura puelke,

Et tibi nunc quovis imperat empta modo. Non me Chaoniae vincant in amore columbas

Dicere, quos juvenes quaeque puella domet. Me dolor et lacrimse merito fecere peritum:

Atque utinam posito dicar amore rudis! Quid tibi nunc misero prodest grave dicere carmen,

Aut Amphioniae moenia flere lyrae? i

Plus in amore valet Mimnermi versus Homero;

Carmina mansuetus lenia quaerit Amor. I, quasso, et tristis istos compone libellos,

not always speak as freely and haughtily as you were wont.' The word libera introduces the metaphor which follows, and in which jura refers to the legal right of the master over the person of the slave. Cf. iv. 11, 2. 'Et trahit addictum sub sua jura virum.'

4 Hertzberg alone defends the MSS. reading que vis (quovis,) understanding the sense to be 'quaevis nuper empta nunc imperat tibi.' 'You are now so susceptible that the last female slave purchased into your family («micros) has an influence over you which makes her the mistress, you the slave.' Jacob and Lachmann adopt from Pucci quovis modo, 'to any extent,' 'ad arbitrium suum.'

5 ' The very doves of Dodona are not better prophets than I in foretelling what youths each maiden is likely to enslave.'—domet must be for domitura sit, for otherwise there would be nothing to prophesy, but only something to observe. The doves of Dodona, n-eXemSes, or dark women, irikai, are well known from Herod. ii. 57, the word meaning essentially the same thing as JJiKaaycd.

9—io In allusion to the poem of

the Thebaid whichPonticus was composing. See above, on El. vii.—Amphionic e lyrm. Hor. Od. iii. 11, 2. 'movit Amphion lapides canendo.' De Art. Poet. 394. Infra, iv. i. 43, &c.— flere, flebiliter canere. K.

Ii. 'Elegiac verses have more influence in love than heroic.' Mimnermus of Colophon lived about 600, b.c., and is said to have been the inventor of elegiac verse.

13. Hertzberg has interpreted this verse, ' Go now and write those very poems (i.e., elegies) which you used to call contemptuously tristes.' Others take compone for 'lay aside,' i.e. in your scrinium, and tristes libellos for the dull Thebaid. But he well observes (1) that componere is the proper and conventional word for scribere, crvvridivtu; (2) that i nunc is often used in conveying a taunt; (3) that istos is the word of contempt formerly used by Ponticus to Propertius, and now retorted by the latter. There is weight in his arguments: nevertheless, I think the antithesis both here and elsewhere (see on iii. 26, 44,) between tristis or durus (epic) and mollis or lenia (amatory elegiac verse), so marked, and the verses im

« السابقةمتابعة »