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P. VIRGILII MARONIS
Mel. TITYRE, tu patulæ recubans sub tegmine fagi
Tityre, tu patulo, &c.] After that, among the rest, Virgil, the battle of Philippi, wherein being dispossessed of his estate, Brutus and Cassius were over went to Rome, where being thrown by Augustus Cæsar and presented to Augustus, he was Mark Anthony, in the year of graciously received, and restored Rome 712, Augustus returned to his possessions. It is reasonto Italy, in order to reward the able to think, that some of his soldiers, by dividing among them neighbours, if not all, obtained the lands belonging to several the same favour : though the cities. But these not being suf- commentators seem almost unaficient to satisfy the avarice of nimous in representing Virgil the soldiers, they frequently as the only Mantuan that met transgressed the bounds with such good fortune. This is signed them, and seized on the the subject of the first eclogue. lands belonging to the neigh- The poet introduces two shepbouring cities. These injuries herds under the feigned names caused the inhabitants, both oldof Melibæus and Tityrus ; of and young, to flock in great whom the former represents the numbers to Rome, to seek for unhappy Mantuans, and the latredress. We may gather, from ter those who were restored to a passage in the ninth eclogue, their estates: or perhaps Tityrus that Cremona was one of the may be intended to represent cities given to the soldiers, and Mantua, and Melibæus Crethat Mantua, happening to be
Melibæus begins the situated near Cremona, the in- dialogue with setting forth the habitants of that territory were miseries of himself and his involved in the calamity of their neighbours. unhappy neighbours. It is said Tityre.] La Cerda produces
Sylvestrem tenui Musam meditaris avena;
three reasons, why the name of he wrote this eclogue, in which Tityrus might be applied to an he calls Augustus juvenis, who Italian shepherd : 1. Because was but seven years younger the poet imitated Theocritus, than himself: and at the end of who gave that name to a shep- the Georgicks he tells us exherd in the third Idyllium. 2. pressly that he wrote it in his Because a pipe made of reeds youth. was called Tityrinus in Italy. Fagi.] La Cerda contends, 3. A shepherd might be properly that the fagus is not a beech, so called, as the word signifies but a sort of oak or esculus; and dancing, -an exercise much in quotes several authorities to use among shepherds. To these support his opinion. This mishe adds a fourth reason; that take has arisen from an imaginTityrus signifies a goat in the ation that the fagus is the same African language, whence the with the onyos of the Greek wriname has been ascribed to those ters, which is, indeed, a sort of who feed them. He concludes oak. But the description which with observing, that Servius Pliny gives of the fagus, can only says that the greater he- agree with no other tree than goats are called by the name of that which we call a beech. Tityrus among the Laconians. “ Fagi glans nuclei similis, tri. I believe the first reason is the angula cute includitur. Folium true one; and that Virgil had tenue, ac levissimum, populo no farther meaning than to bor- simile.” row the name of a shepherd
Meditaris avena.] This verb, from Theocritus.
in its application to a musical I have already said, that the instrument, means to practise, commentators generally agree, to play the same tune, or part that the poet intended to de- of the same tune, over and over. scribe himself under the feigned "The musical instruments used name of Tityrus. But to this by shepherds were at first made opinion I think some material of oat and wheat-straw; then objections may be opposed. The of reeds, and hollow pipes of poet represents his Tityrus as
afterwards of the leg an old man. In ver. 29, he bones of cranes, horns of ani mentions his beard being grey. mals, metals, &c. Hence they In ver. 47, Melibæus expressly are called avena, stipula, calacalls Tityrus an old man, fortu- mus, arundo, fistula, burus, tibiu, nate sener, which words are re
cornu, es, &c.” Rumus. peated in ver. 52. Now Virgil Amaryllida.] Those who uncould not call himself an old derstand this eclogue in an alleman, being under thirty when gorical sense, will have Amaryllis,
Tit. O Melibce, deus nobis hæc, otia fecit; Namque erit, ille mihi semper deus,: illius, aram Sæpe tener nostris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus. Ille meas errare boves, ut cernis, et ipsum Ludere, quæ vellem, calamo permisit agresti.
10 Mel. Non equidem invideo, miror magis: undique totis Usque adeo turbatur agris. En, ipse capellas Protinus æger ago : hanc etiam vix, Tityre, duco.
to mean Rome. See the note avoid ambiguity, I have transon ver. 31.
lated it to feed at large, which O Melibee, &c.] Tityrus in is the true meaning of the forms his neighbour, that his word. felicity is derived from a god, Non equidem invideo, &c.] Mecomplimenting Augustus with libæus, apprehending that Titythat name.
rus might imagine he envied his Otia.] Servius interprets it good fortune, assures him that security or felicity. La Cerda he does not, but only wonders at will have it to mean liberty. his enjoying peace in the midst Ruæus renders it quies. Lord of the greatest confusions and Lauderdale translates it, this soft disturbances, and concludes with retirement; Dryden, these bless- enquiring who that god is from ings; and Dr. Trapp, this free- whom his tranquillity is dedom. In the fifth eclogue, our rived. poet uses otia for peace or ease. Duco.] La Cerda would have
Namque erit ille mihi semper us understand duco in this place deus.] It was a common opinion to mean carrying on the shoulamong the ancients, that doing ders. To confirm this interpre.. good elevated men to divinity. tation, he quotes several auTityrus, therefore, having re thors, who mention the shepceived so great a benefit from herd's taking up the sheep on Augustus, declares that he shall his shoulders. But all, or most always esteem him as a god. If of them, are christians, and aldivine honours had then been lude to the parable of the good ascribed to Augustus, the poet shepherd in the gospel; which would not have mentioned him only shews the frequency of this as a deity peculiar to himself ; custom. However, not even one erit ille mihi semper deus.
of these uses duco to express Errare.] Id est, pusci, says carrying on the shoulders. It Servius. It is certain, that by certainly signifies, to lead or errare the poet cannot mean to draw. In the first sense, it is wander or stray, in one sense of used in the second Georgick, the word, which signifies to go ver. 395, and in the latter sense astray, or be lost. Therefore, to in many places.
Hic inter densas corylos modo namque gemellos,
Tit. Urbem, quam dicunt Romam, Melibee, putavi 20
Læva.] Servius interprets it ties, just as a kid is to be comstulta, contraria.
pared with its dam: for though Urbem, quam dicunt, &c.] Ti. it was greater, yet I took it to tyrus, instead of answering di- be only a city : but now I find, rectly who the deity is, deviates that it differs also in kind : for with a pastoral simplicity into a it is a mansion of deities. That description of Rome.
this is his meaning, is plain from Huic nostræ.] Mantua, near
Quantum lenta solent inter which Virgil was born.
viburna cupressi. Sic canibus, &c.] He means that Rome differs from other for the wayfaring-tree is a low cities, not only in magnitude, shrub; but the cypress is a tall but also in kind, being, as it and stately tree.” Servius. were, another world, or a sort Lenta -viburna.] The viof heaven, in which he saw the burnum or wayfaring-tree is a god Cæsar. For in comparing a shrub with bending, tough whelp to a dog, or a kid to a branches, which are therefore goat, we only express the differ- much used in binding faggots. ence of magnitude, not of kind. The name is derived a viendo, But, when we say a lion is big which signifies to bind. The ger than a dog, we express the ancient writers seem to have difference of kind, as well as of called any shrub, that was fit magnitude, as the poet does now for this purpose, viburnum : but in speaking of Rome. I thought the more modern authors have before, says he, that Rome was restrained that name to express to be compared with other ci- only our wayfaring-tree.