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naufragum ut eiectum spumantibus aequoris undis
sublevem et a mortis limine restituam, quem neque sancta Venus molli requiescere somno
tended, the elegy to come to more joyous than the grandsire's the attention of his mistress ; on the birth of his anxiously and it should be read with this in awaited heir, fonder than a dove's mind.
for her mate; 131-148 : thus came Briefly, the argument of the Lesbia; and if sometimes she has poem is developed as follows: wavered in her devotion, I will 1-10: You write that you have bear it as Juno does the fickleness neither love nor poetry which of Jove, and will remember the soothes your sorrowing heart, and wondrous joys of those golden ask for both these sources of com- days. 149-160 : Such is the gift of fort from me; 11-32: but you do poetic praise which I could offer, not know that my brother's death my friend; may the gods bless has plunged me into such grief thee too, and thine, and mine, who that I am in no mood to write of is still the light of my life !'. love's dalliance, and my sadness is 1. Quod ... mittis : this proenhanced by what you write of my saic epistolary form occurs thrice mistress's faithlessness; 33-40: in this part of the poem, appearing neither can I send you any other again in vv. 27 and 33. — casu ... poems, for they are all at Rome; acerbo : speculation has been rife you must not blame me then for as to its nature, whether political not doing what I cannot. 41-69: or domestic: cf. v. 6, n. I must not, however, let the oppor 2. lacrimis : instrumental. The tunity pass to hand down to eternal hyperbole may be considered as fame the name of such a friend as quoted from the letter of Allius to Allius, and his kind offices in open- Catullus. -- epistolium : this Gk. ing to Lesbia and me a home for diminutive occurs nowhere else in our lover's meetings; 70-130: Lat. before Apuleius. thither came my mistress, aflame 3. naufragum: shipwreck as a with a love like that of Laodamia figure of ruined fortunes is a literary for her bridegroom when that commonplace. short-lived home was established 4. Cf. Plin. N. H. 7, 44, 143: upon which the Fates had already a limine ipso mortis revocatus ; caused to fall the blighting spell Culex, 224: restitui superis leti of Troy, accursed Troy, which has iam limine ab ipso. taken from me too all joy, as it did 5-8. These verses evidently are from her, whose love was deeper the reasons given by Allius for his than the storied abyss by Pheneus, request.
desertum in lecto caelibe perpetitur,
oblectant, cum mens anxia pervigilat,
muneraque et musarum hinc petis et Veneris :
neu me odisse putes hospitis officium, accipe, quis merser fortunae fluctibus ipse,
ne amplius a misero dona beata petas. tempore quo primum vestis mihi tradita purast,
iucundum cum aetas florida ver ageret, multa satis lusi : non est dea nescia nostri
u. incommoda Dw commoda VM comoda R. Mani Lachmann mali VRM al mauli sec, man. in M margin of R mauli or malli Dw.
6. desertum in lecto caelibe : in vv. 11-32; the first one, last, of the various theories advanced in vv. 33-36. to explain the sadness of Allius, 12. hospitis officium:.e. grate.g. that he had quarreled with his itude. Allius had indeed proved wife or with his mistress, that one himself a genuine old Roman or the other of them was seriously hospes, as is evidenced by vv. 67ill, or separated from him suddenly 72, and 156. If, however, hospitis for some other reason, or had = • host,' we must suppose that recently died, only the last is irrec- Allius means by munera . . . Venoncilable with v. 155. A remis eris (v. 10) that Catullus should niscence of the phrase is found in open his house as a lover's renOvid's Laodamia epistle (Her. 13, dezvous. 107).
13. quis : abl. 7. veterum ... scriptorum : 14. dona beata = dona beati. either Greek or Roman.
15. tempore : abl. of source. 8. cum: temporal.
– vestis ... pura = toga pura, 10. muneraque . .. musarum: toga libera, toga virilis, the aspoems to serve in place of those sumption of which marked the beof the veterum scriptorum of v. 7. ginning of young manhood - hinc: • from me.' — [munera] 16. The conditions under which Veneris : erotic poetry (cf. lusi, v. erotic poetry thrives. 17), referring back to vv. 5 and 6. 17. lusi : i.e. especially in writThe last request is answered first, ing love poems. Cf. 50, 2: multum
quae dulcem curis miscet amaritiem: sed totum hoc studium luctu fraterna mihi mors
abstulit. o misero frater adempte mihi, tu mea tu moriens fregisti commoda, frater,
tecum una tota est nostra sepulta domus, omnia tecum una perierunt gaudia nostra,
quae tuus in vita dulcis alebat amor. cuius ego interitu tota de mente fugavi
haec studia atque omnis delicias animi. quare, quod scribis Veronae turpe Catullo
27. Catullo Dw Catulle VR.
lusimus; 61, 232: lusimus satis ; Hor. Car. 1, 32, 1: Si quid vacui sub umbra lusimus tecum. — dea: Venus.
18. dulcem ... amaritiem: an oxymoron familiar to all literature, as to all human experience; cf. 64,95: sancte puer, curis hominum qui gaudia misces ; Sappho, Frag. 40: yukútik pov å ua yavov ÕPTETOV; Plaut. Cist. I, 1, 69: ecastor amor et melle et fellest fecundissumus : gustu dat dulce, amarum ad satietatem usque oggerit ; Ben Jonson, Sad Shepherd, 1, 2: “ I have known some few, And read of more, who have had their dose, and deep, Of these sharp bitter-sweets.” This parallel archaic form of the noun (amaritiem), though of a common type, occurs nowhere else.
19. totum hoc studium: i.e. both love's dalliance and the poetry that accompanies it, including both ideas expressed in v. 26. ---- fraterna . . . mors : cf. 65, 5, n. ; 1o.
21. moriens : instrumental.
22. tota ... sepulta domus : to be understood in no literal sense, but as the natural extravagant expression of poignant grief. The next verse repeats the thought in different form.
26. haec studia : the writing of love poetry. - omnis delicias animi: the joys of love itself. This phrase reminds Catullus of a remark in the letter of Allius, to which he replies parenthetically in vv. 27-30, resuming the main argument in v. 31.
27. Veronae: the quotation from the letter of Allius begins here and includes the next two verses, quoting, as is common in literature, not the whole sentence of Allius, but the important part, something like est, or credo esse, evidently being omitted. Catullus after his brother's death is tarrying at his old home in Verona, while (so Allius writes) Lesbia's lovers are taking advantage of him in his absence from Rome.
esse, quod hic quisquis de meliore nota frigida deserto tepefactat membra cubili,
id, Mani, non est turpe, magis miserumst. ignosces igitur, si, quae mihi luctus ademit,
haec tibi non tribuo munera, cum nequeo. nam quod scriptorum non magna est copia apud me,
hoc fit quod Romae vivimus : illa domus,
huc una ex multis capsula me sequitur.
28. quisquis V quivis Lachmann. 29. tepefactat altered from tepefacit RM tepefacit V tepefaxit Lachmann tepefactet Bergk. 30. Mani Lachmann mali VRM mauli or malli Dw.
28. hic: i.e. Rome, whence as to prevent me from complying Allius wrote. — quisquis : appar with your request. ently used for quisque without est; 31. ignosces : mild command. cf. Cic. Ad Fam. 6, 1, 1: quocum- 32. haec . .. munera : the love que in loco quisquis est; Tusc. poetry. — cum : a good illustration Disp. 5, 34, 98; also the legal of the narrow line dividing the phrase, quod quemquam hac lege temporal from the causal. Perprofiterei oportebit, which Lach- haps both ideas were in the mind mann quotes on Lucr. 5, 264, from of the poet. the Lex Iulia Municipalis, 13. — 33. nam anticipates the quesmeliore nota : Clodia and her tion why Catullus cannot comply various paramours belonged to an with the first part of the request aristocratic circle of society. in v. 10, i.e. send him some books
29. deserto: i.e. by Catullus of poetry (scriptorum), not neceswhen he went to Verona. - tepe- sarily erotic; perhaps translations factat : this expressive frequenta- from Callimachus, like No. 66, tive form is a ára leyóuevov, perhaps of a different character, as is one other of the two dozen 34. vivimus: here in Verona I frequentatives used by Catullus, am merely temporarily managing trusantem (56, 6). But the pres- to exist ; real life, with all that ent instance, it should be noted, makes it worth living, is only at is a quotation from Allius.
Rome, for me. 30. magis : cf. 66, 87, n.
36. huc: to Verona.--capsula : miserumst: i.e. a reason to pity for books. — sequitur = secuta est. me, a further cause for such sorrow 37. statuas : 'conclude.'
id facere aut animo non satis ingenuo,
ultro ego deferrem, copia siqua foret.
iuverit aut quantis iuverit officiis,
illius hoc caeca nocte tegat studium,
notescatque magis mortuus atque magis, nec tenuem texens sublimis aranea telam
39. posta VRM facta Dw. 41. No gap before this v. in VRM. qua me Allius Scaliger quam fallius VRM.
39. non utriusque = neutrius, re- as in this poem, where Catullus ferring to the two requests of v. really sings of the former delights 10. — postast: although the only of his association with Lesbia, example of this verb with copia, partly in direct manner, and partly it seems (to say nothing of its by indirection through the paralMs, authority) to express better lel of Laodamia. -- deae = Musae. than the more usual facta the 42. iuverit . .. iuverit : note thought of offering, or setting be- the emphatic repetition. fore Allius, a choice of what was 43. Obliviscentibus : poetically desirable; and the origin of posta used with causative force. as a false reading is very hard to 44. caeca : active. — nocte = explain.
caligine, 41. non possum: cf. nequeo 45. porro: “in turn.' (v. 32); though he cannot accede 46. anus: “when old' (and to either request of Allius for- presumably garrulous, a quality mally, he cannot refrain from writ- which may have been further ing the praises of Allius himself. elaborated in the following missConventionalities prevent certain ing verse). With this adjectival things for people in mourning; use cf. 77, 10: qui sis fama loquebut the phenomenon of eluding tur anus ; 9.4: anumque matrem; these restrictions and allowing Mart. 12, 4,4: chartaque dicet anus. Nature to assert herself under other 48. notescat: one of several forms is a familiar one in all times, inceptives that appear first in Cat.