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Si quoties homines peccant, sua fulmina mittat
Every one is pleased with his own power.
Quantus apud Danaos Podalirius 2 arte medendi,
1 Vitibus ulmum. The vines were planted amongst elms (and poplars) for support. Cf. Verg. Georg. ii. 367: "Ubi jam validis amplexae stirpibus ulmos Exierint." Also Hor. Carm. ii. 15: "Platanusque caelebs Evincet ulmos;" plane-trees being unsuited to the purpose. The vine and elm were said to be "wedded" (maritari) to each other.
2 Podalirius. A son of Aesculapius, invited to the Grecian camp before Troy to stop a pestilence then raging. Achilles, grandson of Aeacus, and Ajax, son of Telamon, were famous
Waste not time.
Quàm cito (me miserum!) laxantur1 corpora rugis,
Nostra sine auxilio fugiunt bona: carpite florem ;
Difference of condition.
Candidus in nauta turpis color; aequoris unda
Turpis et agricolae; quia vomere semper adunco,
Candida si fuerint corpora, turpis eris.
Grata mihi pax arva colat; Pax candida primum
1 Laxantur. In old age the wrinkled skin seems to hang loosely on the frame. Below, for the idea in "carpite florem,” etc., cf.
"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
To-morrow will be dying."
Fasti iii. 5: "Sub Jove pars
The prize in the Olympic games was chaplet of olive, a tree sacred to Pallas. Below, "nato testa paterna" means that the winejar, filled with new wine by the father, poured forth its mellowed contents for the son's drinking. In the confusion of war, cellars would not be left equally undisturbed.
Pax aluit vites, et succos condidit uvae;
Spes alit agricolas, Spes sulcis credit aratis
O ego! ne possim tales sentire dolores,
Naufraga quam vasti tunderet 2 unda maris! Nunc et amara dies, et noctis amarior umbra est: Omnia nam tristi tempora felle madent.
1 Magno fenore. "And brought forth some thirty-fold, some sixty, some an hundred." The interest (fenus) in these three cases would be 3,000, 6,000, and 10,000 per cent.
2 Tunderet. The subjunctive is used because the whole statement is put forth as a mental conception.
"O that I were a cliff, for the billow of the waste sea to lash!" Originally "vastus" seems to have meant
"waste," the idea of desolation being prominent. Tacitus has "vastum ubique silentium " (Agric. xxxviii.), a "silence as of the desert;" and although "vastus" is used sometimes to express size, there is equally connected with this idea of size a notion of something uncouth and shapeless; for instance, "vasta belua" would not be simply a huge beast, but an overgrown misshapen creature.
The warrior and poet.
Tu modo bella geris, numeris modo verba coerces ;
Sic tibi nec docti desunt, nec Principis artes,
Tristis hiemps adoperta gelu nunc denique cedit,
Nunc fecundus ager, pecoris nunc hora creandi;
Every time is not suited to writing.
Carmina proveniunt animo deducta sereno;
Carminibus metus omnis abest; ego perditus ensem
One god sends affliction, another takes it away.
It is hard to die in a foreign land.
Tam procul ignotis igitur moriemur in oris ?
1 Maeoniden. The genius of Homer (called Maeonides from Maeonia, the old name of Lydia, at a town of which (Smyrna) he was said to have been born; cf. Hor. Carm. i. 6: "Maeonii carminis alite") would be overwhelmed beneath the load of troubles by which Ovid was pressed down. For the general pith of the extract, cf. Juv. vii. 57: "Anxietate carens animus facit omnis acerbi Impatiens, cupidus silvarum avidusque libendis Fontibus Aonidum; neque enim cantare sub antro Pierio... Paupertas atque aeris
inops;" and Hor. Epist. ii. 277: Scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus et fugit urbem."
2 Oderat. Cf. Verg. Aen. i. 9: "Quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus Insignem pietate virum (Aeneas) tot adire labores Impulerit?" Juno was daughter of Saturn. Below, "irato Deo," is "when one god is angry, what prevents some other deity befriending us?" The "iratus deus" here is no doubt Augustus, whose resentment Ovid incurred.
3 Tristia. Here the predicate, "Shall my death be made