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vester onyx, casto petitis quae iura cubili.
sed quae se inpuro dedit adulterio,
namque ego ab indignis praemia nulla peto.
semper amor sedes incolat adsiduus. tu vero, regina, tuens cum sidera divam
placabis festis luminibus Venerem,
sed potius largis adfice muneribus.
proximus hydrochoi fulgeret Oarion.
91. unguinis Bentley sanguinis V. non siris Lachmann ne siveris Scaliger non vestris V. tuam Avantius tuum V.
83. vester : emphatic, «only yours,' and containing the implied antecedent of quae. — iura : i.e. those of a iustum matrimonium.
87. sed magis : but rather,' i.e. than experience in any unholy union the shame and disappointments just referred to. For this essentially adversative use of magis cf. 68, 30. Cf. also v. 92.
91. unguinis = unguenti, a comparatively rare equivalent. — expertem : here in the passive sense, • lacking in.'— non : cf. v. 80 ; Ovid, A. A. 1, 389: aut non temptaris aut perfice. — siris = siveris.
- tuam : cf. Hor. Car. 1, 25, 7 : me tuo longas pereunte noctes, Lydia, dormis.
93. Throwing off the grand tone of the previous verses, the lock bursts forth once more at the close with an ejaculation of its real feelings.
94. In the illogical petulance of youth it forgets that it has just wished the destruction of the whole stellar system, and gayly imagines a complete confusion of the established order in the sky. - proximus : though the distance between the two constellations Aquarius and Orion is now at least 90°. — hydrochoi : dat. – Oarion : the Greek form 'N uplwv was not only the sign of the doctus poeta, but was preferred here, as undoubtedly in the original, for metrical reasons.
Quod mihi fortuna casuque oppressus acerbo
conscriptum hoc lacrimis mittis epistolium,
to whom the elegy is addressed
may be most simply explained by Many editors have believed this adopting Lachmann's conjecture elegy made up of two or more sep- that he was M'. Allius. It is then arate poems, and it appears accord- very easy to see how the title Ad ingly in various editions as 684(vv. Mallium, and the various readings 1-40), 686 (41-160), or 68"(41-148), in vv. II, 30, 41, 66, arose. For and 68°(149-160). The arguments an acute discussion of the origin for such mutilation are shrewdly of these variants, cf. Friedrich, stated by Riese in his annotated pp. 44 sqq. No editor has venedition of 1884, and by Merrill tured to follow the Mss. implicitly (1893). For the defense of the in this matter. In the main part poem's unity, however, see Magnus, of the elegy (vv. 41-148) Allius is in Bursian's JB., Vol. 87 (1887), spoken of in the third person as pp. 151 sqq., and Vol. 126 (1906), the subject of the eulogy which is pp. 139 sqq., and Jahrbücher f. pronounced upon him for his Phil. u. Päd., Vol. 3 (1875), pp. friendly services; in the introduc849 sqq. ; Kiessling, Analecta tion (vv. 1-40) it is not unnatural, Catulliana (Greifswald Program, but in harmony with the direct 1877); Harnecker, Das 68 Gedicht (second personal) address of the des Catullus (Friedeberg Program, epistolary style employed, that the 1881); Friedrich (who, however, more familiar praenomen Manius puts the worst construction upon should be used. But in v. 150 of it); Schanz, and his bibliography; the epilogistic close (vv. 148–160) etc. The difficulties of interpreta- the same name would naturally be tion do not seem to be removed, employed as that to which referbut rather enhanced, by the pro- ence is made in the same sentence posed division ; and the elegy is by the word nomen (v. 151). best considered as one, a carefully From the passage beginning at evolved and acutely involved v. 27 it is seen that Catullus was product of the poet's Alexandrian at Verona, while Allius was doubtperiod.
. less at Rome, as was also Lesbia. The hopeless confusion, in the It can scarcely be doubted that the Mss., of the name of the person poet expected, nay, probably in
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,
id gratum est mihi, me quoniam tibi dicis amicum, 10 muneraque et musarum hinc petis et Veneris :
sed tibi ne mea sint ignota incommoda, Mani,
neu me odisse putes hospitis officium, accipe, quis merser fortunae fluctibus ipse,
ne amplius a misero dona beata petas. 15 tempore quo primum vestis mihi tradita purast,
iucụndum cum aetas florida ver ageret, multa satis lusi : non est dea nescia nostri
11. 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 : of the various theories advanced to explain the sadness of Allius, e.g. that he had quarreled with his wife or with his mistress, that one or the other of them was seriously ill, or separated from him suddenly for some other reason, or had recently died, only the last is irreconcilable with v. 155. A reminiscence of the phrase is found in Ovid's Laodamia epistle (Her. 13, 107).
7. veterum ... scriptorum : either Greek or Roman.
8. cum: temporal.
1o. munera que ... musarum: poems to serve in place of those of the veterum scriptorum of v. 7. - hinc: 'from me.' - [munera] Veneris : erotic poetry (cf. lusi, v. 17), referring back to vv. 5 and 6. The last request is answered first,
in vv. 11-32; the first one, last, in vv. 33-36.
12. hospitis officium:i.e. gratitude. Allius had indeed proved himself a genuine old Roman hospes, as is evidenced by vv. 6772, and 156. If, however, hospitis = "host,' we must suppose that Allius means by munera . . . Veneris (v. 10) that Catullus should open his house as a lover's rendezvous.
13. quis : abl.
15. tempore : abl. of source. — vestis ... pura = toga pura, toga libera, toga virilis, the assumption of which marked the beginning of young manhood.
16. The conditions under which erotic poetry thrives.
17. lusi : i.e. especially in writing 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, onnia 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, I : 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 páxavov ÖPTETOV; Plaut. Cist. 1, 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.; 101.
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 v. 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.