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SELECTIONS FROM THE METAMORPHOSES,
EDITED BY THE
REV. T. K. ARNOLD, M.A.
RECTOR OF LYNDON,
AND LATE FELLOW OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
THESE selections are taken, with a few omissions, from the recent edition of Feldbausch. The introductions are also for the most part his; though I have occasionally abridged and altered them at my pleasure, and occasionally even rewritten them. The notes are selected mainly from Freund's very copious, but elementary commentary : for the selection and translation of them, my thanks are due to the Rev. J. C. Ebden, M.A., Vicar of Great Stukeley, and late Fellow and Tutor of Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
From the manner in which Ovid runs one narrative into another, it is nearly always difficult to present a single tale as an independent whole. Feldbausch has adopted the plan of either completing the first line, if the tale commences in the middle of a line, or, now and then, of composing a prefatory verse himself. He has not always been very happy in the execution of this part of his task ; and I have occasionally made some change,-a license which, in two or three instances, at least, I should have assumed more frequently. As it is, the pupil must feel a wholesome distrust of any initial line of a tale that may seem to present any metrical singularity. The same caution must be extended to a very few other lines in which a word has been intercalated to fill up the break occasioned by a necessary omission'.
"At p. 38, inopino, substituted for another word which the German editor wished away, is apparently used incorrectly; for its proper meaning is unexpected.
XXXI. The Myrmidong
P. OVIDII NASONIS
I. CHAOS AND THE CREATION.
The earliest thinkers and sages among the ancient Greeks applied themselves from the first, with great earnestness, to inquire how the Earth and the Universe arose. One believed water to be the first principle from which all proceeded; others fancied too themselves all the elements as existing together at the beginning in small indivisible particles (atoms), without any certain union, form, or shape whatever; so that a confused mass--the Chaosfilled the void of space. Out of this mass, by the operation of the divine intelligence (voûs), was effected a separation, in which affinities became united, opposites separated, and the corporeal world gained shape and life. This view of the origin of the world (which was undoubtedly a traditional version of the Mosaic account) was in Ovid's time become the current one.
As an introduction to the entire work on the transformations, the poet prefixes the following four lines :
In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
Ante mare et terras et, quod tegit omnia, cælum 5