« PreviousContinue »
Translate: * Verses are produced when drawn from an untroubled mind ; my days are clouded over with sudden misfortunes. Verses demand retirement and ease in their writer; I am tossed to and fro by sea and winds and the wild storm. Verses have no part in any kind of fear ; I, a ruined man, am every moment thinking that the sword will touch my throat.' Juvenal (7. 53—73) has finely enlarged upon the commonplace that the poet should be free from the fears and anxieties of the vulgar. The sentiment is repeated with mournful insistance, v. 12. 3, * carmina laetum Sunt opus et pacem mentis habere volunt.' l. 47. da mihi, etc., * Give me a Homer's self—marking well my many sorrows—and all his powers will fail him in the presence of such heavy woes.' The sufferings I am exposed to are enough to have chilled the poetic fire of Homer himself (P. iv. 2. 21) :— “Si quis in hac ipsum terra possuisset Homerum ; esset, crede mihi, factus et ille Getes.' The expression da mihi is a general formula, not addressed to the reader personally, equivalent to *if I were to become Homer.' So P. iv. 1 17 :— * Da mihi, si quid ea est, hebetantem pectora Lethen, oblitus potero non tamen esse tui.' Rem. 63, 64. The imperative contains the protasis to a condit. sentence, which in its simple form would run * Si dabis mihi Maeoniden et tot casus circumspicies—excidet,' etc. Cp. Am. i. io. 64, * quod nego poscenti, desine velle (= si desines velle) dabo ;' Job i. 1 1, ' Put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.' Tantis malis, abl. of circumstance. Maeoniden (Milton P. L. iii. 35), a name of Homer, either ' because Smyrna in Lydia, anciently called Maeonia, was one of the towns that claimed his birthplace; or, more probably, because Maeon, a legendary king of Lydia, was his putative father (Aristotle ap. Pseudoplutarch, de vita et poesi Homeri i. 3). 1. 49. famae securus =sime cura famae, * without a thought for fame.' l. 5o. [* nor be ashamed ifyou donot please when read.—H. J. R.] l. 53. The tituli were notice-boards attached to poles carried by the soldiers in triumphal processions, containing lists of the number and »£. names of prisoners and other spoils taken, etc. Hence tituli came to mean the distinctions of a general, and in general, glory, renown. Contrast 1. 7 and 1. 67 where titulus =* lettering piece.' See Appendix on 1. 5. Thus, here tituli amor = laudis amor, v. 12. 38, and in inf. I 1. 3o, mostrae mortis titulus = “ the distinction of having slain me.' • l. 56. sic fuga parta = hoc studio f. p. sup. 21, n. It is enough for me not to hate that very gift of poesy that brought about my banishment.
l. 58. facerent, the optative use of the subj., R. 666, with a dependent jussive subj. (possem), expressing the wish, following it, R. 672. [Cp. M. viii. 72, * di facerent, sine patre forem.'—H. J. R.] Both this construction with facere, and ut with a consecutive subj. are found ; compare e. g. Catull. lxviii. 46, * facite haec carta loquatur anus' with cix. 3, * IDi magni, facite ut vere promittere possit.' The two optative expressions * di faciant' (H. ii. 66; xiii. 94; Am. ii. io. 3o; Rem. 785 ; T. iv. 7. 9; v. 13. 17 ; P. i. 2. 97 ; 4. 48; iii. I. 137; iv. 4. 47 ; 9. 3 ; Ib. 351) and * di facerent' (H. x. 133 ; xv. 157 ; T. v. 4. 13) are frequent in Ovid, the former denoting the wish as attainable, the latter as unattainable. l. 61. ut, sup. 35, n. l. 63. intrato, imperat. carmina, the Ars Amatoria, which alone of his poems prejudiced him in the eyes of Augustus. 1. 66. e grémio. The ancients usually reclined while reading, and rested the book upon the lap. Cp. I 1. 38, n. l. 69. exspectes, subj. of reported question after forsitan. palatia. There is no reference here to the great Palatine library in the temple of Apollo, as in P. i. 1. 5 ; but the locality simply is meant, as in iv. 2. 3, ' altaque velentur fortasse Palatia sertis.' Augustus had a palace on the Palatine, near which, or in the adjacent Velia, also were temples of the tutelary gods of Rome—Juppiter Stator, Juppiter Victor, Juno Sospita, Apollo, Vesta, the Lares and Penates. See Merivale, v. 24ff. Burn, Rome and the Campagna, ch. viii. Hence the words augusta loca. dique locorum, though, of course, Augustus there is specially meant. l. 72. fulmem, his sentence of banishment. arce, * high place,' as in Verg. Geor. ii. 535 ; Aen. vii. 696. It is from the arx caeli that Juppiter,'from the arx Palati, that Augustus hurls his bolts. Cp. v. 3. 19, ' ipse quoque aetherias meritis invectus es arces, Quo non exiguo facta labore via est.' l. 75 ff. Cp. M. vi. 527 ff.:— * Illa tremit, velut agna pavens, quae saucia cani ore excussa lupi nondum sibi tuta videtur, utque columba suo madefactis sanguine plumis horret adhuc avidosque timet, quibus haeserat, ungues.*. I. 75. The burnt child fears the fire. l. 78. [excussa, not * snatched from,' but * dropped from,' in consequence of a blow or some surprise. Excutio properly means to stri&e or ßmock out.—H. Nettleship.] Cp. excidet, l. 48, which is virtually the passive of ' excutio;' and to M. quoted above add Cic. p. Mur. § 3o, * omnia ista nobis studia de manibus excutiuntur.'
1. 79. vitaret, * would have ever avoided if he had continued to live.' [For the use of the imperf. subj. applied in a conditional sentence to times past and gone (a reference necessitated by the plup. optarat), comp. Cic. Cluent. § 61, * quid enim tandem illi iudices rêsponderent, si quis ab iis quaereret ? condemnastis,' etc. =' What could they have answered, had anyone asked them ?'—H. Nettleship.] Phaethon gained permission from his father Phoebus to drive the chariot of the sun for a day, and being unable to control the horses lost his life. The legend is told in M. ii. 1 ff. l. 8o. optarat, “he had once wished for,' i. e. at the time when he ascended his father's chariot. Ovid frequently uses the pluperfect to emphasise that the time spoken of is now past and done with ; thus it lays stress on the fact that the time spoken of was long ago. See iii. I I. 25; v. 5. 3 ; v. 12. 3o. l. 82. infesto igne, instrum, abl. 1. 83. Nauplius, the father of Palamedes, in revenge for the death of his son, hung out false lights on the promontory of Caphereus in Euboea, and thus caused the shipwreck of the Greek fleet om its return from 4 Troy. Cp. v. 7. 35, * quaeque modo Euboicis lacerata est fluctibus, audet Graia Capheream currere puppis aquam ;' Prop. iii. (iv.) 7. 39 :— “Saxa triumphales fregere Capherea puppes, naufraga cum vasto Graecia tracta salo est.' l. 85. vasta, ' desolating.' The word implies that in which nothing lives (Munro, Lucr. 1. 722). Cp. Verg. Aen. vii. 3o2, ' vasta Charybdis.' 1. 86. quo = in quo, poetic. 1. 87. ergö. See Appendix. 1. 88. ut sit. The consecutive subj. restricts the meaning of the previous words; though in such a case it is common for ita to precede ut, still, as in inf. 3. Iol, iv. 4. 4, ut frequently stands without ita (R. 714c.). We must not press the inconsistency of his saying here that he must be content with a humble public, as compared with 91, where he says that it is hard for him to advise whether his book shall seek to gain the Emperor's ear. A poet is not logical ; his verse reflects the varying moods'of his mind; and such am inconsistency is quite in keeping with his nature. (Cp. on 1 1 5 inf.). Translate: * Be then so cautious and careful in thy timorous heart that to be read by those of low degree alone content thee.' media plebs, in the sense of moderate, ordinary people, is frequent in Ovid. Cp. ii. 351, ' media de plebe maritus ;' v. 7. 54 ; F. v. 2o; M. v. 2o7 ; xi. 283. 1. 9o. Icarus was provided with wings by his father Daedalus to fly from Crete; but approaching too near the sun, the waxen fastenings of
his wings were melted, and he fell down into the sea north of Crete, to which he gave his name. See M. viii. 183 ff. 1. 91. hino, from this place far away from Rome. Cp. P. i. 5. 71, *nec reor hinc istuc nostris iter esse libellis.' utaris, dependent interrogative, jussive subj., R. 674 b. As one not present could not advise the skipper of a ship whether on any particular occasion he should use oars or sails, so Ovid, far away in exile, cannot advise as to what it is best for his book to do at Rome. l. 93. vacuo (* unoccupied'), i. e. Augustus, who has been mentioned as Juppiter in line 81. With ouncta mitia cp. 73. 1. 96. tamen expresses a consolatory thought qualifying pauca, * though it were but a few words.' Cp. inf. 8. 2o. [Cic. Quinct. § 71, * quia tamen aliquem . . . advocare poterat;' Rosc. Am. § 8, * quam ob rem videantur nonnihil tamen . . . secuti ;' Cluent. § 22, * tamen unum ;' Cat. iii. § 1o, * Cethegus, qui paulo ante aliquid tamen de. gladiis et sicis . . . respondisset;' Att. i. 19. 9, * tu si tuis blanditiis tamen a Sicyoniis nummulorum aliquid expresseris.'—H. Nettleship.] 1. Ioo. Telephus, king of Mysia, was wounded by the spear of Achilles, in opposing the march of the Greeks to Troy. An oracle declared that the spear which gave the wound, alone could cure it ; and in consequence of another oracle that without his aid the Greeks could not take Troy, Telephus was reconciled to Achilles, and was cured by a poultice made from the rust of the spear. Cp. ii. 19:— * Forsitan ut quondam Teuthrantia regna tenenti, sic mihi res eadem vulnus opemque feret.' v. 2. I 5 :— “Telephus aeterna consumptus tabe perisset, si non quae nocuit dextra tulisset opem.' 1. Io3. resaeviat, a word coined by Ovid and apparently an öra£ elpnp£vov. 1. Io4. sis cave. Cp. on 25. 1. io5. penetrale, poetical for cubiculum, the study or * sanctum' in, which Ovid wrote. See Rich. s. v. Cubiculum. Cp. iii. 12. 53 :— * Di facite, ut Caesar non hic penetrale domumque, hospitium poenae sed velit esse meae.' l. io6. scrimia curva. See supr. 5, n (in Appendix). l. io7. fratres (thus personified in iii. 1. 65, ' Quaerebam fratres, exceptis scilicet illis, Quos suus optaret non genuisse pater ;' cp. supr. 12, n.), his other published works. They were the Amores, Remedium Amoris, Medicamina formae, Heroides, Medea (a* lost tragedy), Ars Amatoria, and Metamorphoses (unfinished). The Fasti, Ibis, and' Epistulae ex Ponto had not appeared yet ; and the fragment Halieuticon was published after his death. 1. 1o8. evigilavit, “prepared with elaborate care,' lit. ' with midnight watchings (vigiliae).' 1. 1o9. titulos, supr. 5, n (in Appendix). 1. 1 1o. * And wear their names on their uncovered brows;' i. e. when their froms has been uncovered by the case (membrama) being opened. l. 112. Supr. 2 n. 1. 1 13. As the poetis the parent of his poems (115), so those poems which procured his banishment are virtually parricides. For banishment is as bad as death to him (supr. 27, n; Ibis 16); and his last hours at Rome are described as his funeral, inf. 3. 22 and 89 ; .so exsequiis, inf. II8. Oedipus was exposed by his father Laius on account of an oracle which declared that he should kill his father. But he was saved, and when arrived at manhood he met Laius on the road between Delphi and Daulis, and killed him unknowingly. A similar fate befell Telegonus, a son of Ulysses by Circe. He was sent by his mother to find his father; and being driven by a storm to land at Ithaca, and compelled to support his followers by ravaging the 'country, he was attacked by Ulysses, whom he killed with a spear tipped with the bone of a seafish. Ibis 567. Thus Horace c. iii. 29. 8, speaks of * Telegoni iuga pnrricidae.' oris, “effrontery,' a meaning common in Cicero. The colloquialism * to have the face to do a thing,' corresponds to the Latin metaphor, and was once admitted in standard English (Wilkins on Cic. de Or. I. 175). Cp. P. i. I. 8o, * plus isto duri, si precer, oris ero.' , 1. I 15. Here again the train of thought is that of a poet rather than a logicimn. The books ofthe Ars are to be called parricides (1 14), and are not to be loved by their brother for all that their subject is the Art of Love. A parricide would naturally not be loved, it is true ; but the addition of the timid warning to resist the lessons of those who teach how to love, is a negligence of writing quite Ovidian ; cp. on 88 supr. 1. I 16. quamvis, with indic.; see supr. 25, n. 1. 117. mutatae formae, * the changes of shape,' nom. in apposition to ter q. v. In El. vii. he says that in the first transport of his grief at the news of his banishment he burnt the Metamorphoses, but that his friends had preserved copies, which may thus be described as rescued from burning at his funeral. The fifteen books are written on fifteen different rolls, according to the usual practice (supr. 5, n. in Appendix). 1. I 19. dicas, jussive subj. depending on mando. Cp. on 25. Translate: *Them I bid thee tell that among the changes of bodies may be reckoned the now changed features of my Fortune.'