Page images

l. 123. mandare, infin., poetically used in imitation of the Greek idiom, R. 54o. 3.

l. 125. Note the conditional sequence and force of the tenses. The fut. part. depending on the auxiliary verb, in the apodosis, expresses probability or possibility. * If you were carrying with you all the thoughts that keep occurring to me, you would be likely to be a heavy burden.' For the form of conditional sentence see on 6. 14.

l. 126. laturo, probably the book was carried to Rome by one of the sailors of the ship that carried his goods to Tomi (he himself went from Tempyra in Thrace by land; inf. xi. introd.), for the next couplet seems to imply that he had already arrived, hence habitabitur orbis ultimus will mean *the world's end will now be my home,' not * will soon be my home,' as it is explained by those who consider that this book was written from Thrace before he arrived at Tomi.

eras, the indic. is used because not the occurrence of the act but

its probability is stated, R. 643, c.

l. 127. nobis is dat. of agent.


Written during a storm on the Ionian sea. Sir Aston Cokain had this description in his mind; Tragedy of Ovid, Act ii. Sc. 1 :— Aan. From Ostia we have had a voyage hither so fraught with storms and tempests, that I wonder

the sea-gods—
Cac. the sea-monsters call them rather—
Æam. were not all tired with using so much rage
on us, etc.

SUMMARY.—Ye gods of sea and sky, spare me and save me from the storm. The divine Caesar, it is true, is angry ; but it is the custom of the gods to support a stricken mortal against a fellow-god's wrath (1—12). Ah ! poor wretch l my words' fall unavailing: the tempest gathers force, and the wild winds whitl away my sails and supplications alike unheeding. The very pilot is distracted, and each wave that breaks seems destined to engulf us (13—36). My dear wife's sorrow is all for my exile ; little she knows that death by shipwreck is likely to be my portion. Still, if I die, half of myself survives in her (37—44). Thunder and lightning is added to the horrors of the hour. Death I do not dread, but only death by shipwreck. He that dies on land can cheer himself with the hope of burial: his body will not be food for the monsters of the deep. Save me, ye gods, and these that are my fellows, for they at least have not deserved such a death. Nay, my very judge did not condemn me to death, as he easily might have done, but only to, exile. Exile is surely punishment enough (45—74). I am not sailing in search of wealth or pleasure; Tomi, on the shores of the Euxine, is my destination (75—86). Whether you hate or love me, you surely will bring me safe to the port that Caesar has ordained (87—94). I have deserved my sentence I know, yet my guilt was not wilful. If I have always been a humble supporter of the house of Caesar, then spare me, if not, whelm me in the deep. Lo ! I am not deceived; you have heard my prayer, and are vouchsafing to abate the storm (95—1 1o).

1. 1. The di maris are invoked as controlling the seas, the di caeli as supreme over the wind ; cp. 59, superi viridesque dei. supersunt, iv. 1o. 85, * si tamen exstinctis aliquid nisi nomina . restant:' P. iv. 2. 45, “Quid, nisi Pierides, solacia frigida, restamt.' The pl. number is due to two considerations: (1) grammatical attraction to the nearest subst., and (2) to the emphasis being on vota. Conversely, in M. xiv. 396, * nec quicquam antiquum Pico, nisi nomina, restat,' the verb is not attracted to the number of momina because the stress is on quicquam amtiquum, * nothing of his former selfis left to Picus.' 1. 2. membra, ' pieces.' Ibis 17 and 278. l. 3. subscribite, * give your support to.' Subscribere properly means to act as subscriptor, a subordinate advocate for the prosecution. Cic. div. in Caec. § 47, * ipse nihil est, nihil potest : at venit paratus cum subscriptoribus exercitatis et disertis.' 1. 4. Caesar has already been mentioned as a god, 1. 71 and 81. l. 5. The illustrations are taken from the Iliad (5-6), the Aeneid (7-8), and the Odyssey (9—1o). Turnus, King of the Rutulians, was robbed of his bride Lavinia by Aeneas (who came to Latium after the sack of Troy), and led the Italians in the war against the invading Trojans: Milton, P. L. ix. 16, ' rage Of Turnus for Lavinia disespoused; Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son.' (Perhaps we should transpose 7—8, and 9-1o, so that the instances from Homer may stand together.) 1. 8. numine, * protection,' abl. instr. Inf. x. 12. l. 9. cautum is meant to express the standing epithets of Ulysses, the shrewd and patient hero of the Odyssey, roAùrporos, πολύμηrus, who is always able by his cleverness to find an escape from the greatest perils. Neptune's anger against Ulysses was caused partly because he had killed his grandson Palamedes, and partly because he had blinded his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. 1. Io. Cp. inf. 5. 76.

. l. 1 1. quamvis, with indic. i. 25, n. * Though I am of far humbler degree than they,' l. 17. me causa laedar im una, * that I may not be injured in one respect alone;' i. e. that I may be injured not only by banishment, but also by storm. In = ' in respect of.' Cp. inf. 66, * in hoc;' 5. 39, n. l. 2o. sidera summa, for the hyperbole cp. Verg. Aen. i. 1o2, * procella... fluctus ad sidera tollit.' This passage and M. xi. 497, ' Fluctibus erigitur caelumque aequare videtur Pontus et inductas adspergine tangere nubes,' are elaborations in Ovid's manner of Vergil's idea. l. 21. * How huge the valleys that sink down as the level of the sea is separated.' 1. 22. Again from Verg. Aen. iii. 564, “Tollimur in caelum curvato gurgite, et idem Subducta ad Manis imos desedimus unda.' l. 23. See Appendix. - l. 24. hio . . . ille, the sea, being nearer to the speaker than the clouds, is constructed, contrary to ordinary usage, with the nearer demonstrative: cp. inf. 9. 12 ; Cic. p. Sull. § 8; and for the ordinary use inf. I I. 29. 1. 28. sero vespere missus, “sped from the twilight west.' Vesper opposed to ortus, is the west here, as in M. I. 63, 'Vesper et occiduo quae Jitora sole tepcscunt Proxima sunt zephyro.' Cp. Verg. Aen. v. 19. it is called serus because the latest hours of day are spent there, and the day dies there. ' Serus vesper,' in the different sense of “late evening.'is found in M. iv. 415: so * sera crepuscula,' M. i. 219. By a violation of the laws of nature, common in ancient poets, all the winds are' represented here as raging simultaneously in order to intensify the picture of the violence of the storm. See Conington on Geor. i. 315; Aen. i. 85. l. 29. sicca arcto, not * the dry north,' because of the dryness of the north wind, but * the bear that never dips in ocean,' because the ^ northern constellation of the Bear never sets, or sinks beneath the horizon of the sea. iii. Io. 3, * Suppositum stellis numquam tangentibus ' aequor Me sciat in media vivere barbaria.' iv. 3. 3, * Magna minorque ferae [the greater and lesser Bear]... omnia cum summo positae videatis in axe, Et maris occiduas non subeatis aquas.' Cp. Il. xviii. 489; Verg. Georg. i. 246. (For the legend see inf. on 3. 48.) l. 3o. adversa fronte, * with brow that meets his brother's,' i. e. face to face. l. 31. fugative petatve, interrogative, jussive subjunctives depending on quid, * what he is to avoid, what to make for,' R. 674 b. So pareat supr. l. 26. l. 32. ambiguis, etc., “ his very skill is dazed before the distracting horrors.' Ambiguis malis is abl. of circumstance. [Or of instr. stupet being equivalent to a passive verb.—H. J. R.] l. 34. unda, * a wave,' as inf. Io6. 1. 37. me dolet exule, “is pained by my being an exile.' In prose we should have expected * quam me exulem esse.' Inf. v. 41, n. Me exule is abl. of cause. 1. 39. corpora, * my body,' rhetorical use of plurml for sing., very common in Ovid. So * corpora,' infra 91 ; * vultus meos,' 94. Cp. 3. 8, and 29; 4. 8; 9. 35; v. 4. 2 I, and 29; 6. 21 ; 8. 35. This rhetorical use of the plural, though more common in poetry, is found also in prose ; see Halm on Cic. Rosc. Am. § 96, and De imp. Pomp. § 33 (where liberos = one daughter). Tac. A. vi. 34. 3 (where liberos = one son, see Orelli). 1. 41. Di bene, sc. fecerunt, by a not uncommon ellipsis. So in Ibis 23, * di melius,' probably = * di melius fecerunt,' i. e. ' the gods willed better.' See Ellis' n. 1. 43. ut, concessive, i. 35, n. N_ l. 44. dimidia parte, so he says of his brother's death, iv. 1o. 32, * coepi parte carere mei.' P. i. 8. 1, * salutem Accipe, pars animae magna, Severe, meae ;' and Hor. Od. i. 3. 8, addressing, the ship that is to carry Vergil, ' serves animae dimidium meae.' 1. 46. aethereo axe, heaven's zenith. Axis is the imaginary lin drawn from one pole of heaven, passing through the earth, and meeting the other pole; and is often used, as here, for the pole itself, the zenith : hence the conventional translations * cope,' * canopy,' or * firmament,' convey an incorrect idea. So in iv. 8. 41, ' axis boreus' = 'the northern zenith of heaven,' and so perhaps v. 2. 64 (but see 3. 48, n.) Axis is also used for the * axis' of the earth, or any other heavenly constellation, 3. 48, n. (Forcell. explains axis here as equivalent tö totum caelum) as in Aen. iv. 482 ; Stat. Theb. v. 86; x. 758). • 1. 48. The ballista (rerpóßoAos) was an engine used to shoot stones, while the catapulta («atanéÀtns) shot darts. Dict. A. 1 138 B. Cp. M. xi. 5o7 :— “Saepe dat ingentem fluctu latus icta fragorem : nec levius pulsata sonat, quam ferreus olim cum laceras aries ballistave concutit arces.' 1. 5o. Every tenth wave was supposed by the Romans to be the largest (and was called fluctus decumamus, Lucil. 3. 28 M.), as by the Greeks every third (rpwvpia, Plat. Rep. 472 a; Aesch. Prom. 1o1 5. Festus, p. 71. 5 M, * Decumana ova dicuntur et decumani fluctus, quia sunt magna: nam et ovorum decumum maius nascitur, et fluctus decumus fieri maximus dicitur.' Cp.ibid. p. 4. 7 M. For the conceit of this line compare—, . * Of all the days that's in the week, I dearly love but one day— and that's the day that comes betwixt a Saturday and Monday.' l. 51. miserabile leti genus est (id quod timeo). l. 52. demite, imperat. in protasis of condit. sentence : I. 47, n. ll. 53—56. * It is somewhat when falling at the beck of fate and by the sword still to lay down one's dying frame on firm earth, and to give some last injunctions to one's kinsfolk, and to hope for burial, and not to be food for the fishes of the sea,' est aliquid = it is something worth having ; a common phrase with Ovid: cp. H. iii. 131 ; iv. 29; F. vi. 27; P. ii. 7. 65; 8, 9. fato and ferro are instr. ablatives. For a fuller explanation see Appendix. l. 55. aliqua, some kind of instructions however hasty and inadequate: Pont. i. 1. 4, * dumque aliquo, quolibet abde loco;' F. iii. 598, * aliquam corpore pressit humum' (' dry land of some kind,' even though the grave). There is perhaps a specimen of such last instructions of a soldier in Prop. i. 2 1, where they are given by the dying Gallus, killed in the Perusine War, to a comrade to' carry to his sister. There may be a reference to the testamentum im procinctu, a will made verbally by soldiers on the eve of battle in the presence of three or four witnesses, and which was legally valid. l. 57. fmgite = etiamsi fingitis: I. 47, n. l. 58. hic, here on the high seas. For the idea of the punishment of a ship's crew for the guilt of one cp. Hor. Od. iii. 2. 26 ff.; Jonah i. I4. 1. 59. superi== di caeli, supr. I. virides = di maris, the gods of the green sea (' caerulei numina ponti,' 4. 25): H. 5. 57, * virides Nereidas . oro.' *Viridis aqua' (of the sea), is found in A. A. i. 4o2, iii. 13o. l. 62. iussa, emphatic, what Caesar has ordered you must not oppose: cp. inf. 89. See what St. Paul says, Acts xxvii. 24. feram, jussive subj. depending on simite. 1. 63. * If too you are minded that I should suffer the punishment that I have deserved, still remember that, even though Caesar's self is my judge, my punishment is lighter than death.' quoque introduces a fresh thought. l. 67. invidiosa ; join with illi, the dat. of indirect object usual with invidere, standing here with the adjective, which is passive in meaning, * the power of shedding my blood is not an object worth envying him.' Invidiosa = invidia digna, taking * invidia' in a good sense, as in M. vi. v 275, * Et mediam tulerat gressus resupina per urbem Invidiosa suis, at

« PreviousContinue »