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Beware the show'rs that from the south wind sprung
But most at sunset mark what tints prevail ;
520 Nor less dread signals shook the earth and wave, Birds of ill note, and dogs dire omens gave;
519 Plutarch says that this obscurity continued for a year after the death of Julius; and that the fruits rotted, without coming to maturity, for want of the heat of the sun.-Stawell.
522 Oyid mentions the dogs howling in the forum, and about houses, and in the temples.-Stawell.
How oft we view'd, along th' expanse below,
535 Eridanus pours forth his torrent tide,
526 The academy of Naples confirms the propriety of the poet's description of a volcanic eruption, in the account published of the eruption from Vesuvius in 1737, when the rocks were melted.-Stawell.
527, Appian speaks of the din of arms, the shouting of men, and the trampling of horses being heard, though nothing could be seen. Appian, lib iv.-Stawell.
Perhaps this was some remarkable aurora borealis seen about that time in Germany. The learned M. Celsius, professor of astronomy at Upsal in Sweden, has assured me, that in those northern parts of the world, during the appearance of an aurora borealis, he has heard a rushing sound in the air, like the clapping of a bird's wings.-Martyn.
529 Plutarch and Ovid mention ghosts appearing at night, before Cæsar's death. See Calphurnia's speech in Shakspeare's Julius Cæsar, Act ii. sc. 11.
530 Josephus, speaking of the prodigies that preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, says that the priests heard a voice in the night-time, saying, ' Let us go hence.'- Martyn.
533 Appian says that some statues sweated blood. Ovid and Tibullus mention the tears of the images of the gods.
536 The Greek name of the Po,' the monarch' of the Italian rivers. Along the banks of this river are high dikes raised against its depredations : there are matted huts at every hundred or two hundred yards, with men stationed, called · Guardia di Po,' ready to assist with their tools at a moment's warning, in case of a breach.-See Young's Tour, quoted by Stawell.
Down the wide deluge whirls th' uprooted wood,
543 Thunder from a clear sky was always deemed a prodigy by the ancients. A comet appeared for seven nights after the death of Julius; which Pliny says was worshipped in a temple at Rome, as a sign that the soul of Cæsar was received into the number of the gods.
545 In the history of the two civil wars of Cæsar and Pompey, and of Augustus and the republicans under Brutus and Cassius, we shall find, as Mr. Martyn suggests, that they may be ascribed to the same country. Lucan speaks of Emathia, Thessaly, Hæmus, Pharsalus, and Philippi, being in the same country. Strabo tells us that some reckon Epirus a part of Macedon.
Pomponius Mela seems to speak of Thessaly also as a part of Macedon.
Ovid places Philippi in the Emathian territory, which comprised, probably, in the indistinctness of ancient geogra. phy, Macedon, Thessaly, and Epirus: there will appear therefore a very pardonable latitude in Virgil's calling these different sub-denominations of country by the comprehensive description, Emathian, including the extensive plains of Hæmus in Thrace, to whose very confines the wreck of Pompey's army was pursued in the neighborhood of Philippi.-Stawell.
Virgil means by his two battles of Philippi, not two battles on the same spot, but at two distant places of the same name: the former (that of Cæsar and Pompey) at Philippi (Thebæ Phthiæ), near Pharsalus in Thessaly; the latter that of Augustus against Brutus and Cassius) at Philippi, near the confines of Thrace.-Holdsworth.
There, after length of time, the peaceful swain
549 The art of the poet, in returning to his subject by in. serting the circumstance of the ploughman finding the old armor, cannot be sufficiently admired. Philips has finely imitated it in his . Cyder,' where, speaking of the destruction of old Ariconium, he adds :
upon that treacherous tract of land
Philips' Cyder, b. i.- Warton. 553 What difficulty a poet, so justly celebrated as De Lille, should have found in rendering into French the original of this passage, I cannot conceive. His translation, and his note, I shasl now transcribe.
* Et des soldats Romains les ossemens rouler.' Je n'ai
pu rendre ce mot 'grandia' (large), qui, si l'on en croit les commentateurs, fait allusion à une opinion particulière des anciens. Ils croyoient que les hommes dégénéroient de siècle en siècle : voilà de ces expressions qui sont intraduisibles, parce qu'elles tiennent aux préjugés et aux opi. nions des anciens.'-How strange!
560 Laomedon defrauded Apollo and Neptune of the reward promised them for building a rampart round Troy: to appease the wrath of the offended deities, he exposed his daughter Hesione to a sea monster, whom Hercules released : but Hercules being defrauded of the horses engaged to him, sacked the city, slew Laomedon, and gave Hesione in marriage to Telamon.
Already envious heav'ns thee, Cæsar, claim, 5 And earthly triumphs deem below thy fame ;
Where, right and wrong in mad confusion hurl’d,
568 Beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears. Joel, ch. iii. v. 10.–Staweli.
569 Cet endroit des Géorgiques semble avoir été écrit dans le tems qu’Auguste et Antoine rassembloient leurs forces pour cette guerre dont le succès fut décidé par la défaite d'Antoine et Cleopatre au promontoire d'Actium. Antoine tiroit ses forces de la partie orientale de l'empire : c'est ce que Virgile désigne par l'Euphrate. Auguste tiroit les siennes de la partie septentrionale : c'est ce qu'exprime Germania. De Lille, from Martyn.