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All, all alike the nurturing trench require,
Myrtles from boughs, from truncheons olives rise,
O'er the rough arbute grafted walnuts spread
79 This line and the six subsequent have been by Mr. Holdsworth very ingeniously, I know not whether justly, interpreted to mean the act of transplanting full-grown trees.
80 The poplar, sacred to Hercules.
85 Columella supports the practicability of grafting any scion on any stock; and the instance he produces is the union of an olive with a fig-tree.-Martyn.
De Lille supposes it practicable by inducing an uniformity of motion in the sap-juice of each tree : and adds ; C'est ce qu'on a pratiqué souvent avec succès. A Carthusian friar is said to have succeeded in grafting a vine on a fig-tree, and a jasmine on an orange.- Travels in France and Italy, by E. Wright.
Another writer says, that if a vine be grafted on a cherry, the grapes which it produces will be ripe in the seasons of cherries. The sexual system is hostile to these unnatural connexions.-Stawell.
Every thing said of grafting in this and the three follow. ing verses is, I am confident, incorrect, except that the pear will grow on the mountain ash ; but I do not suppose that to be the tree Virgil means.- -T. A. Knight.
87 The platanus is our oriental plane-tree. Pliny tells us that this tree was first brought over the Ionian sea into the island of Diomedes, for a monument for that hero : thence into Sicily, and so into Italy. Pliny likewise mentions that the ancients had so profuse a veneration for this tree, as to irrigate it with wine.—Martyn.
Pears crown the mountain ash with silver wreath,
Experienced art by varying culture knows
Not the same species every elm supplies, New willows wave, and other loti rise ;
92 The poet shows the difference between grafting and inoculating: the latter operation consists in making a slit in the bark of one tree, and inserting the bud of another into it. There are several ways of grafting now in use : but the only one which Virgil describes is what we call cleft-grafting, which is performed by cleaving the head of the stock, and placing a scion from another tree in the cleft.–Martyn.
95 There does not result any advantage from placing the inserted hud on the site of another bud. Inserted buds, on the contrary, take best where the bark is quite smooth. Columella is silent respecting the practice here mentioned by Virgil.
104 Mr. Martyn thinks, in which he is followed by De Lille, that the lotus of which Virgil speaks, and which gave its name to the lotophagi, is what we now call the zizyphus, or the jubeb-tree. The leaves of this are about an inch and a half long, and about one inch in breadth; of a shining green color, and serrated. The fruits grow thick on the branches : they are of the shape and size of olives; and the pulp of them has a sweet taste like honey, which agrees with what Homer says of the lotus.
Theophrastus describes the rhamnus lotus of Linnæus. Dr. Shaw has seen many of them in Barbary, and describes it to be a shrub like zizyphus, or jubeb. See Shaw's Travels. - Stawell.
Not one the cypress on th' Idæan height,
105 Nor one the olive swelling on the sight; Of changeful aspect, orchi, radii shoot, And pausia noted for their bitter fruit.
Fruits of each varying flavor, form, and flow'r,
How different Syrian, and Crustumian pears !
Here Egypt's silver grape rich mould demands, 115 ! There Thasian clusters bloom in lighter lands.
Dried in the sun-beams Psythian raisins glow,
125 And crown'd Phanæus' self his brow inclines :
105 Ida, a mountain in Crete. Theophrastus says that the cypress is so familiar to that island, that it comes up there spontaneously, on turning up the soil.-Martyn. 114 Methymna, a city of Lesbos in the Ægean sea. 116 Thasos, another island in the Ægean. 117 Passum is a wine made from raisins or dried grapes.
118 Lageos is so called from a hare, on account of its color, λαγως.
123 Rhætia bounded by Italy. Suetonius informs us that its wine was the favorite of Augustus Cæsar. Falernus, a mountain of Campania, famous for the best wine.—Martyn.
125 Tmolus, a mountain of Lydia. Le Tmole, qui étoit fertile en safran, l'étoit aussi en excellent vin. On voit à Pouzzol une vase dédiée à Tibère, sur laquelle sont quatre figures en bas-relief, représentant quatre provinces d'Asie avec leurs attributs, et le nom des figures au bas de chacune, VIR.
And, far o'er all, the lesser Argite, famed
Not every soil each varying race supplies ;
yews ascend where freezing north winds blow. The cultivated globe's wide tenants trace, The Arabs here, there Scythia's painted race ; To each his plant; far Ind dark ebon bears, 145 And incense floats on soft Sabæan airs :
le Tmole y est représenté en Bacchus, sans doute à cause de l'abondance et de la bonté de son vin.-De Lille.
129 The Rhodian wine was poured forth in libations to the gods at the second course of the Romans. Le Bumaste étoit un gros raisin qui tire son nom du mot Grec qui signifie mamelle de vache.-De Lille.
139 The situation here assigned to the orni would induce me to suppose the ornus to be the mountain ash, on which Virgil states the pear to succeed when grafted.-T. A. Knight.
144 The Geloni, a people of Scythia, who painted their faces like several other barbarous nations, to make themselves appear more terrible in war.
145 Theophrastus also says that ebony was peculiar to India. This wood is said to have been first brought to Rome when Pompey triumphed over Mithridates. Pliny quotes Herodotus, to show that Ethiopia produces ebony: Lucan also mentions its growth in that country. But Servius vindicates the poet, by saying that Ethiopia was reckoned a part of India. There are three kinds of ebony, black, red, and green.-Stawell.
There trees weep balsam from the trickling wound,
147 According to Pliny the balsam-plant grows only in Judæa : but Josephus mentions in his Jewish Antiquities that this plant was introduced from Egypt by the queen of Sheba, who presented it to Solomon. The true country of this plant is said to be Arabia Felix. The balsam flows out of the branches, either naturally, or through incisions, in June, July, and August. It is said to be white at first, then green, and at last of a yellow color, like that of honey.Stawell.
Vespasien et Titus firent voir à Rome cet arbuste dans la cérémonie de leur triomphe, après avoir terminé la guerre contre les Juifs.-De Lille.
148 It is supposed that Virgil here speaks of an Egyptian tree. It is large, and affords timber of twelve cubits: the fruit grows in pods, after the manner of pulse, and is used by the inhabitants instead of galls in dressing leather: the flower is beautiful, and used in garlands; it is also used as a medicine: a gum also flows from it, either spontaneously, or by incision. It shoots again the third year after cutting. A large wood of it grows about Thebais. Mr. Martyn takes this tree to be the Egyptian acacia, from which we obtain gum arabic.
149 These groves are the cotton-trees : they grow usually to about fifteen feet in height: the cotton grows within a green husk, which serves to defend the seeds.
150 Les Romains, qui n'avoient point de commerce immé. diat avec la Chine, et chez qui la soie n'arrivoit qu'après avoir passé par bien de mains étrangères, avoient entendu dire qu'on la recueilloit sur des arbres, d'où ils concluoient qu'elle étoit la production des arbres même.
Plus l'usage de la soie est commun, moins on a besoin de laine ; moins on nourrit de troupeaux, moins on a d'engrais pour fertiliser les terres. Cette raison, quoique vieille, n'en est pas moins sensée : c'étoit elle qui avoit prévenu le sage Sully contre les manufactures d'étoffes de soie.- De Lille.