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Put garlands on the temples, and meal on the knives,
finish’d, I will then return home; where, little images, shining With brittle wax, shall receive slender crowns. Here I will placate our Jupiter, and to my paternal Lares Will give frankincense, and will throw down all the colours of the violet.
90 All things shine. My gate has erected long branches, And joyful celebrates the feast with morning lamps.
Nor let these things be suspected by you, Corvinus : Catullus,
90. Will give.? Will offer ; which they did, by putting it on the fire, and fumigating the images, or letting the smoke ascend before them.
- Throw down.] i. e. Wil strew before them.
- Has erected, &c.] Over the tops of the doors are long branches of laurel. This was usual on these festal occasions. 92. Joyful.] Having a joyful and festival appearance.
Celebrates.] Operatur. The verb operor, like facio, (see sat. ix. l. 117.) when it stands without any addition, signifies performing sacrifice. See also VIRG. ech. iii. 77; and Georg. i. l. 339. · So the word nwy, in Hebr. See Parka. Heb. and Eng. Lex. nowy, No. 5.
The poet here means to say, that the very gates of his house bore a part in the solemnity on this joyful occasion. Some are for read. ing operitur, covered-i. e. the gates were covered with lamps as well as with laurel-branches. This makes a very clear sense ; but I question whether operatur, as above explained, does not more exactly coincide with the epithet festa in this line. Operatur here is metaphorical, like Virgil's ridet ager.
- Morning lamps.] It was a custom, on any joyful occasion, either of a public or private nature, to adorn the gates of their houses with branches of laurel, and with lamps, even in the day time; which Tertullian mentions, in his apology, in the following passage :-" Cur die læto non laureis postes adumbramus? nec lucer. os nis diem infringimus ?” “ Why, on a joyful day, do we not over" shadow our door-posts with laurels--nor infringe upon the day with « lamps?”
By the word matutinis, the poet means to say, he will light them early, out of zeal to his friend, that they might burn from morning to night.
My portal shines with verdant bays,
Power. 93. Suspected, &C.1 As if done with a mercenary view, or for selfish ends-as if ro fatter my friend Catullus into making me his heir,
Pro cujus reditu tọt pond altaria, parvos
94.-5. Three little heirs. 1 Has three children to inherit his estate.
95. Glad to see. 1 Libet expectare literally, it liketh me to expect; which certainly answers to the English idiom in the translation.
96_7. A friend so barren, &c.] Só unlikely to leave any thing in his will to any body but his own family--who would sacrifice for such a one, I won't say a fine cock to Asculapius for his recovery, but'even an old rotten hen even this would not be worth while.
97. No quail. Not even one of the least of birds.
A father. i. . For a man that is the father of children, and who, like Catullus, has heirs to his estate.
Gallita and Paccius.] Two rich men who were childless, which made them fine objects for the hæredipetæ, or legacy-hunters. 99. Perceive heat.] To be attacked with a fever.
Every porch, &c.] Tota is here equivalent to omnis. q. d. The whole of the porches, i. e. all the porches of the temples, are covered, as it were, with votivé tablets for their recovery. These votive tablets were inscribed with the vows and prayers of those who hung them up. If the party, for whom these tablets were hung up, recovered, the offerers of the tablets thought themselves bound to perform their vows.
100. According to law.] Legitime here seems to mean, according to the stated custom and usual practice of such people, who made it a kind of law among them to act in this manner on such öccasions ; not that there was any public law to compel them to it.
101. There exist, &c.] Some there are, who would not scruple to vow an hundred oxen in sacrifice. Hecatombe is compounded of Šmutov, an hundred, and Bos, an ox; but it also denotes a sacrifice of an hundred sheep, or of any other animals, though primarily is to be understood of oxen, according to the etymology.
For whose return I place so many altars, has three
102. Elephants, &c.] q. d. They can't get elephants indeed, or else they would vow an hecatomb of them.
102--3. Here nor in Latium.] Either here at Rome, or in the country of Italy at large. See note, sat. xi. 1 15. 104. Conceived.] i. e. Bred.
A dusky nation.] From the Moors or the Indians, who are of a swarthy or black complexion. See sat. xi. I, 125, note.
105. The Rutulian woods, &c.] In the forest near Lavinum, where Turnus the king of the Rutuli reigned, the country was called Etruria ; now the dukedom of Tuscany. · 106. The herd of Cæsar.] Domitian, as a matter of state and cu. riosity, transported into Italy numbers of elephants; and, in the forest above mentioned, an herd of them might be seen together.
106—7. No private man.] They were not procured to be at any private man's command, but at the emperor's only, for his pleasure and amusement, in seeing them in the forest, and exhibiting them in public shows in the Circus.
107. Ancestors of these.] The elephants of former days were put to a nobler use.
- Indeed.] Prateus, in his Interpretatio in usum Delph. ex. plains the siquidem by enimvero, verily, truly, indeed Marshall, by vero, which is much of the same import, and seems to mark a sarcastical contrast between the use of those noble animals by the warlike kings and generals of old time, and Domitian's getting them to Rome at a vast expense, for the empty gratification of his pride and ostentation.
107--8. Tyrian Hannibal.] Who got them from India, with per. sons to manage and train them up. Hannibal is called Tyrian, because Dido, who built Carthage, came from Tyre :--for this reason Virgil calls Carthage Tyriam urbem. The Carthaginians Tyrii... In the second Punic war, when he came over the Alps into Italy, he brought elephants with him. See sat. x. l. 157, note.
108. Our generals. ] Who took vast numbers of them.--Metellus
Horum majores, ac dorso ferre cohortes,
had two hundred and four elephants which followed his triumph after the defeat of Asdrubal the Carthaginian general. Scipio, the fatherin-law of Pompey, had also elephants in his army in Africa. Appiar says, thirty.
108. Molossian king.] Pyrrhus, king of the Molossians, first used elephants in Italy, when he came to help the Tarentines against the Romans.
· 109. Cohorts.] A cohort was a tenth part of a legion--several of these were in towers on the backs of elephants, and made part of the warlike force partem belli.
110. A tower, &c.] Towers, made of wood, and filled with armed men, were put on the backs of elephants, and thus carried into bat, tle, where, partly by the trampling of elephants, partly by the ar.. rows, javelins, and other missile weapons, discharged from the tow. ers, great havock was made.
11. Therefore~0 delay, &c.] Therefore it is not the fault of Novius, &c. that elephants are not offered, but because they can't get them.--If these legacy-hunters could procure elephants to sacrifice for the recovery of the people whom they have a design upon, they would not hesitate a moment about doing it.
112. Ivory.] Elephants, per meton. Here elephants are called ivory, from their large teeth of ivory, Georg. ii. 26. Æn. vi. 895. Virgil, on the contrary, calls ivory, elephant, by synec.
113. Before the Lares of Gallita.] In order to procure their as. sistance and favour towards him, that they may recover him from his sickness.
The word Lares, in the largest sense, denotes certain demons, genii, or spirits, believed to preside on various occasions, distinguished by their epithets. As, Lares cælestes, some of the Dii majorum? gentium; Lares marini, as Neptune, Palamon, Thetis, &c.; Lares urbium, who were guardians of cities. The Lares also were public, as compitales, or viales, which were worshipped in the highways; or private, as the Lares domestici, or familiares, houschold or family deities, household gods, the protectors of the house and family, These last are usually intended by the word Lares, when used singly, See I. 89, note. See Ainsw. Lar.
The notæ selectx on this line, suppose this Gallita to have been
And to carry cohorts on their back,
some rich childless matron, whom Tacitus calls Cruspelina. Others believe it to be a rich old man of that name. It matters not to the subject which is right. See Juv. edit. 4to. 1695.
114. Worthy, &c.] The poet ironically styles these elephants worthy victims for such important deities as the Lares, who presided over the safety of such men, and worthy to express the huge friendship which the offerers bore them. Or, perliaps, by the word tantis, we may understand an humourous contrast, between the hugeness of the animal offered, and the littleness of the figures of the Lares before which they were offered; for the images of these were very small. See l. 87, note. Captatores were people who flattered rich men, in hopes of being their heirs-legacy-hunters. See sat. X. 1. 202, note; and see Hor. lib. ii, sat. v. i. 23, &c. - 115. The one. ] Pacuvius.-Alter, where two have been mentioned means one of them. That Pacuvius is here meant, appears from what follows, l. 125-8.
If you allow, &c.] If he could have his own will, and could be permitted to do such a thing. .
-Vow.) i. e. Devote to death. 116. Flock of servants, &c.] He would pick out, from the number of his slaves, the stoutest of the men, or every one (quæque) of the most beautiful of either sex, to sacrifice.
117. His boys, &c. He would even sacrifice those who were the instruments of his abominable pleasures.
118. Put fillets.] The vittæ were ribbands, or garlands, put on the foreheads both of the priest and of the victims.
118.-19. Marriageable Iphigenia.] Any daughter in the prime of youth and beauty. - Matura virgo-Hor. lib. iii. od. vi. l. 22. Comp. Hor. lib. i. od. xxiii. 1. 11, 12
This alludes to the story of Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter Iphigenia, in order to procure a favourable wind for the departure of the Grecian feet from Aulis, where, through the anger of the goda dess Diana, it had been wind-bound for a considerable time, because the Greeks had killed an hind belonging to the goddess.
The oracle was consulted, and the answer was returned, that no wind could be had for their purpose, unless Agamemnon, the chief in the expedition, would offer up his daughter Iphigenia to appease