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[135] Fere, which Wagn. and Gossrau think unintelligible, is rightly explained by Forb. as referring to the two next clauses as well as to the present, the sense being “iam fere nova colonia in eo erat ut conderetur.

[136] Operata has not its sacrificial sense here, as Serv. thinks, but merely denotes employment, as in Hor. 1 Ep. 2. 29, “In cute curanda plus aequo operata iuventus.” Marrying and giving in marriage and cultivation of the soil are two natural symptoms of settled life (“quae res ostendebat magnam fiduciam manendi,” as Donatus says), though there is something a little quaint to our notions in the juxtaposition. See on 2. 378, 654. For the synizesis see on 1. 73.

[137] Iura domosque dabam is another juxtaposition of the same sort. Comp. 1. 264, “moresque viris et moenia ponet.” A settled government is established (comp. 1. 426., 5. 758), and houses (either sites, or buildings vacated by the Cretans, v. 123) apportioned to the individual colonists. From Pal. and fragm. Vat. there seems to have been another reading ‘dabant.’ ‘Membris’ is connected with ‘venit,’ like ‘arboribus satisque:’ ‘tabida’ by its position belongs more naturally to the former, ‘miseranda’ to the latter, though the two epithets could hardly be so separated in a grammatical analysis of the sentence. In English we should probably turn ‘tabida’ into a substantive. “Suddenly there came on the human frame a wasting sickness, shed from the whole tainted expanse of the sky, a piteous blight on trees and crops, a year charged with death.” (A reviewer took exception to my use of the word “sky:” it is of course true that “air” would be strictly the more proper term: but here and elsewhere I use such words as seem most appropriate for poetical prose, and “sky,” as I have since found, is the word which Dryden employs a line or two lower down, “Sirius from on high With pestilential heat infects the sky,” where I suppose the requirements of the passage are the same.) This passage has been already referred to, to illustrate the more elaborate description of the pestilence G. 3. 478 foll.

[138] Tractus is the expanse, not the draught of air, as Burm. thought, comparing “tractus aquarum” Lucan 4. 368. “Caelum corrumpere” occurs Lucr. 6. 1124. ‘Corrupto tractu’ is doubtless abl. abs., though I have rendered it otherwise in English.

[139] “Arboribusque satisqueG. 1. 444. Cic. Ep. ad Fam. 5. 16 has “hoc gravissimo et pestilentissimo anno.

[140] The life is generally said to leave the man, not the man the life: both expressions however occur in the Homeric poems, λίπῃ λεύκ᾽ ὀστέα θυμός Od. 11. 221, λεῖπε δὲ θυμόν Hymn to Apollo v. 361. ‘Vitam reliquit in astris’ is said of a bird A. 5. 517. The antithesis between ‘leaving the soul’ and ‘dragging about the sick body’ will not bear to be pressed; but Virg. merely means to distinguish the dead from the dying.

[141] Sirius appears as the cause of pestilence as well as of drought 10. 274. So Apoll. R. 2. 516 foll., when Sirius is seen, prayers are put up against pestilence. ‘Sterilis’ is proleptic.

[142] Victum negabat G. 1. 149.

[143] Virg. was probably thinking, as Heyne suggests, of Achilles' speech Il. 1. 59 foll. ‘Remenso’ 2. 181.

[144] Veniam, a gracious answer to the questions which follow. See note on 1. 519.

[145] Quem, the more usual concord (comp. 1. 241), is supported by two of Ribbeck's cursives; but the weight or authority (Med., fragm. Vat., Nonius Marcellus v. ‘finis’) is in favour of ‘quam,’ which Heins. restored. See on 2. 554. ‘Fessis rebus’ 11. 335: comp. G. 4. 449 note. The expression is used also by Tac. A. 15. 50, Pliny 2. 7. ‘Ferat’ may either be ‘tell’ or ‘give’ (comp. “da” v. 85 note, and see on 7. 118). ‘Laborum auxilium’ like “belli auxilium” 8. 462.

[146] Temptari, the second reading of Med., found also in two other copies and (according to Ribbeck) the MSS. of Serv., might be supported from v. 61.

[147-191] ‘While I was thinking what to do, the Penates appeared to me by night, with a communication from Apollo, telling me that the real home of our race was Italy, whence Dardanus came. I inform my father, who admits his error, and remembers a similar prophecy by Cassandra. We set sail again.’

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