[554-570] ‘Aeneas was sleeping, ready to sail in the morning, when Mercury appeared to him again, and warned him that if he did not depart at once, Dido in her desperation would attack and fire his ships.’
 In Hom. (Il. 24. 347 foll., Od. 10. 277 foll.) Hermes appears in the form of a young man, πρῶτον ὑπηνήτῃ, τοῦπερ χαριεστάτη ἥβη. ‘Iuventa’ Med., fragm. Vat. The old reading, ‘iuventae’ (Pal., Gud.), would involve a less usual, though possibly admissible, construction. Ribbeck adopts it.
 Perhaps imitated from Il. 2. 20., 23. 69.
 Circumstent te was the reading before Heins. ‘Deinde’ apparently means ‘after this time,’ so that the expression may be regarded as a condensed one for “quae te circumstent pericula, deinde eruptura,” or something of the kind.
 He was blind to two things,—his danger, and the favourable opportunity for flight.
 There is nothing of this in the speech we have just heard from Dido; but her thoughts were moving fast, and she may now have been harbouring those plans of revenge which breathe through the violent outpouring that succeeds, vv. 490 foll. ‘Versare dolos’ occurs 2. 62 (note), apparently in not quite the same sense.
 “‘Certa mori’ is added not in order to inform Aeneas of Dido's intended suicide, but to magnify the danger to him from a woman who, being determined to die, would not be prevented by regard for self-preservation from attempting any act, no matter how reckless and desperate.” Henry. ‘Certus’ with inf. occurs in later poets, Ovid, Lucan, Val. Flaccus. ‘Variosque irarum concitat aestus’ fragm. Vat. (which has ‘aestu’), Pal., Gud. The common reading ‘varioque irarum fluctuat aestu’ (Med. &c.) seems a recollection of v. 532 above, a kind of error to which Med. is especially prone. Comp. 1. 668., 6. 806 &c.
 The present is more graphic than the future, Mercury asking Aeneas why his flight is not already begun. Comp. the use of ‘quin’ with the indicative present. ‘Praecipitare’ is virtually a repetition of ‘fugis praeceps.’ For the construction with ‘potestas’ see on G. 1. 213. Fragm. Vat. originally had ‘in’ for ‘hinc.’
 Trabibus are clearly the Carthaginian vessels, not, as Gossrau thinks, the planks and fragments of the Trojan fleet. See v. 593 below. With ‘saevas conlucere faces’ comp. 1. 525, “prohibe infandos a navibus ignis.”
 ‘Fervĕre’ G. 1. 456.
 Semper generalizes the sentiment, as in the counter proverb in English, ‘Men were deceivers ever.’ With the neuter comp. E. 3. 80, “Triste lupus stabulis,” where however there is no contempt intended, as here there evidently is.
[571-583] ‘Aeneas at once rouses his men, who put to sea forthwith.’