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CATULLUS. Flourished B.C. 54. He was born at Verona, and in early life removed to Rome, where his poetry and wit caused him to be held in high estimation. With the exception of Martial, he is the most celobrated of the Latin Epigrammatists.

The numbering of the epigrams varies in different editions of Catullus. The one to which reference is made is that of Doering, Londini, 1820.

Translated in The Works of Petronius Arbiter, &c., translated by

several hands.1714.
Juventia, might I kiss those eyes,

That such becoming sweetness dart,
The numbers might to thousands rise,

Yet be too few to satisfy my heart;
A heart no surfeit would allow,

E'en though the harvest of our kisses were
More thick than what succeeds the plough,

And speaks the blessings of the fruitful year.
It was formerly the custom to kiss the eyes as a mark of tenderness.
In Chaucer's “ Troilus and Cresseide we have:

Thus Troilus full oft her eyen two

Gan for to kisse, Steevens, in his notes to Shakespeare's “Winter's Tale," mentions au old MS. play of “ Timon of Athens,” in which the same expression

O Juno! be not angry with thy Jove,

But let me kisse thine eyes, my sweete delight. There is another epigram by Catullus very similar to this, and Hartial has closely imitated them in Book VI. Ep. 34.


she no spouse

but me



Translated by George Lamb.
My Fair

Would wed, though Jove himself were he,

but I deem
That what the fair to lovers swear
Should be inscribed upon the air,

Or in the running stream.
The original of this may be a Greek epigram by Xenarchus, who
flourished B.c. 350 ; thus translated by Cumberland in the “ Observer,"
No. 106:

Ah, faithless women! when you swear

I register your oaths in air. There are many imitations of the epigram of Catullus. In the“ Diana," a pastoral romance by George de Monte-Mayor, a Spanish writer, born in the early part of the 16th century, are some lines on a false mistress, who had deceived her lover after writing her eternal vows on the sandy margin of a river:

No prudent doubt fond love allows,

We act as he commands :
I trusted to a woman's vows,

Though written on the sands. The old English poet, Sir Edward Sherburne, has an epigram called "The Broken Faith":

Lately by clear Thames's side
Fair Lycoris I espied,
With the pen of her white hand
These words printing on the sand :

None Lycoris doth approve
But Mirtillo for her love."
Ah, false nymph! those words were fit
In sand only to be writ:
For the quickly rising streams
Of oblivion and the Thames,
In a little moment's stay
From the shore wash'd clean away
What thy hand had there impress'd,

And Mirtillo from thy breast. Phineas Fletcher, the author of the “Purple Island,” has some stanzas “On Woman's Lightness,” of which the following is the first :

Who sows the sand ? or ploughs the easy shore ?
Or strives in nets to prison in the wind ?
Yet I, (fond I), more fond, and senseless more,
Thought in sure love a woman's thoughts to bind.


Fond, too fond thoughts, that thought in love to tie

One more inconstant than inconstancy! In“ Wiťs Interpreter ; the English Parnassus " (3rd edit. 1671, p. 275), there is an epigram of similar character, but with the metaphor varied :

A woman may be fair, and her mind,
Is as inconstant as the wavering wind :
Venus herself is fair, and shineth far,

Yet she's a planet, and no fixed star. A curious allegorical description of the brevity of renown may be given here, as cognate to the preceding epigrams. Lord Chatham is believed to be the subject of the lines:

Let his monument be the world,
And let that world be a bubble ;
And let Fame, in the character of a shadow,
Write his trophies on the air.


Translated in Select Epigrams,” 1797.
That I love thee, and yet that I hate thee, I feel;

Impatient, thou bid'st me my reasons explain :
I tell thee, nor more for my life can reveal,

That I love thee, and hate thee-and tell it with pain. Martial has an epigram (Book I. 33) on dislike without reason, which is well known in the English parody by Tom Brown (Brown's Works, 1760, IV. 100):

I do not love thee, Dr. Fell,
But why I cannot tell ;
But this I know full well,

I do not love thee, Dr. Fell. Dr. John Fell was Bishop of Oxford, and Dean of Christ Church in the reigns of Charles II. and James II. Tom Brown, of facetious memory, being sentenced to expulsion from Christ Church for some irregularity, was offered pardon by the Dean if he could translate extempore Martial's epigram, which he immediately did in the form given above, probably very much to the Dean's astonishment.

Another epigram by Martial (Book XII. 47), on the difficulty of arriving at a conclusion with respect to a companion, is translated by Addison, in the “ Spectator,” No. 68:

In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
Thou’rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow ;
Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
There is no living with thee, nor without thee.


Translated by Elton.
Quintia is beauteous in the million's eye;

Yes, beauteous in particulars, I own:
Fair-skinn'a, straight-shaped, tall-sized : yet I deny

A beauteous whole : of charmingness there's none :
In all that height of figure there is not
A seasoning spice of that-1 know not what;
That piquant something, grace without a name;
But Lesbia's air is charming as her frame;
Yes-Lesbia, beauteous in one graceful whole,

From all her sex their single graces stole. Shakespeare, in “The Tempest,” makes Ferdinand compare the perfect beauty of Miranda with other women, whose beauty was in one respect or another defective (Act III. sc. 1):

For several virtues
Have I lik'd several women; never any
With so full soul, but some defect in her
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd,
And put it to the foil : but you, O you,
So perfect, and so peerless, are created

Of every creature's best. The prominent idea of the epigram, that beauty without grace"that piquant something"-cannot give entire satisfnction, is well expressed by Capito, a Greek epigrammatist, in the following distich (Jacobs II. 183), the only epigram ascribed to him by Jacobs. The translatiou is by Dr. Wellesley:

Beauty devoid of grace, is but a bait
Without its hook; and fails to captivate.


(Ep. 96).

Translated by Elton.
If ere in human grief there breathe a spell

To charm the silent tomb, and soothe the dead ;
When soft regrets on past affections dwell,

And o'er fond friendships lost, our tears are shed;

Sure, a less pang must touch Quintilia's shade,

While hov’ring o'er her sad, untimely bier,
Than keen-felt joy that spirit pure pervade,

To witness that her Calvus held her dear.

So, Shakespcare in his 30th Sonnet:

When to the sessions of sweet, silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's wasto :
Then can I drown an eye, unus'il to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since cancell'd woe,

And moan the expence of many a vanish'd sight. It appears that Calvus showed his love for Quintilia by writing a monody to her memory, which has not been preserved. Propertius alludes to it:

The soft expression Calvus' page betrays,

Who mourn'd Quintilia's death in pitying lays. In " Notes and Queries," 1st S. V. 361, a translation of a Latiu epitaph is given, inscribed on the monument of a husband by a truly mourning wife. It is in the church of S. Giles, Cripplegate, to the memory of William Staples, citizen of London, who died in 1650 :

That heaven's thy home, I grieve not, soul most dear;
I grieve but for myself, the lingerer here.


Translated by Elton,
Slow faring on,

o'er many a land and sea,
Brother! I come to thy sad obsequy:
The last fond tribute to the dead impart,
And call thee, speechless ashes as thou art,
Alas ! in vain! since fate has ravish'd thee,
E'en thee, thyself, poor brother! torn from me
By too severe a blow ; let this be paid,
This right of ancestry, to soothe thy shade;
Let this, all bathed in tears, my friendship tell,
And oh! for ever! bless thee, and farewell !

This beautiful dirge, so pathetic and so grand, is alone sufficient to stamp Catullus as a true poet; and it is painful to remember that he

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