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nihil occurs nowhere else in Ovid, with both Sappho. syllables shortened, besides xix. 170. Cf. Trist. v. 8, 2.] Such are the arguments, which appear to me decisive, against the authenticity of the last seven epistles: if cause has been shown for their rejection it will not be matter of regret, but of satisfaction, and Ovid will be vindicated from the charge of having produced a mass of prolix and tedious stuff which has little merit beyond smooth versification.
In Am. II. xviii. 21, seqq. Ovid enumerates Ovid's most of the genuine Heroides. He does not,
He does not, Enumerahowever, profess to give a complete list, and yet this is tacitly assumed by those who impugn the epistles not here enumerated.
Aut quod Penelopes verbis reddatur Ulixi,
Scribimus, et lacrimas, Phylli relicta, tuas:
Hippolytique parens Hippolytusque legant,
Dicat, et Aeoliae Lesbis amica lyrae.
Lachmann's of all these has been questioned by no less a peropinions.
sonage than Lachmann,' of whose opinion Merkel says that it is ‘nulla membranarum auctori
tate inferius,' an extravagant compliment. Briseis. The third epistle is not absolutely rejected by
Lachmann, and the grounds of his objection to it are trivial in the extreme. He asks . quis unquam puerilius in eodem schemate quater repetendo perstitit quam hic poeta, qui ita scripserit in epistola Briseïdos ? 3-10:
Quascumque aspicies lacrimae fecere lituras;
Sed tamen et lacrimae pondera vocis habent.
Fas est de domino pauca viroque queri.
Culpa tua est : quamvis haec quoque culpa tua est.
Eurybati data sum Talthybioque comes.
The epanalepsis in these lines is, it is true, offensive, but it is made more remarkable than it really is by Lachmann's adopting a false reading of 5, 6, and although when the blemish is pointed out, it is apparent, yet most readers, even careful readers of Ovid, will peruse the lines in question without perceiving it. Such as it is, this is the only objection which Lachmann has brought against the
epistle, a composition which appears to me
Vs. 45. Diruta marte tuo Lyrnesia moenia vidi.
Fratribus orba Devovit nati spemque caputque parens, or that truly fine line,
Vs. 106. Qui bene pro patria cum patriaque iacent, the effect of which on a poetic mind is equal and similar to that produced by the first two lines of Collins' Ode:
How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest! The next epistle whose claims to its place are Hermione. canvassed by Lachmann, is the eighth. Lachmann condemns it altogether as spurious. His condemnation rests exclusively on metrical grounds derived from two lines : v. 71, 78.
The first is
Castori Amyclaeo et Amyclaeo Polluci. The objection to the first line is the shortening of the final syllable of Leda. Lachmann ob
Hermione. serves that Ovid wrote Lede, and always
lengthened the final syllable of feminine nominatives of Greek proper names of the first declension. Accordingly he condemns, and condemns rightly, as not from the pen of Ovid, Her. xvii. 150:
Et quasdam voces rettulit Aethra mihi.
His objection to the second line is, chiefly, the elision at the end of Castori. Ovid, he urges, never elides a long vowel at the end of a dactyl. [In connexion with this subject, Lachmann remarks that Ovid never allowed a dissyllable forming an iambus, ending in a vowel, to precede another word beginning with a vowel. Şo Her. xvii. 97 is not Ovidian : ‘Disce meo exemplo formosis posse carere.' Nor is Am. II. xix. 20: ·Saepe time insidias, saepe rogata nega,' where, as Lachmann remarks, time insidias' is nonsense. Perhaps we should read there 'saepe tamen sedeas': cf. Prop. III. V. 14: Nec mihi ploranti lenta sedere potest' ; sedere was a vox amatoria opposed to venire. And the old reading in Trist. ii. 295, “Stat. Venus ultori iuncta viro ante fores' 'multis nominibus absurdum est.']
I agree with Lachmann that vv.71 and 78, if genuine, are enough to condemn the eighth epistle, but they are in my opinion spu
The rule, however, is not absolute. In Am. ii. 442, we have ‘Leda fuit nigra con
spicienda coma,' a passage where Lachmann wished to change 'Leda' to 'Lyda.'
rious. I must give the passage at length; it Hermione. has been certainly grossly interpolated.
Non ego fluminei referam mendacia cygni
Nec querar in plumis delituisse Iovem.
Vecta peregrinis Hippodamia rotis.
Reddita Mopsopia Taenaris urbe soror.
Argolicas pro se vertit in arma manus.
Omnia solliciti plena timoris erant.
Orabat superos Leda suumque Iovem.
Clamabam 'sine me, me sine, mater, abis ?'
Ecce Neoptolemo praeda parata fui.
1 As I reject this passage as spurious, I must of course resign the introduction of
Phoebe as an argument in