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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:
Quod Paris et Macareus et quod male gratus Iaso

Hippolytique parens Hippolytusque legant,
Quodque tenens strictum Dido miserabilis ensem

Dicat, et Aeoliae Lesbis amica lyrae.
Here Ovid enumerates nine epistles at least :
or ten, if we include, as I think we should, both
epistles to Jason, that of Hypsipyle, and that
of Medea. Accordingly, of the first twelve
epistles none have, I believe, ever been ques-
tioned except those which are believed not to
have been enumerated in the above list. The
genuine epistle of Sappho having perished,
there remain four which have been subjected to
scepticism. These are the letters of Briseïs, Her-
mione, Deianira, and Medea. The authenticity

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:

6

Quascumque aspicies lacrimae fecere lituras;

Sed tamen et lacrimae pondera vocis habent.
Sit mihi pauca queri de te dominoque viroque :

Fas est de domino pauca viroque queri.
Non ego poscenti quod sum cito tradita regi

Culpa tua est : quamvis haec quoque culpa tua est.
Nam simul Eurybates me Talthybuisque vocarunt

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

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Briseis.

epistle, a composition which appears to me
most thoroughly Ovidian, full of poetry and
spirit, and perhaps contains more beauty in
individual lines than any other of the Heroides.
The objection of Lachmann, grounded as it is
on a charge of want of poetic taste, will seem in-
conclusivein deed when the composition against
which it is urged contains such lines as these,
full of the true ring of poetry,

Vs. 45. Diruta marte tuo Lyrnesia moenia vidi.
Vs. 88. Et preme turbatos Marte favente viros.

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:

Vs. 93.

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

Orabat
superos

Leda
suumque

Iovem.

The second,

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.

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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

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1

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.
Qua duo porrectus longe freta distinet Isthmos,

Vecta peregrinis Hippodamia rotis.
Castori Amylcaeo et Amyclaeo Polluci

Reddita Mopsopia Taenaris urbe soror.
Taenaris Idaeo trans aequora ab hospite rapta

Argolicas pro se vertit in arma manus.
Vix equidem memini, memini tamen: omnia luctus

Omnia solliciti plena timoris erant.
Flebat avus Phoebeque soror fratresque gemelli

Orabat superos Leda suumque Iovem.
Ipsa ego non longos etiam tum scissa capillos

Clamabam 'sine me, me sine, mater, abis ?'
Nam coniunx aberat. Ne non Pelopeia credar

Ecce Neoptolemo praeda parata fui.
The portions italicised are probably spurious.
How is the uith line to be translated ? My
grandfather, and her sister Phoebe, is the
meaning, but the change of subject is not war-
ranted by the Latin. “Nam coniunx aberat'
means her husband was absent, and it ought
to mean my husband was absent. And where
do we find a picture of the rape of Helen simi-
lar to this one, the most ridiculous point in
which is perhaps the poor figure cut by the
weeping Dioscuri. With this tissue of absur-
dities compare what we know the poet to have

1 As I reject this passage as spurious, I must of course resign the introduction of

Phoebe as an argument in
favour of my emendation of

xii. 149.

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