COMMENTARY NOTES

spacerTITLE PAGE As elsewhere, Hume signed himself Theagrius because Theager was his Latinization of the name he had given his country home, Godscroft (as he says in the Argument to Eclogue III), and Wedderburnensis to indicate the particular branch of Clan Home to which he belonged: he was not trying to stake some illegitimate claim to the title Baron Wedderburn, which belonged to his elder brother George.
spacerThe title page also contains a quotation, in Hebrew, of Genesis 49:9, “A lion’s whelp is Judah” and a Greek motto, ΤΟ ΕΧΩΘΕΝ, ΒΛΕΤΤΕΡΟΝ, which is meaningless since there is no such word as βλέττερον (or βλέτερον). The most obvious response is that this a printer’s error for τὸ ἔξωθεν βέλτερον (“the foreign is better”) and that it means that union with England is preferable to continued Scottish independence, and this may indeed be the proper solution. But one might expect this motto to be some kind of quotation, and it is not.

spacerIACOBO BRITANNIARUM ET GALLIARUM An vulgare quicquam, an mediocre putandum, cui te paret This sentence is difficult to understand and translate because it is not clear what its subject is. My guess is it is God.

spacerper te verum Herculem For the point of this comparison with Hercules, cf. Eclogue II.52 with the commentary note ad loc.

spacerqua nulla nunc per orbem miserabilior persona It is unusual to see pietas identified as a persona (and the word is not capitalized in the text). In order to avoid startling the Anglophone reader, in my translation I have toned this down to “quality.”

spacerhoc in marmore Throughout this work, marmor is used to designate the Stone of Scone upon which Scottish kings traditionally sat when they were crowned, as is made explicit in the allegorica expositio of Eclogue I (the stone in question is actually red sandstone). According to Upton (p. 276), “The implications of the lines [I.45f.] Quo te fata vocant, quo nobile marmor et ingens / Auguriis spes et mentis praesagia verae perhaps needed to be pointed out to an English audience, where the prophecies of Merlin and the legend of the Stone of Scone may have had less currency.”

spacerin Lamyriis aut Ocellis These are occasionally mentioned in the book, since they are nearby to Hume’s own residences at Godscroft and Gleneagles (see the Argument to Eclogue III).

spacertuae tamen Phyllidis  Phyllis appears in Eclogues III and IV as the personification of Scotland.

spacerPhyllida amo ante alias Vergil, Eclogue iii.78f.

spacerAD LIBRUM This author’s tactic of bidding a volume visit someone, usually with instructions how it should behave, can be traced back to such Martial epigrams as I.70, III.2, VII.84, and IX.99.
spacerThis poem is written in iambic trimeters.

spacer21 Hume presumably had in mind the discussion the relative value of native talent and acquired art at Horace, Ars Poetica 295 - 332.

spacerI.3 To the Romans the cypress was a symbol of mourning, and it was displayed at Roman funerals.

spacerI.43 Here and elsewhere the shepherd’s crook is an allegorical representative of the royal scepter.

spacerI.45 See the appropriate note on the dedicatory epistle prefacing this volume.

spacerI.49 Naturally enough, Hume uses the same image of the sheepfold to represent the kingdom repeatedly in Daphn-Amaryllis. He also uses it in the second tract of De Unione (p. 300/301): ...ut vestra opera, sub magno illo pastore, domi sarta tecta sit, reparatis undique ruinis, utraque illa caula, Britannica, Christiana [“to bring about, by your effort and under the governance of the great shepherd, the rebuilding of Christ’s church with ruins restored in every corner of the kingdom, and to create one single British and Christian sheepfold.”]

spacerI.58 In antiquity, purple dye was supplied by Phoenicia.

spacerI.65 Pales (sometimes but not always regarded as a female deity) was the Roman god of shepherds, flocks, and livestock.

spacerI.78ff. It is not obvious what is supposed to be potentially displeasing about these quite ordinary dactylic hexameters.

spacerI.82 Atropos was one of the three Moirae, or goddesses of fate.

spacerADMONITIO AD INTELLIGENDAM 2 ata vos There is no such Latin (or, for that matter, Greek) word as ata. It would appear to be a exclamation of woe. Atavos would appear to make no sense in the present context.

spacerALLEGORICA EXPOSITIO 5 ad anni eam tempestatem Elizabeth died sometime during the night of March 23/24, 1623. The allusion is to the season of the year when that occurred.

spacer5 sive aetimologia Philomela means “music-loving.”

spacer5 Vide Virgil., in Geor. Cf. Vergil, Georgics I.375f.:

Aëriae fugere grues, aut bucula caelum
Suspiciens patulis captauit naribus auras.

spacer6 Siquidem a Troianis oriundos incolas Because Britain was supposed to have been first settled by Brutus and his band of refugees from the Trojan War according to the legend popularized by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

spacer6 qui ad Francionem genus suum referunt According to a very similar legend, France was founded by the Trojan refugee Francion.

spacer6 a quibus nostri suum Gathelum, unde Fergusius Hector Boece (whose Scotorum Historia Hume always accepted as gospel) passed on, if he did not actually invent, a tradition that the Scottish people could trace their ancestry back to a certain Greek named Gathelus, a contemporary of Moses who first migrated to Egypt and then led a band of colonists who, after a series of adventures, settled in Ireland. Later King Fergus I led their descendants over to Ireland. This tradition can be read in the first eleven chapters of Boece’s Book I.

spacer6 sive poetarum “Hume surely refers to the huge amount of prophetic poetry about James (Buchanan, Adamson, and Craig each wrote a Genethliacon at his birth), as well as the popular Galfridian prophecy (outstandingly Thomas the Rhymer’s) that was applied to him”: Arthur Williamson to D. F. S., referencing McGinnis and Williamson, The Political Poetry of George Buchanan, (Edinburgh, 2002) pp. 51 - 3.

spacer6 apud Ioannem Maiorem Hume’s memory seems to have deceived him: this couplet is not quoted in John Mair’s Historia Maioris Britannia tam Angliae quam Scotiae (Paris, 1521), but it is quoted by Hector Boece, Scotorum Historia X.54.

spacer7 ut ait ille Cf. Francisus Haemus, In Nicolaum Coclitem vulgo dictum Buuz, Proditorem Scelestissimum (based on Aeneid I.568, nec tam aversus equos Tyria sol iungit ab urbe). This can be read in Poemata Francisci Haemi: Iam tertiò in lucem edita (Coutrai, 1630) p. 204, and, presumably, also in earlier editions of this same collection.

spacerSic signatum a maximo poeta I. e., some readers interpreted Mopsus’ lament for the slain Daphnis in Vergil’s fifth Eclogue as a lament for Julius Caesar.

spacer8 iam sua vendicat Daphnis Again, the springtime imagery in this passage is appropriate because James came to the throne at the beginning of spring 1603.

spacer8 mutavit typographus in fascinum Although fascinum (“bewitchment, witchcraft”) is the common form (neuter nouns of the first declension have their vocative in -um), Hume treated it as a masculine fascinus, and defends his choice by pointing to similar usages in the works of Julius Caesar Scaliger [1484 - 1558], one of the leading Latinists and Humanistic scholars of the sixteenth century: besides one or two unspecified lines in Scaliger’s collection of bucolic poetry Nymphae Indigenae, he cites Poetices libri septem (n. s., 1561) p. 318. “Presumably his initial impulse for pesonifying the word and giving it a masculine gender came from Virgil’s Catalepton xiii.20”: Upton p. 274.

spacer9 de qua recte poeta Horace, Ars Poetica 173.

spacer9 Quod si Pana illum magna meminimus I. e., if we remember that “great Pan is dead” and has been replaced by Christ (Protestants liked to think they were restoring the purity of the primitive Church).

spacer9 ut ait maximus ille poeta Vergil, Aeneid XII.414f.

spacer10 Virgilius Eclogue ix.14.

spacer10 lippis et tonsoribus notum Taken from Horace, Sermones I.vii.3.

spacer10 Quis item aquiliae insignibus maxime insignis? The answer is of course the Holy Roman Emperor (although in the Argument to Eclogue II Hume voices the hope that he and the various Catholic princes of Germany might someday be converted to Protestantism.

spacerARGUMENTUM II.1 si forte olitor in opportuna incidat Hume was thinking of the proverb saepe etiam est olitor valde opportuna locutus [“Often even a vegetable-gardener has spoken timely things”]: cf. Erasmus, Adagiorum Chiliades I.vi.1.

spacer1 NEMO IMPUNE LACESSAT Nemo me impune lacessit was the time-honored heraldic motto of the Kings of Scots.

spacer1 tanquam typum aliquem Developed out of Christian typology (in which features in the Old Testament are read as prefigurations of people and events in the New Testament), a “type” is something which allegorically prefigures something else: in this case, the emblematic lion prefigures King James and the newly-founded Great Britain.

spacer2 Tantum erigere Erigere as employed here a fine example of the fact (which they never told us in Latin class) that, like Greek, Latin has a middle voice as well as active and passive ones: translate “arouse yourself.” Note that James is to rear up, just like the emblematic lion does.

spacer2 Cedent continuo caetera prospere Hume quotes George Buchanan’s paraphrase of Psalm LXXX, line 10.

spacerII.11 See the relevant note on Allegorica Expositio 6.

spacerII.39 See Lewis and Short’s Latin dictionary, s. v. crista i, “Prov.: illi surgunt cristae, his crest rises, he carries his head high, i. e. he is conceited, Juv. 4, 70,” except that here there is no implication of conceit.

spacerII.53 Rursus because Hume remembers the so-called Babylonian Captivity when the Holy See was removed to Avignon.

spacerII.54 For the designation of the Scots as Fergusides see the appropriate note on Allegorica Expositio 6. Cacus was a cannibalistic giant, a son of Vulcan, who lived in a cave on the Palatine Hill, until Hercules came by and killed him (Vergil, Aeneid VIII.185 - 275, Livy I.vii.3, Ovid, Fasti I.543 - 86, etc.). For a Protestant, it was easy to equate Cacus with the Pope (Hume also does so at Henrici Principis Iusta 195ff., and for another Scottish poem where the Pope seems to be identified as Cacus, see Alexander Yule's 1606 Descriptio Horrendi Parricidii, line 190, with the commentary note ad loc.). Cf. also the second tract of De Unione, p. 300/301:

An sit autem magnum quicquam agendi per orbem materia, et novo Herculi, quae perimat, monstra, ac propagandae iustitiae et pietatis lata area, sarta tecta reddenda, aut plane restituenda ecclesia, stante Tarpeiis in collibus aduc seu Caco, seu Cerbero [There’s no doubt that much remains to be done on God’s behalf: evils to banish from the world the like of which Hercules overcame, and lands far and wide for propagating justice and piety. The church needs to be repaired or entirely restored. There’s Cacus, or should I say Cerberus, still standing in the papal dominions.”]

spacerII.44 “The reference to Hector and Achilles seeks to integrate the conflicting medieval Scottish and English origin myths: England founded by Brutus of Troy, Scotland by Gathelus of Athens. James derives from both these figures and thus scotches the ancient antagonism. Hume, Melville, Buchanan (and their English compatriots) did not really accept these stories; they comprised imaginative groundplots. But if they were denigrated or belittled, strong feelings still arose. Hume’s point is to create a genuinely British vision and a genuinely British eschatological agenda.” (Arthur Williamson to D. F. S.).

spacerII.56ff. Having, with the help of France, the princelings of Germany, and, ideally, a Protestant Holy Roman Emperor, defeated the Catholic states of Europe, James may now turn his attention further afield: in antiquity, Maeotia was the region to the north of the Black Sea, Ceraunia was a portion of modern Albania, and Scythia was a vague reason encompassing parts of Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the northern Caucasus. Translated into contemporary terms, James will be free to redirect his international crusade against the Ottoman Empire, which had greatly expanded under the leadership of Selim I in the early sixteenth century. This idea resurfaces in Epigram 6.

spacerII.63f. As a sidenote advertises, Agrius is the now-deceased George Buchanan (the poetarum sui aeve facile princeps, as the title pages of the various collections of his verse never tire in reminding us), and Melleus is doubtless Hume’s friend, the Presbyterian firebrand and poet Andrew Melville, who he adjudges to be “next to the prince”). Melleus references Andrew Melville, the honeyed one, a standard play on his name. H. wants A. M. to complete the Gathelus, the great Scotto-Britannic epic that both identifies British mission and the cataclysmic realization of human destiny, human liberation. The poem will overshadow Virgil and the Roman imperial era that has culminated in the papacy.” (Arthur Williamson to D. F. S., see also p. 277).

spacerII.65 See the appropriate note on Allegorica Expositio 6.

spacerII.81 James had chronic trouble controlling the Highlanders, whom he regarded as anarchistic, violent, and culturally backward As an example of Highland lawlessness, Hume refers to the 1603 event which led to the outlawry of Clan MacGregor, the Battle of Glen Fruin, in which, with the assistance of Clan Graham, they inflicted a decisive defeat on Clan Colquhoun (this royal sentence was so serious that it was not revoked until 1774). The Chaonians were a Greek tribe who lived a remote northern part of Epirus, and Hume regarded them as an ancient equivalent of a Scottish Highland clan.

spacerII.84 In Hume’s vocabulary Ierna means Strathearn (it is repeatedly so used by George Buchanan in his 1582 Rerum Scoticarum Historia), not Ireland.

spacerII.86 “Narcissus, I believe, references the inward-looking, anti-political Stoicism of Montaigne and Lipsius. Quite the opposite of Buchanan, and by 1600 a central element in the struggle with the Counter-Reformation.” (Arthur Williamson to D. F. S.).

spacerADMONITIO DE ECHO 2 Eae sunt primo in lucem exoriri It is hard to see what Hume is talking about, since in all editions line 15 reads Lucem exoriri, quae semper maxima, semper, a perfectly normal hexameter, without the problematic In.
spacerAccording to (pp. 275f.), “The introduction of an echo, repeating the final syllable or syllables of the protagonist’s lines and thereby creating his own meaning, was not an uncommon feature of pastoral. Sidney had written such a poem for the Arcadia. Hume uses this device both in ‘Philomela,’ the first eclogue, and in the second, ‘Alphesiboeus,’ and recommends that it should be read before or after the poem. Such advice implies, as is indeed the case, that the echo plays no integral part in the poem, nor do his replies interact with the main narrative. In fact the echo works as a verbal acrostich, providing a subsequent message to that of the eclogue. That this device is not entirely successful is intimated by Hume’s explanation of it. The tenuous iambic rhythm that runs through it required a lengthy justification.”

spacer2 Altera est secunda in Caledoniae Again, why bother to say this? In all editions the full form Caledonia is always used. To be sure, the correpted form is found twice in Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (II.75 and III.66), but the likeliest explanation for this substitution would appear to be that these readings were introduced under the influence of the present statement.

spacerARGUMENTUM III.1 Demum is used to mark the last item on a list. The was appropriate in the 1604 Edinburgh edition, but when he added Eclogue IV for the 1605 London ones Hume forgot to remove it. Upton (pp. 277 - 9) writes “[This eclogue’s] theme is the court bravely singing in the face of the departure of its own Apollo, or king of poets. It will not have escaped the reader that face of the departure of its own Apollo, or king of poets. It will not have escaped the reader that this subject tacitly reflects the previous theme, that of the Scottish latinists deserted by their Princeps Poetarum. Moeris, representing Hume himself, is persuaded by Lycidas to add his voice to the chorus of those eulogizing the king, who appears as Daphnis. As the names of the participants may indicate, Hume’s eclogues, like many of the period, actively engage with their model, the Bucolics of Vergil, and must be read in conjunction with that work...It may be that Andrew Melville is again implied in the portrayal of Lycidas. Melville had achieved notable success with his Στεφανίσκιον of 1590 and the Principis Scoto-Britannorum Natalia on the birth of Prince Henry. Since that time he had been significantly silent on royal occasions. If he had been planning some celebration of the accession, it may that he had been waiting upon some kind of reconciliation with the King. In a letter associated with the publication of Moeris, Melville had looked to Hume to influence matters in London.”

spacer2 Sunt autem hic rex et saxa virorum propria The allusion is to two contemporary Scottish poets. One is Alexander Craig of Rosecraig [d. 1627], whose works are itemized in Michael R. G. Spiller’s article in the O. D. N. B. A sidenote on line 69 contributed by Hume’s son James for the 1639 Paris edition states that the other allusion is to a certain General King “frequently mentioned in the Gazette.” The only possible candidate who comes to mind is Sir James King Lord Eythin, but Lord Eythin was only sixteen years old when the London edition of Daphn-Amaryllis was published, and anyway ill accords with the following words qui serenissimum regem nuper canentes et se et illum honorarunt, which indicate a poet rather than a soldier, and so can be discounted. But son James’ annotations are sometimes erroneous, and it is highly likely that Hume was alluding to a second Scottish poet, Adam King, who wrote, inter alia, the 1601 Ad Iacobum Sextum Scotorum Regem a Nefaria Fratrum Ruvenorum Coniuratione divinitus servatum SOTERIA, available in The Philological Museum (for a list of his other works see here).

spacer2 Latina etymologia I. e., the name is derived from maereo (“I grieve”).

spacer2 quo pascentium ovium dentes inaurari dicuntur For this tradition see the Scotorum Regni Descriptio prefacing Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historia, § 25.

spacer2 in provincia Marciae In Lusus Poetici Hume sometimes uses Mercia to denote, not ancient Mercia, but rather the region of the Merse (roughly equivalent to Berwickshire). Here, presumably to avoid confusion, he writes Marcia.

spacer2 est Val-aquila, vulgo Glen-eglis John Haldane, Baron of Gleneagles [d. 1591], had been married to Hume’s sister Isobel. After her death, he married Barbara Johnstone, and when he died Hume himself married Barbara. On the showing of the words ipsius nunc habitaculum it would appear that on Haldane’s death she received his home as part of her inheritance, so that it became a second residence for our poet.

spacer2 authore Boethio See the Scotorum Regni Descriptio prefacing Hector Boece’s Scotorum Historia, § 17.

spacerIII.23 See the note on I.43.

spacerIII.28 Regarding the identify of Menalcas, Upton (p. 218) wrote “I would suggest that the compliment is intended for [Alexander] Melville’s colleague at St. Mary’s, John Johnston. The latter had published two sequences of epigrams which happily coincided with the succession, and were well received both at court and in his own circle.”

spacerIII.41 As indicated by a sidenote, the allusion is to James’ 1591 epic poem Lepanto, in which a fleet of the Holy League under the command of John of Austria, the illegitimate son of the Emperor Charles V, inflicted a severe defeat on the Turks, in 1571.

spacerIII.44 Clarius was a cult title of Apollo.

spacerIII.55 Thymbrius = Thymbraeus, another cult title of Apollo.

spacerIII.57 “Daphnis has become a conflation of James and Prince Henry (hence the continual references to ‘divine boy’ and his prospective marriage). Reformers in Scotland and England looked to the young Henry rather than his father, and in many ways the entire D.-A. is actually addressed to him.” (Arthur Williamson to D. F. S.).

spacerIII.70 Aonian = Boeotian (Boeotia was the home of Helicon and the Muses).

spacerIII.90f. The leopards on the English royal coat of arms, the French lily, and the Irish harp. “Thus the poem reflects James’ reconstruction of the royal arms of England to incluide the symbols of Scotland and Ireland. Naturally Hume, as a Scot, sees the lion of Scotland as dominant among them.” (Upton p. 285).

spacerIII.95 For the Crawford see the note on Lusus Poetici 16.63.

spacerIII.98ff. Hume’s implied model here is Virgil’s fifth eclogue, in which two shepherds tell of the death of another Daphnis. Mopsus’ song is an exercise in pathetic fallacy, the effect of loss on the sublunary pastoral world. This essentially unproductive (because unfulfilled) image is replaced by Menalcas’ vision of the apotheosis of the shepherd...By the time of Servius, Virgil’s poem was thought to be a lament for Julius Caesar. Hume’s choice of name is no accident, for this latter day Daphnis is also potentially dead, as far as Scotland is concerned.” Upton p. 290.

spacerIII.105 A sidenote says “Any old man or woman, by synecdoche. So too below.”

spacerIII.115 Either assurgat is being used as a transitive verb or we should read assurgant.

spacerIII.124 A sidenote says “Any other land, for example Italy, France, or India.”

spacerIII.129 “Phyllis as variously ‘dark’ references the commonplace identification of Scotus with the Greek skotos, meaning dark, primitive, desolate. Scots were much exercised about the possibility of creating a cultured, civilized society so far in the north. See Williamson, “Scot, Indians, and Empire: the Scottish Politics of Civilization,” in Past and Present (1996) and elsewhere. It’s a big issue at the outset of Buchanan’s De jure regni.” (Arthur Williamson to D. F. S.)

spacerIII.147 A side note says “Any serving-girl you care to mention.”

spacerIII.170 Hume was evidently some sort of child prodigy at Latin versification, as he also tells us in the first Elegy in Lusus Poetici (addressed to his former schoolmaster) Below he provides a sample of a poem written at age fourteen.

spacerIII.178 Both the mention of the buskin here and that of winning a goat below indicate Hume is prepared to write some kind of play celebrating James’ triumphs (although it is a little difficult to imagine what its subject might have been).

spacerIII.194 The Ismarus was a mountain river in Thrace, and Rhodope is a mountain range in the same country. The Thracian Getae and the Scythian Geloni were two notoriously savage tribes in antiquity.

spacerIII.199f. Rhadamanthus and Minos were two famous Cretan judges in mythology, and Cnossos was the capital of Crete.

spacerIV.1 See the note on I.65.

spacerIV.4 Momus was a caustic critic who appears in a couple of Lucian's satrical dialogues. Cf. Vergil, Eclogue vii.26, invidia rumpantur ut ilia Codro (for the idiom cf. also Catullus xi.20).

spacerIV.17f. According to various passages of ancient literature, Astraea, the Roman goddess of Justice, quit the earth in disgust at human wickedness. Cf., for example, Ovid, Metamorphoses I.149f.:

Victa iacet pietas, et virgo caede madentis
Ultima caelestum terras Astraea reliquit.

spacerIV.21 See the appropriate note on the dedicatory epistle prefacing this volume.

spacerIV.45ff. “References Henry VIII and the Treaty of Greenwich (1543) which arranged for Edward VI to marry Princess Mary, the hugely influential epistle of the Protector Somerset (1548), and more generally the war that came to be known as the ‘Rough Wooing.’” (Arthur Williamson to D. F. S.)

spacerIV.70 Moly (mandrake?) was the herb given Odysseus by Hermes as a means of subduing Circe in the Odyssey.

spacerIV.73 Terminus was the Roman god of borders and boundaries. There appears to be an allusion here to the fencing of common land.

spacerIV.77 Hymen was the Roman god of weddings.

 

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