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Editor’s Note8

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Editor’s Note
This soliloquy, one of the poems that Macaulay said he could not read without tears,1 is neither the record of some passing attachment to an unknown puella nor an extravaganza on the stock theme of the desperate lover. Here, as in 37. 12, the puella amata quantum amabitur nulla must be Lesbia—the phrase is echoed in two poems which speak of her by name (58. 2, 87. 1); the emotion is the poet's own and the utter simplicity of the words, only a hairsbreadth removed from conversational prose, is a guarantee of their sincerity. Lesbia has turned away from him and he is in despair. There is no suggestion that he has a rival; he thinks of what has happened as a disaster for both of them and pathetically turns from his own feelings to speak of what he has meant to her and what she has lost. Those who have found a difference of tone between the first part of the poem and the second have misconceived the situation: Catullus' appeal to himself to use his will is no more pathetic than his reminder to Lesbia of the past.
  The scazon or 'limping iambus' (ἴαμβος σκάζων‎ or χωλίαμβος‎), an iambic trimeter with a spondee in the sixth foot which gives a check to the rhythm at the end of each line, was invented by Hipponax in the 6th century b.c. for his satirical verses. Like Hipponax himself, the hellenistic poets who took up the metre—Callimachus (fr. 191 Pf.), Theocritus (Epig. 19), Herodas in his mimes—permitted a spondee in the fifth foot also: Catullus does not. Poems 22, 31, 37, 39, 44, 59, and 60 are in the same metre.
Editor’s Note
1 Trevelyan, Life of Macaulay, ch. 14: the others were 38 and 76.
Editor’s Note
1. Catulle : for the address to himself cf. 51. 13, 52, 76, 79: see on 68. 135.
Editor’s Note
desinas ineptire : 'you must stop being silly'. The jussive subjunctive addressed to a definite person (cf. 32. 7, 76. 14, 16), less peremptory than the imperative, is common in comedy but rare elsewhere; the exx. cited from Cicero's letters are illusory (see Sjögren, Eranos xvi [1916], 10 f.) or doubtful. ineptire has the implication of misconceiving the situation, being blind to facts (in Cicero's phrase, 'quid postulet tempus non uidere': see on ineptus, 12. 4). So in Terence ineptis is a retort to one who (like Catullus' other self here) is unwilling to take the advice actum ne agas (Ph. 420) or one who makes an unrealistic proposal (Ad. 934).
Editor’s Note
2. perisse perditum : the same proverbial expression in Plautus, Trin. 1026 'quin tu quod periit perisse ducis?'
Editor’s Note
3. soles : 'sunshine', the usual meaning of the plural: cf. Virg. Georg. i. 393 'ex imbri soles prospicere', ii. 332 'in nouos soles', Hor. Od. iv. 5. 8 'soles melius nitent', Ov. Tr. v. 8. 31 'si numeres anno soles et nubila toto'. candidus is 'bright' in both the literal and the figurative sense: Propertius has a striking use of the figurative sense, ii. 15. 1 'o me felicem, nox o mihi candida' (Horace has the converse, Sat. i. 9. 72 'huncine solem / tam nigrum surrexe mihi').
Critical Apparatus
8. 4 quo rmg: quod V
Editor’s Note
5. nobis : the illogical change of subject is natural enough: similarly Propertius has (ii. 8. 17–19) 'sic igitur prima moriere aetate, Properti? / sed morere, interitu gaudeat illa tuo. / exagitet nostros manes'.
Critical Apparatus
6 cum V: tum Rmg
Editor’s Note
6. ibi : temporal as in 63. 4, 48, 66. 33.
Editor’s Note
iocosa : For the lover's ioci cf. Hor. Ep. i. 6. 65 'sine amore iocisque / nil est iucundum', Ov. A.A. iii. 580 'miscenda est laetis rara repulsa iocis'.
Critical Apparatus
9 impotens r: inpote V (imp- X)
Critical Apparatus
noli om. V: add. Auantius
Editor’s Note
9. nunc iam : 'now it has come to this, that' is the force of the combination.
Editor’s Note
impotens : 'undisciplined', 'lacking in self-control'; cf. 4. 18, 35. 12.
Editor’s Note
noli : Avantius's supplement for the lacuna makes this line balance l. 7.
Editor’s Note
10. quae fugit sectare : cf. Theoc. 11. 75 τί τὸν φεύγοντα διώκεις‎;
Editor’s Note
miser uiue : For the colloquial use of uiuo as an emphatic equivalent of sum cf. 10. 33 n. 'molesta uiuis': so in comedy, Plaut. Men. 908 'edepol ne ego homo uiuo miser'.
Editor’s Note
11. perfer, obdura : Ovid has perfer et obdura three times (Am. iii. 11. 7, A.A. ii. 178, Tr. v. 11. 7), Horace persta atque obdura (Sat. ii. 5. 39).
Editor’s Note
13. rogabit : for rogare in this context cf. Ov. Am. i. 8. 43 'casta est quam nemo rogauit', A.A. i. 711 'ut potiare, roga: tantum cupit illa rogari'.
Editor’s Note
14. rogaberis nulla : 'you are not wooed at all'. There is no reason to suspect nulla: for this mainly colloquial use see on 17. 20. (Cic. has an example with a passive verb, as here, Cat. i. 16 'misericordia quae tibi nulla debetur'.) Rossberg's nullei (i.e. nulli), 'by no-one', introduces an irrelevant idea: Catullus is concerned only with himself and Lesbia.
Critical Apparatus
15 uae B. Venator: ne V
Editor’s Note
15. scelesta : 'unfortunate', as often in comedy: e.g. Plaut. Cist. 685 'ilicet me infelicem et scelestam', Most. 563 'ne ego sum miser, / scelestus, natus dis inimicis omnibus'. Both this and the common meaning 'wicked' are derived from a primitive religious use, 'accursed'; scelus is the taboo which an offence brings upon the doer, putting him outside the pale of his community. Plautus combines the two meanings in Asin. 475 'age, inpudice, / sceleste, non audes mihi scelesto subuenire'.
Editor’s Note
uae te : So Balthasar Venator for the ne te of V. The accusative with uae is very rare; and Fröhlich's ingenious quae te (uae tibi) manet is tempting; but Plaut. Asin. 481 uae te and Sen. Apoc. 4 uae me are enough to justify the accusative here. No other suggested emendation of the meaningless ne te is plausible. Postgate's anenti entirely misses the point; there is nothing here of Horace's 'audiuere di mea uota: fis anus' (Od. iv. 13. 1), no picture of the ageing coquette (as in Prop. iii. 25. 11–16 or Ov. A.A. iii. 69): Catullus' picture is of what life will be like for Lesbia now. Statius's nullam … noctem brings in the same irrelevant notion.
Editor’s Note
tibi manet : 'is certain, reserved, for you': cf. 76. 5 'multa parata manent … gaudia … tibi', Cic. Phil. ii. 11 'cuius tibi fatum sicut C. Curioni manet'.
Editor’s Note
16. bella : see on 3. 14.
Editor’s Note
17. cuius esse diceris? i.e. she will not be spoken of as 'Catullus' Lesbia' any more: cf. Prop. ii. 8. 6 'nec mea dicetur quae modo dicta mea est', Ov. Am. iii. 12. 5 'quae modo dicta mea est, quam coepi solus amare, / cum multis uereor ne sit habenda mihi'.
Critical Apparatus
18 cui X, cum O
Editor’s Note
19. at tu : As with at in 14 Catullus turns from himself to tell Lesbia what she is doing, so here with at he breaks off that thought and comes back to himself.
Editor’s Note
destinatus : 'be fixed and hold out': only here of a personal subject in the same sense as the normal obstinatus.
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