Thursday, August 18, 2016


Maid of All Work

James Henry (1798-1876), Aeneidea, or Critical, Exegetical, and Aesthetical Remarks on the Aeneis, Vol. III (Dublin: Printed for the Trustees of the Author, 1881), pp. 39-40 (on 5.118):
Ingens is our author's maid of all work—cook, slut, and butler at once. No sooner has Ingens put her hand to CHIMAERAM, than she has to turn and give a lift to MOLE; hardly has she despatched "Lausum," 10.842, or "Murranum," 12.639, when she has to attend to "vulnere" of each. It is Ingens who is put in requisition, 11.641, for Herminius's "animis," Ingens for Herminius's "corpore et armis." Aeneas's fame is nothing without Ingens; without Ingens Aeneas's arms, nothing, 11.124: "O fama ingens ingentior armis." Seville's famous barber was never busier: it is Ingens here, Ingens there, everywhere Ingens. Scarce a hero in the Aeneid but has something for Ingens to do. Sarpedon calls Ingens, 1.133, "ubi ingens Sarpedon"; Periphas calls Ingens, 2.476, "una ingens Periphas"; Polyphemus calls Ingens, 3.658, "monstrum informe ingens"; Entellus calls Ingens, 5.423, "atque ingens media consistit arena"; Bitias calls Ingens, 9.709, "clipeum super intonat ingens"; Pandarus calls Ingens, 9.735, "tum Pandarus ingens"; and repeats the call, 11.369, "et Pandarus ingens"; Turnus calls Ingens, 12.926:
                                           ... "incidit ictus
ingens ad terram duplicato poplite Turnus."
Aeneas calls Ingens until both he and she may well be tired, as 10.578:
"haud tulit Aeneas tanto fervore furentes;
irruit, adversaque ingens apparuit hasta."
"haec ubi dicta dedit, portis sese extulit ingens."
6.412: "simul accipit alveo ingentem Aenean." 8.366:
                        ... "angusti subter fastigia tecti
ingentem Aenean duxit."
Nor is it only amongst articulating men Ingens is thus in demand. Serpents hiss Ingens, 5.84:
                            ... "lubricus anguis ab imis
septem ingens gyros, septena volumina traxit"
                                         ... "fit tortile collo
aurum ingens coluber, fit longae taenia vittae."
Swine grunt Ingens, 3.390; 8.43:
"littoreis ingens inventa sub ilicibus sus."
Bulls bellow Ingens, 8.203:
"Alcides aderat taurosque hac victor agebat
Not only the whole hody, the integrum corpus, but parts and sections of bodies, no matter whether of men or animals, no matter whether alive or dead, hands, horns, mouths, eyes, beards, breasts, ring the bell for Ingens, as 10.446: "corpusque per ingens lumina volvit"; 11.556: "quam dextra ingenti librans"; 7.483:
"cervus erat forma praestanti et cornibus ingens";
                                ... "caput ingens oris hiatus
et malae texere lupi";
3.635: "et telo lumen terebramus acuto ingens"; 12.300: "olli ingens barba reluxit"; 10.485: "pectus perforat ingens." Even the headless trunk shouts Ingens, 2.557:
                                ... "iacet ingens littore truncus,
avulsumque humeris caput, et sine nomine corpus."
Id., pp. 43-45:
But all this were tolerable, and so "ingens" is the activity and readiness on the one hand, and the patience on the other, of this veritable "serva servarum," that I doubt if one word of complaint had even to this hour reached my ears, however quick, as ears go, of hearing, if it had not been for the perpetual worrying she has to endure from the merest abstractions, airy nothings, buzzing about her, teazing her, and pricking her like myriads of midges to no good or purpose whatever, but out of mere wantonness and love of mischief. I could not tell you the names of a thousandth part of them, but gloria is one of them, as 2.325: "ingens gloria Teucrorum." Pavor is another of them, 7.458: "olli somnum ingens rumpit pavor." Argumentum, another, 7.791: "argumentum ingens." Pudor, another, 10.870:
                                        ... "aestuat ingens
uno in corde pudor mixtoque insania luctu."
Luctus, another, 11.62: "solatia luctus exigua ingentis"; 11.231:
"deficit ingenti luctu rex ipse Latinus";
6.869: "ingentem luctum ne quaere tuorum." Metus is another, 6.491: "ingenti trepidare metu." Minae, another, 4.88: "minaeque murorum ingentes." Curae, another, 5.701:
"nunc huc ingentes, nunc illuc pectore curas
1.212: "curisque ingentibus aeger." Coepta, another, 9.296:
"spondeo digna tuis ingentibus omnia coeptis";
10.461 : "coeptis ingentibus adsis." Genus, another, 12.224:
                        ... "formam assimulata Camerti,
cui genus a proavis ingens."
None but a heart of adamant had worked any unfortunate biped in such a manner. Many a time I have pitied her, but small good to her a pity of which she knew nothing, which was not to come till two thousand years after; her only consolation, if tears and sighs deserve the name of consolation, was the sympathy of her fellow-servant Contra, who "non ignara mali miseris succurrere didicit"; poor Contra who—never required by previous master to do coarse, common, every-day work, but allowed to live at ease, only lending a helping hand when the ordinary household was insufficient, and hired by her present master on those terms; and as long as he was himself strong and hale and alert only employed in such manner, viz., in his first book three times; in his second book, twice; in his third, three times; in his fourth, where he was in his full prime and vigour, only once; in his fifth, six times; in his sixth, twice; in his seventh, four times; in his eighth, three times—has to put to her hand in his ninth book, where her master first begins to show signs of fatigue, no less than ten times; in his tenth book, where his fatigue is greater, seventeen times; and even in his eleventh and twelfth books, where he seems to have become conscious how unfairly he had been treating a faithful servant, and shows a praiseworthy desire to spare her in future as much as his own increasing infirmities might allow, as often as twelve times in the eleventh, and seven times in the twelfth book. Poor Contra and poor Ingens! as honest and kind-hearted as ye were overwrought, ye never complained, never thought either of giving warning or going off without giving warning, but stuck faithful and steady to your employer from the day ye first entered his service (1.13: "Italiam contra Tiberinaque longe ostia"; 1.103: "ubi ingens Sarpedon") to the very end of your engagement, when ye are still found hand in hand helping alike, and at one and the same moment, your master and each other, 12.887:
"Aeneas instat contra telumque coruscat
ingens, arboreum";
896: "saxum circumspicit ingens"; 897: "saxum antiquum, ingens"; 926:
                                           ... "incidit ictus
ingens ad terram duplicato poplite Turnus."
Farewell! hard-working, faithful creatures, farewell!

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