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Thus Juvenal concludes this fine Satire on family-pride, which he takes every occasion to mortify, by shewing, that what a man is in himself, not what his ancestors were, is the great matter to be considered.
6 Worth makes the man, the want of it the fellow;
Juvenal, in this Satire, exposes and censures the detestable vice then praca
tised at Rome. Some have thought that this is done too openly. So Farnaby-Obscænam cinædorum et pathicorum turpitudinem acriter, at nimis aperte insectatar. Marshall says, that on account of certain expressions in this Satire, Jul. C. Scaliger advised every man of probity to abstain from the whole work of Juvenal. But, surely, this is greatly mistaking the matter, and not adverting duly to the difference between such writers as exert their genius in the cause of vice, and so write upon it, as if they wished to recommend it to the imagination, and thus to the practice of mankind, (as Horace among the Romans, and Lord Rochester among us,) and such a writer as
SCIRE velim, quare toties mihi, Nævole, tristis
Line 1. Nevolus.] The poet, as an introduction to this Satire, in which he exposes and condemns the monstrous impurities then reigning in Rome, brings to view, as an example of their evil consequences, one Nævolus, a monster of vice, who appears in a most shabby and forlorn condition, more like an outcast than a member of civil society; ruined by those very vices by which he had thought to have enriched himself. Juvenal is supposed to have met him often, lately, in a state of the utmost dejection and misery, and now he asks him the reason of it.
2. Marsyas.] A ‘Phrygian musician, who challenged Apollo, but was overcome by him, and Aayed alive.
4. Ravola:] Some impure wretch, who, being detected with his mistress, in the situation here described, was confounded with shame at the discovery.
5. Biscuits.] Crustula--wafers, or such-like things; or little sweet cakes, which used to be given to children. So Hor. sat. i. 1. 25, 6.
Juvenal, who exerted a fine genius, and an able pen, against vice, and in particular, against that which is the chief object of this Satire ; in which he sets it forth in such terms as to create a disgust and abhor. rence, not only of those monsters of lewdness who practised it, but also of the vice itself ; so that both might be avoided by the indignant reader, and be held in the highest detestation and horror. Such were our Poet's views in what he wrote, and therefore the plainness of his expressions he, doubtless, thought much more conducive to this desired end, as tending to render the subject the more shocking, than
if he had contented himself with only touching it with the gentler hand - of periphrasis, or circumlocution.
I WOULD know, why so often, Nævolus, you meet me,
Ut pueris olin dant crustula blandi
The thought seems to beIf a slave be beaten because he so far indulges his liquorish appetite, as to lick the cakes, or sweetmeats, as he brings them to table, how much more worthy of punishment are such wretches as Ravola, who indulge, without restraint, in the most shameful impurities?
6–7. Crepereius Pollio.] A noted spendthrift, who could not borrow any more money, though he offered triple interest for it. 8. Went about.] Hunting after money-lenders. ; .
Found not fools.]-Could not meet with apy who would be fools enough to trust him with their money.
Tot rugæ ? certe modico contentus agebas
Corpore, deprêndas et gaudia : sumit utrumque
10. The knight-like slave.] i. e. Though an home-born slave, yet thou didst live as jolly and happy as if thou hadst been a knight.
Verna eques was a jocose phrase among the Romans, to denote glaves who appeared in a style and manner above their condition ; these they ludicrously called 'vernæ equites, gentlemen slaves, as we should say.—The phrase seems to be something like the French bourgeois gentilhomme-the cit-gentleman.
In Falstaff's humourous account of Justice Shallow and his servants, he says, “ they, by observing him, do bear themselves like “ foolish justices; he, by conversing with them, is turned into a “ justice-like serving man.”
11. Witticisms, &c.] Pomærium (quasi post murum) was a space about the walls of a city, or town, as well within as without, where it was not lawful to plough or build, for fear of hindering the defence of the city-hence, meton.' a limit, or bound.
By witticisms born, or brought forth, within the pomeria, or lie mits of the city, Juvenal means those of a polite kind, in contradis. tinction to the provincial, coarse, low-born jests of the common slaves. Hence urbanitas, from urbs, a city, means courtesy, civility, good manners, or what we call politeness.
13. Of dry hair.] Instead of your hair being dressed, and moistened with perfumed ointments, it now stands up, without form or or. der, like trees in a wood.
14. Warm glue.] This viscus was a composition of pitch, wax, resin, and the like adhesive ingredients, which, being melted together and spread on a cloth, were applied warm to those parts of the body where the hair grew. After remaining some time, the cloth, which had been rolled round the part in form of a bandage, was taken off, bringing away the hair with it, and leaving the skin smooth. This practice was common among the wretches whom the poet is here satirizing
So many wrinkles ? certainly, content with little, you acted
16. The leanness, &c.] What is the meaning of that lean and sick appearance which thou dost exhibit ? like that of an old invalid, who has long been afflicted, and consuming with a quartan ague and fever; so long, that it may be looked upon as domesticated, and as become a part of the family.
18. You may discover, &c.] The body is an index to the minda sickly, pale, languid countenance, bespeaks vexation and unhappi. ness within. A cheerful, gay, and healthy look, bespeaks joy and peace.
Sorrow nor joy can be disguis'd by art;
HARVEY, 20. From thence.] From the mind.--. d. The conntenance asSumes the appearance of sorrow or joy, from the state of the mind,
Turned, &c.] By thy sad and miserable appearance, I do suppose that some turn or change has happened, and that your former way of life is quite altered. 22. The temple of Isis.] See sat. vi. 1. 488, and note.
The Ganymede, &c.] The statue of Ganymede, in the tem. ple of Peace, was also a place of rendezvous for all manner of lewd and debauched persons.
23. Cybele. Is described in the text by the phrase advectæ matris, because the image of this mother of the gods, as she was called, was brought to Rome from Phrygia. See sat. iii. 1. 138. and note,
24. Ceres. In former times the temple of Ceres was not to be approached but by chaste and modest women ; but as vice and lewd. ness increased, all reverence for sacred places decreased, and now even the temple of Ceres (see sat. vi. I. 50, and note) was the resort of the impure of all denominations.