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among them, as among others, and, more particularly, certain unnatural vices, he imputes to the atheism, and infidelity, which then prevailed among all ranks.
COULD wish to fly hence, beyond the Sauromatæ, and the
icy Ocean, as often as they dare any thing concerning morals, Who feign (themselves) Curii, and live (like) Bacchanals. First they are unlearned : tho' all things full with plaster Of Chrysippus you may find : for the most perfect of these is, 5 If any one buys Aristotle like, or Pittacus, And commands a book-case to keep original images of Cleanthes.
4-5. Plaster of Chrysippus.] Gypsum signifies any kind of parget or plaster (something, perhaps, like our plaster of Paris) of which images, busts, and likenesses of the philosophers were made, and set up, out of a veneration to their memories, as ornaments, in the libraries and studies of the learned : in imitation of whom, these ignorant pretenders to learning and philosophy set up the busts and images of Chrysippus, Aristotle, &c. that they might be supposed admirers and followers of those great men.
Omnia plena-denotes the affectation of these people, in sticking up these images, as it were, in every corner of their houses. Chrysippus was a stoic philosopher, scholar to Zeno, and a great logician.
5. The most perfect of these.] If any one buys the likeness of Aristotle, &c. he is ranked in the highest and most respected class among these people.
6. Aristotle like.] An image resembling or like Aristotle, who was the scholar of Plato, and the father of the sect called Peripatetics, from asgitatew, circumnambulo-because they disputed walking about the school.
- Pittacus.] A philosopher of Mytelene. He was reckoned one of the seven wise men of Greece.
7. Original images.] Those which were done from the life were called archetypi: from the Greek apxon-beginning, and TUTOS—form. Hence ap XeTVTOV, Lat. archetypus, any thing at first hand, that is done originally.
- Cleanthes.] A stoic philosopher, successor to Zeno the founder of the sect.
Fronti nulla fides : quis enim non vicus abundat
8. No credit, &c.] There is no trusting to outward appearance:
9. With grave obscenes. 7 i. e. Hypocrites of a sad countenance : grave and severe as to their outward aspect, within full of the most horrid lewdness and obscenities, which they practise in secret.
The poet uses the word obscænis substantively, by which he marks them the more strongly.
Dost thou reprove, &c.] Dost thou censure such filthy things (turpia) in others, who art thyself nothing but obscenity?
The poet here by an apostrophe, as turning the discourse to somo particular person, reproves all such. Like St. Paul, Rom. ii. 1-3.
10. Among the Socratic, &c. i. e. Among those, who, though infamously vicious, yet profess to be followers, and teachers of the doctrine and discipline of Socrates, who was the first and great teacher of ethics or moral philosophy.
But it is not improbable, that the poet here glances at the incontinence which was charged on Socrates himself. See FARNABY, n. on this line; and LELAND on Christian Rev. vol. ii. p. 133, 4; and HOLYDAY, note c.
12. I would here, once for all, advertise the reader, that, in this, and in all other passages, which, like this, must appear filthy and offensive in a literal translation, I shall only give a general sense. .
15. And hair shorter than the eye-brow. ;. e. Cut so short as not to reach so low as the eye-brow. This was done to avoid the suspicion of being what they were, for wearing long hair was looked upon as a shrewd sign of effeminacy. It was a proverb among the Greeks, that “ none who wore long hair were free from the unnatural vices of the Cinædi.” May not St. Paul allude to this,'1 Cor. xi. 14. where quois may mean an infused habit or custom. See WETSTein in loc. and PARKHURST, Gr. and Eng. Lexicon, Quors, No.
16. Peribonius.] Some horrid character, who made no secret of No credit to the countenance : for what street does not abound With grave obscenes? dost thou reprove base (actions) when
thou art A most noted practitioner among the Socratic catamites?
10 Rough limbs indeed, and hard bristles on the arms, Promise a fierce mind: but evident effects of unnatural Lewdness expose you to derision and contempt. Talk is rare to them, and the fancy of keeping silence great, And hair shorter than the eye-brow; therefore more truly, And more ingenuously, Peribonius; him I to the fates Impute, who in countenance and gait confesses his disease. The simplicity of these is pitiable; these madness itself Excuses : but worse are they who such things with words Of Hercules attack, who talk of virtue, and indulge Themselves in horrid vice. Shall I fear thee, Sextus,
his impurities, and, in this acted more ingenuously, and more according to truth, than these pretended philosophers did. 16. Impute him.] Ascribe all his vile actions.
To the futes.] To his destiny, so that he can't help being what he is. I'he ancients had high notions of judicial astrology, and held that persons were influenced all their lives by the stars which presided at their birth, so as to guide and fix their destiny ever after.
17. His disease.] His besetting sin, (Comp. sat. ix. I. 49. n.) or rather, perhaps, a certain disease which was the consequence of his impurities, and which affected his countenance and his gait, so as to proclaim his shame to every body he met. What this disease was, may appear from lines 12, 13, of this Satire, as it stands in the original. Perhaps Rom. i. 27, latter part, may allude to something of this sort.
18. The simplicity of these.] The undisguised and open manner of such people, who thus proclaim their vice, is rather pitiable, as it may be reckoned a misfortune, rather than any thing else, to be born with such a propensity. See notes on l. 16.
These madness itself, &c.] Their ungovernable madness in the service of their vices, their inordinate passion, stands as some excuse for their practices, at least comparatively with those who affect to condemn such characters as Peribonius, and yet do the same that he does.
20. Of Hercules. This alludes to the story of Hercules, who, when he was a youth, uncertain in which way he should go, whether in the paths of virtue, or in those of pleasure, was supposed to see an apparition of two women, the one Virtue, the other Pleasure, each of which used many arguments to gain him--but he made choice of Virtue, and repulsed the other with the severest reproaches. See Xen. Memor. and Cic. de Offic. lib. i. .
21. Sextus Some infamous character of the kind above men tioned.
Infamis Varillus ait ? qua deterior te?
22. Varillus. 7 Another of the same stamp. The poet here supposes one of these wretches as gravely and severely reproaching the other. What! says Varillus, in answer, need I fear any thing you can say ? in what can you make me out to be worse than yourself?.
23. Let the strait, &c.; These proverbial expressions mean to expose the folly and impudence of such, who censure others for vices which they themselves practise. See Matt. vii. 3—5. Hor. sat. vii. lib. i. 1. 40–2.
This sentiment is pursued and exemplified in the instances follow
24. The Gracchi.] Caius and Tiberius, tribunes, who raised great disturbances, on their introducing the Agrarian law, to divide the common fields equally among the people. At length they were both slain: Tiberius, as he was making a speech to the people, by Publius Nasica ; and Caius, by the command of the consul Opimius.
25. Mix heaven with earth. i. e. Exclaim in the loudest and strongest terms, like him in Terence,
O cælum! O terra! O maria Neptuni! 26. Verres.] Prætor in Sicily, who was condemned and banished for plundering that province.
Milo.] He killed P. Clodius, and was unsuccessfully defended by Tully.
27. Clodius.] A great enemy to Cicero, and the chief promoter of his banishment. This Clodius was a most debauched and profli. gate person He debauched Pompeia the wife of Cæsar, and likewise his own sister. Soon after Cicero's return, Clodiụs was slain by Milo, and his body burnt in the Curia Hostilia.
Catiline Cethegus.] i. e. If Catiline were to accuse Cethegus. These were two famous conspirators against the state. See Sallust, bell. Catilin.
28. The table of Sylla.] Sylla was a noble Roman of the family of the Scipios. He was very cruel, and first set up tables of proscription, or outlawry, by which many thousand Romans were put to death in cold blood.
Says infamous Varillus, by how much (am I) worse than thou art ?
28. Three disciples.] There were two triumvirates, the one consisting of Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus, the other of Augustus, Antony, and Lepidus, who followed Sylla's example, and therefore are called disciples, i. e. in cruelty, bloodshed, and murder.
29. The adulterer.] Domitian. He took away Domitia Longina from her husband Ælius Lamia.
29—30. A tragical intrigue.] He debauched Julia, the daughter, of his brother Titus, though married to Sabinus. After the death of Titus, and of Sabinus, whom Domitian caused to be assassinated, he openly avowed his passion for Julia, but was the death of her, by giving her medicines to make her miscarry. See below, l. 32, 3.
30. Recalling laws. At the very time when Domitian had this tragical intrigue with his niece Julia, he was reviving the severe laws of Julius Cæsar against adultery, which were afterwards made more severe by Augustus.
30.-1. Bitter to all.] Severe and rigid to the last degree. Many persons of both sexes, Domitian put to death for adultery. See Univ. Hist. vol. xv, p. 52.
31. Mars and Venus. 7 They were caught together by Vulcan, the fabled husband of Venus, by means of a net with which he inclosed them. Juvenal means, by this, to satirize the zeal of Domitian against adultery in others, (while he indulged, not only this, but incest also in his own practice,) by saying, that it was so great, that he would not only punish men, but gods also, if it came in his way so to do.
32. Abortives.] Embryos, of which Julia was made to miscarry.
33. Lumps.] Offas, lumps of flesh, crude births, deformed, and so resembling her uncle Domitian, the incestuous father of them. 34. Justly and deservedly. 7 With the highest reason and justice.
- The most vicious.] Ultima vitia, i. e. ultimi vitiosi, the most abandoned, who are to the utmost degree vicious, so that they may be termed themselves--vices. The abstract is here put for the concrete. Mer · VOL, I,