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Who carrying facred things nodding with a rein, 125
130 Nor complain to the father !-Go therefore, and depart
from the acres
well as the first and most antient ancestors of the Romans ; hence Juvenal calls them Latii paltores. So Sat. viii. 1.274-5.
Majorum primus quisquis fuit ille tuorum,
Aut paftor fuit, &c. Whence could such monstrous, such abominable wickedness, be derived to a people, who once were simple shepherds !
'I 28. This nettle.] Urtica-a nettle literally, but, by Met. the stinging or tickling of lewdness. So we call being angry, being nettled ; and it stands, with us, to denote an excitation of the paffions.
Gradivus.] A name of Mars, from Gr. Keadaiw, to brandish a spear. Some derive it from gradior, because he was supposed to go or march in battle. Homer has both these ideas
Ηιε μακρα βιας κραδαων δολιχοσκιον έγκος. .
129. Is given.] Traditur-is delivered up in marriage, as a thing purchased is delivered to the buyer, so man to man, on payment of dowry, as for a wife.
130. You neither Jhake, &c.] In token of anger and resentment of such abomination.
131. Nor complain, &c.] To Jupiter, the father of all the gods, or, perhaps, Juvenal means " your father," as fuppofing with Hefiod that Mars was the son of Jupiter and Juno. So Homer Il. s. though some, as Ovid, make him the son of Juno without a father. Ov. Fast. v. 229, &c.
Go therefore.] Since you are so unconcerned at these things, as to shew no signs of displeasure at them, you may as well depart from us entirely.
Depart.] Cede for discede, the simple for the composite. So Virg. Æn. vi. 460. Invitus, regina, tuo de litore celli,
Jugeribus campi, quem negligis. Officium crâs
140 Turgida non prodest conditâ pyxide Lyde, Nec prodeft agili palmas præbere Luperco.
131–2. The harsh field.) The Campus Martius, a large field near Rome, between the city and the Tyber, where all manner of robust and martial exercises were performed, over which Mars was fupposed to preside. By the poet's using the epithet harsh, or severe, he may be supposed to allude to the harsh and severe conflicts there exhibited; or to Mars himself, to whom this is given by Martial, Ep. xxx. 1. 10.
Cum severi fugit oppidum martis. 132. Which you neglecz.] By not vindicating its honour, and not punishing those, who have exchanged the manly exercises of the Campus Martius, for the most abandoned effeminacy.
A bus'ness, to-morrow.] In order to expose the more, and satirize the more feverely, these male-marriages, the poet, here, introduces a conversation between two persons on the subject.
The word officium is peculiarly relative to marriage, nuptiale or nuptiarum being understood. Suet. in Claud. c. 26. Cujus officium nuptiarum, & ipfe cum Agrippina celebravit. So Petron. Consurrexi ad officium nuptiale.
Such is the meaning of officium in this place, as relative to what follows. He was to attend the ceremony at sun-rise, at the temple of Romulus, which was a place where marriagecontracts were often made.
134. A friend marries.] The word nubo (as has been observed) properly belonging to the woman, as duco to the man. Nubit here is used to mark out the abominable transaction.
135. Nor does he admit many.) He does not invite many people to the ceremony, wishing to keep it rather private. He had not, perhaps, shaken off all fear of the Scantinian law,See before, l. 43, note. Only let us live, &c.] These seem to be Juvenal's Of the harsh field, which you neglect.-A bus’ness, to
Early, is to be dispatched by me in the vale of Quirinus. What is the cause of the bus'ness? why do you ask? a friend
marries : Nor does he admit many. Only let us live, these things will be done,
135 Done openly, and will desire to be reported in the public
registers. Mean while a great torment sticks to those (thus) marrying, That they can't bring forth, and retain by birth (of chil
dren) their husbands. But it is better, that, to their minds, no authority over
their bodies Doth nature indulge; barren they die: and to them 140 Turgid Lyde, with her medicated box, is of no use, Nor does it avail to give their palms to the nimble Lupercus.
words. Only let us have patience, and if we live a little longer, we shall not only see such things done, but done openly; and not only this, but we shall see the parties concerned with to have them recorded in the public registers.
Juvenal saw the increase of all this mischief, and might, from this, venture to foretel what actually came to pass : for Salvian, who wrote in the 5th century, speaking of this dedecoris scelerisque consortium, as he calls it, says, that's it spred “ all over the city, and though the act itself was not common
to all, yet the approbation of it was.
137. Mean while, &c.] The poet here, with much humour, fcoffs at these unnatural wretches in very ludicrous terms.
138. Retain their husbands.] Barrenness was frequently a cause of divorce.
141. Turgid Lyde,] Some woman of that name, perhaps called turgida from her corpulency, or from her preparing and selling medicines to cure barrenness, and to occasion fertility and promote conception. Conditus, literally, fignifies feafonedmixed, made favoury, and the like-here it implies, that she sold some conserve, or the like, which was mixed, seafoned, or, as we may say, medicated with various drugs, and put into boxes for sale. 142. The nimble Lupercus.] The Lupercalia were feasts sam
Vicit & hoc monstrum tunicati fuscina Gracchi,
Effe aliquos manes, & fubterranea regna,
cred to Pan, that he might preserve their flocks from wolves (a lupis) hence the priests were called Luperci. The Lupercalia appears to have been a feast of purification, being folemnized on the dies nefafti, or non-court-days of February, which derives its name from Februo, to purify ; and the very day of the celebration was called Februaca. The ceremony was very fingular and strange.
In the first place, a facrifice was killed of goats and a dog : then two children, noblemen's fons, being brought thither, some of the Luperci stained their foreheads with the bloody knife, while others wiped it off with locks of wool dipped in milk. This done, they ran about the streets all naked, but the middle, and, having cut the goat-skins into thongs, they lashed all they
The women, lo far from avoiding their strokes, held out the palms of their hands to receive them, fancying them to be great helpers of conception. See Kennet, Antiq. B. ii. Part ii.
Shakespear alludes to this, Jul. Cæs. Ac i. Sc. ii.
143. "The firk.] Fuscina---a sort of three-pronged fork or trident, used by a particular kind of fencer or gladiator, who was armed with this, and with a net-hence called Retiarius. His adversary was called Mirmillo (irom Gr. floqueos, formicaSee Ainsworth) and was armed with a Thield, scythe, and headpiece, with the figure of a fish on the crest. The Retiarius
ied to throw his net over the Mirmillo's head, and so entangle him, saying, when he cast the net-Piscem peto, non te peto. The Mirmillo is sometimes called the secutor or pursuer, because if the Retiarius missed him, by throwing his net too far, or too short, he instantly took to his heels, running about the arena for his life, that he might gather up his net for a second caft; the Mirmillo, in the mean time, as swiftly pursuing him, to prevent him of his design. This seems to be meant, 1. 144. Lustravitque fugâ, &c. which intimates the fiight of the Retiarius from the Mirmillo.
Coated, &c.] Tunicatus, i.e. dressed in the tunica, or habit of the Retiarii, which was a sort of coat without sleeves, in which they fought.
Yet the fork of the coated Gracchus outdid this prodigy, When, as a gladiator, he traversed in flight the middle of
the stage, More nobly born than the Manlii, the Capitolini, and Marcelli,
145 And the Catuli, and the posterity of Paulus ; than the
Fabii, and Than all the spectators at the podium: tho', to these, him You should add, at whose expence he then threw the net.
That there are any ghosts, and subterranean realms,
This same Gracchus meanly laid aside his own dress, took upon him the garb and weapons of a common gladiator, and exhibited in the public amphitheatre. Such feats were encouraged by Domitian, to the great scandal of the Roman nobility.
Mediam arenam-may here fignify the middle of the amphitheatre, which was strewed with sand ; on which part the gladiators fought: this made arena be often used to signify the amphitheatre itself.
145. Capitolini, &c.] Noble families, who were an ornament to the Roman name.
147. The podium.] Iledox, Gr. from a foot. That part of the theatre next the orchestra, where the nobles sat-it projected, in form fomething like the shape of a foot. See Ainsworth.
-- Tho', to these, &c.] Though to those who have been mentioned before, you should add the prætor, at whose expence these games were exhibited. The prætors often exhibited games at their own expence. But the poet may here be undertood to glance at the emperor Domitian, who was a great encourager of these strange proceedings of the young nobility. See note on 1. 143. He that set forth, at his own charge, the sight of sword-players, and other like games unto the people, was called munerarius-Hence Juvenal says---cujus tunc mu
148. Threw the net.] Entered the lists in the character of a Retiarius : and thụs, a man of the noblest family in Rome, debased himself, and his family, by becoming a prize-fighter in the public theatre.
149. That there are any ghosts.] The poet now proceeds to trace all the foregoing abominations to their source, namely, the disbelief and contempt of religion, those essential parts
of it, particularly, which relate to a future state of rewards and punishments.