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Æacus; unde alius furtivæ devehat aurum
10 Pelliculæ : quantas jaculetur Monychus ornos; Frontonis platani, convulsaque marmora clamant Semper, & afliduo ruptæ lectore columnæ. Expectes eadem à summo, minimoque poëța, Et nos ergo manum ferulæ subduximus : & nos
15 Consilium dedimus Syllæ, privatus ut altum Dormiret. Stulta eft clementia, cum tot ubique Vatibus occurras, perituræ parcere chartæ.
winds. Or, perhaps, to some play, or poem, on the amours of Boreas and Orithya, the daughter of Erectheus, king of Athens.
10. Æacus may be tormenting.) Æacus was one of the fabled judges of hell, who with his two assessors, Minos and Rhadamanthus, were supposed to torture the ghosts into a confession of their crimes. See Virg. An. vi. 1. 566–69.
- From whence another, &c.] Alluding to the story of Jason, who stole the golden Aeece from Colchis.
11. Monychus.] This alludes to some play, or poem, which had been written on the battle of the Centaurs and Lapithæ.
The word Monychus is derived from the Greek μονος, solus, and Ovu, ungula, and is expressive of an horse's hoof, which is whole and entire, not cleft or divided.
The Centaurs were fabled to be half men, and half horses; so that by Monychus we are to understand one of the Centaurs, of such prodigious strength, as to make use of large trees for weapons,
which he threw, or darted at his enemies. 12. The plane trees of Fronto.] Julius Fronto, a noble and learned man, at whose house the poets recited their works, before they were red, or performed in public. His house was planted round with plane trees, for the lake of their made.
13. The convuljed marbles.] This may refer to the marble ftatues which were in Fronto's hall, and were almost shaken off their pedestals by the din and noise that were made or to the marble with which the walls were built, or inlaid ; or to the marble pavement; all which appeared, as if likely to be shaken out of their places, by the incessant noise of these bawling reciters of their works.
The columns broken.] The marble pillars too were in the same situation of danger, from the incessant noise of these people.
The poet means to express the wearisomeness of the continual repetition of the same things over and over again, and to censure the manner, as well as the matter, of these irksome re
Æacus may be tormenting: whence another could convey
the gold Of the stolen Fleece: how great wild-ash trees Monychus
could throw : The plane-trees of Fronto, and the convuls'd marbles
complain Always, and the columns broken with the continual reader: You may expect the same things from the highest and from
the least poet, And I therefore have withdrawn my hand from the ferule; and I
15 Have given counsel to Sylla, that, a private man, foundly He should sleep. It is a foolish clemency, when every
where so many
petitions; which were attended with such loud and vehement vociferațion, that even the trees about Fronto's house, as well as the marble within it, had reason to apprehend demolition. This hyperbole is humourous, and well applied to the subje&t.
14. You may expeet the same things, &c.] i. e. The same subjects, treated by the worst poets, as by the best. Here he satyrizes the impudence and presumption of these scribblers, who, without genius or abilities, had ventured to write, and expose their verses to the public ear; and this, on subjects which had been treated by men of a superior cast.
15. Have withdrawn my band, &c.] The ferule was an instrument of punishment, as at this day, with which school. masters corrected their scholars, by friking them with it over the palm of the hand : the boy watched the stroke, and, if pos-. sible, withdrew his hand from it.
Juvenal means to say, that he had been at school, to learn the arts of poetry and oratory, and had made declamations, of one of which the subject was- Whether Sylla should take the
dictatorship, or live in ease and quiet as a private man?” He maintained the latter proposition.
Therefore.] i. e. In order to qualify myself as a writer and declaimer. His meaning seems to be, that, as all, whether good or bad, wrote poems, why should not he, who had had an education in learning, write as well as they ? 18. Paper that will perish.) i.e. That will be destroyed by B4
Cur tamen hoc libeat potius decurrere campo,
others, who will write upon it if I do not; therefore there is no reason why I should forbear to make use of it.
19. In the very field.] A metaphor, taken from the chariotraces in the Campus Martius.
20. The great pupil of Aurunca, &c.] Lucilius, the first and most famous Roman fatyrist, born at Aurunca, an ancient city of Latium, in Italy.
He means-Perhaps you will ask, “ how it is that I can “ "think of taking the same ground as that great fatyrift Luci « lius--and why I should rather chuse this way of writing, “ when he so excelled in it, as to be before all others, not only " in point of time, but of ability in that kind of writing ?”
21. Hearken to my reason.] Literally, the verb admitto, fignifies to admit: but it is sometimes used with Auribus understood, and then, it denotes attending, or hearkening, to fomething : this 1 suppose to be the sense of it in this place, as it follows the fi vacat.
22. Mævia] The name of some woman, who had the im. pudence to fight in the Circus with a Tuscan boar.. The Tuscan boars were reckoned the fiercest.
23. With a naked breaft.] In imitation of an Amazon. Under the name of Mævia, the poet probably means to reprove all the ladies' at Rome, who exposed themselves in the pursuit of mafculine exercises, which were so thamefully contrary to all female delicacy.
24. The patricians.] The nobles of Rome. They were the descendents of such as were created senators in the time of Ro. mulus. Of these there were, originally, only one hundred afterwards, more were added to them.
25. Who clipping, &c.] The person here meant, is supposed to be Licinius the freedman and barber of Augustus, or perhaps Cinnamus. See Sat. x. I. 225-6. Sounded.] Alluding to the sound of clipping the beard But why it should please me rather to run along this very
field, Through which the great pupil of Aurunca drave his
horses, I will tell yoth, if you have leisure, and kindly hearken to
When a delicate eunuch can marry a wife: Mævia can stick
25 When a part of the commonalty of the Nile, when a slave
of Canopus, Crispinus, his shoulder recalling the Tyrian cloaks, Can ventilate the fummer-gold on his sweating fingers
with scistars. Q. D, who with his fciffars clipped my beard, when I was a young man, and first came under the barber's hands.
26. Part of the commonalty of the Nile.] One of the lowest of the Ægyptians who had come as llaves to Rome.
Crispinus.] He, from a slave, had been made master of the horse to Nero,
Canopus.) A city of Ægypt, addicted to all manner of effeminacy and debauchery--famous for a temple of Serapis, a. god of the Ægyptians. This city was built by Menelaus, in memory of his pilot, Canopus, who died there, and was afterwards canonized. See Sat. xv. 1. 46.
27. His shoulder recalling.]. Revocante-The Romans used: to fasten their cloaks round the neck with a loop, but in hot weather, perhaps, usually went with them loose. As Juve. ņal is now speaking of the summer season (as appears by the next line) he describes the shoulder as recalling, or endeavouring to hoilt up, and replace the cloak, which, from not being faltened by a loop to the neck, was often flipping away, and liding downwards from the shoulders.
Tyrian cloaks.) i.e. Dyed with Tyrian purple, which was very expensive. By this he marks the extravagance and luxury of these upstarts.
28. Ventilate the summer-gold, &c.] The Romans were ar, rived at such an height of luxury, that they had rings for the winter, and others for the summer, which they wore according
Nec sufferre queat majoris pondera gemmæ :
Crispinus is described as wearing a fummer-ring, and cooling it, by, perhaps, taking it off, and by waving it to and fro in the air with his hand-which motion might likewise contribute to the slipping back of the cloak.
31. So insensible.] Ferreus-literally signifies, any thing made of iron, and is therefore used here, figuratively, to denote hardness or insensibility,
32. The new litter.] The lectica was a sort of sedar, with a bed or couch in it, wherein the grandees were carried by their fervants : probably something like the palanquins in the East. This was a piece of luxury which the rich indulged in.
Lawyer Matho.] He had been an advocate, but had amassed a large fortune by turning informer. The emperor Domitian gave so much encouragement to such people, that many made their fortunes by secret informations ; insomuch that nobody was safe, however innocent; even one informer was afraid of another. See below, l. 35–6, and notes.
33. Full of himself:] Now grown bulky and fat-By this expresion, the poet may hint at the self-importance of this upítart fellow.
-- The fecret accuser of a great friend.] This was probably Marcus Regulus (mentioned by Pliny in his Epistles) a moit infamous informer, who occafioned, by his secret informations, the deaths of many of the nobility in the time of Domician.
Some think, that the great friend here mentioned, was some great man, an intimate of Domitian's ; for this emperor spared not even his greatest and most intimate friends, on receiving secret informations against them.