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Helleborum frustra, cum iam cutis aegra tumebit, poscentis videas: venienti occurrite morbo, et quid opus Cratero magnos promittere montis? discite, o miseri, et causas cognoscite rerum: quid sumus, et quidnam victuri gignimur; ordo quis datus, aut metae qua mollis flexus et unde; quis modus argento, quid fas optare, quid asper utile nummus habet, patriae carisque propinquis quantum elargiri deceat, quem te deus esse
63. timebit u superscr.
68. datur. fluxus.
2 S. 4. 50., 2 Ep. 1. 176. See 6. 12 note.
62. ex tempore, off hand,' 'on the spur of the moment;' versus fundere ex tempore' Cic. de Or. 3. 50: so that . ex tempore vivere' is to live by the rule of impulse;' not, as Heinr. thinks, equivalent to .in diem vivere,' to live from hand to mouth. [With the whole comp: Marcus Aurelius 2. 7 ληρούσι γαρ και δια πράξεων οι κεκμηκότες εν τω βίω, και μη έχοντες σκοπόν, εφ' δν πασαν ορμήν και καθάπαξ φαντασίαν απευθυνουσιν.]
63-76. .There is such a thing as trying to mend when it is too late. Be wise in time-learn your duty-where to bound your wishes-on what objects to spend money — what is your mission in life. Such knowledge will stand a lawyer in better stead than all the wealth his fees may be bringing him.'
63. helleborum. Black hellebore was given in dropsies, Plin. 25. 5. 22, after Dioscorid. 4. 151, referred to by Jahn.
cutis aegra tumebit, vv. 95, 98. Observe Persius' frequent reference to the dropsy, when he wishes to choose an in- . stance of disease, 1. 23 (?) 55., 3. 63, 88 foll.; apparently because it is directly traceable to indulgence. In the present passage he may have thought of Horace, 1 Ep. 2. 33 Ut te ipsum serves, non expergisceris ? atqui, Si noles sanus, curres hydropicus.'
64. Principiis obsta: sero medicina paratur, Cum mala per longas invaluere moras' Ov.R. A.91 foll., quoted by Madan.
65. et quid is the reading of all the MSS. but one, which has ecquid,' as Orelli reads. Jahn (1843) seems right in connecting the present line closely
with the preceding — Meet the disease in its first stages, and what need will there be ?' 'et' marking the consequence. Dic quibus in terris, et eris mihi magnus Apollo' Virg. E. 3. 104. [In his last edition Jahn puts a full-stop after morbo.']
Craterus, Hor. 2 S. 3. 161. See note on 2. 14.
magnos promittere montis, a proverbial phrase. Jahn compares Ter. Phorm. I. 2. 18 modo non montes auri pollicens,' Heinr. Sall. Cat. 23.maria montesque polliceri coepit,' from which it appears that the expression was variously understood, some taking it of mountains of gold, others of actual mountains. [Comp. Plautus Stich. 1. 1. 26 • Persarum Montes qui esse aurei perhibentur:' 'argenti montes' ib. Mil. 4. 2. 73: and Varro Sat. Menipp. p. 103 Riese.] You will not then be driven to the frantic offers which patients in desperation make to their physicians.'
66. discite, o. The hiatus is like that in Hor. 3 Od. 14. II 'male ominatis Parcite verbis,' if the reading is correct. [Πότε δε (απολαύσεις) της εφ' εκάστου γνωρίσεως, τί τε έστι κατ' ουσίαν, και τίνα χώραν έχει εν τω κόσμω κ.τ.λ. M. Aurelius 10. 9; comp. ib. 2. 9. Persius' words contain a similar exhortation applied directly to practice.]
causas cognoscite rerum is doubtless from Virg. G. 2. 490; but Virgil means the physical causes of nature; Persius the final cause of human life, Juvenal's “vivendi causas' (8. 84).
67. sumus, etc. The questions, though really dependent, being put in an independent form, except deceat' v. 71. Compare Prop. 4. 5. 25 foll. The questions here proposed are Stoic questions, and have been largely illustrated by Casaubon, though the whole passage apparently modelled on Hor. 1 Ep. 18. 96 foll. • Inter cuncta leges et percontabere doctos, Qua ratione queas traducere leniter aevum,' etc. quid sumus.
It is too late to ask for hellebore, as you see men doing, when the skin is just getting morbid and bloated. Meet the disease at its first stage, and what occasion is there to promise Craterus gold-mines for a cure? Be instructed, poor creatures, and acquaint yourselves with the causes of things,—what we are, what life we are sent into the world to lead, what is the rank assigned us at starting, where is the smooth turn round the goal and when to take it, what should be the limit to our fortune, what we may lawfully wish for, what is the good of coin fresh from the mint, how much ought to be spent on one's country and one's near and dear friends, what part God has ordained you to bear, and what is your
Cic. Fin. 4. 10, speaking of the points on which Stoics and Academics agree, “Sequitur illud ut animadvertamus qui simus ipsi ... Sumus igitur homines : ex animo constamus et corpore, quae sunt cuiusdam modi;' from which he goes on to deduce the end of life, secundum naturam vivere,' so as to illustrate Persius' second inquiry. [Comp. Epictetus 2. 10. 1.]
quidnam victuri gignimur. Casaubon also quotes Marc. Antonin. 8. 52 και δε μή ειδώς προς και τι πέφυκεν, ουκ οίδεν όστις έστιν ουδέ τι εστι κόσμος. .
victuri, not expressing time but purpose. See note on 1. 100.
ordo seems rightly explained by Heinr, and Jahn with reference to what follows, of the position for starting in the chariot race. Compare Soph. El. 710 στάντες δ' ίν' αυτούς οι τεταγμένοι βραβείς Κλήροις έπηλαν και κατέστησαν diopovs. The word however is a Stoic one, tážis (or xwpa?) Epictet. Ench. 22.
68. Most MSS. read quam,' which Casaubon retains; but Orelli, Heinr., and Jahn rightly prefer qua. The difficulties of rounding the goal in a chariot race are well known. See Hom. Il. 23. 306 foll., Soph, El. 720., Hor. i Od. 1. 4. metae ....
flexus, like "flectere metam' Stat. Theb. 6. 440. Jahn. In
flectendis promontoriis' Cic. Div. 2. 45.
mollis =facilis.' The turn must not be too sharp or abrupt. κλινθήναι ..pra Hom. I. c.
unde, whence to begin the turn. The choosing of places and the fixing of the goal are mentioned closely together. Hom. ΙΙ. 23. 358 στάν δε μεταστοιχεί σήμανε δε τέρματ’ Αχιλλεύς, imitated by Virgil, Aen. 5. 129-133.
69. quis modus argento, probably imitated from Lucil. ap. Lact. I. D. 6. 5. 2 Virtus, quaerendae finem rei scire modumque.
quid fas optare carries us back to Sat. 2. •Quid sentire putas ? quid credis, amice, precari ?' Hor. 1 Ep. 18. 106, • Nil ergo optabunt homines ? Juv. 10. 346.
asper... nummus, Suet. Nero 44 for new coin, rough from the die. Possibly Persius may mean, "What is the good of money hoarded up and not circulated (tritus) ?' Compare Hor. 1 S. I. 41 foll., 73 . Nescis quo valeat nummus ? quem praebeat usum ?'
70. Lucil. 1. c. Commoda praeterea patriae sibi prima putare Deinde parentum, tertia iam postremaque nostra.'
Persius however was thinking more of Hor. 2 S. 2. 104 •Cur, improbe, carae Non aliquid patriae tanto emetiris acervo ?'
carisque propinquis is from Hor. I S. 1. 83. Compare also Hor. A. P. 312 • Qui didicit patriae quid debeat et quid amicis,' and Virg. G. 2. 514 Hinc patriam parvosque penatis Sustinet.' 71. elargiri, a very rare word.
quem te deus esse iussit. “Supra, Discite quid sumus : sed aliud est; nam ibi natura hominis proponebatur inqnirenda, hic personae qualitas, ibi inquam
iussit, et humana qua parte locatus es in re.
Hic aliquis de gente hircosa centurionum
φύσεως πέρι agebatur, hic περί σχέσεως.' out a person whom he chooses to describe Casaubon. The words appear to be ex- as a rich lawyer. “Do not grudge me plained by those which follow, “humana your attention because your stores qua parte locatus es in re,' and if so, not full.' to differ materially from 'ordo quis datus.' 73. multa fidelia putet. The details, Thus, quem .. esse="quas partes agere.' and the word 'putet,' are meant to be
72. humana res, apparently on contemptuous. Your stores are so full the analogy of 'res Romana.' [. Sic that you cannot eat the good things while etiam in magno quaedam respublica mundo they are fresh.' Quod hospes Tardius est' Manilius 5. 737. The Stoical doc- adveniens vitiatum commodius quam Intrine that the universe is a great tónus tegrum edax dominus consumeret' Hor. of which all men are moditat is well 2 S. 2. 90. There is a coarseness in fees known.]
paid in kind, as in Aristoph. Clouds 648, locatus seems to be another equi- where Strepsiades offers to fill Socrates' valent of tetayuévos, implying the notion trough with meal, though the notion here of a station or post which a man is bound is that of rude plenty, not as in Juv. 7. not to desert. [Comp. Socrates' language 119, Mart. 4. 46, of a penurious truckin Plato's Apology, 17. 29.) Casaubon system. quotes Arrian I. 9 ανάσχεσθε ένοικούντες 74. ‘Among your plenteous stores; ' ταύτην χώραν, εις ήν εκείνος υμάς έταξεν. penus comprehending all the contents *Locum virtutis deseruit' Hor. Ep. 16.67. of the larder. • Est enim omne quo
73. Persius changes from discite' to vescuntur homines penus' Cic. N. D. disce, as he had changed from 'gigni
to locatus es.' It matters little pinguibus, another touch of sarwhether we connect disce' with what
Men who have to borrow your goes before, or make it begin a new wits and give you in return the sort of sentence.
produce in which they are most abun. invideas (' discere ') as Jahn ex- dant. plains it. His te quoque iungere, Caesar, 75. pernae. Siccus petasunculus et Invideo' Lucan 2. 550. mávbave, unde vas Pelamydum' form part of Juvenal's peóvel. The lines which follow must list (1. c. Mayor's note). For the simrefer to the man whom Persius is ad- plicity of the Marsians, Jahn compares dressing, not to some other person, as Juv. 3. 169., 14. 180. there is no sort of specification. We 76. You have not yet finished the must suppose then that Persius finally first jar they sent you,' much less the leaves the youth to whom he has been others. The mena' was appealing at v. 62. He then delivers a sort of sea fish. Qui enim voluptatem more general admonition, at last singling ipsam contemnunt, iis licet dicere, se aci
position in the human commonwealth. Be instructed, and do not grudge the trouble on the strength of the jars of good things turning bad in your well-stored larder, your fees for defending your fat friends from Umbria, or the pepper and hams, the remembrancer of your Marsian client, or because you may not yet have come to the last sprat of the first barrel.
Here we may suppose a gentleman of the unsavoury profession of centurion to strike in, 'I know all I've any need to know. I don't want to be like one of your Arcesilases or your poor louts of Solons, stooping their heads and nailing the ground with their eyes, as they stand grinding queer noises and mad-dog silence all
penserem menae non anteponere' Cic. of the mind. Compare ‘hirsuta capella ' Fin. 2. 28.
Juv. 5. 115, Mayor's note. orca. Hor. 2 S. 4. 66 quam qua 78. sapio mihi quod satis est= Byzantia putuit orca,' from which Persius sapio mihi satis.' Quod satis est probably got the word 'putet' v. 73. object clause. “Sapimus patruos' 1. II.
77-87. “ “ Bah,” says a soldier, “I know mihi, emphatic. I am wise for what 's what well enough. I don't want myself,' I know my own interest, like to be one of your philosophers, standing minui mihi' 6. 64. • Dives tibi, pauper dumbfoundered and puzzling how the amicis' Juv. 5. 113. world was made—a pretty reason for 79. Arcesilas, Dict. Biogr. losing one's colour and going without aerumnosi, like kakodaimov, Arisone's dinner.” A truly popular senti- toph. Clouds (of Socrates) 105. ment!'
Solones, pl. contemptuously.
See 77. The soldier is introduced after the
1. 34 note. lawyer. Compare Hor. I S. 1. 4 foll., 80. obstipo capite, Hor. 2 S. 5. 92. where they are classed together. Persius • Bent forward’ Freund. hates the military cordially (compare 5. figentes lumine terram, 181-191) as the most perfect specimens stronger, and consequently more scornful, of developed animalism, and consequently expression than “figentes lumina in terra. most antipathetic to a philosopher. See Jahn quotes a parallel from Stat. Silv. 5. Nisard Études sur les Poëtes Latins, I. 1. 140 ' domum, torvo quam non haec 236-239. Horace merely glances at the lumine figat.' Casaubon compares Plato education their sons received, as contrasted Alc. 2. p. 138 Α φαίνει γέ τοι έσκυθρωwith that given to him by his father in πακέναι τε και εις την βλέπειν, ώς τι spite of narrow means, 1 S. 6. 72. Juve- ξυννοούμενος. . nal has an entire satire on them (16), in 81. rabiosa silentia, 'a mad dog's which he complains of their growing silence' (Hor. 2 Ep. 2. 75), because mad power and exclusive privileges, but with- dogs do not bark. άφωνοι τουπίπαν out any personal jealousy.
εισί .. χωρίς υλαγμού. . Paul. Aegin. de gente of the clan,' used con- 5. 3, cited by Jahn. Compare Hom. temptuously, to imply that the soldiers II. 3. 217 foll., referred to by Jahn, form a class by themselves.
στάσκεν, υπαι δε ίδεσκε κατά χθονός hircosa, opp. to ‘unguentatus ' in a όμματα πήξας, Σκήπτρον δ' ούτ' οπίσω fragm. of Seneca ap. Gell. 12. 2. II 'ut ούτε προπρηνές ενώμα, 'Αλλ' άστεμφες licet scripti sint inter hireosos, possint έχεσκεν αίδρει φωτί έoικώς: Φαίης κεν tamen inter unguentatos placere. Com- ζάκοτόν τινα έμμεναι άφρονα τ' αύτως. pare Hor. 1 S. 2. 27. The Stoic simpli- Persius may have had the picture in his city is meant to be contrasted with the mind. coarseness of the soldiery on the one hand rodunt, biting the lips and grindas with the effeminacy of the young aris- ing the teeth.' Whether ‘murmura' and tocracy on the other-two different modes silentia' are acc. of the object or cogof pampering the body at the expense nates is not clear.
atque exporrecto trutinantur verba labello,
Inspice; nescio quid trepidat mihi pectus et aegris
82. exporrecto labello. Jahn Compares Lucian Hermot. Ι. Ι και τα χείλη διασάλευες ηρέμα υποτονθορύζων. Casaubon compares Aristaenetus Ep. 2. 3 ηρέμα τα χείλη κινεί και άττα δήπου προς εαυτόν ψιθυρίζει.
trutinantur verba is copied no less than five times by Jerome (for the references see Jahn), who however mistakes the sense, as if Persius were speak. ing of inflated talk, not of slow balanced utterance.
83. •Aegri somnia' Hor. A. P. 7. Jahn explains aegroti veteris like
aegri veteris ' Juv. 9. 16, one who has long been ill—a confirmed invalid ; but it seems better to
suppose that Persius means to combine the dotings of age with the wanderings of disease.
84. •Nullam rem e nilo gigni divinitus unquam' is the first principle of the epicurean philosophy, according to Lucr. 1. 150; but it was common to various schools. [See Munro ad loc.] Casaubon quotes Marc. Anton. 4. 4 oudèyèK TOU μηδενός έρχεται, ώσπερ μηδ' εις το ουκ δν απέρχεται.
in nilum, etc. · Haud igitur possunt ad nilum quaeque reverti .... Haud igitur redit ad nilum res ulla : sed omnes Discidio redeunt in corpore materiaï' Lucr. 1. 248 foll. Here the repetition is meant to be ludicrous, as in 1. 27. Jahı,
85. Casaubon quotes Sen. Ep. 48,
who exclaims seriously, 'O pueriles ineptias ! in hoc supercilia subduximus ? in hoc barbam demisimus ? hoc est quod tristes docemus et pallidi ?' which seems to show that 'quod palles’ is to be explained here as a cogn. acc.
cur quis non prandeat. 'Impransi correptus voce magistri' Hor. 2 S. 3. 257. •Prandium' was peculiarly a military meal, so it is mentioned here feelingly. Medo prandente' Juv. 10.
See De Quincey, Casuistry of Roman Meals (Selections, vol. 3), who mistakes the present passage, doubtless quoting from memory, though right in his general view. With the whole line compare Juv. 7. 96 tunc utile multis Pallere, et vinum toto nescire Decembri.'
86. his .. ridet. Not a very common use of the dative. Dolis risit Cytherea repertis’ Virg. Aen. 4. 128. Jahn compares Hor. 2 S. 8. 83.
multum, probably with 'torosa,' as Jahn takes it. [Socer huius vir multum bonus est,' says Cicero, Leg. Agr. 3. 3, ironically: so that there may be a tinge of sarcasm in the idiom. Comp. 'bene mirae eritis res’S. 1. 111.]
torosa, an epithet of the necks of cattle, Ov. M. 7. 429.
torosa iuventus contrasts with . insomnis et detonsa iuventus' v. 54, as being naturally the approving audience of the soldier's speech.
87. The description is not in the