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Ultimus ardebit, quem tegula sola tuetur
-imis gradibus, then, must denote the bottom of the stairs, and sig. nify what we call the ground floor.
201. The highest.] Ultimus, i. e. gradus, the last stair from the ground, which ends at the garret, or cock-loft, (as we call it,)--the wretched abode of the poor. This will be reached by the ascending flames, when the lower part of the house is consumed.
The roof.] Tegula, lit. signifies a tilema tego, quod tegat ædeshence it stands for the roof of a house.
202. Where the soft pigeons.] The plumage of doves and pigeons is remarkably soft. Perhaps molles here has the sense of gentle, tame; for this sort love to lay their eggs and breed in the roofs of buildings.
203. Codrus had a bed, &c.] Umbritius still continues to set forth the calamities of the poor, and shews that, under such a calamity as is above mentioned, they have none to relieve or pity them.
Codrus, some poor poet-perhaps he that is mentioned, sat. i. 1. 2. which see, and the note.
The furniture of his house consisted of a wretched bed, which was less, or shorter, than his wife Procula, who is supposed to have been a very little woman. Minor signifies less in any kind, whether in length, breadth, or height.
Sir little pitchers.] Urceðli, (dim. of urceus,) little water. pitchers made of clay, and formed on the potter's wheel.
· Amphora cæpit Institui, currente rota cur urceus exit?' Hor. ad Pis. I. 21, 2. 201-5. A small jug.] Cantharus--a sort of drinking vessel, with a handle to it-Attritâ pendebat cantharus ansa.--Virg. ecl. vi. 17.
205. A Chiron reclining, &c.] A figure of Chiron the centaur in a reclining posture under the same marble, i. e. under the marble slab, of which the cupboard was formed, perhaps by way of support to it.
Some suppose Umbritius to mean by sub eodem marmore, that this was a shabby figure of Chiron made of the same materials with the cantharus-viz. of clay—which he jeeringly expresses by marmore, for of this images were usually made.
206. An old chest, 8c.] This is another instance of the poverty
The highest will burn, which the roof alone defends
and an house.
of Cedrus he had no book-case, or library, but only a few Greek books in an old worm-eaten wooden chest.
207. Barbarous mice, &c.] Opicus is a word taken from the Opici, an ancient, rude, and barbarous people of Italy. Hence the adjective opicus signifies barbarous, rude, unlearned.--The poet, therefore, humourously calls the mice opici, as having so little respect for learning, that they gnawed the divine poêms, perhaps even of Homer himself, which might have been treasured up, with others, in the chest of poor Codrus. See opicus used in the above sense, sat. vi. 454.
Some suppose opici to be applied to miee, from Gr. Onn, a cavern --alluding to the holes in which they hide themselves. 208. Who forsooth denies it ? ] By this it should appear
that the Codrus mentioned here, and in sat. i. 1. 2. are the same person, whose poverty was so great, and so well known, as to be prover bial. See note, sat. i. l. 2.
209–10. The utmost addition, &c.] Ultimus cumulus—the ute most height—the top-of his unhappiness as the French say-Le comble de son malheur.--The. French word comble evidently comes from Lat. cumulus, which signifies, in this connexion, that which is over and above measure the heaping of any measure when the measure is full to the brim, and then more put on, till it stands on an heap above, at last it comes to a point, and will hold no
BOYER explains comble to mean --Ce qui peut tenir par dessus une mesure déja pleine. We speak of accumulated affliction, the height of sorrow, the completion of misfortune, the finishing stroke, and the like, but are not possessed of any English phrase, which literally expresses the Latin ultimus cumulus, or the French comble du malheur. 210. Naked.] Having lost the few clothes he had by the fire.
Scraps.] Frusta—-broken victuals, as we say. In this sense the word is used, sat. xiv. 128.
211. With entertainment.] So kospitium seems to mean here, and is to be understood, in the sense of hospitality, friendly or charitable reception and entertainment:---some render it lodginga-but this is implied by the next word.
Si magna Asturii cecidit domus : horrida mater,
220 Persicus orborum lautissimus, et merito jam
211. And an house.] Nobody would take him into their house, that he might find a place where to lay his head, secure from the inclemency of the weather.
Having shewn the miserable estate of the poor, if burnt out of house nd home, as we say, Umbritius proceeds to exhibit a strong contrast, by stating the condition of a rich man under such a cala. mity-by this he carries on his main design of setting forth the abo. minable partiality for the rich, and the wicked contempt and neglect of the poor.
212. Astúrius.] Perhaps this may mean the same person as is spoken of, l. 29. by the name of Artureus. However, this name may stand for any rich man, who, like Asturius, was admired and courted for his riches.
Hath fallen.] A prey to flames—hath been burnt down.
The mother is ghastly.] Mater may here mean the cityitself.-All Rome is in a state of disorder and lamentation, and puts on a ghastly appearance, as in some public calamity--Or, the matrons of Rome, with torn garments and dishevelled hair, appear in all the horrid signs of woe.
See Virg. Æn. ii. l. 489. 213. The nobles sadly clothed.] Pullati--clad in sad-coloured apparel, as if in mourning.
The Prætor, &c.] The judge adjourns his court, and respites the pledges, or bonds, for the suitors' appearances to a future day.
214. Then we lament, &c.] Then we lament the accidents to which the city is liable particularly the loss of so noble an edifice as the house of Asturius, as if the whole city was involved in the misfortune.
We hate fire.] We can't bear the very mention of fire. It was customary for mourners to have no fire in their houses.-Perhaps this may be meant.
215. It burns yet.] i. e. While the house is still on fire, before the flames have quite consumed it.
And now runs one, &c.] Some officious flatterer of Asturius loses no time to improve his own interest in the great man's favour, but hastens offer his services before the fire has done smoking, and to let him know, that he has marble of various kinds, which he wishes to present him with, for the rebuilding of the house.
216. Can contribute expenses.] i. e. Can contribute towards the
If the great house of Asturius hath fallen; the mother is ghastly,
to the waist; Another a bushel of silver : better and more things doth 220 The Persian, the most splendid of destitutes lay up, and now
expense of repairing the damage, by presenting a large quantity of this fine marble, which was a very expensive article.
216. Another, &c.] Of the same stamp—as one furnishes marble to rebuild the outside of the house, another presents ornaments for the inside-such as Grecian statues, which were usually naked, and made of the finest white marble.
217. Another something famous, &c.] Some famous works of Euphranor and Polycletus, two eminent Grecian statuaries.
218. Of Phæcusian gods.] The ancient images of the Grecian deities were called Phæcasian, from Canazons, calceus albus ; because they were represented with white sandals :-probably the statues here mentioned had been ornaments of Grecian temples.
219. Minerva down to the waist.] Probably this means a bust of Minerva, consisting of the head, and part of the body down to the middle. Pallas to the breast.
DRYDEN. Grangius observes, that they had their imagines aut integræ, aut dimidiatæ--of which latter sort was this image of Minerva.
Britannicus expounds mediam Minervam—5 Statuam Minervæ in “medio reponendam, ad exornandam bibliothecam”_" A statue " of Minerva to be placed in the middle, by way of ornamenting his “ library."
220. A bushel of silver.] A large quantity-a definite for an in. definite as we say~46 such a one is worth a bushel of money”. So the French say—un boisseau d'écus. Argenti, here, may either mean silver to be made into plate, or silver plate already made, or it may signify money. Either of these senses answers the poet's de sign, in setting forth the attention, kindness, and liberality shewn to the rich, and forms a striking contrast to the want of all these towards the poor.
221. The Persian, &c.] Meaning Asturias, who either was a Persian, and one of the foreigners who came and enriched himself at Rome, (see l. 72.) or so called, on account of his resembling the Persians in splendor and magnificence.
The most splendid of destitutes.] Orbus means one that is deprived of any thing that is dear, necessary, or useful as chrildren
Suspectus, tanquam ipse suas incenderet ædes.
Si potes avelli Circensibus, optima Soræ,
Plurimus hic æger moritur vigilando; (sed illum
of their parents--men of their friends- -or of their substance and property, as Asturius, who had lost his house, and every thing in it, by a fire. But, as the poet humourously styles him, he was the most splendid and sumptuous of all sufferers, for he replaced and repaired his loss, with very considerable gain and advantage, from the contributions which were made towards the rebuilding and furnishing his house, with more and better (meliora et plura) materials for both, 'than those which he had lost.
The contrast to the situation of poor Codrus is finely kept up, as well as the poet's design of exposing the monstrous partiality which was shewn to riches.
221–2. Nou deservedly suspected.] See MARTIAL, epigr. 51. lib. jii.
'The satire upon the venality, self-interestedness, and mercenary views of those who paid their court to the rich and grcátis here greatly heightened, by supposing them so notorious, as to encourage Asturius to set his own house on fire, on the presumption that he should be a gainer by the presents which would be made him from those who expected, in their turn, to be richly repaid by the entertainments he would give them during his life, and, at his death, by the legacies he might leave them in his will. Such were called captatores. See sat. x. 202. Hor. lib. ii. sat. v. l. 57.
As for poor Codrus, he was left to starve; nobody could expect any thing from him, either living or dying, so he was forsaken of all -orborum miserrimus--whereas Asturius was, as the poet calls himorborum lautissimus.
223. The Circenses.] The Circensian games--so called, because exhibited in the Circus. See KENNETT, Antiq. book v. part ii. chap. ii. These shows were favourite amusements, and therefore the Romans could hardly be prevailed on to absent themselves from them-lence he says, Si potes avelli.
224. Sora, &c.] These were pleasant towns in Campania, where, says Umbritius to Juvenal, a very good house and little garden is purchased (paratur) for the same price (quanti) as you now, in these dear times, hire (conducis) a wretched, dark, dog-hole (tenebras) at Rome for a single year.