Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

Suspected, as if he had himself set fire to his own house.
Could you be plucked away from the Circenses, a most ex-

cellent house
At Sora, or Fabrateria, or Frusino, is gotten
At the price for which you now hire darkness for one year : 225
Here is a little garden, and a shallow well, not to be drawn by

a rope,
It is poured with an easy draught on the small plants.
Live fond of the fork, and the farmer of a cultivated garden,
Whence you may give a feast to an hundred Pythagoreans.
It is something in any place, in any retirement,

230
To have made one's self master of one lizard.
Here many a sick man dies with watching ; (but that
Languor food hath produced, imperfect, and sticking

226. A shallow well, &c.] The springs lying so high, that there is no occasion for a rope for letting down a bucket to fetch up the water; the garden may be watered with the greatest ease, by merely dipping, and thus, facili haustu, with an easy drawing up by the hand, your plants be refreshed. This was no small acquisition in Italy, where, in many parts, it seldom rains.

228. Live fond of the fork.] i. e. Pass your time in cultivating your little spot of ground.--The bidens, or fork of two prongs, was used in husbandryhere, by met. it is put for husbandry itself.

229. An hundred Pythagoreans.] Pythagoras taught his disciples to abstain from flesh, and to live on vegetables.

231. Of one lizard.] The green lizard is very plentiful in Italy, as in all warm climates, and is very fond of living in gardens, and among the leaves of trees and shrubs.

-Seu virides rubum
Dimovêre lacertæ-

Hor. lib. i. od. xxiii. 1. 7, 8. The poet means, that, wherever a man may be placed, or wherever retired from the rest of the world, it is no small privilege to be able to call one's self master of a little spot of ground of one's own, however small it may be, though it were no bigger than to contain one poor

lizard. This seems a proverbial or figurative kind of expression.

232. With watching.] With being kept awake. Another inconvenience of living in Rome, is, the perpetual noise in the streets, which is occasioned by the carriages passing at all hours, so as to prevent one's sleeping. This, to people who are sick, is a deadly evil.

232-3. But that languor, &c.] q. d. Though, by the way, it must be admitted, that the weak, languishing, and sleepless state, in which

many of these are, they first bring upon themselves by their own intemperance, and therefore their deaths are not wholly to be set down to the account of the noise by which they are kept awake, however this may help to finish them. 233. Food-imperfect.] i. e. Imperfectly digested-indigested

235

Ardenti stomacho,) nam quæ

meritoria somnum
Admittunt ? magnis opibus dormitur in urbe,
Inde caput morbi: rhedarum transitus arcto
Vicorum inflexu, et stantis convicia mandræ
Eripiunt somnum Druso, vitulisque marinis.
Si vocat officium, turbâ cedente vehetur
Dives, et ingenti curret super ora Liburno,
Atque obiter leget, aut scribet, aut dormiet intus;
Namque facit somnum clausâ lectica fenestrâ.
Ante tamen veniet: nobis properantibus obstat

240

and lying hard at the stomach-hærens, adhering, as it were, to the coats of the stomach, so as not to pass, but to ferment, and to occasion a burning or scalding sensation. This seems to be a description of what we call the heart-burn, (Gr. xapdanya,) which arises from indigestion, and is so painful and troublesome as to prevent sleep: it is attended with risings of sour and sharp fumes from the stomach into the throat, which occasion a sensation almost like that of scalding water.

234. For what hired lodgings, &c.] The nam, here, scems to join this sentence to vigilando, l. 232. I therefore have ventured to put the intermediate words in a parenthesis, which, as they are rather di. gressive, makes the sense of the passage more easily understood.

Meritorium--a merendo-locus qui mercede locatur, signifies any place or house that is hired.-Such, in the city of Rome, were mostly, as we may gather from this passage, in the noisy part of the town, in apartments next to the street, so not very friendly to repose.

235. With great wealth.] Dormitur is here used impersonally, like trepidatur, 1. 200.—None, but the rich, can afford to live in houses which are spacious enough to have bed-chambers remote from the noise in the streets-those who, therefore, would sleep in Rome, must be at a great expense, which none but the opulent can af. ford.

236. Thence the source, &c.] One great cause of the malady complained of (morbi, i. e. vigilandi, 1. 232.) must be attributed to the narrowness of the streets and turnings, so that the carriages must not only pass very near the houses, but occasion frequent stoppages; the consequence of which is, that there are perpetual noisy disputes, quarrels, and abuse (convicia) among the drivers. Rheda signifies any carriage drawn by horses, &c,

237. Of the standing team.] Mandra signifies, literally, a hovel for cattle, but, by meton. a company or team of horses, oxen, mules, or any beasts of burden these are here supposed standing still, and not able to go on, by reason of meeting others in a nar. row pass; hence the bickerings, scoldings, and abusive language which the drivers bestow on each other for stopping the way. 238. Drusus.] Some person remarkable for drowsiness.

Sea-calves.] These are remarkably sluggish and drowsy i

To the burning stomach,) for what hired lodgings admit
Sleep?—With great wealth one sleeps in the city. (narrow
Thence the source of the disease: the passing of carriages in the
Turning of the streets, and the foul language of the standing

team,
Take away sleep from Drusus, and from sea-calves.
If business calls, the crowd giving way, the rich man will be
Carried along, and will pass swiftly above their faces with a huge
Liburnian,

240 And in the way he will read, or write, or sleep within; For a litter with the window shut causeth sleep. But he will come before us: us hastening the crowd before

they will lay themselves on the shore to sleep, in which situation they are found, and thus easily taken.

Sternunt se somno diversa in littore phocæ. Virg. Geor. iv. 432. 239. If business calls.] Umbritius, having shewn the advantages of the rich, in being able to afford themselves quiet repose notwithstanding the constant noises in the city, which break the rest of the poorer sort, now proceeds to observe the advantage with which the opulent can travel along the crowded streets, where the poorer sort are inconvenienced beyond measure.

Si vocat officium-if business, either public or private, calls the rich man forth, the crowd makes way for him as he is carried along in his litter.

240. Pass swiftly, &c.] Curret-lit. will run-while the common passengers can hardly get along for the crowds of people, the rich man passes on without the least impediment, being exalted above the heads of the people, in his litter, which is elevated on the shoulders of tall and stout Liburnian bearers.

The word ora properly means faces or countenances—the super ora may denote his being carried above the faces of the crowd, which are turned upwards to look at him as he passes.

A huge Liburnian.] The chairmen at Rome commonly eame from Liburnia, a part of Illyria, between Istria and Dalmatia. They were remarkably tall and stout.

241. Read, or write, or sleep.] He is carried on with so much ease to himself, that he can amuse himself with reading-employ himself in writing or if he has a mind to take a nap, has only to shut up the window of his litter, and he will be soon composed to sleep. All this he may do--obiter-in going along-En chemin faisant en passant, as the French say,

243. But he will come before us.] He will lose no time by all this, for, however he may employ himself in his way, he will be sure to arrive before us foot passengers, at the place he is going to.

Us hastening.] Whatever hurry we may be in, or whatever haste we wish to make, we are sure to be obstructed the crowd that is before us, in multitude and turbulence, like waves, closes in,

245

Unda prior, magno populus premit agmine lumbos
Qui sequitur : ferit hic cubito, ferit assere duro
Alter ; at hic tignum capiti incutit, ille metretam.
Pinguia crura luto: plantâ mox undique magna
Calcor, et in digito clavus mihi militis hæret.

Nonne vides quanto celebretur sportula funio ?
Centum convivæ ; sequitur sua quemque culina :
Corbulo vix ferret tot vasa ingentia, tot res
Impositas capiti, quot recto vertice portat
Servulus infelix ; et cursu ventilat ignem.

250

upon us, as soon as the great man, whom they made way for, is passed, so that we can hardly get along at all.

244. The people who follow, &c.] As the crowd which is before us stops up our way, that which is behind presses upon our backs, so that we can hardly stir either backward or forward.

215. One strikes with the elbow.] To jostle us out of his way.

245-6. Another with a large joist.] Which he is carrying along, and runs it against us. Asser signifies a pole, or piece of wood, also the joist of an house; which, from the next word, we may suppose to be meant here, at least some piece of timber for building, which, being carried along in the crowd, must strike those who are not aware of it, and who stand in the way.

Some understand asser in this place to mean a pole of some litter that is passing along--a chair-pole, as we should call it.

246. Drives a beam, &c.] Another is carrying tignum, a beam, or rafter, or some other large piece of wood used in building, which, being carried on the shoulder, has the end level with the heads of those it meets with in its way, and must inflict a severe blow.

A tub.] Metreta--signifies a cask of a certain measure, which, in being carried through the crowd, will strike and hurt those who don't avoid it.

247. Thick with mud.) Bespattered with the mire of the streets, which is kicked up by such a number of people upon each other.

247-8. On all sides--the nail, &c.] I can hardly turn myself but some heavy, splay-footed fellow tramples upon my feet; and at Jast some soldier's hob-nail runs into my toe. The soldiers wore a sort of harness on their feet and legs, called caliga, which was stuck full of large nails. See sat, xvi. 24, 5.

Such are the inconveniences which the common sort of people meet with in walking the streets of Rome.

249. Do not you see, &c.] Umbritius procecds to onumerate far. ther inconveniences and dangers, which attend passengers in the streets of Rome.

Some understand fumo, here, in a figurative sense...q. d. With how much bustler with what crowds of people, like clouds of smoke, is the sportula frequented ? Others think it alludes to the smoke of the chafing-dishes of hot coals which were put under the Obstructs: the people who follow press the loins with a large Concourse: one strikes with the elbow, another strikes with a large

245 Joist, but another drives a beam against one's head, another a tuh. The legs thick with mud: presently, on all sides, with a great

foot I'm trodden on, and the nail of a soldier sticks in my toe. Do not you see with how much smoke the sportula is fre

quented? An hundred guests : his own kitchen follows every one : 250 Corbulo could hardly bear so many immense vessels, so many

things Put on his head, as, with an upright top, an unhappy little Slave carries; and in running ventilates the fire.

victuals, to keep them warm as they were carried along the street: this, from the number, must have been very offensive.

249. The sportula.] Of this, see sat. i. 95, note. But, from the circumstances which are spoken of in the next four lines of this passage, it should seem, that the sportula mentioned here was of another kind than the usual poor dole-basket. Here are an hun dred guests invited to partake of it, and each has such a share dis. tributed to him as to be very considerable.

250. His own kitchen follows.] Each of the hundred sharers of this sportula had a slave, who, with a chafing-dish of coals on his head, on which the victuals were put, to keep them hot, followed his master along the street homewards: so that the whole made a long procession.

Culina denotes a place where victuals are cooked ; and as the slaves followed their masters with vessels of fire placed under the dishes so as to keep them warm, and, in a manner, to dress them as they went along, each of these might be looked upon as a moveable or travelling kitchen: so that the masters might each be said to be followed by his own kitchen.

251. Corbulo.] A remarkable strong and valiant man in the time of Nero. Tacitus says of him-Corpore ingens erat, et supra experientiam sapientiamque erat validus.

252. An upright top.] The top of the head, on which the vessels of fire and provision were carried, must be quite upright, not bending or stooping, lest the soup, or sauce, which they contained, should be spilt as they went along, or vessels and all slide off. The tot vaga ingentia, and tot resm-shew that the sportula above mentioned was of a magnificent kind, more like the splendor of a cena rectama set and full supper, than the scanty distribution of a dole-basket.

252-3. Unhappy little slave.] Who was hardly equal to the burden which he was obliged to carry in so uneasy a situation, as not daring to stir his head.

253. In running ventilates, &c.] He blew up, or fanned, the fire

« PredošláPokračovať »