« PredošláPokračovať »
Exul ab octava Marius bibit, et fruitur Dis
49. The exile Marius.] Marius Priscus, proconsul of Africa, who, for pillaging the province of vast sums of money, was condemned to be banished.
From the eighth hour.] Began his carousals from two o'clock in the afternoon, which was reckoned an instance of dissoluteness and luxury, it being an hour sooner than it was customary to sit down to meals. See note on sat. xi. 1. 204, and on Persius; sat. iii. l. 4.
49–50. He enjoys the angry gods.] Though Marius had incurred the anger of the gods by his crimes, yet, regardless of this, he enjoyed himself in a state of the highest jollity and festivity.
Vanquishing province, &c.] Victrix-was used as a forensic term, to denote one who had got the better in a law-suit. vince of Africa had sued Marius, and had carried the cause against him, but had still reason to deplore her losses : for though Marius was sentenced to pay an immense fine, which came out of what he had pillaged, yet this was put into the public treasury, and no part of it given to the Africans; and, besides this, Marius-had reserved sufficient to maintain himself in a luxurious manner. See above, note on I. 47, 8.
51. Wurthy the Venusinian lamp.?] i. e. The pen of Horace him. self ?- This charming writer was born at Venusium, a city of Apu. lia, When the poets wrote by night they made use of a lamp.
52. Shall I not agitate, &c.] Agitem-implies pursuing, as hunt.' ers do wild beasts-hunting-chasing.--So inveighing against by satire, driving such vices as he mentions out of their lurking places, and hunting them down, as it were, in order to destroy them.
— But why rather Heracleans.] Juvenal here anticipates the supposed objections of some, who might, perhaps, advise him to employ his talents on some fabulous, and more poetical subjects such as the labours of Hercules, &c." Why should I prefer these 66 (as if he had said) when so many subjects in real life occur, to 66 exercise my pen in a more useful way?"
53. Or Diomedeans.] i. e. Verses on the exploits of Diomed, a king of Thrace, who fed his horses with man’s flesh. Hercules slew him, and threw him to be devoured by his own horses.
The loving of the labyrinth.] The story of the Minotaur, the monster kept in the labyrinth of Crete, who was half a bull, and slain by Theseus. See Ainsw. Minotaurus,
The exile Marius drinks from the eighth hour, and enjoys the
54. The sea stricken by a boy.] The story of Icarus, who flying too near the sun, melted the wax by which his wings were fastened together, and fell into the sea ; from him called Icarian. See Hor. lib. IV. od. ii. 1. 2-4.
The Aying artificer.] Dædalus-whọ invented and made wings for himself and his son Icarus, with which they fled from Crete. See AINSW. Dædalus.
55. The bawd.] The husband-who turns bawd by prostituting his wife for gain, and thus receives the goods of the adulterer, as the price of her chastity.
56. There is no right to the wife.] Domitian made a law to for. bid the use of litters (see note, l. 32.) to adulterous wives, and to deprive them of taking legacies or inheritances by will. This was evaded, by making their husbands panders to their lewdness, and so causing the legacies to be given to them..
Taught to look upon the ceiling.) As inobservant of his wife's infamy then transacting before him—this he was well skilled in. See Hor. lib. III. od. vi. l. 25-32.
57. At a cup, &c.] Another device was to set a large cup on the table, which the husband was to be supposed to have emptied of the liquor which it had contained, and to be nodding over it, as if in a drunken sleep.
To snore with a vigilant nose.] Snoring is an evidence that a man is fast asleep, therefore, the husband knew well how to exhibit this proof, by snoring aloud, which is a peculiar symptom of a drunken sleep. The poet uses the epithet vigilanti
, here, very hu. mourously, to denote, that though the man seemed to be fast asleep by his snoring, yet his nose seemed to be awake by the noise it made. So PLAUT. in Milite.
An dormit Sceledrüs intus ? Non naso quidem,
noise enough. Our Farquhar, in the description which he makes Mrs. Sullen give of her drunken husband, represents her as mentioning a like particular :
“ My whole night's comfort is the tunable serenade of that 6 wakeful nightingale his nose.”
Cum fas esse putet curam sperare
Nonne libet medio ceras implere capaces-
58. A cohort.] A company of foot in a regiment, or legioni, which consisted of ten cohorts.
59. Hath given his estate to stables.] i.e. Has squandered away all his patrimony in breeding and keeping horses. Præsepe sometimes mcans--a cell, stews, or brotliel. Perhaps, this may be the sense here, and the poet may mean, that this spendthrift had larished his fortune on the stews, in lewdness and debauchery.
59-60. Lacks all the income, &c.] Has spent the family estate.
60. While he flies, &c.] The person here meant is far from certain. Commentators differ much in their conjecture on the subject. Britannicus gives the matter up. “ This passage," says he, “ is
one of those, concerning which we are yet to seek.”
But whether Cornelius Fuscús be meant, who when a boy was charioteer to Nero, as Automedon was to Achilles, and who, after wasting his substance in riotous living, was made commander of a regiment Or Tigillinus, an infamous favourite of Nero's, be here designed, whose character is supposed to have answered to the de. scription here given, is not certain-one or other seems to be meant.
- The poet is mentioning various subjects, as highly proper for satire; and, among others, some favourite at court, who, after spend. ing all his paternal estate in riot, extravagance, and debauchery, was made a commander in the army, and exhibited his chariot, driving full speed over the Flaminian way, which led to the emperor's villa; and all this, because, when a boy, he had been Nero's charioteer, or, as the poet humourously calls him, his Automedon, and used to drive out Nero and his minion Sporus, whom Nero castrated, to make him, as much as he could, resemble a woman, and whom he used as a mistress, and afterwards took as a wife, and appeared publicly in his chariot with him, openly caressing, and making love, as he passed along.
The poet humourously speaks of Sporus in the feminine gender. -As the lacerna was principally a man's garment, by lacernatæ amicæ, the poet may be understood, as if he had called Sporus, Nero's male-mistress--being habited like a man, and caressed as a
The above appears to me a probable explanation of this obscure and difficult passage. Holiday gives it a different turn, as may be seen by his annotation on this place. I do not presume to be posi.
When he can think it right to hope for the charge of a cohort,
tive, but will say with Britannicus : “ Sed quum in ambiguo sit, de
quo poeta potissimum intelligat, unusquisque, si neutrum horum € probabile visum fuerit, quod ad loci explanationem faciat, ex.
61. The Flaminian way.] A road made by Caius Flaminius, colleague of Lepidus, from Rome to Ariminum.
62. When he boasted himself.] Jactare se alicui signifies to recommend, to insinuate one's self into the favour, or good graces of another—as when a man is courting his mistress. By ipse, according to the above interpretation of this passage, we must understand the emperor Nero.
63. Capacious wuren tablets.] These are here called ceras, some-
64. Cross-way.] Juvenal means, that a man might please himself
On a sixth neck.] i. e. In a litter carried by six slaves,
65. Exposed, &c.] Carried openly to and fro, here and there, through the public streets, having no shame for what he had done to enrich himself.
66. The supine Mæcenas.] By this it appears, that Mæcenas was given to laziness and effeminacy. See sat. xii. l. 39.
Horace calls him Malthinus-from reaca Jaxos, which deuotes softness and effeminacy. See Hor. lib. i. sat. ii. 1. 25.
67. A signer, &c.] Signator signifies a sealer or signer of contracts or wills. Here it means a species of cheat, who imposed false wills and testaments on the heirs of the deceased, supposed to be made in their own favour, or in favour of others with whom they
Or, rive bake
-d as y in ssed
Exiguis tabulis, et gemmâ fecerat uda?
shared the spoil. See sat. x. I. 336. and note. Some suppose this to be particularly meant of Tigellinus, a favourite of Nero's, who poisoned three uncles, and, by forging their wills, made himself heir to all they had.
68. By small tables.] Short testaments, contained in a few words. Comp. note on I. 63.
A wet gem.] i. e. A seal, which was cut on some precious stone, worn in a ring on the finger, and occasionally made use of to seal deeds or wills—this they wetted to prevent the wax sticking to it. This was formerly known among our forefathers, by the name of a seal-ring.
69. A potent matron occurs.] Another subject of satire the poet here adverts to, namely-women who poison their husbands, and this with impunity. The particular person here alluded to, under the description of matrona potens, was, probably, Agrippina, the wife of Claudius, who poisoned her husband, that she might make her son Nero emperor.
Occurs.] Meets you in the public street, and thus occurs to the observation of the satirist. Comp. I. 63, 4.
69. Calenian wine.] Calenum was a city in the kingdom of Na. ples, famous for a soft kind of wine.
70. About to reach forth.] Porrectura--the husband is supposed to be so thirsty, as not to examine the contents of the draught; of this she avails herself, by reaching to him some Calenian wine, with poison in it which was extracted from a toad.
71. A better Locusta.] This Locusta was a vile woman, skilful in preparing poisors. She helped Nero to poison Britannicus, the son of Claudius and Messalina; and Agrippina to dispatch Claudius. The woman alluded to by Juvenal l. 69. he here styles-melior Locusta—a better Locusta-i. e. more skilled in poisoning than even Locusta herself.
--- Her rude neighbours.] i. e. Unacquainted and unskilled before, in this diabolical art.
72. Through fame and the people.) Setting all reputation and public report at defiance: not caring what people should say.
To bring forth.] For burialwhich efferre peculiarly means. See TER. And. act. I. sc. i. l. 90.