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Ultimus, et calvo serviret Roma Neroni,
Incidit Adriaci spatium admirabile rhombi,
Ante domum Veneris, quam Dorica sustinet Ancon;

Implevitque sinus : neque enim minor hæserat illis,
Quos operit glacies Mæotica, ruptaque tandem
Solibus effundit torpentis ad ostia Ponti,
Desidiâ tardos, et longo frigore pingues.
Destinat hoc monstrum cymbæ linique magister

45 Pontifici summo: quis enim proponere talem, Aut emere auderet? cum plena et littora multo Delatore forent: dispersi protinus algæ

38. Was in bondage to bald Nero.7 Was in bondage and slavery to the tyrant Domitian. This emperor was bald ; at which he was so displeased, that he would not suffer baldness to be mentioned in his presence He was called Nero, as all the bad emperors were, from his cruelty. Servire-implies the service which is paid to a tyrant: parer-that obedience which is paid to a good prince.

39. There fell, &c.] Having related the time when, he now men. tions the place where, this large turbot was caught. It was in the Adriatic sea, near the city of Ancon, which was built by a people originally Greeks, who also built there a temple of Venus. This city stood on the shore, at the end of a bay which was formed by two promontories, and made a curve like that of the elbow when the arm s bent hence it was called aynwy, the elbow. The poet, by being thus particular, as if he were relating an event, every circumstaníc of which was of the utmost importance, enhances the irony.

The Syracusans, who fled to this part of Italy from the tyranny of Dionysius, were originally from the Dorians, a people of Achaia: hence Aicon is called Dorica : it was the metropolis of Picenum. Ancona is now a considerable city in Italy, and belongs to the рарасу.

40. Sustains.] Sustinet does not barely mean, that this temple of Venus sood at Ancon, but that it was upheld and maintained, in all its worship, rites, and ceremonies, by the inhabitants.

41. hto a net.] Sinus, lit. means the bosom or bow of the netg which tle turbot was so large as entirely to fill.

Stuck.] Hæserat-had entangled itself, so as to stick fast. 42. The Mæotic ice.] The Mæotis was a vast lake, which in the winter vas frozen over, and which, when thawed in summer, discharged itself into the Euxine sea, by the Cimmerian Bosphorus.

Here vast quantities of fine fish were detained while the frosts lasted, and then came with the flowing waters into the mouth of the Pontus Euxinus. These fish, by lying in a torpid state during the winter, grew fat and bulky.

* 43. The dull Pontic.] So called from the slowness of its tide. This might, in part, be occasioned by the vast quantities of broken ice, which came down from the lake Mæotis, and retarded its


World, and Rome was in bondage to bald Nero,
There fell a wondrous size of an Adriatic turbot,
Before the house of Venus which Doric Ancon sustains,

Into a net and filled it, for a less had not stuck than those
Which the Mæotic ice covers, and at length, broken
By the sun, pours forth at the entrance of the dull Pontic,
Slow by idleness, and, by long cold, fat.

The master of the boat and net destines this monster 45 For the chief pontiff—for who to offer such a one to sale, Or to buy it would dare? since the shores too with many An informer might be full: the dispersed inquisitors of sea-weed

The Euxine, or Pontic sea, is sometimes called Pontus only. See Ainsw. Euxinus and Pontus.

45. Net.] Linum-lit. signifies flax, and, by meton. thread, which is made of flax-but as nets are made of thread, it frequently, as here, signifies a net. Meton. See Virg. Georg. ii. 1. 142.

46. For the chief pontif.] Domitian, whose title, as emperor, was Pontifex Summus, or Maximus. Some think that the poet al. ludes to the gluttony of the pontiffs in general, which was so great as to be proverbial. The words glutton and priest were almost synonymous Cænæ pontificum, or the feasts which they made on public occasions, surpassed all others in luxury. Hence Hor. lib. ii. ode xiii. ad fin.

Pontificum potiore cænis. Juvenal, therefore, may be understood to have selected this title of the emperor, by way of equivocally calling him what he durst not plainly have expressed--the chief of gluttons.-Comp. sat. ii. 1. 113. -He was particularly the Pontifex Summus of the college at Alba. See note on I. 60. ad fin.

The poor fisherman, who had caught this monstrous fish, knew full well the gluttony, as well as the cruelty of Domitian : he there. fore determines to make a present of it to the emperor, not daring to offer it to sale elsewhere, and knowing that, if he did, nobody would dare to buy it; for both buyer and seller would be in the utmost danger of Domitian's resentment, at being disappointed of such a rarity.

47. Since the shores, &c.] The reign of Domitian was famous for the encouragement of informers, who sat themselves in all places to get intelligence. These particular people, who are mentioned here, were officially placed on the shore to watch the landing of goods, and to take care that the revenue was not defrauded. They appear to have been like that species of revenue officers amongst us, which are called tide-waiters.

48. Inquisitors of sea-weed.] Alga signifies a sort of weed, which the tides cast up and leave on the shore. The poet's calling these people alga inquisitores, denotes their founding accusations on the merest trifles, and thus oppressing the public. They dispersed them. selves in such a manner as not to be avoided,


Inquisitores agerent cum remige nudo;
Non dubitaturi fugitivum dicere piscem,

Depastumque diu vivaria Cæsaris, inde
Elapsum, veterem ad dominum debere reverti.
Si quid Palphưio, si credimus Armillato,
Quicquid conspicuum, pulchrumque est æquore toto,
Res fisci est, ubicunque natat. Donabitur ergo,
Ne pereat. Jam lethifero cedente pruinis
Autumno, jam quartanam sperantibus ægris,
Stridebat deformis hyems, prædamque recentem
Servabat : tamen hic properat, velut urgeat Auster :
Utque lacus suberant, ubi, quanquam diruta, servat

60 49. IVould immediately contend, &c.] They would immediately take advantage of the poor fisherman's forlorn and defenceless con. dition, to begin a dispute with him about the fish ; and would even have the impudence to say, that, though the man might have caught the fish, yet he had no right to it—that it was astray, and ought to return to the right owner.

51. Long had fed, &c.] Vivarium, as has been before observed, denotes a place where wild beasts or fishes are kept, a park, a warren, a stew or fish-pond.

The monstrous absurdity of what the poet supposes these fellows to advance, in order to prove that this fish was the emperor's property, (notwithstanding the poor fisherman had caught it in the Adriatic sea,) may be considered as one of those means of oppression, which were made use of to distress the people, and to wrest their property from them, under the most frivolous and groundless pretences, and at the same time under colour of legal claim.

53. Palphurius-Armillatus. Both men of consular dignity; lawyers, and spies, and informers, and so favourites with Domitian.

Here is another plea against the poor fisherman, even granting that the former should fail in the proof; namely, that the emperor has, by his royal prerogative, and as part of the royal revenue, a right to all fish which are remarkable in size or value, wheresoever caught in any part of the sea ; and as this turbot came within that description, the emperor must have it, and this on the authority of those great lawyers above mentioned. By the law of England, whale and sturgeon are called royal fish, because they belong to the king, on account of their excellence, as part of his ordinary revenue, in consideration of his protecting the seas from pirates and robbers. See Blacks. Com. 4to. p. 290.

55. Therefore it shall be presented.] The poor fisherman, aware of all this, rather than incur the danger of a prosecution at the suit of the emperor, in which he could have no chance but to lose his fine turbot, and to be ruined into the bargain, makes a virtue of neces. sity, and therefore wisely determines to carry it as a present to Do. mitian, who was at that time at Alba.

56. Lest it should be lost.] Lest it should be seized, and taken from him by the informers.

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Would immediately contend with the naked boatman;
Not doubting to say that the fish was a fugitive,

50 And long had fed in Cæsar's ponds, thence had Escaped, and ought to return to its old master: If we at all believe Palphurius, or Armillatus, Whatever is remarkable, and excellent in the whole sea, Is a matter of revenue, wherever it swims: Therefore it shall be presented

55 Lest it should be lost. Deadly autumn was now yielding to Hoar-frosts, the unhealthy now expecting a quartan, Deformed winter howled, and the recent prey Preserved : yet he hastens as if the south wind urged. And as soon as they had got to the lakes, where, tho' demolished, Alba


The boatmản then shall a wise present make,
And give the fish, before the seizers take.

DUKË. Or-It shall be presented, and that immediately, lest it should grow stale and stink.

56. Deadly autumn, &c.] By this we learn, that the autumn, in that part of Italy, was very unwholesome, and that, at the begin ning of the winter, quartan agues were expected by persons of a weakly and sickly habit. Spero signifies to expect either good or evil. This periphrasis describes the season in which this matter hapa pened, that it was in the beginning of winter, the weather cold, the heats of autumn succeeded by the hoar-frosts, so that the fish was in no danger of being soon corrupted.

59. Yet he hastens, &c.] Notwithstanding the weather was so favourable for preserving the fish from tainting, the poor fisherman made as much haste to get to the emperor's palace, as if it had been now summer-time.

60. They.] i. e. The fisherman, and his companions the infor: mers—they would not leave him.

Got to the lakes.] The Albanian lakes-these are spoken of by Hor. lib. iv. od. i. 1. 19, 20.



te lacus Ponet marmoream sub trabe citrea: The city of Alba was built between these lakes and the hills, which, for this reason, were called Colles Albani; hence these lakes were also called Lacus Albani. Alba was about fifteen miles from Rome.

Tho demolished, &c.] Tullus Hostilius, king of Rome, took away all the treasure and relics which the Trojans had placed there in the temple of Vesta; only, out of a superstitious fear, the fire was left; but he overthrew the city. See Ant. Un. Hist. vol. xi. p. 310. All the temples were spared. Liv. l. i.

The Albans, on their misforturies, neglecting their worship, were commanded, by various prodigies, to restore their ancient rites, the chief of which was, to keep perpetually burning the restal fire whicla


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Ignem Trojanum, et Vestam colit Alba minorem,
Obstitit intranti miratrix turba parumper :
Ut cessit, facili patuerunt cardine valvæ :
Exclusi spectant admissa opsonia patres.
Itur ad Atridem : tum Picens, accipe, dixit,
Privatis majora focis; genialis agatur
Iste dies; propera stomachum laxaré saginis,


was brought there by Æneas, and his Trojans, as a fatal pledge of the perpetuity of the Roman empire.

Alba Longa was built by Ascanius the son of Æneas, and called Alba, from the white sow which was found on the spot. See VIRG. Æn. iii. 390_-3. Æn. viii. 43—8.

Domitian was at this time at Alba, where he had instituted a col. lege of priests, hence called Sacerdotes, or Pontifices Albani.

As he was their founder and chief, it might be one reason of his being called Pontifex Summus, l. 46. when at that place. The occasion of his being there at that time, may be gathered from what Pliny says in his epist. to Corn. Munatianus.

66 Domitian was desirous to punish Corn. Maximilla, a vestal, by “ burying her alive, she having been detected in unchastity; he went 6 to Alba, in order to convoke his college of priests, and there, in 66 abuse of his power as chief, he condemned her in her absence, and 66 unheard.” See before, l. 12, and note.

Suetonius says, that Domitian went every year to Alba, to celebrate the Quinquatria, a feast so called, because it lasted five days, and was held in honour of Minerva, for whose service he had also instituted the Albanian priests—this might have occasioned his being at Alba at this time.

61. The lesser Vesta.] So styled, with respect to her temple at Alba, which was far inferior to that at Rome built by Numa.

62. Wondering crowd.] A vast number of people assembled to view this fine fish, insomuch that, for a little while, parumper, they obstructed the fisherman in his way to the palace.

63. As it gave way.] i. e. As the crowd, having satisfied their curiosity, retired, and gave way for him to pass forward.

The gates, &c.] Valvæ—the large folding doors of the pa. lace are thrown open, and afford a ready and welcome entrance to one who brought such a delicious and acceptable present. Comp. Hor. lib. i. od. xxv. I. 5, 6.

64. The excluded fathers.] Patres—i. ę. patres conscripti, the senators, whom Domitian had commanded to attend him at Alba, either out of state, or in order to form his privy-council on state affairs.

There is an antithesis here between the admissa opsonia and the exclusi patres, intimating, that the senators were shut out of the palace, when the doors were thrown open to the fisherman and his turbot : these venerable personages had only the privilege of look.' ing at it, as it was carried through the crowd.

Many copies read expectant-eq. d. The senators are to wait,

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