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Preserves the Trojan fire, and worships the lesser Vesta, A wondering crowd, for a while, opposed him as he entered : As it gave way, the gates opened with an easy hinge : The excluded fathers behold the admitted dainties. He comes to Atrides : then the Picenian said- Accept 65 “ What is too great for private kitchens : let this day be passed “ As a festival ; hasten to release your stomach from its cram

“ mings,

while the business of the turbot is settled, before they can be admit. ted. lit. they await the admitted victuals. See expectant used in this sense. Virg. Æn. iv. I. 134.

Casaubon reads spectant, which seems to give the most natural and easy sense.

64. Dainties.] Opsonium-iimsignifies any victuals eaten with bread, especially fish. Ainsw. Gr. afo, proprie, piscis. Hed.So likewise in S. S. John vi. 9. duo olagra, two little fishes. Here Juvenal uses opsonia for the rhombus.

65. Atrides. So the poet here humourously calls Domitian, in allusion to Agamemnon, the son of Atreus, whose pride prompted him to be styled the commander over all the Grecian generals. Thus Domitian affected the titles of Dux ducum-Princeps princi. pum, and even Deus.

The Picenian.] i. e. The fisherman, who was an inhabitant of Picenum.

-Accept.] Thus begins the fisherman's abject and fulsome address to the emperor, on presenting the turbot.

66. What is too great.] Lit. greater than private fires. Focus is properly a fire-hearth, by met. fire. Focis, here, means the fires by which victuals are dressed, kitchen fires; and so, by met. kitchens.

9.

d. The turbot which he presented to the emperor was too great and valuable to be dressed in any private kitchen.

67. As a festival.] The adj. genialis signifies cheerful-merryfestival-so, genialis dies a day of festivity, a festival-such as was observed on marriage or on birth-days: on these latter, they held a yearly feast in honour of their genius, or tutelar deity, which was supposed to attend their birth,

and to live and die with them. See Pers. sat. ii. l. 3, and note. Probably the poet here means much the same as Horace, lib. iii. ode xvii.aby genium curabisyou shall indulge yourself—make merry.

Hasten to release, &c.] The poet here lashes Domitian's gluttony, by making the fisherman advise him to unload, and set his stomach at liberty from the dainties which it contained, (which was usually done by vomits,) in order to whet it, and to make room for this turbot. Sagina lit. means any meat wherewith things are crammed or fatted, and is well applied here to express the emperor's stuffing and cramming himself, by his daily gluttony, like a beast or a fowl that is put up to be fattened.

70

Et tua servatum consume in sæcula rhombumo:
Ipse capi voluit. Quid apertius ? et tamen illi
Surgebant cristæ : nihil est, quod credere de se
Non possit, cum laudatur Dís æqua potestas.
Sed deerat pisci patinæ mensura : vocantur
Ergo in concilium proceres, quos oderat ille ;
In

quorum facie miseræ, magnæque sedebat
Pallor amicitiæ. Primus, clamante Liburno,
Currite, jam sedit, raptâ properabat abolla
Pegasus, attonitæ positus modo villicus urbi :
Anne aliud tunc Præfecti ? quorum optimus, atque

75

68. Reserved for your age.] As if Providence had purposely formed and preserved this fish for the time of Domitian.

69. Itself it would be taken.] The very fish itself was ambitious to be caught for the entertainment and gratification of your Ma. jesty.

What could be plainer?] What flattery could be more open, more palpable than this?

says Juvenal. 70. His crest arose.] This flattery, which one would have thought too gross to be received, yet pleased Domitian, he grew proud of it --surgebant cristæ.

Metaph. taken from the appearance of a cock when he is pleased, and struts and sets op his comb.

There is nothing, &c.].i, e. When a prince can believe himself equal in power to the gods, (which was the case with Domitian,) no flattery can be too gross, fulsome, or palpable to be received; he will believe every thing that can be said in his praise, and grow still the vainer for it.

Mr. Dryden, in his ode called Alexander's Feast, has finely ima. gined an instance of this, where Alexander is almost mad with pride, at hearing himself celebrated as the son of Jupiter by Olympia.

With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears;

Assumes the god,

Affects to nod,

And seems to shake the spheres. 72. But-a size, &c.] They had no pot capacious enough, in its dimensions, to contain this large turbot, so as to dress it whole. Patina is a pot of earth or metal, in which things were boiled, and brought to table in their broth. Ainsw. 73. The nobles.] Proceres--the senators-called patres, l. 64.

Are called into council.] To deliberate on what was to be done in this momentous business.

Whom he hated.] From a consciousness of his being dreaded and hated by them.

74. The paleness.] We have here a striking representation of a tyrant, who, conscious that he must be hated by all about him, hates them, and they, knowing his capricious cruelty, never approach him without horror and dread, lest they should say or do something, “ And consume a turbot reserved for your age: " Itself it would be taken."-What could be plainer! and yet His crest arose : there is nothing which of itself it may not 70 Believe, when a power equal to the gods is praised. But there was wanting a size of pot for the fish : therefore The nobles are called into council, whom he hated : In the face of whom was sitting the paleness of a miserable And great friendship.-- First, (a Liburnian crying out- 75 ~ Run-he is already seated,') with a snatched-up gown, hastened Pegasus, lately appointed bailiff to the astonished city Were the Præfects then any thing else 1- of whom [he was the

best, and

56 wait.”.

however undesignedly, which may cost them their lives. Comp. 1. 86–8.

75. A Liburnian.] Some have observed that the Romans 'made criers of the Liburnians, a remarkable lusty and stout race of men, (see sat. iii. 240.) because their voices were very loud and strong. Others take Liburnus here for the proper name of some particular man who had the office of crier.

76. Run, &c.] “ Make haste-lose no time the emperor has already taken his seat at the council-table-don't make him

With a snatched-up gown.] Abolla, here, signifies a senator's robe. In sat. iii. 115. it signifies a philosopher's gown.-On hear. ing the summons, he caught up his robe in a violent hurry, and huddled it on,

and

away he went. This Pegasus was an eminent lawyer, who had been appointed præfect or governor of the city of Rome. Juvenal calls him villicus, or bailiff, as if Rome, by Domitian's tyranny, had so far lost its liberty and privileges, that it was now no better than an insignificant village, and its officers had no more power or dignity than a country bailiff-a little paltry officer over a small district.

The præfectus urbis (says KENNETT, Ant. lib. iii. part ii. c. 13.) was a sort of mayor of the city, created by Augustus, by the advice of his favourite Mæcenas, upon whom at first he conferred the new honour. He was to precede all other city magistrates, having power to receive appeals from the inferior courts, and to decide almost all causes within the limits of Rome, or one hundred miles round. Be fore this, there was sometimes a præfectus urbis created, when the .kings, or the greater officers, were absent from the city, to admi. nister justice in their room.

But there was an end of all this, their hands were now tied up, their

power and consequence were no more; Domitian had taken every thing into his own hands, and no officer of the city could act farther than the emperor deigned to permit, who kept the whole city in the utmost terror and astonishment at his cruelty and oppression.

78. Of whom, &c.] This Pegasus was an excellent magistrate, the best of any that had filled that office-most conscientious and

80

85

Interpres legum sanctissimus ; omnia quanquam
Temporibus diris tractanda putabat inermi
Justitiâ. Venit et Crispi jucunda senectus,
Cujus erant mores, qualis facundia, mite
Ingenium. Maria, ac terras, populosque regenti
Quis comes uti si clade et peste sub illâ
Sævitiam damnare, et honestum afferre liceret
Consilium ? sed quid violentius aure tyranni,
Cum quo de nimbis, aut æstibus, aut pluvioso
Vere locuturi fatum pendebat amici ?
Ille igitur nunquam direxit brachia contra
Torrentem : nec civis erat, qui libera posset
Verba animi proferre, et vitam impendere vero.
Sic multas hyemes, atque octogesima vidit
Solstitia : his armis, illa

quoque

tutus in aulâ.
Proximus ejusdem properabat Acilius ævi
Cum juvene indigno, quem mors tam sæva maneret,
Et domini gladiis jam festinata : sed olim

90

95

faithful in his administration of justicea-never straining the laws to oppress the people, but expounding them fairly and honestly.

80--1. With unarmed justice.] Such was the cruelty and tyranny of Domitian, that even Pegasus, that good and upright magistrate, was deterred from the exact and punctual administration of justice, every thing being now governed as the emperor pleased; so that the laws had not their force; nor dared the judges execute them, but according to the will of the emperor--justice was disarmed of its powers.

81. Crispus.] Vibius Crispus, who, when one asked him, if any body was with Cæsar? answered, “ Not even a fly.” Domitian, at the beginning of his reign, used to amuse himself with catching flies, and şticking them through with a sharp pointed instrument. A sure presage of his future cruelties.

82-3. A gentle disposition.] He was as remarkable for sweet. ness of temper, as for his eloquence, pleasantry, and good nature. Comp. Hor. lib. ii. sat. i. 1. 72. Mitis sapientia Læli.

84. Who a more useful companion.] The meaning is, who could have been a more salutary friend and companion, as well as counsel. lor, to the emperor, if he had dared to have spoken his mind, to have reprobated the cruelty of the emperor's proceedings, and to have given his advice to a man, who, like sword and pestilence, destroyed all that he took a dislike to.

86. What is more violent, &c.] More rebellious against the dictates of honest truth--more impatient of advice-more apt to imbibe the most fatal prejudices.

87. Speak of showers, &c.] Such was the capriciousness and cru. elty of Domitian, that it was unsafe for his friends to converse with him, even on the most indifferent subjects, such as the weather, and the like: the least word misunderstood, or taken ill, might cost a Most upright interpreter of laws; tho' all things,

[80 In direful times, he thought were to be managed with unarmed Justice. The pleasant old age of Crispus also came, Whose manners were, as his eloquence, a gentle Disposition: to one governing seas, and lands, and people, Who a more useful companion, if, under that slaughter and pes

tilence, It were permitted to condemn cruelty, and to give honest 85 Counsel? But what is more violent than the ear of a tyrant, With whom the fate of a friend, who should speak of showers, Or beats, or of a rainy spring, depended ? He therefore never directed his arms against The torrent : nor was he a citizen, who could utter

90 The free words of his mind, and spend his life for the truth. Thus he saw many winters, and the eightieth Solstices: with these arms, safe also in that court. Next, of the same age, hurried Acilius With a youth unworthy, whom so cruel a death should await, 95 And now hastened by the swords of the tyrant: but long since

man his life, though to that moment he had been regarded as a friend.

89. Never directed, &c. Never attempted to swim against the stream, as we say.--He knew the emperor too well ever to venture an opposition to his will and pleasure.

91. Spend his life, &c.] Crispus was not one of those citizens who dared to say what he thought; or to hazard his life in the cause of truth, by speaking his mind.

92—3. Eightieth solstices.] Eighty solstices of winter and summeri. e. he was now eighty years of age.

93.' With these arms, &c.] Thus armed with prudence and cau. tion, he had lived to a good old age, even in the court of Domitian, where the least offence or prejudice would, long since, have taken him off.

94. Acilius.] Glabriona senator of singular prudence and fidelity.

95. With' a youth, &c.] Domitius, the son of Acilius, came with his father; but both of them were soon after charged with designs against the emperor, and were condemned to death. The father's sentence was changed into banishment, the more to grieve hiin with the remembrance of his son's death.

-Unworthy.] Not deserving that so cruel a death should await him.

This unhappy young man, to save his life, affected madness, and fought naked with wild beasts in the amphitheatre at Alba, where Do. mitian every year celebrated games in honour of Minerva : but he was not to be deceived, and he put Domitius to death in a cruel man.

See l. 99, 100. 96. The swords.] Gladjis, in the plur. either by syn. for gla.

ner.

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