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Is filled, get some wood quickly, and what
you may become worthy of ivy, and a lean image.
forsaken, Himself makes verses, and yields to Homer alone, Because a thousand years [before him.) But if, with the desire
of fame Inflamed, you repeat your verses, Maculonus lends a house; 40
34. Then.) When you grow old.
-Weariness, &c.] You'll be too feeble, in body and mind, to endure any labour, and become irksome even to yourself.
35. Hates both itself and its Terpsichore.] Your old age, how. ever learned, clothed in rags, will curse itself, and the Muse that has becn your undoing. Terpsichore was one of the nine Muses, who presided over dancing and music; she is fabled to have in. vented the harp-here, by meton. lyric poetry may be understood.
36. His arts, &c.] The artifices which your supposed patron will use, to have a fair excuse for doing nothing for you.
37. The temple, &c.] There was a temple of the Muses at Rome, which was built by Martius Philippus, where poets used to recite their works. Augustus built a library, and a temple to Apollo, on Mount Palatine, where the poets used also to recite their verses, and where they were deposited. See Pers. prol, 1. 7. and HoR. lib. i. epist. iii. I. 17.
Among the tricks made use of by these rich patrons, to avoid give ing any thing to their poor clients, the poets, they affected to make verses so well themselves, as not to stand in need of the poetry of others; therefore they deserted the public recitals, and left the poor retainers on Apollo and the Muses to shift as they could,
38. Yields to Homer alone.] In his own conceit; and this only upon account of Homer's antiquity, not as thinking himself Ho. mer's inferior in any other respect.
39. If, with the desire of fame, &c.] If you don't want to get money by your verses, and only wish to repeat them for the sake of applanse. 40. Alaculonus, &c.] Some rich man will lend you his house,
Ac longe ferrata domus servire jubetur,
41. Strongly barr'd.] Longe-lit. exceedingly--Tery much 9. d. If you are thought to want money of him for your verses, the doors of his house will be barred against you, and resemble the gates of a city when besieged, and under the fear and anxiety which the besiegers occasion; but if you profess only to write for fame, he will open his house to you, it will be at your service, that you may recite your verses within it, and will procure you hearers, of his own freedmen and dependents, whom he will order to applaud you.
43. He knows how to place, &c.] Dare-lit. to give.---. d. Ho knows how to dispose his freedmen on the farthest seats behind the rest of the audience, that they may begin a clap, which will be fol. lowed by those who are seated more forward. Ordo is a rank or row of any thing, so of benches or seats.
44. And to dispose, &c.] How to dispose his clients and follow. ers, so as best to raise a roar of applause-euge!-bene!-bravo! as we say, among your hearers. All this he will do, for it costs him 'nothing.
46. The stairs, &c.] These were for the poet to ascend hy into his rostrum, and were fastened to a little beam, or piece of wood, which was hired for the purpose.
47. The orchestra, &c.] The orchestra at the Greek theatres was the part where the chorus danced—the stage. Among the Romans it was the space between the stage and the common seats, where the senators and nobles sat to see plays 'acted. The poor poet is here supposed to make up such a place as this for the reception of the better sort, should any attend his recitals; but this was made ap of hired chairs, by way of seats, but which were to be returned as soon as the business was over.
48. Yet we still go on.] Hoc agimus- lit. we do this we still pursue our poetical studies. -Hoc aģere is a phrase signifying to
And the house strongly barr'd is commanded to serve you,
you would leave off, custom of ambitious evil 50 Holds you in a snare: many an incurable ill habit of writing Possesses, and grows inveterate in the distemper'd heart. But the excellent poet, who has no common vein, Who is wont to produce nothing trifling, nor who Composes trivial verse in a common style,
55 Him (such a one I can't shew, and only conceive)
mind, attend to, what we are about. See Ter. And. act I. sc. ii, 1. 12. So before, l. 20.-hoc agite, O Juvenes.
48. Draw furrows, &c.] We take much pains to no purpose, like people who should plough in the dust, or on the sea-shores, Comp. sat. i. 157, note.
50. Would leave off.] Discedas--if you would depart from the occupation of making verses.
Custom of ambitious evil.] Evil ambition, which it is so customary for poets to be led away with, 51. An incurable ill habit.] Cacoethes (from Gr.
bad, and ndos, a custom or habit) an evil habit.-Many are got into such an itch of scribbling, that they cannot leave it off.-Cacoethes also signifies a boil, an ulcer, and the like.
52. Grows inveterate, &c.] It grows old with the man, and roots itself, as it were, by time, in his very frame.
53. No common vein.] Such talents as are not found among the generality.
54. Nothing trifling.] Expositum--common, trifling, obvious nothing
in a common way; 55. Trivial derse, &c.] Trivialis comes from trivium, a place where three ways meet, a place of common resort: therefore Icon ceive the meaning of this line to be, that such a poet as Juvenal is describing writes nothing low or vulgar ; such verses as are usually sought after, and purchased by the common people in the street: The word feriát is here metaphorical. Ferio literally signifies to -strike, or hit; thus to coin or stamp money-hence to compose or make (hit off, as we say) verses; which, if done by a good poet, may be said to be of no common stamp. Moneta is the stamp, of impression, on money-hence, by metaph..a style in writing.
Anxietate carens animus facit, omnis acerbi.
Hospitium, caderent omnes a crinibus hydri ; medewilsut Surda nihil gemeret grave buccina. Poscimus ut sit
Non minor antiquo Rubrenys Lappa cothurno,
57. A mind, &c.] i. e. Such a poct is formed by a mind that is
Desirous of woods.] Of sylvan retirement.
59—60. In the Pierian cave, &c.] Pieria was a district of Mace.
60. Thyrsus.] A spear wrapt about with ivy, which they car. ried about in their hands at the wild feasts of Bacchus, in imitation of Bacchus, who bore a thyrsus in his hand. The meaning of this passage is, that, for a poet to write well, he should be easy in his si, tuation, aud in his circumstances : for those who are harassed with poverty and want cannot write well, either in the more sober style of poetry, or in the more enthusiastic and flighty strains of composition. By sana paupertas, the poet would insinuate, that no poor poet, that had his senses, would ever attempt it.
62. Horace is satisfied, &c.] It might be objected, that Horace
what a patron he had in Mecænas, and how he was enabled by
64. The lords of Cirrha and Nisa.] Apollo and Bacchus, the tutelar gods of poets. Cirrha was a town of Phocis, near Dela phos, where Apollo had an oracle,
A mind free from anxiety makes; of every thing displeasing
60 Sober, and void of money, (which night and day the body wants,)
ble. Horace is satisfied, when he says—Euhve! What place is there for genius, unless when with verse alone Our minds trouble themselves, and by the lords of Cirrha and
65 It is the work of a great mind, not of one that is amazed about Getting a blanket, to behold chariots, and horses, and the faces Of the gods, and what an Erinnys confounded the Rutulian: For if a boy, and a tolerable lodging had been wanting to Virgil, All the snakes would have fallen from her hairs :
70 The silent trumpet have groan'd nothing disastrous. Do we
require That Rubrenus Lappa should not be less than the ancient buskin,
Nisa, a den in Arabia, where Bacchus was educated by the nymphs, when sent thither by Mercury. From hence Bacchus was called Dionysiusex Asos, and Nisa; Gr. Alonucios.
65. Carried on:] i e. Inspired, and assisted.
66. Not of one, &c.] q. d. It is the work of a great and powera ful mind, above want, not of one that is distracted about getting a blanket for his bed, to fix the eye of the imagination, so as to conceive and describe horses and chariots, and godlike appearances, in such a manner as to do justice to these sublime subjects of heroic verse.See Virg. Æn. xii. I. 326, 7.
68. And what an Erinnys.] How Alecto looked when she asto. nished the Rutulian king Turnus--when she filled him with terror, by throwing her torch at him. Æn. vii. l. 456, 7. Erinnys is a name common to the threc furies of hell, of which Alecto was
70. All the snakes would have fallen, &c.] Q. d. Had Virgil been poor, and without his pleasures and conveniences, he never would have been able to describe, in the manner he has done, the snaky tresses of Alecto. See Æn. vii. l. 450. All this had been lost to us.
71. The silent trumpet.] Surdus not only means to express one who does not hear, but that also which gives no sound. See sat. xiii. J. 194.
Juvenal alludes to Æn. vii. I. 519, 20, 1.
72. Rubrenus Lappa, &c.] An ingenious, but poor and miserable tragic poet, who lived in Juvenal's time.
Less than the ancient buskin.] Not inferior to the old wri. ters of tragedy. Cothurno, per metonym. put here for the tragic poets, as it often is for tragedy,