Obrázky na stránke

Abundant: this demands more time, and more oil ;
For the thousandth page, forgetful of measure, arises 100
To ye all, and increases ruinous with much paper : works.
Thus the great number of things ordains, and the law of (such)
What harvest is from thence? what fruit of the far-extended

slector of the registers ?
Who will give an historian as much as he would give to a col-
But they are an idle race, which rejoices in a couch or a shadę. 105
Tell me then, what civil offices afford to the lawyers,
And the libels their attendants in a great bundle?
They make a great noise, but especially then, when the creditor
Hears, or if one, more keen than he, has touched his side,
Who comes with a great book to a doubtful debt:

110 Then his hollow bellows breathe out prodigious lies, And his bosom is spit upon. But if you would discover the

ling upon their couches, or repose themselves in shady places. Hence Hor. lib. i. ode xxxii. 1. 1,

Poscimus. Şi quid vacui sub umbrą

Lusimus tecum.
And again :
Somno gaudentis et umbrâ.

Epist, ü. lib. ii. 1. 78. 106. Civil offices, &c.] What they get by their pleading for their clients in civil actions.

107. The libels, &c.] Their bundles of briefs which they carry with them into court,

108. A great noise.] Bawls alond-magna, adverbially, for mag. nopere. Græcism. See sat. vi. 516. Grande sonat.

108–9. Especialty--when the creditor hears.] Creditor signifies, "one that lends, or trusts, a creditor.

The lawyer here spoken of must be supposed to be of council with the plaintiff, or creditor, who makes a demand of money lent to another. If the lawyer observes him to be within hearing, he exerts himself the more.

109. One more keen.] If another, of a more eager disposition, and more earnest about the event of his cause, who sues for a bookdebt of a doubtful nature, and brings his account-books to prove it, thinks that the lawyer does not exert himself sufficiently in his cause, and intimates this to the pleader, by a jog on the side with his elbow-then, &c. See AINSW. Çodex, No. 2; and Nomen, No. 5. 111. His hollow bellows.] i. e. His lungs.

Breathe out prodigious lies.] In order to deceive the court, and to make the best of a bad cause.

112. Is spit upon.] Is slavered all over with his foaming at the mouth.

If you would discover, &c.] Were it possible to compute the gains of lawyers, you might put all they get in one scale, and in


Si libet ; hinc centum patrimonia causidicorum,
Parte alià solum russati pone Lacertæ.
Consedêre duces : surgis tu pallidus Ajax,
Dicturus dubiâ pro libertate, Bubulco
Judice. Rumpe miser tensum jecur, ut tibi lasso
Figantur virides, scalarum gloria, palmæ.
Quod vocis pretium ? siccus petasunculus, et vas
Pelamidum, aut veteres, Afrorum epimenia, bulbi;
Aut vinum Tiberi devectum : quinque lagenæ,
Si quater egisti. Si contigit aureus unus,
Inde cadunt partes, ex foedere pragmaticorum.


the other those of Domitian's coachman, and there would be no comparison, the latter would so far exceed.

As some understand by the russati Lacertæ, a charioteer belonging to Domitian, who was clad in a red livery, and was a great fa. vourite of that emperor; so others understand some soldier to be meant, who, as the custom then was, wore a red or russet apparel : in this view the meaning is, that the profits of one hundred lawyers, by pleading, don't amount in value to the plunder gotten by one soldier. So Mr. C. DRYDEN :

Ask what he gains by all this lying prate,

A captain's plunder trebles his estate. So Joh. Britannicus-Russati Lacertæ.] Lacerta, nomen militis, fictum a poeta : nam milites Romani, usi sunt in prælio vestibus rus

satis, &c.

115. The chiefs, &c.] Consedere duces.- The beginning of Ovid's account of the dispute, between Ulysses and Ajax, for the armour of Achilles. Ovid, Met. lib. xiji. i. 1. Here humourously intro, duced to describe the sitting of the judges on the bench in a court of justice.

Thou risest a pale Ajax.] Alluding to Ovid, lib. xii. 1. 2.

Surgit ad hos clypei dominus septemplicis Ajax by way of ridicule on the eager and agitated lawyer, who is supposed to arise with as much fury and zeal in his client's cause, as Ajax did to assert his pretensions to the armour in dispute.

116. Doubtful freedom.] 'The question in the cause is supposed to be, whether such or such a one is entitled to the freedom of the .city; there were many causes on this subject.

116--17. Bubulcus being judge.] This may mean C. Attilius Bubulcus, who was consul. Or, by Bubulcus, the poet may mean some stupid, ignorant fellow, who was fitter to be an herdsman, than to fill a seat of justice. And thus the poet might satirize the advancement of persons to judicial offices, who were totally unqualified and unfit for them.

117. Break your stretched liver.] Which, with the other contents in the region of the diaphragm, must be distended by the violent exertions of the speaker: or it may mean the liver distended by

Profit, put the patrimony of an hundred lawyers on one side,
And on the other that of the red-clad Lacerta only.
The chiefs are set down together, thou risest a pale Ajax, 115
In order to plead about doubtful freedom, Bubulcus
Being judge: break, wretch, your stretched liver, that, to you

Green palms may be fixed up, the glory of your stairs. (vessel
What is the reward of your voicet a dry bit of salt bacon, and a
Of sprats, or old bulbous roots which come monthly from Africa,
Or wine brought down the Tiber : five flagons,

[120 If you have pleaded four times If one piece of gold befals, From thence shares fall, according to the agreement of pragmatics.

anger. So Horace on another occasion fervens difficili bile tumet jecur. Hor, ode xiii. lib. i. I. 4.

118. Green palms, &c.] It was the custom of the client, if he succeeded in his cause, to fix such a garland at the lawyer's door.

The glory of your stairs.] By which the poor lawyer as. cended to his miserable habitation.

120. Of your voice.] Of all your bawling-What do you get by all the noise which you have been making ?

Of sprats.] Pelamidum. It is not very certain what these fish were ; but some small and cheap fish seem to be here meant. Ainsworth says they were called pelamides, à Gr. indos, lutumclay, or mud. Most likely they were chiefly found in mud, like qur grigs in the Thames, and were, like them, of little worth.

Old bulbous roots, &c.] Perhaps onions are here meant, which might be among the small presents sent monthly from Africa to Rome. See Ainsw. Epimenia. Plin. xix. 5. calls, a. kind of onion, epimenidium, from Gr. remmedov. Ainsw. Epimenidium. Those sent to the lawyer were veteres-old and stale.

121. Wine brought down the Tiber.] Coming down the stream from Vejento, or some other place where bad wine grew.

Five flagons.] Lagena was a sort of bottle in which wine was kept. The five lagenæ cannot be supposed to make up any great quantity. Five bottles of bad wine, for pleading four causes, was poor pay.

122. A piece of gold, &c.] If it should so happen, that you should get a piece of gold for a fee. The Roman aureus was in value about 11. 4s. 3d. according to Pliny, lib. xxxiii. c. 3. See post, 1. 243.

123, Thence shares fall, &c.] This poor pittance must be divided into shares, and fall equally to the lot of others besides yourself.

According to the agreement. &c.] Ainsworth says, that the pragmatici were prompters, who sat behind the lawyers while they were pleading, and instructed them, telling them what the law, and the meaning of the law, was. For this, it may be supposed, that the pragmatici agreed with the lawyers, whom they thus served, to share in the fees, We use the word pragmatical, to denote busily meddling and intruding into others' concerns. hence foolishly talk.


[ocr errors]

Æmilio dabitur, quantum petet, et melius nos :( v xosdite na

Egimus : hujus enim stat currus aheneus, alti otteet 125
Quadrijuges in vestibulis, atque ipse feroci: 1.1294 watchini.
Bellatore sedens curvatum hastile minatur !!elines
Eminus, et statuâ meditatur prælia lusca. E burn bru,
Sic Pedo conturbat, Macho deficit : exitus hic est
Tongilli, magno cum rhinocerote lavari
Qui solet, et vexat lutulentà balnea turba,
Perque forum juvenes longo premit assere Medos,
Empturus pueros, argentum, myrrhina, villas :
Spondet enim Tyrio stlataria purpura filo.
Et tamen hoc ipsis est utile: purpura vendit

135 Causidicum, vendunt amethystina : convenit illis


ative, impertinent, saucy. PHILLIPS.Gr. ngxy MatiXoSolers in negotiis agendis.

124. To Æmilius will be given, &c.] We may suppose that this Æmilius was a rich lawyer, who, though of inferior abilities to many poor pleaders, yet got a vast deal of money by the noble and splendid appearance which he made.

121-5. We have pleaded better.] Though there be some among us who are abler lawyers.

125. A brazen chariot, &c.] He had a large brazen statue, a fine bronze, as we should call it, of a chariot, drawn by four horses, placed in his vestibule, or entrance to his house, which made a magnificent appearance. Quadrijugis signifies four horses harnessed to. gether, and drawing in a chariot.

126-7. Himself-sitting, &c.] There was also an equestrian sta. tue of Æmilius himself, mounted on a war-horse, in the very action of bending back his arm, as if ready to throw a javelin.

128. A blinking statue.] The statue represents Æmilius as media tating some great stroke against an enemy, and having one eye shut, in order to take aim with the other.

Or perhaps Æmilius had but one eye, which the statue represented. All these things, which can add no real worth or ability to the owner of them, yet strike the Fulgar with high veneration for Æmilius, and engage them to em ploy him in preference to others, insomuch that he may have what fees he pleases. See l. 124.

129. Thus Pedo breaks. ] Conturbat-ruins himself-by want ing to appear rich, in order to draw clients.

Matho fails.] Becomes bankrupt, as it were, by the expense he puts himself to on the same account.

130. Of Tongillus.] This was some other lawyer, who ruined himself by wanting to seem rich and considerable.

With large rhinoceros.] The richer sort used to go to the baths, with their oil in a vessel made of the horn of a rhinoceros, which was very expensive. Tongillus did this in order to be thought rich. So ivory is called elephant. Geor. iii. 26. Meton.

131. With a dirty crowd.] Who followed him through the dirty

To Æmilius will be given as much as he will ask; and we have
Pleaded better : for a brazen chariot stands, and four stately 125
Horses in his vestibules, and himself on a fierce
War-horse sitting, brandishes a bent spear
Aloft, and meditates battles with a blinking statue.
Thus Pedo breaks Matho fails : this is the end
Of Tongillus, who to bathe with large rhinoceros

Is wont, and vexes the baths with a dirty crowd;
And thro' the forum presses the young Medes with a long pole,
Going to buy boys, silver, vessels of myrrh, and villas;
For his foreign purple with Tyrian thread promises for him.
And yet this is useful to them: purple sells

135 The lawyer, violet-colour'd robes sell him: it suits them

streets, as his attendants, and therefore were themselves muddy and dirty, and, of course, very offensive to the gentry who resorted to the public baths.

132. Presses the young Medes, &c.] He rides through the forum in a litter, set upon poles which rested on the shoulders of the bearers.

Young Medes.] The Romans were furnished with slaves from Media and Persia, who were very tall and robust+these were chiefly employed in carrying the lecticæ, or litters, in which the richer people were carried through the streets of Rome.

133. Going to buy, &c.] Appearing thus, as some great man who was going to lay out money in various articles of luxury. Pueros, here, means young slaves.

134. His foreign purple, &c.] His dress was also very expensive, and was such as the nobles wore.

Promises for him.) i. e. Gains him credit. Spondeo pro. perly signifies to undertake, to be surety for another, and it is here used in a metaphorical sense; as if the expensive dress of Tongillus was a surety for him as being rich, because by this he appeared to 01 Foreign purple.] Stlatarius (from stlata, a ship or boat) signifies outlandish, foreign, as imported by sea from a foreiga country.

Tyrian thread.] The thread, of which the garment of Ton. gillus was made, was dyed in the liquor of the murex, a shell-fish, of which came the finest purple dye, and the best of which were found near Tyre; therefore we often read of the Tyrian purple. See Æn. iv. 262. HOR. epod. xii. 1. 21.

135. This is useful, &c.] All this parade of appearance is a mean of recommending the lawyers to observation, and sometimes to employment, therefore may be said to have its use where it succeeds.

135.-6. Purple sells the lawyer.] His fine appearance is often the cause of his getting employment, in which, for the price of his fee, he may be said to sell himself to his client. 136. Violet-coloured robes.] Amethystina.--The amethyst is a

be so.

« PredošláPokračovať »