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« Qui dedit ergo tribus patruis aconita, vehetur
160 “ Accusator erit, qui verbum dixerit, ' hic est.
Securus licet Æneam, "Rutiluinque ferocem
Committas : nulli gravis est percussus Achilles : " Aut malum quæsitus Hylas, urnamque secutus. must be in the midst of fire, go where he may ?-Besides, this idea does not agree with-fixo gutture, which implies being fastened, or fixed, so as not to be able to stir.
Instead of deducet, or deducit, I should think deducis the right reading, as others have thought before me. This
agrees, in number and person, with lucebis, 1. 155, and gives us an easy and natural solution of the observation ; viz. that, after all the danger incurred, by sa'tirizing the emperor's favourites, no good was to be expected; they were too bad to be reformed.
The Greeks had a proverbial saying, much like what I contended for here, to express labouring in vain-viz. 'Appusy peelpes-Arenam metiris, you measure the sand-i. e. of the sea. * •Juvenal expresses the same thought, sat. vii. 48, 9, as I would suppose him to do in this line :
Nos tamen hoc agimus, tenuique in pulvere sulcos
Ducimus, et littus sterili versamus aratro. 158. Wolf's-bane.] Aconitum is the Latin for this poisonous herb; but it is used in the plural, as here, to denote other sorts of poison, or poison in general. See Ovid, Met. i. 147.
Lurida terribiles miscent ACONITA novercæ.
Three uneles.] Tigellinus is here meant, who poisoned thrče uncles that he might possess himself of their estates. And, after their death, he forged wills for them, by which he became possessed of all they had. He likewise impeached several of the nobility, and got their estates. See more in Ainsw. under Tigellinus.
Shall he, therefore, &c.] “ And because there may be danger in writing satire, as things now are, is such a character as this 6 to triumph in his wickedness unmolested ? Shall he be carried 66 about in state, and look down with contempt upon other people, 66 and shall I not dare to say a word ?" - This we may suppose
Ju. venal to mean, on hearing what is said about the danger of writing satire, and on being cautioned against it.
159. With pensile feathers.] Pensilis means, literally, hanging in the air. It was a piece of luxury, to have a mattress and pillows stuffed with feathers; on which the great man reposed himself in his litter. Hence the poet makes use of the term pensilibus to plumis, as being in the litter which hung in the air, as it was carried along by the bearers. See before, l. 32, and note; and l. 64, 5, and note. From thence.] From his easy
litter. - Look down.] With contempt and disdain. 160. When he shall come opposite.] The moment you meet him,
« Shall he, therefore, who gave wolf's bane to three uncles, be
carried “With pensile feathers, and from thence look down on us?" “When he shall come opposite, restrain your lip with your finger
160 “ There will be an accuser (of him) who shall say the word
" That's he.”
carried along in his stately litter, (says Juvenal's supposed adviser,) instead of saying any thing, or taking any notice of him, let him pass quietly-lay your hand on your mouth-hold your tongue-be silent.
161. There will be an accuser.] An informer, who will lay an accusation before the emperor, if you do but so much as point with your finger, or atter with your lips-" That's he." Therefore, that neither of these may happen, lay your finger upon your lips, and make not the slightest remark.
(Of him) who.] Illi or illius is here understood before qui,&c. 162. Though, secure.] Though you must not meddle with the liv, ing, you may securely write what you please about the dead.
Æneas and the fierce Rutilian.] i.e. Æneas, and Turnus, a king of the Rutilians, the rival of Æneas, and slain by him. See VIRG. Æn. xii. 919, &c.
163. You may match.] Committas-is a metaphorical expression, taken from matching or pairing gladiators, or others, in single combat.
Martial says :
Cum JUVENALE meo cur me committere tentas?
you endeavour to match me with my friend Juvenal ?" i. e. in a poetical contest with him.
By committas we are therefore to understand, that one might very safely write the history of Æneas and Turnus, and match them toa gether in fight, as Virgil has done.
Smitten Achilles.] Killed by Paris in the temple of Apollo.
Is grievous to none.] Nobody will get into danger, or trou. ble, by writing the history of this event.
164. Hylas much sought.] By Hercules when he had lost him. See Virg. ecl. vi. 43, 44.
Followed his pitcher.] With which he was sent, by Hercu. les, to the river Ascanius to draw some water : whore being seen, and fallen in love with, by three river-nymphs, they pulled hiin into the stream.
On subjects like these, saith the adviser, you may say what you please, and nobody will take offence; but beware of attacking the rices of living characters, however infamous or obnoxious.
« Evse velüt stricto quoties Lucilius ardens *** 165
165. Ardent.] Inflamed with satiric rage against the vices of his day. 166. Raged.] Infremuit-roared aloud, in his writings, which
as terrible to the vicious, as the roaring of a lion which the verb infremo signifies : hence Met. to rage violently, or tumultuously.
-Reddens.] With anger and shame. 166—7. Frigid with crimes.] Chilled, as it were, with horror of conscience their blood ran cold—as we should say.
167. The bosom.] Præcordia-lit. the parts about the heartsupposed to be the seat of moral sensibility.
Sweats.] Sweating is the effect of hard labour.- Sudant is here used metaphorically, to denote the state of a mind labouring, and toiling, under the grievous burden of a guilty conscience. This image is finely used – Mat. xi. 28.
168. Anger and tears.] Anger at the satirist--tears of vexatica and sorrow at being exposed.
169. Before the trumpets.] A metaphor taken from the manner of giving the signal for battle, which was done with the sound of trumpets.
Think well, says the adviser, before you sound the alarm for your attack-weigh well all hazards before you begin.
The helmeted, &c.] When once a man has gotten his helmet on, and advances to the combat, it is too late to change his mind. Once engaged in writing satire, you must go through, there's no retreating.
170. I'll try, &c.] Well, says Juvenal, since the writing satire on the living is so dangerous, I'll try how far it
be allowed me to satirize the dead.
Hence he writes against no great and powerful person, but under the feigned name of some vicious character that lived in past time.
171. Whose ashes are covered.] When the bodies were con. sumed on the funeral pile, the ashes were put into urns and buried.
The Flaminian and Latin way.] These were two great roads, or ways, leading from Rome to other parts. In the via Fla. minia and via Latina, the urns and remains of the nobles were bu. ried, and had monuments crected. See sat. v. I. 55. Hence have been so often found ancient Roman inscriptions on monuments Siste viator.
It was ordered by the law of the twelve tables, that nobody should be buried within the city ; hence the urns of the great were buried, and their monuments were erected, on those celebrated roads
« As with a drawn sword, as often as Lucilius ardent 165
Raged--the hearer reddens, who has a unind frigid “ With crimes; the bosom sweats with silent guilt: “ Hence anger and tears. Therefore first revolve, with thyself, " These things in thy mind, before the trumpets: the helmeted
« late of a fight Repents." I'll try what may be allowed towards those, 170 Whose ashes are covered in the Flaminian and Latin
or ways. For the Flaminian way, see before, l. 61, note.
The Poet, in this satire, indeighs against the hypocrisy of the phi.
losophers and priests of his time—the effeminacy of military of
ficers and magistrates. Which corruption of manners, as well ULTRA Sauromatas fugere hinc libet, et glacialem Oceanum, quoties aliquid de moribus audent Qui Curios simulant, et Bacchanalia vivunt. Indocti primum : quanquam plena omnia gypso Chrysippi invenias : nam perfectissimus horuin est,
5 Si quis Aristotelem similem, vel Pittacon emit, Et jubet archetypos pluteum servare Cleanthis. Line 1. I could wish.] Libet-lit. it liketh me.
Sauromatæ.]. A northern barbarous people: the same with the Sarmatæ. Ov. Trist. ii. 198, calls them Sauromatæ truces.
1-2. Icy ocean.] The northern occan, which was perpetually frozen. Lucan calls it Scythicum pontum (Phars. I. 1.)-Scythia bordering on its shore.
Et qua bruma rigens, et nescia vere remitti,
Astringit Scythicum glaciali frigore pontum. The poet means, that he wishes to leave Rome, and banish him. self, though to the most inhospitable regions, whenever he hears such hypocrites, as he afterwards describes, talk on the subject of morality.
2. They dare.] i.e. As often as they have the audacity, the dar. ing impudence to declaim or discourse about morals.
3. Curii.] Curius Dentatus was thrice consul of Rome; he was remarkable for his courage, honesty, and frugality.
Live (like) Bacchanals.] Their conduct is quite opposite to their profession; for while they make an outward shew of virtue and sobriety, as if they were so many Curii, they, in truth, addict themselves to those debaucheries and impurities, with which the feasts of Bacchus were celebrated. These were called Bacchanalia. See them described, Liv. xxxix. 8.
Bacchanalia stands here for Bacchanaliter. Græcism. - These are frequently found in Juvenal and Persius.
4. Unlearned.] Their pretences to Icarning are as rain and empty, as to virtue and morality.