Obrázky na stránke

One leaving high Sicyon, but another, Amydon, He from Andros, another from Samos, another from Tralles, or Alabanda,

70 Seek the Esquiliæ, and the hill named from an osier; The bowels, and future lords, of great families.

A quick wit, desperate impudence, speech Ready, and more rapid than Isæus. Say--what do you Think him to be! He has brought us with himself what man you please :

75 Grammarian, Rhetorician, Geometrician, Painter, Anointer, Augur, Rope-dancer, Physician, Wizard: he knows all things. A hungry Greek will go into heaven, if you command.

These two parts of Rome may stand (by synec.) for Rome it. self: or perhaps these were parts of it where these foreigners chiefly settled.

72. The bowels, &c.] Insinuating themselves, by their art and subtlety, into the intimacy of great and noble families, so as to be come their confidents and favourites, their vitals as it were, insomuch that, in time, they govern the whole: and, in some instances, be come their heirs, and thus lords over the family possessions. See sat. ii. 58, notes, The whecdling and flattering of rich people, in order to become their heirs, are often mentioned in Juvenal such people were called captatores,

73. A quick wit.] Ingenium velox-Ingenium is a word of many meanings ; perhaps, here, joined with velox, it might be rendered, a ready invention.

Desperate impudence.) That nothing can abash or dismay. 73—4. Speech ready.) Having words at will.

74. Isæus.) A famous Athenian orator, preceptor of Demosthenes. Torrentior, more copious, flowing with more precipitation and fulness, more like a torrent.

-Say, &c.] Now by the way, my friend, tell me what you imagine such a man to beI mean of what calling or profession, or what do you think him qualified for?

75. What man, &c.] Well, I'll not puzzle you with guessing, but at once inform you, that, in his own single person, he has brought with him every character that you can imagine: in short, he is a jack of all trades. As the French say--C'est un valet à tout faire. Or, as is said of the Jesuits-Jesuitus est omnis homo.

76. Anointer.] Aliptes, (from Gr. anesowy to anoint,) he that anointed the wrestlers, and took care of them. Ainsw.

77. He knows all things.] Not only what I have mentioned, but $0 versatile is his genius, that nothing can come amiss to him. There is nothing that he does not pretend to the knowledge of.

78. A hungry Greek.] The diminutive Græculus is sarcastical. 9. d. Let my little Grecian be pinched with hunger, he would under: take any thing you bade him, however impossible or improbable like another Dædalus, he would even attempt to fly into the air.


Ad summum non Maurus erat, nec Sarmata, nec Thrax,
Qui sumpsit pennas, mediis sed natus Athenis,
Horum ego non fugiam conchylia me prior ille
Signabit? fultusque toro meliore recumbet,
Advectụs Romam, quo pruna et coctona, vento?
Usque adeo nihil est, quod nostra infantia cæluin
Hausit Aventini, baccả nutrita Sabina ?
Quid quod adulandi gens prudentissima laudat
Sermonem indocti, faciem deformis amici,
Et longum invalidi collum cervicibus æquat
Herculis, Antæum procul a tellure tenentis
Miratur yocem angustam, quâ deterius nec

[merged small][ocr errors]

79. In fine, &c.] Ad summum-upon the whole, be it observed, that the Greeks of old were a dexterous people at contrivance; for the attempt at flying was schemed by Dadaļus, a native of Athens, No man of any other country has the honour of the invention.

81. The splendid dress.] Conchylia-zshell-fish--the liquor thereof made purple, or scarlet colour: called also inurex.---Conchylium, by, meton, signifies the colour itself; also garments dyed therewith, which were yery expeusįye, and worn by the nobility and other great people.

Shall not I fly, fugiam, avoid the very sight of such garments, when worn by such fellows as these, who are only able to wear them by the wealth which they have gotten by their craft and im. position?

81-2. Sign before me.] Set his name before mine, as a witness to any deed, &c. which we may be called upon to sign,

82. Supported by a better couch, &c.] The Romans lay on couches at their convivial entertainments-these couches were orna, mented more or less, some finer and handsomer than others, which were occupied according to the quality of the guests. The middle çouch was esteemed the most honourable place, and so in order from thence. Must this vagabond Greek take place of me at table, says Umbritius, as if he were above me in point of quality and conser quence? As we should say-Shall he sit above me at table? Hor. lib. ii. sąt. yiii. 1. 20—3. describes an arrangement of the company at table.

83. Brought, to Rome.] Advectus--imported from a foreign country, by the same wind, and in the same ship, with prunes, and ļittle figs, from Syria. These were called coctona, or cottana, as supposed, from Héb. little. Mart. lib. xiii. 28. parva cottana.

Syrią peculiares habet arbores, in ficorum genere. Caricas, et minores ejus generis, quæ coçtana vocant. Plin. lib. xiii. c. 5.

Juvenal means to set forth the low origin of these people; that they, at first, were brought out of Syria to Rome, as dealers in small and contemptible articles. Or he may mean, that as slaves they made a part of the cargo, in one of these little trading vessels. See sat. I, 110, 11,


In fine-he was not a Moor, nor Sarmatian, nor Thracian, Who assumed wings, but born in the midst of Atheirs. s

80. Shall I not avoid the splendid dress of these? before me shall he Sign? and supported by a better couch shall he lie at table, Brought to Rome by the same wind as plumbs and tigs? Is it even nothing that our infancy the air Of Aventinus drew, nourished by the Sabine berry? 85 What !-because a nation, most expert in flattery, praises The speech of an unlearned, the face of a deformed friend, And equals the long neck of the feeble, to the neck of Hercules, holding Antæus far from the earthAdmires a squeaking voice: not worse than which,


85. Aventinus, &c.] One of the seven hills of Rome; so called from Avens, a river of the Sabines. Ainsw. Umbritius here, with a patriotic indignation at the preference given to foreigners, asks What! is there no privilege in having drawn our first breath in Rome? no pre-eminence in being born a citizeri of the first city in the world, the conqueror and mistress of all those countries from whence these people came? Shall such fellows as these not only vie with Roman citizens, but be preferred before them?

Sabine berry.] A part of Italy on the banks of the Tiber, once belonging to the Sabines, was famous for olives, here called bacca Sabina. But we are to understand all the nutritive fruits and produce of the country in general. Pro specie genus. Syn. In contradistinction to the pruna et coctona, l. 83.

86. What!] As if he had saidWhat! is all the favour and preference which these Greeks meet with, owing to their talent for tlat. tery are they to be esteemed more than the citizens of Rome, Þecause they are a nation of base sycophants ?

87. The speech, &c.] Or discourse, talk, conversation, of some ignorant, stupid, rich patron, whose favour is, basely courted by the most barefaced adulation.

Face of a deformed, &c.] Persuading him that he is hand. some; or that his very deformities are beauties.

88. The long neck, &c.] Compares the long cranc-neck of some puny wretch, to the brawny neck and shoulders (cervicibus) of Hercules.

89. Holding, &c.]. This relates to the story of Antæus, a giant of prodigious strength, who, when knocked down by Hercules, rem? covered himself by lying on his mother earth; Hercules therefore": held him up in his left hand, between earth and heaven, and, with hiş : right hand, dashed his brains out.

90. Admires 4. squeaking voice.] A squeaking, hoarse, croaking kind of utterance, as if squeezed in its passage by the narrowness of the throat--this he applauds with admiration.

Not worse, &c.] He assimilates the voice so commended, to the harsh screaming sound of a cock when he crows; or rather to the noise which he makes when he seizes the hen, on approaching ta


Ille sonat, quo mordetur gallina marito!
Hæc eadem licet et nobis laudare : sed illis
Creditur. An melior cum Thaïda sustinet, aut cum
Uxorem comoedus agit, vel Dorida nullo
Cultam palliolo? mulier nempe ipsa videtur,
Non persona loqui: vacua et plana omnia dicas
Infra ventriculum, et tenui distantia rimâ.
Nec tamen Antiochus, nec erit mirabilis illic
Aut Stratocles, aut cum molli Demetrius Hæmo:
Natio comoeda est: rides? majore cachinno
Concutitur: fet, si lachrymas conspexit amici,
Nec dolet: igniculum brumæ si tempore poscas,
Accipit endromidem : si dixeris, æstuo, sudat.

[ocr errors]

tread her, when he nips her comb in his beak, and holds her down under him. This must be alluded to by the mordetur gallina, &c. Claverius, paraph. in Juv. iv. reads the passage:

quâ deterius nec Illa sonat, quum mordetur gallina marito.

worse than which neither Doth that sound, when a hen is bitten by her husband: Meaning that voice which was so extolled with admiration by the flatterer, was as bad as the screaming which a hen makes when trods den by the cock, who seizes and bites her comb with his beak, which must be very painful, and occasion the noise which she makes. However this reading may be rather more agreeable to the fact, yet there does not seem to be sufficient authority to adopt it.

92. We may praise also.] To be sure we Romans may flatter, but without success; we shall not be believed: the Greeks are the only people in such credit as to have all they say pass for truth.

93. Whether is he better when he plays, &c.] Sustinetsustains the part of a Thais, or courtezan, or the more decent character of a matron, or a naked sea nymph: there is no saying which a Grecian actor excels most in--he speaks so like a woman, that you'd swear the very woman seems to speak, and not the actor.

Persona signia fies a false face, a mask, a vizor, in which the Grecian and Roman actors played their parts, and so by meton. became to signify aq actor.

This passage shews, that women's parts were represented by men : for which these Greeks had no occasion for any alteration of voice; they differed from women in nothing but their sex.

94. Doris, &c.] A sea nymph represented in some play. See Ainsw. Doris. Palliolum was a little upper garment: the sea nymphs were usually represented naked, nullo palliolo, without the least covering over their bodies. Palliolum, dim. of pallium..

98. Yet neither will Antiochus.] This person, and the others mentioned in the next line, were all Grecian comedians ; perhaps Hæmus, from the epithet molli, may be understood to have been pea culiarly adapted to the performance of female characters.

[ocr errors]

He utters, who, being husband, the hen-is bitten !
These same things we may praise also : but to them
Credit is given. Whether is he better when he plays Thais, or

The comedian acts a wife, or Doris with no
Cloak dressed ? truly a woman herself seems to speak,

95 Not the actor : you would declare It was a real woman in all respects. Yet neither will Antiochus, nor admirable there will Either Stratocles, or Demetrius, with soft Hæmus, be: The nation is imitative. Do you laugh ? with greater laughter

100 Is he shaken : he weeps, if he has seen the tears of a friend, Not that he grieves : if in winter-time you ask for a little tire, He puts on a great coat: if you should say—“ I am hot"-he


All these, however we may admire them at Rome, would not be at all extraordinary in the country which they came from--illic for all the Grecians are born actors; thcre is therefore nothing new, or wonderful, there, in representing assumed characters, however well : it is the very characteristic of the whole nation to be person. ating and imitative. See Ainsw. Comædus-a-um.

100. Do you laugh.?] The poet here illustrates what he had said, by instances of Grecian adulation of the most servile and meanest kind.

If one of their patrons happens to laugh, or even to smile, for so rideo also signifies, the parasite sets up a loud horse-laugh, and laughs aloud, or, as the word concutitur implies, laughs ready to split his sides, as we say.

101. He weeps, &c.] If he finds his friend in tears, he can hu. mour this tog; and can squeeze out a lamentable appearance of sorrow,

but without a single grain of it. 102. If in winter-time you ask, &c.] If the weather be cold enough for the patron to order a little fire, the versatile Greek in. stantly improves on the matter, and puts on a great thick

gown endromidem a sort of thick rug, used by wrestlers, and other gymnasiasts, to cover them after their exercise, lest they should cool too fast.

103. I am hot, &c.] If the patron complains of heat-the other vows that he is all over in a sweat.

Shakespeare has touched this sort of character something in the way of Juvenal-Hamlet, act V. sc. ii.---where he introduces the short but well-drawn character of Osrick, whom he represents as a complete temporizer with the humours of his superiors.

Ham. Your bonnet to his right use'tis for the head.
Osą. I thank your lordship, 'tis very hot.
Ham. No, believe me, 'tis very cold the wind is northerly.be.

« PredošláPokračovať »