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Who, from the vice of his nation, never shares a friend;
or what The merit of a poor man here, if a client takes care by night To run,
when the Prætor drives on the lictor, and to go Precipitate commands him, (the childless long since awake,)
127. If a client.] So togatus signifies here. It was usual for great men, on these occasions, to have a number of their dependents and clients to attend them : those who went before, were called anteambulones—those who followed, clientes togati, from the toga, or gown, worn by the common people. Takes care.
e.] Makes it his constant business. 127–8. By night to run.] To post away after his patron before day-break, to the early levees of the rich.
These early salutations or visits were commonly made with a view to get something from those to whom they were paid ; such as persons of great fortune who had no children, rich widows who were childless, and the like. He who attended earliest, was reckoned to shew the greatest respect, and supposed himself to stand fairest in the good graces, and, perhaps, as a legatee in the wills of such per. sons as he visited and complimented.
The word currere implies the haste which they made to get first.
128. The Prætor drives on, &c.] The Prætor was the chief ma. gistrate of the city. He was preceded by officers called lictors, of which there were twelve, who carried the insignia of the Prætor's office-viz. an ax tied up in a bundle of rods, as emblems of the punishment of greater crimes by the former, and of smaller crimes by the latter. The lictors were so called from the ax and rods bound or tied (ligati) together. So lector, from lego, to read.
So corrupt were the Romans, that not only the nobles, and other · great men, but even their chief magistrates, attended with their state officers, went on these mercenary and scandalous errands, and even hastened on the lictors (who, on other occasions, marched slowly and solemnly before them) for fear of being too late.
128—9. To go precipitate.] Headlong, as it were, to get on as fast as they could.
129. The childless, &c.] Orbus signifies a child that has lost its parents, parents that are bereaved of their children, women who have lost their husbands without issue, &c.—this last (as appears from the next line) seems to be the sense of it here. · These ladies were very fond of being addressed and complimented at their levees, by the flattering visitors who attended there, and were ready very soon in the morning, even up before day-light, for their reception. The Prætor drives on his attendants as fast as he can,
Ne prior Albinam, aut Modiam collega salutet ?
lest he should not be there first, or should disoblige the ladies by making them wait.
The childless matrons are long since awake,
DRYDEN. 130. Lest first his colleague.] Another reason for the Prætor's being in such a hurry, was to prevent his colleague in office from being there before him.
It is to be observed, that, though at first there was but one Prætor, called Prætor Urbanus, yet, as many foreigners and strangers settled at Rome, another Prætor was appointed to judge causes between them, and called Prætor Peregrinus.
Juvenal gives us to understand, that, on such occasions, both were equally mean and mercenary.
Albina or Modia.] Two rich and childless old widows, to whom these profligate fellows paid their court, in hopes of inheriting their wealth.
This passage, from l. 126 to 130, inclusive, relates to what Umbri. tius had just said about the very easy manner in which the great men at Rome got rid of their poor clients, notwithstanding their long and faithful services : q. d. “I don't mean to boast, or to rate.
our services too high ; but yet, as in the instance here given, and " in many others which might be mentioned, when what we do, and
what we deserve, are compared together, and both with the un.
grateful return we meet with, in being turned off to make room “ for the Grecian parasites, surely this will be allowed me as another
good reason for my departure from Rome.” 131. Here.] At Rome.
The son of a rich slave, &c.] A person of mean and servile extraction, whose father, originally a slave, got his freedom, and by some means or other acquired great wealth.. The sons of such were called libertini.
Closes the side.] Walks close to his side in a familiar man. ner: perhaps, as we say, arm in arm, thus making himself his equal and intimate.
131–2. The free-born.] Of good extraction-a gentleman of liberal birth, of a good family—such were called ingenui.
The poet seems alike to blame the insolence of these upstarts, who aimed at a freedom and intimacy with their betters; and the meanness of young men of family, who stooped to intimacies with such low people.
Lest first his colleague should salute Albina or Modia ? 130
132. Another.] Of these low-born people, inheriting riches from his father.
Tribunes:] He means the Tribuni Militum, of which therc were six to each legion, which consisted of ten regiments or cohorts. See sat. i. l. 58, n.
133. Presents to Calvina, or Catiena.] He scruples not to give as much as the
pay of a tribune amounts to, to purchase the favours of these women who probably, were courtezans of notorious characters, but held their price very high.
134. But thou.] q. d. But thou, my friend Juvenal, and such prudent and frugal people as thou art, if thou art taken with the pretty face of some harlot, whose price is high, thou dost hesitate upon it, and hast doubts upon thy mind concerning the expediency of lavishing away large sums for such a purpose.
135. Well-dressed.] Vestitus means, not only apparelled—but decked and ornamented. “Ainsw. Some are for understanding vestiti, here, as synonymous with togati, to express a low strumpet, (see sat. ii. 1. 70, and note,) but I find no authority for such a meaning of the word vestitus.
136. Chione.] Some stately courtezan of Rome, often spoken of by Martial. See lib. i. epigr. 35, 6, et al. So called from Gr.
Her high chair.] Sella signifies a sedan chair, borne aloft on men's shoulders : which, from the epithet alta, I take to be meant in this placeq. d. While these upstart fellows care not what sums they throw away upon their whores, and refrain from no expense, that they may carry their point, their betters are more prudent, and grudge to lavish away so much expense upon their vices, though the finest, best-dressed, and most sumptuously attended woman in Rome were the object in question.
- To lead forth.] Deducerea-to hand her out of her sedan, and to attend her into her house.
Many other senses are given of this passage, as may be seen in Holyday, and in other commentators; but the above seems, to me, best to apply to the poet's satire on the insolent extravagance of these low-born upstarts, by putting it in opposition to the more dea cent prudence and frugality of their betters. Dryden writes as follows:
But you, poor sinner, tho' you love the vice,
Da testem Romæ tam sanctum, quam fuit hospes
145 Creditur, atque Deos, Dîs ignoscentibus ipsis. Quid, quod materiam præbet causasque jocorum Omnibus hic idem, si fæda et scissa lacerna, Si toga sordidula est, et ruptâ calceus alter
As to translating (as some have done) vestiti by the word“ masked, it is totally incongruous with the rest of the sentence; for how can a face, with a mask on, be supposed to please, as it must be concealed from view ?-Besides, it is not said vestita facies, but facies vestiti scorti.
However, it seems not very probable, that the poet only means to say, that the man hesitated, and doubted about coming up to the price of Chione, because he was so poor that he had it not to give her, as some would insinuate; for a mari can hardly hesitate, or doubt, whether he shall do a thing that it is out of his power to do.
137. Produce a witness.] Umbritius here proceeds to fresh mat. ter of complaint against the corruption of the times, insomuch that the truth of a man's testimony was estimated, not according to the goodness of his character, but according to the measure of his property.
137--8. The host of the Idean deity.] Scipio Nasica, adjudged by the senate to be one of the best of men. He received into his house an image of the goddess Cybele, where he kept it until a tenple was built for it. She had various names from the various places where she was worshipped, as Phrygia, Idæa, &c. Ida was a high hill in Phrygia, near Troy, sacred to Cybele. See Virg. Æn. Xi 252.
138. Numa.] See before, notes on 1. 12. He was a virtuous and religious prince.
139. Preserved trembling Minerva.] Lucius Metellus, the high priest, preserved the palladium, or sacred image of Minerva, out of the temple of Vesta, where it stood trembling, as it were, for its safety when that temple was on fire. Metellus lost his eyes by the flames.
140. Immediately as to income, &c.] 9. d. Though a man had all their sanctity, yet would he not gain credit to his testimony on the score of his integrity, but in proportion to the largeness of his income; this is the first and immediate object of inquiry. As to his moral character, that is the last thing they ask after.
Produce a witness at Rome, as just as was the host Of the Idean deity: let even Numa come forth, or he who Preserved trembling Minerva from the burning temple : Immediately as to income, concerning morals will be the last 140 Inquiry: how many servants he maintains ? how many acres of
land He possesses ? in how many and great a dish he sups ? As MUCH MONEY AS EVERY ONE KEEPS IN HIS CHEST, SO MUCH CREDIT TOO HÈ has. Tho'
should swear by the altars, both
[thunder 145 Of the Samothracian, and of our gods, a poor man to contemn Is believed, and the gods, the gods themselves forgiving him. What, because this same affords matter and causes of jests To all, if his garment be dirty and rent, If his gown be soiled, and one of his shoes with torn
142. In how many, &c.] What sort of a table he keeps. See AINSW.-Paropsis.
144. Swear by the altars.] Jurare aras--signifies to lay the hands on the altar, and to swear by the gods. See Hor. Epist. lib. ii. epist. i. 1. 16. Ainsw. Juro. Or rather, as appears from Hor. to swear in or by the name of the god to whom the altar was dedicated.
145. Samothracian.] Samothrace was an island near Lemnos, not far from Thrace, very famous for religious rites. From hence, Dardanus, the founder of Troy, brought into Phrygia the worship of the DII MAJORES ; such as Jupiter, Minerva, Mercury, &c. From Phrygia, Æneas brought them into Italy.
Our gods.] Our tutelar deities–Mars and Romulus. See sat. ii. l. 126-128. q. d. Were you to swear ever so solemnly.
A poor man, &c.] As credit is given, not in proportion to a man's morals, but as he is rich or poor; the former will always gain credit, while the latter will be set down as not having the fear, either of the gods, or of their vengeance, and therefore doesn't scruple to perjure himself.
146. The gods themselves, &c.] Not punishing his perjury, but excusing him, on account of the temptations which he is under from his poverty and want.
147. What.] Quid is here elliptical, and the sense must be supplied.-4. d. What shall we say more? because it is to be consi. dered, that, besides the discrediting such a poor man as to his testimony, all the symptoms of his poverty are constant subjects of jests and raillery. See Ainsw. Quid, No. 2.
This same.] Hic idem--this same poor fellow. 148. His garment.] Lacerna-here, perhaps, means what we call a surtout, a sort of cloak for the keeping off the weather. See Ainsw. Lacerna.
149. Gown.] Toga--the ordinary dress for the poorer sort. See sat, i. 3.