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Sed nunc dilatis averte negotia curis,
183. Leave off business.] Lay it quite aside-think not of it.
Cares deferr'd.] All cares put off for the present. 185. Idle, &c.] Having nothing else to do, but to enjoy your self all the day long at my house,
Interest-money.] No talk of money matters. 186. Nor, if, &c.] Though, like many other husbands, you suffer from the irregularities of your wife.
187. Provoke you, &c.] Don't let the thoughts of this vex you, or let her make you angry, or tempt you to say a single word upon the subject, though, as the two next lines import, you should have found the most evident and undeniable circumstances of her guilt.Contrahat bilem tibi-lit, contract, or draw together, choler to you.
188. Fine garments.] Multitia, or multicia--garments wrought 80 fine that the body might be seen through them. See cat ii
. l. 66. 190. Put oft, &c.] Exuea metaphorical expression taken from putting off clothes, &c. Divest yourself of all uneasiness at eutering
191. Lay aside, &c.] Pono also signifies to put off is clothes. He desires his friend to lay aside, or put off, all his domestic uneasi. nesses, arising from the mischief or misconduct of servants.
192. Ungrateful friends.] Which are the bitterest trials of all.
193. Meantime.] This invitation of the poet to his friend was on a holiday, or day of the public games beginning.
Spectacles.] The shews or games.
Megalesian towel.]. At the Circensian and Megalesian games, they hung out a towel (mappa) to shew that the sports were going to begin.--Nero introduced this custom ; for hearing, as he sat at dinner, how impatiently the people expected his coming, he, threw out at the window the towel with which he wiped his hands, to give the people notice that he had dined, and would soon be at the circus. Ever since this, the beginning of these games was announced by hanging out a towel.
But now leave off business, your cares deferr’d,
185 No mention : nor, if
gone forth at day-break, she is wont To be returned at night, let your wife provoke you, silent, to anger, Bringing back her fine garments with suspected wriukles, Her hair disorder'd, and her countenance and ears glowing. Immediately put off before my threshold whatever grieves : 190 Lay aside home, and servants, and whatever is broken by them, Or is lost : BEFORE ALL-PUT AWAY UNGRATEFUL FRIENDS. Meantime, the spectacles of the Megalesian towel Grace the Idæan solemnity, and, like as in triumph, The pretor, a destroyer of horses, sits : and (if with the peace 195 Of such an immense and superabundant crowd I might say it) This day the circus contains all ne, and a noise strikes
The Megalesian games were in honour of Cybele, the mother of
She was called peeyaan Matip, magna Mater, and from thence these games Megalesia, or ludi Magalenses ; they began on the fourth of April, and lasted six days.
194. Idean solemnity.] Cybele was called Idæa, from Ida, a mountain of Phrygia, where she was worshipped ; and hence her festival was called Idæum solenne.
195. The pretor, a destroyer, &c.] He was an officer not unlike our mayor or sheriff. Sat. i. 101, note. He was to oversee these sports, and sat in great state, while they were acting, to the destruction of many horses, which were spoiled on the occasion.
See sat. X. l. 36-40.
Many are for reading prædo, and suppose it to denote the pretor's acting sometimes unjustly, and determining the prizes wrongfully, taking them from the winning horses, and giving them to the losers, by which he might be said to rob the winners of their due.
Others think the word prædo is used, as a jest upon the pretor's fine trappings and gaudy dress on the occasion, as if he had robbed the horses of their finery to put upon himself.
There are other conceits upon this subject, but perda seems to give the most natural sense of the passage. I am, therefore, with Salmasius anci others, for adopting it.
If with the peace, &C.] If with their good leave I may take the liberty of saying so much without offence.--The poet here lashes the Roman people for their great eagerness to crowd after these shows, as if they thought nothing else worthy their attention. Sat. . 1. 80, 1. 197. The circus.] Where thase games were celebrated.
A noise strikes, &c.] I hear a great shout, as of victory, which makes ine suppose that the race is determined on the behalf of some favourite competitor.
Percutit, eventum viridis quo colligo panni.
198. The green cloth.] The four parties, which ran chariot-races in the circus, were divided in several liveries, viz, green, russet, blue, and white. One of these factions was always favoured by the court, and, at this time, most probably, the green ; which makes Juvenal fancy that he hears the shouts for joy, that their party had won the
199. Should fail.) If the green cloth should fail of the prize, or if the festival, which occasioned the celebration of these games,
should be laid aside, and these shows fail, or cease.
200. This city.] The people of Rome would be ready to break their hearts--reflecting on their immoderate fondness for these shows.
The consuls.] Paulus Æmilius and Terentius Varro. 201. Canna.] A small town, near which Hannibal obtained a great victory over the mans. See sat. x. l. 164, note.
Let youths behold.] i. e. Be spectators of these shows.
Whom clamour, &c.] Who may, without any indecency, make as much noise as they please in clapping and hallooing, and lay what bets they please on the side they take.
202. By a neat girl, &c.] By this we see that men and women sat promiscuously together on these occasions. See sat. ïï. 1. 65, and note.
203. Contracted skin.] Once smooth, but now through age contracted into wrinkles. Drink the vernal sun.
.] Let us avoid these crowds, and bask in the reviving rays of the sun, which now is bringing on the delight. ful spring. This was in the beginning of April. See above, note ou 1. 193, ad fin.
204. Avoid the gown.} The gown was the common habit of the Romans, insomuch that VIRG. Æn. i. 286, calls them gentem toga. tam. The poet, by togam, here means the people that wore it, by metonym. i. e. the Romans now crowding to the games-let us keep out of their way, that we may enjoy ourselves in quiet.
204.-5. Safe countenance, &c.] Without fear of being put out of countenance. The Romans used to follow their business till noon, that is, the sixth hour, our twelve o'clock; and then to the ninth hour, our three o'clock in the afternoon, they exercised and bathed
My ear, from whence I gather the event of the green
themselves, and then went to their meals : but to do these sooner than the appointed hours was allowed only on festival days, or to persons aged and infirm ; otherwise, to be seen going to the baths before the usual appointed hour was reckoned scandalous. See sat. i. l. 49, and note.
206. You could not, &c.] i. e. Frequent feasts, and indulge in idleness ;-however these may be occasionally pleasant, a continuance of them for a week together would grow
irksome. 207. Such a life.] Of ease and voluptuousness.
208. Rarer use, &c.] The poet concludes with a general senti. ment, very applicable to all pleasures of sense, which, by continual
CONGREVE. Shakespeare, 2nd part of Hen. IV. act i. scene ii. has finely ex. pressed the like sentiment :
If all the year were playing holidays,
use, pall and
END OF THE ELEVENTH SATIRE.
SATIRA XII. .
ARGUMENT. The Poet having invited Corvinus to assist at à sacrifice, which he
intended to offer up, by way of thanksgiving for the safety of his
friend Catullus from the danger of the seas, professes his disinter. NATALI, Corvine, die mihi dulcior hæc lux, Quâ festus promissa Deis animalia cespes Expectat: niveam Reginæ cædimus agnam : Par vellus dabitur pugnanti Gorgone Maurâ. Sed procul extensum petulans quatit hostia funem,
5 Tarpeio servata Jovi, frontemque coruscat : Quippe ferox vitulus, templis maturis et aræ, Spargendusque mero ; quem jam pudet ubera matris
Line 1. This day.] On which I am going to offer sacrifices, on account of my friend Catullus, the merchant's, escape from the dau. gers of the sea.
Corvinus.] Juvenal's friend, to whom this Satire is addressed.
Birth-day.] Which was a day of great festivity among the Romans; they celebrated it yearly, offering thanksgiving offerings to the gods, and made feasts, to which they invited their friends, who made them presents on the occasion. See sat. xi. l. 84, note. See Hor. ode xi. lib. iv. l. 1--20. VIRG. ecl. ii. 1. 76.
2. Festal turf.] The altar of green turf, which our poet had built on the occasion, thus suiting his devotion to his circumstances. Comp. Hor. lib. iii. od. viii. 1. 2-4.
- The animals promised.] i. e. To be offered in sacrifice to the gods.
3. Queen.] Juno, the queen of the gods. See Æn. i. 1. 50. The fabled wife of Jupiter, the supreme deity of the Romans.
A snowy lamb.] They offered white animals to the superior gods, black to the inferior. See Hor. lib. i. sat. viii. 1. 27; and VIRGIL, Æn. iv. l. 61.
4. Equal Aeece.] A like fleece-i. e. a white one; or fleece, here, may, by synec. be put for the whole animal offered--a like offering.
Minerva.] Lit. the fighter with the Moorish gorgon.--The gorgons were supposed to be three, who inhabited near mount At.