Obrázky na stránke


Non speret tragicæ furtiva piacula-cervæ.
Laudo meum civem, nec comparo testamento
Mille rates : nam si Libitinam evaserit æger,
Delebit tabulas, inclusus carcere nassa,
Post meritum sane mirandum; atque omnia soli
Forsan Pacuvio breviter dabit. Ille superbus
Incedet victis rivalibus. Ergo vides, quam
Grande operæ pretium faciat juguláta Mycenis.
Vivat Pacuvius, quæso, vel Nestora totum :
Possideat, quantum rapuit Nero : montibus aurum
Exæquet : nec amet quenquam, nec ametur ab ullo.



the anger of Diana. Agamemnon, for the public good, brought his daughter to the altar, but the goddess, relenting, conveyed her away, and put an hind in her place.

119. Give-her, &c.] Offer her up as a sacrifice.

120. Furtive expiation.] Alluding to Diana's stealing away Iphi. genia, and substituting the hind in her place,

seot Tragic hind.] Which had become a subject for the tragic writers, as Sophocles, Euripides, and others.

Pacuvius would consent to offer his daughter, though he :were certain that nothing of this sort would happen to save her.

121. I praise my citizen.] 1 highly commend my fellow-citizen Pacuvius for his wisdom and address.

Nor do I compare, &c.] To be sure the safety of a thousand ships, which could bring no peculiar and immediate profit to Aga-memnon, and only answer-a public purpose, is not to be compared with the last will and testament of a rich man, by which Pacuvius was to become so richly benefited as to possess his whole estate. Pacuvius therefore is certainly more justifiable than Agamemnon, in being willing to sacrifice his daughter.-A strong irony! .

122. Escape" Libitina.] i. 'e. Should recover from his sickness. - Libitina was a name given to Proserpine, as presiding over funerals; in her temple at Rome all things pertaining to funerals were sold, anul the undertakers were called Libitinarii ; hence, Libitina sometimes signifies death itself.

123. Cancel his will.] Lit. blot out the tables.-It has been before observed (sat. ii. l. 58.) that the Romans wrote on thin plaoks of wood, called tabulæ : these were smeared over with wax, on which the letters were made with the point of a sort of bodkin, called stylus, which was flat at one end, in order to blot out, or erase, such of the writing as they meant to cancel or alter. See HoR. sat. X. lib. i. 1. 72.

- Prison of a net. ] Nassa signifies a net made of twigs, with a bait put into it, to catch fish.

The rich man is here represented as fairly hampered in the net which .. Pacuvius had laid for him thoroughly taken in, as we say.

124. Desert truly quonderful.] On: account of such wonderful merit towards him, as Pacuvius had shewn, in lavishing such sacri- . fices for his recovery, .

He may not expect the furtive expiation of the tragic hind. 120
I praise my citizen, nor do I compare with a last will
A thousand ships: for if the sick man should escape Libitina,
He'll cancel his will, enclosed in the prison of a net,
After desert truly wonderful ; and every thing, perhaps,
Will give shortly to Pacuvius alone. He proud will

. Surut, his rivals overcome. Therefore you see, how
Great a reward of service she slaughter'd at Mycenæ may procure,
Let Pacuvius live, I beg, even all Nestor. . .
May he possess as much as Nero plunder'd-may gold equal
Mountains ; nor let him love any body, nor be loved by any body. 130

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

· 125. Will give shortly, &c.] Having cancelled his will, and erased all the legacies which lie had left in it to other people, he now in a few words (breviter) makes Pacuvius his sole heir.

125-6. Will strut, &c.] Incedo sometimes means to walk or go in state. (Divâm incedo "regina, says the haughty Juno, Æn. i. I. 50.) The poet here means, that this fellow will take state upon him, and strut with an insolence in his look and gait, triumphing over all those who had been his competitors for Gallita's favour.

126. Therefore you see, &c.] g. d. You see of what use the example of Agamemnon was to Pacuvius; for if that king of My• cenæ had not offered his daughter to have her throat cut, Pacuvius had never thought of sacrificing his daughter for the recovery of the rich man who made him heir to all his estate.

128. Let Pacuvius live, &c.] Long liye Pacuvius! say I, (iron.) for the longer such a man lives, the more miserable must he be.

--- All Nestor.] Even to Nestor's age. See sat. 8. 1. 246, 7, note.

129. Nero plunder'd.] Who contrary to all laws, human and divine, not only plundered the people, but even the temples of the gods. The prodigious sums, which he extorted from the provinces, by unreasonable taxes, confiscations, &c. are almost incredible. He gave no office without this charge to the person who filled it You “know what I want-let us make it our business that nobody may “ have any thing."

---May gold, &c.] May heaps of ill-gotten wealth be his torment, and inake him a prey to others, as others have been to him.

130. Nor let him love, &c.] This finishes completely the poet's imprecatory climax for how thoroughly miserable must he be, who lives and dies a total stranger to the sweets of friendship. .

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

ARGUMENT. The Poet writes this Satire to Calvinus, to comfort him under the

loss of a large sum of money, with which he had intrusted one of his friends, and which he could not get again. Hence Juvenat

UXEMPLO quodcunque malo committitur, ipsi
Displicet authori. Prima est hæc ultio, quod se
Judice nemo nocens absolvitur ; improba quamvis
Gratia fallacis prætoris vicerit urnam.
Quid sentire putas omnes, Calvine, recenti
De scelere, et fidei violatæ crimine? Sed nec
Tam tenuis census tibi contigit, ut mediocris.
Jactura te mergat onus : nec rara videmus.
Quæ pateris ; casus multis hic cognitus, ac jam

Line f. With bad example.] Every evil deed which tends to set a bad example to others.

Displeases, &c.] Gives him unpleasant sensations. 2. First 'revenge, &c.] The vengeance which first seizes upon him, arises from himself; his own conscience will condemn him, though he should have no other judge.

*4. Should have overcome the urn, &c.] Vicerit-j. e. should have defeated the urn's impartial decision, and have declared him innocent.--The pretor, who was the chief judge, had others appointed with him as assistants. The names of these were written upon little balls, and cast into an urn by the pretor : after they were shaken together, he drew out as many as the law required for the cause : after which the parties had power to reject such as they thought would be partial. The number of those excepted against were filled up by the pretor's drawing other names out of the urn. Then the judges, which were thus appointed, took an oath to judge according to law; but, on many occasions, others were often substituted by the pretor. The cause being heard, the pretor gave to each of the judges three waxen tables. On one was the letter A, to signify the acquittal or absolution of the defendent. On another C, to imply his condemnation. On another N L, for non liquet, signified that a farther hearing was necessary; which delay of the cause was called ampliation. Then the judges, being called upon, cast the billet, expressing their opinion, into the urn, according to which the pretor


ARGUMENT. takes occasion to speak of the villainy of the times--shews that no'thing can happen but by the permission of Providence and that wicked men carry their own punishment about with them.

W HATEVER is committed with bad example, displeases even
The author of it. This is the first revenge, that, himself
Being judge, no guilty person is absolved ; altho' the wicked
Favour of the deceitful pretor should have overcome the ura.
What do you suppose all to think, Calvinus, of the recent
Wickedness, and crime of violated faith? But neither
Has so small an income come to your share, that the burden
Of a moderate loss should sink you : nor do we see rare
Those things which you suffer. This misfortune is known to many,

and now

pronounced sentence. But if the pretor was a wicked judge, and inclined that partiality should get the better of justice, he might so manage matters, in all these many turns of the business, that the defendant, however guilty, might appear to have the urn in his favour. This our poet very properly calls-- Improba gratia fallacis prætoris.

5. What do you suppose, &c.] What, think you, are the opinions of people in general, of this injustice which you lately suffered, and of the breach of trust in your friend, of which you so loudly com. plain?

- Calvinus.) Juvenal's friend, to whom he addresses this Satire. And here he comforts him by many considerations ; first, that he must have all the world on his side every body must join with him in condemning such a transaction,

7. So small aq income.] Another comfort is, that his circumstances are such, that such a loss won't ruin him. Census means a man's estate, or yearly revenue.

The burden, &c.] A metaphor taken from a ship's sinking by being overloaded.

8. Rare, &c.] His case was not singular, but very commonly happened to many as well as to Calvinus : he therefore must not look upon himself as a sufferer beyond others.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Tritus, et e medio Fortunæ ductus acervo.
Ponamus nimios gemitus. Flagrantior æquo
Non debet dolor esse viri, nec vulnere major.
Tu quamvis levium minimam, exiguamque malorum
Particulam vix ferre potes, spumantibus ardens
Visceribus, sacrum tibi quod non reddat amicus
Depositum. Stupet hæc, qui jam post terga reliquit
Sexaginta annos, Fonteio Consule natus ?
An nihil in melius tot rerum proficis usu?
Magna quidem, sacris quæ dat præcepta libellis,
Victrix Fortunæ Sapientia. Dicimus autem
Hos quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vitæ,
Nec jactare jugum, vitâ didicere magistrâ.

Quæ tam festa dies, ut cesset prodere furem,

10. Trite.] Common.

Drawn from the midst, &c.] Not taken from the top, or summit, of that heap of miseries, which Fortune stores up for mankind, but from the middle, as it were--not so small as not to be felt, nor so severe as to overwhelm you, He calls it, onus mediocris jacturæ, l. 7, 8.

11. Too many sighs.] Immoderate grief.

W More violent, &c.] A man's concern should never exceed the proper bounds.

12. Than his wound.] Should not rise higher than that which occasions it requires. Sorrow should be proportioned to suffering.

13. Tho' you, &c.] The poet here reproves the impatience and anger of his friend, who, instead of apportioning his grief to his loss, which was comparatively small, according to the preceding maxim (l. 11, 12.) shewed a violence of grief and resentment on the occasion, which bespake him unable to bear, in any measure as he ought, a light injury or misfortune.

14. Burning, &c.] Your very bowels on fire with rage and indige nation. We often find the intestines, such as the heart, liver, and bowels, or entrails, represented as the seat of moral feelings,

15. Your friend, &c.] The poet calls the money which Calvinus had intrusted his false friend with, and which he was afraid to lose, a sacred deposit, because delivered to him to keep, under the sacred confidence of friendship.

16. Does he wonder, &c.] Does my friend Calvinus, now turned of sixty, and consequently well acquainted with the nature of man. kind from many years experience, stand astonished at such a common transaction as this?

17. Fonteius.] L. Fonteius Capito was consul with C. Vipsanius, in the reign of Nero.

18. Of so many things.] Of so many things of a like kiną, which your knowledge of the world must have brought to your observation

has all your experience of men and things been of no use or profit to you?

« PredošláPokračovať »