Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

They adore nothing beside the clouds, and the Deity of heaven :
Nor do they think swine’s flesh to be different from human,
From which the father abstain'd; and soon they lay aside their fore.

skins :
But used to despise the Roman laws,

100 They learn, and keep, and fear the Jewish law, Whatsoever Moses hath delivered in the secret volume : Not to shew the ways, unless to one observing the same rites, To lead the circumcised only to a sought-for fountain ; But the father is in fault, to whom every seventh day was 105 Idle, and he did not meddle with any part of life.

101. And fear.] And reverence

102. Whatsoever Moses, &c.] i. e. Whatsoever it be that Mo. ses, &c.—From this passage it appears, that Moses was known and acknowledged, by the heathen, to be the lawgiver of the Jews. : - Secret volume. By this is meant the Pentateuch, (so called from tivte, five, and tauxos, a book or volume,) or five books of Mo. ses. A copy of this was kept, as it is to this day, in every synagogue, locked up in a press, or chest (arca), and never exposed to sight, unless when brought out to be read at the time of worship in the sy. nagogue, and then (as now) it was returned to its place, and again locked up. This is probably alluded to by Juvenal's epithet of are cano, from arca—as Romanus, from Roma. See Ainsw. Arca. nus-a-um.- Volumine, from volvo, to roll, denotes that the book of the law was rolled, not folded, up. See sat. X. 126, note.

103. Not to shew the ways, &c.] They were forbidden certain connexions with the heathen-but when the poet represents them 80 monstrously uncharitable, as not to shew a stranger the way to a place which he was inquiring after, unless he were a Jew, he may be supposed to speak from prejudice and misinformation. So in the next line

104. To lead, &c.] He supposes, that, if a man, who was not a Jew, were ever 80 thirsty, and asked the way to some spring to quench his thirst, they would sooner let him perish than direct him to it. But no such thing was taught by Moses. See Exod. xxii. 21 ; and ch. xxiii. 9.

Verpos, like Horace's apella, is a word of contempt.

105. The father, &c.] Who, as the poet would be understood, set them the example. . : - Every seventh day, &c.] Throughout the year this was oba served as a day of rest, the other sabbaths at their stated times. The poet ignorantly imputes this merely to an idle practice, which was handed down from father to son, not knowing the design and importance of the divine command.

106. Meddle, &c.] i.e. He refrained from all business, even such as related to the necessaries of common life. The Jews carried this to a superstitious height they even condemned works of necessity

Sponte tamen juvenes imitantur cætera : solam
Inviti quoque avaritiam exercere jubentur.
Fallit enim vitium specie virtutis, et umbrâ,
Cum sit triste habitu, vultuque et veste severum.
Nec dubie tanquam frugi laudatur avarus,
Tanquam parcus homo, et rerum tutela suarum
Certa magis, quam si fortunas servet easdem
Hesperidum serpens, aut Ponticus : adde quod hunc, de
Quo loquor, egregium populus putat, atque verendum
Artificem : quippe his crescunt patrimonia fabris.
Sed crescunt quocunque modo, majoraque fiunt
Incude assiduâ, semperque ardente camino.

115

and charity, if done on the Sabbath. See John vii. 23. They also declared self-defence to be unlawful on the Sabbath-day. See Ant... Univ. Hist. vol. X. p. 272.

107. Young men, &c.] The poet now begins on the subject of avarice, in order to shew how this also is communicated from father to son: but here he makes a distinction. As to other vices, says he, youth want no force to be put upon them to incline them to imitation ; whereas, this of avarice, being rather against their natu. ral bent towards prodigality, requires some pains to be taken, in order to instil it into their minds.

- -The rest.] The other vices which have been mentioned.

108. Commanded, &c.] They have much pains taken with them to force them, as it were, into it, against their natural inclinations.

109. Vice deceives, &c.] They are deceived at first, by being taught to look upon that as virtuous, from its appearance, which in truth, in its real nature and design, is vicious. Nothing is more common than for vice to be concealed under the garb of virtue, as in the instance which the poet is about to mention. In this sense it may be said-Decipimur specie recti. Hor. de Art. 1. 25.

110. Sad in habit, &c.] The poet, in this line, in which he is de. scribing vice, wearing the garb, and putting on the semblance, of wisdom and virtue, has probably in his eye the hypocrites, whom he so severely lashes at the beginning of the second Satire. See sat. ii. 1. I- 20.

Habitu here means outward carriage, demeanour, manner. Sad • matriste-grave, pensive, demure.

- Severe in countenance, &c.] A severity of countenance, and a negligence in dress, were supposed characteristic of wisdom and virtue, and were therefore in high esteem among the philoso: phers, and those who would be thought wiser and better than others. Hence, in order to deceive, these were assumed by vicious people. See Matt. vi. 16.

ill. Doubtfully praised, &c.] Nobody doubts his sincerity, or that he is other than his appearance bespeaks him, viz. a frugal mán, and careful of his affairs, which is certainly a laudable charac, ter.

Young men, nevertheless, imitate the rest of their own accord; only
Avarice they are commanded to exercise against their wills;
For vice deceives under the appearance and shadow of virtue, .
When it is sad in habit, and severe in countenance and dress. 110
Nor is the miser doubtfully praised as frugal,
As a thrifty man, and a safeguard of his own affairs,
More certain, than if, those same fortunes, the serpent
Of the Hesperides or of Pontus should keep. Add, that
This man, of whom I speak, the people think an excellent, and ve.
nerable

115
Artist, for to these workmen patrimonies increase :
But they increase by whatsover means, and become greater
By the assiduous anvil, and the forge always burning.

Sic timidus se cantum vocat, sordidus parcum.

SEN. 113. More certain, &c.] At the same time he is acting from no better principle, than that of the most sordid avarice, and takes care to hoard up and secure his money-bags in such a manner, as that they are safer than if guarded by the dragon which watched the garden of the Hesperides, the daughters of Atlas, from whence, notwithstanding, Hercules stole the golden apples ; or by the dragon, which guarded the golden fleece at Colchos, in Pontus, from whence, notwithstanding, it was stolen by Sason.

114. Add.] We may also add to this account of the character here spoken of, that he is in high estimation with the generality of people, who always judge of a man by what he is worth.'

At bona pars hominum, decepta cupidine falsâ,
Nil satis est, inquit, quia tanti quantum habeas, sis.

Hor. lib. i. sat, i. l. 61, 2.
“ Some self-deceiv'd, who think their lust of gold
• Is but a love of fame, this maxim hold-
“ No fortune's large enough, since others rate
“ Our worth proportion’d to a large estate.”

Francis. 115. The people think, &c.] They reckon this man, who has been the fabricator of his own fortune to so large an amount, an excellent workman in his way, and to be highly reverenced.

116. To these workmen, &c.] Fabris here is metaphorical, and is applied to these fabricators of wealth for themselves, because those who coined or made money for the public were called fabri, or moneta fabricatores. Faber usually denotes a smith-i. e. a workman in iron and other hard materials, a forger, a hammerer : so these misers, who were continually at work to increase their wealth, might be said to forge and hammer out a fortune for themselves, and in this sense might be called fabri. To such as these, says the poet, riches increase.

117. By whatsoever means.] They were not very scrupulous or nice, as to the ineans of increasing their store, whether by right or wrong. 118. By the assiduous anvil, and the forge, &c.] The poet still

VOL. ll.

120

Et pater ergo animi felices credit avaros,
Qui miratur opes, qui nulla exempla beati
Pauperis esse putat; juvenes hortatur, ut illam
Ire viam pergant, et eidem incumbere sectæ.
Sunt quædam vitiorum elementa : his protinus illos-
Imbuit, et cogit minimas ediscere sordes.
Mox acquirendi docet insatiabile votum :
Servorum ventres modio castigat iniquo, .
Ipse quoque esuriens : neque enim omnia sustinet unquam
Mucida cærulei panis consumere frusta,
Hesternum solitus medio servare minutal'

125

continues his metaphor. As smiths, by continually beating their iron on the anvil, and having the forge always heated, fabricate and complete'a great deal of work ; so these misers are always forging and fashioning something or other to increase their wealth. Their incés. sant toil and labour may be compared to working at the anvil, and the burning desire of their minds to the lighted forge. Camino here is to be understood of the forge or furnace in which the iron is heated.

119. The father therefore, &c.] Seeing these men abound in wealth, and not recollecting what pains it cost them, both of body and mind, to acquire it, thinking the rich are the only happy people, and that a poor man must be miserable

121. Exhorts his young men.] His sons that are growing up.

122. To go that way.] To tread in the steps of these money.get. ting people.

- Apply earnestly, &c.] Incumbo signifies to apply with earnestness and diligence to any thing. The father here recommends it to his sons, to apply themselves diligently to the practices of these people, whom the poet humourously styles a sect-as if they were a sect of philosophers, to which the word properly belongs. Those who joined in following the doctrines of Plato, were said to be of the Platonic sect--so secta Socratica.-Secta comes from sequor, to follow.

123. Certain elements, &c.] Certain rudiments or beginnings. The father does not all at once bid his sons to be covetous, but insinuates into their minds, by little and little, sordid principles. This he does as soon as they are capable of receiving them, which I take to be the meaning of protinus lrere.--Inbuio signifies to season meat, or the like ; so, by metaph. to season the mind also to furnish, or store.

124. Compels them to learn, &c.] From his example, little paltry acts of meanness and avarice-minimas sordes.

125. By-and-by.] As they grow up, he opens his grand plan to them; and as they have been taught to be mean and stingy in lesser matters, he now instructs them how to thrive, by applying the same principles to the science of getting money by low and illiberal means.

Insatiable wish.] A desire that can never be satisfied such

120

And the father therefore believes the covetous happy of mind,
Who admires wealth, who thinks that there are no examples : 120
Of an happy poor man ; he exhorts his young men that they
May persist to go that way, and apply earnestly to the same sect. :

There are certain elements of vices ; with these he immediately seasons
*Them, and compels them to learn the most trifling stinginess.
By-and-by he teaches an insatiable wish of acquiring :: . 125
He chastises the bellies of the servants with an unjust measure,
He also hung'ring : for neither does he ever bear

To consume all the musty pieces of blue bread,
Who is used to keep the hash of yesterday in the midst of

dapply earnes, young memes

is the inordinate love of money. Amor habendi. Virg. Æn, viii. 1. 327.

126. He chastises, &c.] The poet in this, and in some of the fol. lowing lines, particularises certain instances of those minimæ sordes, which he had hinted at l. 124, and which the father is supposed to

set an example of to his sons, in order to season and prepare their · minds for greater acts of sordidness and avarice.

First, Juvenal takes notice of the way in which the father treats his servants. He pinches their bellies, by withholding from them their due allowance of food, by giving them short measure, which is implied by iniquo modio, The Romans measured out the food which they gave their slaves ; this was so much a month, and therefore called demensum, from mensis-or rather, perhaps, from demetior--whenre part. demensus-a-um.

We find this word in Ter. Phorm. act i. sc. i. l. '9. where Davus is representing Geta, as having saved something out of his allowance, 18 a present for the bride of his master's son.

Quod ille unciatin vix de demenso suo,

Suum defraudans genium, comparsit miser, Geta had saved of his corn, of which the slaves kad so many mea. sures every month, and turned it into money. Modium was a measure of about a peck and an half. Ainsw.

127. He also hung'ring 7 Half starving himself at the same time.

- Neither does he, &c.] He does not suffer, or permit, all the picces of bread, which are so stale as to be blue with mouldiness, and musty with being hoarded up, to be eaten up at once, but makes -them serve again and again.

129. The hash, &c.] Minulal--a dish made with herbs and meat, and other things chopped togetlier--from minuo, to diminish, or. make a thing less.

-Of yesterday.] Which had been dressed the day before, and now served up again. This he will still keep, though in the month of Septeniber, a time of year when, from the autumnal damps, victuals soon grow putrid. The blasts of the south-wind' at that time were particularly insalubrious. See sat, vi. 516, note.

« PredošláPokračovať »