Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

(Cries the owner of the wheat, and the buyer-up of pepperm.) ; 6. Nothing this colour of the heaven, nothing this black cloud threat.

" ens : “ It is summer-thunder.”—Unhappy wretch! and perhaps that very

: 295 Night he will fall, the beams being broken, and be pressed down by

a wave, Overwhelmed, and will hold his girdle with his left hand, or with

his bite. But for him, for whose wishes a while ago the gold had not sufficed, Which Tagus, and Pactolus rolls in its shining sand, Rags covering his cold thighs will suffice, And a little food ; while, his ship being sunk, shipwrecked, he Asks a penny, and beholds himself in a painted tempest. Things gotten with so many evils, with greater care and fear Are kept-miserable is the custody of great wealth.

300

299. Rolls.] Or throws up, by the course of its waters over the sands, so that it is found at low water. This is said to be the case of some waters in Africa, which flow down precipices with great impetuosity, and leave gold-dust, which they have washed from the earth in their passage, in the gullies and channels which they make in their way.

300. Rags covering, &c.] This very wretch, who could not before have been satisfied with all the gold of the Tagus and Pactolus, is now, having been shipwrecked and ruined by the loss of his all, very content, if he can but get rags to cover his nakedness from the inclemency of the weather.

301. A little food.] Bestowed upon him in charity, or purchased with the few pence he gets by begging.

301-2. He asks a penny.] Who before wanted a thousand talents, more than he had, to content him. See l. 274. See sat. v. l. 144, note 2.

302. A painted tempest.] Persons who had lost their property by shipwreck used to have their misfortune painted on a board, and hung at their breasts, to move compassion in the passer3 by; as we often see sailors and others begging in the streets, with an account of their misadventures written on paper or parchment, and pinned on their breasts.

303. With so many evils.] But suppose all this be avoided, and the man comes home rich and prosperous, still he is not happy : he must be harassed with continual care, anxiety, and dread, in order to keep what he has gotten, and these may give him more uneasiness than any thing else. has given him in the pursuit of his wealth.

304. Miserable is the custody, &c.] The constant watchfulness, the incessant guard, that are to be kept over heaps of wealth, added to the constant dread of being plundered, may be truly said to make

305

310

Dispositis prædives hamis vigilare cohortem
Servorum noctu Licinus jubet, attonitus pro
Electro, signisque suis, Phrygiâque columnâ,
Atque ebore, et latâ testudine dolia nudi
Non ardent Cynici : si fregeris, altera fiet
Cras domus ; aut eadem plumbo commissa manebit.
Sensit Alexander, testâ cum vidit in illâ
Magnum habitatorem, quanto felicior hic, qui
Nil cuperet, quam qui totum sibi posceret orbem,
Passurus gestis æquanda pericula rebus.
Nullum numen habes, si sit prudentia : nos te,
Nos facimus, Fortuna, Deam. Mensura tamen quæ

315

the owner lead a miserable life. This is well described by Horace, sat. i. 1. 76-9.

305. Licinus.] The name of some very rich man. It stands here for any such.--Wealthy-prædives, very rich, beyond others wealthy.

306. Buckets set in order.] Hama signifies a water-bucket made of leather. AinsW.-Dispositis, properly disposed, so as to be ready in case of fire.

- Affrighted.] Half distracted, as it were, with apprehension.

307. His amber.] Lest he should lose his fine cups and other vessels made of amber. Electrum also signifies a mixture of gold and silver, whereof one fifth part was silver. Ainsw.

His statues.] Signum denotes a graven, painted, or molten image, a figure of any thing...

Phrygian column.] His fine ornamented pillars, made of marble brought out of Phrygia, a country of the Lesser Asia.

308. For his ivory] His furniture made or inlaid with ivory. See sat. xi. I. 122–4, and notes. . Broad tortoise-shell.] His couches, and other moveables, richly inlaid and ornamented with large and valuable pieces of tortoise-shell. See sat. xi. 94, and note. .

The casks, &c.] Dolia, the plural put for the singular, per synec. The cask of Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher, is here meant, which was not made of wood, as has been commonly supposed, but of clay baked, and so in no danger of fire. Dolium sig, nifies any great vessel, as a tun, pipe, or hogshead.--In these dolią the ancients used to keep their wine. Hence Ter. Heaut. act iii. sc. i. 1. 51. Relevi omnia dolia—which some translators have rendered, " I have pierced every cask.” But, however that may be agreeable to our idiom, piercing an earthen vessel, which the dolium was, is not to be supposed. Lino signified the securing the mouth, or bung hole, of any vessel with pitch, rosin, or wax, to prevent the air's getting in, to the prejudice of what might be contained in it : and as this was never omitted, when any vessel was filled with wine, hence it is used for putting wine into casks.

Wealthy Licinus commands his troop of servants, with 305
Buckets set in order, to watch by night, affrighted for
His amber, and for his statues, and his Phrygian column,
And for his ivory, and broad tortoise-shell. The casks of the naked
Cynic don't burn: should you break them, another house
Will be made to-morrow, or the same will remain solder'd with
lead.

310
Alexander perceived, when he saw, in that cask,
The great inhabitant, how much happier this man was, who
Desired nothing, than he, who required the whole world,
About to suffer dangers to be equalled to things done.
Thou hast no divinity, O Fortune, if there be prudence: thee we, 315
We make a goddess. Nevertheless the measure of an estate ...

Hor. Od. lib. i. ode xx. I. 1-3.

· Vile potabis modicis Sabinum
Cantharis, Græca quod ego ipse testa

Conditum LEVI. Relino-evi, signifies, consequently, to remove the rosin, or pitch, upon opening the vessel for 'use.

309. Break them.] Should you dash them all to pieces, so as not to be repaired, such another habitation is very easily provided.

310. Solder'd with lead. ] Any fracture or chink may easily be stopped, by fixing some lead over it, or pouring sorne melted lead into the crack, which would fill it up.

311. Alexander.] Alexander the Great might easily perceive how much happier, and more content, Diogenes was in his poverty, than he who coveted empire so much as not to be content with one world. This alludes to the story of Alexander's coming to Co. rinth, where he found Diogenes, and not being 'saluted by him, Alexander went up to him, and asked him “if he could do any 6 thing for him?" "Yes,” said Diogenes, “ stand from between me “ and the sun.”

- In that cask. ] Testa. This shews that the vessel, or hogs. head, which Diogenes lived in, was not made of wood.

312. The great inhabitant.] Diogenes, the chief of the Cynics, very properly so styled, from xvoy, xuros, a dog, from the snarling surliness of their manners ; of this we have a specimen in the answer of Diogenes to Alexander above mentioned.

314. About to suffer, &c.] i, e. To expose himself to, and to undergo dangers, proportionate to his attempts to accomplish his vast designs, and equal to all the glory which he might acquire.

315. No divinity, &c.] See sat. x. I. 365, 6, and notes.

316. The measure, &c.]. If I were asked what I'thought a com: petency sufficient to furnish the comfortable necessaries of life, I would answer as follows-

. XIV

[ocr errors]

320

Sufficiat censûs, si quis me consulat, edam.
In quantum sitis atque fames et frigora poscunt :
Quantum, Epicure, tibi parvis suffecit in hortis :
Quantum Socratici ceperunt ante Penates.
NUNQUAM ALIUD NATURA, ALIUD SAPIENTIA DICIT.
Acribus exemplis videor te claudere ; misce
Ergo aliquid nostris de moribus ; effice summam,
Bis septem ordinibus quam lex dignatur Othonis.
Hæc quoque si rugam trahit, extenditque labellum,
Şume duos Equites, fac tertia quadringenta :
Si nondum implevi gremium, si panditur ultra ;

325

318. As much, &c.] That which will suffice--as much as is rea : quired for food and raiment. So St. Paul, 1 Tim. vi. 8.

Nescis quo valeat nummus ; quam præbeat usum ?
Panis ematur, olus, vini sextarius; adde
Queis humana sibi doleat natura negatis. Hor. sat. i. 1. 73-5.
“ Would you the real use of riches know? .
“ Bread, herbs, and wine are all they can bestow.
“ Or add what Nature's deepest wants supplies,
“ These, and no more, thy mass of nioney buys."

FRANCIS, So Pope, in his use of riches, Eth. ep. ii. 1. 81, 2.

- What riches give us let us first inquire, “ Meat, fire, and clothes--what more ? meat, clothes, and fire.” 319. Little garden.] See sat. xiii. 122, 3. hortis, plur. per synec, pro horto, sing.

320. Socratic Penates, &c.] 1. e. As much as Socrates required and took for the maintenance of his household. Here, by meton. called Penates, from the household gods which were in his house.

Before.] i. e. In earlier times, before Epicurus. Socrates died four hundred years before Christ ; Epicurus two hundred and seventy-one.

321. Nature never says, &c.] 1. e. Nature and wisdom always agree in teaching the same lesson. By nature, here, we must understand that simple principle which leads only to the desire of the necessary comforts of life.

If we go farther, the term nature may extend to the appetite and passions, which, in their desires and pursuits, suit but ill with the dictates of wisdom. Mr. Pope, Eth. epist. iii. 1. 25, 6.

“What nature wants” (a phrase I must distrust)

“ Extends to luxury, extends to lust,” &c. 322. I seem to confine, &c.] By saying this, I may seem, per. haps, too severe, and to circumscribe your desires in too narrow a compass, by mentioning such rigid examples of persons, of what you may think sour dispositions.

323. Our manners.] That I may not be thought too scanty in

Which may suffice, if any should consult me, I will declare.
As much as thirst and hunger, and cold require ;
As much, Epicurus, as sufficed thee in thy little garden;
As much as the Socratic Penates had taken before.
Nature NEVER SAYS ONE THING, WISDOM ANOTHER. .'
I seem to confine you by sour examples ; mix
Therefore something from.our manners, make the sum
What the law.thinks :worthy the twice seven ranks of Otho.
If this also Jraws a wrinkle, and extends your lip,.
Take two knights, make the third four hundred.
If as yet I have not filled your bosom, if it be opened farther,

325

my allowance, I will permit you to mingle something of our more modern way of thinking and living.

323. Make the sum, &c.] Suppose you make up, together with what I have mentioned as sufficient, a sum equal to a knight's estate, which, by a law of Roscius Otho the tribune, called the Roscian law, was to amount to four hundred sestertia revenue per annum, about 3,1251. of our money.

324. Twice seven ranks, &c.] Fourteen ranks or rows of seats in the theatre were assigned to the equestrian order. See Hor. ep. iv. 1. 15, 16; and Juv. sat. üi. l. 155, 6, and notes.

325. If this also draws, &c.] If this contracts your brow into a frown, and makes you pout out your lips, as in disdain or displea. sure-as we say, hang the lip--i. e. if this, as well as the examples before mentioned, of Socrates and Epicurus, displeases you-

326. Take two knights.] Possess an estate sufficient for two of the equestrian order. See above, 1. 323, note 2.

- Make the third four hundred.] E'en add a third knight's estate, have three times four hundred sestertia.

327. Filled your bosom, &c.] A metaphor alluding to the gar. ments of the ancients, which were loose, and which they held open before to receive what was given to them. Comp. Is. Ixv. 6, 7. Luke vi. 38.

The poet means--If I have not yet satisfied your desires by what I allow you : if I have not thrown enough into your lap, as we say. Şee-sat. vii. 215, and note.

Opened farther.] The metaphor is still continued .d. If your desires are still extended beyond this.

328. Fortune of Cræsus.] The rich king of Lydia. See sat. x. 274.

- Persian kingdoms.] The kings of Persia, particularly Darius and Xerxes, were famed for their magnificence and riches. 329. Suffice your mind.] Will be sufficient to gratify your desires,

Riches of Narcissus.] A freedman and favourite of Clau. dius Cæsar, who had such an ascendency over the emperor, as to

VOL. II.

B

B

« PredošláPokračovať »