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Nec Cræsi fortuna unquam, nec Persica regna
prevail on him to put Messalina to death, after her paramour Silius. See sat. x. I. 330-345. Claudius would have pardoned her adul. sery, but, at the instigation of Narcissus, he had her killed in the
Neither the fortune of Creesus, nor the Persian kingdoms,
gardens of Lucullus. By the favour of the emperor, Narcissus was possessed of immense wealth,
END OF THE FOURTEENTH SATIRE.
The Poet in this Satire, which he is supposed to have written when
he was under his banishment into Ægypt, relates the mortal and irreconcileable hatred, which sprung from a religious quarrel between the Ombites and Tentyrites, inhabitants of two neighbouring cities of Ægypt and describes, in very lively colours, a bloody fray which happened between them. He seems to lay this as a ground for those fine reflections, with which he finishes the Satire, on the nature, use,
and intention of civil society. In reading this Satire, it is difficult not to advert to the monstrous cruel.
ties which superstition and bigotry have brought on mankind, while those who have disgraced the Christian name by bearing it, have, with relentless fucy, inflicted torture and death on thousands of innocent
Q UIS nescit, Volusi Bithynice, qualia demens
Line 1. Bithynian Volusius, ] Who this Volusius was does not appear; all that we know is, that he came from Bithynia, a country of the Lesser Asia, and was undoubtedly a friend of Juvenal, who addresses this Satire to him.
2. Mad Ægypt.] Demens not only means mad, i.e. one that has lost his senses, but also silly, foolish ; which perhaps is meant here, in allusion to the silly superstition which possessed the minds of the Ægyptians in religious matters.
This part.] One part of Ægypt.
Adores a crocodile.] That part of Ægypt which lies near the river Nile worships the crocodile ; a dreadful amphibious animal, shaped something like a lizard, and, from an egg little bigger than that of a goose, grows to be thirty feet long. The Ægyptians know how high the river will rise that year, by the place where the crocodiles lay their eggs. The crocodile was worshipped with divine hqnours, because these animals were supposed to have destroyed the Libyan and Arabian robbers, who swam over the river and killed many of the inhabitants.
people, for no other crime than a difference of opinion in religious
matters. MARSHALL, in his note on line 36, thus expresses himself—“ Hinc si
s multas et odium utrique populo oriebantur, nempe ex diversitate re. « ligionum, quæ in mundo etiam Christiano, Di bani! quantas stra
“ ges excitavit !” The attentive reader of this Satire will find a lively exhibition of those
principles which actuate bigots of all religions; Zealots of all per. suasions ; and which, as far as they are permitted, will always act uniformly against' the peace and happinoss of mankind. He may a, muse himself with allegorizing the Ombites and Tentyrites into emblems of blind zeal and party rage, which no other bounds than want of power have kept from desolating the earth.
V HO knows not, Bithynian Volusius, what monstrous things Mad Ægypt can worship ? this part adoręs a crocodile ; That fears an Ibis saturated with serpents. A golden image of a sacred monkey shines, Where the magic chords resound from the half Mennon,
9. An Ibis.] A certain bird, which is a great destroyer of ser. pents. See Ainsw.
4. A golden image, &c.] In another part of Ægypt, viz. at Thebes, they worship the image of a monkey made of gold. Cereopithecus is derived from the Gr. xsexos, a tail, and Jaxos, an ape.The difference between the ape and the mankey is, that the ape has no tail; the monkey has, and usually a very long one.
5. Magic chords, &c.] At Thebes, in Ægypt, there was a colossal sfacue of Memnon, a king of Æthiopia, who was sļain by Achilles at the siege of Troy : this statue was made of hard marble, and with such art, that a lute, which was in its hand; would itself give a musical sound when the beams of the sun came upon it. , · Cambyses, king of Persia, ruined the city, and caused the statue to be broken about the middle, imagining the sound to proceed from some contrivance within, but nothing was found. From this time the music was thought to be magical. Strabo says, that he and others heard the music about one in the afternoon, but confesses he çould not understand the cause.
Atque vetus Thebe centum jacet obruta portis.
6. Hundred gates.] At Thebes, in Ægypt, there was an hundred gates ; the city from thence was called Hecatompolis. This city was destroyed by Cambyses, who conquered Ægypt. It was originally built by Busiris, the fabled son of Neptune. See sat. xiii. 1, 27, and note.
7. Sea-fish.] Cæruleos—because taken out of the sea, which by reflecting the blue sky, appears of an azure or sky-blue colour. So Virg. Æn. iii. 308. Adnixi torquent spumas, e: cærula verrunt--. c. æquora.
8. Worship a dog.] They worship their good Anubis under this form. See sat. vi. 533, note.
--- Nobody Diana.] They worship the hound, but not the Huntress. Juvenal seems to mistake here, for Herodotus observes that Diana was worshipped in that country under the name of Bubastis ; which adoration, under another name, might occasion this mistake. But see Ainsw. Bubastis.
9, A sin to violate a leek, &c.] “ Perhaps our poet here goes a little beyond the strict truth, to heighten the ridicule, though there might be possibly some foundation for such an opinion, from the scrupulous abstinence of some of that nation from particular veget. ables, as lentils, beans and onions, the latter of which the priests abominated, as some pretend, because Dictys, who had been brought up by Isis, was drowned in seeking after them ; or rather, because onions alone, of all plants, thriye when the moon is in the wane." Sec, AŅt. Univ. Hist. vol. i, p. 481.–For the religion of Ægypt, see also ib p. 467, et seq: ; and Abr. of Hutchinson, p. 122.
10. O holy nations, &c.] Meaning the various parts of Ægypt, whose worship of leeks and onions he has just mentioned. This sarcasm is very natural after what he has said.
11. Every table, &c.] i.e. They never eat sheep, or lambs. 12. Offspring of a she-goat.] i.e. A kid.
The hatred of the Ægyptians to the Israelites, both as shepherds and as Hebrews, is supposed to have arisen from the latter killing and sacrificing these beasts, which were held sacred and worshipped