Obrázky na stránke

Obstruct with great consent. You will take care, that there be
Vengeance, heavier than the injury. It will, therefore, be worthy
The heart of the declaimer Vagellius of Mutina,
Since you have two legs, to offend so many common soldiers,
Thousands of nails. Who can be so far from the city ?

25 Besides, who is so much a Pylades, beyond the mole of the

rampart That he would come? let tears immediately be dried up, and let us Not solicit friends about to excuse themselves, When the judge says." Give evidence :" let him dare, (I know not who,) who saw the blows, say" I saw,” And I will believe him worthy the beard, and worthy the locks, ?

rustics, who live in the country, and are usually raw and ignorant ; hence called inurbani, rude, simple, homely.

So the Greeks used the word asslos, (from asu, a city, particularly Athens,) to denote a sharp mąn, well acquainted with the ways of the world ; answering, in great measure, to the English word po. litic, which is from the Latin politicus, and this from Gr. monos, a city.

26. So much a Pylades.] So much like Pylades ; alluding ta Pylades, the friend of Orestes, who underwent all dangers with him and for him, and even exposed his life for him, when he went to Tau. rica to expiate his crimes at the altar of Diana Taurica. See EURIP. Iphigen. in Tauris.

Whom, beside all I have been saying of your own personal daną gers from the soldiery, could you find such a friend, as to expose his safety for your sake, and enter within the camp to plead your cause or to take your part ?

Mole of the rampart.] The Romans used to surround their encampments with vast heaps or banks of earth, thrown up by way of rampart. The mass of earth which formed this might properly be called moles aggeris. A person could not get into the camp without first passing this.—Who would, says the poet, venture bea. yond this for your sake ?

27. Let'tears, &c.] Cease to implore with tears your friends tą help you.

28. About to excuse themselves.] Forbear to solicit your friends, who, instead of complying with such a request, will find a thou, sand excuses for not complying with your solicitations.

29. When the judge says, &c.] But suppose you could prevail on a friend to go with you, to be a witness for you in the cause, who saw you beaten by the soldier, and suppose the judge calls on the cause, and bids you produce your evidence ; let any man (I know not who--I name nobody, but let me see the man who dares to swear publicly in court that he saw the blows given

31. Worthy the beard, &c.] I will allow him to be a man of pri. mitive virtue, fidelity, and courage ; such as resided in our great ans ! 35

Majorum : citius falsum producere testem... in !
Contra paganum possis, quam vera loquentem, . .
Contra fortunam armati, contraque pudorem........

Præmia nunc alia, atque alia emolumenta notemus :
Sacramentorum. Convallem ruris aviti
Improbus, aut campum mihi si vicinus ademit;
Aut sacrum effodit medio de limite saxum,
Quod mea cum vetulo coluit puls annua libo,

puis annua libo,...v. ini.is
Debitor aut sumptos pergit non reddere nummos, . .' ...
Vana supervacui dicens chirographa ligni ; . .
Expectandus erit, qui lites inchoet, annus
Totius populi ; sed tunc quoque mille ferenda
Tædia, mille moræ ; toties subsellia tantum
Sternuntor; jam facundo ponente lacernas

cestors, who knew not our modern effeminacy; they rieither shaved their beards, nor çut their hair.

32. You might sooner produce, &c.] Paganus literally signifies one in, or of, the country, or country yillage ; here it is used in contradistinction to a soldier. It is more easy to bring a false accusation, and support it by false testimony, against such a one, than to bring a true accusation, and to support it by true testimony, against either the property or honour of a soldier-armati. See ante, l. 8, note.

36 Of oaths.] When soldiers were inlisted, they took an oath of allegiance and fidelity to the emperor, to their country, and to their


Now, says Juvenal, let us consider some farther privileges of taking the oaths as a soldier, and, by this, being enrolled in the army.

Adale.] Convallis signifies a vale or valley, enclosed on both sides with hills, commonly the most fruitful part of an estate. See Ps. lxv, 13.

- My ancestral estate.] My family-estate, descended to me from my ancestors.--He speaks as a common person.

37. Or a field.] Some other favourite spot.

If a wicked neighbour hath by violence entered and disseized me of these.

38. Hath dug up, &c.] If he hath removed my boundary.

The stones which were set up for boundaries were held sacred; they adorned them with chaplets, and every year offered to the god

Terminus, on the top of the boundary stones, sacrifices of honey, meal, and oil, made into cakes. This composition was called puls. See Ainsw.-And the cakes, liba. See ib. libum.

- Middle border.] i, e. Which stood on the line between my estate and my neighbour's. It was always reckoned a grievous of. fence to remove a land-mark; it was expressly forbidden in the di. vine law-Deut. xxvii, 17.

39. An old cake. ] This institution of a yearly sacrifice to the

Of our ancestors ; you might sooner produce a false witness
Against a villager, than one speaking what is true
Against the fortune of a soldier, and against his reputation.

Now other advantages, and other emoluments, let us note,
Of oaths. A dale of my ancestral estate,
Or a field, if a wicked neighbour, has taken away from me;
Or hath dug up the sacred stone from the middle border,
Which my annual puls hath rever'd with an old cake :
Or a debtor goes on not to render money taken,
Saying the hand-writings of the useless wood are void ;
The year of the whole people, which will begin suits,
Will be to be waited for: but then also a thousand fatigues
Are to be borne, a thousand delays ; so often the benches are only
Spread. Now eloquent Cæditius laying by his garments, 45

Sore to be borne, a teh for: but then also begin suits,

god Terminus, the god of boundaries, was as old as the days of Numa Pompilius, the successor of Romulus.

40. A debtor goes on, &c.] A man that has borrowed a sum of money continues to refuse the payment.

* 41. Saying the hand-writings, &c.] Denying the validity of his bond. See sat. xüi. 137, note..

42. The year, &c.] There were judges, or commissioners, chosen to hear certain civil causes among the people, of whom every tribe had three : there being thirty-five tribes in Rome, there were, of course, one hundred and five judges, though named centumviri, from the greater number.

By the year (annus,) here, we are to understand a certain time of the year, when these judges sat to try causes ; what we should call term-tine. Annus properly signifies a circle, whence annu. lus, a ring. Being applied to time, it denotes the annual progress of the sun through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, which we call a year; but it may also denote the revolution of any certain time.

Of the whole people.] Totius populi-. e. when the courts were open to the people at large, that they might get their causes heard and decided.

Begin suits.] The time of year when the centumviri will open their commission, and begin to try causes, must be waited for

this may occasion much delay.

43~4. Fatigues-delays.] 'When the term is begun, and the cause is ready for bearing, there is no end of the delays, and of the uneasiness which these occasion. Tædium signifies irksomeness, weariness.

44. So often the benches, &c.] It so often happens that the seats are prepared for the judges, and they don't attend. Sternuntur may here signify the spreading of the benches for the judges with cushions, or the like." See Ainsw. Subsellium, No 2.

45. Laying by his garments.] Lacerna signifies a cloak, a riding coat, and various other species of garments--but here, the robes or dress of the judges. One judge, says the poet, lays by his

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

.', SATIRA XVI. ni vise up -

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

This Satire is supposed to have been written by Juvenal while he

commanded in Ægypt, (see sat. xv. l. 45, note 2.); he sets forth, ironically, the advantages and privileges of the soldiery, and how

happy they are beyond others whom he mentions. Many have thought that this Satire was not written by Juvenal;

but I think that the weight of evidence seems against that opi.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Q UIS numerare queat felicis præmia; Galle, o
Militiæ ? nam si subeantur prospera castra,
Me pavidum exeipiat tyronem porta secundon. » **

Sidere : plus etenim fati valet hora benigni,
Quam si nos Veneris commendet epistola Marti,
Et Samiâ genitrix quæ delectatur arena.

Commoda tractemus primum communia, quorum

Line 1. Gallus.] Who this was does not appear; some friend, doubtless, of Juvenal, to whom he addresses this Satire.

- Can number, &c.] i. e. Can reckon up the advantages and emoluments arising from a military life?

2. Now since.] The subject of the Satire is proposed, l. 1, though not entered upon till l. 7. The intermediate lines, beginning at Nam si, &c. l. 2, to the end of 1. 6, are digressional, and humour. ously introduce the poet, now eighty years old, and forced into the service as a punishment, wishing to enter into the army with a lucky planet, as a soldier of fortune : the cheerfulness with which he seems to bear his misfortune, must have afforded no small disappointment to his enemies. I have rendered the Nam si, as marking ihe transition to the poet's wish for himself. See Ainsw. Nam, No. 5, 6; and Si, No. 2.

- Prosperous camps, &c.] Where people make their fortunes.

3. Let the door.] Let my first entrance be attended with the good omen of some favourable star. It was a great notion among the Romans, that their good or ill fortune depended on the situation of the stars, at certain times, and on certain occasions. Sat. vii. I. 194, note.

A fearful beginner.] Tyro significs a fresh-water soldier, a young beginner, a novice; these are usually fearful at first, being unused to the fatigues and hazards of war.


ARGUMENT. nion, and that there are many passages so exactly in the style of Juvenal, as to afford the strongest internal evidence that it was written by him. It may be granted not to be a finished piece, like the rest; but if we only regard it as a draught or design of a larger work, it is a valuable hint on the oppression and inconveniences of a military government.

W HO, O Gallus, can number the advantages of the happy
Soldiery? now since prosperous camps may be gone into,
Let the door receive me, a fearful beginner, with a favourable
Star: for an hour of kind fate avails more,
Than if an epistle of Venus were to commend us to Mars,
And the mother who delights in the Samian sand.

Let us first treat common advantages; of which that will

It is to be remembered, that Juvenal, who had passed his life in the study of letters, and in writing, was sent away from Rome into Ægypt, under pretence of giving him a military command, but indeed to exile him, for having satirized Paris the player, a minion of Domitian. See sat. vii. 1. 92, note. This was in a very advanced stage of our poet's life; therefore, though an old man, he might properly call himself a young soldier, unskilled and fearful.

4. An hour of kind fate, &c.] One lucky hour únder the influ. ence of some friendly planet. See Hor. lib. ii. ode xvii. l. 17, et seq.

5. Epistle of Venus, &c.] Than if Venus, the mistress of the god of war, were to write hiin a recommendatory letter in my favour, and this to be seconded by another from his mother Juno, here meant by genitrix. The poet, in this place, is again sneering at the mythology of his country. Comp. sat. xiii. 1. 40—7.

6. Delights in the Samian sand.] Juno was worshipped at Samos, a sandy island in the Icarian sea, where she was educated and married to Jupiter,; she was said to have a great delight in this island. See Æn. i. l. 19, 20.

7. Let us first treat common advantages.] The poet now enters on his subject; and begins, first, with those privileges of the mili. tary, which are common to all of them, from the highest to the lowest.


« PredošláPokračovať »