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I know not what star it is certainly which tempers me with you.
There are a thousand species of men, and a different use of things: Every one has his will, nor do they live with one wish. This man, for Italian merchandizes under the recent sun, Changes the wrinkled pepper, and grains of pale cumin :: Another, sated, had rather swell up. with moist sleep: Another, indulges in the field ; another the die consumes; another Is rotten for Venus : but when the stony gout Has broken his joints, the branches of the old beech, Then, that their gross days have passed away, and the gloomy light, 60 And they have late bewailed the life now left to them.
increase and grow. So sleep is to those who eat much, and sleep much; it makes them grow, and increase in bulk.
57. Indulges in the field.] In the sports and exercises of the Campus Martius. Or perhaps field-sports may be understood. Comp. Hor. ode i. I. 3-6, and l. 25-8.
--- The die consumes.] Is ruined by gaming. Decoquit-metaph. from boiling away liquors over a fire.- So the gamester, by continual play, consumes his substance.
58. For Venus.] i. e. Ruins his health is in a manner rotten-by continual acts of lewdness and debauchery, Putris means also wan.. ton, lascivious. Omnes in Damalim putres deponent oculos. Hor. lib. i. ode xxxvi. I. 17, 18,
The stony gout.] So called from its breeding chalk-stones in the joints, when long afflicted with it.
59. Broken his joints.] Destroyed the use of them as much as if . they had been broken, and are so to all appearance.
The branches, &c.] Ramalia--seared or dead boughs cut from a tree, which may be looked upon, from their withered and useless appearance, as very, strong emblems of a gouty man's limbs,, the joints of which are useless, and the flesh withered away_(see sat. i. 97.)-so that they appear like the dead branches of an old decayed beech-tree.
60. Gross days.] Crassos--the days which they have spent in gross sensuality, as well as in thick mental darkness and error.
mm Gloomy light.] Palustrem-metaph. from the fogs which arise in marshes and fenny places, which obscure the light, and involve those who live in it, or near them, in unwholesome mists. Such is the situation of those whose way of life is not only attended with ignorance and error, but with injury to their health, and with ruin of their comfort. 61. Late bewailed.] Too late for remedy,
The life now left, &c.] They not only bemoan themselves, at the recollection of their past mispent life, but the portion of life which now remains, being imbittered by remorse, pain, and disease, becomes a grief and burthen,
At te nocturnis juvat impallescere chartis,
65 · Cras hoc fiet,' Idem cras fiet. · Quid ! quasi magnum • Nempe diem donas ? Sed cum lux altera venit, Jam cras hesternum consumpsimus : ecce aliud cras Egerir hos annos, et semper paulum erit ultra : Nam quamvis prope te, quamvis temone sub uno, Vertentem sese frustra sectabere canthum, Cum rota posterior curras, et in axe secundo,
62. Grow pale, &c.] Your delight, O Cornutus, is to pass the time, when others sleep, in hard study, which brings a paleness on your countevance. See sat. i. I. 124 ; and sat. iii. 1. 85,
63. A cultivator of youths.] Cultor---metaph. from colo, to till or cultivate the ground.
9, d. As the husbandman tills or cultivates the ground, and prepares it to receive seed, and to bring forth fruit-so do you, Cornu. tus, prepare youthful minds to receive and bring forth wisdom.
You saw their purged ears.] The metaphor is still carried on; as the husbandman casts the seed into the ground which he has prepared and cleaned, by tillage, from weeds—so do you sow the doctrines of moral philosophy, which were taught by Cleanthes, the disciple and successor of Zeno, in the ears of your pupils, after having purged away those errors, falsehoods, and prejudices, with which they were at first possessed, by your wise and well-applied instruction. You first teach them to avoid vice and error, and then to embrace and follow truth and virtue.
Virtus est vitium fugere, et sapientia prima
Hor. lib. i. epist. i. !. 41, 2, 64. Hence seek, &C.] Persius here invites both young and old to seek for wisdom from the Stoic philosophy, as taught by his friend and preceptor Cornutus ; that, thereby, they might find some cer. tain and fixed end, to which their views might be directed, and no longer fluctuate in the uncertainty of error. Certum voto pete finem,
Hor. Epist. lib. i. ep. ii. l. 56 65. Stores, &c.] Viatica, literally, are stores, provisions, things pecessary for a journey ; as money, victuals, &c.
The poet here advises their learning philosophy, that their minds might be furnished with what would suffice to support them through the journey of life, and more particularly through the latter part of it, when under the miseries and infirmities of old age.
66. - To-morrow," &c.] Persius here introduces some idle young man, as if saying-" To be sure you advise very rightly, but give “ me a little tiine-to-orrow (q. d. some time hence) I will apply. 66 myself to the studies which you recommend.”
- “ The sume will be done toomorrow.”] When to-niorrow
But it delights you to grow pale with nightly papers, For, a cultivator of youths, you sow their purged ears With Cleanthean corn Hence seek; ye young and old, A certain end to the mind, and stores for miserable grey hairs. 65 “ To-morrow this shall be done' the same will be done
6 to-morrow"-" what ! “As a great thing truly do you give a day?"-" but when another
" day comes, “ We have already spent yesterday's to-morrow. Behold anoțlrer
"to-morrow • Has spent these years, and will always be a little beyond : “ For altho' near you, altho' under one beam, “ You will in vain follow the felly turning itself, " When you, the hinder wheel, do run, and on the second axle."!
comes, answers Persius, the same thing will be done ; that is, you will want to defer it for a day more.
66. “What !” &c.) What! replies the procrastinator, won't you allow me another day before I begin ?-what! do you make such a mighty matter of giving me a day, as if that were of so great consequence ?
68. “ Yesterday's tomorrow.”j But, rejoins Persius, when an. other day comes, remember that yesterday, which was the morrow of the day before it, and which you wished to be allowed you, is passed and gone.
- Behold another to-morrow."ị This day, which is the morrow of yesterday, is now arrived, and is, with all the past mor. rows, exhausting and consuming these years of ours ; and thus the time you ask for will always be put off, and stand a little beyond the morrow you fix upon.
70. “ Altho' near you,” &c.] The poet, in allusion to the hind. wheel of a carriage, which is near to, and follows the fore-wheel, but never can overtake it, gives the young map to understand, that, though to-day is nearly connected with to-morrow, in point of time, yet it can't overtake it, the morrow will always keep on from day to day, and it can never be overtaken--thus shewing, that procrastinated time will always fly on, and keep out of his reach ; however near he may be to it, all his resolutions to overtake it will be in vain.
“ Under one beam."'j Temo'signifies the beam of the wain, or the draught-tree, whereổn the yoke hangeth. Sometimes, be synec. the whiole carriage.-9.d. Our days may be considered as the wheels by, which our lives roll on; each day, as well as another, is joined to the space allotted us, like wheels to the same chariot.
71. "The felly.”] Canthus properly signifies the iron wherewith the wheel is bound, or shod, on the outward circle, called the felly
here, by synec.--the wheel itself.
72. “ The second axle."] Axis--the axle-tree on wlich the wheel is fixed, and about which it turns--the second, i. e. the hinder.--. g.d. You will, like the hinder-wheel of a carriage, which can never
Libertate opus est: non hâc, quâ, ut quisque Velina
overlake the fore.wheel, be still following the time before you, but will never overtake it ; therefore defer not till to-morrow, what yon should do to day. The whole of the metaphor, 1, 70--2, is very fine, and well expressed. See Hor. lib. ij. ode xviii. 1 15, 16.
I must confess that I cannot dismiss this part of my task, without mentioning that beautiful description of the slipping away of time, Pnperceived and unimproved, which we find in Shakespeare:
" To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
“ The way to dusty death.-- Macb. act y. sc. V. edit. STOCKDALE, 73. There is need of liberty.] The poet now advances to a discus. sion of that paradox of the Stoics--that “ only the wise are free ;"
and that those, who would follow after, and attain to true liberty, must be released from the mental shackles of vice and error, -his treatment of the subject is exquisitely fine, and worthy our serious attention.
--- Not this.] Not merely outward liberty, or liberty of the body, such as is conferred on slaves at their manumission.
- By which.] See. I. 74, note 2. - Every Publius.] The slaves had no prænomen ; but when they had their freedom given them, they assumed one-so, for instance, a slave that 'was called Licinius, would add the name of his master to his own, and call himself, if his master's name were Publius, Publius Licinius they also added the name of the tribe into which they were received and enrolled ; suppose the Velinan, then the freed man would style himself Publius Licinius Velina thus he was distinguished from "slaves.
74. Been discharged.] ;. e. From slavery-made free. Emeruit -metaph. from soldiers, who for some meritorious service were sent home, and discharged from going to war. Also from gladia. tors, who for their valour and dexterity at the theatre obtained their dismission from their perilous occupation, and were donati rude, presented with a rod, or wand, in token of their discharge and release. Hor. epist. i. lib. i. L. 2. Juv. sat. vi. 113. These were styled Emeriti.
So slaves were often made free, on account of their past ser. vieea, as having deserved this favour-this is signified by emeruit here.
--NFouldy corn, &c.] Those who are thus admitted to free. dom, and enrolled in one of the tribes, were entitled to all public dales and donations, on producing a little ticket or ţally, whick
There is need of liberty: not this, by which every Publius in the
Velinan tribe, , As soon as he has been discharged, mouldy corn with his tally Possesses. Alas! ye barren of truth-among whom one turn 75 Makes a Roman! here is Dama, a groom not worth three farthings ; A scoundrel, and blear-eyed, and a liar in a little corn : If his master turn him in the movement of a top, he comes forth
was given them on their manumission. The corn laid up in the pub. lic magazines was not of the best sort, and was frequently damaged with keeping
The name of the person, and of the tribe which he belonged to, was inscribed on the ticket, by which he was known to be a citizen. See Juv. sat. vii. 1. 174, note.
75. Alas! ye barren, &c.] The poet speaks with commiseration, of their ignorance, and total barrenness, with respect to truth and real wisdom, who could imagine that a man should be called free, because he was emancipated from bodily slavery.
One turn.] Vertigo, (from vertere, to turn). This was one of the ceremonies of making a slave free: he was carried before the pretor, who turned him round upon his heel, and said-Hunc esse liberum volo.
So Plautus, Menæchm. Liber esto, ito quo voles. Thus he became Quiris, a Roman citizen. See Juv. sat. iii. 1. 60, note.
76. Here is Dama.] For instance, says the poet, here is the slave Dama.
- A groom not worth, &c.] Agaso, an horse-keeper, a groom that looks after his master's horses. Non tressis (qu. tres asses) a poor, paltry fellow, worth hardly three farthings if one were to pur. chase him. They bought their slaves.
77. A scoundrel.] Vappa signifies wine that is palled, that has lost its strength, therefore called vapid.Hence a stupid, senseless fellow;. or a scoundrel, a good-for-nothing fellow.
- Blear-eyed.] Perhaps from debauchery and drunkenness. See sat. ii. 1. 72, note.
-- A liar in a little corn.] That will cheat his master, and defraud his horses of their slender allowance, and then lye to conceal his petty knavery. Farrago is a mixture of several grains--Mesceline.
78. If his master, &c.] Let his master but turn him upon his heel. See note above, 1. 75. ·
Movement of a top.] In one turn of a top, which is very swift when it is spinning--. e. as we say, in the twinkling of an eye. This allusion to the turning of a top, very humourously agrees with the verterit.
- He comes forth, &c.] He that went before the pretor plain