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• Surge.'-Negas. Instat, . surge,' inquit. Non queo.
Jam pueris pellem succinctus, et ænophorum aptas :
He introduces a dialogue between Dama and Avarice. Avarice is supposed to find Dama snoring a-bed in the morning, in the luxurious ease of his so highly-prized freedom.
132. “ Rise,” says Avarice.] This word, “ Rise,” is repeated four times. Thus Vice cea:es not from its importunity; and the an. swers of Dama, “I will not”-“I cannot"-" what shall I do if I rise ?"--are a lively representation of the power of idleness and sloth, when indulged. This is finely described, Prov. vi. 9, 10. xxii. 13. xxvi. 13, 14.
134. “ Fish from Pontus.”] Saperdasma sort of fish which came from Pontus, or the Black sea.
135. “ Castor.”] Castoreum.—This signifies either beavers skins, or what we call castor-i. e. the medicinal part of the animal ; both of which were articles of traffic. See Juv. sat. xii. l. 34-6.
- “ Flax.") Stuppa, or stupa -the coarse part of fax, tow, hards, oakum to calk ships with. Ainsw.
" Ebony."] A black wood, well known among us—the tree whereof bears neither leaves nor fruit. Ainsw.
" Slippery Coan wines."] From the island Co, or Coos, in the Ægean sea. They were soft, and of a laxative quality ; hence called lubrica.
136. “ Take first the recent pepper.”] Be sure be at the market first, that you may not only have the first choice, but return to a better sale, by coming home before the other merchants. Hor. lib. i. epist. vi. l. 32, 3.
Cave ne, portus occupet alter,
" Thirsting camel.”] The eastern people loaded their pepper and other spices on the backs of camels. These animals are said to endure thirst, in their journies over the deserts, for many days toge. ther; wherefore, in a part of the world where water is very scarce, they are peculiarly useful
137. « Turn something."] Trade, barter-i. c. as we say, turn the penny.
-" Swear.", Don't mind a little perjury upon occasion, either with respect to the goodness of your wares, or concerning the first cost, and what you can afford to sell them at.
- " Jupiter will hear.") Dama is supposed to raise a scruple of conscience.
• Rise.”_You refuse-he urges Rise,” says he." I cannot.”
« Rise.” “ And what shall I do ?” “ do you ask ?-bring fish from Pontus, “ Castor, fax, ebony, frankincense, and slippery Coan wines : 135 “ Take first the recent pepper from the thirsting camel : “ Turn something ; swear."" But Jupiter will hear."-" Alas! « Simpleton, to bore with your finger the re-tasted salt-cellar, “ Content you will pass your time, if you aim to live with Jove.
s. Now, ready, you fit the skin to the slaves, and a wine-vessel: 140 « Quick to the ship : nothing hinders, but in a large ship
137–8. “ Alas! simpleton."] Baro, or varoma servant that wait. ed upon the common soldiers, who was usually very stupid and ignorant-hence a blockhead, a dolt, a foolish fellow."
138.' “ To bore with your finger, &c.] If you aim at living (i. e. living in amity) with Jupiter, you must not think of trading to increase your fortune, but must be content to live in a poor, meals way. The poorer sort of people lived upon bread, with a little salt. Persius supposes the Stoic to tell Dama, that if he would not perjure himself, in order to get money by trade, he must be content to put his finger, and endeavour to scrape up a little salt from the bottom of his own poor salt-cellar; where there were only a few grains left, from his having done this so often, in order to give a relish to his palate, by licking his fingers, after they had rubbed the bottom of the salt-cellar, as if he meant to bore it through. This is proverbial, to express very great poverty. Salem lingere signified to live in the utmost poverty--to fare pooriy-Plaut. Curculi. act iv. sc. the last. Hic hodie apud me nunquam delinges salem; that is as much as to say--" you shan't eat a morsel,”
140. “ Now readily:"] Succinctus_-literally, girt, trussed up. The ancients wore long, loose garments, which, when they prepared to travel, they girded, or trussed up, about their loins, that they inight walk the more freely. See Hor. lib. ii. sat. vi. 107. Hence, being ready, prepared ; also nimble, expeditious. See Exod. xi. 11, fura mer part. 1 Kings xviii. 46. Luke xii. 35.
" Fit the skin," &c.] They had wallets, or knapsacks, made of skins, in which they packed their clothes, and other necessaries, when they travelled either by land or sea.
You put your knapsack, and your cask of wine for the voyage. on the backs of your slaves, to carry on board.
741. “ Quick to the ship.”] You lose fio time, you hurry to get on board.
"Nothing hinders.”] Nothing stands in your way to prevent the immediate execution of your plan, or to discourage you-un. less--See l. 142, note 2.
- " A large ship.”] Trabs is a beam, or any great piece of timber, of which ships are built : here, by meton, the ship itself. See Juv, sat, xiv. 1. 276. Virg. Æn. iii. 191.
Ægæum rapias, nisi solers Luxuria ante
Quid petis ? ut nummi, quos hic quincunce modesto , Nutrieras, pergant avidos sudare deunces ?
142. “ The Ægean."] A part of the Mediterranean sea, near Greece, dividing Europe from Asia. It is now called the Archipelago,'and, by the Turks, the White sea. Its name is supposed to be derived from anyos, Dor fluctus, from its turbulent waves. From this dailgerous sea are made two adages; viz. Ægeum scaphula transmittere to cross the Ægean sea in a little boat.--. e. to undertake a weighty business with small abilities ; and Ægeum navigare-to undertake an hazardous enterprise. See Ainsw. Hence our Stoic mentions this sea in particular, to shew the power of avarice over the mind that is enslaved by it, and that no dangers will deter from its pursuits-Nihil obstat, says he. ..
"Sly Luxury.") Solers--shrewd, wily, cunning. We have seen the victory of Avarice over Sloth, now Luxury is introduced, as putting in its claim for the mastery.
Thus, says the Stoic, will Avarice lord it over you, and drag you in her chains over the dangerous Ægean for lucre's sake, unless, being beforehand seduced and enthralled by Luxury, you should listen to her admonitions. Ante-i. c. before you put in practice what Avarice has advised.
143. “Whither thence," &c.] Whither from that warm and comfortable bed of yours, on which you so delightfully repose yourself, are you running headlong (ruis), like a madman as you are? See l. 132.
144. “ Manly bile, &c.] Masculus--male ; hence manly, stout, hardy, than which nothing is more opposite to luxury. Your warm breast--i.e. heated and enflamed with the ardent desire which now possesses you to face the danger of the seas ; for this an hardy rage is risen up, (intumuit) swells within you, says Luxury, and stirs you up to this dangerous resolution.
145. " Urn of hemlock.”] An urn was a measure of about four gallons. Cicuta--an herb like our hemlock, the juice of which was of an extremely cold nature, so as to be a deadly poison, when taken in a certain quantity. See sat. iv. 2, Also a sort of hellebore, ad. ministered medicinally, in madness, or frienzies, to cool the brain. See Ainsw. Cicuta, No. 1, 2,
Quæ poterunt unquam satis expurgare cicutæ Hox. epist. ii. lib. ii. 69.
146. “ Can you cross the sea ?"] Can you be so forgetful of the bländishments of ease and luxury, as to subject yourself to the dag. gers and inconveniencies of a sea-voyage ?
“ You may hurry over the Ægean : unless sly Luxury should . " Admonish you before seduced”-“ Whither thence, madman, do
" you rush ? “ Whither? what would you have ? under your warm breast manly
66 bile “ Has swelled up, which an urn of hemlock could not have extin“ guished.
145 6 Can you cross the sea ? to thee shall there be a supper on a bench, “ Propp'd with twisted hemp ? and red Veientane wine • Shall the broad-bottomed jug exhale, hurt with nasty pitch ? " What seek you ? that money, which here with modest five per cent. “ You liad nourished, should go on to sweat greedy cent. per "cent. ?
146. " A supper, &c.”] Instead of an elegant and well-spread table, can you bear to eat your supper upon a rough plank; ard instead of an easy couch, to be supported by a coil of cable, by way of a seat?
147. “ Red Veientane wine."] A coarse, bad wine, such as sea. men carried with them among their sea-stores. See Hor. lib. ii. sat. iii. l. 143.
148. “ The broad-bottomed jug."] Obba--a bowl or jug with a great belly and broad bottom, that sitteth, as it were-sessilis. This sort of jug, or bowl, was peculiarly useful at sea,, because not easily thrown down by the motion of the ship.
" Exhale."7 Cast forth the fumes of.
" Hurt with nasty pitch."] Smelling and tasting of the pitch, with which every thing on board a ship is daubed-this, perhaps, was the case with the obba : or the pitch may be meant, with which the vessel which held the wine was stopped, and which being of a coarse sort, might give a disagreeable taste to the liquor.
149.“ What seek you ?”] What errand are you going upon ? Is it to make better interest of your money, than you can make by stay. ing at home?
- Modest five per cent.”] This, as among us, was not rec, koned usurious, but modest-io e. moderate, legal interest.
150. “ Nourished.”] Metaph. from nourishing, nursing, fostering a child, making it thrive and grow : hence applied to money, as in, creasing it by care. .
- To sweat.") Metaph. from the effect of toil and labour these must attend those who endeavour to make extraordinary interest of their money, by trading to foreign countries.
-Greedy."] Metaph, from an immoderate desire of food, Those who strive to make exorbitant interest of their money, may well be called greedy of gain ; and hence the epithet greedy is ap. plied to the gain itself.
" Cent. per cent."] Deunx=ra pound lacking an ounce. A duodecim, una dempta uncia. Eleven ounces-eleven parts of an. other thing divided into twelve ; so that deuncés here siguifies ele. • Indulge genio : carpamus dulcia ; nostrum est • Quod vivis : cinis, et manes, et fabula fies. « Vive MEMOR LETHI: FUGIT HORA: hoc quod loquor, inde est.'
En quid agis ? duplici in diversum scinderis hamo. Hunccine, an hunc, sequeris? subeas alternus oportet,
155 Ancipiti obsequio, dominos : alternus oberres.
Nec tu, cum obstiteris semel, instantique negaris
ven pounds gained by every twelve, which is gaining very near cent. per cent. as we say.
151. “ Indulge your genius."] Here genio means natural inclina. rion. Indulgere genio, to make much of himself. Ainsw.
" Pluck sweets.”] Metaph. from plucking fruits or flowers. Hor. lib. i. ode xi. l. 8.
Carpe diem. q. d. Let us seize on and enjoy the sweets of life.
This sentiment is finely expressed in the apocryphal book of Wisdom, ch. ii. 6. et seq.
Luxury has been dissuading Dama from attempting his voyage, by representing the dangers and inconveniencies which must attend it ; now she invites him to stay, that he may not lose the pleasures of ease and luxury, which the shortness of life affords him but a little time for the enjoyment of.
151--2. " Mine that you live."] i. e. It is owing to me, says Luxury, that you enjoy the pleasures and sweets of life, without which, to live is not life. Boos Bis deguevos 8x €50 Boos-says the Greek proverb. Among us“ May we live all the days of our life,” is a common convivial expression. Horace, on another occasion, says to the muse Melpomene,
Quod spiro et placeo, si placeo, tuum est. Lib. iv. ode iii, l. 24. 152. “ Become ashes.”] You will soon die, and be carried to the funeral pile, where you will be burnt to ashes.
A ghost.”] Manes--a spirit separated from the body.
" A fable."7 Fabula, (from for -faris, to speak or talk,) a subject of discourse," Persius, here, some think to allude to Horace's fabulæque manes-i. l. manes de quibus multæ sunt fabula the manes who are much talked of. Lib. i. qde iv. 1. 16.
But as the Stoic is here speaking as an Epicurean, who believes body and soul to die together, I should rather think that fabula here means an invented story, a groundless tale--for such they looked upon the doctrine of a future state. See Wisd. ii. 1-9. “ A nothing but an old wife's tale,"
Vive memor quam sis ævi breviş. Hor. lib. ii. sat. vi. I. 96, 7.
Hor. lib. ii. ode v. I. 13, 14.