« PredošláPokračovať »
“ Indulge your genius let us pluck sweets-It is mine “ That you live : you will become ashes, and a ghost, and a fable. o Live MINDFUL OF DEATH; THE HOUR FLIES : this, which I
"speak, is from thence.” "Lo, what do you? you are divided different ways with a double
“ hook. . “ This do you follow, or this ? By turns it behoves that you go
66 under, 6. With doubtful obsequiousness, your masters : by turns, you may
of wander. “ Nor can you, when once you have withstood, and have refused to
Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus.
Virg. Georg. iii. I. 284. Comp. Æn. x. 467, 8. - 153. “This, which I speak, is from thence.”] The time in which I am now speaking is taken from thence-i. e. from the flying hour. See Hor. lib. i. ode xi. 1. 7.
Dum loquimur fugerit invida
Ætas. The late Lord Hervey, in a poetical epistle to a friend, applies this very beautifully :
“Even now, while I write, time steals on our youth,
" And a moment's cut off from thy friendship and truth.” The whole of Luxury's argument amounts to—“Let us eat and « drink, for to-morrow we die.” Is. xxi. 13. 1 Cor. xv. 32.
154. “ Lo, what do you ?”] The Stoic now turns his discourse, immediately, as from himself, to Dama, whom he has represented as beset by Avarice and Luxury, and at a loss which to obey. Now, says he, what can you do, under these different solicitations ?
" You are divided," Jc.] Metaph. from angling, with two hooks fixed to the line, and differently baited, so that the fish are doubtful which to take.
155. “This do you follow,”' &c.] Hunc-dominum understood. -Which master will you follow-Avarice or Luxury ?
- " By turns it behoves," &c.] The truth is, that you will sometimes go under, or yield to, the dominion of the one, sometimes of the other, alternately-ancipiti obsequio - doubting which you shall serve most. Alternus-a-um. See Ainsw.
156. “Wander.”] Oberres-obe like one that is at a loss, and wanders up and down ; you will wander in your determinations which to serve, at times, their commands being contrary to each other.-Avarice bids you get more—Luxury bids you enjoy what you have.
157. “ Withstood," &c.] Perhaps for once, or so, you may refuse to obey their most importunate solicitations and commands ; but don't, from this, conclude that you are free from their service. It is not a single instance, but a whole tenor of resistance to vice, which constitutes freedom. Instanti-earnest, urgent..
Parere imperio, rupi jam vincula,' dicas.
Dave, cito, hoc credas jubeo, finire dolores
Euge, puer, sapias : diis depellentibus agnam Percute. Sed censen' plorabit, Dave, relicta ? Nugaris : soleâ, puer, objurgabere rubrâ,
159. “A dog," &c.] A dog may struggle till he breaks his chain, but then runs away with a long piece of it hanging to him at his neck, by which he is not only incommoded in his flight, but easily laid hold of, and brought back to his confinement. Canis here feminine--lit. a bitch.
So will it be with you ; you may break loose, for a while, from the bondage and service of vice, but those inbred principles of evil, which you will carry about you, will hinder your total escape, and make it easy for the solicitations of your old masters to reduce you again into bondage to them. Therefore, while there remains any vice and folly within you, you will be a slave, however you may call yourself free.
161. “ Davus," &c.] The Stoic, in confirmation of his main ar. gument, to prove that " all but the wise are slaves," having instanced sloth, avarice, and luxury, as lording it over the minds of men, now proceeds to shew that the passion of love is another of those chains by which the mind is bound.
He introduces a scene in the Eunuch of Menander, from which Terence took his Eunuch, where the lover is called Chærestratus (in Terence, Phædria) communicating to his servant Davus (in Terence, Parmeno) his intention of leaving his mistress Chrysis (in Terence, Thais ).
“ Davus,” says Chærestratus, “ (and I insist on your believing me " to be in earnest), I am thinking to give up my mistress, and to do " this shortly-cito_and thus to put an end to all the plague and 66 uneasiness which she has cost me.
162—3. “ His raw nail gnawing," &c.] Biting his nail to the quick ; a very common action with people in deep and anxious thought.
163. “ Shall 1, a disgrace.”] q. d. Shall I, who have made myself a disgrace to my family by keeping this woman
"Oppose.”] Act contrary to the wishes and advice of my sober relations ?
Siccus signifies sober, in opposition to uvidus, soaked, mellow with liquor, Hor, ode iv. 5, 38-40
« An instant command, say “I now have broken my bonds."
“ Davus, quickly (I command that this you believe) to finish griefs
* Well done, boy, be wise : to the repelling gods a lamb « Smite :"_" But think you, Davus, she will weep, being left ?" “ You trifle-you will, boy, be chidden with a red slipper,
Cum Sol oceano subest.
165 “In obscene threshold." At the house of an harlot.Synec. limen for domum.
« Wet doors," &c.] The doors wet with the dew of the night." Shall I serenade her at midnight, when I am drunken, and " have put out the torch with which my servant is lighting' me home, ts for fear of being seen and known by the passers by ?"
167. “Well done," &C.] “Well done, my young master," says Davus, “ I hope you will come to your senses at last.”
“Repelling gods," &c.] It was usual to offer a thankoffering to the gods, on a deliverance from any danger : hence Davus bids his master sacrifice a lamb-diis depellentibus to the gods, whose office it was to repel and keep off evil. Perhaps Castor and Pollux are here meant, as they were reckoned peculiarly to avert mischief. See Delph. note.--Horace sacrificed a lamb to Faunus, the god of the fields and woods, for his escape from the falling tree. Lib. ii. ode xvii. ad fin.--Averruncus—Deus qui mala avertit AINSW.
168. “Think you, Davus," &c.] Here the young man wavers in his resolution, and shews that he is still a slave to his passion for Chrysis—he can't bear the thought of making her uneasy.
169. “ You trifle -"] Answers Davus. Is this the way in which you are to put an end to all the plague and uneasiness of this amour, to be thus irresolute, and unable to bear the thought of her tears for the loss of you? Alas! how you trifle with yourself!
" You will be chidden;" &c.] O foolish youth, when once Chrysis finds out that you are so fond of her, that you can't bear to grieve her by forsaking her, she will make her advantage of it; she will let you see her imperiousness, and will not only scold, but beat
Ne trepidare velis, atque arctos rodere casses.
159. “ Red slipper."] Solea-a kind of pantofle, or slipper, covering only the sole of the foot, and fastened with laces. It was a fashion among the fine ladies to have these of a red or purple colour, as well as to make use of them for the chastisement of their humble admirers, See Juv. sat. vi. l. 611.
Thraso is represented by Terence (Eun. act. v. sc. vii.) as intend. ing, after his quarrel with the courtezan Thais, to surrender himself to her at discretion, and to do whatever she commanded. The parasite Gnatho says--Quid est ? Turaso. Quî minus quam Hercules servivit Omphale!
GN. Exemplum placet : Utinam tibi comniitigari videam sandalio caput. From this answer of Gnatho, it seems likely that there was represented, on the Athenian stage, some comedy on the loves of Hercules and Omphale, in which that hero 'was seen spinning of wool, and his mistress sitting by, and beating him with her sandal, or slipper, when he did wrong. To this our poet may probably allude. See the ingenious Mr. ColMan's translation of this passage, and the note.
170. “To struggle."] 1. e. That you may not again attempt your liberty. Metaph. from the fluttering of birds when caught on lime-twigs, who fluţter their wings to free themselves, by which they are the more limed, and rendered more unable to escape. MARSHALL.
Sic aves dum viscum trepidantes excutiunt, plumis omnibus illinunt. Seneca, de Ira.
Trepido does not always signify trembling through fear, beat sometimes to hasten, to bustle, to keep a clutter. Dum trepidant alæ.
Virg. Æn. iv. i 21; and ix. 114. So struggling to get free from a laughty mistress.
Ac veluti primo Taurus detractat aratro,
Mox venit assueto mollis ad arva jugo. Sic primo juvenes trepidant in amore feroces, · Dehinc domiti posthac æqua et iniqua ferunt. Propert. lib.ii.
" And bite," &c.] Metaph. from wild beasts taken in nets, or toils, who endeavour to free themselves by biting them asunder.
In short, Chrysis will so use you, if you again put yourself in her power, that you will not dare to attempt a second time to escape her,
171. “ Fierce and violent."] Now you are not with her you can bluster stoutly.
- Call."] i. e. Invite you to come to her
• Lest you should have a mind to struggle, and bite the tight 66 toils :
170 *6 Now fierce and violent: but, if she should call, without delay you
" would say" What therefore shall I do? now, when she can send for me, and
or willingly * Supplicate, shall I not go ?"-" If whole and entire from thence * You had come forth, not now,"_" This, this, this is he whom we
6 seek, ** Not in the wand which the foolish lictor shakes.
171. « Without delay," &c.] You would instantly change your note, and say“
172. “ What therefore," &c.] These are almost the words of · Phædria, in Ter. Eun. act i. sc. i. l. 1, 2.
Quid igitur faciam? non eam, ne nunc quidem
Cum accersor ultro? 173. “ Whole and entire," &c.] “ If when you left her, you * had been entirely heart-whole, and had shaken off the yoke of lust " and passion, you would not-nec nunc, not even now-return to s her, even though she has sent to entreat you to it; but, from your " thought of yielding to her entreaties, I see very plainly that, not“ withstanding all your deliberations about leaving her, you are still a 66 slave to her.”
174. “ Whom we seek.”] The man who can so far emancipate himself from his passion, as to free himself from its dominion, so as no longer to be a slave to it, which Chærestratus would have proved himself, if he could have kept his resolution against all solicitations to break it: this is the man I mean, says the Stoic, this is the man I al. low to be free.
175. “ Not in the wand,” &c.] The better to explain this place, as well as l. 88 of this Satire, it may not be amiss to mention, particularly, the ceremony of manumission.
6. The slave was brought before if e consul, and, in after-times, before the pretor, by his inaster, who, laying his hand upon his servant's head, said to the pretor-Hunc hominem liberum esse volo, and, with that, let him go out of his hand, which they termed e manu emittere, whence manumission : then the pretor laying a rod upon his head, called vindicta, said-Dico eum liberum esse more Quiritum ; and turned him round on his heel. See l. 75, 6. After this, the lictor, taking the rod out of the pretor's hand, struck the servant several blows upon the head, face, and back, (which part of the ceremony Persius refers to in this line,) and nothing now remained but pileo donare, to present him with a cap in token of liberty, and to have his name entered in the common roll of freemen, with the reason of his obtaining that favour." See before, 1. 88. See Kennett, Antiq. p. 100.
com o The foolish lictor."] Ineptus, here, is either used in contempt of the lictor, who was a sort of beadle, that carried the fasces before the pretor, and usually, perhaps, an igiorant, illiterate fel