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Ditescant orti pejoribus, usque recusem
Discrepet his alius. Geminos, Horoscope, varo
lowly and meanly born, should grow so rich, adeo ditescant, as to have their possessions exceed mine
15. I should always refuse, &c.] I should not make myself uneasy, so as to fret upon that account, and to bring on old age before my time, as if bowed under a weight of years.
16. Sup without a dainty.] Unctus, literally, is anointed, greasy, and applied to describe a dainty rich meal, good cheer. Hence unc. tissimæ cænæ. See AinsW. Unctus.
I'll not live the worse ; envy shall not spoil my appetite ; I'll not abate a single dish at my table, in order to save up what would make me as rich as my neighbour.
17. And to have touched with my nose, &c.] I shall not bottle up dregs of musty wine, and then examine the seal, which I have put on the mouth of the vessel, as closely as if I meant to run my nose into the pitch which has received its impression, to try whether any of my servants have opened it.
9. d. I shall neither fret myself into old age before my time with envy, nor turn niggard, in order to save money, that I may equal my richer neighbours.
18. Another may differ, &c.] However such may be my way of thinking, yet as there are
Mille hominum species et rerum discolor uşus–See sat. v. 52. it is certain that others may differ from me in sentiments, with regard to these matters.
- O Horoscope.] Horoscopus here signifies the star that had the ascendent, and presided at one's nativity.
9. d. Whatever astrologers may say, two persons, even twins, born under the same horoscope, are frequently seen to be produced with a different genius, or natural inclination.
19. There is, who, &c.] Of these twins, one of them shall be co. vetous and close, the other prodigal.
One of them will grudge himself almost the common comforts of life. · On his birth-day.] This was usually observed as a time of feasting, and making entertainments for their friends. See Juv. sat. xi. 1. 83–5; and v. 1. 36, 7, 20. Wily.] Vafer--cunning, crafty.
Din his dry herbs.] Olus •eris-many garden herbs for food -probably what we call a sallad.
Sprung from worse, should grow ever so rich, I should always refuse, On that account, to be diminish'd crooked with old age, or to sup without a dainty.
15 And to have touched with my nose the seat in the vapid cask. Another may differ in these things : twins, O Horoscope, with
With his tooth dispatches a great estate. I will use, I will use :
Instead of pouring oil, or other good dressing, over the whole, he, in order to have no waste, craftily contrived to dress no more than he ate, by dipping the herbs, as he took them up to eat, into a small cup of pickle : of this he had no store by him, but bought a little for the occasion.
Muria was a kind of sauce, or pickle, made of the liquor of the '. tunny-fish-a very vile and cheap sauce.
21. Himself sprinkling, &c.] He would not trust this to a ser. vant, for fear of his sprinkling too much, therefore did it himself.
—— Sacred pepper.) Which he sets as much store by as if it were sacred. Hor. lib. i. sat. i. 1. 71, 2.
Tanquam parcere sacris
Metuensque velut contingere sacrum.
- A magnanimous boy.) Yet not grown to manhood, but have ing early a noble disposition. Iron.
22. His tooth. ] By the indulgence of his luxurious appetite-me. ton.--devours all he has.
-- Dispatches a great estate.] i. e. Makes an end of a large estate, by spending it profusely upon his gluttony and luxury
I will use, &c.] For my part, says Persius, I will use what I have; I say use, not abuse it, either by avarice on the one hand, or by prodigality on the other.
23. Not therefore splendid, &c.] Not so sumptuous and costly as to treat my freedmen, when they come to see me, with turbot for dinner--ideo, i.e. merely because I would appear splendid. · 24. Nor wise to know, &c.] Nor yet indulge myself in gluttony, or cultivate a fine delicate palate, so as to be able to distinguish the small difference between one thrush and another..
These birds, which we commonly translate thrushes, were in great repute as dainties. Some pretended to so nice a taşte, as to be able
Messe tenus propriâ vive ; et granaria (fas est)
• At vocat officium. Trabe ruptâ, Bruttia saxa
to distinguish whether the bird they were eating was of the male or female kind, the juices of the latter being reckoned most relishing.
I will use what I have, says Persius, but then it shall be in a ra. tional moderate way; not running into needless extravagance, for fear of being reckoned covetous, or setting up for a connoisseur in eating, for fear of not being respected as a man of a delicate taste.
25. Your own harvest.] Equal your expenses to your income.
26. Grind out.] Don't hoard, but live on what you have use it all. Fas est-q.d. You may do it, and ought to do it.
What can you fear ] You have nothing to be afraid of; the next harvest will replace what you spend. Comp. Matt. vi. 34.
Harrow.] Occo is to harrow, to break the clods in a ploughed field, that the ground may lie even, and cover the grain. Here, by synec. it stands for all the operations of husbandry.--. d. Plough, sow, harrow your land, and you may expect another crop. - Herba is the blade of any corn, which, when first it appears, is green and looks like grass. “ First the blade, then the ear, then " the full corn in the ear." Mark iv. 28.
Persius was for Horace's auream mediocritatem (ode x. lib. ii. 1. 5-8), neither for hoarding out of avarice, nor for exceeding out of profuseness.
27. " But duty calls.”] Aye, says a mişer, all this is very well; but I may be called upon to serve a friend, and how can I be prepared for this if I spend my whole annual income?
"With broken ship.”] Methinks, says the miser, who is supposing a case of a distressed friend-methinks I see him shipwrecked, and cast away on the Bruttian rocks, and seizing hold on a point of the rock to save himself. See Æneid vi. 360.
Prensantemque uncis manibus capita aspera montis. Brutium, or Bruttium, was a promontory of Italy, near Rhegium, hod. Reggio, not far from Sicily, nigh to which there were danger, ous rocks.
28. “ His unheard vows."] Surdus means, not only deaf, but also that which is not heard. It was usual for persons in distress at sea to make vows to some god, in order for their deliverance, that they would, if preserved, make such or such offerings on their arriving safe on shore. But, alas ! the poor man's freight, and all the vows that he made, were all gone together to the bottom of the Ionian sea.
The sea between Sicily and Crete was anciently so called.
Live up to your own harvest : and your granaries (it is right) 25 Grind out. What can you fear!--Harrow-and another crop is in
the blade. What ca
“ But duty calls. With broken ship, the Bruttian rocks “ A poor friend takes hold of, and all his substance, and his unheard
“ vows “ He has buried in the Ionian : himself lies on the shore, and toge
“ther (with him] « The great gods from the stern : and now obvious to the sea-gulls 30 “ Are the sides of the torn ship.”-Now even from the live turf Break something ; bestow it on the poor man, lest he should wander
30. “ The great gods from the stern." The ancients had large figures of deities, which were fixed at the stern of the ship, and were regarded as tutelar gods.--Aurato fulgebat Apolline puppis. Virg. Æn. X. 171.--The violence of the waves is supposed to have broken these off from the vessel, and thrown them on shore, whither also the man is supposed to have swum, and where he now lay.
"Sea-gulls.”] Mergus is the name of several sea.birds, from their swimming and diving in the sea. Ainsworth says it particularly means the cormorant.
The ribs of the ship were now torn open, and exposed to the birds of prey which haunted the sea, who might devour the dead bodies, or any provisions which were left on board
31. The live turf, &c.] 9. d. Now, upon such an occasion as this (which, however, is not so likely to happen to an individual of your acquaintance, as in the prospect of it, to be a pretence for not freely and hospitably spending the whole annual produce of your land) you may relieve your ruined friend by a sale of part of your land, supposing that you have none of the fruits of it left to help him with. Sell a piece of your land already sown, on which the blade is now springing up, and give the money to your friend who has lost his all; that is, do not stay till you have reaped, but help him immediately as his wants require.
Cespes is a turf, a sod, or clod of earth, with the grass or other produce, as corn, &c. growing upon it: hence called vivus, living. So Hor. lib. i. ode xix. 1. 13.
Hic vivum mihi cespitem, &c. And lib. iii. ode viii. 1. 3, 4,
Positusque carbo in
Cespite vivo. Comp. Juv. sat. xii. 1. 2.
Here cespite vivo is to be understood of the land itself, with the corn growing upon it. The image is taken from the idea of a man's taking up a sod, breaking off a piece of it, and giving it to another.
32-3. Lest painted, &c.] See sat. i. 1. 89, note. The table, or plank, on which the story of the distress was VOL. II.
Cæruleâ in tabulâ. Sed cænam funeris hæres
painted, represented the sea, and therefore appeared of a sea.green colour. Hence Persius says-Cærulea tabula.
33. “ Your funeral supper,” &c.] Prolepsis.-Persius, who well knew the workings of avarice within the human mind, and how many excuses it would be making, in order to avoid the force of what he has been saying, here anticipates an objection, which might be made to what he last said, about selling part of one's estate, in order to relieve a ship-wrecked friend.
But perhaps you will say, that if you sell part of your land, and thus diininish the inheritance, your heir will be offended, and resent his having less than he expected, by not affording you a decent funeral, Horace says, epist ii. lib. ii. 1. 191, 2.
- Nec metuam quid de me judicet hæres,
Quod non plura datis invenerat. It was usual at the funerals of rich people to make sumptuous entertainments, the splendour of which depended on the heir of the deceased, at whose expense they were given. These cænæ ferales, or cena funeris, were three-fold. Ist. A banquet was put on the funeral pile, and burnt with the corpse. See Æneid vi. 222–5. 2ndly. A grand supper was given to the friends and relations of the family. Cic. de Leg. lib. i. 3rdly. A dish of provisions was de. posited at the sepulchre.
Ponitur exiguâ feralis cæna patellâ. See Juv. sat, v. l. 85, and note. This last was supposed to appease their manes.
35. “ My unfierfumed bones.”] After the bodies of the rich were burnt on the funeral pile, the ashes containing their bones were usu. ally gathered together, and put into an urn with sweet spices.
" Whether cinnamons,” &c.] Persius here names cinnamon · and Casia, the latter of which he supposes to be sophisticated, for the sake of cheapness, with cherry-gum or gum from the cher. ry-tree. The cinnamon, if true and genuine, is a fine aromatic; but the expression, spirent surdum, breathe insipidly--(surdum, Græcism, for surde-or perhaps, odorem may be understood)looks as if the cinnamon, as well as the Casia, were supposed to be adulterated, and mixed with some ingredient which spoiled its odour. The heir is supposed to lay out as little as he well could on the de. ceased.
36. “ Prepared to be ignorant."'] i. e. Determined beforehand not to trouble his head about the matter---the worse the spices, the less the cost.