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Accipere, atque suam Rutilæ dare, Filius autem
295. But a son, &C. 1 i.e. A son with an accomplished and beau. tiful person makes his parents unhappy, and keeps them in perpetual fear, so very rarely do beauty and modesty meet together.
296. Person.] The word corporis, which literally signifies the body, is here used for the whole person of the man, per synec.
298. Homely house, Ec.] in e. Though the plain family, rough and honest, should have furnished him with the best morals, and brought him up in all the plain and virtuous simplicity of the old Sa. bines.(see sat, vi. l. 162, 3.-transmitting modesty and chastity by their own examples also.
300. Glowing, &c.] Easily blushing at every species of indecency.
303. More pow'rful, &c.] i. e. Who is more powerful than all outward restraints.--q. d. Natural good dispositions are more powerful preservatives against vice, than all the watchfulueas and care of guardians and parents.
304. Must not be men. If they are to escape the pollutions that $ are in the world through lust," they must die young, and not be men.
--- The prodigal improbity, &c.] The offers of those who would corrupt their chastity, and who think no prodigality too great to se. duce youth, will even attempt to corrupt the parents themselves, by þribing them, at any price, over to their side. Such is their extrava. gant wickedness.
306. Confidence in bribes.] So thoroughly persuaded are they that bribe will carry their point. draw Na tyrant, &c.] The poet shews another danger arising
And give her (shape) to Rutila. But a son, with a
from beauty, namely, that of being taken into the palaces of prin. ces and great men, where they were kept for unnatural purposes, and castrated, in order to make their voices like those of women : 110w this might be the consequence of being handsome, but no de formed and ugly youth was ever served so. See sat, vi. 368–72.
308. Nero ravish, &c.] Alludes to the horrid amours of Nero with Sporus, whom he dressed in woman's apparel, and is said to have married. See sat. i. 60, note.
309. A wen.] Struma signifies a swelling, or wen, arising from a scrophulous habit, like what we call the king's evil, Strumosus, one that has this disorder.
Swelling, &c.] i.e. Pot-bellied and hump-backed. 310. Go now, &c.] An ironical apostrophe to the mother see 1. 289-91.) who is wishing for beautiful children.
311. Greater dangers, &c.] The older he grows, the more dangers will he be exposed to, even greater than those already mentioned.
He will become, &C.] He will intrigue with married women, and, on detection by the husbands, be exposed to all the suffering which their rage and jeaously may inflict.
313. Happier than the star, &c.] As all destiny was supposed to be governed by the stars, so the word star (per metonym.) may signify destiny.-Will he have better luck thari Mars, who, when in an amour with Venus, was surprised by her husband Vulcan, who enclosed them with a net, and exposed them to the sight of all the gods.
315. That pain.] Which an adulterer may have inflicted on him by an enraged husband,
Concessit. Necat, hic ferro, secat ille cruentis
315. Than any law, &c.] i e. The pain which the gallant may suffer from the husband may possibly exceed any that the law would inflict, or has allowed, for such an offence.
316. With a sword. 7 Ferrum means any tool or weapon made with iron.-There seems here to be an imitation of Hor. lib. i. sat. ii. 1. 40–46.
316–17. With bloody scourges.] i. e. Most barbarously fogs the gallant with scourges, the blood following the strokes :
HoR. ubi. supr. 317. The mullet, &c.] This was a punishment sometimes inflicted on adulterers, when caught in the fact, and must be attended with the most excruciating pain. It was done by thrusting the fish up the fundament, and then drawing it out, with the fins laying hold of and tearing the part.
318. But your Endymion.] Another ironical apostrophe to the mother. See before, note on 1. 310.
Endymion was a shepherd, fabled to have been fallen in love with by Cynthia, or the moon, who, that she might kiss him, laid him asleep on mount Latmus, in Caria, near the coast of the Archipelago.
The poet uses the name Endymion, here, in derision of the mother, whom he supposes to be so fond of her son, and so pleased with his beauty, as to think him as handsome, at least, as Endymion him. self, and as likely to excite the love of some favourite lady, as Endymion was to excite the love of Cynthia, and who will think to have him all to herself.—No, says the poet, this will only last till some lucrative temptation comes in his way, and then he will be as bad as others and just as profligate--for
319. When Servilia, &c.] This name may here be put for any lewd and profligate adulteress, who hired lovers for her pleasures. There may probably be an allusion to Servilia, the mother of Brutus, and sister of Cato, with whom Cæsar lived in illicit commerce.
When such a one pays him well, however he may dislike her per son, he will be at her service.
Has granted. One kills with a sword, another cuts with bloody
320. Put off, &c.7 She will strip herself of all her jewels and finery, part with every thing that's valuable, to supply the means of rewarding her lover.
322. Hippia.] See sat. vi. 82—112. A prodigal adulteress. - Catulla.] See sat. ii. 49. A poor harlot. 9. d. However different in their circumstances, they will all meet in this point, viz. to spare nothing where a lover is in question.
323. There a bad woman.] On that one principle of self-gratification she forms all her conduct—there she shews herself kind, generous, and liberal, however worse in general than others.
324. How does beauty, &c.] Granting that beauty may be pernicious, in instances like those above mentioned, yet how can it injure the chaste and virtuous ?
325. A solemn resolution, &c.] This was the solemn resolve of Hippolytus, to refuse the love of his step-mother Phædra, who, for this, accused him of tempting her to incest. He fled away in a cha. riot by the sea side, but the horses taking fright at the sea-calves lying on the shore, overturned the chariot, and killed him.
Bellerophon.] Sthenobea (the wife of Pætus, king of the Argives) falling in love with him, he refused her; at which she was so incensed, that she accused him to her husband : this forced him upon desperate adventures, which he overcame. Sthenobæa, hearing of his success, killed herself.
326. This redden'd, &c.] Phædra reddened with anger and resentment, as thinking herself despised. 327. Sthenobæa, &c.] See note on l. 325,
The Cretan.] Phædra was the daughter of Minos, king of Crete.
Both.) Phædra and Sthenobaa. 328. Vexed themselves.] Concussere-The verb concutio literally signifies to shake, jog, or stir ; and, when applied to the mind, to trouble, vex, or disquiet. Here it intimates, that these women shook or stirred themselves, into a fit of rage and vexation. It seems to be used metaphorically, from the custom of the wrestlers and box
Cum stimulos odio pudor admovet. Elige quidnam
ers at the theatres, who, before they engaged, gave themselves blows on the breast, or sides, to excite anger and fury. Thus the lion is said to shake his mane, and lash himself with his tail when he would be furious.
328. Most cruel, &c.] A woman is then most savage and relent, - less, when, on being disappointed, the fear of shame adds spurs to
her resentment, and her påssion of love is changed to hatred. See Gen. xxxix. 7--20.
Virgil represents Juno as stirred up to her relentless hatred to Æneas, and the Trojans, from several motives; among the rest, from the contempt which had been shewn her by Paris, in his judgment against her at mount Ida.
Necdum etiam causæ irarum, sævique dolores, i . Exciderant animo, manet alta mente repôstum · Judicium Paridis, spretæque injuria formæ, &c. &c.
Æn. i. 29, 30, 31. See also Æn. v. 5-7.
329. Choose, & co] i. e. Think it over, and determine, all things considered, what advice you would give.
330. To him whom, &c.] Silius is meant here, a noble Roman, whom the empress Messalina so doated upon, that she made him put · away his wife Julia Syllana, and resolved to marry him in the ab.
sence of her husband, the emperor Claudius, who was gone no far. ther than Ostia, a city near the mouth of the Tiber,
333. By the eyes, &c.] By her having fixed her eyes upon him, so as to become enamoured with him.Of the horrid lewdness of this empress, see sat. vi. 115–31.
Long she sits, &c.] The time beems long to her, while wait. ing for Silius.
333_-4. Prepared bridal veil.] Which she had prepared for the ceremony. See sat. ii. l. 124, note on the word flammea ; and sat. vi. 224.
334. Openly, &c.] She trafrisacts her matter openly, without fear or shame; accordingly she omits nothing of the marriage ceremony --she put on the flame-coloured marriage veil-the conjugal bed was sumptuously adorned with purple, and prepared in the Lucullan gardens, a place of public resort. See note on l. 338.