Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

To wait for at the very entrance of the shambles,
And to whom the purpose of living is in the palate alone.
The most wretched of these, and now soon to fall, (his
Ruin already being clear,) sups the more elegantly, and the better. .
Meantime, they seek a relish thro' all the elements,

The prices never opposing their inclination : if you attend 15
More intimately, THOSE THINGS P.LEASE MORE, WHICH ARE

BOUGHT FOR MORE. Therefore it is not difficult to procure a sum that will be wasted, Dishes being pawned, or a broken image of their mother, And, for four hundred sesterces, to season a relishing Earthen dish : thus they come to the diet of a prize-fighter. 20 It importeth, therefore, who may prepare these same things-for, in

Rutilus, It is luxury : in Ventidius a laudable name It takes, and derives its fame from his income. I should, by right,

18. Broken image, &c.] A family bust, or statue, broken to pieces that it may not be known, and pawned for the value of the gold or silver only.

19. Four hundred sesterces, &c.] When so many nummi are mentioned, sesterces (sestercii) are usually understood; the sester. tius is often called absolutely nummus, because it was in most fre. quent use. Also, sestertius nummus, about 1 d. of our money. See KENNET, book V. part ii. p. 13. Four hundred of these (about 21. 10s.) were laid out in seasoning a single dish.

20. Earthen dish.] Having pawned their plate, they are reduced to earthen ware. The dish is put here, by meton. for its contents.

-- To the diet, &c.] Miscellanea—a mixture of things without any order, a gallimawfry, an hotchpotch, such as the sword-players and prize-fighters used to eat.- From their dainties they are at last reduced to the coarse diet, as well as to the mean occupation, of a common prize fighter. See l. 5, and note 2.

Ludî, for ludii, the gen. of ludius—a stage-player, dancer, sword. player, and the like, who play on a stage.

21. It importeth therefore.] 9. d. Therefore, that we may judge aright, and not indiscriminately, it importech us to consider, who gives the entertainment, what are his circumstances for that may be praise-worthy in those who can afford it, which is highly vicious, and blameable, in those who cannot.

In Rutilus.] Above mentioned. See note on 1. 2.-To live splendidly, would, in such a one as Rutilus, deserve the name of extravagance and luxury, because he is poor, and can't afford it. 22. Ventidjus.] A noble Roman, who lived hospitably.

A laudable name.] The entertainments given by such a one are deservedly styled generous and magnificent. · 23. Derives its fame.] The commendation which is justly ben istowed upon it-its praise.

.

Despiciam, qui scit quanto sublimior Atlas
Omnibus in Libyâ sit montibus, hic tamen idem
Ignoret, quantum ferratâ distet ab arcâ ,
Sacculus : e.cælo descendit, ym.gesevtov, ,
Figendum, et memori tractandum pectore, sive
Conjugium quæras, vel sacri in parte senat Gs
Esse velis. Nec enim loricam poscit Achillis.
Thersites, in quâ se traducebat Ulysses
Ancipitem. Seu tu magno discrimine causam
Protegere affectas; te consule, dic tibi quis sis ;
Orator vehemens, an Curtius, an Macho. Buccæ
Noscenda est mensura tuæ, spectandaque rebus

23. From his income. From the great estate of the giver, who only lives in a magnificence suitable to his income.

23-4. By right, despise, &c.] Or justly, for he deserves it. 24. Atlas. See sat. viii. 1. 32, note.

26. A little bag.] Sacculus-a little bag, pouch, or purse, in which money is put.

27. Iron chest.] The rich used to keep their money in large chests armed with iron, to prevent their being broken open and robbed.

The poet means, that if a man has sense enough to distinguish the size of Atlas from that of other mountains which are inferior in size, and, at the same time, is foolish enough not to see the difference between his own narrow circumstances, and the fortunes of the rich, $0 as to regulate his manner of living accordingly, he is very deserying of the utmost contempt.

Know thyself.] row. We OEXUTOV— This was a saying of Chilon the Lacedemonian, and a very important one; for on self-knowledge depends all other that can contribute to the right management and direction of human life : for no man, endowed with this, would plunge himself into difficulties, by undertaking what is beyond the reach of his abilities, either of mind, body, or estate. This apothegm of Chilo's was, with others, written up in golden letters at the temple of Apollo, at Delphos, and was therefore believed to come from heaven. Not but it is very sound theology, to say, that, to have the veil of pride and self-love taken away, so that we know ourselves aright, is the gift of God, and the foundation of all true and saving knowledge. See Jer. xvii. 9, 10.

28. Fixed, and revolved, &c.] As a constant maxim, and princi. ple of action, arid, as such, we should ever be mindful of it. Tracto

mlit. signifies to handle, which, in a mental sense, by analogy, may signify to revolve in the mind.

29. Wedlock.] This instance of private and domestic concern may stand also for all others of the like kind, in which self-knowJed, fe is highly profitable to direct aright.

30. Senate.] If you wish to be a senator, you ought to know yours:lf, that you may be able to judge whether you are fit for such

Despise him, who knows how much higher Atlas is
Than all the mountains in Libya, yet this same person
Be ignorant, how much a little bag differs from an
Iron chest : KNOW THYSELF-descended from heaven,
To be fixed, and revolved in the mindful breast, whether
You may seek wedlock, or would be in a part of
The sacred senate. For Thersites does not demand the
Breast-plate of Achilles, in which Ulysses exposed himself
Doubtful. Or whether you may affect to defend a cause in great
Difficulty ; consult thyself, tell thyself who thou art,
A vehement orator, or Curtius, or Matho. The measure of
Your abilities is to be known, and regarded in the greatest, 35

30

an office; for nothing can be more pernicious to the state than un. able statesmen, as well as disgraceful to those who are so.

30. Thersites.] See sat. viii. l. 269, note. Such a fellow as this could never think of contending for the armour of Achilles, or of making a third with Ulysses and Ajax in the dispute about it: he knew himself too well.

31. Exposed himself.] To ridicule as the daw in the fable exposed itself to the derision of the other birds, when it had dressed itself in the borrowed plumes of the peacock. See Ainsw. Traduco, No. 5.

32, Doubtful.] As to his appearance, when he had the armour of Achilles on, no longer bearing his own semblance. Others give this passage another turn, and make it express the modesty of Ulysses, who shewed himself doubtful whether he should demand the armour or not, looking upon himself a3 unworthy to wear it. So FARNAB.

32—3. Great difficulty.] Where the controversy is very hazard. ous and difficult, and the cause requires an able advocate to defend it.

33. Consult thyself.] Before you undertake, consult well your abilities for it.

Tell thyself, &c.] After much self-examination, let your own conscience answer, and tell you what manner of man you are. 34. A vehement orator.] Eloquent and powerful.

Or Curtius.] Montanus, a man of very middling abilities.

Or Matho. See sat. i. I. 32, and note ; vii. 129.-a fellow of no abilities, who, not succeeding at the bar, turned spy and informer.

35. Your abilities, &c.) Bucca-lit. cheek, here (by synec.) put for the whole mouth, through which we speak; and this, for speak: ing itself, by metonym. The poet means, that the extent of a man's capacity should be considered, if he intends to plead at the bar ; he should know his own powers of eloquence, and act accordingly, • -- Regarded.] This attention to the fitness of a man for whax he undertakes should be regarded in all concerns whatsoever, from the highest to the lowest.

In summis, minimisque; etiam cum piscis emetur:
Nec mullum cupias, cum sit tibi gobio tantum
In loculis : quis enim te, deficiente crumena,
£t crescente gulâ, manet exitus ; ære paterno,
Ac rebus mersis in ventrem, fænoris atque
Argenti gravis, et pecorum agrorumque capacem ?
Talibus a dominis post cuncta novissimus exit
Annulus, et digito mendicat Pollio nudo.
Non præmaturi cineres, nec funus acerbum
Luxuriæ, sed morte magis metuenda senectus.
Hi plerumque gradus : conducta pecunia Romæ,
Et coram dominis consumitur : inde ubi paulum .
Nescio quid superest, et pallet fænoris auctor,
Qui vertêre solum, Baias, et ad Ostia currunt.
Cedere namque foro jam non tibi deterius, quam
Esquilias a ferventi migrare Suburrâ.
Ille dolor solus patriam fugientibus, illa
Mæstitia est, caruisse anno Circensibus unos

36. A fisk, &c.] When he goes to the fish market, if his purse will only afford him a gudgeon, he should not think of buying so dear a fish as a muller ; io e. a man should always proportion his expenses to his pocket.

38. What end, c.] What must increasing expense and gluttony, and a decreasing and failing purse, end in ?

40. In your belly.) Your patrimony, both in goods and land, all spent to gratify your luxury and gluttony, all swallowed up by your voracious appetite.

Capable of containing, &c.] Not only the interest and principal of what the father left in personal estate, but also all his land, and stock thereon into the bargain.

By argenti gravis (joined with foenoris, which signifies interest upon money lent) the principal money itself may be understood. Or the epithet gravis may here signify the best silver money, in contradistinction to the tenue argentum, venæque secundæ, sat. ix. 31.

Many interpret argenti gravis to denote silver in the rude heavy mass. 42. Such masters.] i. e. Owners, possessors.

After all, $6.7 When all else is spent and gone. 43. The ring.] The mark of honour and distinction worn by Roman knights. They must be driven very hard to part with this ; but having, by their extravagance, reduced themselves below the fortune and rank of the equestrian order, they have no right to claim it, or to wear the badge of it.

--- Pollio.] He was brought to that pass by his gluttony, that' he was forced to sell his ring, and then beg for a livelihood.

-- Naked finger.] His finger bare, berest of the ring which he used to wear upon it,

41. Ashes, &c.] Death never comes too soon; the funeral pile,

40

And in the least affairs ; even when a fish shall be bought :
Nor should you desire a mullet when you have only a gudgeon
In your purse: for what end awaits thee, your purse failing,
Your gluttony increasing : your paternal fortune,
And substance, sunk in your belly, capable of containing
Interest and principal, and fields and flocks ?
From such masters, after all, last goes forth
The ring, and Pollio begs with a naked finger.
Ashes are not premature, nor is a funeral bitter
To luxury, but old age more to be feared than death.
These are ofttimes the steps : money is borrowed at Rome,
And consumed before the owners : then, when a little,
I don't know what, is left, and the usurer is pale, .
Those who have changed the soil, run to Baiæ, and to Ostia.
For, to depart from the forum, is not worse to you than
To migrate to Esquiliæ from the hot Suburra.
That is the only grief to those who fly their country, that
The sorrow, to have been deprived of the Circensian games for one year.

which reduces them to ashes, is never bitter to such as these, whose maxim is~~" a short life and a merry one,” or, " let us eat and " drink, for to-morrow we die.” 45. To luxury.] To gluttons and spendthrifts.

- More to be feared, &c.] Because it can be attended with no. thing but poverty and disease.

46. Ofttimes the steps.] Plerumque--for the most part, most com. monly the degrees by which they proceed. .

--- Borrowed at Rome.] They first take up money at Rome. 47. Before the owners.] Spent before the face of the late owners -. e. of the people who lent it.

When a little, &c.] Before it is all gone, and they have just enough to carry them off, whatever the sum may be I don't know

48. The usurer.] Lit. the increaser of interest-the money-lender --who, perhaps, may have taken such an advantage of their necessities, as to make them pay interest upon interest

_ Is pale.] With the fear of losing all his money. 49. Changed the soil.] Vertere solum, signifies to run one's coun. try. Cic. pro domo. Those who have made off..

- Briæ, and to Ostia.] See sat. iii. 1. 4 ; and sat. viii. 171, n. 2. from whence they might take shipping, and make their escape into some other country

50. For, to depart, &c.] To run away from Rome for debt is 80 common, that there is no more discredit in it, than changing the hot street of the Suburra (see sat., iii. v.) for the cool air of the Es. quilian hill. See sat. v. 1. 77, 8. Foro is here put, by synec. for Rome itself. Or to depart from the forum, may imply their running away from justice.

53. Circensian games, &c.] These people have no other sorrow,

« PredošláPokračovať »